Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9.16.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        16, Smith's Legion, Confederate convalescents, ordnance and money

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., September 16, 1862.

Maj. Gen. E. KIRBY SMITH, Lexington, Ky.:

GEN.: Smith's Legion and the 2,000 convalescents are on the way to join you, escorting money and ordnance. It was with great difficulty that I armed the convalescents. I send them by way of Jamestown, Big Creek Gap having been blockaded, and I did not care to risk the funds so near an enemy. De Courcy, with his brigade, left the Gap with 500 wagons--I presume to collect provisions. Morgan is getting in some supplies. I fear he does not intend to leave. Governor Harris' and Gen. Bragg's conscription orders have thrown the whole country into a feverish state, and I do not think I overestimate when I say thousands are stampeding to the mountains and to Morgan.

Respectfully,

J. P. McCOWN,  Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 836.

 

 

        16, 1863 - "The Rebel Governor, Caruthers."

The [Louisville] Journal of Saturday has the following eulogism [sic] upon the rebel Governor, Caruthers. Caruthers bears a title to which he has no constitutional claim: his theoretical government does not possess on foot of territory in Tennessee:

CONFEDERATE GOVERNOR OF TENNESSEE.

Judge Robert L, Caruthers has been elected Confederate Governor of Tennessee. He is one of the most honest, as he is certainly one of the ablest and best men in Tennessee. A conservative of the old Henry Clay school, it was not possible for him to be a secessionist. Until the act of secession in 1861, and the collision of arms begun, he was a staunch friend of the Union. After that, siding with the South, he became a revolutionist, and allied himself to the Southern Confederacy. He was at one time a member of Congress from Tennessee, representing worthily Mr. Bell's old district. In 1844, he canvassed the state for Mr. Clay. He was elected Supreme Judge of the State in 1852, and held the position until 1861. He was a member of the peace Congress that assembled in Washington the same year, and exerted himself to devise some measure to avert the dismemberment of the Union. While it is a little singular that such a man should be chosen for such a position at such a time, it is very certain that they could not have selected a man of more statesmanship and character. We learn that an attempt of the friends of Govern Harris to get the vote of the State for him failed.

Now, let us see, by way of contrast, what can be said of the "lawful Governor" of Tennessee. He is a man who has stood faithfully by the Constitution and his oaths, amidst every temptation. Driven into exile by the force of treason, he returned the moment the way was opened to him. With him it was not only "not possible to become a secessionist," but not possible even to become a "revolutionist" against the best Government in the world, and in violation of the most solemn oaths of fealty. Gov. Johnson is a man whose character is pure, upright and consistent. The most bitter political opponent has never imputed to him the slightest obliquity. Sprung from the ranks of the people, he has made his way upward to a place of enviable renown, and his record is complete.

Memphis Bulletin, September 16, 1863.

        16, 1863 -  Desertions from the Army of Tennessee

There have been a large number of rebel deserters coming in here [McMinnville] for some time. Yesterday nearly one hundred came in. There have [been] about three hundred come in here in the last week. They all despair of their cause, and this feeling is doing its work upon them.

Even the commissioned officers are deserting. I do not wonder at this despair. The success of the union armies has been great and unvarying all summer and it still goes on….

Thank God for the abundant success he has given us so far. May we praise him for his goodness to us, ever seek his favor and still press on untiringly in our efforts to put down this wicked rebellion.

Alley Diary

 

 

        16-20, Scout, Cookeville to Sligo fording on the Caney Fork River, and Smithville[1]

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, Sparta, Tenn., September 16, 1864.

Maj. SETH B. MOE:

MAJ.: Agreeable to orders of Maj.-Gen. Milroy, as soon as the detachments from the Fifth Tennessee and Second Kentucky, 230 strong, reached McMinnville, I marched for Sparta. I reached this place last night without hearing anything but vague reports of the enemy and without seeing any. This morning I marched northward on the Cookeville road, and about twelve miles from Sparta found several scouts from the command of Col. Stokes at Carthage. From these I ascertained that the commands of Williams, Robertson, and Dibrell had taken the mountain road leading toward Montgomery, in Morgan County, and that they had on Sunday night encamped about twenty-five miles from Sparta, at the head of Dry Valley, and that on Monday they had crossed Sinking Cane, all moving in a compact mass, without leaving any stragglers. I infer from the movements that they are endeavoring to reach East Tennessee by way of Obey's River, near Clinton, from which point they can select some one of the various fords between Strawberry Plains and mountain by which the Holston can be crossed. Finding that the enemy were pushing on without halting, and having so long a start of me, I returned to this place. To-morrow I will detach Maj. Armstrong, with the Fifth Tennessee and Second Kentucky Cavalry, to return through McMinnville to Tullahoma. I sent Maj. Waters to the west and south of Cookeville to scout upon the various roads leading toward Sligo fording, on the Caney Fork, and Smithville, hoping he may be able to pick up some stragglers on those unfrequented roads. He will in a few days report to Tullahoma. I will, with the Ninth, remain at Sparta till day after to-morrow morning, when I will march to Pikeville and Dunlap, in Sequatchie Valley, from whence I will report to Maj.-Gen. Steedman, at Chattanooga. I will reach Dunlap on the evening of the 19th, unless I find when at Pikeville that my presence may be necessary at Grassy Cove or the vicinity of Kingston.

Respectfully reported,

THOS. J. JORDAN, Col. Ninth Pennsylvania Vol. Cav., Cmdg. U. S. Forces.

OR, Ser. I. Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 391-392.




[1] This and the two succeeding scouts were not listed separately in the Official Records General Index but reference is found to them in this citation.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX

 

Monday, September 15, 2014

9.14-15.2014 Tennessee Civill War Notes

 14, "High Rents" in Confederate Knoxville

In view of the times, the war, and the suspension of business, tenants are required to pay too high rents in this city, and its surroundings, and there should at once be a reduction. The laboring classes, dependent upon their daily labor for money to meet their unavoidable expenses, cannot make enough to pay the high rents demanded of them, these dull and trying times. The impossibility of making collections-the utter impossibility of getting new and additional stocks of goods, forbid that merchants should be required to pay their former high rents. And all things considered, men renting dwelling houses should not be charged, as heretofore two and three hundred dollars for ordinary dwellings. The owners of property should have a meeting, and agree upon a reduction in rents. To exact extravagant rents, and take the advantage of men's necessities, at this time, is swindling under a pretense of renting out property!

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.

        14, "Coffee! Coffee!! Coffee!!!"

In these days of blockades, when coffee is scarce, prices high, and in many places none to be had at any price, many substitutes are tried.

I am glad to have it in my power to recommend a substitute which is so nearly like the genuine article as to satisfy the most delicate taste and deceive the oldest coffee drinkers. It is as follows:

Take the common Red Garden Beet [sic], pulled fresh from the ground, wash clean, cut into small squares the size of as coffee grain or a little larger, toast till thoroughly parched, but not burned, transfer to the mill and grind. -The mill should be clean. Put from one pint to one and a half, to a gallon of water, and settle within an egg as in common coffee, make and bring to the table hot-with nice, fresh cream [sic] (not milk) and sugar. I will defy you or anybody else to tell the difference between it and the best Java.

I drank this substitute at the hospitable mansion of Col. Wm. D.W. Weaver, of Greensboro' [GA.], and who has adopted it from his recollection of the war of 1812, when his mother used it. I would say in connection that much depends on the skill of the coffee maker. Some people cannot make good coffee out of the best article. I have tried the above and know that it will satisfy the public if properly used.

W.C. Bass, Greensboro, Ga., Aug. 29th, 1861

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.

 

 

        14, Free Negroes meet to consider mass exodus from Nashville

Meeting of Free Colored Men.—A circular was lately received by one of our free colored men from James Mitchell, Commissioner of the Colonization Society, addressed to the free colored people of Nashville, and requesting their opinions on the propriety of emigrating to some country where they could live entirely among people of their own color. A meeting was held on Sunday [14th] evening to take the matter into consideration, when the circular was read, and referred to a committee, who were instructed to report suitable resolutions at a subsequent meeting to be held on Thursday [18th] evening. The meeting of Sunday was only a preliminary one, and but little was done more than above noted. In our paper of Friday, we will give a full report of all that transpires.

Nashville Dispatch, September 16, 1862.

        15, Murder and arson in occupied Nashville

Murder and Arson-The city was thrown into a state of dreadful excitement yesterday afternoon caused by the killing of two soldiers, the arrest of one of the perpetrators of the deed, the burning of the house where the killing took place and the reported hanging of old man Fields, by soldiers in this vicinity....the facts are as follows: Mr. Joe Fields and Mrs. Bertha Callahan, with their four children, were living in a house on Cherry street, a short distance from Broad street. For some days past they have been annoyed by the visits of some soldiers, and yesterday a quarrel ensued between Mr. Field and three soldiers, which was brought to a termination by either Mr. Field or Mrs. Callahan shooting two of them, one of whom died instantly, and the other a short time after, while the third ran off. Many persons say that shots were fired by the soldiers, but if such was the fact none took effect. A corporal's guard arrived soon after...and arrested the woman, whom they conveyed to the Provost Marshal's office in the Capitol, where he was examined and committed for further hearing. Fields was seized by some of the soldiers, who speedily gathered on the spot, and was taken, as we are informed, before the Colonel of the regiment, who will no doubt order him to the custody of the Provost Marshal. As soon as the arrests were made, the soldiers set fire to the house, which, with its contents, was almost entirely consumed, the last spark of fire being quenched by No. 1 Engine in less than one hour from the time the two men were shot. The poor, helpless children must be nearly heartbroken...A full investigation will probably be initiated....

After the above was in type we learned that the soldiers who arrested Mr. Field took him to their camp, and were about to shoot him, when General Payne [i.e., E.A. Paine] arrived...and ordered him to be conveyed to the Provost Marshal.

Nashville Dispatch, September 16, 1862.

 

 

        14, General Orders, No. 129, relative to formation of "home guard" units as armed police forces

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 129. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., September 14, 1863.

I. Officers commanding divisions in Kentucky and Tennessee will encourage the formation of home guards within their limits from unquestionably loyal men, and will render to them military protection while in process of formation.

II. Home guards may be organized under the militia laws of the State where they are located, and after the election of officers, the muster-rolls in duplicate will be reported to the headquarters of the division, where temporary commissions will be issued by the general commanding, who will report the names of the officers and one muster roll to the Governor of the respective States to which they belong.

III. Home guards thus raised will not be required to do duty beyond the limits of their organization, but will be required to put down and suppress all robbery, violence, and irregular warfare within such limits, and will regularly report all of their acts to the division commander.

IV. In case of necessity, they will be furnished with a supply of arms and ammunition in the discretion of such division commander upon the receipt of their commissioned officers, and for which such commissioned officers will be held responsible.

V. This organization is intended as an armed police, and officers and men will be held to strict accountability for their acts as such. All prisoners taken by them charged with offenses will be sent forward, with a statement of the offense and the names of witnesses, to the nearest military post, for trial and punishment, in conformity with general orders now in force.

VI. Quiet and peaceable persons remaining at their homes will not be molested for any mere opinions which they may entertain, unless some wrongful act, or connivance with the wrongful acts of others, be proven.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 621.

        14, Confederate raiding party robs Winchester

TULLAHOMA, September 14, 1863--6 p. m.

Capt. S. B. MOE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

About 400 rebels took Winchester, robbed it, and left for Fayetteville, closely pursued by our cavalry this afternoon.

JOHN COBURN, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 636.

        14, Erstwhile Confederates join the Union Army at Athens and recruiting plans for Benton and Cleveland

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 23d ARMY CORPS, Athens, Tenn., September 14, 1863.

Lieut. Col. GEORGE B. DRAKE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

I have the honor to report that citizens have just come in from Cleveland reporting that 2,000 rebels are advancing on that town with a battery of artillery.

I have sworn in 276 men to-day, most of them soldiers. They are flocking in by the hundred. I would like to have the privilege of sending a provost-marshal and two companies to Benton and the same to Cleveland. I think I could do a great deal of benefit to the service by so doing. I will send a detachment to Cleveland to-morrow or next day to scout, unless I receive orders to the contrary, and will leave a part at each place with a provost-marshal.

I have sworn in, in the last three days, 462. Three hundred and sixty-two of these were soldiers. I have in custody the president and several of the directors of the State Bank of Tennessee at this place, holding them responsible for the bank funds.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. K. BYRD, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 639-640.

        14, "The Enemy." Complaints about Public Health in Nashville

Yes the enemy is upon us; are even here now marching up our streets in solid columns, garrisoning our fortifications and throwing a guard into each farm and many of our houses; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large potion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large portion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; slaughtering without remorse, the old and young; the strong man at arms and the feeble woman; even the little child does not escape his power. Lawrence [sic] is invaded at our very doors. Yes, more than invaded, in awful distress, in panic, in these consequences death.

But, strange to say, no long roll is beating, no warning voice is heard, no strong men march out to meet the foe, and drive him from our midst; men walk along with hands in pockets whistling snatches from some gay opera, women spend their time in the social visit and friendly chat, till the destroyer is upon their own homes; no one cares no one even deigns to notice till his [sic] house is struck. It reminds one of the madness of the Babylonian sitting at Bellshazzar's feast, while the Great One had written "Mene, Mene, Tekil, Upharsin," on the wall. It is worse with us, for the enemy was but thundering at their gates; he is in our very midst. Are we mad or only drunken?

Let us examine the array of the foemen. Terrible indeed, under the banner of their invincible King Death, they are bound to conquer wherever they can gain admittance.

Old "Malaria" leads the van, and has thrown out a strong body of skirmishers along the river banks, who have constructed powerful and complete shell-places from the material found in such abundance there-drying mud of the river, decaying vegetables, and dead animals, both great and small. It has also been stated, on the authority of our best scouts, that a company has similarly entrenched itself at the reservoir, and have turned their weapons on us most effectually. A large force has been guarding the N. & C. R. R., but I am told, that this has been removed, and thrown out as skirmishers on the suburbs of the city.

The main command is under the control of Maj. Gen. Fever, whose headquarters are at Barracks No. 1. His brigade commands may be found: Typhoid on the Public Square; Typhus, Water street; Variola, Smoky Row; Pyemia and Gangrene, at the vacant lots near Hospital No. 14, and back of the depot; from whence they are ready to send their emissaries at the shortest notice.

That patrolling streets and guarding of private houses devolves on Brig. Gen. Dysentery, whose agents are abroad every where, only waiting for a pretext to enter every house and home. And where they do enter, woe to those found within. They have an eagle eye on every camp and hospital, and no day passes but some unwary victims fall by their hands. It is even said that they are watching the market and improving every chance to put poison in all that is sold there; and where shall we turn that we may not see an enemy surrounding us?

Who is responsible for this? Yes, I repeat, in God's name show us the man, if he be high or low, civil or military.

It is useless to try to equivocate, when no persons can pass up Church street, on the sidewalk, by the barracks, without holding his breath-when even old boatmen are sickened by the horrid stench of the river-when the streets are the filthiest of any in the world, Constantinople not excepted-when men will beg the privilege of standing all night by the windows of our military prison, and rather than wait for a legal discharge, although they have the necessary papers in their pockets, stake and lose their lives in attempting to run the guard. No paltry excuse will answer to stave off public investigation.

Does this work belong to our military or municipal authorities? Let the responsible parties see to it. If they do not the people will see to them.

A former communication of mine was so unfortunate as to raise the ire of the Louisville Journal, and a bitter tirade of personalities came down on our defenseless head; but my duties in the field left me no time to answer it. I stated only facts, which are, every one of them capable of proof by parties whose integrity is undoubted.

I have not had any desire to place Col. Mundy in [a] false position. An order, published in the same paper,[1] admits "gross abuses" [sic] had crept into the "pass system" and provides for their removal. His subordinates have not, perhaps, always been the best in the army, and recent investigations of the great army police brings to light enough to place the load of guilt some where [sic] else, but on one who seems to be a gentleman and a soldier. In regard to the writer, if it is necessary, I can give to the world the history of the Murfreesboro' contract; the fawning and going down on the marrow bones, with the whole history of various transactions in this department, and their fate, which will account for the reason that the name of "Grainger" has no angelic sweetness to his ear. I do this simply as a compliment to his sharpness, of which quality he justly considers the writer destitute. But as for entering into a wordy war with him, he must excuse me, for long since I formed a resolution (for the safety of my clothing) never to trouble with a tarred stick.

SCALPEL.

Nashville Daily Press, September 14, 1863.

        14, "Depravity and Wretchedness;" inmates of the Shelby County jail

The City Jail now contains a goodly number of the wretched victims of vice and iniquity. Among them we observe the confirmed inveterate topers, who have fallen so low in the scale of being that no blush of shame ever mantles their cheek, nor regard for themselves or those dependent upon them, will cause them to pause in that road that is leading them down, down to destruction, and dragging with them those who might be made useful to society, were they the favored children of moral and virtuous parents.

We saw there, five or six women, who have ceased to respect themselves, and of course, have long ceased to be respected by others. Those were the victims of intemperance, and these were the devotees of the most revolting vices-degraded and shameless; they are far gone on the path of crime and beyond the reach of human efforts to reclaim them.

There, too, we saw boys, yet in the stage of life known as childhood, a period when, if ever there was innocence among our race, it is then. Yet we saw them in all their youthfulness confined as confirmed thieves. All these specimens black and white, were surely, essentially lost to shame, to society, and a blot on the "noblest work of heaven."

Memphis Bulletin, September 14, 1863.

 

 

        14, The Conviction of Robert Taylor, of Coffee county, for the Torture and Murder of his Female Slave, Retter, August 31, 1863

A Slave-Whipper Condemned to Five Years' Imprisonment in the Penitentiary.

Proceedings of a Court Martial in Tennessee-Pungent Remarks of "Honest Abe."

Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, May 9, 1864.

[General Court Martial Orders No, 88.]

Before a military Commission, consisting of Capt. C. Thompson 19th Michigan Volunteers; Capt. Owen Griffith, 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers; Capt. James Nutt, 9th Indiana Volunteers; Capt. D. R. May, 22d Wisconsin Volunteers; First Lieut. George Bauman, 22d Wisconsin Volunteers, and which convened at Murfreesboro (Tenn.), Sept. 14, 1863, pursuant to Special Orders No. 8, dated Post Headquarters, Murfreesboro, Sept. 9, 1863, was arraigned and tried Robert Taylor, a citizen.

Charge-"Murder."

Specification-"In this: that he, the said Robert Taylor, a citizen of a Coffee county, in the State of Tennessee, did beat a negro woman named "Retter," in such manner that she died from the effects of the wounds thus inflicted. This on or about the 31st day of August, 1863, at or near the residence of said Robert Taylor, about three miles from the town of Hillsboro, in Coffee county, Tennessee."

[1] To which charge and specification the accused Robert Taylor, a citizen, pleaded, "Not guilty."

The Commission having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused Robert Taylor, a citizen, as follows; Of the specification-"Guilty." Of the charge-"Not guilty as charged, but guilty of manslaughter." 2. And the commission does therefore sentence him, Robert Taylor, a citizen, "to be confined in the State Penitentiary for the period of five years."

The proceedings, findings, and sentence in the forgoing case having been approved by the Major-General commanding the Department, and laid before the President of the United States, the following are his orders:

"The testimony in the case, as found in the record, is brief and free from all discrepancy or contradiction. The prisoner, it seems, alleged that an amount of money had been stolen from him-how much was not stated-but there was no proof any such theft, still less anything tending to connect with it the murdered woman, on whom his suspicions fell. Probably, however, from apprehension of punishment, this woman, who he claimed to own, made an attempt to run away, was pursued by the prisoner and his neighbors, captured and brought back.

The prisoner then procured a rope, and addressing himself to the bystanders, asked if there was any one present who could tie a hang knot; when a man named Womack stepped forward and tied it. The prisoner then adjusted it around the neck of the woman and throwing it over the limb of a tree, in the sight of his own dwelling, where were his wife and daughters, the work of murder began. Finding that the woman protected herself by seizing the rope with her hands, it was slackened and her hands tied, and again she was drawn up so that her toes barely touched the ground, and in this position she was held by the prisoner until from suffocation and exhaustion her head fell on one side. Through the interposition of the prisoner's wife and the bystanders the rope was then loosened, and opportunity given the woman to revive. While this torture was going on, the prisoner declared his object to be to compel the woman to confess the theft charged upon her, but she stoutly denied any knowledge of the money alleged to have been lost.

She was now taken by the prisoner to his tanyard, distant two hundred or two hundred and fifty yards and was there stripped by him of all her clothes except her chemise.

In the language of one of the witnesses, she was then 'confined by crossing her hands over her knees and tying them together, then putting them over her knees, with a stick thrust under, holding them in that position.' Thus pinioned, and lying alternately on her face and on her side, as the purpose of her tormentor required, for some two hours and a half, with brief intervals, she was whipped by the prisoner with a leather thong, two inches wide and three feet long, having a knot on the end. At the expiration of this time, 'some neighbors present said they thought he had whipped her about enough for that time,' and he thereupon desisted. She was then untied, and assisted by one of the neighbors toward the kitchen, staggering and falling several times from exhaustion on the way.

She succeeded, however, in reaching the kitchen, on the threshold of which she fell in the presence of the prisoner's wife, and a few minutes thereby expired. "The shameless character of the defense was in keeping with the crime. It was insisted in the defense that the woman's death was produced by some cold water, of which, in her heated and exhausted condition, she had drunk; and in attempted palliation of the prisoner's murderous brutality, it was proved by several of his neighbors that he bore a good moral character, and clothed and fed his slaves well and for himself, he stated that he had once before, on a similar charge, given a woman even a worse whipping than that of which she [Retter] died."

"That a body of officers, holding commissions in the army of the United States, and acting under the responsibility of a oath, should deal thus lightly with so shocking a sacrifice of human life, cannot but excite sentiments of mingled surprise and regret. Every circumstance surrounding the crime aggravates its enormity, among which may be named the absence of all provocation, the prolonged torture to which the wretched sufferer was subjected-thus affording ample time for all human passion, had any existed, to have cooled-but above all the sex and utter helplessness of the bound and resisting victim.

"That the President directs that the sentence-inadequate as it is-shall, except as to the place of confinement, be carried into execution and Albany (New York) is designated as the penitentiary where he shall be confined; but while doing so he feels it incumbent upon him to call the attention of the army, and especially of those charged with the administration of military justice, to the responsibility displayed by this Commission, and to express to disapprobation with which it is regarded. The members of the Commission, in thus lightly dealing with one of the more revolting murders on record, have done no honor to themselves, and afforded an example which it hoped will never again be witnessed in the service.

"The prisoner will be sent under proper guard to Albany, (New York,) and delivered to the Warden of the penitentiary as the place for confinement for the period of five years, in accordance with the sentence."

By order of the Secretary of War.

E. D. Townsend, Assistant-Adjutant-General

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, June 3, 1864.[2].

 

14, "Burning down a school-house is about as low down in rascality as dirty fellows can fathom."

Burning down a school-house is about as low down in rascality as dirty fellows can fathom. We are sorry to say that some very mean rascals burned down the freedmen's school at Decherd the other day. The fellows who perpetrated the act deserve to be kicked out of civilized society. As they will be required to rebuild the school-house, and will have colored troops sent there by the bureau fortheith to prevent any further interference with the humble and laudable efforts of a poor people to educate and improve themselves, they will find out that laying schoolhouses in ashes is a very unprofitable sort of amusement to indulge in.

Since writing the above we have received, the following order from that bravo soldier Maj.-Gen. JOHNSON, who thus expresses his determination to enforce the laws and protect the schools:

HEADQUARTERS M.D. OF TENNESSEE, MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Sept. 7, 1865.

Gen. C.B. Fisk, Commanding Freedmen, etc., Nashville:

I have been unofficially informed that at some points from which the troops have been recently withdrawn the citizens have caused the colored schools to be closed and the teachers ordered to leave.

Will you please inform me at what points the schools have been interfered with, as I will post colored troops there to enforce the laws, and protect the schools.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R.W. JOHNSON.

Bvt Maj.-Gen. Comd'g Dist Mid. Tenn.

We know that such acts of outlawry are very mortifying to all good men, irrespective of political views. They should be promptly and openly denounced by all who care for our public reputation, which has suffered too much already. -- Nashville Press, Sept. 9th.

New York Times, Septemer 14, 1865.

 

 

 

9.15.2015

 

 

        15, Onward Nondenominational Confederate Christian Soldiers

Testament for the Soldiers.- We have seldom felt more gratification than we experienced yesterday, at receiving from the hands of Miles Owen, Esq., a copy of the new testament, of small size, matt binding, and clear type, printed in the South, but the firm of Graves, Marks, & Co. of Nashville, Tennessee, intended for soldiers, and to be placed in their hands at a charge of twelve and a half cents a copy-eight soldiers supplied with a new testament each for one dollar. This is "good tidings of great joy." One of those busy-bodies who are a pest in the church, recently charged, through one of our religious papers, that this testament would be of the new Baptist translation. Of course such is not the case. It is the "authorized translation, with the word baptize untranslated [?], and in the usual plastic condition for disputation. To the zeal and enterprise of J. .L Graves is principally due the accomplishment of this good work. He traveled and toiled much in his task, and it is well accomplished. He says, in an address he has published, that in the tedium of the unemployed home of camp life, the soldiers desire the Bible. "Young men," he states, "have told me that they read more of the scripture since they have been camp than ever in all their lives before. I have had a soldier offer me his last dollar for a Bible, and borrow the money that he might make sure of one-a nice one-that might be sent back to his mother, father, stained with his blood should he fall in battle." [sic]  Mr. Graves found in his research [?] one company fully supplied with the Bible, the Liberty Guard from Amite county, Mississippi; "I found," he adds, "several large companies in which only two Testaments could be found, and this was owing to the impossibility of procuring them since Lincoln's blockade, as thee was not a set of stereotype plates nor a font of type suitable to make the, in all the South." This difficulty is now at an end. Persons sending the money the Graves & Co., Nashville, can for $2.50 have a hundred of these Testaments sent to any regiment provided the location of the regiment and the name of the Colonel be given. We must find room for two more little extracts from Elder Graves' excellent address: "No one of us can easily conceive of the power to restrain from vice, (in the camp) [sic] the very sight andtouch [?] even, the Bible has, though unread. It reminds the son that it is the world of his family's God and his mother's Savior. It reminds him of Sabbaths, and sermons, and prayers, and exhortations, and home. Every soldier will prize for all time the Bible or Testament he carried with him through this war for the southern revolution, and he will bequeath to his son or daughter after him as a sacred legacy. If he fall upon the field, it will be the very thing he will send home; or if he die that his associates will remove from his person and return to the family." The Testament can now be had; let it be widely distributed among our soldiers."

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 15, 1861.[3]

 

 

        15, "On the Shores of Tennessee."

"Move my arm chair, faithful Pompey,

In the sunshine bright and strong,

For this world is fading, Pompey –

Massa won't be with you long;

And I fain would hear the South wind

Bring once more the sound to me,

Of the wavelets softly breaking

On the shores of Tennessee.

 

"Mournful though the ripples murmur,

As they still the story tell,

How no vessels float the banner

That I've loved so long and well.

I shall listen to their music,

Dreaming that again I see

Stars and Stripes on sloop and shallop

Sailing up the Tennessee.

 

"And Pompey, while on Massa waiting

For Death's last Dispatch to come,

If that exiled starry banner

Should come proudly sailing home,

You shall greet it, slave no longer –

Voice and hand shall both be free,

That shout and point to Union colors

On the waves of Tennessee."

 

"Massa's berry kind to Pompey;

But ole darkey's happy here,

Where he's tended corn and cotton

For dese many a long gone year.

Over yonder Missis sleeping –

No one tends her grave like me;

Mebbe she would miss the flowers

She used to love in Tennessee.

 

"'Pears like she was watching, Massa –

If Pompey should beside him stay,

Mebbe she'd remember better

How for him she used to pray;

Telling him that away up yonder

White as snow his soul would be,

If he served the Lord of Heaven,

While he lived in Tennessee."

 

Silently the tears were rolling

Down the poor old dusky face,

As he stopped behind his master,

In his long accustomed place.

Then a silence fell around them

As they gazed on rock and tree

Pictured in the placid waters,

Of the rolling Tennessee.

 

Master, dreaming of the battle

Where he fought by Marion's side,

When he bid the haughty Tarleton

Stop his lordly crest of pride.

Man, remembering how yon sleeper

Once he held upon his knee,

Ere she loved the gallant soldier,

Ralph Vevair,[4] of Tennessee.

 

Still the South wind fondly lingers

'Mid the veterans silver hair;

Still the bondman closed beside him

Stand behind the old arm chair,

With his dark-hued hand uplifted,

Shading eyes, he bends to see

Where the woodland boldly jutting

Turns aside the Tennessee.

 

Thus he watches cloud-born shadows

Glide from tree to mountain crest,

Softly creeping, aye and ever

To the river's yielding breast.

Ha! Above the foliage yonder

Something flutters wild and free!

"Massa, Massa! Hallelujah!

The flag's come back to Tennessee!"

 

"Pompey, hold me on your shoulder,

Help me to stand on feet once more,

That I may salute the colors

As they pass my cabin door.

Here's the paper signed that frees you,

Give a freeman's shout with me –

"God and Union!" be our watchword

Evermore in Tennessee."

 

Then the trembling voice grew fainter;

And the limbs refused to stand,

One prayer to Jesus – and the soldier

Glided to that better land.

When the flag went down the river

Man and master both were free,

While the ring-dove's note was mingled,

With the rippling Tennessee.

Soldier's Budget [Humboldt], September 15, 1862.

         15, African-American cotillion in Knoxville

Colored Ball-Quite a brilliant and recherché affair came off among our Knoxville "citizens of African descent" last night at Ramsey's Hall. It was really a most admirable imitation of similar efforts at Terpsichorean amusements of the part of their Caucasian brethren. The beauty and fashion there collected was rather admirable; gay belles of every tint, from pearly white to sooty, vied with their male gallants in white kids, gorgeous dresses, and the pretty amenities of fashionable life. The music was excellent, and all went smoothly and gaily on until the small hours. The lobby glittered with envious shoulder straps, who, not being able to participate, could only admire.

Knoxville Daily Bulletin, September 16, 1863.

        15, A Federal Soldier's Letter Home describing the March to Knoxville from the Cumberland Gap

Knoxville, Tenn

Sept. 15th 1863

It has been almost a month I believe since I wrote to you from Chitwood starting up in the mountains but I know you will excuse me when you know how we have been fixed….

We reached Knoxville Sept. 4th after a hard march of about 200 miles in 19 days (including rests) but nearly every man in our Regiment came through all right. We camped near town on the river bank on Saturday evening, laid over Sunday, and Monday morning started on a scout with 3 days (?) rations in our haversacks leaving our camp behind. It soon leaked out that our destination was Cumberland Gap, 60 miles distant. We reached the Gap Wednesday forenoon and Gen. Burnside sent in a flag of truce demanding the surrender of the place. The answer soon came back stating that it would be given up on conditions, but that didn't suit old Bernie and he sent in another dispatch giving them until 3 o'ck to surrender and made preparations to move on the works in case they concluded to fight. We made up our minds to have to storm the place but about 2 o'ck p.m. Cumberland Gap surrendered with everything in it. Our Regiment was sent up to guard the prisoners. We got to the foot of the Mountains at dusk and the prisoners were marched down and stacked arms in front of us. We stood guard over them that night and next morning till 9 or 10 o'ck when we were relieved by the 86th & 129th Ohio Regiments. Then we went up into the Gap to look over the fortifications. It would be useless for me to attempt a description of the place now, so I will leave that for another time. I stood up on the upper Battery and could see into these states without turning round. Tenn, VA & KY comes at the foot of the Mt. We stayed there that day and I was detailed to hitch up a team of rebel mules to haul forage. Next morning we started for Knoxville and arrived here yesterday. I was detailed for provost and guard last evening…

Bentley Letters.

 

 

 

15, Tullahoma residents ordered to rebuild Freedmen's school

FROM TENNESSEE.; The Destroyers of a Freedmen's Schoolhouse Required to Rebuild It--They Refuse and are Compelled by Military Force….

NASHVILLE. Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 14.

The citizens of Tullahoma, who were actors in the destruction of the freedmen's school-house, were ordered by Major-Gen. THOMAS to rebuild the same. Compliance with this order being refused, Gen. THOMAS sent a detachment of soldiers with directions to enforce the order and put every citizen under guard until the requirements of the order were complied with.

New York Times, September 15, 1865


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX

 


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX

 

  14, "High Rents" in Confederate Knoxville

In view of the times, the war, and the suspension of business, tenants are required to pay too high rents in this city, and its surroundings, and there should at once be a reduction. The laboring classes, dependent upon their daily labor for money to meet their unavoidable expenses, cannot make enough to pay the high rents demanded of them, these dull and trying times. The impossibility of making collections-the utter impossibility of getting new and additional stocks of goods, forbid that merchants should be required to pay their former high rents. And all things considered, men renting dwelling houses should not be charged, as heretofore two and three hundred dollars for ordinary dwellings. The owners of property should have a meeting, and agree upon a reduction in rents. To exact extravagant rents, and take the advantage of men's necessities, at this time, is swindling under a pretense of renting out property!

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.

        14, "Coffee! Coffee!! Coffee!!!"

In these days of blockades, when coffee is scarce, prices high, and in many places none to be had at any price, many substitutes are tried.

I am glad to have it in my power to recommend a substitute which is so nearly like the genuine article as to satisfy the most delicate taste and deceive the oldest coffee drinkers. It is as follows:

Take the common Red Garden Beet [sic], pulled fresh from the ground, wash clean, cut into small squares the size of as coffee grain or a little larger, toast till thoroughly parched, but not burned, transfer to the mill and grind. -The mill should be clean. Put from one pint to one and a half, to a gallon of water, and settle within an egg as in common coffee, make and bring to the table hot-with nice, fresh cream [sic] (not milk) and sugar. I will defy you or anybody else to tell the difference between it and the best Java.

I drank this substitute at the hospitable mansion of Col. Wm. D.W. Weaver, of Greensboro' [GA.], and who has adopted it from his recollection of the war of 1812, when his mother used it. I would say in connection that much depends on the skill of the coffee maker. Some people cannot make good coffee out of the best article. I have tried the above and know that it will satisfy the public if properly used.

W.C. Bass, Greensboro, Ga., Aug. 29th, 1861

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.

 

 

        14, Free Negroes meet to consider mass exodus from Nashville

Meeting of Free Colored Men.—A circular was lately received by one of our free colored men from James Mitchell, Commissioner of the Colonization Society, addressed to the free colored people of Nashville, and requesting their opinions on the propriety of emigrating to some country where they could live entirely among people of their own color. A meeting was held on Sunday [14th] evening to take the matter into consideration, when the circular was read, and referred to a committee, who were instructed to report suitable resolutions at a subsequent meeting to be held on Thursday [18th] evening. The meeting of Sunday was only a preliminary one, and but little was done more than above noted. In our paper of Friday, we will give a full report of all that transpires.

Nashville Dispatch, September 16, 1862.

        15, Murder and arson in occupied Nashville

Murder and Arson-The city was thrown into a state of dreadful excitement yesterday afternoon caused by the killing of two soldiers, the arrest of one of the perpetrators of the deed, the burning of the house where the killing took place and the reported hanging of old man Fields, by soldiers in this vicinity....the facts are as follows: Mr. Joe Fields and Mrs. Bertha Callahan, with their four children, were living in a house on Cherry street, a short distance from Broad street. For some days past they have been annoyed by the visits of some soldiers, and yesterday a quarrel ensued between Mr. Field and three soldiers, which was brought to a termination by either Mr. Field or Mrs. Callahan shooting two of them, one of whom died instantly, and the other a short time after, while the third ran off. Many persons say that shots were fired by the soldiers, but if such was the fact none took effect. A corporal's guard arrived soon after...and arrested the woman, whom they conveyed to the Provost Marshal's office in the Capitol, where he was examined and committed for further hearing. Fields was seized by some of the soldiers, who speedily gathered on the spot, and was taken, as we are informed, before the Colonel of the regiment, who will no doubt order him to the custody of the Provost Marshal. As soon as the arrests were made, the soldiers set fire to the house, which, with its contents, was almost entirely consumed, the last spark of fire being quenched by No. 1 Engine in less than one hour from the time the two men were shot. The poor, helpless children must be nearly heartbroken...A full investigation will probably be initiated....

After the above was in type we learned that the soldiers who arrested Mr. Field took him to their camp, and were about to shoot him, when General Payne [i.e., E.A. Paine] arrived...and ordered him to be conveyed to the Provost Marshal.

Nashville Dispatch, September 16, 1862.

 

 

        14, General Orders, No. 129, relative to formation of "home guard" units as armed police forces

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 129. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., September 14, 1863.

I. Officers commanding divisions in Kentucky and Tennessee will encourage the formation of home guards within their limits from unquestionably loyal men, and will render to them military protection while in process of formation.

II. Home guards may be organized under the militia laws of the State where they are located, and after the election of officers, the muster-rolls in duplicate will be reported to the headquarters of the division, where temporary commissions will be issued by the general commanding, who will report the names of the officers and one muster roll to the Governor of the respective States to which they belong.

III. Home guards thus raised will not be required to do duty beyond the limits of their organization, but will be required to put down and suppress all robbery, violence, and irregular warfare within such limits, and will regularly report all of their acts to the division commander.

IV. In case of necessity, they will be furnished with a supply of arms and ammunition in the discretion of such division commander upon the receipt of their commissioned officers, and for which such commissioned officers will be held responsible.

V. This organization is intended as an armed police, and officers and men will be held to strict accountability for their acts as such. All prisoners taken by them charged with offenses will be sent forward, with a statement of the offense and the names of witnesses, to the nearest military post, for trial and punishment, in conformity with general orders now in force.

VI. Quiet and peaceable persons remaining at their homes will not be molested for any mere opinions which they may entertain, unless some wrongful act, or connivance with the wrongful acts of others, be proven.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 621.

        14, Confederate raiding party robs Winchester

TULLAHOMA, September 14, 1863--6 p. m.

Capt. S. B. MOE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

About 400 rebels took Winchester, robbed it, and left for Fayetteville, closely pursued by our cavalry this afternoon.

JOHN COBURN, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 636.

        14, Erstwhile Confederates join the Union Army at Athens and recruiting plans for Benton and Cleveland

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 23d ARMY CORPS, Athens, Tenn., September 14, 1863.

Lieut. Col. GEORGE B. DRAKE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

I have the honor to report that citizens have just come in from Cleveland reporting that 2,000 rebels are advancing on that town with a battery of artillery.

I have sworn in 276 men to-day, most of them soldiers. They are flocking in by the hundred. I would like to have the privilege of sending a provost-marshal and two companies to Benton and the same to Cleveland. I think I could do a great deal of benefit to the service by so doing. I will send a detachment to Cleveland to-morrow or next day to scout, unless I receive orders to the contrary, and will leave a part at each place with a provost-marshal.

I have sworn in, in the last three days, 462. Three hundred and sixty-two of these were soldiers. I have in custody the president and several of the directors of the State Bank of Tennessee at this place, holding them responsible for the bank funds.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. K. BYRD, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 639-640.

        14, "The Enemy." Complaints about Public Health in Nashville

Yes the enemy is upon us; are even here now marching up our streets in solid columns, garrisoning our fortifications and throwing a guard into each farm and many of our houses; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large potion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large portion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; slaughtering without remorse, the old and young; the strong man at arms and the feeble woman; even the little child does not escape his power. Lawrence [sic] is invaded at our very doors. Yes, more than invaded, in awful distress, in panic, in these consequences death.

But, strange to say, no long roll is beating, no warning voice is heard, no strong men march out to meet the foe, and drive him from our midst; men walk along with hands in pockets whistling snatches from some gay opera, women spend their time in the social visit and friendly chat, till the destroyer is upon their own homes; no one cares no one even deigns to notice till his [sic] house is struck. It reminds one of the madness of the Babylonian sitting at Bellshazzar's feast, while the Great One had written "Mene, Mene, Tekil, Upharsin," on the wall. It is worse with us, for the enemy was but thundering at their gates; he is in our very midst. Are we mad or only drunken?

Let us examine the array of the foemen. Terrible indeed, under the banner of their invincible King Death, they are bound to conquer wherever they can gain admittance.

Old "Malaria" leads the van, and has thrown out a strong body of skirmishers along the river banks, who have constructed powerful and complete shell-places from the material found in such abundance there-drying mud of the river, decaying vegetables, and dead animals, both great and small. It has also been stated, on the authority of our best scouts, that a company has similarly entrenched itself at the reservoir, and have turned their weapons on us most effectually. A large force has been guarding the N. & C. R. R., but I am told, that this has been removed, and thrown out as skirmishers on the suburbs of the city.

The main command is under the control of Maj. Gen. Fever, whose headquarters are at Barracks No. 1. His brigade commands may be found: Typhoid on the Public Square; Typhus, Water street; Variola, Smoky Row; Pyemia and Gangrene, at the vacant lots near Hospital No. 14, and back of the depot; from whence they are ready to send their emissaries at the shortest notice.

That patrolling streets and guarding of private houses devolves on Brig. Gen. Dysentery, whose agents are abroad every where, only waiting for a pretext to enter every house and home. And where they do enter, woe to those found within. They have an eagle eye on every camp and hospital, and no day passes but some unwary victims fall by their hands. It is even said that they are watching the market and improving every chance to put poison in all that is sold there; and where shall we turn that we may not see an enemy surrounding us?

Who is responsible for this? Yes, I repeat, in God's name show us the man, if he be high or low, civil or military.

It is useless to try to equivocate, when no persons can pass up Church street, on the sidewalk, by the barracks, without holding his breath-when even old boatmen are sickened by the horrid stench of the river-when the streets are the filthiest of any in the world, Constantinople not excepted-when men will beg the privilege of standing all night by the windows of our military prison, and rather than wait for a legal discharge, although they have the necessary papers in their pockets, stake and lose their lives in attempting to run the guard. No paltry excuse will answer to stave off public investigation.

Does this work belong to our military or municipal authorities? Let the responsible parties see to it. If they do not the people will see to them.

A former communication of mine was so unfortunate as to raise the ire of the Louisville Journal, and a bitter tirade of personalities came down on our defenseless head; but my duties in the field left me no time to answer it. I stated only facts, which are, every one of them capable of proof by parties whose integrity is undoubted.

I have not had any desire to place Col. Mundy in [a] false position. An order, published in the same paper,[1] admits "gross abuses" [sic] had crept into the "pass system" and provides for their removal. His subordinates have not, perhaps, always been the best in the army, and recent investigations of the great army police brings to light enough to place the load of guilt some where [sic] else, but on one who seems to be a gentleman and a soldier. In regard to the writer, if it is necessary, I can give to the world the history of the Murfreesboro' contract; the fawning and going down on the marrow bones, with the whole history of various transactions in this department, and their fate, which will account for the reason that the name of "Grainger" has no angelic sweetness to his ear. I do this simply as a compliment to his sharpness, of which quality he justly considers the writer destitute. But as for entering into a wordy war with him, he must excuse me, for long since I formed a resolution (for the safety of my clothing) never to trouble with a tarred stick.

SCALPEL.

Nashville Daily Press, September 14, 1863.

        14, "Depravity and Wretchedness;" inmates of the Shelby County jail

The City Jail now contains a goodly number of the wretched victims of vice and iniquity. Among them we observe the confirmed inveterate topers, who have fallen so low in the scale of being that no blush of shame ever mantles their cheek, nor regard for themselves or those dependent upon them, will cause them to pause in that road that is leading them down, down to destruction, and dragging with them those who might be made useful to society, were they the favored children of moral and virtuous parents.

We saw there, five or six women, who have ceased to respect themselves, and of course, have long ceased to be respected by others. Those were the victims of intemperance, and these were the devotees of the most revolting vices-degraded and shameless; they are far gone on the path of crime and beyond the reach of human efforts to reclaim them.

There, too, we saw boys, yet in the stage of life known as childhood, a period when, if ever there was innocence among our race, it is then. Yet we saw them in all their youthfulness confined as confirmed thieves. All these specimens black and white, were surely, essentially lost to shame, to society, and a blot on the "noblest work of heaven."

Memphis Bulletin, September 14, 1863.

 

 

        14, The Conviction of Robert Taylor, of Coffee county, for the Torture and Murder of his Female Slave, Retter, August 31, 1863

A Slave-Whipper Condemned to Five Years' Imprisonment in the Penitentiary.

Proceedings of a Court Martial in Tennessee-Pungent Remarks of "Honest Abe."

Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, May 9, 1864.

[General Court Martial Orders No, 88.]

Before a military Commission, consisting of Capt. C. Thompson 19th Michigan Volunteers; Capt. Owen Griffith, 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers; Capt. James Nutt, 9th Indiana Volunteers; Capt. D. R. May, 22d Wisconsin Volunteers; First Lieut. George Bauman, 22d Wisconsin Volunteers, and which convened at Murfreesboro (Tenn.), Sept. 14, 1863, pursuant to Special Orders No. 8, dated Post Headquarters, Murfreesboro, Sept. 9, 1863, was arraigned and tried Robert Taylor, a citizen.

Charge-"Murder."

Specification-"In this: that he, the said Robert Taylor, a citizen of a Coffee county, in the State of Tennessee, did beat a negro woman named "Retter," in such manner that she died from the effects of the wounds thus inflicted. This on or about the 31st day of August, 1863, at or near the residence of said Robert Taylor, about three miles from the town of Hillsboro, in Coffee county, Tennessee."

[1] To which charge and specification the accused Robert Taylor, a citizen, pleaded, "Not guilty."

The Commission having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused Robert Taylor, a citizen, as follows; Of the specification-"Guilty." Of the charge-"Not guilty as charged, but guilty of manslaughter." 2. And the commission does therefore sentence him, Robert Taylor, a citizen, "to be confined in the State Penitentiary for the period of five years."

The proceedings, findings, and sentence in the forgoing case having been approved by the Major-General commanding the Department, and laid before the President of the United States, the following are his orders:

"The testimony in the case, as found in the record, is brief and free from all discrepancy or contradiction. The prisoner, it seems, alleged that an amount of money had been stolen from him-how much was not stated-but there was no proof any such theft, still less anything tending to connect with it the murdered woman, on whom his suspicions fell. Probably, however, from apprehension of punishment, this woman, who he claimed to own, made an attempt to run away, was pursued by the prisoner and his neighbors, captured and brought back.

The prisoner then procured a rope, and addressing himself to the bystanders, asked if there was any one present who could tie a hang knot; when a man named Womack stepped forward and tied it. The prisoner then adjusted it around the neck of the woman and throwing it over the limb of a tree, in the sight of his own dwelling, where were his wife and daughters, the work of murder began. Finding that the woman protected herself by seizing the rope with her hands, it was slackened and her hands tied, and again she was drawn up so that her toes barely touched the ground, and in this position she was held by the prisoner until from suffocation and exhaustion her head fell on one side. Through the interposition of the prisoner's wife and the bystanders the rope was then loosened, and opportunity given the woman to revive. While this torture was going on, the prisoner declared his object to be to compel the woman to confess the theft charged upon her, but she stoutly denied any knowledge of the money alleged to have been lost.

She was now taken by the prisoner to his tanyard, distant two hundred or two hundred and fifty yards and was there stripped by him of all her clothes except her chemise.

In the language of one of the witnesses, she was then 'confined by crossing her hands over her knees and tying them together, then putting them over her knees, with a stick thrust under, holding them in that position.' Thus pinioned, and lying alternately on her face and on her side, as the purpose of her tormentor required, for some two hours and a half, with brief intervals, she was whipped by the prisoner with a leather thong, two inches wide and three feet long, having a knot on the end. At the expiration of this time, 'some neighbors present said they thought he had whipped her about enough for that time,' and he thereupon desisted. She was then untied, and assisted by one of the neighbors toward the kitchen, staggering and falling several times from exhaustion on the way.

She succeeded, however, in reaching the kitchen, on the threshold of which she fell in the presence of the prisoner's wife, and a few minutes thereby expired. "The shameless character of the defense was in keeping with the crime. It was insisted in the defense that the woman's death was produced by some cold water, of which, in her heated and exhausted condition, she had drunk; and in attempted palliation of the prisoner's murderous brutality, it was proved by several of his neighbors that he bore a good moral character, and clothed and fed his slaves well and for himself, he stated that he had once before, on a similar charge, given a woman even a worse whipping than that of which she [Retter] died."

"That a body of officers, holding commissions in the army of the United States, and acting under the responsibility of a oath, should deal thus lightly with so shocking a sacrifice of human life, cannot but excite sentiments of mingled surprise and regret. Every circumstance surrounding the crime aggravates its enormity, among which may be named the absence of all provocation, the prolonged torture to which the wretched sufferer was subjected-thus affording ample time for all human passion, had any existed, to have cooled-but above all the sex and utter helplessness of the bound and resisting victim.

"That the President directs that the sentence-inadequate as it is-shall, except as to the place of confinement, be carried into execution and Albany (New York) is designated as the penitentiary where he shall be confined; but while doing so he feels it incumbent upon him to call the attention of the army, and especially of those charged with the administration of military justice, to the responsibility displayed by this Commission, and to express to disapprobation with which it is regarded. The members of the Commission, in thus lightly dealing with one of the more revolting murders on record, have done no honor to themselves, and afforded an example which it hoped will never again be witnessed in the service.

"The prisoner will be sent under proper guard to Albany, (New York,) and delivered to the Warden of the penitentiary as the place for confinement for the period of five years, in accordance with the sentence."

By order of the Secretary of War.

E. D. Townsend, Assistant-Adjutant-General

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, June 3, 1864.[2].

 

14, "Burning down a school-house is about as low down in rascality as dirty fellows can fathom."

Burning down a school-house is about as low down in rascality as dirty fellows can fathom. We are sorry to say that some very mean rascals burned down the freedmen's school at Decherd the other day. The fellows who perpetrated the act deserve to be kicked out of civilized society. As they will be required to rebuild the school-house, and will have colored troops sent there by the bureau fortheith to prevent any further interference with the humble and laudable efforts of a poor people to educate and improve themselves, they will find out that laying schoolhouses in ashes is a very unprofitable sort of amusement to indulge in.

Since writing the above we have received, the following order from that bravo soldier Maj.-Gen. JOHNSON, who thus expresses his determination to enforce the laws and protect the schools:

HEADQUARTERS M.D. OF TENNESSEE, MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Sept. 7, 1865.

Gen. C.B. Fisk, Commanding Freedmen, etc., Nashville:

I have been unofficially informed that at some points from which the troops have been recently withdrawn the citizens have caused the colored schools to be closed and the teachers ordered to leave.

Will you please inform me at what points the schools have been interfered with, as I will post colored troops there to enforce the laws, and protect the schools.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R.W. JOHNSON.

Bvt Maj.-Gen. Comd'g Dist Mid. Tenn.

We know that such acts of outlawry are very mortifying to all good men, irrespective of political views. They should be promptly and openly denounced by all who care for our public reputation, which has suffered too much already. -- Nashville Press, Sept. 9th.

New York Times, Septemer 14, 1865.

 

 

 

9.15.2015

 

 

        15, Onward Nondenominational Confederate Christian Soldiers

Testament for the Soldiers.- We have seldom felt more gratification than we experienced yesterday, at receiving from the hands of Miles Owen, Esq., a copy of the new testament, of small size, matt binding, and clear type, printed in the South, but the firm of Graves, Marks, & Co. of Nashville, Tennessee, intended for soldiers, and to be placed in their hands at a charge of twelve and a half cents a copy-eight soldiers supplied with a new testament each for one dollar. This is "good tidings of great joy." One of those busy-bodies who are a pest in the church, recently charged, through one of our religious papers, that this testament would be of the new Baptist translation. Of course such is not the case. It is the "authorized translation, with the word baptize untranslated [?], and in the usual plastic condition for disputation. To the zeal and enterprise of J. .L Graves is principally due the accomplishment of this good work. He traveled and toiled much in his task, and it is well accomplished. He says, in an address he has published, that in the tedium of the unemployed home of camp life, the soldiers desire the Bible. "Young men," he states, "have told me that they read more of the scripture since they have been camp than ever in all their lives before. I have had a soldier offer me his last dollar for a Bible, and borrow the money that he might make sure of one-a nice one-that might be sent back to his mother, father, stained with his blood should he fall in battle." [sic]  Mr. Graves found in his research [?] one company fully supplied with the Bible, the Liberty Guard from Amite county, Mississippi; "I found," he adds, "several large companies in which only two Testaments could be found, and this was owing to the impossibility of procuring them since Lincoln's blockade, as thee was not a set of stereotype plates nor a font of type suitable to make the, in all the South." This difficulty is now at an end. Persons sending the money the Graves & Co., Nashville, can for $2.50 have a hundred of these Testaments sent to any regiment provided the location of the regiment and the name of the Colonel be given. We must find room for two more little extracts from Elder Graves' excellent address: "No one of us can easily conceive of the power to restrain from vice, (in the camp) [sic] the very sight andtouch [?] even, the Bible has, though unread. It reminds the son that it is the world of his family's God and his mother's Savior. It reminds him of Sabbaths, and sermons, and prayers, and exhortations, and home. Every soldier will prize for all time the Bible or Testament he carried with him through this war for the southern revolution, and he will bequeath to his son or daughter after him as a sacred legacy. If he fall upon the field, it will be the very thing he will send home; or if he die that his associates will remove from his person and return to the family." The Testament can now be had; let it be widely distributed among our soldiers."

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 15, 1861.[3]

 

 

        15, "On the Shores of Tennessee."

"Move my arm chair, faithful Pompey,

In the sunshine bright and strong,

For this world is fading, Pompey –

Massa won't be with you long;

And I fain would hear the South wind

Bring once more the sound to me,

Of the wavelets softly breaking

On the shores of Tennessee.

 

"Mournful though the ripples murmur,

As they still the story tell,

How no vessels float the banner

That I've loved so long and well.

I shall listen to their music,

Dreaming that again I see

Stars and Stripes on sloop and shallop

Sailing up the Tennessee.

 

"And Pompey, while on Massa waiting

For Death's last Dispatch to come,

If that exiled starry banner

Should come proudly sailing home,

You shall greet it, slave no longer –

Voice and hand shall both be free,

That shout and point to Union colors

On the waves of Tennessee."

 

"Massa's berry kind to Pompey;

But ole darkey's happy here,

Where he's tended corn and cotton

For dese many a long gone year.

Over yonder Missis sleeping –

No one tends her grave like me;

Mebbe she would miss the flowers

She used to love in Tennessee.

 

"'Pears like she was watching, Massa –

If Pompey should beside him stay,

Mebbe she'd remember better

How for him she used to pray;

Telling him that away up yonder

White as snow his soul would be,

If he served the Lord of Heaven,

While he lived in Tennessee."

 

Silently the tears were rolling

Down the poor old dusky face,

As he stopped behind his master,

In his long accustomed place.

Then a silence fell around them

As they gazed on rock and tree

Pictured in the placid waters,

Of the rolling Tennessee.

 

Master, dreaming of the battle

Where he fought by Marion's side,

When he bid the haughty Tarleton

Stop his lordly crest of pride.

Man, remembering how yon sleeper

Once he held upon his knee,

Ere she loved the gallant soldier,

Ralph Vevair,[4] of Tennessee.

 

Still the South wind fondly lingers

'Mid the veterans silver hair;

Still the bondman closed beside him

Stand behind the old arm chair,

With his dark-hued hand uplifted,

Shading eyes, he bends to see

Where the woodland boldly jutting

Turns aside the Tennessee.

 

Thus he watches cloud-born shadows

Glide from tree to mountain crest,

Softly creeping, aye and ever

To the river's yielding breast.

Ha! Above the foliage yonder

Something flutters wild and free!

"Massa, Massa! Hallelujah!

The flag's come back to Tennessee!"

 

"Pompey, hold me on your shoulder,

Help me to stand on feet once more,

That I may salute the colors

As they pass my cabin door.

Here's the paper signed that frees you,

Give a freeman's shout with me –

"God and Union!" be our watchword

Evermore in Tennessee."

 

Then the trembling voice grew fainter;

And the limbs refused to stand,

One prayer to Jesus – and the soldier

Glided to that better land.

When the flag went down the river

Man and master both were free,

While the ring-dove's note was mingled,

With the rippling Tennessee.

Soldier's Budget [Humboldt], September 15, 1862.

         15, African-American cotillion in Knoxville

Colored Ball-Quite a brilliant and recherché affair came off among our Knoxville "citizens of African descent" last night at Ramsey's Hall. It was really a most admirable imitation of similar efforts at Terpsichorean amusements of the part of their Caucasian brethren. The beauty and fashion there collected was rather admirable; gay belles of every tint, from pearly white to sooty, vied with their male gallants in white kids, gorgeous dresses, and the pretty amenities of fashionable life. The music was excellent, and all went smoothly and gaily on until the small hours. The lobby glittered with envious shoulder straps, who, not being able to participate, could only admire.

Knoxville Daily Bulletin, September 16, 1863.

        15, A Federal Soldier's Letter Home describing the March to Knoxville from the Cumberland Gap

Knoxville, Tenn

Sept. 15th 1863

It has been almost a month I believe since I wrote to you from Chitwood starting up in the mountains but I know you will excuse me when you know how we have been fixed….

We reached Knoxville Sept. 4th after a hard march of about 200 miles in 19 days (including rests) but nearly every man in our Regiment came through all right. We camped near town on the river bank on Saturday evening, laid over Sunday, and Monday morning started on a scout with 3 days (?) rations in our haversacks leaving our camp behind. It soon leaked out that our destination was Cumberland Gap, 60 miles distant. We reached the Gap Wednesday forenoon and Gen. Burnside sent in a flag of truce demanding the surrender of the place. The answer soon came back stating that it would be given up on conditions, but that didn't suit old Bernie and he sent in another dispatch giving them until 3 o'ck to surrender and made preparations to move on the works in case they concluded to fight. We made up our minds to have to storm the place but about 2 o'ck p.m. Cumberland Gap surrendered with everything in it. Our Regiment was sent up to guard the prisoners. We got to the foot of the Mountains at dusk and the prisoners were marched down and stacked arms in front of us. We stood guard over them that night and next morning till 9 or 10 o'ck when we were relieved by the 86th & 129th Ohio Regiments. Then we went up into the Gap to look over the fortifications. It would be useless for me to attempt a description of the place now, so I will leave that for another time. I stood up on the upper Battery and could see into these states without turning round. Tenn, VA & KY comes at the foot of the Mt. We stayed there that day and I was detailed to hitch up a team of rebel mules to haul forage. Next morning we started for Knoxville and arrived here yesterday. I was detailed for provost and guard last evening…

Bentley Letters.

 

 

 

15, Tullahoma residents ordered to rebuild Freedmen's school

FROM TENNESSEE.; The Destroyers of a Freedmen's Schoolhouse Required to Rebuild It--They Refuse and are Compelled by Military Force….

NASHVILLE. Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 14.

The citizens of Tullahoma, who were actors in the destruction of the freedmen's school-house, were ordered by Major-Gen. THOMAS to rebuild the same. Compliance with this order being refused, Gen. THOMAS sent a detachment of soldiers with directions to enforce the order and put every citizen under guard until the requirements of the order were complied with.

New York Times, September 15, 1865


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX