Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10.22.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        22, William Blount Carter enters East Tennessee to initiate bridge burning, loyalty of Tennesseans in County to the Union

NEAR MONTGOMERY, MORGAN COUNTY, TENN., October 22, 1861. (Received November 4.) Brig.-Gen. THOMAS.

SIR: I reached here at 2 p. m. to day. I am within six miles of a company of rebel cavalry. I find our Union people in this part of the State firm and unwavering in their devotion to our Government and anxious to have an opportunity to assist in saving it. The rebels continue to arrest and imprison our people.

You will please furnish the bearers with as much lead, rifle powder and as may caps as they can bring for Scott and Morgan Counties. You need not fear to trust these people. They will open the war for you by routing these small bodies of marauding cavalry.

* * * *

I am obliged to send this note unsealed.

In haste, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. II, Vol. I, p. 889.


HDQRS. EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 12, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, U. S. Army.


* * * *

Yesterday I sent forty-five pounds rifle powder, fifty pounds lead and twenty boxes rifle caps into East Tennessee for the Union men. I borrowed the whole from Col. Garrard. Will you have the kindness to have rifle powder forwarded to me not only to return that borrowed but also for further distribution among the mountain men? The ammunition sent yesterday was to be delivered to the men mentioned by my brother in his letter to you. Lead and caps are also needed.

We thank you, general, for your assurance that as soon as you can you will move toward East Tennessee. Our men and officers have entire confidence in you and shall be most happy to see you in our midst. If the reports made to me to-day are true-and they seem to be reliable-we might get possession of the mountain passes without loss or even opposition. Do you not think so?

I am persuaded you will do what is right and proper.

With respect,


Acting Brig.-Gen. Comdg. East Tennessee Brigade.

HDQRS. EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, U. S. Army, Cmdg., &c., Crab Orchard, Ky.

GEN.: My brother William has just arrived from East Tennessee and the news he brings I think of so much importance that I will dispatch a special messenger to convey it to you. My brother left Roane County near Kingston on Monday night last. He reports that on Friday night, 8th instant, of last week he succeeded in having burned at least six and perhaps eight bridges on the railroad, viz.,: Union bridge in Sullivan County, near the Virginia line; Lick Creek bridge in Greene County; Strawberry Plains in Jefferson County, fifteen miles east of Knoxville, partially destroyed; Hiwassee bridge, seventy miles southeest of Knoxville and on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad; two bridges over the Chickamauga between Cleveland and Chattanooga and between Chattanooga and Dalton, Ga. These bridges are certainly destroyed. The Long Island bridge at Bridgeport on Tennessee River, and a bridge below Dalton on the Western Atlantic road are probably destroyed.

The consternation among the secessionists of East Tennessee is very great. The Union men are waiting with longing and anxiety for the appearance of Federal forces on the Cumberland Mountains and are all ready to rise up in defense of the Federal Government. My brother states that he has it from reliable sources that the rebels have but 15,000 men at Bowling Green many of them badly armed and poorly organized. The other 15,000 men are distributed at two other points in Southeestern Kentucky.

The above information was obtained from Union members of Tennessee Legislature who were at Bowling Green on last Monday was a week ago.

* * * *

Gen., if it be possible do urge the commanding general to give us some additional force and let us advance into East Tennessee; now is the time, and such a people as are those who live in East Tennessee deserve and should be relieved and protected. You know the importance of this move and will I hope use all your influence to effect [sic] it. Our men will go forward with a shout to relieve their native land.

The brigade commissary has not yet handed in his report of the amount of provisions on hand; but I think we have already nearly if not quite a month's supply on hand.

With much respect, I am, dear general, yours, very truly,


Acting Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. East Tennessee Brigade.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, pp. 892-893.

        22, Sherman's reply to Miss P. A. Fraser relative to policy following guerrilla attacks on the Catahoula and Gladiator.[2]

MEMPHIS, October 22, 1862.

Miss P. A. FRASER, Memphis:

DEAR LADY [sic]: Your petition is received. I will allow fifteen days for the parties interested to send to Holly Springs and Little Rock to ascertain if firing on unarmed boats is to form a part of the warfare against the Government of the United States.

If from silence or a positive answer from their commanders I am led to believe such fiendish acts are to be tolerated or allowed it would be weakness and foolish in me to listen to appeals to feelings that are scorned by our enemies. They must know and feel that not only will we meet them in arms, but that their people shall experience their full measure of the necessary consequences of such barbarity.

The Confederate generals claim the Partisan Rangers as a part of their army. They cannot then disavow their acts, but all their adherents must suffer the penalty. They shall not live with us in peace. God himself has obliterated whole races from the face of the earth for sins less heinous than such as characterized the attacks on the Catahoula and Gladiator. All I say is if such acts were done by the direct or implied concert of the Confederate authorities we are not going to chase through the canebrakes and swamps the individuals who did the deeds, but will visit punishment upon the adherents of that cause which employs such agents. We will insist on a positive separation; they cannot live with us. Further than that I have not yet ordered, and when the time comes to settle the account we will see which is most cruel-for your partisans to fire cannon and musket-balls through steamboats with women and children on board, set them on fire with women and children sleeping in their berths, and shoot down the passengers and engineers, with the curses of hell on their tongues, or for us to say the families of men engaged in such hellish deeds shall not live in peace where the flag of the United States floats.

I know you will say these poor women and children abhor such acts as much as I do, and that their husbands and brothers in the Confederate service also would not be concerned in such acts. Then let the Confederate authorities say so, and not employ their tools in such deeds of blood and darkness. We will now wait and see who are the cruel and heartless men of this war. We will see whether the firing on the Catahoula or Gladiator is sanctioned or disapproved, and if it was done by the positive command of men commissioned by the Confederate Government, you will then appreciate how rapidly Civil War corrupts the best feelings of the human heart.

Would to God ladies better acted their mission on earth; that instead of inflaming the minds of their husbands and brothers to lift their hands against the Government of their birth and stain them in blood, had prayed them to forbear, to exhaust all the remedies afforded them by our glorious Constitution, and thereby avoid "horrid war," the last remedy on earth.

Your appeals to me shall ever receive respectful attention, but it will be vain in this case if Gen. Holmes does not promptly disavow these acts, for I will not permit the families and adherents of secessionists to live here in peace whilst their husbands and brothers are aiming the rifle and gun at our families on the free Mississippi.

Your friend, [sic!]

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt, II, p. 288.

        22, Skirmish at New Madrid Bend[3]

No circumstantial reports filed.

        22, Confederate situation report relative to flour mill operation, pickets and scouts on the Tennessee River, Igou's to Blythe's Ferry

HDQRS. 35TH AND 48TH TENNESSEE REGIMENTS, Near Georgetown, Tennessee, October 22, 1863.

Gen. STEVENSON, Cmdg. at Charleston and Loudon, E. Tennessee:

DEAR SIR: I am commanding the Thirty-fifth and Forty-eighth Tennessee Regiments at this point, numbering about 400 men. I was sent here to gather up wheat and put three mills in operation, and to gather up stock for the army. Have been very successful in both. I am also picketing the Tennessee River from Igou's to Blythe's Ferry with my infantry and a few mounted [men] whom I have in my command.

The enemy has fortified and done a good deal of ditching on the opposite side at Blythe's Ferry. They have also ditched on the island at that point to protect them while hauling corn from the island. Col. Cooper, commanding a regiment in Spears' brigade, is in command of about 400 men at Blythe's Ferry. I have a good company of infantry guarding that point stationed on this side. Spears' headquarters are located on Sale Creek. The remainder of his brigade is with him. Byrd, commanding brigade of cavalry, is located at Post Oak Springs above.

I have scouts who go across the river every night. They report that Joe Clift, owning a mill on opposite [shore], and who has been grinding for the Federals, applied to Gen. Spears on last Tuesday or Wednesday for a guard for his mill. Gen. Spears replied that they were under marching orders and liable to move at any moment, consequently he could not furnish it. Gen. Spears told Joe Clift that the Federal forces in east Tennessee were in a precarious situation; that our troops were marching on them from above and below, and that he was fearful they would be cut off. The Union men and private soldiers are of the opinion that Rosecrans is preparing for a retrograde movement; that he could not support his army where he now is very long.

Rosecrans sent 1,000 wagons across Walden's Ridge by the Poe road, loaded with sick, wounded, and other surplus, as the Yankees say, on last Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday night four or five batteries passed up by Sale Creek in the direction of Post Oak Springs or Smith's Cross-Roads as though they were hunting out a road to Middle Tennessee or getting forage for their stock or going to East Tennessee. Our scout was not able to ascertain which. They were nearly starved, as they pressed Gen. Spears' corn as they went up by Sale Creek. They had a general rip and cursing spell. They said that their horses had had no forage for forty-eight hours.

Some of the gassing, boasting officers brag that Rosecrans had received 60,000 re-enforcements and would hold his position, while others of his men and officers said that he had not received one-half that number and could not hold it.

I have thus summed up and penned down the various items of information acquired by my scouts on the opposite side of the river. You can weigh it and judge for yourself. I hope if anything of importance should occur above you will let me know, and oblige,

Your obedient servant,

B. J. HILL, Col., &c.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 577.

        22, Federal acquisition of a Murfreesboro Confederate woman's furniture

Head-Quarters United States Forces

Murfreesboro, Tenn., October 22nd 1863

His excellency, Andrew Johston [sic]

Mil. Governor, Tenn.,


As Mrs. Avent's letter was referred to me by you, I deem it proper to inform you that I have carefully examined the case of Mrs. Avent, concerning household furniture taken from her by the agents of the government.

The facts are as follows, viz.,: it seems that, on the day of the evacuation of Murfreesboro by Gen. Bragg's army, Mrs. Samuel Morgan when with it, and then transferred the furniture of her house to Mrs. Avent, Mrs. Childers, and Mrs. Beans, and it does not appear than any consideration was given for it.

I have therefore decided that the property is properly taken by the U.S Agent and the aforesaid women have no legal title to it whatever.

With highest regard, I am, Very Respectfully

Your friend & Ob'dt servant, Jno. W. Geary

Brig Gen U. S. Vols., Comm'dg

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 431.

        22, Captain Benjamin S. Nicklin, 13th Light Indiana Artillery, to Military Governor Andrew Johnson about developing a policy concerning the disposition of freedmen after the war

Head Quarters 13th Inda Battery

Gallatin Tenn. Oct. 22 1864

To. His Excellency Andrew. Johnson [sic]

Mily Govr Tenn.

In obedience to the request of your Excellency I have the honor to Submit [sic] the following statement of my views for the best management of the interest of the as we call them contrabands [sic] and what I may say is founded upon [sic] and must be construed with the FACTS that

1st. Slavery is virtually dead, & that the negro's [sic] are now without masters who can control them

2nd The Govert. [sic] having acknowledged the fact that the rebellion has freed them is bound to provide for them until they can do for themselves

3rd There should be some place given them where they can be protected & taught & where they would desire to be so that they would leave their masters & seek the protection of the Govt. for.

4th In the same ratio the slaves leave their Masters will their Masters become loyal

5th They should not be brought from slavery & thrown at once on their own resources as freeman but should be brought gradually to appreciate & make good use of the advantages of freeman [sic]

6th Both the whites & Blacks [sic] have a lesson to learn before our country can enjoy the peace of yore, even though the cannon should be silent –

The former master must learn to hire the Negro & the negro [sic] must learn to be hired –

The above are a few of the facts I have in view & upon them & others that will suggest themselves to your Excellency I found my idea of the proper management of the freedmen[.] My idea is this –

Let the whole care & management (in say Tennessee) of the Contrabands [sic] be placed under the charge of one man who shall be responsible to you as Mily [sic] Governor or the secretary of war. Let him be authorized to receive and provide for all Negro's coming in & claiming the protection of the Government. Let him have authority to take any farms or plantations whose owners are in rebellion against the Govt[.] Let him appoint for, Say [sic] each Militry [sic] district an officer to take charge of the district. Let that district officer have an officer as Quarter Master for his district & have the power to appoint at each point at which he may collect the negros [sic] an agent to oversee that point, (this agent might be a civilian [sic]) [.] Let there be kept at each District Head Quarters books showing the whereabouts, name, age sex [sic], &C [sic] of every Negro in the district who claims protection of the government. Books showing the same of each station should also be kept at each station. The officers should have rank & pay enough to give them influence & keep them honest.

This is the machinery except some minor details & how to work it[.]

I would gather all the contrabands (in this District for instance) and place them on the deserted farms & plantations. Would [sic] receive all that would leave their masters of their own accord – I would then gather up every Negro found in the district that was not

1st Still remaining with his Master [sic]

2nd In employ of Govt as soldier or laborer

3rd Those that were free when the war broke out (This would make laborers scarce) & with these exceptions place them on the farms also. I would then fix a price per month for men, for women & for children for their labor on the farms –

I would also establish a price at which Citizens [sic] could hire them off the farms entering into a written contract & if the Negro did to fulfil [sic] his contract make him, & if the citizen did not live up to his Seize his crops pay the Negro out of it giving back the surplus to the citizen[.] I would make the prices paid them on the farm less per month that the price per month to be paid by citizens[.] This would after while cause the Negro to want to hire out for the most money - & there being no loose negros [sic] around to hire the citizens would be obliged to come to the government agent[.] I would not allow a negro [sic] to leave a farm on which he was placed to go to another farm or place to work without express permission. I would permit the schools kept convenient[.]

The products of the farms to be sold by the Quarter Master the hands paid & the balance accounted for to the Government [sic] [.] These farms could in every instance that I know of be worked with the horses that are run down in the service & which even while doing the work of the farm would in many instances again become serviceable & could be turned back to an A.Q.M.U. S.A[.]

The officer in charge should not enforce any contract either for or against a negro [sic] that was not made with & through the government officer –

The officer in Charge of say such a district as this should have at least rank & pay of Col of Cavalry but not connected with the army proper, although all should be military for the next 3 years[.]

Winter is coming on & unless something is done for them they will freeze & die & the arrangements at all events should be made now so that they can go to work early in the spring –

It will cost the government no more to try this than it does now & unless we are driven out of the country by rebels the who[l]e expense, including the pay of all officers connected with it will be paid by the farms in less than 4 years –

& [sic] when that time comes the government can give it up for then they can take care of themselves – There are many minor details that I have omitted as your Excellency only desired an outlilne[.] I know I can make it such a success that the negro [sic] question can not bother us any more.

Thanking your Excellency for your many kindnesses & trusting that in the high position you are soon [to] occupy you will be able to assist in directing the old ship safely through the storm that now seems to threaten her.

I am Your Excellency's Obt. Svt

Ben S Nicklin, Capt 13 Ind Batty Light Arty.

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, pp. 242-244.


[1] William Blount Carter, the civilian bridge burner, was brother to Brigadier-General Samuel Powhattan Carter, the military bridge burner.

[2] These guerrilla attacks prompted Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman, then in command at Memphis, to initiate a policy in which Confederate sympathizers were to be sent across the lines into the Rebel lines. One woman, Miss P.A. Fraser wrote a letter to Sherman objecting to this policy. Her petition is lost, but Sherman's reply is not.

[3] According to the OR General Index, p. 98, New Madrid Bend was situated in Tennessee, not Missouri.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Sunday, October 19, 2014

10.20.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        20, Letter from "A Rebel" in Nashville to the Chattanooga Daily Rebel

Nashville, Oct. 20th, 1862


Thinking you might like to hear from us in the City of Rocks, we pen the following lines, not to say that we are still in Yankeedom, this you know already, but to give you some idea of our condition.

I have always heard that this is the freest country on earth. Forever, and forever let me contradict it. Imagine a lamb in the jaws of a cannon and it will give you as good an idea of our liberty as you can well have.

Gen. Negley is now in command of this post. I mean by that, Nashville and as far round the city as his thieving soldiers can venture, with several regiments of cavalry and infantry, and forty two to four pieces of artillery. For almost three months, this enemy has been living on half, and sometimes quarter rations, and stealing the remainder from the people in our country and Williamson [county]. Parties go out every day, and sometimes as many as three or four a day in different directions, and when they go they are licensed to take anything they can lay their paws on. Remember, these soldiers have no restraint put upon them, and they are no better than animals. In the first place they take from a farm all the corn, fodder, and anything they can find in that line. Then everything like cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, turkeys, ducks, and chickens. Then to the house, first, everything to eat, then to the clothes for which they have a terrible passion; and all the silver, china, knives and forks and furniture are pressed, and at last the man who a few hours before was living in ease and luxury, finds himself sans meat, sans bread, sans everything except bare walls, and the clothes on his back, provided they do not burn his house down.

About the time that Gen. Morgan established his head-quarters at Hartsville, the war on the party of the Yankees assumed the form of a silk-dress war .[1] One party that was at Gallatin said to a friend of mine, "I never ran in my life and I did from Morgan at Gallatin but I paid them for it." "How?" said the lady. "I took four silk dresses from one house." The war has now come down to ladies underclothing, but let me say right here, it is not the privates alone who have this thieving passion; from Gen. Negley down it is the same thing. I do not believe this army would stay in Nashville, only they expect to do as Gen. Mitchel did, steal themselves rich.

Gen. Pope's fiendish order has been carried out in and around Nashville, and tell us why the order of the Confederate Congress, about Pope and officers should not extend to Negley and army. Little contemptible puppies of orderlies make no more of cursing a gentleman and telling him if he opens his mouth will take all the possesses on earth, then he does of eating the dinner he steals. In the neighborhood of Nashville the other day, a Dutch officer, after taking all he could rake up from one place, took the spectacles from a lady's nose. She was old, and begged him to give them back to her that she might read her Bible. He said, "I have von old voman vat vould like some cold spectacles as well as you," and he took them. The day of the fight at Lavergne [sic][2],[sic] one officer showed to a lady, and in fact to several persons, a diamond ring he took from a young lady. He said, she told him that she had rather die than give it up, she prized it so much, but the gallant officer of the U. S. A. told her that he would cut her finger off, and she gave up the ring. This same officer told of a large quantity of ladies under-clothing that he had. If you could be here tonight, you would see a magnificent castor[3], taken that same day. If you can catch that officer, salt and pepper him well. Give him a round from a rebel castor in the shape of a six shooter.

At one place a wretch demanded the ear-rings from a lady's ear. While she was taking one from her right ear he tore the other from the left. At the house of a gentleman a few miles from Nashville, they went in and found the lady ill, with an infant three weeks old. After taking everything from the house of any consequence except the bed she lay upon, she asked them please to leave her one cow, as her little babe could not live without milk. One of them replied by seizing the nursing bottle and breaking it, and saying it should have neither milk nor bottle. I really think that this would be a good army to send where Pope has gone. They are so much like savages that they should be sent to fight them. You have heard of the murder of Dr. Bass.[4] How many of our citizen may be murdered in the same shocking manner we do not know. I could recount things of this kind all night, but must close. You shall hear from me again. God bless you all in Dixie.

A Rebel.

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, Entry for November 2, 1862.

        20, Action at Philadelphia

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 193. HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Missionary Ridge, October 22, 1863.

I. The general commanding announces to the army with pride and satisfaction two brilliant exploits of our cavalry:

* * * *

On the 20th instant, the cavalry under Col.'s Dibrell and Morrison attacked the enemy in force at Philadelphia and captured 700 prisoners, 50 wagons loaded with stores, 6 pieces of artillery, 10 ambulances, and a lot of mules, horses, and other property. The enemy was driven to his defenses at Loudon, and is reported as completely routed. Too much praise cannot be given Col.'s Dibrell and Morrison and the brave command under them for the dash and daring displayed in the expedition so completely successful. Such blows dealt the enemy in quick succession are no less honorable to our army than indicative of future success.

By command of Gen. Bragg:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 8.

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., October 22, 1863-12 noon.

(Received 6 p. m., 23.)

Maj.-Gen. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief:

By courier I learn that Burnside had a fight yesterday with the enemy at Philadelphia. Result unknown. He is concentrating at Kingston. Has withdrawn his cavalry from Post Oak Springs. River only observed by courier from mouth of Sale Creek up. I have it guarded as well as I can from Sale Creek down. Scouts report that a considerable force marched toward Knoxville day before yesterday. Deserters report that their heavy guns were removed five or six days since. Their force in our front does not diminish in appearance. We are getting supplies enough, notwithstanding the loss of wagons by Wheeler's raid and the bad condition of the roads hence to Bridgeport. Hope to move Hooker in a few days, to open the wagon road and railroad from here to Bridgeport.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 700.


....A fight at Philadelphia Tenn., between some of Braggs [sic] cavalry and Burnside's. We captured 700 Yanks, 50 loaded wagons....

Diary of Edward O. Guerrant, October 22, 1863.

        20, "Affairs in West Tennessee. Refugees in Memphis. Capture of Rebels at Brownsville."

For weeks past the upper counties of West Tennessee have been placed in a state but little removed from terror, on account of the manifold depredations and remorseless conscription which has been carried on persistently by several small bands of rebels. Volumes might be written in the vain attempt to illustrate and shadow forth adequately the many and shocking outrages which have been perpetrated on unarmed men and defenceless women and children. Nearly every man who could do so, has left his home to avoid the conscripted. In this way from seventy-five to one hundred loyal Tennesseeans [sic], it is estimated, are now in Memphis, having sought protection in Federal lines from the guerrillas. They are true and loyal men, but having no means to withstand the terrible ordeal, they have come to Memphis for relief from oppression, cruelty and tyranny.

We are gratified to know that this reign of terror will no longer be permitted. Already a Federal force is on the wing, and soon the roving bands of thieves will be made to pay for their audacity. Last Wednesday [14th], at Brownsville, our troops came upon a rebel force of some dozen men, prowling around and gobbled up the whole party. It is also state that they went to other points, and whenever they found a rebel they took him up for safe keeping. At last accounts, the rebels were retiring before the advance of our small force, and probably by this time the whole thieving band, so long a terror to the people in that vicinity, has been gobbled up. If this is not he case already, we are gratified to believe, that it is only a question of time.

Memphis Bulletin, October 20, 1863.

        20, A Protest Against Military Governor Andrew Johnson's Franchise Guarantee and Lincoln's Defense of the Test Oath

The Tennessee Test Oath.

From the New York Commercial Advertiser.

A few days ago, we adverted to the course of Andrew Johnson in Tennessee, in ordering a strange and unusual, not to say illegal, test for those who would vote at the coming election, and the hope was expressed that the President would at once repudiate the "plan" of his Military Governor and disavow any suspicion or intention of interfering with a free ballot in Tennessee.

It is impossible for any right-minded man, free from partisan bias, to approve the Tennessee test oath and the manner of its requirement. Mr. Johnson, who orders the oath, is on the same ticket with Mr. Lincoln, who regards opposition to it as a "political" concoction. They desire to have the votes of Tennessee, and, in order that they may get them all, compel the voter to take an oath which obliges him to vote against the Democratic nominee, and to pledge himself to any possible terms of peace or negotiations therfor, until the rebels are utterly subdued. This requirement reacts upon the President also, who, in his "to whom it may concern" letter, proposed to "receive and consider" propositions "which come by and with an "authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States." A person having such control must be a "rebel in arms," against whom the Johnson test is directed. Mr. Lincoln further said that such propositions from a rebel in arms would be "met by liberal terms." Mr. Lincoln, if "honest" in his letter, would be debarred from a vote in Tennessee. He could not take the oath prescribed by Andrew Johnson, and could reach the ballot-box only by a resort to the "war power."

It is precisely such a course as this taken in Tennessee that changes doubtful men in the Border States to open enemies; that encourages the opponents of the Administration and gives them fresh war cries: that makes the "judicious grieve," because a "wild hunt for office" renders those to whom grave public trusts are committed so careless of the limitations of their prerogatives; and that loosens the respect for our free institutions by placing the mandate of a ruler above the plainest suggestions of justice toward political opponents.

Let us not be understood. The openly disloyal must not be allowed to vote in those States. The ballot-box may be purified and the rights of loyal men regarded without resort to a test so utterly indefensible as that required in Tennessee, and which may yet be exacted in other States.

We publish elsewhere the report of the interview with Mr. Lincoln, and a portion of the protest of the Tennesseeans. That they are the McClellan electors does not preclude them from the possession of rights which the President "is bound to respect," while it should have entitled them to a dignified hearing. The President's talk of "political concoctions," his preferring to manage his "side" in his own "way," and his hint, only, that he may give the delegation an answer, are all unworthy of the chief of the nation, who should be above mere partisan motives, and whose "side" should in reality be the "side" of the people. As well might James Buchanan in 1860 have required the voters to swear to sustain the platform of the Charleston Convention, as for Mr. Lincoln to require an oath against that of Chicago in 1864. It is not in this way, non tali auxilio, that the power and influence of republican institutions are to be sustained. And we do most earnestly hope that the President, instead of issuing a "smart" letter in reply to the Tennessee complaint, will "manage his side" by strict adherence to the right.

~ ~ ~

From the New York Sun of October 18th.

[Report of the interview with Mr. Lincoln:]

The inherent power of a people to an untrammeled selection of public officers is the fundamental principle of republican government-the corner-stone of liberty. For this right the war of the Revolution was inaugurated; for its perpetuation the Federal Union was erected. It is the sacred inheritance which the Fathers of the Republic have warned us, more repeatedly than any other, to guard with the most anxious solicitude-to protect with the most jealous care. They knew that freedom of election is the great barrier which protects republic and government from the encroachments of despots, and they foresaw the inevitable consequence that would follow its destruction. An ordeal like that through which our country is now passing was perhaps never anticipated by the founders of our Government; but they were aware of the general truth that the tendency of civil war is to generate despotism, and no doubt they sought to counteract the influence of centralization by unlimited freedom of ballot.

In those districts which at the present time are under military occupation, and where there is unquestionably an element of opposition to the Government it is right and proper that a test of loyalty should be adopted. To this no plausible objection can be made, for it is demanded alike by justice to our cause and consideration for the interests of the loyal classes in those districts. Further than this, however, the Government has no constitution right to go. Neither the President nor his subordinates is justifiable in making any distinction between electors, unless that distinction is for the sole purpose of separating loyalty form disloyalty.

[A portion of the protest of the Tennesseeans:]

In Tennessee the Military Governor of the State, who also happens to be the President's colleague in the present political canvass, has practically nullified the privilege of free ballot in his State. He has issued an order for the government of the forthcoming election, and has appended an oath which he prescribes as a qualification for voting. This oath provides that the voter shall swear to "oppose all armistices or negations for peace with the rebels in arms until the Constitution of the United States, and all laws and proclamations made in pursuance thereof, shall be established over all the people of every State and Territory embraced within the National Union," etc. This means that the elector must endorse the President's emancipation proclamation, the confiscation act, and all the anti-slavery edicts and proclamations which have emanated from the present Administration.

But this proceeding of Governor Johnson is not an isolated case. In every other district which is under military surveillance the same general course has been pursued, although to some extend modified in certain instances. The one alluded to, however, is sufficient to illustrate the dangerous encroachments that are being made upon the freedom of election. It teaches that if the American people would preserve those rights which they have inherited from their fathers, they must by all loyal means insist upon a rigid observance of the Constitution by those whom they have elevated to power.

Daily National Intelligencer,[5] October 20, 1864.[6]

[1] This pilfering of women's clothing was not restricted to Union soldiers. See June 4, 1863, "Confederates rob stores in Franklin,"below, and July 14, 1863, "Merchants in Franklin seek recompense for losses sustained during Confederate raid on Franklin" below and January 9, 1864, "Petition to Military Governor Andrew Johnson seeking recompense as a result of Confederate raid" below.

[2] See October 7, 1862, "Skirmish at LaVergne," above.

[3] A beaver hat.

[4] William James Bass, son of erstwhile mayor of Nashville John M. Bass, joined the Confederate army. He was murdered on October 1, 1862, after an absence of several months, when he returned home to visit his wife and five young sons. "Before dawn on the following morning, after Federal authorities had evidently been informed of his presence by some…[slaves] a squad of Union soldiers arrived at the house and shot the unarmed Dr. Bass to death in his front yard, where he had gone expecting to meet men from his own unit. After the killing, the soldiers ransacked the house, and then remained, threatening and ridiculing various members of  the family.

The killing brought an early view of the harshness of war to the citizens of Davidson County, and the complicity of the slaves who informed the authorities…must have shattered the illusions of local slaveholder who  believed that slaves were largely contented with their way of life." See Paul Clemmens, A Past Remembered, A Collection of Antebellum Houses in Davidson County, Vol. II, ed. and comp. Linda Mason and Stephen T. Rogers (Nashville: Clearview Press, 1987), pp.14-15.


[5] Washington, D. C.

[6] TSL&A, 19th CN.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Saturday, October 18, 2014

10.19.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        19, 1861 - Camp Trousdale, Sumner County. John Bradford with the Davidson County "Hickory Guards" wrote to his father saying in part:

We have drawn our arms which is [sic] flint lock muskets and we are learning to drill very fast...

The health of the camps are [sic] tolerably good. There has been but two deaths in our regiment this week, one last Sunday and one today.

We have just received our pay from the time we were sworn in to [the] first of July. $16.85 cts.

We have changed our time for drilling from 9 until eleven in the morning. Now we drill from 6 to 9 o'clock and from 4½ PM until 6½.

We had a very hard rain last Tuesday and we had a very wet time in our tents. It is very cool here at night....

Frederick Bradford Papers, TSL&A.

        19, "The Names Drawn."

We learn that it is a fact that the names of twenty families having husbands or friends in the Confederate army have been drawn out, and that they will be given five days within which to leave Memphis, in retaliation for firing upon the steamers Continental and Dickey.[1] The names have not been made public, but each will receive a special notification. The firing upon the streamer Catahoula, about four miles below the city, about nine o'clock this morning, will doubtless cause ten more to be added.

We learn that those families having husbands and brothers in the Confederate service, will be taken first [sic], and afterward those having other connections.

Memphis Bulletin, October 19, 1862.

        19, 1862 - Church, guns, and beef at Fort Negly: an excerpt from the diary of John Hill Ferguson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Sunday 19th the days are very warm and the nights cold N Fancher and my Self went to the presbiterian [sic] church in the foor [sic] noon and in the evening the old preacher improved or I begin to like him better than at first: in the foor noon he had his text in Jud [sic] 3rd verse: in the evening he preached us a good interesting Sermon taken from romans [sic] 8th & 9th verce [sic]: improvements are goin in at the fort 2 large 64 lb guns halled [sic] from the river and mounted in the fort today they are rebel guns and was here I think before the evacugated [sic] this place the spikes are not taken out yet: but will be tomorrow: McDaniel Wm Johnson Bock & Loyd went out in the afternoon to get some thing to eat as we are nearly starved out as we only get one third rations they came in in the evening with a small beef they shot it down inside of the pickets skinned [sic] it and presaed [sic] [persuaded?] a wagen [sic] to hall [sic] it to the fort Jacob Stevens went along and had a small intrest intrest [sic] in the beef he kept it concealed at the fort until dark then the boys went up and brought down the 2 four quarters and one hind quarter we are looking for an attact at any houre [sic] Pat Johnston and Fran Jeffers in gard [sic] [house] for refusing to carrie [sic] watter [sic]

John Hill Fergusson Diary.

        19, The chaplain's tale of "a peculiar hardship and ill usage. " The kidnapping and beating of two former slaves

Nashville, Oct 19th/63

To his Excellency Gov Andrew Johnson

Governor. The bearer Maria Colored woman recently belonging to Wm Cartright residing about eight miles on the Murfreesboro Pike has represented her case to me as one a peculiar hardship and ill usage.

According to her statement her husband is a colored soldier in the regular service of the government, that while living with in the lines of this post her owner came and managed to steal her child away and convey it to his residence, being desirous of obtaining her clothes, and her other children who trusted the word of a "Tennessee soldier who offered for five dollars to convey her safely to the residence of her master, obtain her children and clothing and insure her safe return within the lines, but this was a trap, ash alleges by which for the sum of thirty dollars the soldier or individual so presenting himself had agreed to deliver he up to her master, who no sooner had her in his power than he locked her up for four days and inflicted upon her a most cruel beating, the marks of which she now carries on her person. A cruel beating was also inflicted on one of the children whose marks and scars was [sic] seen by one of the soldiers of the 129 Ill. Reg[iment]. She now hopes to obtain from your excellency the necessary authority and help to obtain her clothing and two children. I have no doubt of the entire truthfulness of her statement, and I feel sure Governor that your well known regard for righteousness and you sympathy for the weak and oppressed will prompt you to do what may be within your power to redress the wrongs from the suppliant who will present you with this humble document.

I am Governor with much esteem yours most respectful

Thos. Cotton

Chaplain 129th Reg[iment] Illinois Vols

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 426-427.


[1] According to Major General William T. Sherman, on October 16th the Dickey and the Continental were fired upon by a party "at a point near the boundary line of Missouri from the Arkansas shore, firing a 12-pounder howitzer. Two shots struck both boats in dangerous places, but by extraordinary luck missed the boiler and passengers. According to my rule, made known some weeks ago, I shall expel ten families for each boat, and will see that a fair proportion of secesh travel in each boat." .OR, Ser. I, Vol. 13, p. 742.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Friday, October 17, 2014

10.18.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        19, "The Policy of Our Planters in the Future"

The great misfortune of the South, during her contaminating affiliation with North, has been an absolute dependence upon that section of many of the necessaries of life. The planters of the North, in other words, have been "cotton crazy" to such an extent as to drain all their energies and resources in the culture of that one staple, with the expectation of buying what corn and other cereal produce from the North, a farthing or two cheaper than they could be sold by themselves. The present war, and the happy result of our political and commercial independence (?) must now inaugurate a new era, and our planters will do well to make arrangements in the future looking to an order of things corresponding to the emergencies that will soon confront them. They must prepare to furnish the country abundantly with all the essential (?) elements of food that our people will want without calculating any fancied (?) loss that they may possibly incur by the cessation of hostilities or the breaking of blockades.

To achieve this end, they must first fix upon a positive determination not to plant more than a third or even a fourth of a cotton crop for the remaining year, they do not even limit the account (?) to as much as will required only for domestic consumption. Should the blockade of our coasts continue undisturbed until next spring, we will find ourselves with a full crop already on hand, commanding excellent prices, say an average of from twenty to twenty-five cents (?) per pound, in foreign markets, so soon as arrangements can be made. Another full crop for record (?) or even the prospect of it, would reduce the price of the staple, according the plainest principles of political economy, at least on third, and planters would thus get not a great deal more for both crops than they would for the time (?) being produced (?) perhaps with a want of meat, breadstuffs, and other necessaries of life(?). However this may be, the planter are the main stay of the Confederacy, and it is upon them that a credit (?)-we may say its very existence-depends in the prosecution of this present war. We cannot tell, in any possible way, how long before (?)we will be able to conquer a peace, but all agree that prudence and wisdom dictate preparation for a long conflict. It remains for the planting interest to direct their energies towards this purpose and it will speedily be time to commence(?).

No better beginning can be made than by sowing an abundance of wheat, oats, and rye, this fall in such quantities as to insure the cheapness of those products the coming year, without requiring a bushel of either from the North. Then a heavy crop of corn can be put in next spring-it to be (?) heavier by half than that of the season just past. This done, and we can raise our own beef cattle and hogs without the fear of a further scarcity. The State of Texas can furnish the former in numbers sufficiently large for raising purposes, and Kentucky, South Missouri and Tennessee the latter. Provided corn is abundant we need have no apprehensions of pork being scarce for the statistics of the old Union show that the slave States produced two-thirds of the hog crop of the whole country, or about twenty out of thirty million head produced. With Louisiana producing our sugar and molasses, and South Carolina our rice, we will be placed upon a footing more exclusively independent than any other nation on the wide face of the earth.

There are some objections that are urged against the adoption of this policy, which are more apparent upon proper consideration than otherwise. One of them is averred to our contemporary (?) of the New Orleans Bee, as follows:

Some persons may object to the plan that the cotton planter cannot pay his debts if he does not plant (?) cotton but this argument is more specious than solid, for it is clear that the same result must follow if the planter cannot sell his cotton. Now if he is unable to dispose of it, of what possible use is it to cultivate the plant, and, in fact, if the present crops of cotton is to remain unsold, how is the planter to make a crop for 1862, without provisions to nourish his slaves, or money to purchase them. Let him, then, instead of wasting his energies unprofitably in the effort to raise a second crop of cotton, direct them to the cultivation of bread and meat, and he will find that this pursuit will not only ensure his own interest, but to that of his creditors. Supply the essentials of life first-secure bread and mead, and with the surplus labor make an article which others will purchase when they will not or cannot buy your produce, and in this way your labor will not be lost.

We agree with the Bee in the opinion that if the present state of things shall exist at the second planting time next spring, it will, it will be a waste of time and toil to engage in the cultivation of cotton. This is rendered as palpable by the most cursory examination, that it would be to prolong the argument for its demonstration. The subject should be strenuously urged everywhere among our peoples, and the authorities should bring it prominently before the State Legislatures and the Confederate Congress. If this should prove a measure which legislation is incompetent to reach, then let the influence of an overwhelming public opinion be invoked in its behalf, and enforce its adoption. It is time that our people should begin to familiarize themselves with the view of our future actions, and it is none too soon to let the world see that a nation ready to consecrate their independence by a holocaust of their best blood will not overlook and neglect a civil remedy which will add immeasurably (?) in the attainment of the great object they have at heart. We trust that the subject will receive the serious consideration of all thinking men, and that the _____-that mighty lever (?)-will use its utmost power (?) in commending it at the proper period to the dispassionate attention of the cultural (?) communities of the South.

Memphis Appeal, October 19, 1861.

        19, News about Parson Brownlow's return to Knoxville


Brownlow Redivus.-This arrant knave has issued a prospectus of the "Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator," the publication of which is to commence in October next. He says":

"It will commence with hell born and hell-bound rebellion, where the traitors forced me to leave off, and all who wish the paper would do well to begin with the first issue, as I intend a single paper to worth the subscription price to any unconditional Union man!

"In the rule of my editorial conduct, I shall abjure that servility which destroys the independence of the press, and cast from me that factious opposition which gives to party what is due to country. And whilst the name of my journal indicates, in unmistakable terms its politics, I shall, as a faithful sentinel, forget Whigs, Democrats, Know-Nothings and Republicans, and remember only my Government and the preservation of the Federal Union-as richly worth all the sacrifices of blood and treasure their preservation may cost-even to extermination of the present race of men, and the consumption of all the means of the present age!"


Tri-Weekly Telegraph, October 19, 1863.[1]


[1] See also: The Farmers' Cabinet, September 17, 1863


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


10.18.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        18, Price inflation in Jackson environs, one result of secession

Times are if anything tighter [sic] the North seems more determined to subjugate the South….One must live in such times to fully appreciate the conditions of everything. Revolutions are terrible things. Every day approached nearer a state of DESPERATION [sic]. Surrounded, nothing permitted to go in or go out, everything is becoming scarce & enormously high. Bacon 25 cts per pound, Coffee 50 cts, Axes $2.75, cotton and woolen cards usually worth 50 cts not $1.75, and things generally in proportion. When there will be a change & what that change will be no mortal can see….

Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

        18, "VAMPIRES AGAIN."

The fact that our articles, denouncing the intolerable avarice and extortion of adventurous tradesmen have created a considerable fluttering among some of this class, induces us to continue rather than abate our warfare upon them. We hinted a few days since that the vile system of forestalling the market, in the purchase of army supplies, would probably defeat itself in the course of time by inviting the healthy interference of Government in the matter. The "army worms," who are eating into the very vitals of the South by subsisting upon speculation and monopoly, can be influenced in no other possible manner. They are mere vampires that maintain life only by phlebotomizing the Confederacy, and need some other corrective for their unnatural voracity than mere ordinary appliances. Patriotism and honesty constitute no part of their moral system-they care little who conquers in this war, so they [sic] can reap profit from its necessities, while at the same time they pusillanimously shun its burdens and skulk its battles.

The State Legislature, as recommended by Governor HARRIS [sic], should not leave their seat at the capitol before paying their respects to these quasi-traitors to the cause of liberty. We, of course, allude particularly to those scoundrels who have bought up such necessaries of life, as are needed by our soldiers and keep them hoarded under lock and key in cellars and garrets, refusing to sell until they can realize at least six or eight hundred per cent profit on the amount originally invested. These libels on humanity have not risked their capital by running blockades and embargoes, thus justifying additional compensation, but have simply purchased stocks and stores in our own markets. They have their tools and agents prowling about in every little country town and village, buying every article of necessity that they can possibly lay hand on, from a barrel of pork down to a paper of plus [pius?]; and, as we hear, are so conscienceless in many instances as to represent themselves as the commissioned agents of the Government.

We can see only one or two proper and feasible modes of remedying this evil. The more effectual one, perhaps, will be the plan suggested by us some days since. If State legislation is deemed unequal to the end, the salutary coup de main [sic] lately practiced by Gov. [Thomas O.] Moore in New Orleans, with a slight mitigation of its rigor, may do better. Government can take possession of the hoarded stores of these huckstering harpies, allowing them a reasonable profit on their investments, and a proper remuneration for the trouble and labor of having so long carried the keys of their locked up warehouses. Necessity alone can justify this move, and none can tell how soon its mandates may present themselves for enforcement. The principle, carrying with it the highest considerations of public good-we may say of national benefit-is parallel to that, which justifies the forced sale of land for the construction of a street or road of a public character. In the latter case, the property is valued; and a sufficient consideration given to the owner for its sacrifice-a legitimate and recognized practice, known to every tyro in jurisprudence.

The principle involved is simply that individual interests must be subordinated to the public benefit. A government, struggling amid difficulties for its very existence against a powerful and unscrupulous adversary can undoubtedly take this step. Without eliciting the slightest demurer from the great mass of its citizens. None will oppose it, when it becomes necessary, beside the extortioners themselves who may become victims to the policy or that doubtful class of brethren whose patriotism, like the shadow upon a sundial, vanished with the appearance of the slightest cloud. The same reasons, in fact, that would dictate a rigorous policy toward political traitors, will apply with equal force to these mercantile conspirators, who are little better than the armed mercenaries of the enemy, who seek to crush out our liberties with instruments differing only in kind. The one only uses bayonets and bullet, honestly avowing himself a foe the other craft and capital, with base hypocrisy, pretending to be a friend. Equal culpability rests upon the shoulders of each, for we can make not substantial difference between adversaries foreign and domestic.

The amount of provisions, pork, flour, salt, etc., in the South is amply sufficient to last until another year, if we will but exhibit a degree of economy, and the only thing on earth besides extravagance that can make prices tremendous is monopoly. The laws of supply and demand, which usually regulate the matter, are silent amid arms, and the provision market in the Confederacy. Like the cotton market in London, is gradually getting under the influence of an unnecessary panic.

It is at all times desirable to conform even to the technicalities of the law in the administration of government, but we again advise the vampires that the period may not be far distant when the same necessity which recently compelled the martial interdiction of cotton shipments to large cities, may extend to circle of its persuasive influence over some of their own outrageous transactions.

Memphis Appeal, October 18, 1861.

        18, Enmity between Tennessee and Georgia troops in the Army of Tennessee

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Colonel Smith D. Atkins relative to enmity between Tennessee and Georgia troops in the Army of Tennessee

HDQRS. NINETY-SECOND ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS, Harrison's Landing, Tenn., October 18, 1863-8 p. m.

Col. C. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant Gen., Dept. of the Cumberland:

COL.: Mrs. Vinson, wife of the clerk of the circuit court of this county [Hamilton], whose husband has long been on this side of the river, came across this evening. She brings no positive information, but I gather the following:

* * * *

The rebel soldiers state that a great deal of bad feeling exists between the Tennessee and Georgia troops, and some of the Tennessee troops declare it is useless to fight another battle, only a waste of life, &c.

* * * *

This talk among rebel soldiers may amount to but little, but this is all Mrs. Vinson can give.

Most respectfully,

SMITH D. ATKINS, Col. Ninety-second Illinois Volunteers.

OR, Ser. 1, Vol. 30, pt. IV, 465.

        18,1863 -  Forrest's cavalry violate the Sabbath in Cleveland

….Forrest's men left this morn for Loudon. The brass band played "Dixie" and "On to the Field of Glory" as if it was [sic] not Sunday-how can we gain our independence when our soldiers regard not the Sabbath...? [sic]

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 213.

        18, "Soldier Gal."

Sarah, alias John Williams, a private in the 2d Kentucky cavalry, was sent to the to the Post prison, to be held until further orders. This gay "soldier gal" has served for three years, and her sex never discovered, (so report saith,) until the present time. She is a veteran and deserves promotion.

Nashville Dispatch, October 18, 1864.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX