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Compiled by Kraig McNutt The Center for the Study of the American Civil War TennesseeintheCivilWar.com
TSLA resource January 1861
January 7 Governor Isham Harris calls the Legislature into session to adopt a reso- lution asking Tennesseans to vote for or against a convention to consider the possibility of secession. He recommends the organization of a state militia and the purchase of arms, and states that ―the remedy for the present evils exists only in constitutional amendments.‖ [NYT, p. 1] Tennessee Historical Marker Number 2E 11. Isham Green Harris. "Born near here [Tullahoma], 1818. Was the only governor of Confederate State of Tennessee. In congress 1849-54; elected governor, 1857-59-61. When U. S. forces captured Nashville, joined staff of Army of Tennessee for remainder of War. Fled to Mexico, 1865; returned 1867. Was U. S. Senator from 1877 until his death in 1897." January 9 The vote on a secession convention fails, nearly four-to-one. ―We cannot see how any Southern man, who is at all familiar with the history of the times, can . . . solemnly declare it inexpedient for the people of his State to hold a convention and determine whether they will resist or submit to the Abolition rule now about to be inaugurated. . . .Tennessee will resist.‖ [Nashville Daily Gazette] "Civil War," in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. January 12 The House calls a State Convention for February 18; if the Convention resolves to withdraw from the Union, its action will be put to a popular vote. Meanwhile, several rallies in Kentucky seem to indicate strong support for remaining in the Union. January 21 Memphis follows the example of Mississippi and Louisiana and begins to set up blockades and cannons along the Mississippi. [Memphis Avalanche] A couple of near-misses with freight and passenger ships create a mood of indignation and outrage among those traveling on the river. [Vicksburg Sun]
January 24 The Tennessee House responds to New York‘s offer of men and money to the Federal Government ―to be used in coercing certain sovereign States of the South into obedience to the Federal Government‖ by saying ―It is the opinion of this General Assembly, that whenever the authorities of that State shall send armed forces to the South for the purpose indicated in said resolutions, the people of Tennessee, uniting with their brethren of the South, will ‗welcome them with bloody hands to hospitable graves.‘‖ The resolution passes by a vote of 59-7. ―Yes, we are all for fighting. Everybody is willing—even the ladies. . . . I think there is enough patriotism & bravery in this state to sustain the Southern confederacy against the United States troops and all the Yankees who dare accompany them. . . .The South will never unite with the North again—never.‖ [from a January 24, 1861, letter of W.W. Fergusson, Riddleton, TN]
February 1 Kentucky is experiencing a deep split as its citizens discuss what choice to make. John Bell urges both Tennessee and Kentucky to remain in the Union. [New York Times, p. 2] February 6 An immense torch-light procession in support of the Union takes place in Memphis. Another large meeting of Union supporters convenes in St. Louis. Destructive winter storms paralyze much of the Northern part of the country. February 7 The Confederate Constitution is adopted. President-elect Lincoln meanwhile is entertaining visitors, including Horace Greeley, at his home in Springfield. He has made no comment on the secessions or other issues. [NYT, p. 1] The North Carolina House approves a bill that arms 3,000 volunteers and completely reorganizes the State military. February 9 Jefferson Davis is inaugurated President of the Confederacy in Montgomery, Alabama, where the provisional government has been established; Alexander Stephens is named Vice President. In Washington, D.C., the Peace Conference begins, but it is already apparent that the voices of moderation will be drowned out by more extreme views from both Northern and Southern regions. ―If ... the people of the South ... [do] not arouse [their] brethren of the North to a sense of justice & right, & honor demands a separation, we would still have the same claims upon the ‗colors of Washington, great son of the South, and of Virginia, mother of the States.‘ Let us not abandon the stars and stripes, under which Southern men have so often been led to victory.‖ Nashville Daily Gazette
―I walked one mile an voted against the state voting a convention to secede from the Union.‖ - Franklin itinerant Baptist minister Jesse Cox (1793-1879). Cox was born in Sullivan County, TN. TSLA archives. February 11 Tennessee votes against holding a secession convention. Memphis and Nashville elect Union candidates by overwhelming majorities. [NYT, p. 1] February 19 Jefferson Davis is inaugurated President of the Southern Confederacy. In his address he quotes from the U.S. Constitution and makes many references to armed conflict, primarily in regard to defense of Southern lands. [NYT, p. 8] February 20 Word comes from Arkansas, ―united closely by ties of trade, consanguinity and local interests with the gallant Union-State of Tennessee,‖ has voted to remain in the Union. [NYT, p. 4]
March 1 En route to Washington to take his seat in the 37th Congress, TN Congressman Thomas A. R. Nelson is arrested by Confederate scouts and conveyed to Richmond as a prisoner. Later paroled, he is allowed to return to Tennessee. March 5 The response to Lincoln‘s Inaugural Address comes in from around the country. From Knoxville: ―Mr. Lincoln‘s Inaugural, if reported correctly, is universally condemned. Tennessee will fight him to the bitter end.‖ From Nashville: ―The opinions on the Inaugural at Nashville are unfavorable. It is believed that Mr. Lincoln is determined to retake the forts and forcibly collect the revenue . . . . The people are awaiting the document in full.‖ To the Congress of the C.S.A., meeting in Montgomery, ―Mr. Lincoln‘s Inaugural Address is regarded here as a virtual declaration of war against the seceded States.‖ March 11 The Confederate States of America – at this time consisting of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas – adopts a Constitution.[http://www.pinzler.com/ushistory/timeline6.html] Louisiana and most of the other states quickly decide not to submit the acceptance of the Constitution to a popular vote, primarily because, in every state where secession has been submitted to a popular vote, it has been voted down. The Confederate Congress quickly passes a military bill establishing and organizing its army: 50,000 men will soon be ready to take the field.
March 16 ―So strange the ways of Providence, that Tennessee composes both armies, and also of ____ for two brothers are generals, one North, and the other South.‖ - Franklin itinerant Baptist minister Jesse Cox (1793-1879). Cox was born in Sullivan County, TN. TSLA archives. March 21 Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy, gives a speech in Savannah declaring slavery to be the natural condition of blacks and the ―cornerstone of the Confederacy.‖ He also calls the secessions ―one of the greatest revolutions in the annals of the world ... signally marked, up to this time, by the fact of its having been accomplished without the loss of a single drop of blood.‖ The speech raises both Northern and Southern hackles and causes a brief falling out with Jefferson Davis. The C.S.A Postmaster makes a selection of postage stamps. March 25 Congressman Thomas A. R. Nelson reports on a meeting with Lincoln: ―[I] had it from his own lips ... that he was for peace, and would use every exertion in his power to maintain it .... He expressed a strong hope that, after a little time is allowed for reflection, [the Confederate states] will secede from the position they have taken .... [I was] well pleased with the President‘s frankness.‖ [NYT, p. 2]
April From the memoirs of Jeremiah Walker Cullom, a Methodist minister: ―I felt much concern on the subject of volunteering as a soldier. . . . There was one thing that troubled me greatly. That was whether a preacher of the Gospel ought or had the right to take up arms and engage in the strife. . . . [He eventually joins the army in Murfreesboro.] As we had to elect a Chaplaincy my name began to be spoken of. . . . Col. Peebles remarked that he had never heard such tremendously patriotic preaching in his life. . . . I was almost unanimously elected Chaplain of the 24th Tenn. [Volunteer] Regiment.‖ Mid-April When Governor Harris calls for another election to consider secession, Tennesseans take sides, the East tending to support the Union, the West leaning toward secession. In Memphis, banners proclaim: We have exhausted argument; we now stand by our arms. Secession our only Remedy. Anti-Coercion, Southern Rights, and Southern Honor before Union. A United South will prevent Civil War April 17
Tennessee Governor Isham Harris notifies Secretary of War Cameron that the state will not honor President Lincoln‘s demand for two regiments of Tennessee Militia. Kentucky likewise refuses to send troops to Washington. A Memphis letter to the editor tells of Miss Mary L. Bayless, ―An exemplification of the true Southern woman,‖ who turned over her bracelet to Col. Preston Smith of the 154th Regiment of TN Volunteers, saying, ―I call upon the young ladies of Memphis to spare one bracelet, or other piece of jewelry, for the benefit of the noble 154th.‖ [Brock, p. 3] A letter to a newspaper editor from ―Ladies of Memphis‖ vows, ―Though we cannot bear arms, yet our hearts are with you, and our hands are at your service to make clothing, flags, or anything that a patriotic woman can do for the Southern men & Southern independence.‖ Women‘s groups form sewing circles to make flags, uniforms, and bandages, under such names as ―the Methodist Episcopal Church‘s Ladies Military Sewing Society.‖ Newspapers even print lists of recommended items for volunteers to make. [Brock, pp. 3-11.] April 20 ―All this week the City intensely excited–waves of revolution tempestuous.‖ [Lindsley] Col. Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the U.S. Army. The Virginia militia seizes the Norfolk Navy Yard. Three Pennsylvania soldiers are killed in Baltimore when pro-secession rioters attack them. [NYT, p. 1] By Presidential order, troops will no longer move through Baltimore. April 22 The Richmond Dispatch reports on the rude treatment of Andrew Johnson by a large crowd in Lynchburg, Virginia, as he passed through on his way from Washington to Tennessee – ―A large crowd assembled and groaned him, and offered every indignity he deserved, including pulling his nose.‖ The conductor and others intervene, and Johnson is eventually able to continue on his way. April 25 ―I have joined the Nashville Guards commanded by Major Heiman, a gallant officer who has seen service in the wilds of Mexico.‖ [William L. B. Lawrence diary – Note: Adolphus Heiman, a prominent Nashville architect, designed St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Belmont Mansion, the Giles County Court- house, and many other buildings and monuments. A Colonel in the 10th TN Regiment, he was taken prisoner in 1862 and died later that year.] April 30 The Tennessee State Legislature has convened in secret session. Rumors say they have adopted a secession ordinance, which they will announce after an attack on Washington that is expected to take place on May 4.
May 6 The Tennessee General Assembly approves secession subject to ratification. Making a speech at Cleveland, TN, Andrew Johnson is threatened by members of the crowd. He claims to be ready for a fight and eventually wins over most of the audience, telling them, among other things, that Jeff Davis ought to be hanged. May 7 Tennessee enters into a ―military league‖ with the Confederate government. Unfortunately, the state treasury is empty, and the state deeply in debt. May 9 East Tennessee complains that the Legislature does not represent the will of the people and threatens to secede from the state. East Tennesseans Andrew Johnson and Congressman Nelson swear allegiance to the Union. [NYT, p. 1] May 15 The Tennessee General Assembly passes a Military law authorizing the Governor to call up 25,000 men into immediate service, with a reserve corps of 30,000, and to issue $5,000,000 in state bonds. The NashvilleUnion says, ―We understand that the Banks of the State will take all of the bonds .... However, if we go into the Southern Confederacy, of which there is no doubt, the Confed- erate States assume and pay all the indebtedness of the war.‖ On the same day, 10,000 Enfield rifles are delivered to the U.S. Government from England. May 20 The Nashville Banner reports on a speech given by the Hon. John Bell in which he clearly advocates a military alliance with the Confederacy, while arguing against complete secession. Following the recommendation of Major General Gideon Pillow, the Memphis Military Board authorizes monthly subsistence payments to the families of volunteer soldiers. This aid to suffering families will be sporadic and inconsistent. [Brock, pp. 132-136] May 25 From William L.B. Lawrence diary: ―Was mustered in to the State Service, am holding the exalted position of 2nd corporal & C & C.‖ May 27 The Louisville Journal reports on an assembly in Elizabethton, TN, where ardent Union supporters enthusiastically cheer anti-Confederate speeches by Andrew Johnson and Congressman Nelson.
May 31 Tensions mount between sections of Tennessee as war begins to seem inevitable. Stuart McClung writes the Comptroller from the office of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad Co. in Knoxville: ―You must give us a secession majority of over 10,000 west of the mountains or I fear East Tenn. will defeat us.‖ [RG 61, Correspondence]
June The Southern Mothers Hospital is organized in Memphis. Beginning with 30 patients in a borrowed building on 2nd and Union and later moving to the Irving Block building before merging with the Overton Hospital, it will become the hospital most recognized for female involvement, at a time when many women are entering the nursing profession in order to help with the war effort. The Memphis Military Board supplies the medicine; other needs (ice, fuel, etc.) are donated. The Southern Mothers group will also provide burial services and tend military graves. [Brock, pp. 14-15] June 8 ―Election day on Separation & Representation or versus – passed off very quietly. Regarding the whole matter as null from illegality, I did not vote. In Middle & West Tennessee no canvass was allowed – the speaking & printing being all on one side. It is said that in East Tennessee a full & free canvass took place.‖ [Lindsley] The citizens of Tennessee vote 105,000 to 47,000 to secede from the Union, despite the fact that many Tennesseans – possibly a majority – are opposed to secession. [http://www.tnstate.edu/library/digital/document.htm] Out of the 7000+ votes cast in Shelby County, only 4 are for ―no separation‖ and 5 for Union. Only five West Tennessee counties (Carroll, Decatur, Hardin, Henderson, and Weakley) deliver majority votes for the Union. Three Middle Tennessee counties (Franklin, Lincoln, and Humphreys) vote unanimously to secede. In Nashville the vote is 3,033 for Separation, 249 against. In East Tennessee the vote is more than two-to-one against secession. Arkansas, Virginia, and North Carolina have also seceded, following the events at Fort Sumter. Tennessee has become the final state to join the Confederacy. Five Border Slave States will ultimately elect not to secede: Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. June 14 The Memphis Appeal lists the Tennessee counties in which a majority voted to remain in the Union. They are Anderson, Bradley, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox, Marion, Monroe, Roane, Sevier, Sullivan, Union, Washington, all in East Tennessee; and Decatur, Macon, and Wayne counties farther west. The same edition reports that a state warrant has been issued for the arrest of Andrew Johnson for treason to Tennessee.
June 16 The Louisville Journal writes indignantly: ―Twenty or thirty Louisville steamboats, bound up from New Orleans, have been seized at Memphis, by order of Gen. Pillow .... Our State can no longer send a boat down the Mississippi and expect her return. Our commerce upon that mighty thoroughfare is annihilated.‖ Reports arrive of skirmishes in Missouri between Union troops and secessionists. June 17 From William L.B. Lawrence Diary: ―The Secession Flag now waves in triumph from our State Capitol, it was hoisted today amid much enthusiasm. Farmers are cutting wheat and rye.‖ June 22 In a speech in Cincinnati Andrew Johnson reaffirms his loyalty to the Union: ―I characterize session as an odious doctrine, a heresy, a political absurdity.... Where it is admitted, no government, political, moral, or religious, can stand. It is disintegrating in its nature, and a kind of universal solvent..‖ June 24 Bishop Otey of Tennessee publishes his letter to Secretary Seward in the Memphis Appeal: Oh, Sir, speak but the words of gentleness and conciliation to your countrymen ... and who knows but that God ... by his mighty power [may] ‗still the noise of the waves and the madness of the people.‘ Go to the President and urge him to desist from all hostile measures and efforts to compel an unwilling obedience to his Government.‖ Meanwhile an agent of the B&O Railroad the loss of 48 locomotives and even more gondolas and coal cars, which have been burned by rebel sympathizers in Baltimore. June 26 At the Greenville Convention, all East Tennessee counties except Rhea meet to petition the General Assembly to allow them to secede from the now- Confederate State of Tennessee and remain in the Union. Their request is denied. June 27 The Memphis Avalanche reports that $2,000,000 has been offered by European buyers as an advance on the cotton crop, and that France and England will soon recognize the Confederacy. June 28 The Tennessee General Assembly authorizes a draft of free black men into the Confederate army. Most free black men will manage to evade both the Confederate draft and the local sheriffs compelled to enforce it. [http://www.africanamericans.com/MilitaryChronology1.htm]
July 3 The Memphis Argus announces, ―Yesterday Tennessee was admitted into The Confederacy. By proclamation of the President the Confederate laws are extended.‖ Tennessee takes control of the Nashville end of the L&N Railroad, to the great dismay of Kentuckians, who are now concerned about losing the entire railroad and all its rolling stock to the Confederacy. "Railroads," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. July 8 Parson Brownlow, writes in the Knoxville Whig of the reported conspiracy to capture him, Andrew Johnson, Thomas Nelson, and others and carry them in chains to Montgomery as traitors to the Confederacy. He bellows, ―Let the fires of patriotic vengeance be built upon the Union altars of the whole land, and let them go where these conspirators live, like the fires of the Lord that consumed Nadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron, for presumption less sacrilegious! If we are incarcerated at Montgomery, or executed there or even elsewhere, all the consolation we want is to know that our partisan friends have visited upon our persecutors, certain secession leaders, a most terrible vengeance! Let it be done, East Tennessee, though the gates of Hell be forced, and the Heavens fall!‖ > Parson Brownlow, in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. July 16 The Tennessee General Assembly passes legislation authorizing the use of Confederate funds only, and outlawing the payment of all debts to non-slave- holding states, regardless of when they were entered into. [NYT, p. 2] New troops arrive daily in Washington from as far away as Maine and Wisconsin. July 21 ―The Great Battle of Manassas was fought today, with great slaughter on Both sides & victory perched upon the Confederate Standard.‖ [William L.B. Lawrence Diary] > 2nd Illinois Lt Artillery soldier writes about Union army sweeping through East Tennessee, Memphis July 23 The Nashville Union, telling the story of Bull Run from the Southern perspective, writes: ―Gen. Beauregard commanded in person. The enemy was repulsed three times in great confusion and loss. The Washington Artillery of New Orleans, with s even guns, engaged Sherman‘s fifteen guns, and, after making the latter change position fifteen times, silenced and forced them to retire. Large quantities of arms were taken. Our loss was trifling.‖ Much credit for the Southern victory is given to rebel sharpshooters. July 29
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The Memphis Avalanche reports, ―We are gratified to learn that Gen. Pillow will in a few days lead a brigade of Tennesseeans [sic] into some one of the fields of active service .... The known bravery and prowess of this distinguished Tennessee General ... give us the assurance that wherever his brigade shall be brought into action, feats of valor will be performed, and services rendered to our cause, which will shed imperishable glory alike on the chivalry of Tennessee and on the Southern arms.‖ Summer I was too young at the beginning of the war, to realize the danger and trouble that threatened our country, but the memory of my mother‘s tear-strained [sp.?] face, and the anxious, fearful look that shone on my father‘s brow, will never be erased from my memory. [Hawkins memoir, p. 3]
August 1 Letter from James M. Drane, 14th Tennessee, written to ―My Dear Father,‖ Nashville: ―Tell mother If she hears of our getting in a fight, not to make herself uneasy—for if we fall it will be in defence of our country.‖ August 4 According to the Chicago Tribune, General Pillow, with 20,000 Tennessee troops, has moved into southeastern Missouri. August 13 The Nashville Union and American reports the arrest of the Hon. Thomas A.R. Nelson has been arrested in Lee County, Virginia, and is expected to be tried for treason. The New York Times protests, ―If he is condemned and slain, his death will preach louder against the accursed rebellion than ever did his life.‖ [p. 4] A report from Knoxville claims that Gen. Zollicoffer of the Tennessee troops has suppressed Parson Brownlow‘s Knoxville Whig. Balloon ascensions from Fortress Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, provide military intelligence about the placement of Confederate encampments in Virginia. August 14 Gov. Isham Harris calls for 30,000 volunteers to make up a reserve corps. Supreme Court Justice John C. Catron, of the U.S. Supreme Court, is expelled from Nashville by the Vigilance Committee because of his refusal to resign his judgeship. He is forced to leave his ailing wife behind. [NYT, p. 81] August 23 Gov. Harris declares Kentucky‘s policy of armed neutrality a hostile act. August 25
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A letter from Parson Brownlow to a friend in Washington is widely published. It says, in part: ―An order has been made, at Richmond, to suppress the publication of the Knoxville Whig, but the notice has not been served on me yet. I have given them the devil in this day‘s paper, and I shall continue to say just what I please, until my office is closed or destroyed by brute force .... I will starve, or beg my bread of Union men, before I will surrender to this vile heresy of secession.‖ [New York Times, p. 3] August 27 Jefferson Davis announces the release of Congressman Thomas A.R. Nelson in return for ―satisfactory pledges to the authorities respecting his future conduct.‖ [Richmond Whig] Meanwhile, General Zollicoffer issues orders to his troops to respect the personal and property rights of all citizens of East Tennessee, regardless of their political opinions. [New York Times, p. 3]
September 3 The Memphis Argus reproves Gen. (Bishop) Leonidas Polk for impressing local laborers into service as Confederate ―volunteers.‖ September 4 Gov. Isham Harris fires off an angry letter to Jefferson Davis, Maj. Gen. Polk, and Kentucky Governor Magoffin, expressing his displeasure with Gen. Gideon Pillow‘s actions at Hickman, Kentucky, the previous day: ―This is unfortunate as the President and myself are pledged to respect the Neutrality of Kentucky. . . . Unless absolutely necessary there would it not be well to order their immediate withdrawal?‖ [Gov. Harris Papers, Box 3, f. 1] September 9 As winter approaches, Gov. Isham G. Harris issues a call ―to the Patriotic Mothers, Wives and Daughters‖ of Tennessee for ―jeans, linseys, socks, blankets, comforts, and all other articles which will contribute to the relief, health and comfort of the soldier in the field.‖ September 18 Despite a proclamation by Kentucky‘s governor that both Confederate and Union troops must withdraw from the state, Gen. Zollicoffer announces that the safety of Tennessee depends on the occupation of theCumberland Gap and refuses to leave. Meanwhile, Lt. Governor Reynolds of Missouri presses Kentucky to take a stand on the Union blockade of the Mississippi River below the mouth of the Ohio in violation of the state‘s neutrality. [NYT, p. 1] Tennessee Historical Marker, Harrogate in Claiborne County, Tennessee, Lincoln and Cumberland Gap
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Cumberland Gap became the principal passage between the eastern and western theaters of operation in the Upper South during the war. Whichever side held the high ground here held the Gap. In 1861, Confederate Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer's men occupied Cumberland Gap and began erecting fortifications, some of which still exist today. The work was backbreaking and the terrain unforgiving. "It is the roughest place in the world," a soldier wrote, "but we are going to stick the mountain full of cannon to prevent the Lincolnites from crossing." Full citation September 25 John C. Breckinridge, still a U.S. Senator, flees into Tennessee. He will shortly emerge a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army and in December will be expelled by resolution from the Senate for support of the rebellion. September 29 Affair at Travisville (Pickett County) This is the first military conflict in Tennessee and also brings about the first civil War fatalities in Tennessee, when four Confederate soldiers are killed, and four more captured.
October 8 The Memphis Avalanche takes over the Bulletin; a fire on the corner of Washington street and Centre alley destroys $30,000 of property. Nashville merchants agree to take Treasury notes at par for debts and goods. Confederate soldiers are said to be ―suffering from the want of tobacco.‖ [NYT, p. 1] October 12 Andrew Johnson, exiled to Kentucky, promises, ―The time shall soon come when we wanderers will go home!‖ [NYT, p. 8] October 20 The Tennessee General Assembly passes laws to repeal penalties against soldiers for carrying Bowie knives; authorizes tax collectors to receive Con- federate Treasury notes; and makes it a capital offense for slaves to burn a barn or other outbuilding. A bill to makes slaves real property for taxable purposes does not pass. October 24 The Nashville Union and American publishes a speech by Gov. Harris: ―Our people have done more in the work of raising, organizing, arming and equipping an army than was ever before accomplished by any
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State in the same length of time .... within less than two months ... thirty thousand volunteers were organized and thrown into the field ... making in the aggregate thirty-eight infantry regiments, seven cavalry battalions, and sixteen artillery companies, which Tennessee has contributed to the common defence.‖
November 3rd ―How I should like to be at home with you today and attend church‖ - Read letter excerpt from 44th Ohio soldier November 9 U.S. Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck is given command of the states east of the Mississippi and Brig. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, a West Point graduate with 20 years of military service, is put in command of eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. November 10 Gov. Harris asks the people of Tennessee to donate ―every double-barrel shot-gun and rifle they have, to arm the troops now offering their services.‖ [Nashville Union and American] November 13 The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Union sympathizers in East Tennessee ―have burned numbers of railroad bridges and telegraph wires to prevent the transportation of troops.‖ Parson Brownlow has been arrested and taken to Nashville to stand trial for treason against the Confederacy. The Tennessee Legislature authorizes Gov. Harris to seize all private arms and call 10,000 additional men into service. November 26 Rumors abound that the Confederate Capital will be moved to Nashville.
December 2 The Memphis Avalanche reports, ―A large body of Unionists attacked the Confederate forces at Morristown, Eastern Tennessee, yesterday, killing a large number, and completely routing them.‖ Other papers say that the Federal forces, 3,000 strong, were led by Parson Brownlow, and that Major General George Crittenden has arrived at Knoxville to take command of the rebel forces. Over The next several days, Northern newspapers will make much of ―the gallant‖ Brownlow‘s win as ―the most brilliant Union victory of the year.‖ [NYT]
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December 6 The Memphis Appeal publishes a letter from Gen. Pressevant criticizing the Confederate defenses at and above Memphis. He insists that, if Columbus were lost, Memphis would be ―entirely defenceless and indefensible.‖ A letter from Gen. Pillow to the Memphis Press insists that ―we can and will hold the position against any force the enemy can bring against it,‖ he asks that all volunteers ―remain in Memphis until they organize into companies and battalions. They must also understand that they must submit to military discipline and government.‖ December 9 A communication received from Parson Brownlow casts doubt on the hero stories of the previous week: ―I have never, at any time, left Knoxville or else- where with any guns .... I voluntarily signed a communication to Gen. Zollicoffer, weeks ago, together with 15 or 20 other gentlemen, pledging ourselves to promote peace, and to urge Union men not to rebel ... or to commit any outrages whatever .... I signed it in good faith, and I have kept that faith. [NYT, p. 1] December 11 Martial law is declared in East Tennessee. Gen. Zollicoffer continues to haunt the southern Kentucky border. Skirmishing continues on the upper Potomac along the Maryland border. Garrett Davis is elected the new U.S. Senator from Kentucky, taking the seat formerly held by Breckinridge. December 15 A troop of Union men from Williamsburgh, Kentucky, march on Huntsville TN, capture five rebel troops, tear down the Confederate flag, and raise the stars and stripes. They capture horses and equipment, and return to Kentucky. Kentucky newspapers carry frequent stories about refugees from Tennessee – Union sympathizers seeking sanctuary, like the 1500 recently arrived from Weakley County. December 20 The Cincinnati Gazette quotes from a letter received from a reader who has just traveled from Tennessee: ―There is no place between Bowling Green and Nashville that admits of defence. At Nashville they are making preparations to resist the anticipated attack, and ... if we wait on them till next year, they will probably be able to make a successful defence ... [but] the progress is very slow. On Capitol Hill a few cannon have been mounted, but now there are no defences that would more than momentarily delay our army.‖ December 21 The following day, the New York Times carries this information: ―The only fortification on the Tennessee River, of much importance, is Fort Henry .... The armament of the fort consists of eight 32-pounders, four 12-pounders, and two 6-pounders .... At Dover, about a day‘s march from Fort Henry (westward), is the principal fortification on the Cumberland, below Clarkesville. [Note: the writer is referring to Fort
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Donelson.] It mounts twelve 32-pounders. Some 3,000 troops are reported to be at this point, with some field artillery.... Steps are also being taken for the erection of fortifications near Nashville; but not much has yet been done.‖ TSLA source notes: Principal reference sources, Tennessee State Library and Archives: Bonds of Public Officials – RG 319 Cartmell, Robert H. (1828-1915) Papers, 1849-1915 – II-L-2, 6 Donnell, James Webb Smith (1820-1877) Papers, 1829-1932 – THS III-E-3 Drane, James M. Drane Papers, IV-J-3, Box 1-5. Election Returns, 1859 County Elections – RG 87 Governor Isham G. Harris Papers, Box 1, f. 5 (1860); Box 3, f. 5 (1861) Hawkins, Annie Cole, Memoir, ca. 1895, McKenzie, TN. Ms. Files. I-B-7. Ac. No. 94019(SG) Henderson, Samuel, Diary, 1834-1876], Manuscript Microfilm #148, one reel, Microfilm Only) House Journal Lawrence, William L.B., Diary. Lawrence Family Papers, 1780-1944 – IV-K-1 Lindsley, John Berrien, Diary. Lindsley Family Papers, ca. 1600-1943 – IV-D-3,4 Military Elections – RG 131 Nagy, J. Emerick (1903-1987), Nashville Public Schools Collection 1854-1958 – V-A-B-4; XII-D-6 Public Acts of Tennessee, 1859-1860 Rose, Kenneth D., Music Collection Senate Journal Tennessee newspapers consulted: Appeal, Memphis Avalanche, Memphis Banner, Nashville Brownlow’s Tri-Weekly Whig, Knoxville Daily Appeal, Memphis Daily News, Nashville Citizen, Pulaski Daily Register, Knoxville Christian Advocate, Nashville Home Journal, Winchester Inquirer, Memphis Union and American, Nashville Weekly Chronicle, Clarksville
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January 1 ―Every preparation is being made to fasten the yoke of bondage upon the beautiful & chivalrous Southern country, but our people are determined to be forever free & independent of the Northern fanatics & tho the war may be long & bloody we will never submit.‖ [William L.B. Lawrence Diary] January 3 Confederate troops in Greenville, TN, hang two East Tennesseans who were caught burning the Lick Creek bridge . January 5 Brig. Gen. Zollicoffer sends out a proclamation to the state of Kentucky explaining that his continuing presence in Kentucky is not to invade them but to protect them from incursions by abolitionists and other ―Northern hordes.‖ January 12 Zollicoffer, entrenched about 40 miles north of the Tennessee border, on the ―wrong‖ (unfordable) side of the Cumberland River, is facing a Federal force about 10,000 strong. Confederate reinforcements are said to be on their way. [New York Times, p. 2] January 14 Maj. Gen. George Crittenden moves from Knoxville to join Zollicoffer in Kentucky, and Gen. Thomas moves in to sustain Boyle as he advances toward Zollicoffer. Military encounters continue in Missouri, W. Virginia, & Kentucky. January 17-22 Gunboat demonstrations on Fort Henry, the first challenges to the Fort as Union regiments from Illinois and Indiana begin to move into Kentucky. Word comes that General Grant is en route from Illinois. Confederate troops in Kentucky begin killing cattle in the ponds and watering places on the route of the Federal army in order to render the water unfit for drinking. [NYT, p. 1] January 19 In an article about the number of Union loyalists in Tennessee, the New York Times says, ―If within a month our troops advance upon Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, they will speedily find all the elements to organize a loyal State Government, and a very short time will furnish native loyal arms
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capable of sustaining it. Tennessee occupies a place of great importance from its geo- graphical position – its boundaries touching on no less than eight Southern States. Its speedy possession by the National Government is a matter of the greatest importance.‖ [p. 4] January 19-20 Battle of Fishing Cree (also called the Battle of Mill Springs), KY. The Confederate advance under Felix Zollicoffer and George B. Crittenden is turned back by Geo. Thomas. Zollicoffer, a Maury County newspaper editor, wanders into the Union forces in the dark (wearing a white coat) and is killed. This is the second largest battle that will be fought in Kentucky – only Perryville in October will see more casualties. Thomas‘s victory secures Union control of eastern KY. January 21 The first sketchy reports of the battle in Kentucky appear: ―We only know that the battle was offered by the rebels, and lost by them, after what must have been a fierce conflict, and the sacrifice of two leaders as conspicuous as Zollicoffer and young Bailie Peyton [Junior, age 28]. The vanquished fell back to their intrenchments at Mill Spring. Thither they were pursued by the victors, assailed, and finally obliged to capitulate.‖ [New York Times, p. 4]
February 1862 February 2
Reports of military encounters, now including a naval skirmish near Savannah, come in from Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and other places. Union forces fire at Fort Henry; Fort Donelson is considered impregnable, but the Memphis Avalanche predicts that Fort Henry will fall. First recorded Civil War skirmish in Tennessee occurs in Morgan County. A Confederate cavalry unit under Lt. Col. White kills seven Federal soldiers, and the Union forces withdraw. This seems to be the first event of the Union‘s southward movement from Kentucky into Tennessee. February 5 ―Dear Mother, . . . It is reported that the Yankees are landing on the river twelve [?] miles below her[e] whether it be true or not I cannot say but I don‘t think they will ever attact us her[e.] they came up to Fort Henry the other day and threw some bums [bombs] in the fort and then went back down the river the boys are hard at work now throwing up brest works our company are buisey mounting cannons & will want to be first [?] if the Yankees should come so wee can slash them they is about 4500 soulgers her[e] now and wee are looking for more all the time. . . . I suppose they are fiting at Fort Henry now while I am writing to you I hear the cannons it roars like continueal. . . .Bill Green says they have had a fight at fort Henry and have whiped us we dont know how true it is.‖ [Letter from William F. Farmer at Fort Donelson] February 6
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Gunboats and Army troops under Commodore Andrew H. Foote and General U.S. Grant capture Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, in the first important victory for the Union and for Grant in the Western Theater of the war. Only Fort Donelson now stands between the Union troops and Nashville. Many men from the Fort Henrygarrison flee to Fort Donelson, swelling the ranks there. February 7 Confederate forces burn three of their own steamers at the mouth of the Duck River to prevent their capture. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston orders a Confederate retreat from southwestern Kentucky. ―Great apprehension for the safety of Nashville.‖ [Lindsley] February 8 Three U.S. Navy gunboats, fresh from their victory at Fort Henry, destroy the Memphis, Clarksville, & Louisville Railroad bridge on the Tennessee River. February 12 Union troops under General U.S. Grant begin their siege of Fort Donelson. ― 9 A.M. notified that the University buildings [in Nashville] were needed for hospitals – By dark had all the Libraries removed. 4 P.M. requested by Dr. Pim to act as Surgeon.‖ [Lindsley] February 13 Grant continues to besiege Fort Donelson as he waits for the Navy gunboats to arrive. Grant‘s army will later be called the Army of the Tennessee. ―By 8 P.M. the buildings completely emptied and swept. Coal & provisions on hand – 18 men working – steward & 4 Med. Assistants engaged. Quartermasters arranged with.‖ [Lindsley] February 14 U.S. Navy shells Fort Donelson; skirmish near the Cumberland Gap. ―After breakfast notified Post Surgeon Pim that my hospital was not in readiness; but would be in two days. He ... replied that he must send the convalescents as the Bowlinggreen sick were arriving in large numbers . . . It was intended to establish also a camp for convalescents on the University grounds -- I remonstrated . . . that the Hospital and encampment would greatly interfere with each other. I hastened to Capt. A.J. Lindsay, commander of the post, and after much persistence got an order to remove the encampment, if the tents were not already pitched. Hurried up to the University, & fortunately they were just laying out the camp. Capt. Cottles civilly received me, and agreed at once to carry out the order if I would shelter his men for the night. Snow was still upon the ground. All day crowds of 40, 60, 100, or 120, were pouring in from the different hospitals, or from the Bowlinggreen army. They were tired & hungry,
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some had not breakfasted, none had dined – By night we had not less than 700 in the Stone College & Barracks. We managed by very hard work to get them something to eat by 8 or 9 P.M. To the 500 in the barracks we distributed a gill each, of brandy from the Hospital stores. Both buildings were comfortably warmed.‖ [Lindsley] February 15 Confederates attempt to break through Federal lines surrounding Fort Donelson; the attempt is initially successful, but commanders Floyd and Pillow Hesitate and re-entrench, and the opportunity to escape is lost. ―Saturday – Hard work all day to feed the big crowd. Tom Woods & Menifee very useful in dining room. [Marginal note in a different hand: “color men”] All of us perfectly worn out with the task of feeding some six hundred convalescents, & taking care of one hundred or more quite ill persons -- Reports & rumors of the battles at Fort Donelson. Night speaking at the Capitol – Triumph over the repulse of the gunboats.‖ [Lindsley] Tennessee Historical Marker, Dover in Stewart County, Tennessee, Buckner's C.S.A. Division On February 15, 1862, about 1 p.m. this division in compliance with General Floyd's orders withdrew to its original position within the trenches covered by the 2d Kentucky and 41st Tennessee. Only a small portion of the division had reached its position when Smith's division attacked the right flank of the Confederate line, fell upon Colonel Hanson's regiment before it had reached the rifle pits and threw it back in confusion upon the 16th Tennessee. Full citation February 16 General Grant accepts the ―unconditional and immediate surrender‖ of Fort Donelson, with 15,000 prisoners, from its present commander, Gen. Simon Buckner. [Floyd and Pillow, realizing the Fort was lost, have managed to sneak out of the Fort and escape.] Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest leads his command and numerous stragglers from the fort as the other generals flee. This victory opens up the state of Tennessee for Union advancement. Union forces will quickly breach Southern defenses and open a corridor to Nashville. ―Sunday – Johnston‘s army passing by the University from 10 A.M. until after dark – camped out near Mill Creek. Light of campfires very bright at night. The army was in rapid retreat – the men disliked bitterly giving up Nashville without a struggle. The Southern army however was too small to make a stand against the overwhelmingly superior numbers of Union troops . . . . During all Sunday from about 10 A.M., when the news of the fall of Fort Donelson reached here, the wildest excitement prevailed in the city. Very many persons left the city in vehicles – many on the cars – the Gov. & Legislature decamped – Nashville was a panic stricken city.‖ [Lindsley] “We are all amused at Ting [her young daughter] yesterday – she was reading us the ‗nuse‘ as she calls it in the paper. Seeing the Eagle on the Banner’s heading she pointed to it with such rogueishness ... ―See
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here, Cousin Mollie, this is the thing the Yankees are bringing to peck us!‖ Her readings about ―our men‖ and the Yankees kept us in a roar of laughter. . . . Dear little children! They are so full of fun and frolic as ever – they know nothing of this [illegible] Yankee war! And God be praised they do not – they are all the sunshine we have in our darkened homes now!‖ [Lucy Virginia French diary] > Read a letter from a 17th Illinois soldier about the capture of Fort Donelson. > See the Tennessee Historical Marker for Nathan Bedford Forrest February 19 Clarksville is occupied by Union forces. Governor Isham Harris moves the Tennessee C.S. capital to Memphis. February 22 U.S. Grant declares martial law in West Tennessee. ―This is the anniversary of the birth of our Great Washington and set apart for the inauguration of Jefferson Davis who some style the ‗second Washington.‘ Will he prove himself such? That remains to be seen. If this day is to be ominous of our political future, it will be gloomy indeed.‖ February 23 C.S. forces evacuate Nashville. > Historic pictures of Nashville during the Civil War February 25 "Bull" Nelson enters Nashville, Tennessee, first Confederate state capital to fall into Union hands. The Confederate flag is lowered from the Tennessee Capitol as Don Carlos Buell accepts the city's surrender. The occupation of Nashville begins. Nathan Bedford Forrest provides a rear guard for Hardee's Army of Central Kentucky as it withdraws to Alabama. Tennessee Historical Marker, 3A 34, Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee, Tennessee State Capitol Designed by William Strickland, noted Philadelphia architect who also designed the tower of Independence Hall. Construction was commenced in 1845 and completed 1859. Strickland died in 1854 and is entombed in the north portico. His son Francis, supervised construction from 1854 to 1857. Slaves and convicts quarried and transported limestone for the Capitol, which was used as a fortress during the Civil War. President and Mrs. James K. Polk are buried on the east lawn. Full citation February 26
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A few women train for battle. The Memphis Avalanche reports: ―A bevy of ladies on Union street were practicing in sharp shooting yesterday with the pistol. Several shots were made that would have astonished a few of our young men, who have never learned to handle fire arms.‖ Another Memphis matron, Mrs. J.B. Gray, undertakes a fund-raising project to build a gunboat. [Brock, p. 27] At nearly the same moment, a flood of refugees arrives from fallen Nashville, to be followed by 400 fugitives from Island 10, and then many more exiles who will strain the city‘s resources and add to the mounting poverty and crime. February 28 Skirmish on Boyd Mill Pike in Franklin.
March 1 Military engagement occurs at Pittsburg Landing. The director of the Bank of Tennessee at Rogersville writes to the State Comptroller about war preparations and comments that he personally ―intends to arm a company.‖ [RG 47, B5, F24] March 3-4 Tennessee Sen. Andrew Johnson is appointed military governor of Tennessee and arrives in Nashville to head the occupation forces. [http://www.tnstate.edu/library/digital/document.htm] March 5 The president of the Bank of Tennessee writes the General Assembly (now exiled in Memphis) concerning wartime removal of records and cash. Having anticipated the invasion of Tennessee and recognizing the vulnerability of Nash- ville, he has relocated the bank to Chattanooga. In a year the bank will move its holdings to Georgia, South Carolina, and back to Georgia before they are finally seized by the Federal Army in 1865. The Bank will be closed in 1869. [RG 47, B8, F21] March 8 Maj. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith (C.S.) takes command of the Department of East Tennessee at Knoxville. Tennessee Historical Marker, Savannah in Hardin County, Tennessee, War Comes to Savannah On March 8, 1862 the pro-Union citizens of Savannah turned out to greet the 40th Illinois Infantry, the vanguard of 40,000-man Union invasion force. Residents cheered as the Illinois troops trudged off the steamer Golden Gate formed into ranks, and marched up the slope into town. Within the week, a Union flotilla of more than 80 steamboats would crowd the banks of the Tennessee above and below the town. Full citation
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March 9 A skirmish occurs near Nashville, on the Granny White Pike. 12 US soldiers killed. March 11 A skirmish takes place near Paris. March 13 Destruction of Beach Creek Bridge on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. March 14 Skirmishes at Big Creek Gap and Jacksborough. March 14-17 Union forces carry out operations against the Memphis and Charleston Railroad; during the same period, Pittsburg Landing is occupied. March 15-16 Siege of Island #10; siege of Tiptonville begins; skirmish near Pittsburg Landing. March 21-23 U.S. Forces begin reconnaissance against Cumberland Gap; skirmish there. March 24 Skirmish at Camp Jackson. March 28 Beginning of Cumberland Gap Campaign. > 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes Mar 28, 1862 from Munfordville March 29 A.S. Johnston reassembles Confederate Western forces at Corinth, MS. Grant takes command of the Union army at Pittsburg Landing, TN, in preparation for an assault on Corinth.
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March 31 Capture of Union City by U.S. forces; skirmish on Purdy Road near Adamsville.
April 3 Skirmish near Monterey. April 4 Capture of Island No. 10 by U.S.S. Carondelet after a two-week U.S. Naval bombardment; skirmish at Lawrenceburg; another near Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh. April 6-7 Battle of Pittsburg Landing/Battle of Shiloh. C.S. forces under Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston surprise Federal troops under Grant. After Buell‘s Army of the Ohio reinforces the Union Lines during the night, Grant prevails, but with tremendous losses. Confederate Losses: 1,723 dead, 8,012 wounded, 959 missing. Union Losses: 1,754 dead, 8,408 wounded, 2,885 missing. This is the bloodiest battle in U.S. History to this point. The 23,746 casualties (dead, wounded, and/or missing) represent more than the American battle-related casualties of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican- American War combined. The dead included Confederate commander Albert Sidney Johnston and Union General W.H.L. Wallace. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, now commanding the C.S. forces, withdraws to Corinth, MS. > Letter, 1st Illinois Lt Artillery soldier writes about vivid action shortly after Shiloh and Corinth. > 15th Iowa soldier writes of ―deathblow to secessionism‖ after Shiloh fight. > 25th Alabama soldier tells story of Battle of Shiloh > Volunteers for Andrew's Raiders - the Great Locomotive Chase - were chosen in Shelbyville, TN. > To access a single page linking to all the Shiloh Tennessee Historical markers visit this page. Tennessee Historical marker, Shelbyville in Bedford County, Tennessee, Andrew's Raiders On this knoll, members of the Federal party which attempted to destroy the Western & Atlantic R.R. in 1862, assembled before starting their foray. It started with seizure of the engine "General" and ended with recapture of the engine at the Georgia state line the same day. Several of the party were subsequently hanged. Full citation April 8
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Nathan Bedford Forrest stalls Federal pursuit at Fallen Timbers. The garrison of Island #10 is surrendered at Tiptonville. Quotes from Shiloh: ―I did not feel anything strange on first going into battle. We were drawn up in line of battle. I was looking as anxious for the secesh [Rebels] as ever I did for a squirrel but I did not look long before I seen their guns glittering in the brush.‖– Pvt. Edgar Embley, 61st Illinois ―Several times the enemy essayed to move out from the shelter of the woods across the intervening thickets, but each time our guns ‖double-shotted with canister‖ tore great gaps in their ranks and drove them back to cover.‖–Capt. Andrew Hickenlooper, 5th Ohio ―If I brought on the fight, I am to lead the van.‖– Col. Everett Peabody, 25th Missouri ―We were soon dumbfounded by seeing an enormous force of Confederate troops marching directly toward us,‖– Pvt. Charles Morton, 25th Missouri. April 9 > 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes April 9th, 1862, from Nashville April 10 > 61st Illinois soldier writes about action at Shiloh April 11 Skirmish at Wartrace. Tennessee Historical Marker, 3G 44, Wartrace in Bedford County, Tennessee In 1850, Rice Coffey gave eight acres to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad on which the main line would run with a depot and freight house at the junction of the branch line to Shelbyville. In 1851, town lots were laid off. The following year, a post office was established. In 1853, the town was incorporated as Wartrace Depot after Wartrace Creek. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Wartrace after Wartrace Creek, which was named for the War Trace, a buffalo path used by Indians at war with Nashville settlers in the 1790's. April 12 Battle of Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River in Henning, TN, leaving a controversy around the question of whether a massacre of surrendered African-American troops was conducted or condoned by Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Northern troops, assuming Forrest‘s involvement, use the name as a rallying cry in later battles.
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April 14 > 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes April 14th, 1862, from Nashville April 15 Skirmish at Pea Ridge; battle of Peralta, New Mexico. April 17 Capture of Union refugees near Woodson‘s Gap. April 17-19 Series of skirmishes near Monterey. April 24 Skirmishes at Lick Creek and on Shelbyville Road. April 26 Skirmish at Atkins‘ Mill. April 27 Skirmish at Pea Ridge. > 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes April 27th, 1862, from Bedford County, TN April 29 Raid on Mobile and Ohio Railroad near Bethel Station; skirmish at Cumberland Gap.
May 1 John Hunt Morgan‘s Cavalry captures U.S. wagon train near Pulaski. May 2 Skirmish at Thompson's Station. May 2-9
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Series of skirmishes near Lockridge‘s Mill. May 3 C. Woolmer‘s of Memphis advertises for women to make flags for the war. [Brock, p. 114] ―My Dear Daughter, ... I hope you will give me a detailed account of the family Black & White, and of the farm ... also of the neighbors.... Let me know in your next [letter] how many horses & mules [Gen.] Nelson took from me.... When I think of the condition of my once happy home &surrounding country ... I can‘t help but weep & feel low spirited.‖ [Cheairs, N.F., letter to daughter] May 4 Skirmish near Purdy. May 4-11 Brief skirmishes at Pulaski. May 5 Military action at Lebanon. May 9-20 Several skirmishes on the Elk River near Bethel. May 10 Naval engagement at Plum Point near Fort Pillow as C.S. flotilla attacks U.S. naval force. > 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes May 10th, 1862, from Wartrace, TN May 14 Skirmish at Fayetteville. May 15 Skirmish at Memphis and Charleston Railroad. May 19 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes May 19th, 1862, from Wartrace, TN
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May 19-23 Further action at Fort Pillow May 22-24 Skirmishes at Winchester. May 25 ―[Brownlow] is gulling these Yankees no little & is making his trade (which you can guess) a very profitable, paying business. He cares no moon for the con- dition of the North or South, than a hog, only so far as he can make either the one or the other profitable to No. 1—and is wholly destitute of Patriotism.... So you see you see I have strong hopes of getting home soon, Tell your Ma to save me a little of my Robertson County [probably distilled liquor]—as I expect to be very dry. Remember me kindly to all the Negroes. Tell Uncle Dick & Nath to take good care of Miss Susan.... Your devoted Pa, N.F.C [Cheairs, N.F., to daughter] May 28 [from Bank of Tennessee, Memphis Minute Books, RG 47, Vol. 5, last entry] ―At 9 AM, the Prst and Cashier of this Bank received order from Genl Beauregard through the Provost Marshal L.D. McKissack in person to prepare immediately for departure at noon and to take all the effects of the Bank; . . . in accordance therewith at 5 P.M. the money, Books, and papers were transferred to a car standing at the junction of Main and Madison Streets and immediately left, accompanied by guard of Capt. Bigbie and then men for Mobile, Atlanta and Athens. . .‖
Over the next two years, from now until June 1864, an estimated twenty to thirty million dollars worth of supplies are smuggled into the Confederacy through Memphis. Many women are active in the smuggling trade, using their ―bosoms, hoops, and bustles to conceal goods and letters from Federal authorities.‖ [Brock, p. 54] June 3-5 Confederates evacuate Fort Pillow, which is occupied by Union forces. June 4 Skirmish at Sweeden‘s Cove near Jasper. June 6
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Naval engagement near Memphis; bombarded by U.S. ships, the city surrenders and is occupied by Union forces. The Memphis Avalanche laments, ―Many of the strongest advocates of the Confederacy have left us . . .. Hundreds have left Memphis for more Southern localities in advance of the approach of the Federal fleet. Among these were many of the best and most useful citizens of Memphis.‖ June 7 Brigadier General James Negley bombards Chattanooga from Stringer‘s Ridge, then withdraws a day later; capture of Jackson; skirmish at Readyville. June 10 Skirmishes at Rogers Gap and Wilson‘s Gap. June 10-16 Skirmishes at Winchester. June 15 ―A perfect reign of terror is upon us. On Thursday last ... a force of between 4 and 5 thousand Federals, passed us, going into McMinnville—hunting Starns [probably Col. James W. Starnes].... Martha came running up the stairs where I was hearing the children‘s lessons—exclaiming—‗The Yankees are coming up the road!‘ I looked out and saw four or five horsemen at the gate.... I ran down- stairs, and saw that they were taking out favorite horse, ‗Black Cloud‘ .... I said not a word—they were the roughest kind of men ... I was angry and excited and feared I would not say the right thing so I forced myself to silence.... Throughout the day the troops came from the road to get something to eat—they were very respectful to me when they saw me.... While they were eating, however, I generally gave them a ‗piece of my mind‘ ... I said ‗If you know anything at all— you know very well that Tennessee never brought [war] upon us—She stood firm for the Union that she loved until Lincoln‘s war proclamation drove her into exile and rebellion....‖ [Lucy Virginia French diary] June 17 General Braxton Bragg replaces Beauregard in command of the C.S. Army of Tennessee. June 18 Skirmish at Wilson‘s Gap; Cumberland Gap Campaign ends with occu- pation by Union forces under General G.W. Morgan. June 21 Skirmishes at Battle Creek and at Rankin‘s Ferry, near Jasper.
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June 25 Affair near La Fayette Station. ―I hope the time is not far distant, when I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and then I can and will talk to you (at the risk of my life) upon subjects, I am now prohibited from writing untill then I shall try to bear my fate with as much patience and for bearance as possible—I am perhaps unfortunately constituted—I am high tempered, I can be overpowered, but not conquered (so long as I am satisfied I am right) and when trampled upon, I am like a Texas Scorpion, I‘ll sting if I can, such is as you know my nature, and I can‘t help it—I wish I could. I think, however, I am willing to be governed by the Command laid down in the Book of Books, ―Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. – Your Devoted Brother, N.F. Cheairs.‖ [Cheairs, N.F., letter to sister] June 26 30th Illinois soldier writes from Jackson, Tenn., June 26th, 1862 June 28 Skirmish near Sparta. June 30 Affair at Powell River; skirmish at Rising Sun
July 1 Rebs attack Federal forage train at Brentwood. 18 Federals captured, 30 wagons and 150 mules captured too. > Read account from Thomas F. Perkins, Jr., [Company I, 11th TN Cavalry). July 2 The Morrill Act allocates federal land or its monetary value to various states for the teaching of ―agricultural and mechanical‖ subjects and military training to students. After the Civil War Tennessee will designate East Tennessee University (renamed the University of Tennessee in 1879) as a land-grant institution. On the same date, Lincoln calls for 300,000 three-year enlistments. July 3
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General Braxton Bragg moves the Army of Tennessee by rail from Tupelo, Mississippi, to Chattanooga. July 5 Affair at Walden‘s Ridge; Skirmish at Battle Creek. July 6 Letter, near Dresden, TN; 5th Iowa cav soldier – Schlapp – writes about being captured near Corinth July 9 > 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes July 9th, 1862, from Wartrace, TN July 10 Gen. U.S. Grant orders the removal from Memphis within five days of those holding commissions or voluntarily enlisted in the C.S. Army, holding office or employed by the Confederate government, or holding state or local office while remaining loyal to the Confederacy. [Brock, p. 36] July 13 Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest captures U.S. garrison at Murfreesboro; skirmish near Wolf River. ―Nearly all whom I have met on this side of the water are rabid abolition- ists.... It is surprising that so sagacious a people as the citizens of the Northern States, should not see that such conduct renders a reestablishment of the Union infinitely more difficult—not to say impossible—and ‗thrice arms‘ their foes, for it makes their ‗quarrels just,‘ whatever it may have been in the outset. Everything that happens tends more and more to convince me of my first conclusion in regard to this unhappy civil war—that it will continue until both sides are completely exhausted and bankrupt—and then—God help us—for human sagacity cannot foresee what will happen!‖ [Cooper, W.F., letter to his father] July 15 Skirmish at Wallace‘s Cross-Roads. July 16 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes July 16th, 1862 from Nashville July 17 Skirmish near Mt. Pleasant/Columbia. Negley's Federal force attacks 30 Reb guerillas in cornfield south of Franklin.
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July 19 Guerrilla raid on Brownsville. July 21 Skirmishes around Nashville. Letter, 2nd Illinois Lt Artillery soldier writes about Union army sweeping through East Tennessee, Memphis July 22-26 Series of skirmishes near Tazewell. On the same date Union and Con- Federate negotiators reach an agreement for a standard of prisoner exchanges. July 25 Skirmish at Clinton Ferry. July 27 Affair at Lower Post Ferry or Toone‘s Station. July 28 Skirmish near Humboldt. July 29 Affair at Denmark, near Hatchie Bottom.
August 2 > 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes Aug 2nd, 1862, from Manchester, TN August 2-6 Series of skirmishes near Tazewell. August 3
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Telegram from General Morton in Nashville to General Buell: ―I lost 48 hours trying to get Negroes, teams, tools, cooking utensils, and provisions. Only 150 Negroes so far, no tools, teams, etc. I wanted to employ 825 Negroes by the 11th.‖ Skirmish on Noconah Creek. August 5 Skirmish at Sparta. August 7 Skirmish at Wood Springs near Dyersburg. August 8 Fighting at Cumberland Gap. ―Took an accustomed walk this afternoon seeing ... a great many Georgia beauties, which however do not compare favorably with our Tennessee fair ones in my humble opinion. These seem ... not nearly so gracefully symmetrical, being short and stumpy and not winsome and fairylike enough for me.‖ [Bradford Nichol, Memoir ] August 11 Affair near Kinderhook; skirmishes at Saulsbury and Williamsport, near Columbia. Federal cavalry surprise 300 Rebel guerillas near Hillsboro, Williamson County. August 12 4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes Aug 12th, 1862, from Tullahoma, TN August 12-13 C.S. Gen. John Hunt Morgan‘s cavalry captures US garrison at Gallatin and destroys South Tunnel on the railroad. August 13 Skirmishes at Huntsville and Medon. August 14
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General Braxton Bragg begins an invasion of Kentucky, hoping to draw Buell‘s Union forces across the Ohio River. Although Bragg will win a tactical victory against Buell in October, his pattern of retreat/withdrawal and failure (Stones River) will cause other Southern generals to denounce him to General Lee. Skirmish near Mount Pleasant. August 16 Skirmish at Meriwether‘s Ferry on the Obion River. August 17 Kirby Smith, reinforced from Bragg‘s army, contains Federals in Cumberland Gap and moves into Kentucky; skirmish at Pine Mountain. > 30th Illinois soldier writes from Estanaula, Tenn., Aug 17, 1862 August 18 C.S. forces capture Clarksville; skirmish at Dyersburg; capture of steamboats on the Tennessee River. ―Sir: There are many wives and helpless children in the City of Nashville ...who have been reduced to poverty and wretchedness in consequence of their husbands and fathers having been forced into the Armies of this unholy and nefarious rebellion. Their necessities have become ... so urgent, that the laws of justice and humanity would be violated unless something was done to relieve their suffering and destitute condition. You are therefore requested to contribute the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ... to be distributed amongst these destitute families....‖ [Form letter from Military Gov. Andrew Johnson to Anthony W. Johnson – Bransford Papers. II-H-6. Box 1-2.] August 19-21 Raids on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. August 20 Skirmishes at Drake‘s Creek; Manscoe Creek near Edgefield Junction; and Pilot Knob. August 21 Gen. John Hunt Morgan defeats Federal forces between Gallatin and Hartsville. > Letter, 32nd Illinois soldier writes of guerilla activity around Memphis August 23-25
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Skirmishes near Fort Donelson. August 25 ―I have drawn a long breath for the first time in 3 weeks—a long deep sigh of satisfaction and relief—the Yankees are gone! ... Thank God! Thank God! And may He in His goodness and mercy grant that they never visit us again!‖ [Lucy Virginia French diary] August 26 Skirmish at Cumberland Iron Works, Cumberland Gap. August 27 Confederates attack Fort McCook on the Tennessee River; skirmishes on Richland Creek near Pulaski; near Reynolds Station (Nashville & Decatur Railroad); at Round Mountain near Woodbury; near the Cumberland Gap; and near Murfreesboro. August 28 Generals Braxton Bragg and Kirby Smith lead the Army of Tennessee into Kentucky; Buell moves Federal forces out of Nashville by rail to intercept. August 29 Skirmish at Short Mountain Cross-Roads. Tennessee Historical Marker (Bledsoe County), Pikeville — 2B 24 — Bragg Invades Kentucky On Aug. 29, 1862, the Army of Mississippi was enrout to Kentucky: Army Headquarters was near Dunlap; Col. Joseph Wheeler's Cavalry Brigade was moving against Maj. Gen. A McD. McCook's Federal Division at Altamont. Advance elements of Maj. Gen Leonidas Polk's Right Wing were hereabouts; Maj. Gen. William J. Hardee's Left Wing had cleared Chattanooga. August 30 Skirmishes: Bolivar, Altamont, Little Pond, McMinnville, & Medon Station. August 31 Skirmishes at Rogers Gap and near Toone‘s Station.
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Skirmishes near Nashville and Memphis. September 5 Skirmish at Burnt Bridge near Humboldt. September 6 Affair on Gallatin Road; skirmish at New Providence. September 7 Skirmishes near Murfreesboro; at Clarksville near Riggins Hill; at Pine Mountain Gap. September 9-10 Skirmishes at Columbia. September 17 Federals evacuate Cumberland Gap; Confederates take possession. September 19-20 Skirmish near Brentwood, 7th PA Cav. September 25 Skirmish at Davis‘ Bridge on the Hatchie River; burning of Randolph, Tipton County, site of two forts. Forrest is relieved of his current command and ordered to raise six new regiments to operate against Union troops in Tennessee. September 26 Skirmish at Pocahontas. September 30 Skirmish at Goodlettsville.
October 1 Skirmishes near Nashville and at Davis‘ Bridge.
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CSA troops burn bridge across Big Harpeth at Franklin and attack Federal forage train guarded by 300 Federals. At least 15 Union infantry captured. October 3 Affair near La Fayette Landing. October 4 Skirmish near Middleton. October 5 Engagement at Big Hatchie (Battle Davis Bridge), Hatchie Bridge, Metamora; skirmishes near Big Hill; near Chewalla; at Neely‘s Bend on the Cumberland River; at Fort Riley near Nashville. > See post on Davis Bridge on this site. > Read a full summary of the action at Davis Bridge October 7 Skirmish near LaVergne. In her journal of the war years, McMinnville resident Lucy Virginia French comments on Lincoln‘s home in Illinois: ― Mollie in one of her letters said that Ella Chews‘ father had once resided in Springfield and knew the Lincolns—Ella said they were ‗as common as pig-tracks and as poor as Job‘s turkey.‘‖ October 8 Battle of Perryville. Braxton Bragg [CS] and Don Carlos Buell [US] fight the largest battle on Kentucky soil. The battle is generally regarded as a draw, and both claimed victory. Less than half of Buell's men participate because he does not know a major battle is taking place less than 2 miles from his headquarters. Confederate General Bragg‘s retreat shortly after the battle will leave Kentucky, a critically important border state, in Union hands for the rest of the Civil War. October 9 Affair near Humboldt. October 10 Skirmish at Medon Station. October 13
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Skirmish on Lebanon Road near Nashville. October 15 Skirmish at Neely‘s Bend on the Cumberland River. October 17 Skirmish at Island No. 10. October 19 ―The Secesh women were frantic with joy when [Gen/ Edmund] Kirby Smith‘s army arrived [in Lexington]—they even went to the absurd length of hugging and kissing the horses of the soldiers.... At Columbia the ladies rushed out to meet the soldiers, and told them to destroy the town if necessary rather than yield it to the Yankees. At Nashville, when the LaVergne prisoners were taken in, beautiful women rushed from their houses and caught the hands of the poor fellows, blessing them and pouring out words of commendation and comfort. Some even embraced them as brothers.‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] October 20 ―We 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 lion and it will give you as good an idea of our liberty as you can well have. . . . About the time that Gen. [John Hunt] Morgan established his head-quarters at Hartsville, the war on the part of the Yankees assumed the form of a silk-dress war! 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. . . . God bless you all in Dixie—A Rebel‖ Skirmishes on Gallatin Pike near Nashville; and at Hermitage Ford. October 21 Skirmishes at Collierville and at Woodville. October 22-25 U.S. forces move to capture Waverly; several skirmishes occur. October 23 Skirmishes at Galloway Switch; at Hickory; near Richland Creek; at Shelby Depot. October 24
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Skirmish near White Oak Springs. Don Carlos Buell [US] is relieved of command from the Army of the Ohio for his failure to pursue Bragg [CS] following the Battle of Perryville. William Starke Rosecrans is ordered to replace him. October 26 Lucy Virginia French writes in her journal: ―The days are indeed dark and gloomy. Politics seem to be running high at the North—the Democrats are taking up the cudgels against the Republicans, and if one knew how to count on Yankee demonstrations we might infer ... that Lincoln would be shortly deposed, and sent home in disgrace.... McClellan has forbidden the discussion of politics in his army! The whole North is said to be groaning under the reign of terror inaugurated by the Radicals.‖ October 28 Skirmish near Waverly.
November 2 Lucy Virginia French writes in her journal: ―I am writing now, sitting by the front room window, and as I look up I see a long train of artillery—baggage wagons and cavalry passing down towards Murfreesboro.... [The] whole army is pressing toward Nashville.... The ―Chattanooga Rebel‖ of yesterday says that there is no provisions there for travelers—and no sleeping place—the last hotel being taken for a military hospital‖ November 3-5 Nathan Bedford Forrest moves on Nashville as Morgan attacks Edgefield. November 4 8th TN Cav skirmish with Federals on Franklin Pike in Franklin. Several Federals killed and 15 captured. 11 CS wounded. November 5 Forrest‘s troops engage five companies of the 5th Tennessee cavalry on Franklin Pike, near Brentwood. November 7 Skirmishes at Gallatin, Tyree Springs, and White Range. November 8 Skirmish on the Cumberland River near Gallatin.
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Tennessee Historical Marker, Dover in Stewart County, Control the Rivers and Railroads During the Civil War rivers and railroads routinely carried soldiers, material, and food to keep the war effort going. The Tennessee and Cumberland rivers were the main arteries that carried the economic lifeblood to the heart of middle Tennessee. Most agricultural and manufactured goods passed through Nashville on the Cumberland River. Tennessee's railroads, which covered most of the state, played a pivotal role in military events west of the Appalachian Mountains throughout the war. Though smaller and not as well-equipped as their northern counterparts, these railroads were able to move masses of people and supplies more rapidly than any previous form of land transport used by Tennesseans. Full citation November 9 Skirmishes at Lebanon and at Silver Springs. November 12 Capture of courier station on the Stones River. November 13 Skirmish near Nashville. Grant starts toward Vicksburg from Tennessee, but Nathan Bedford Forrest‘s raids slow his progress. Gen. William Rosecrans replaces Buell as commander of the Army of the Cumberland. Bragg‘s army moves to Murfreesboro. November 18 Skirmishes at Double Bridge and at Rural Hill. November 19 21st Illinois soldier writes near Nashville. November 22 The Memphis Relief Organization makes a valiant effort to provide food and shelter to the poor. During the previous week, the group has supplied 405 approved applicants with 1285 pounds of flour, 555 pounds of bacon, 64 pounds of soap, 8 cords of wood, and more. [Brock, p. 147] Dealing with poverty and crime continues to be a challenge as more and more refugees come into the city, many starving and ill; hundreds will die. November 25 Capture of Henderson‘s Station on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; skirmish at Clarksville.
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November 26 Skirmish near Somerville. November 26-27 Skirmish at LaVergne. November 26-30 Operations about Springfield. November 27 Skirmish at Mill Creek. November 28 Skirmishes on Carthage Road near Hartsville and Rome.
December 1-3 Skirmish near Nolensville and attack on Union forage train, Harding Pike. Wharton's cannoneers drive Federals away. December 4 Skirmish near Holly Tree Gap on Franklin Pike. Capture of outpost, Stewart‘s Ferry on the Stones River. December 6 Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan makes raid on Hartsville, Harper's Weekly reports December 7 Skirmish near Kimbrough‘s Mill, Mill Creek. Morgan attacks Federals at Hartsville, takes prisoners. Work on Fort Negley, the largest Union fort west of Washington, D.C., is completed. The Fort is constructed over a three-month period by Union soldiers and hundreds of black workers – free and slave
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– who have been conscripted into service [http://www.bonps.org/neg.htm] in what is probably the first large-scale use of contraband labor in Tennessee during the war. Most are never paid; with little food, shelter, or appropriate clothing, many of these workers will die. The construction of Fort Negley becomes a model for future projects as Union troops, lacking labor, impress black men into service and work them mercilessly. [Hunt] “The bareness to which we are reduced [would] have seemed to me two years ago as incredible. We live on wheat, coffee, pork or goat meat, bread (both corn and wheat,) and we have a few potatoes and turnips, and one cow. . . . Butter is 1.00 per lb. and eggs 1.50 per dozen. No sugar, no molasses, a little dried fruit, and some in cans, but nothing to sweeten it with.‖ [Lucy Virginia French, journal] December 9 Skirmishes at Dobbins‘ Ferry near LaVergne. Skirmish at Brentwood, 8th WI Battery drives CSA troops from their camps. 8th Kansas Battalion fires on 250-300 Rebel cavalry five miles south of Brentwood. December 10 Nathan Bedford Forrest is ordered to raid West Tennessee to relieve pressure on C.S. forces in Mississippi. December 11 C.S. President Jefferson Davis visits Army of Tennessee in Murfreesboro. Skirmishes occur at LaVergne and near Nashville. Meanwhile, Nathan Bedford Forrest leaves Columbia, Tennessee in an attempt to disrupt Ulysses S. Grant's line of communication in the advance on Vicksburg. Skirmish 7 miles south of Brentwood, BG David S. Stanley in command for Federals. December 11-12 Skirmishes at Franklin and on Wilson Creek Pike. Federals re-take control of Franklin. December 14 Attack on forage train and skirmish, Franklin Pike near Nashville. December 15 4th TN Cav attacks Federals near Nolensville. December 17
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Forrest crosses Tennessee River at Clifton, beginning raids into West Tennessee. December 18 Nathan Bedford Forrest attacks a detachment of Union cavalry east of Lexington, taking prisoners, supplies, and artillery. December 19 Affair at Spring Creek; Forrest demonstrates in front of Jackson while detachments destroy railroads and bridges. December 20 Capture of Humboldt and Trenton by C.S.A. troops under Forrest; C.S. attacks Grand Junction. Skirmishes near Brentwood and Nolensville (KY 2nd Cav U.S.). Tennessee Historical Marker,Grand Junction in Hardeman County, Tennessee, Grand Junction Grand Junction is named for its location, where the Memphis and Charleston and Mississippi Central Railroads intersect, and was strategically important to both Confederate and Union forces. After defeats at Shiloh and Corinth, Confederates tore up the tracks, hoping to delay the Federal pursuit. Union Gen. William T. Sherman oversaw much of the repair work in mid-1862. Later Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant made this place a staging ground for his Vicksburg campaign, storing "100,000 rations" and basing 40,000 U.S. soldiers here. Full citation December 21 Nathan Bedford Forrest moves to Union City, capturing Union forces at Rutherford Station and Kenton Station and destroying railroads; skirmish on Benjamin Smith's Plantation on Wilson Creek Pike (4th MI Cav and 4th KY Cav, U.S.); 7 CS killed and 10 captured. December 23-24 Series of skirmishes near Nashville. December 24 Skirmish at Middleburg. CSA Texas Rangers and 2nd GA Cav skirmish with Federals near Concord Baptist Church in Franklin. December 25
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Skirmishes at Prim‘s Blacksmith Shop, Edmonson Pike; and on Wilson Creek Pike between Brentwood and Petersburg. December 26 Nathan Bedford Forrest captures Dresden; skirmishes at Knob Gap, LaVergne, and Franklin; beginning of Murfreesboro/Stones River Campaign. Skirmish near Franklin, Official report December 26-30 Series of skirmishes at and near LaVergne. December 27 Skirmishes at Stewart‘s Creek Bridge on Murfreesboro Pike, and at Triune (65 U.S. killed); Forrest moves on McKenzie, learns of Federal pursuit. December 28 Skirmish at Perkins Mill on Elk Fork. ―We had to be ‗Santa Claus‘ ourselves this season for cakes, apples, a little candy, and some picture books were all that could be procured for the children. We had to tell them Santa Claus could not get thro‘ the pickets—Jessie wanted to know why ‗the old fellow couldn‘t go to his Quartermaster and get him a pass?‘ They seemed to enjoy their Christmas quite as well as usual however, notwith- standing that Santa Claus was blockaded.‖ December 29 Nathan Bedford Forrest arrives at Parker‘s Crossroads and sets up camp; Military Governor Andrew Johnson shuts down Nashville newspapers; U.S. Brigadier General Samuel Carter raids East Tennessee, destroying railroad bridges at Zollicoffer and Carter‘s Depot; skirmishes at Lizzards and Wilkinson‘s Cross-Roads. December 29-30 Skirmishes at and near Murfreesboro. December 30 Rosecrans moves toward Murfreesboro; C.S. General Joseph Wheeler makes a raid against Rosecrans at Nolensville, going completely around the Federal Army; skirmishes at Jefferson and Rock Spring; capture of Union, Tennessee; destruction of Watauga Bridge.
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CSA captures 600 U.S. troops, 450-500 wagons, hundreds of mules near LaVergne. December 31 Forrest fights at Parker's Crossroads/Red Mound trying to break through a Federal line after successful raids on Grant‘s supply lines and communications. As he begins to drive the Union troops back, he is attacked from behind by Gen. Jeremiah Sullivan. Surrounded, Forrest fights his way out and escapes, but loses nearly 300 men. Battle of Murfreesboro (Stones River) begins. Bragg‘s army pushes Federals back to the Nashville Turnpike. Skirmish at Overall‘s Creek. ―This has been a most eventful day. At daylight this morning very heavy cannonading was heard in the direction of Murfreesboro.... About 1 P.M. it was less frequent and seemed fainter—could it be that our [gallant] fellows were driving the Vandal before them?... Darlin‘ [her pet name for her husband John] went into town [McMinnville] and came home about 11 o‘clock with glorious news.... [Our troops] had whipped the enemy—loss heavy on both sides.... I could scarcely keep from crying for joy when Darlin‘ told me the news.... I could not sleep for thinking of the poor fellows who were lying on the battlefield— some cold in death —others shivering with cold and writhing in pain.... [But] who was there with a warm glance to cheer their last agonizing hours?... The surgeons are busy tonight—the little city of Murfreesboro is full of the wounded. God help them!‖ [Lucy Virginia French, journal] December 31-Jan 2 Battle of Stones River (also known as the Second Battle of Murfreesboro). Of the major battles, Stones River has the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. Although there is no clear victor, the Union Army's defense against two Confederate attacks and the subsequent Confederate withdrawal gives a much-needed boost to Union morale after their loss at Fredericksburg, and dashes Confederate hopes for control of Middle Tennessee. TSLA Notes: Resources: Brock, Darla K. Battles of Their Own: Memphis’s Civil War Women. Graduate thesis, 1994. Durham, Walter. The State of State History in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Library & Archives, 2008. Foner, Eric. ―The Tocsin of Freedom”: The Black Leadership of Radical Reconstruction. 31st Annual Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, Gettysburg College, 1992. Hunt, Robert E., Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University. th Lauder, Kathy B. ―This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19 Century Tennessee.‖ http://www.state.tn.us/tsla/exhibits/blackhistory/index.htm
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Principal reference sources, Tennessee State Library and Archives: Bonds of Public Officials – RG 319 Cartmell, Robert H. (1828-1915) Papers, 1849-1915 – II-L-2, 6 Cheairs, N. F., letters. Figuers Family Papers. III-F-4, Box 1-6. Ac. No. 1252. Cooper, W. F., Cooper Family Papers. V-L-1. Box 3-3. Donnell, James Webb Smith (1820-1877) Papers, 1829-1932 – THS III-E-3 Drane, James M. Drane Papers, IV-J-3, Box 1-5. Election Returns, 1859 County Elections – RG 87 Farmer, William F., letter, 5 February 1862. Farmer Collection. III-F-3. Box 1-9. Ac. No. 866. French, Lucy Virginia, War Journal. VIIM-2. Box 1, Folder 1. Ac. No. 89-200 & 73-25. Governor Isham G. Harris Papers, Box 1, f. 5 (1860); Box 3, f. 5 (1861) Hawkins, Annie Cole, Memoir, ca. 1895, McKenzie, TN. Ms. Files. I-B-7. Ac. No. 94-019(SG) Henderson, Samuel, Diary, 1834-1876], Manuscript Microfilm #148, one reel, Microfilm Only) House Journal Lawrence, William L.B., Diary. Lawrence Family Papers, 1780-1944 – IV-K-1 Lindsley, John Berrien, Diary. Lindsley Family Papers, ca. 1600-1943 – IV-D-3,4 Military Elections – RG 131 Nagy, J. Emerick (1903-1987), Nashville Public Schools Collection 1854-1958 – V-A-B-4; XII-D-6 Nichol, Bradford. Memoir, 1901. I-B-7. Box 2. Ac. No. 99-020. Public Acts of Tennessee, 1859-1860 Rose, Kenneth D., Music Collection Senate Journal Tennessee newspapers consulted: Appeal, Memphis Avalanche, Memphis Banner, Nashville Brownlow’s Tri-Weekly Whig, Knoxville Daily Appeal, MemphisDaily News, Nashville Citizen, Pulaski Daily Register, Knoxville Christian Advocate, Nashville Home Journal, Winchester Inquirer, Memphis Union and American, Nashville Weekly Chronicle, Clarksville
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January 1 President Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation. It frees all slaves in regions under Confederate control and authorizes the enlistment of black soldiers. Note that it does not outlaw slavery in all areas of the country. Tennessee, which is under Union control (and whose constitution will be among the first to ban slavery); Southern Louisiana, which has remained loyal to the Union; and the border states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri are exempt from the Emancipation Proclamation, even though slavery exists in its cruelest forms in all six states. [See September 5, 1864] Lucy Virginia French of McMinnville writes in her journal: ―A New Year commenced today—heaven grant that ere it ends peace may reign among us once more.... I rose with new thanksgivings for the victory of yesterday [Stones River]....Old Abe is said to have revoked his Emancipation Proclamation—his message is a ‗funny‘ document—the butt and laughing stock of all Europe—in it he recommends ‗gradual‘ emancipation.‖ Skirmishes near Clifton as Nathan Bedford Forrest crosses the Tennessee River there, On his way out of West Tennessee; skirmishes at and near LaVergne and at Stewart‘s Creek. January 2 C.S. General Breckinridge attacks the Federal position at Stones River late in the day. Although initially successful, he is eventually repulsed & withdraws. With 23,000 casualties, Murfreesboro/Stones River is the second bloodiest battle fought west of the Appalachians during the Civil War. Rosecrans‘ victory goes a long way toward restoring Union morale: Lincoln later writes: "I can never forget ... you gave us a hardearned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over." [http://www.nps.gov/stri/] Fort Donelson: skirmish near Bloods. January 3 Fort Donelson: skirmishes near Cox‘s Hill and the Insane Asylum; skirmish near Somerville. Post-Murfreeesboro action detail: Letter, 11th TX Cavalry soldier, great action detail Letter, 19th Illinois soldier's description of the battle Account from 25th Alabama soldier of Battle of Murfreesboro January 4
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Skirmishes on Manchester Pike; at Monterey; at and near Murfreesboro. ―Battle of Murfreesboro—Far as the eye could reach stood the two vast armies, silent and motionless, and it almost seemed, instead of foes drawn up for battle, to be some brilliant holiday parade, but at length a volley of musketry from the extreme left told too plainly that the work of death had in reality begun....‖ [Murfreesboro Daily Rebel Banner] January 5 Skirmishes at Lytle‘s Creek on Manchester Pike; and on Shelbyville Pike. Correspondents from Murfreesboro report that all blacks found in service to the Union Army are immediately shot by Confederate troops. One writer mentions seeing 20 bodies of murdered African Americans lying along Murfreesboro Pike. [New York Times.] January 7 The Philadelphia Press reports that all the bridges in East Tennessee have been burned. Other reports state that the East Tennessee Railroad has been destroyed, along with a locomotive and two cars, and that raiders have taken a large store of arms, flour, salt, and other supplies. [Richmond Examiner] January 8 Skirmish at Knob Creek near Ripley. > Union letter gives insight into action in Memphis January 8-14 Brigadier Gen. Joseph Wheeler‘s cavalry attacks Union Gen. Rosecrans’ supply train in Tennessee, burning over 450 Union supply wagons and capturing over 2400 Union prisoners. January 9 > Sergeant Asa M. Weston of the 50th Ohio Infantry, Company K. writes about events leading up to Morgan's raid early-January In his diary, William L. B. Lawrence writes of the ―‘Reign of Terror‘ which I hope never to see enacted again, communication between this place & Louis- ville being cut off giving license to Federal Soldiery to [commit] acts of barbarism unbecoming a civilized people even toward a savage foe....The great & bloody Battle of Stone‘s River has just been fought & is now a matter of history.‖ January 10
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Skirmish near Clifton. January 11 Skirmish at Lowry‘s Ferry. Nathan Bedford Forrest is reported to be in Franklin, ―collecting horses, provisions, and conscripts.‖ [New York Times] January 12 Affair at Ashland. January 13 Affair at Harpeth Shoals; skirmish at Chamber‘s Creek near Hamburg. January 14 Lt. Gen. Kirby Smith is transferred to the command of Trans-Mississippi. Maj. Gen. Simon Buckner takes command of the C.S. Department of East Tennessee. January 17 In Tennessee, General Bragg has been replaced by General Longstreet, whose army is now at Shelbyville.Forrest is attacking steamboats on the Cumberland River, and 2500 rebel troops are encamped near Savannah, Hardin County. Fighting is reported in Galveston, Texas, and on the Arkansas River. January 19 Skirmish at Woodbury. January 21 Skirmish on Shelbyville Pike; capture of railroad train near Murfreesboro. January 23 Skirmishes at Carthage and on Bradyville Pike near Murfreesboro. January 25 Skirmish near Mill Creek. January 27
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Affair near Germantown. January 28 Skirmishes near Colliersville, Nashville, and Yorkville. January 30-31 Skirmishes at Dyersburg, Middleton, Rover, and Unionville. January 31-Feb 13 Expedition from Murfreesboro to Franklin.
February 1 Franklin is occupied by Union troops under Col. Robert Johnson. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his staff narrowly escape. February 3 Skirmishes at Dover and Cumberland Iron Works; Wheeler and Forrest unsuccessfully attack Ft. Donelson, and are driven off with heavy losses. February 3-5 Expedition from Murfreesboro to Auburn, Liberty, and Alexandria. February 4-7 Series of skirmishes near Murfreesboro. The Army of the Cumberland is still occupying Murfreesboro and the surrounding area, as its mechanics and engineers work to repair roads and bridges. They face constant attacks from Wheeler, Forrest, and Starns. ―Contrabands – deserters from Forrest – say that he intends fortifying Columbia, and also to make a dash on Nashville during some of our nights of darkness.‖ [New York Times, Feb. 5] February 8 Union troops enter Lebanon and capture 600 prisoners. February 9 Affair near Moscow.
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February 12 Confederate troops defeat a detachment of the First Cavalry at Bolivar. February 13 Skirmish at Rover. Skirmishes continue at Harper‘s Ferry, and at bridges and railroads throughout the South. Troops continue to gather near Vicksburg. February 15 Skirmishes near Auburn, Cainsville, and Nolensville; skirmishing at Nashville and Clarksville. The Army of the Cumberland, now based in Murfreesboro, issues orders on how African Americans can be employed – as teamsters and laborers in Quartermasters‘ departments; as cooks, nurses, and hospital attendants; as company cooks and officers‘ servants. February 16 Skirmish at Bradyville – Union forces under Gen. Stanley defeat a portion of John Morgan‘s division, taking 70 prisoners, including 8 officers, their camp equipage, tents, 300 new saddles, 70 horses, and Basil Duke‘s regimental papers. A report from Nashville mentions that 26 buildings are used throughout the city as hospitals for sick and wounded soldiers. > Letter, 36th Illinois soldier writes post-Murfreesboro action February 17-20 Expedition from Murfreesboro to Liberty. February 18 Skirmish at Moscow. A report from Nashville says the ―Cumberland River is cleared of the rebels between Clarksville and Nashville. The river is much swollen, and is rising. The cotton lands are overflown.‖ [New York Times] February 19 Skirmish near Rover. February 20 Skirmish on Shelbyville Pike.
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February 22 Skirmish on Manchester Pike. February 23 Confederate spy Belle Boyd is serenaded in Knoxville by the Florida Brass Band. When the crowd outside her home demands her presence, she appears in a window and thanks them for the compliment. [New York Times] > Letter from 61st Illinois Chaplain, writing from Bolivar February 25 Confederate Gen. Van Dorn establishes cavalry headquarters at Spring Hill. His command includes Forrest‘s brigade. February 27 Skirmish near Bloomington on Hatchie River. Fighting takes place at Vicksburg, with heavy losses reported on both sides – the gunboat Indianola is captured by the Confederates. [Petersburgh Express]
March 1 Skirmishes at Bradyville and near Woodbury. March 2 Skirmishes at Eagleville and near Petersburg. March 3 Skirmish near Bear Creek. March 4 Skirmish near Franklin. Coverage of action in Spring Hill, Tenn., in the March 7th, 1863 – New York Evening Post March 4-5
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Skirmishes at and near Chapel Hill, Unionville, Spring Hill, Thompson's Station. At Unionville, the 17th Pennsylvania and the 4th Michigan Cavalry attack Russell‘s cavalry; the Confederates lose 50 killed and 180 wounded, all by saber strokes; 58 are taken prisoner. At Spring Hill Confederate Cavalry under Earl Van Dorn and Nathan Bedford Forrest drive Union Cavalry off on the 4th, then surround and engage the remaining infantry. After heavy fighting on the 5th, the Union garrison surrenders. The Confederate victory disrupts Phil Sheridan‘s move against Columbia. March 6 Skirmish at Christiana. March 8-9 Skirmishes at and near Triune and at Thompson‘s Station. March 9-10 Skirmishes near Covington. March 10 Skirmishes near Murfreesboro and Moscow. March 10-11 Skirmish at Rutherford Creek. March 10-16 Scouting party to Lafayette and skirmish there. March 11 Van Dorn withdraws in the face of a superior U.S. force, but stops their advance at the Duck River. March 12-20 Expedition from Columbus KY to Perryville. March 13 Skirmish at Rover. March 14
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Skirmish at Davis‘ Mill. March 15 Skirmish at Rover. Frederick Douglass encourages northern blacks to enlist in the Union Army. March 16 ―Lincoln is a dictator!‖ [Lucy Virginia French, journal] March 17 On this date the Frenches host a dinner party for Gen. & Mrs. John Hunt Morgan. Lucy Virginia French remembers the evening in her journal: ―I had the richest, clearest, and hottest coffee, light bread, biscuit, and waffles, potato cakes, stewed peaches and apples, cole slaw, chicken salad, pickles sweet and sour, golden butter, a splendidly done turkey, and fine boiled ham, and to crown the repast a very large ―snow cake‖ that would just melt in your mouth, and a stand of the most elegant custard in silver cups. How everybody seemed to enjoy that supper! We had a charming time and everything passed off completely to my satisfaction.... Mrs. Morgan [the former Martha ―Mattie‖ Ready of Murfreesboro] was dressed in crimson silk with a black figure in it—point lace and pearls. I wore blue silk—Betty Reid had on a gray and Miss Sophie light blue silk— Mrs. Read a blue silk—Mollie Armstrong looked tawdry as usual‖ March 19 Skirmishes at Liberty, Richland Station, and Spring Hill; skirmish near College Grove. Rumors spread that a battle is imminent in the neighborhood of Tullahoma. (The Tullahoma campaign will occur between June 24 and July 3.) March 20 Action at Vaught‘s Hill, near Milton. March 21 Skirmishes at Salem and Triune. March 22 Skirmish near Murfreesboro. Parson Brownlow writes a letter to the Philadelphia Press, saying: ―We hope, in Tennessee, to have the rebel forces driven down into the Cotton States by late in the Spring or early in the Summer, so as to enable us to elect members of the Legislature and a Governor, all of loyal men. Then we shall redistrict the State and elect loyal Congressmen and Senators, so as to have them in Washing- ton next Winter to back
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up the Administration and the army, and oppose the mad schemes of the Copperheads. We will also elect Judges, organize our Courts, and again put the machinery of civil government in motion.‖ March 23 Skirmish at Thompson‘s Station March 24 Skirmish on Davis‘ Mill Road near LaGrange; Forrest attacks Brentwood and captures a Federal garrison. March 25 Confederate cavalry under Forrest, Wheeler, and Wharton, cross the Harpeth River six miles above Franklin and attack Union forces at Brentwood. Three hundred Union soldiers are taken captive. [NYT] > Read New York Evening Post account March 27 Skirmish on Woodbury Pike. March 29 Affair at Moscow; action near Belmont. > Letter from 78th PA soldier at Murfreesboro March 30 The Boston Evening Gazette reports on action near Tullahoma March 31 - Apr 1 Skirmishes near Franklin and Eagleville.
April 1 Skirmish on Columbia Pike. April 2
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Skirmish on Carter Creek Pike. Several gunboats on the Cumberland are fired on, but none receive serious damage, although several of their crew are slightly injured. April 3 Skirmish on Smith‘s Ford or Snow Hill; skirmish at Liberty. April 4 Skirmishes at Woodbury, on Lewisburg Pike, and on Noconah Creek near Memphis. Reports from Florence, Alabama, say that the Confederates are building bridges and floats for crossing the Tennessee River in order to facilitate troop movements through that area. April 5 Skirmish at Davis‘ Mill. April 6 Skirmish near Green Hill. > Letter from 112th Illinois soldier April 7 Skirmish at Liberty. April 7-11 Wheeler‘s Raid on Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. April 8 Confederate troops capture and burn the steamers Saxonia and Lovell near Clarksville. April 9 Skirmish near Obion River. April 10 Affair at Antioch Station. Engagement at Franklin, when Van Dorn‘s forces attack General Granger. Confederate forces 200 strong attack a passenger train on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad near LaVergne, killing a number of guards, destroying the train, and tearing up a section of track. [NYT]
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April 11 Col. Abel Streight leaves Palmyra with 1,500 Federals on a raid that ends in Rome, Georgia. Streight‘s troops are intercepted and harassed by Forrest‘s men until their definitive encounter on April 30. April 12 Engagement at Stewartsborough. April 13 Skirmish near Chapel Hill. April 16 Skirmish near Eagleville. April 18 Skirmish at Hartsville. Skirmish near Memphis. U.S. Col. Benjamin Grierson leaves LaGrange on a raid into Mississippi. April 19 Skirmish at Trenton. A report in the Savannah (GA) News refers to the threat of general starvation and urges people to grow their own food. April 22 Skirmish at Hartsville. Col. Wilder‘s troops take McMinnville, capturing food and other supplies, a cotton factory, two mills, and 300 prisoners; and destroying the bridges. April 23 Skirmish on Shelbyville Pike. April 26 Affair near College Grove; skirmish at Duck River Island or Little Rock Landing. April 27
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Skirmish on Carter Creek Pike, eight miles south of Franklin. A rumor circulates that Gen. Bragg has been shot and killed by Gen. Breckinridge. As attractive an idea as that might seem to Breckinridge, the rumor is soon proved to be without merit. April 30 Gen. Streight's force is routed at the Battle of Day‘s Gap; Forrest takes Streight prisoner and sends him to Libby Prison. Streight will eventually escape by tunneling out from his barracks and will return to his own lines. Confederate deserters who come across to the Union lines near Murfreesboro speak of fighting on limited food rations – although they have sufficient flour and meal, they get only a quarter ration of bacon.
May 2 Skirmish at Thompson‘s Station. > Van Dorn requests aid to fight Federals May 4 Affair near Nashville. May 5 Thirty-three members of the 27th New Jersey Regiment drown in the Cumberland River when the flatboat transporting them sinks. Nineteen of the men are from the same town (Rockaway). May 6 As Gen. R. S. Granger assumes command of Nashville, a number of Confederate sympathizers are sent South, among them the Hon. Neill M. Brown, a former governor of Tennessee. [New York Times] May 7 Gen. Earl Van Dorn is murdered in his Spring Hill headquarters by an irate civilian, Dr. Peters of Maury County, who claims Van Dorn has been carrying on an affair with his wife (and who is never brought to trial for the murder). May 9 Affair near Caney Fork. May 11
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Skirmishes at LaFayette and Lebanon. May 12 Skirmish at Linden, in Perry County. May 13 Skirmishes near South Union and Woodbury. May 14 10th Wisconsin soldier writes near Murfreesboro, ―. . . . the army is no place for one to improve their morals.‖ May 17 Skirmish on Bradyville Pike. May 18 Skirmish on Horn Lake Creek. May 20 Skirmish at Collierville. May 21-22 Expedition from Murfreesboro to Middleton, and skirmish. May 22 Skirmish on Yellow Creek. May 24-25 Skirmishes around Woodbury – Union Col. Wilder chases Col. Breckin- ridge‘s troops for several miles, capturing nine prisoners, 25 serviceable horses, and 30 beef cattle. May 29-30 Skirmishes at Hamburg Landing and Jordan‘s Store. May, no date
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Affair at Obion Plank Road Crossing.
June 2 Gen. Payne writes from Gallatin to Gen. Rosecrans that he has put into effect a plan to change slave labor in his area to compensated labor: male workers are hired out at $8 and females at $5 to their former masters, who ―declare that they never had so much work done, nor half so well done, before.‖ [NYT] June 3 Skirmish on the Manchester Pike near Murfreesboro. June 4 Skirmishes near Marshall Knob, Snow Hill, and Triune. Heavy cannon- ading from an engagement at Franklin can be heard in Nashville, when Col. Baird‘s garrison is attacked by four Confederate brigades led by Forrest. Baird‘s men fall back into their entrenchments, but rally and drive their opponents off. June 6 Skirmish on Shelbyville Pike. June 7-9 Skirmishes at Triune and Spring Hill. The railroad bridge over the Little Harpeth River at Brentwood is slightly burned but is repaired within a day. Two spies are caught and hanged at Murfreesboro; one is a cousin of Robert E. Lee. June 11 Forrest attacks Gen. Mitchell‘s troops at Triune; Morgan departs Alexandria with 2,500 troops for a series of raids into Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Morgan‘s raids represent the most northern penetration by uniformed Confederate troops at any time during the war. > Read NY Evening Post account of Triune action > Read the Springfield Republican account June 14 Skirmish near Green Hill.
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June 14-24 Sanders‘ raid in East Tennessee. June 15 U.S. Col. William Sanders raids East Tennessee; affair near Trenton. June 15-17 Expedition to and skirmish near Lebanon. June 17 Affair at Wartburg. Gen. Bragg has amassed 18 brigades of infantry and cavalry, estimated at 40,000 men, reportedly in preparation of an invasion of Kentucky in cooperation with Buckner, whose troops are currently in Knoxville. June 19 Action at Triune; affair at Lenoir‘s Station – Col. Carter raids East Tenn. with 3,000 cavalry, destroying the Lenoir Bros. factory and some railroad track. June 19-20 Skirmishes at and near Knoxville. > Tennessee Historical Marker, Civil War Knoxville June 20 Skirmishes at Dixon Springs, Strawberry Plains, and Powder Springs Gap. June 22 Skirmish at Powell Valley. June 23 Rosecrans begins a campaign to maneuver Bragg out of Tennessee. Skirmish at Uniontown. June 23-July 7 Tullahoma Campaign (also Middle Tennessee Campaign): the Union‘s Army of the Cumberland, based in the area of Murfreesboro, Tennessee maneuvers the Confederate Army of Tennessee out of its positions
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just to the south, near Shelbyville and Wartrace, driving the Southern troops out of middle Tennessee completely and into a fortified garrison in Chattanooga. [http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11758/intro_main.html] Tennessee Historical Marker, Army of Tennessee at Tullahoma June 24 Skirmishes at Big Springs Branch and at and near Christiana. June 24-26 Skirmishes at Hoover‘s Gap. Tennessee Historical Maker (Coffee County), Beech Grove — 18th Indiana Battery Hoover‘s Gap, TN, June 24, 1863. The 18th Indiana Battery, commanded by Capt. Eli Lilly, dislodged one Confederate artillery piece and forced the Confederate batteries to change position. The battery, along with Wilder‘s Brigade, did considerable damage to the advancing Confederate infantry with double rounds of canister. This battle opened middle TN to the Union forces, resulting in the advance of the Union Army to Chattanooga and Georgia. The battery was formed in Indianapolis, IN. Tennessee Historical Marker (Coffee County), Beech Grove — 2E 40 — Beech Grove Engagement On June 24, 1863, Union forces under Rosecrans overpowered Confederate defenders on Hoover‘s Gap, commanded by Stewart, Bate, and Bushrod Johnson. This was the beginning of Bragg‘s withdrawal to Chattanooga. Unknown soldiers who fell in the battle are buried in the cemetery to the southeast. June 24-27 Skirmish at Liberty Gap. Tennessee Historical Marker (Coffee County), Beech Grove — 2E 24 — Army of the Cumberland — June 24-26, 1863 Reynolds‘ Division of the XIV Corps forced Hoover‘s Gap, driving a task force of Bate‘s & Bushrod Johnson‘s Brigades back to Fairfield, 5 mi. S.W., whence it had come. The XIV Corps reunited with other units of Rosecrans‘ army at Manchester, thus getting in the Confederate rear and forcing Bragg‘s withdrawal to Chattanooga. June 25-27 Skirmishes at Fosterville and Guy‘s Gap. The Army of the Cumberland has secured Hoover‘s, Guy‘s, and Liberty gaps. Now outflanked, Bragg withdraws.
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June 26 Skirmish at Beech Grove. Buckner and Burnside meet at Big Creek Gap, in East Tennessee. Buckner retreats and Burnside falls back to cover Knoxville. June 27 Skirmish at Fairfield; action at Shelbyville; Manchester is occupied by Union forces. Tennessee Historical Marker (Bedford County), Shelbyville — 3G 6 — Army of the Cumberland — June 27, 1863 The Reserve Corps (Granger) moved south along this road, screened by the Army‘s Cavalry (D.S. Stanley). Taking Guy‘s Gap, against minor resistance, they pushed rapidly into Shelbyville, evacuated the same morning by the Corps of Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, which withdrew to Tullahoma. Tennessee Historical Marker (Bedford County), Shelbyville — 3G 22 — Confederate Cemetery In the cemetery north of the road are buried Confederate soldiers of the Army of Tennessee, who fell while opposing the advance of Rosecrans‘ Army of the Cumberland through Liberty Gap and Guy‘s Gap, in late June, 1863. Also buried here are soldiers of Forrest‘s Cavalry, killed in minor operations. June 29 Skirmishes near Lexington, Hillsborough, and Decherd. June 29-30 Skirmishes near Tullahoma as Bragg‘s army abandons Shelbyville and retreats toward Chattanooga. Tennessee Historical Marker, 3G 22, Shelbyville in Bedford County, Tennessee, Confederate Cemetery In the cemetery north of the road are buried Confederate soldiers of the Army of Tennessee, who fell while opposing the advance of Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland through Liberty Gap and Guy's Gap, in late June, 1863. Also buried here are soldiers of Forrest's Cavalry, killed in minor operations. Full citation June 30 Skirmish at Butler‘s Mill. Summer 1863 Nashville has become a surprisingly dynamic city: it provides medical care, maintenance, and supplies for the war effort and the railroads; it attracts refugees, both black and white (including multitudes fleeing
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Confederate occupation in East Tennessee, and a huge number of contraband workers and their families); and it supplies food, rest, and recreation for military personnel, including ―a licensed and medically regulated prostitution district.‖ [Hunt]
July 1 Thomas F. Perkins, Jr., member of Company I, 11th TN Cavalry writes about action at Pulaski. July 1-2 The occupation of Tullahoma by Union forces brings no joy to Rosecrans, who sees Bragg‘s move to a more defensible position on the Tennessee River as a potential trap. Skirmishes at and near Bethpage Bridge, Elk River. July 2 Skirmishes at Morris‘s Ford and Rock Creek Ford on the Elk River; other skirmishes at Pelham and Estill Springs. July 3 Skirmish at Boiling Fork near Winchester. July 4 After a long siege, Confederates surrender Vicksburg to Ulysses S. Grant, thus securing the Mississippi River for the Union. Following the Confederate losses at Tullahoma, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg, many people mistakenly assume the war is nearly over. However, the South is more resilient and the Union less sound than many people believe. Nevertheless, this moment, with major Union wins at both Gettysburg and Vicksburg, is considered the turning point of the Civil War. Skirmish near University Depot. Wheeler‘s Cavalry at Sewanee covers Confederate retreat. Bragg‘s Army of Tennessee reaches Chattanooga. Tennessee Historical Marker (Bedford County), Wartrace — 3G 42 — Beechwood Plantation The Beechwood Plantation house, which formerly stood at this site, was an important Confederate headquarters during the Tullahoma Campaign. It was built for Col. Andrew Erwin, Jr. and family in 1826. The Erwins, who were southern sympathizers, lavishly entertained local society and Confederate officers during the Civil War. In 1863, Gen. Braxton Bragg‘s Army of Tennessee was camped along the Duck River line. Gen William J. Hardee camped at Wartrace and made Beechwood his headquarters. — Map (db m25862)
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Tennessee Historical Marker, Franklin County, Army of Tennessee, Sewannee - 2E 21 Here, and extending 2 miles S.W., occurred the last battle of the Middle Tennessee Campaign. Protecting Bragg's withdrawal, Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, with Texas Rangers and the 4th Tenn. Cav., repulsed an attack by the 5th & 6th Ky. Cav., under Col. Lewis Watkins, screening advance of Rosecrans' Union forces. July 5 Skirmish at Yellow Creek. July 10 Skirmish at Bolivar; capture of outpost at Union City. July 11-26 Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan leads his men from Sparta, TN, into Indiana and Ohio on a highly publicized series of raids. Its timing, which coincides with the Vicksburg and Gettysburg campaigns, seems not to be strategically related to the other campaigns, although it does draw thousands of Federal troops away from their normal duties. After July 20 U.S. troops will begin to have greater success in stopping Hunt‘s advance and taking prisoners. July 13-15 Cavalry skirmish at Jackson; skirmish at Forked Deer River. July 14 Gen. Bragg‘s army has retreated from Chattanooga to Atlanta. July 15 Skirmish at Pulaski. July 16 Letter, PA soldier describes action in Franklin, July 1863 July 17 Skirmish on Stone‘s River. July 18 Skirmish near Memphis.
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July 24 Gen. Rosecrans arrives in Nashville, inspecting offices, gunboats, and Hospitals, where he takes time to visit with many convalescing soldiers. [NYT] July 26 John Hunt Morgan and his men, thwarted in their attempts to move south, are captured at West Point in Columbiana County, Ohio. The enlisted men are sent to military prisons; the officers are sent to the Ohio State Penitentiary. Morgan and seven of his men will eventually tunnel out of prison and return to the Confederacy, continuing the raids until his death in September of 1864. Lucy Virginia French writes in her journal from Beersheba Springs, Grundy County: ―Scenes enacted here beggar description. Early in the morning the sack of the place began. But a few of the ―bushwhackers‖ were in—the mountain people came in crowds and with vehickles [sic] of all sorts and carried off everything they could from both hotel and cottages.... They were emptying Mrs. [Cockrill‘s] house as we went to the school house, and two rough fellows were in our room playing the melodeon.... [The] scenes we witnessed are indescribable. Gaunt, ill-looking men and slatternly, rough barefooted women stalking & racing To and fro, eager as famished wolves for prey, hauling out furniture—tearing up matting and carpets.‖ July 27 Letter from 51st Illinois soldier, detailing campaign in the Cumberland Mountains July 29 Skirmish near Fort Donelson. Lucy French describes the pillaging at her Grundy County residence: ―[The Union soldiers] amused themselves by pulling down the chandeliers in the dining room, throwing ink bottles against the wall in the office—setting up bottles of wine upon the long Piazza and rolling nine-pin balls at them—using bottles for pins, (the Piazza floor was crimsoned with claret,) cutting the green cloth from the elegant billiard tables, one of which they broke to pieces, and divers other capers of like caliber such as distinguish Yankees wherever they may go.‖ July 30 Skirmish at Grand Junction.
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Skirmish near Denmark. Parson Brownlow makes a speech in Cincinnati in which he comments on ―the drawing to a close of this infernal war of rebellion. The thing is pretty near played out. We commenced to celebrate the Fourth of July about three weeks ago, and we have been celebrating it ever since!‖ August 5 In her diary Lucy Virginia French reveals that she and her friends have begun calling the bushwhackers ―the Gentlemen.‖ Bushwhackers are army ―irregulars,‖ crude & primitive, who hide in the woods, attack the opposition, and loot the locals. Hearing of their presence, Lucy has hidden her valuables— china, silver, and papers—―out in the bushes on the hanging cliffs below us.‖ August 9 Skirmish at Sparta. August 12 Lucy French‘s journal illustrates her despair at finding herself beset not only by the Yankee soldiers but by Confederate ―bushwhackers‖ as well: ―On Sunday last when I wrote in my journal I was ... so low down as to persuade myself I didn‘t care one jot for the Confederacy or anybody in it—which was a dreadful pass for me to come to. About dark I was walking on the gallery—we were all out there ... when three horsemen dashed by at full speed—we caught our breath, and ‗Bushwhackers!‘ was echoed from lip to lip.‖ August 16 - September 22 8th Tennessee Cavalry (C.S.) is attacked near Sparta by Col. Minty‘s U.S. Cavalry. Rosecrans moves against Chattanooga as the Chickamauga Campaign begins. August 16 - October 19 East Tennessee Campaign. August 17 Skirmish at Calfkiller Creek near Sparta. August 19 Skirmish at Weem‘s Springs. August 21 Action at Shellmound (now under Lake Nickajack). Eli Lilly‘s Battery of the Army of the Cumberland (U.S.) shells Chattanooga. August 25
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The Army of the Cumberland is on the move, preparatory to planned strikes against Confederate forces at Chattanooga and Knoxville. August 26-27 Skirmishes at Harrison‘s Landing, and at the Narrows, near Shellmound. August 28 Skirmish at Jacksborough. Burnside (U.S.) advances on Knoxville. August 30 ―Every day hundreds of citizens come unto our camp and gaze upon our banners with tears in their eyes, and with trembling voice thank God for their long looked for deliverance. For the first time since we have been in the field, we find ourselves among our friends, their hearts are warm in our cause. They hate rebels and rebellion with an intensity that should make lukewarm loyalists blush, and their devotion to the Government has not been without cost. Oh no, they have lost husbands and fathers, sons and brothers, houses and lands, and they have refused to be tempted by rich bribes…‖ - Jonathan B. Holmes 6th Ohio Infantry, writing from East Tennessee August 31 Skirmish at Winter‘s Cap.
September 1 Crittenden‘s Corps (U.S.) open northern approaches to Chattanooga as Thomas‘s and McCook‘s Corps approach from the south. Buckner joins Bragg in Chattanooga. September 2-4 Occupation of Knoxville by Union forces under General Burnside. Generals Grant and Thomas are currently in New Orleans, although Thomas will soon move his troops to Tennessee to support Rosecrans at Chattanooga. Tennessee Historical Marker, Knoxville in Knox County, The 1863 Siege of Knoxville After defeating the Union Army of the Cumberland in the bloody battle of Chickamauga (Sep 18-20, 1863) and besieging the Federal provisions in the city of Chattanooga, Confederate Army of Tennessee Commander Gen. Braxton Bragg turned his attention to driving Gen. Ambrose F. Burnside‘s Army of the Ohio out of East Tennessee. Burnside had moved his army from Kentucky into Knoxville on Sept 3, 1863
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following the Confederates‘ abandonment of the city on Aug. 25-26. Full citation September 5 Skirmishes at Tazewell, Conyersville, and Driver‘s Ferry. September 6 Skirmishes near Sweetwater and Wartrace. September 7 Skirmish in Lookout Valley. September 8 Action at Limestone Station or Telford‘s Station, where 300 Union soldiers from the 105th Ohio Volunteers are taken prisoner by Gen. A. E. Jackson‘s men. Bragg‘s Army of Tennessee leaves Chattanooga, moving to Lafayette, Georgia. September 9 Skirmish at Friar‘s Island; Chattanooga is occupied by Union forces without a fight. September 10 The Bureau of U.S. Colored Troops opens in Nashville. More than 20,000 of the 180,000 USCT will be from Tennessee, and over 5,000 casualties will occur in the state. [http://www.tnstate.edu/library/digital/document.htm] George Luther Stearns, Assistant Adjutant General for the Recruitment of Colored Troops, is put in charge of USCT recruiting in Tennessee. A fervent abolitionist, Stearns was John Brown‘s largest financial backer and even owned the rifles Brown had used at Harper‘s Ferry. Recruited the Union‘s first African American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts and will later be a leader in establishing the Freedmen‘s Bureau. September 11 Lincoln urges Andrew Johnson to establish a civil government in Tennessee. Johnson and Forrest skirmish with Union troops near Dalton, GA. September 12-13 Skirmishes at Rheatown, Clark‘s Creek church, and Paris. September 14
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Skirmish at Henderson. September 15 Sally Wendell Fentress writes in her diary: ―Aunt Rebecka Hicks has three sons in the Confederate Army. George Fentress is in the army, too, poor fellow. I feel so sorry for him sometimes. I do not know if he is an imbecile or not, but I am inclined to think him a regular fool.‖ September 16 Skirmish at Montezuma. September 18 Affair near Fort Donelson; skirmishes at Calhoun and Cleveland. September 19 Skirmishes at Bristol and Como. Battle of Chickamauga. Confederate right attacks Federal Army. Longstreet arrives at midnight to join Bragg at Resaca, Georgia. September 20 At Chickamauga the Confederates fail to turn the U.S. left, but Longstreet exploits a gap in the U.S. line, winning a Confederate victory that is the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Rosecrans withdraws to Chattanooga. Only the stand of George Thomas on Horseshoe Ridge keeps this from being a complete rout. The bloodiest two days in U.S. history cost the Federals 1,657 dead, 9,756 wounded, and 4,757 missing for a total of 16,170 casualties out of 58,000 troops. The Confederate losses are 2,312 dead, 14,674 wounded and 1,468 missing – 18,545 out of 66,000 troops. > Entry in John Berrien Lindsley‘s journal: ―At African church a negro man shot down by the guards engaged in pressing. It is the custom of the Military authorities to go to the colored people‘s churches on Sunday when they wish to make a big haul of pressed men. The man died afterwards – Briggs attended him.‖ > Parson Brownlow, overjoyed that Knoxville has fallen into Union hands, announces that he will soon relaunch his newspaper under a new name: Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator. September 20-21 Action at Zollicoffer and at Jonesborough.
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September 22 Action at Missionary Ridge and Shallow Ford Gap, both near Chattanooga. September 23 Skirmishes at Cumberland Gap, Lookout Mountain, and Summertown. September 23-26 Skirmishes in front of Chattanooga. September 25 Skirmishes at Charleston. September 26 Skirmishes at Calhoun and Winchester. Gen. Sam Houston dies at his home in Huntsville, Texas. He is 70 years old. September 27 Skirmishes near Philadelphia; skirmish at Locke‘s Mill near Moscow. September 28 Skirmishes at Jonesborough and Buell‘s Ford. Over 5,000 wounded have been brought to Nashville from the fighting at Chickamauga; about 1,300 Confederate prisoners have also passed through the city on their way to northern prison camps. September 29 Skirmishes at Leesburg and Friendship Church. Grant is sent to Chattanooga, and given the option of replacing Rosecrans with Thomas. Although Grant has no fondness for either man, he will place Thomas in command of the Army of the Cumberland shortly before the Battles for Chattanooga in November. September 30 After being ordered to turn his command over to Wheeler, Forrest is transferred to the West Tennessee/Mississippi area to raise another command. Wheeler raids Rosecrans‘ line of communication. Skirmish at Swallow Bluffs. September 30 - October 17
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Wheeler & Roddey raid Rosecrans‘ line of communications from the Sequatchie Valley almost to Nashville, then back to Decatur, Georgia. Neverthe- less. Rosecrans position in Chattanooga is considered impregnable.
October 1 Skirmish at Mountain Gap near Smith‘s Cross-Roads. The collapse of a stairway in Nashville‘s unfinished Maxwell House Hotel, which is being used as a military residence and prison, drops nearly 300 Confederate prisoners three stories, killing six men and injuring nearly 100 more. October 2 Skirmishes at Dunlap, Greeneville, and Valley Road near Jasper. Jefferson Davis insists that ―snatching Tennessee from the Abolitionists‖ is urgent. [NYT] October 2-8 Series of skirmishes near Chattanooga. October 3 Skirmish at Bear Creek. The Richmond Examiner reports that the Southern victory at Chickamauga gained little for the Confederacy, since ―the enemy hold Chattanooga and East Tennessee, which were the prizes of the battle.‖ The article goes on to say that ―Jeff Davis will soon again have to make the mournful confession he made 18 months ago, that the Confederacy ‗has undertaken more than it has the means of achieving.‘‖ October 5 Skirmish at Blue Springs. October 5-6 Skirmishes near Readyville. Confederate troops destroy a large railroad bridge south of Murfreesboro. October 6 Skirmish at Wartrace. October 7 Skirmish at Shelbyville, near Sims‘ Farm.
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October 9 Affair at Railroad Tunnel, near Cowan; skirmishes at Sugar Creek and Elk River. October 10 Skirmish at Blue Springs. October 10-11 Skirmishes at Sweetwater. October 10-14 Skirmishes near Hartsville. October 11 Skirmish at Rheatown; action at Colliersville. Tennessee Historical Marker, Battle of Collierville, Shelby County "Collierville's location on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad made it strategically important throughout the Civil War. Frequently occupied by Union forces, the town found itself in the gun sights of Confederate cavalrymen intent on severing Federal lines of communication and supply." See full citation October 12 ―We are environed by dangers on every side and live as it were on the brink of a precipice. Robberies take place every day or two, and we know not when our turn may come. Lawless men roam at large, all about, belonging to neither, or both armies, but whose only object is rapine and plunder. I see that the AbolitionNashville Union exalts in the fact that Warren county has been desolated.‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] October 14 Skirmish near Loudon. October 15 Skirmish at Bristol. October 15 & 20 Skirmish at Philadelphia.
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October 16 Skirmish near Island No. 10. October 19 Skirmish at Spurgeon‘s Mill. U.S. Grant assumes command of the Armies of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and of Kentucky. George Thomas (U.S.) replaces Rosecrans as commander of the Army of the Cumberland. Rosecrans, ordered to Cincinnati where he will eventually be reassigned, will never again play a major role in the war. October 21 Skirmish at Sulphur Springs. October 22 Skirmishes at New Madrid Bend, Kingston Spring, and Columbia. October 23 Ulysses S. Grant, now commanding U.S. forces in the Western Theater, arrives in Chattanooga. General Leonidas Polk is relieved of his command by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The Confederates have control of the heights surrounding Chattanooga – Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, and Raccoon Mountain – enabling them to direct long-range artillery fire not only onto the Union entrenchments around the city, but also onto the major rail and river routes that supply the city. October 23; 26-27 Skirmishes at and near Sweetwater. October 25 According to the Atlanta-Knoxville Register, Jefferson Davis, feeling East Tennessee is vital to the Confederacy, will abandon Richmond if necessary in order to repossess East Tennessee. ―The coming shock of contending armies on the soil of Tennessee will be decisive of the fate of the Confederation.‖ [NYT] October 25-26 Skirmishes at Philadelphia. Bragg‘s cavalry captures more than 400 Union prisoners, in addition to their artillery, small arms, and other equipment. October 26
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Skirmish at Jones‘ Hill. October 27 Skirmishes at Clinch Mountain & at Brown‘s Ferry on the Tennessee River. October 28-29 Skirmish at Clarksville. Engagement at Wauhatchie. This relatively minor, and largely accidental, battle is the only Confederate attempt to break Grant‘s ―Cracker Line‖ feeding food and supplies into Chattanooga. October 28 & 30 Skirmish at Leiper‘s Ferry on the Holston River. October 29 Skirmish at Centerville. Union troops take 66 prisoners, including a former editor of the Nashville Union and American. October 29-30 Grant‘s troops capture Lookout Mountain, adding strength to Gen. Thomas‘s position in Chattanooga. However, food is so scarce in the city that the Union soldiers are said to be stealing feed from the horses. Gen. ―Baldy‖ Smith organizes an amphibious assault on Brown‘s Ferry in order to remove rebel obstructions to steamboat navigation on the Tennessee River. Now the Federals are able to open the ―Cracker Line‖ to supply the besieged army at Chattanooga, bringing in food, blankets, firewood, medicine, and ammunition along the water route from Bridgeport. October 31 The Richmond Examiner explains the Confederacy‘s failure to attack Knoxville, while ―the hogs of East Tennessee, affording 25 millions of pounds of pork, are now being slaughtered for the Yankee armies,‖ on the Southern army‘s lack of shoes for their soldiers.
November 1 Bragg sends Longstreet‘s Corps to operate against Burnside at Knoxville. Skirmishes at Eastport and Fayetteville. November 2 Skirmishes at Centerville and Piney Factory.
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November 3 Skirmish at Lawrenceburg; action at Collierville. Tennessee Historical Marker, Chalmer's Colliersville Raid Early in November 1863, Union Gen. William T. Sherman was moving east to relieve the Union army at Chattanooga. Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston ordered Gen. James R. Chalmers to "harass [Sherman's] rear and break the railroad behind him." Chalmers decided to make a demonstration either at Collierville or Germantown, five miles west of here, to distract Federal cavalry and allow Col. Robert V. Richardson's brigade to destroy track between La Grange and Corinth. Full citation November 4 Skirmish at Motley‘s Ford on the Little Tennessee River. Fifty Confederates are killed or drowned; 40 are captured, including four officers. November 4 - December 23 Knoxville Campaign: Longstreet challenges Burnside‘s control of Knox- ville, which both Lincoln and Davis consider a major objective of the war. November 5 Skirmishes in Loudon County and at Moscow. November 6 Action near Rogersville. Confederate forces seem to be gathering for an assault on Knoxville – reports from prisoners indicate that 14 rebel brigades have assembled nearby, commanded by Cheatham, Stevenson, Vaughan, and Forrest. Meanwhile, Burnside reports that he has taken over 1,500 prisoners since he came into Tennessee. November 11 The Union League of Loyal Women for Memphis (U.L.L.W.) is founded in the city. They sponsor concerts, suppers, raffles, and a Sanitary Fair to benefit sick and wounded soldiers of the city and to help the poor. [Brock, pp. 43-44] November 12 Skirmish near Cumberland Gap. November 13
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Skirmishes at Palmyra and at Blythe‘s Ferry on the Tennessee River. November 14 Skirmishes at Huff‘s Ferry, Maryville, and Little River. November 15 Skirmishes at Pillowville and Stock Creek. November 16 Longstreet attacks Burnside‘s U.S. Army at Campbell‘s Station; the Federals are driven back to Knoxville. Skirmish near Knoxville. November 16-23 A series of skirmishes at and near Kingston. November 17 - December 4 Siege of Knoxville. Longstreet‘s attack, delayed by a wait for reinforce- ments under Gen. Bushrod Johnson and Col. Alexander, allows the U.S. forces in the city to strengthen their defenses. November 19 Skirmishes at Colwell‘s Ford, Mulberry Gap, and Meriwether‘s Ferry near Union City. November 20 William T. Sherman, commanding the U.S. Army of the Tennessee, arrives in Bridgeport, Alabama. He plans a concealed march on the Confederate right. Skirmish at Sparta. November 22 Skirmish at Winchester. November 23 Skirmishes at Bushby Knob. Battle for Chattanooga. Wood‘s Division (U.S.) attacks Confederate position on Orchard Knob. Sheridan‘s and Baird‘s divisions also attack. November 24
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Federals advance against Confederate position on Lookout Mountain. Action at Kingston; skirmish at the foot of Missionary Ridge; skirmish at Sparta. November 24-27 Raid on East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad. Skirmish near Yorktown. November 25 Battle of Missionary Ridge. Sherman attacks north end of Missionary Ridge; Thomas attacks and breaks the center of the Confederate line; Sheridan and Wood storm the ridge. Bragg‘s Army of Tennessee, reportedly demoralized, retreats to Georgia. The victory at Chattanooga opens the way for Union advancement into the heart of the Confederacy. Grant describes the Confederate retreat to MajorGeneral Halleck: ―What is now left of Bragg‘s boasted army is but a panic-stricken mob rushing like a herd of frightened buffaloes, and apparently perfectly incapable of making any further resistance.‖ November 26 Skirmishes at Sparta, Chickamauga Station, Pea Vine Valley, Charleston, and Pigeon Hill. November 27 Skirmish at Cleveland involves Wheeler‘s cavalry vs. the Union Colonel, who is gravely wounded. Private Sam Davis (C.S.) hanged as a spy. November 29 Longstreet attacks Fort Sanders at Knoxville, but is unable to take the position. The few men who actually enter the fort are wounded, killed, or captured. The 20-minute attack results in absurdly uneven casualties: 813 Confederate vs. 13 Union. At that point, having learned of Bragg‘s defeat at Chattanooga, Longstreet moves toward Rogersville, intending to make his winter camp there. A report from Cincinnati claims ―The mountains are full of Kentucky and Tennessee deserters trying to get home.‖ [NYT, Dec. 3] November 30 Condemned by the Southern press and vilified by the public, Gen. Bragg resigns as commander of the Army of Tennessee (C.S.) November 30 - Dec 1 Skirmishes near Yankeetown and Maynardville.
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Nathan Bedford Forrest begins raids into West Tennessee, establishes recruiting headquarters at Jackson. Skirmish at Philadelphia. Action at Walker‘s Ford on the Clinch River. Bragg is replaced as commander of the Army of Tennessee by General Joseph E. Johnston at Dalton, Georgia. December 3 Skirmish at Log Mountain. December 3-4 Action at Wolf Creek Bridge near Moscow when Confederate troops attempt to destroy the railroad bridge. Union troops are able to mount a steady defense, finally driving off the attackers late in the afternoon. Tennessee Historical Marker, Battle of Moscow "By late in 1863, the Union army occupying West Tennessee strongly defended the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, which ran eastward from Memphis through Moscow. Federal infantry, including the U.S. Colored Troops of the 2nd West Tennessee Infantry, manned a nearby fort. It guarded a large wooden railroad bridge and a plank wagon bridge that both spanned the Wolf River one-half mile to your left. Union guards in rifle pits there protected State Line Road (today's Highway 57). At midday on December 4, Union Col. Edward Hatch's cavalry brigade passed by here heading west from a week-long patrol." December 4 Skirmish near Kingston. December 5 Skirmish at Crab Gap; action at Walker‘s Ford. December 6 Affair near Fayetteville. Rumors spread that John C. Breckinridge has died of wounds received at Chattanooga, and many newspapers publish glowing obituaries. It will be some time before the rumors are disproved. December 7 Skirmishes at Eagleville and Rutledge. President Lincoln issues a call for national thanksgiving following the Federal victories at Knoxville and Chattanooga. December 9-13
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Skirmishes at and near Bean‘s Station, on the Holston River. December 10 Skirmishes at Gatlinburg, Long Ford, and Morristown. Nashville‘s hospitals are filled with soldiers wounded at Chattanooga. December 10-13 Affair at Russellville and ensuing skirmishes. > Tennessee Historical Marker, Russellville area in Civil War December 12 Skirmish at Shoal Creek near Wayland Springs. December 13 Skirmishes at Farley‘s Mill on the Holston River, Dandridge‘s Mill, and LaGrange. Capture of Union wagon train near Clinch Mountain Gap; skirmishes at Granger‘s Mill and Morristown. Military authorities seize all the horses and mules in Memphis for army use, ―paying the owners a fair price for them.‖ December 14-15 Battle of Bean’s Station – Longstreet attempts a pincer action to trap the Union forces in a battle that continues most of the first day. Ultimately, however, he fails to trap the Federals as he had hoped, finding them firmly entrenched at Blain‘s Cross Roads the next morning. The battle has little significant effect in the long term, except that Longstreet‘s self-confidence seems to suffer significantly from the failure of the campaign. December 15 Affair near Pulaski; skirmish near Livingston. December 16-19 Skirmishes at and near Blain‘s Crossroads and Rutledge. December 18
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Skirmish at Bean‘s Station. Gens. Granger and Howard capture Longstreet‘s ammunition train, running 42 carloads of ammunition and two locomotives into the river at Loudon. Federals begin move against Forrest. December 19 Skirmish at Stone‘s Mill. December 21 Skirmishes at Clinch River and McMinnville. December 22 Skirmish at Cleveland. Confederate Gen. James Chalmers creates a diversion for Nathan Bedford Forrest by attacking Memphis. December 22-23 Skirmishes at Dandridge. Gen. Leonidas Polk, recently relieved of his duties, is ordered to take command of the Army of the Mississippi. December 23 Skirmish at Mulberry Village. December 24 Action at Hay‘s Ferry near Dandridge; skirmishes at Estenaula, Jack‘s Creek, Mossy Creek Station, and Peck‘s House near New Market. A number of skirmishes occur as Forrest moves out of Tennessee into Mississippi. December 26 Skirmish near New Castle; action at Mossy Creek. December 27 Skirmishes at Collierville, Grisson‘s Bridge, Huntingdon, and Talbot‘s Station. Parson Brownlow explains his presence at a war meeting in Cincinnati: ―I am in a somewhat awkward position, having recently taken to my heels like a greyhound, and made 300 miles in short time. In the last two years, as you well know, I have done some brave talking, which the rebels remember. Were I not sure I should not be treated as our soldiers taken by them are – incarcerated in their lousy prisons ... I should
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have stayed; for I could endure the lice. I did not run out of cowardice, but I well knew that if they took me I would have to pull hemp without a foothold. [Laughter.] So I ran.‖ [NYT] December 28 Action at Calhoun; skirmish at Charleston. December 29 Action at Mossy Creek; skirmishes at Cleveland and LaVergne; skirmish near Dandridge. December 31 At the end of the year the Richmond Enquirer carries these stories: the Con- federate army in East Tennessee has gone into winter quarters; Longstreet‘s men are said to be without shoes, despite the fact that the weather is extremely cold and the mountains are covered with snow; 300 cases of smallpox are reported among the Yankee prisoners at Danville. > The Atlanta Intelligencer comments: ―Our losses [in] East Tennessee ... are incalculable. We are not only deprived of the vast flour mills of that country, which previously supplied the whole army, but also of vast machine shops and depots, which we had extensively organized at Knoxville. Beside this, we are now entirely cut off from the coal, iron and copper mines of that region, which were worth millions to us. The copper rolling mills at Cleveland ... which were burnt by the enemy, formerly turned out 6,000 pounds of copper per day. Over three millions of pounds had been delivered to the Government. This was the only copper rolling mill in the country, and which kept us supplied in copper for caps and cannon. This is among our losses by the battle of Chattanooga, which are spoken of as merely resulting in a few thousand men and 38 cannon.‖ TSLA notes: Resources: Brock, Darla K. Battles of Their Own: Memphis’s Civil War Women. Graduate thesis, 1994. Durham, Walter. The State of State History in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Library & Archives, 2008. Foner, Eric. ―The Tocsin of Freedom”: The Black Leadership of Radical Reconstruction. 31st Annual Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, Gettysburg College, 1992. Hunt, Robert E., Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University. th Lauder, Kathy B. ―This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19 Century Tennessee.‖ http://www.state.tn.us/tsla/exhibits/blackhistory/index.htm Principal reference sources, Tennessee State Library and Archives: Bonds of Public Officials – RG 319 Cartmell, Robert H. (1828-1915) Papers, 1849-1915 – II-L-2, 6 Cheairs, N. F., letters. Figuers Family Papers. III-F-4, Box 1-6. Ac. No. 1252. Cooper, W. F., Cooper Family Papers. V-L-1. Box 3-3.
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Donnell, James Webb Smith (1820-1877) Papers, 1829-1932 – THS III-E-3 Drane, James M. Drane Papers, IV-J-3, Box 1-5. Election Returns, 1859 County Elections – RG 87 Farmer, William F., letter, 5 February 1862. Farmer Collection. III-F-3. Box 1-9. Ac. No. 866. Fentress, Sally Wendel, Diary, 18631866. Talbott-Fentress Family Papers. I-A-6. Box 1-2. Ac. No. 82-106. French, Lucy Virginia, War Journal. VII-M-2. Box 1, Folder 1. Ac. No. 89-200 & 73-25. Governor Isham G. Harris Papers, Box 1, f. 5 (1860); Box 3, f. 5 (1861) Hawkins, Annie Cole, Memoir, ca. 1895, McKenzie, TN. Ms. Files. I-B-7. Ac. No. 94-019(SG) Henderson, Samuel, Diary, 1834-1876], Manuscript Microfilm #148, one reel, Microfilm Only) House Journal Lawrence, William L.B., Diary. Lawrence Family Papers, 1780-1944 – IV-K-1 Lindsley, John Berrien, Diary. Lindsley Family Papers, ca. 1600-1943 – IV-D-3,4 Military Elections – RG 131 Nagy, J. Emerick (1903-1987), Nashville Public Schools Collection 1854-1958 – V-A-B-4; XII-D-6 Nichol, Bradford. Memoir, 1901. I-B-7. Box 2. Ac. No. 99-020. Public Acts of Tennessee, 1859-1860 Rose, Kenneth D., Music Collection Senate Journal Tennessee newspapers consulted: Appeal, Memphis, Avalanche, Memphis Banner, Nashville Brownlow’s Tri-Weekly Whig, Knoxville Daily Appeal, Memphis Daily News, Nashville Citizen, Pulaski Daily Register, Knoxville Christian Advocate, Nashville Home Journal, Winchester Inquirer, Memphis Union and American, Nashville Weekly Chronicle, Clarksville.
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TSLA resource January 1864
January Radical Republicans are hostile to Lincoln‘s policies, fearing that they do not provide sufficient protection for ex-slaves, that the 10% amnesty plan is not strict enough, and that Southern states should demonstrate more significant efforts to eradicate the slave system before being allowed back into the Union. Consequently, Congress refuses to recognize the governments of Southern states, or to seat their elected representatives. Instead, legislators begin to work on their own Reconstruction plan, which will emerge in July as the Wade-Davis Bill. [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/states/sf_timeline.html] [http://www.blackhistory.harpweek.com/4Reconstruction/ReconTimeline.htm] Congress now understands the Confederacy to be the face of a deeply rooted cultural system antagonistic to the principles of a ―free labor‖ society. Many fear that returning home rule to such a system amounts to accepting secession state by state and opening the door for such malicious local legislation as the Black Codes that eventually emerge. [Hunt] January 1 Skirmish at Dandridge. January 2 Skirmish at LaGrange. Nashville is in the grip of a smallpox epidemic, which will carry off a large number of soldiers, contraband workers, and city residents. It will be late March before it runs its course. January 5 Skirmish at Lawrence‘s Mill. January 10 Nathan Bedford Forrest‘s troops in west Tennessee are said to have collected 2,000 recruits, 400 loaded Wagons, 800 beef cattle, and 1,000 horses and mules. Most observers consider these numbers to be exaggerated. January 10 & 12
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Skirmishes at Mossy Creek and Strawberry Plains. The bridge over the Holston River is completed, and the one over the Watagna is expected to be completed within a week. January 13-14 Affair at Sevierville; skirmishes near Collierville, at Middleton, Dandridge, and Schultz‘s Mill on Cosby Creek. > Letter from unidentified Union soldier on NWRR January 16 Skirmishes at Kimbrough‘s Crossroads and bend of Chucky Road near Dandridge; another in White County. January 16-17 Action near Dandridge. January 19 Skirmish at Big Springs near Tazewell. Gen. Vance is captured. January 20 Skirmishes at Tracy City and Island No. 76 in the Mississippi River. January 21 Skirmish at Strawberry Plains. Unionists meet at Nashville and call for a Constitutional Convention to reestablish civil government in Tennessee. A report from Cincinnati states that two trains run daily from Chattanooga to Nashville, making the trip in 19 hours. January 22 Capture of forage train near Wilsonville; skirmish at Armstrong‘s Ferry. January 23 Skirmish near Newport. January 24 Skirmish at Tazewell.
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January 25 Skirmish at LaGrange. January 26 Skirmishes at Muddy Creek and Sevierville. Governor Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation declaring a public election in Tennessee on the first Saturday in March to begin to restore civil government across the state. However, only those free white males having taken the oath of allegiance to the Union are permitted to vote or to hold office. The text of the oath of allegiance: ―I solemnly swear that I will henceforth support the Constitution of the United States, and defend it against the assaults of all its enemies; that I will hereafter be, and conduct myself as a true and faithful citizen of the United States, freely and voluntarily claiming to be subject to all the duties and obligations, and entitles to all the rights and privileges of such citizenship; that I ardently desire the suppression of the present insurrection and rebellion against the Government of the United States, the success of its armies and the defeat of all those who oppose them, and that the Constitution of the United States, and all laws and proclamations made in pursuance thereof, may be speedily and permanently established and enforced over all the people, States, and Territories thereof; and further, that I will hereafter heartily aid and assist all loyal people in the accomplishment of these results, so help me God.‖ January 26-27 Skirmishes near Knoxville between Longstreet‘s cavalry and Union forces. January 27 Engagement near Fair Garden, French Broad. January 27-28 Cavalry action at Dandridge. Skirmish at Kelly‘s Ford near Sevierville; affair at Lee‘s House on Cornersville Pike. January 28 Confederate soldier Joseph Gerald Branch writes to his wife, Mary Jones (Polk) Branch: ―I endeavor to hear with fortitude the desolation which is sweeping over our poor country. Is there no statesman, North or South, who rising above the waves of party prejudice ... can calm the raging storm? My own dear sweet wife! My heart is always with you. Not an hour passes but your trials are the subject of my thoughts. How I long to be with you as your time approaches .... Kiss my dear children for me & do not let them forget they have a father who loves them as few parents love.‖
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February 2 Skirmish at LaGrange. February 6 Affair at Bolivar. February 9 Skirmish in Hardin County. Repairs on the railroad between Chattanooga and Knoxville are nearly completed, but the Chattanooga Depot, containing Quartermasters‘ stores, is burned, destroying $100,000 of supplies. February 11 Gen. William Smith leaves Collierville, Tennessee, to join Sherman in Mississippi. February 12 The Nashville Daily Union reports: ―The distinguished tragedian, J. Wilkes Booth, takes his farewell benefit to-night .... The entertainment will commence with Shakespeare's tragedy, ‗the Merchant of Venice,‘ and close with ‗Catherine and Petruchio,‘ a Shakespearean comedy .... Mr. Booth came amongst us a stranger, his reputation as a rising star having preceded him. His first night was a splendid ovation; the theater being densely packed, every foot of standing room occupied, and numbers sent away unable to get in ..... His genius appears equal to anything the tragic muse has produced; and the time is not too distant when he will attain the high niche of professional fame. His engagement here will not soon be forgotten by any who have attended the theatre, and the records of that establishment will transmit it to those who follow after him as the best played here during the most eventful of dramatic seasons. We expect to see the house literally overflowing to-night. Gentlemen with ladies should make it a point to go early to be sure of seats.‖ February 13 Skirmish in Fentress County. The Memphis Bulletin publishes a statement signed by 300 of the city‘s leading citizens, recommending immediate and unconditional emancipation of all slaves as ―the best, truest policy and only alternative,‖ and urges Tennesseans to reestablish relations with the government. February 18 Skirmishes at Mifflin, Maryville, and Sevierville. February 20
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Skirmishes at Strawberry Plains, Flat Creek, and the Sevierville Road near Knoxville. February 21 A report from Missouri states that over 12,000 African American men have enlisted in the Union Army in Tennessee, with an average of 500 a week in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. February 22 Skirmishes on Calfkiller Creek and at Powell‘s Bridge. Gen. Buckner is assigned to Hood‘s former command. February 24 General Smith, who was supposed to have joined up with Sherman‘s forces, returns to Memphis after Forrest defeats him at Okalona, MS. February 26 Skirmish at Sulphur Springs. February 27 Skirmish in Sequatchie Valley. February 28 Skirmish at Dukedom. Longstreet backs away from East Tennessee.
Military Governor Andrew Johnson, speaking at the dedication of the Northwestern Military Railroad at Johnsonville, urges Unionists to ―go to the ballot box‖ and vote slavery out of the state. The railroad, strategic to the success of the Union army‘s attack on Atlanta, has been built by thousands of black contraband workers and U.S. Colored Troops. [http://www.tnstate.edu/library/digital/document.htm] March 2 Grant is promoted to Lieutenant General and is made General-in-Chief of the U.S. Army. Meade offers to resign, but Grant, saying he has no in- tention to replace him, makes his headquarters with Meade for the remainder of the war. March 4 Skirmish near Murfreesboro.
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March 5 Skirmish at Panther Springs – a total of 40 soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded, and 22 Federal soldiers were taken prisoner. County elections are held, as ordered by Gov. Johnson – 261 of the typical 700 votes are cast in Knoxville, and 100 of 179 in Sevier County. No other counties have reported yet. March 6 Affair near Island No. 10. March 7 The election in Nashville, in which about 1100 votes are cast, results in a substantial victory for the Union candidates, particularly those who advocate the end of slavery in the state. March 11-28 Skirmishes on Calfkiller Creek, including operations around Sparta. March 12 Skirmish near Union City. March 13 Skirmishes at Cheek‘s Crossroads and Spring Hill. March 14 Skirmish at Bent Creek. March 15 Skirmishes at Bull‘s Gap and Flat Creek Valley. March 16 Nathan Bedford Forrest returns to raid West Tennessee and Western Kentucky in order to round up deserters, recruit new soldiers, and confiscate horses and equipment. March 17 William Tecumseh Sherman, just arriving in Nashville, replaces Grant as commander of the western armies.
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Skirmish at Manchester. March 19 Skirmish near Beersheba Springs on Calfkiller Creek. March 21 Skirmish at Reynoldsburg. March 22 Supporters of Gov. Andrew Johnson predict that the Republican Convention will nominate him as VicePresident on the ticket with Lincoln. [NYT] March 24 Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, with 7,000 men, advances to the Obion River. Part of his command captures Union City while Forrest himself leads others to Paducah, Kentucky, a large part of which he will leave in ruins. March 27 Affair at Louisville (Tennessee). March 28 Skirmish on Obey‘s River. March 29 Confederate cavalry under General Chalmers defeats U.S. forces at Bolivar. Forrest is said to be moving on Columbus, Kentucky. March 30 “Yesterday‘s news was that France has certainly recognized the South; Charleston has really been abandoned by the Federals in despair, Grant has been ordered to [supersede] Meade in Va., to try his hand against the greatest man of the times—Gen. Robert E. Lee.‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] March 31 Enlistment of USCT soldiers continues to go well in Middle Tennessee – 5,000 men at Shelbyville and Lebanon are said to be ready for the field. Gen. Thomas meets with Generals Sherman, Granger, McPherson, Sheridan, and Barry at Union headquarters at Chattanooga. The excellent communication
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among the officers in Thomas‘s command will give them a huge advantage over Hood, who will soon take over command of the Army of Tennessee – Hood‘s generals (Cheatham, Cleburne, and especially Leonidas Polk) often miss meetings and follow their own impulses on the field.
April 2 Skirmishes at Cleveland and Summerville. > 123rd NY soldier writes from Elk River Bridge Tenn, April 2nd, 1864, April 3 U.S. advance against the Confederates is turned back near Memphis. April 3 & 9 Skirmishes near Raleigh. April 3 & 10 Skirmishes at Cypress Swamp. April 7 Longstreet‘s command is ordered to return to Virginia; Buckner‘s small force near Bristol are now the only Confederates remaining in East Tennessee. April 8 The U.S. Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. April 9 A correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer writes from Knoxville: ―The rebels are committing the most unheard-of depredations, robbing everybody of horses and the necessaries of life .... Men, women and children are ragged and dirty, and half-starved. The people of East Tennessee cannot possibly live through the Summer, as there is nothing to eat ... I cannot select language to describe the distress and ruin which daily presents itself.‖ Forrest‘s men begin to work their way from Kentucky back toward Memphis. Some reports say they are being reinforced by part of Lee‘s cavalry. April 10
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The new powder magazine at Nashville is nearly completed. It will be the largest and most advanced in the country, with many modern safety features. April 12 Forrest‘s troops attack Fort Pillow, killing 221 of the fort‘s garrison of 558, many of them black soldiers, and many of them, reportedly, after their surrender. Northern newspapers are aghast and run emotional stories for days, many calling it ―the blackest deed of the war.‖ Letter excerpt: Rebels ―have a particular dislike for negro soldiers, they fell to & butchered them in cold blood after taking possession of the fort,‖ - letter from an Ohio Union soldier. April 13 Skirmish at Mink springs near Cleveland. In the face of East Tennessee‘s proposal to secede from the state, Andrew Johnson makes a special trip to the Greenville-Knoxville Convention to oppose the plan. > Letter, letter from 86th Ohio soldier details Cleveland action > Letter from 27th Indiana soldier, Tullahoma April 14 Although widely expected to attack Memphis, Forrest withdraws from Tennessee and heads south into Mississippi. April 15 Skirmish near Greeneville. April 16 Skirmish at Rheatown. April 17 The Knoxville-Greeneville Convention adjourns sine die, ―the delegates evidently being well satisfied of their inability to determine for themselves the grave questions affecting the welfare of the people of East Tennessee.‖ [NYT] April 18
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Sherman replaces General Stephen A. Hurlbut with General C.C. Washburn as commander of U.S. forces in West Tennessee. April 19-20 Skirmishes at Boiling Springs. April 20-22 Skirmishes at Waterhouse‘s Mill and on the Duck River. April 27 Skirmish in Berry County. April 29 Sherman takes command of the army in Chattanooga and prepares for a campaign into Georgia.
May Letter, 33rd Indiana soldier writes about war-torn Franklin May 1 Gen. Sherman, in Nashville, issues orders concerning what may and may not be published in newspapers: no notices of the arrival or departure of regiments, including their strength or destination; no letters from the front stating the location, composition, or strength of units; no speculations concerning campaign plans or army movements. May 2 Skirmish at Bolivar between 1000 of Nathan Bedford Forrest‘s men and Gen. Sturgis‘s cavalry. After two hours, Forrest‘s troops are driven from their entrenchments and retreat across the river. Skirmishes occur almost daily in Kentucky, Arkansas, and other neighboring states as well. May 4 A railroad collision at Gallatin between a construction train and a passenger train carrying 300 soldiers from the Tenth Indiana Cavalry kills at least three men, injures many more, and destroys both engines. May 5
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36th Illinois soldier writes to father from Cleveland, Tennessee May 8 From the New York Times correspondent in Nashville: ―Columbia, a charming town about 40 miles south ..., has been a notoriously disloyal town. The inhabitants ... have taken oaths by the batch, yet still practice the most unheard of crimes, all arising from their ever-existing hatred to the Government. Something transpires in this Bedlam weekly of a distressing nature. On the 15th ult. two soldiers were found dead in the streets, one having a nail drove into his head .... The citizens of Murfreesboro have been for the last three weeks getting up a Union meeting .... This is rather a suspicious town, and contains precious little element of a loyal smack. It was said that there were but six Union families in the town during the battle of Stone River.‖ May 10 Affair at Winchester. President Lincoln expresses his pleasure in Grant‘s obstinacy, saying that no previous commander of the Army of the Potomac would have held his ground under such resistance from the Confederate army. The boldness, and success of Grant‘s campaign will create a heightened confidence in Union leadership that will ultimately deliver Lincoln‘s reelection. May 13 Skirmish at Pulaski. May 19 Skirmish at Dandridge. May 24 Skirmish near Nashville. May 25 Skirmish near Cripple Creek on Woodbury Pike. May 29 Guerilla depredations at Winchester. May 30 Skirmish at Greeneville between Union Maj. Dave Fry and a small band of Confederate raiders. Only about 20 of the raiders survive to become prisoners.
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June 1-3 U.S. forces under Major General Sturgis leave Memphis on a raid into Mississippi in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat Forrest. June 8 The Union Party Convention (the party consists of Republicans and ―War‖ Democrats) -- meeting in Baltimore, nominates Abraham Lincoln for President and Andrew Johnson for Vice President, with Emancipation comprising a major plank of the party‘s platform. Party members across the country are concerned that Lincoln will not be able to carry the election in the fall, but Sherman‘s capture of Atlanta in September will cement the Union victory. June 9 Skirmish at LaFayette. June 10 Andrew Johnson speaks at a Union meeting in Nashville, pressing the point that ―Slavery is dead.‖ He also recounts a conversation with an aristocratic slave-owner who had said, ―We people of the South will not submit to be governed by a man who has come up from the ranks of the common people, as Abe Lincoln has.‖ Johnson responds, to the great amusement of his audience, ―I believe that man is capable of self-government, irrespective of his outward circumstances, and whether he be a laborer, a shoe-maker, a tailor, or a grocer .... Now, it has just occurred to me, if this aristocracy is so violently opposed to being governed by Mr. Lincoln, what in the name of conscience will it do with Lincoln and Johnson!‖ Nathan Bedford Forrest, who has combined forces with Stephen D. Lee, Roddy, and Kirby Smith, soundly defeats U.S. General Sturgis at the Battle of Brice‘s Crossroads, Mississippi. Sturgis is relieved of command. June 11 The McKendree Methodist church, which has been used as a hospital (No. 21) since the Battle of Stones River, is opened for its first services under Union auspices. Many see this is a hopeful sign of a return to normal conditions. > Read this extensive soldier's letter about Partisan activity in East Tennessee, summer 1864 June 13-15 Raid from Morristown into North Carolina. Skirmishes at Bean‘s Station and in Lincoln County.
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June 15 Skirmish near Moscow. June 20 Skirmish at White‘s Station. June 21 Skirmish in Decatur County. June 23 Skirmish at Collierville; attack on a train at LaFayette. June 27 Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia – Sherman, who could bypass Johnston‘s position and move around it to the south, chooses instead to attack the center of the Confederate line. The Confederate defenses prove too strong to overcome, and Sherman withdraws. Union casualties are around 3,000 men, while the Confederates lose about 1,000 – this is one of the single bloodiest days in the Atlanta campaign. June 28 Lincoln signs a bill repealing the Fugitive Slave Law. Following several explosions which damaged trains carrying sick and wounded soldiers, Maj. Gen. Steedman at Chattanooga tightens the rules protecting railroads from attack – e.g., ―all citizens, except Government employees, found within three miles of the railroad ... after the 7th day of July, 1864, will be arrested and forwarded to these headquarters, to be tried before a Military Commission as spies.‖ June 29 Sally Wendel Fentress of Hardeman County writes in her diary: ―During this long delay in writing we have seen troubles and joys rise and fall successively. General Forrest‘s entrance into to our little village flushed with victory. His retreat causing sadness to fall upon every body‘s spirit. He was in the yard during the whole skirmish. Bullets were whizzing above and below us, burying themselves in and burrowing the ground.... Houses, twenty three in number, were burnt, the stores were sacked, the merchants chests were blown and hammered to pieces. The Confederates went South and lately have had a large battle. It was victory, but oh so dearly bought.... Charlie Newly‘s death was indeed a sad one. Idolized by his family, he was a gallant soldier, noble boy and a constant Christian.‖
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Tennessean Lucy Virginia French writes in her journal that she is reading Adam Bede and Mill on the Floss. She also mentions Adelicia Acklen, who lived in the house ―Belmont‖ in Nashville, became something of a Confederate heroine when she was able to move her cotton crop to New Orleans, run the Union blockade, and sell it for nearly a million dollars in London. July 2 As Sherman prepares to flank the Confederate lines, Johnston moves his men out of their entrenchments and blocks the Union advance at Smyrna. Sherman‘s advantage in terms of manpower and supplies will eventually allow him to prevail, but for now Johnston holds the line. July 3 Skirmish near LaGrange. July 4 Expedition from Memphis to Grand Gulf, Mississippi. July 5 Generals Smith, Mower, and Grierson are ordered to pursue Forrest. July 13 Reports reach Nashville that Sherman‘s forces have reached the Chattahoochee River, captured 3,000 prisoners, and recovered numerous deserters. [NYT] July 14 In the Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi, a force of 14,000 Federal troops under Gen. Andrew Smith defeats a Confederate force half their size, largely through the heroic efforts of a USCT brigade to turn away an attack byForrest. Smith is later criticized for not destroying Forrest, but his victory is enormously significant, ensuring the safety of Sherman‘s supply lines from Confederate raids. July 15 > Asa Weston, 50th Ohio, writes from Cleveland, Tenn July 17 John Bell Hood replaces General Joseph Johnston as commander of the Army of Tennessee. Hood will be more aggressive in facing Sherman‘s invasion, leading A series of damaging frontal assaults on the Union Army. However, his brash style proves ineffective, as it will cost him not only Atlanta (within six weeks), but also much of his army (in the Franklin-Nashville campaign in December). Much of his
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ineffectuality seems to stem from his unwillingness to abandon his original plans, even when all the evidence points to their failure. July 20 Memphis newspapers report on the return of Smith‘s troops, who have been quite successful in their pursuit of Forrest, with violent encounters at Tapaluci, Guntown, and Salem that cost the Confederates at least 2,400 men. Smith‘s expedition has returned, he says, simply to replenish their supplies, and he brings with him around 2,000 prisoners. Skirmish in Blount County. July 22-23 Skirmishes at Clifton. July 24 Skirmish near Collierville. July 26 Skirmish at White‘s Station. July 28 General Smith starts another raid into Mississippi to occupy Forrest and link up with Sherman. Skirmish at Long‘s Mills near Mulberry Gap. July 30 Skirmish at Clifton.
August 1 Skirmish at Athens. August 2 Skirmish at Morristown. Forrest is rumored to have died of lockjaw. August 3-4 Skirmishes at Triune.
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August 4 Skirmish at Tracy City. August 8 Skirmish at LaFayette. August 14 Confederate General Joseph Wheeler leads the first of several attacks on railroads supplying Sherman‘s army, but will cause only minimum damage to the lines in Georgia and Tennessee. August 15 Raid on Nashville and Northwestern Railroad. August 18 Nathan Bedford Forrest, with 2,000 of his men, heads toward Memphis. Skirmish at Charleston. Two women dressed in Federal uniforms are arrested in Memphis, serving as a drummer and a teamster with the 21st Missouri. One served more than a year with the 6th Illinois Cavalry and was wounded in the hand at Shiloh. August 20-21 Gen. Joseph Wheeler raids Sherman‘s lines of communication. Destruction of bridges and railroad tracks near Knoxville, McMinnville, and Franklin. Skirmishes at Pine Bluff and Rogersville. August 21 Forrest makes a surprise attack on Memphis, riding into the heart of the city, entering the Irving Prison and the Gayoso Hotel, firing on patients in the hospitals, plundering stores, and assailing the headquarters of Gen. Washburn, the department commander. Forrest captures 400 prisoners and 300 horses and defeats the Federal pursuit, but fails to capture Gen. Washburn and other military leaders as planned. General Smith‘s forces return to Memphis but are too late to confront Forrest. > Letter, 95th Ohio soldier details action regarding Forrest's Memphis raid > Harper's Weekly reports on Forrest's raid on Memphis August 23 Skirmish at Blue Springs.
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(Inmate No. 917: Received at the State Penitentiary at Nashville 1864 August 23) John Wood, Tullahoma, Tenn., [Convicted by] Military Commission convened there on the 7th day of March 1864. Crime: ―Conspiring against the Government of the United States and aiding in making War against the same. Aiding and assisting Guerilla Bands in their organization and raids upon the Property of the Government of the United States and loyal Citizens of the State of Tennessee. Violation of the Oath of Allegiance. Sentence five (5) years.‖ ―He is 56 yrs. of Age, 5 ft. 9 in. high, & has Dark Hair, fair complexion & Hazel eyes & weighs 181 lbs. He has a mole under the left eye & is lame from White Swelling in lower part of the left leg. He lived in Lincoln Co. Tenn. near Booner (sic) Hill, & his a wife & two children there at this time. He was born in North Carolina & raised in Franklin Co. Tenn. He is a physician.‖ Additional note: ―Pardoned by the President of the United States March 21st 1865.‖ August 31 Skirmishes at Clifton and south of Gallatin.
September 1-2 The Mayor of Atlanta surrenders the city, a major Southern munitions center. Sherman will establish his headquarters there and stay for two months, as he evacuates the city and burns all but about 400 buildings. His victory will give an enormous boost to Lincoln‘s Presidential hopes, which have been damaged by the length of the war and a sense of stalemate by voters. September 2 Wheeler, Roddy, and Forrest are between Nashville and Murfreesboro. Gen. Wheeler‘s troops burn several miles of the Great Western and the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Gen. John Kelly‘s C.S. Division of Wheeler‘s Corps skirmishes with a U.S. Cavalry force under Gen. Brownlow near Franklin. Kelly is mortally wounded. Skirmishes at and near Union City. September 4 Skirmishes at Greeneville and Park‘s Gap. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, whom Gen. Bragg never again trusted after his escape from Ohio, and who is under investigation by Confederate authorities for criminal banditry, is surprised and killed by Federals while attempting to avoid capture in Greeneville. Basil Duke, his brother-in-law, later wrote: ―When he died, the glory and chivalry seemed gone from the struggle.‖ [Basil W. Duke, A History of Morgan’s Cavalry] September 6 Skirmish at Readyville: Col. Thomas Jordan, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, routs a much larger Confederate force, taking 130 prisoners. Most of the railroad tracks damaged by Wheeler‘s forces have been repaired. September 10
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Skirmish at Woodbury. ―A scout just arrived from Savannah, Tenn., says all males between the ages of 15 and 45 have been conscripted in Mississippi. The country was full of stragglers.‖ [New York Times] Letter, 41st Georgia writes mentioning Hood in Atlanta September 12 Skirmish near Memphis. September 18 ―Today is the day appointed by [Gov.] Andy Johnson, as the day of thanks- giving and rejoicing over ... ‗success of the Federal arms;‘—and the military are to be made to give thanks and rejoice at the point of a bayonet! How worthy of the famous, (or rather in-famous) Andy!—McClellan accepts the nomination of the Chicago Convention, but in his letter of acceptance clearly ‗shows his teeth‘ in favor of war, viz. unless the South consents to return to the Union....‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] September 25 Skirmish near Johnsonville. Forrest, with 4,000 troops, crosses the Tennessee River at Bates Landing in Perry County. September 26 Forrest‘s Corps raids Nashville-Decatur Railroad. Pursued by 13,000 Federal troops and two gunboats, Forrest heads south. Skirmish at Richland Creek near Pulaski between Forrest and Rousseau. September 27 Skirmishes at Beardstown and Lobelville. September 28 Skirmishes at Leesburg and Well‘s Hill. Sally Wendel Fentress, Hardeman County, writes in her diary: ―How long shall we be outraged and humiliated by our heavenly Parent through such wicked instruments as the Federal Army!‖ September 29 Skirmishes at Centerville, Jonesborough, and the Watauga River, and near Lynchburg. September 30 Skirmish at Duvall‘s Ford.
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Following Nashville‘s example, Memphis requires all prostitutes to register and receive a medical examination in order to receive health care at the City Hospital on Exchange and Front Streets. By February 1865, 134 prostitutes will be registered (at $10 plus $2.50 for the test), earning the city $6,428.65 in fees. [Brock, p. 82] September 30 - Oct 1 Skirmishes at Carter‘s Station.
Autumn Tennessee‘s black leaders organize a torchlight parade to honor Military Governor Andrew Johnson and to petition for the application of the Emancipation Proclamation to Tennessee. October 1 Skirmish at Laurel Creek Gap; surrender of blockhouse at Carter‘s Creek Station. October 2 Skirmish near Columbia. October 4 Skirmish near Memphis. October 6 Skirmish at Kingsport. October 7 Skirmish at Kingston. October 8 Skirmish at Rogersville. Nathan Bedford Forrest concludes his series of raids, having killed and wounded nearly 1,000 men, captured 2,360 more men and officers, and appropriated horses and livestock, artillery, ordnance, and provisions. October 10 Attack near Gallatin on South Tunnel; skirmish at Thorn Hill near Bean‘s Station.
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October 10 - 28 Operations in East Tennessee. October 11 Skirmish near Fort Donelson between 200 Confederate troops under Lieut. Lawry and 90 USCT soldiers under Lieut. Col. Weaver, who carry the day. October 18 Skirmish at Clinch Mountain. October 20 Skirmish at Memphis, as the militia are called out when they learn a large Confederate force under Gen. Dick Taylor (son of Zachary Taylor) is near the city and threatening to take it. The Chattanooga Daily Gazette reprints an article from the New York Herald which comments on the Confederate plan to free and arm slaves: ―[The] argument is substantially this: Our reserves of ablebodied men are exhausted, and two-thirds of those now enlisted in the army, are declared by President Davis as absent ‗without leave‘ now, when they are more seriously needed in the field than ever before.... This is the alternative to which the chief organ of Davis at Richmond has been reduced. To escape the abolitionists, Jeff Davis is called upon to do their work of abolition; and to save the South from subjugation it is urged to cut its own throat.‖ October 21 Skirmish in Clinch Valley near Sneedville. Forrest establishes his headquarters in Jackson, along with Chalmer‘s Division. Buford‘s Division is at Lexington, in Henderson County. October 24 Forrest begins a movement against the Johnsonville area. October 25 Skirmish near Memphis. October 27 Attack on steamer Belle of St. Louis at Fort Randolph. October 28
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Skirmish at Russellville. October 29 Skirmish at Nonconnah Creek. October 30 Forrest‘s troops capture the Federal gunboat Undine, a transport, and two steamers. During the next few days, the Confederate cavalrymen use the Undine and the transport Venus, but both are soon recaptured by the Union forces.
November 1 Pressure mounts in the South to recruit black soldiers in order to regain depleted troop strength. A large number of slave-owners offer to free some of their slaves to fill the rosters. Reports say the Confederate conscription process is under development. The slave masters will be compensated, and the slaves will have their freedom and fifty acres each of land for their service. November 2-3 Attack on gunboat at Davidson‘s Ferry on the Tennessee River. November 4 Lincoln is reelected president, despite the war‘s unpopularity, and despite the fact that no president has won re-election since Andrew Jackson 32 years earlier. Tennessee‘s votes in the national election are thrown out on the grounds that the state did not hold a valid election, despite the fact that many of the voters signed a loyalty oath of their own design. Forrest shells the Union depot at Johnsonville. The Federal commander, fearing capture, burns much of what the shelling has not already destroyed. The total loss is four gunboats (Elfin, Key West, and Tawah), eleven steamers, 15 barges, 75,000-120,000 tons of quarter- master supplies, and 150 prisoners. The Confederates lose 2 killed, 9 wounded, and two field pieces that were left on the Undine. Skirmish at Bull‘s Gap. November 4-17 Breckinridge‘s advance into East Tennessee. His troops will overcome those of Gen. Gillem and take back territory lost earlier. Gillem will gain his revenge in December at the Battle of Saltville (Virginia), when Union troops destroy the Confederate saltworks. November 8
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President Abraham Lincoln is re-elected, defeating Democratic candidate George McClellan. Andrew Johnson becomes Vice President, but he and Lincoln barely know each other and never discuss policy. Lincoln‘s failure to share his vision of Reconstruction with Johnson will create an insuperable hurdle for the Vice President after Lincoln‘s assassination. November 9 Nashville gives Lincoln 1,317 votes versus 25 for McClellan. November 9-13 Expedition from Memphis to Moscow. November 11 Gen. John Schofield, U.S. 23rd Corps, joins Thomas in Nashville. He is th dispatched to Johnsonville but arrives too late. He then joins Gen. Stanley‘s 4 Corps in Pulaski. November 11-13 Breckinridge attacks Union forces at Bull‘s Gap but is repulsed by artillery fire. The Confederate failure to assault the Federal lines allows time for rein- forcements to arrive. This is a minor Confederate victory which gains little in the long run. November 12 Sherman leaves Atlanta and begins his ―March to the Sea,‖ in an effort to demoralize the South and hasten surrender. As one correspondent remarks, ―The country is not difficult; no mountain ranges lie in the way to make transportation laborious...; the whole region...is rich in food and...untouched by the war.‖ [NYT] Letter, A.M. Weston 50th Ohio, writes from Franklin, "Hood‘s old army is up here some where & part of Sherman‘s army is here to watch him" November 15 Skirmish near Collierville. Forrest joins Hood‘s Army of Tennessee in Florence, Alabama. Andrew Johnson, giving a speech in Nashville, speaks of the ―aristocracy of labor, the men whose brains and muscles had planned and wrought out the great achievement that made the laboring classes of American the true chivalry of the world.‖ He goes on to say that true democracy means ―the elevation of the masses.‖ [New York Times] November 16-17
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A series of skirmishes at Strawberry Plains, 18 miles above Knoxville. November 17 Skirmish at Flat Creek. November 20 Lucy Virginia French writes in her journal: ―I have written nothing since election day.... I suppose [the gloomy weather] is prophetic of the second term of Abraham, assisted by the Tailor of Tennessee.‖ Letter, 104th Ohio soldier writes from Pulaski, TN. Letter, Union soldiers writes from Pulaski about 'whippin Hood' November 21 Gen. John Bell Hood‘s army moves into Tennessee in three columns under Alexander Stewart, Stephen Lee, and Benjamin Cheatham. Union General John M. Schofield moves his smaller Army of the Ohio north to avoid being outflanked. November 22 Asked to comment on the potential success of Sherman‘s March, Gen. Grant says, ―The Southern Confederacy is a ... hollow shell, and Sherman will prove it to you.‖ Asked how much longer the conflict would last, Grant responds, ―I am not a 90-day man, but we shall see what will happen in six months.‖ Action at Lawrenceburg. Tennessee Historical Marker, Lawrence County, Lawrenceburg, Army of Tennessee Using country roads in this area, the corps of Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee moved northward to Columbia, in Hood's attempt to concentrate there and destroy Schofield's force before he could unite with Thomas at Nashville. November 23 Action at Mt. Pleasant; skirmishes at Fouche Springs and Henryville. Reports from scouts and deserters say that Hood‘s 35,000 troops are marching on Pulaski with the intention ultimately of seizing Cumberland Gap. His men hope to fill their needs for food and clothing by raiding towns along the way. Macon arms itself against Sherman‘s arrival, but he bypasses it to the east, going through Milledgeville instead. There his troops ransack the statehouse, destroy the state arsenal and powder magazine, and burn the penitentiary, the central depot, and the Oconee bridge. Sherman‘s army supplies itself through
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―liberal foraging‖ along the way. [NYT] Meanwhile Augusta has dismantled its powder works, arsenal, armories, and machine shops in case Sherman turns northeast. Tennessee Historical Marker, Delaying Forrest; see full citation "On November 23, 1864 as Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood's army marched north from the Tennessee River and Union Gen. John M. Schofield's forces withdrew toward Nashville, sixty-year-old Union Col. Horace Capron led his small, poorly armed cavalry brigade toward Waynesboro to observe Hood's approach and report to Schofield. Most of his men were armed with outdated single-shot Springfield muskets. Suddenly, the Union horsemen encountered the advance elements of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry, riding ahead of the main army, near Henryville. The Federals quickly retreated to Summertown spring, and Confederate Col. Edmund W. Rucker's brigade and Forrest's escort attacked them front and rear. Faced with overwhelming numbers, Capron's brigade withdrew and fought a daylong running battle back along the pike through Mt. Pleasant toward Columbia." Letters > Letter from Columbia, Tenn, A.M. Weston, 50th Ohio "The worst men that God ever suffered to live are in my mind the Aristocrats of the south." > 80th Illinois soldiers writes from Germantown, TN November 24 Action at Campbellsville and Lynnville. Hood occupies Waynesboro. November 24-27 General Jacob Cox‘s U.S. division reaches Columbia ahead of Gen. Chalmers‘ C.S. division. Skirmishes in front of Columbia. November 27 Forrest‘s cavalry crosses the Duck River east of Columbia, pushing back the Federal Cavalry under Gen. James Wilson. Hood‘s army has taken Pulaski, Huntsville, and Decatur, and have disrupted communications to Columbia, where Thomas‘s troops are entrenched. “Peace is a thing no longer to be even dreamed of. It is like a beautiful mirage—a nothingness—a myth of the by-gone time with which we poor war- ridden wretches have nothing else to do, I have laid aside all thought—all hope— all prayer for peace—and shall only strive now to accept our fate as courageously calmly and patiently as I can.‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] November 28
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Skirmishes at Shelbyville and at crossings of the Duck River. Thomas is said to have fallen back to Franklin, where he is preparing to receive significant reinforcements. Hood moves on Columbia but is repulsed. > NYT article November 29 Action at Columbia Ford as Stephen D. Lee‘s corps feints an attack on Columbia while the rest of the army moves on Spring Hill, where a general engagement begins. Hood‘s army crosses the Duck River. Schofield escapes to Franklin after dark. Skirmishes occur at Mount Carmel and near Rally Hill. Diary excerpt, Isaac Clark, 63rd Indiana > NYT article November 30 Affair at Thompson‘s Station. Battle of Franklin – pursuing Schofield to Franklin, Hood orders a frontal assault against well-defended Federal entrenchments. The huge Confederate losses (6,252 casualties in about five hours, including five generals) all but destroy the Army of Tennessee and utterly end its effectiveness. One report states that ―Hood threw them forward with a recklessness of life equal to anything he has ever displayed.‖ [NYT] Thomas and Schofield withdraw to Nashville, to meet A.J. Smith‘s corps. Resources related to the Battle of Franklin Article: Why does the Battle of Franklin matters nearly 150 years later? Google Map of the Battle of Franklin - www.FranklinBattlefield.com Zoomable map Battle of Franklin blog Battle of Franklin Facebook Group Battle of Franklin Twitter account Letters from soldiers involved in the Battle of Franklin McGavock Confederate Cemetery YouTube videos related to the Battle of Franklin
9th Indiana Light Artillery soldier chronicles trip from St. Louis to Nashville for entire month of December 1864 December 1 Action at Owen‘s Crossroads.
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December 1 - 14 Operations around Nashville. December 2 Hood moves his shattered army to Nashville and begins to entrench. Everyone expects that he will take his army east across Tennessee to connect with Robert E. Lee‘s army. Forrest‘s troops, along with Bate‘s, Buford‘s and Jackson‘s divisions, are detached to Murfreesboro. > NYT article > Dec 2nd letter from 72nd Illinois soldier talks about Regt's role at Franklin December 2-4 Operations against stockades and blockhouses on Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. December 3 D.C. Kelley‘s Regiment blockades the Cumberland River at Bell‘s Mill. Letter, Dec, 3rd, 1864 letter of William Garrigues Bentley, 104th Ohio, details action at Franklin December 4 Skirmish at White‘s Station. > NYT article | article December 6 The Nashville correspondent to the New York Times reports, ―There has been heavy cannonading since 4 o‘clock this afternoon. The guns of Fort Negley are shelling a rebel force in their front to prevent the enemy erecting batteries.‖ Letters related to post-Franklin battle detail Letter, 21st Illinois soldier Letter, 117th Illinois soldier Letter, 65th NC Cavalry soldier Letter, Major of 24th TX writes father about son lost at Franklin
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Letter, John R. Miller, Union soldier Letter, to widow of CSA soldier killed at Franklin Letter, William Garrigues Bentley, 104th Ohio Letter, father and son fought with 12th KY (U.S.) Letter, 30th GA soldier, James A. McCord Letter, 50th Ohio Asa Weston NYT article December 7 In Murfreesboro, Federal Cavalry under Gen. Milroy skirmish with Bate‘s Division, nearly routing them. Bate later returns to Hood‘s army at Nashville. In the small Battle of the Cedars, Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men were defeated by a Union force on the Wilkinson Pike. December 8 According to the local correspondent to the Boston Journal, Nashville is experiencing very cold weather and several inches of snow. The ground is frozen and slippery, and ―the men find it impossible to move about.‖ The city is quiet. December 11 Forrest destroys a 17-car train and captures 200 prisoners. > NYT article December 12 Skirmish at Big Creek near Rogersville. > NYT article December 13 Letter, 33rd MS surgeon writes about Battle of Franklin > NYT article December 14
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Affair at Bristol; Skirmish on Germantown Road near Memphis. December 15 Battle of Nashville. Gen. George Thomas moves to attack Hood‘s army. The Federals make a feint on the Confederate right flank, while the main attack is concentrated on the left. Hood is forced to fall back with heavy losses. > NYT article December 16 Delayed until the afternoon, Thomas renews his attack on Hood. The Confederate left disintegrates, and the troops flee. Gen. Stephen D. Lee protects the rear of the retreating army, but pursuing Federal troops take many prisoners. A cavalry skirmish east of Brentwood halts the Federals for the night. Lee forms a rear guard at Holly Tree Gap on Franklin Pike. Nevertheless, Hood‘s army is finished, retreating now to Mississippi with only half its original 40,000 men. December 17 Action Hollow Tree Gap and West Harpeth River. Passing through Franklin, the Confederate read guard fights off repeated assaults by Wilson‘s Cavalry. Gen. Stephen Lee is severely wounded in the foot, and command passes to Major General Carter Stevenson. December 19 Skirmishes at Curtis‘ Creek and Rutherford‘s Creek. Forrest rejoins the army at Columbia and takes command of the rear guard. > NYT article December 20 Skirmish at Columbia. December 21 Sherman occupies Savannah, completing his march to the sea. Letter, Ohio soldier near Columbia, writes about Franklin action December 21 - January 5 Expedition from Memphis to destroy Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
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December 22 Skirmishes at the Duck River as Hood crosses with the remainder of his army. His losses are said to be around 20,000 men –only 12,000 infantry and 8,000 cavalry remain, and he has also lost many deserters. Letter, A.L. Ewing, 63rd Indiana . . . Day before yesterday [would have been the Dec 20th], we was up at Franklin where there are hundreds of new made graves filled by the enemy. I went up into the old Breastworks where we lay and all over the front of our Brigade which is pretty well doted with rebble graves at our place there is 14 of Co. K of Miss[issippi] laying in a row. I see one grave marked Lt. J.P. See(sic), 55th Tenn. [This was J.P. Seed]. There are horses laying around almost on our works . . . . December 23 Skirmish at Warfield‘s near Columbia. December 24 Skirmish at Lynnville. > NYT article December 24-25 Skirmishes and action at Richland Creek. December 25 Skirmish near White‘s Station; action at King‘s or Anthony‘s Hill or Devil‘s Gap. Army of Tennessee reaches the Tennessee River but cannot cross because of flooding. ―Christmas Dec. 1864. Tonight I have but one thought—the cause of the South has gone down.... For my part I freely acknowledge that I can see no brightness now for the Confederacy.... Oh! I felt very, very sad this morning— our Christmas times are no longer [a] holiday—as of years [before]. How dark and darker they grow! I am [ready] tonight to cry. Oh! God give us peace, peace on any terms!‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] > NYT article December 26 Action at Sugar Creek.
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Tennessee Historical Markers, Appleton in Lawrence County, Tennessee, Sugar Creek Engagement In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood led the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman's supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman's "March to the Sea," Hood moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield, detached from Sherman's army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin. The bloodbath there on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas's strong defenses. Hood's campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16. Full citation December 28 Hood manages to get his troops across the Tennessee River at Florence, Alabama. Forrest‘s troops manage to cover Hood‘s retreat by ―an occasional brush‖ with Federal cavalry in pursuit of the Confederates. [New York Times] Letter, 50th Ohio soldier writes from Columbia, TN; of Franklin battle, mentions dead and wounded. We had a very severe battle at Franklin during which our Regiment lost in killed wounded & captured some thing over half its men. December 29, 1864 Tennessee Historical Marker, Erwin in Unicoi County, Tennessee, The Battle of Red Banks On December 29, 1864, the Third Regiment of North Carolina Mounted Infantry, under Colonel George W.Kirk, engaged about 400 Confederate Infantry and Cavalry under Lt.Colonel James A.Keith at Red Banks of the Nolichucky. Seventy three Confederates were killed and 32 officers and privates were captured. The Union forces sustained only three wounded men. (Continued) End of December 1864 Grant has launched a series of attacks on the Confederate lines in front of Petersburg throughout the fall and winter. Although he makes no substantial gains, little by little he chips away at Lee‘s dwindling army until it becomes clear that, by the time spring comes, Lee‘s thin lines will not be able to endure an attack of any great scale. The public, which has been impatient with the lack of movement in this theater of the war, is encouraged – as they were by the twin victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863 – by the triumphs of Sherman in Georgia and Thomas in Tennessee. TSLA Notes: Resources: Brock, Darla K. Battles of Their Own: Memphis’s Civil War Women. Graduate thesis, 1994. Durham, Walter. The State of State History in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Library &
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Archives, 2008. Foner, Eric. ―The Tocsin of Freedom”: The Black Leadership of Radical Reconstruction. 31st Annual Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, Gettysburg College, 1992. Hunt, Robert E., Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University. th Lauder, Kathy B. ―This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19 Century Tennessee.‖ http://www.state.tn.us/tsla/exhibits/blackhistory/index.htm Principal reference sources, Tennessee State Library and Archives: Bonds of Public Officials – RG 319 Branch, Joseph Gerald, letters. Gerald Branch Howard Papers, 1770-1973. XIV-D-1,2,3. Cartmell, Robert H. (1828-1915) Papers, 1849-1915 – II-L-2, 6 Cheairs, N. F., letters. Figuers Family Papers. III-F-4, Box 16. Ac. No. 1252. Cooper, W. F., Cooper Family Papers. V-L-1. Box 3-3. Donnell, James Webb Smith (18201877) Papers, 1829-1932 – THS III-E-3 Drane, James M. Drane Papers, IV-J-3, Box 1-5. Election Returns, 1859 County Elections – RG 87 Farmer, William F., letter, 5 February 1862. Farmer Collection. III-F-3. Box 1-9. Ac. No. 866. French, Lucy Virginia, War Journal. VII-M-2. Box 1, Folder 1. Ac. No. 89-200 & 73-25. Governor Isham G. Harris Papers, Box 1, f. 5 (1860); Box 3, f. 5 (1861) Hawkins, Annie Cole, Memoir, ca. 1895, McKenzie, TN. Ms. Files. I-B-7. Ac. No. 94-019(SG) Henderson, Samuel, Diary, 1834-1876], Manuscript Microfilm #148, one reel, Microfilm Only) House Journal Lawrence, William L.B., Diary. Lawrence Family Papers, 1780-1944 – IV-K-1 Lindsley, John Berrien, Diary. Lindsley Family Papers, ca. 1600-1943 – IV-D-3,4 Military Elections – RG 131 Nagy, J. Emerick (1903-1987), Nashville Public Schools Collection 1854-1958 – V-A-B-4; XII-D-6 Nichol, Bradford. Memoir, 1901. I-B-7. Box 2. Ac. No. 99-020. Public Acts of Tennessee, 1859-1860 Rose, Kenneth D., Music Collection Senate Journal State Prison Records (RG 25), Vol. 44, Convict Records, 1845-1869. Tennessee newspapers consulted: Appeal, Memphis Avalanche, Memphis Banner, Nashville Brownlow’s Tri-Weekly Whig, Knoxville Daily Appeal, MemphisDaily News, Nashville Citizen, Pulaski Daily Register, Knoxville Christian Advocate, Nashville Home Journal, Winchester Inquirer, Memphis Union and American, Nashville Weekly Chronicle, Clarksville
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TSLA resource January 1865
January 1 ―[Still] we are under the clouds—as dull and gloomy as ever—perhaps even more so. There seems but little to live for—yet we live on.... Life to us is devoid of pleasures—and is made up of endurances.... To look back is most saddening— to look forward, even more disheartening for it seems we have nothing for which to hope.... I feel discouraged in every way—our cause seems to be sinking day by day.... [As] a family we merely get along, as agents for any good anywhere—we are powerless.‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] Letter > ―…I feel that the thanks of every Union loving heart, are due to you this bright New Year‘s morning, that the ‗Stars & Stripes‘ now float over Tennessee, instead of the piratical banner of Secession. I have never felt deeper interest in our cause, nor greater confidence that a triumph more signal, and glorious even than that before Nashville will soon crown the Union arms, and redeem our beloved South from the filthy pool of Secession in which she has been so long plunging – and clad in clean Union garments she will soon forget the stained and dishonored rags which her leaders for a time have compelled her sons to wear! War is a…terrible school in which we all share – all suffer – the innocent and the guilt but with you Gen‘l to wield our armies I shall look soon for a peace – a conquered peace….‖ John A. Jackson letter to Gen George Thomas. January 8 ―The sentiment among officers and men caused them to say, ‗There will yet be a Confederacy!... I do not see that the prospect is very brilliant at present.... I do want to improve myself during all these years we are compelled to live under the cloud of war.... But yet I almost despair of being able to accomplish anything.‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] January 9 The remains of the Army of Tennessee, still commanded by Hood, arrives in Tupelo, Mississippi. Fisk Free Colored School opens in the buildings of a former U. S. Army hospital. Tennessee Gov. W. G. ―Parson‖ Brownlow advises students to be ―mild and temperate‖ in their behavior toward white people, and warns teachers to be ―exceedingly prudent and cautious.‖ The school will number 600 students by February and will continue to expand for some time. [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/singers/timeline/index/html] > Letter, Col. Robert B. Young, 10th Texas Inf., killed at Franklin January 12
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The Tennessee General Assembly amends the state constitution to prohibit slavery; voters will ratify the amendment in March. Tennessee was exempted from the conditions of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the state‘s own law (March 26) will predate the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (ratified on December 6) by several months. January 13 Letter from an unidentified Union soldier, Camp on the NWRR, Tenn. Jan. 13th, 1864 January 14 The Tennessee Union State Convention nominates Parson Brownlow for Governor by acclamation. He cheerfully accepts. January 15 23rd Army Corps embarks for the East on the steamer Clifton. January 17 General P.G.T. Beauregard assumes temporary command of the Army of Tennessee at Tupelo. January 21 A report from Nashville states that, as battle casualties fall off significantly in the area, some of the buildings co-opted for use as hospitals are being closed. ―All the churches have been restored to their owners, and will be swept, garnished and fitted up for religious worship.‖ [New York Times] January 24 Writing in her journal, Tennessean Lucy Virginia French considers some of the rumors that are circulating within the state: ―There is a contraband camp [near McMinnville] where ... poor wretches literally freeze to death by dozens during this severe weather—they have no clothes scarcely—bedding, shelter, and food the same, while their friends the Yankees curse and abuse them for everything low and vile and no account. Of course, who expected anything else? The papers at present are full of Peace rumors. I think the Yanks are becoming quite as weary of the war as Rebs are reported to be.... A more important rumor is the old one revived—Intervention of England and France. It is stated that they will ... recognize Mr. Lincoln as President only of the States which elected him—thus recognizing the Confederacy.‖ January 28 Action at Athens. January 28-31
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Expedition from Strawberry Plains to Clinch Mountain, with skirmishes along the way.
February 1 Skirmish in McLemore‘s Cove. February 5 Skirmish near McMinnville. February 6 Affair at Corn‘s Farm in Franklin County The Richmond Whig reports that the Army of Tennessee, which ―needs rest and reorganization very much,‖ will winter at Tupelo and Saltillo, Mississippi. February 9 Skirmish near Memphis. February 10 Affair near Triune. February 13 A mass meeting takes place in Richmond with much discussion of the question of arming and freeing slaves, the point being that the white population is nearly exhausted, and the South must now make new sacrifices for independence. [NYT] An article on the same subject in the Richmond Whig quotes Gen. Forrest as being in favor of arming 200,000 black soldiers, but he also says he desires peace and is tired of scenes of blood. February 16 Attacks on garrisons at Sweetwater and Athens. The Nashville suburbs are under attack by small bands of Confederate cavalry, raiding homes on the Murfreesboro and Nolensville Pikes, robbing residents, and taking prisoners. February 20 Col. N. G. Taylor is traveling through Boston and other Northern cities soliciting aid for the destitute citizens of East Tennessee. [NYT]
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February 21-22 Skirmishes near Greeneville as 4,000 Confederate troops advance from Knoxville, reportedly to raid the Virginia and Tennessee railroad. February 22 A public referendum ratifies an amendment to the State Constitution abolishing slavery in Tennessee. [Note that the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will not be enacted until December 6, almost a year later.] February 26 ―Last Wednesday was the 22nd Feb.—the day appointed by the Johnson and Brownlow Convention for the people of Tenn. to vote the State back in the Union as a free State!... A sadder day and sadder faces I think I never saw. It was an understood thing ... that everybody should vote ‗Ratification.‘ Federal bayonets were on hand—the motive power—and men marched doggedly into [McMinn- ville], voted, and immediately slunk home again—as if saddened—perhaps ashamed.‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal]
March 1-4 Skirmish near Philadelphia, Tennessee. Operations near Athens. March 3 Gen. Forrest warns his troops against ―being allured by syren songs of peace.‖ He lists their efforts for the year: 50 battles, in which they have killed or captured 16,000 of the enemy; captured 2000 horses and mules, 67 pieces of artillery, 14 transports, 20 barges, 300 wagons, 50 ambulances, and 105 stands of arms; and destroyed 36 railroad bridges, 2,000 miles of track, 6 locomotives, and 100 railroad cars, amounting to $15,000,000 in property. [Jackson, MS, newspapers] March 4 On a rainy morning, the city streets almost impassable with mud, Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for a second term, with Tennessean Andrew Johnson as Vice President. Lincoln pledges ―malice toward none and charity for all.‖ Three days of heavy rains cause the Cumberland River to flood – the lower part of Nashville is ―completely submerged,‖ and several bridges have been washed away. ―It is believed the flood will be the greatest ever known.‖ [NYT] March 5
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Skirmish at Tazewell. March 8 Skirmish in Jackson County. March 13 The Confederate Congress finally authorizes the recruitment of black soldiers to serve in the Confederate Army, too late, however, to actually prepare any black troops for battle. Some scholars believe that as many as 65,000 African Americans may have served the Confederate Army in some fashion during the war: slaves were impressed or leased to work on fortifications and other projects; some individual slaves accompanied their masters (usually officers) into war as personal servants; and a few (including future Tennessee legislator Sampson W. Keeble) actually fought, generally to protect their own farms or neighborhoods. March 16 In her journal, Lucy Virginia French of McMinnville scoffs at Lincoln‘s ―second Ignoral (I beg pardon, I should have said Inaugural).‖ March 18 Skirmish at Livingston. March 19-22 Skirmishes at Celina. March 21 General Schofield‘s troops occupy Goldsboro, North Carolina; Sherman‘s left is near Bentonville, and his right is moving into Mount Olive. March 25 Skirmish at Brawley Forks. March 26 Tennessee voters ratify the new state constitution, which includes an anti-slavery amendment. March 28 Skirmish at Germantown.
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March 30 ―The Yankees look upon the Rebellion as having all its legs now broken all to pieces—its backbone which has been cut in two—‗chawed up‘ and otherwise demolished ... is not annihilated, & the whole Confederacy like an over-ripe pear, falling to pieces of its own inherent weakness is about to precipitate itself piece- meal into the victorious arms of Sherman and Grant.‖ [Lucy V. French journal] March 31 Skirmish at Magnolia. Forrest orders all cotton being shipped to Federal ports to be burned and urges his raiders to stop traffic on the Mississippi.
April 1 Skirmish at White Oak Creek. April 3 Union troops occupy Richmond. President Lincoln himself is said to be in the city, but his decision to go there is criticized by many news editors who feel he is putting himself in harm‘s way: ―He has no right to put [his life] at the mercy of any lingering desperado in Richmond, or of any stray bullet in the field, unless some special service can be rendered by his personal presence.‖ [NYT] Gen. Stoneman‘s forces capture the town of Boone, North Carolina. April 3 & 14 Skirmishes at Mount Pleasant. April 5 Parson Brownlow is inaugurated as Governor of Tennessee. The Tennessee General Assembly ratifies the 13th Amendment. April 9 Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA. Grant‘s terms are surprisingly liberal: ―Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate...; the officers to give their individual paroles not to take arms against the Government of the United States..., and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands; the arms, artillery, and public property to be packed and stacked and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them; this will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage; this done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their parole and the laws in force where they reside.‖ It is learned over the next several days that
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the Confederate Army might have surrendered sooner but for the mistaken belief that all their prominent officers would be executed as traitors. The generous conditions of surrender as outlined by Grant are unexpected and undoubtedly have a strong influence on the opening of negotiations between Sherman and Johnston over the next several days. April 11 In his final speech, Lincoln makes a rare public endorsement of limited voting rights for black voters: ―It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers.‖ April 14 Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford‘s Theatre. The bed-ridden Secretary of State William H. Seward is stabbed and wounded by Lewis Powell, a member of the same conspiracy, in an assassination attempt inside his Washington home. Powell also injures five others in the Seward household, who have tried to come to the Secretary‘s aid. A jaw splint Seward has worn since his carriage accident on April 5 saves his life by deflecting the assassin‘s knife from his throat. A third conspirator, Lewis Atzerodt, apparently loses his nerve and fails to carry out his task of assassinating Andrew Johnson. Joseph E. Johnston, now back in command of a consolidated C.S. force built around the remains of the Army of Tennessee, asks Sherman for terms of surrender. April 15 Lincoln dies. Vice President Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Democrat, becomes President (1865-1869). Having broken his leg jumping from the balcony at Ford‘s Theatre, assassin John Wilkes Booth stops at the house of Dr. Samuel Mudd near Bryantown, MD, to have his leg splinted and bandaged. April 16 In the Battle of Columbus, Georgia, part of the operation known as Wilson‘s Raid, and widely regarded as the last battle of the Civil War, Union General James H. Wilson, having defeated Nathan Bedford Forrest at Selma, captures Columbus, the largest surviving supply city in the South. April 18 Skirmish near Germantown. April 19 Brownlow‘s Whig issues this statement in black-bordered columns: ―With profound sadness we announce the death of Abraham Lincoln—an event which will startle the world. . . . The sad end of Mr. Lincoln, at
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the very moment when all men were inclining to mercy and forgiveness, will arouse afresh a stern spirit of indignation and call up the endless list of wrongs inflicted on an outraged country.‖ Sally Wendel Fentress writes in her diary: ―Abraham Lincoln is reported to have been murdered together with Seward and his son. Andrew Johnson is suspected.‖ April 23 Lucy Virginia French‘s journal shows how long it takes for news to make its way around the country—this is more than a week after Lincoln‘s death, and, of course, Seward and Johnson were not killed: ―A great tragedy has been enacted ... in the assassination of Lincoln and Seward.... I was out in the front yard clipping some cedars when the Col. [her husband] came to the door ... and he said very quietly, ‗Well, Lincoln is dead.‘ I had not the smallest idea it was true.... The story [we read was] that Lincoln and Johnson had been at the theatre together—a man had rushed up and stabbed both—killing Lincoln and mortally wounding Johnson, and the assassin had himself been killed on the instant.... We are told that about 30 citizens of Nashville were arrested because they implicated Andy [Johnson] in the assassination of ‗Honest Abe.‘‖ April 25 Senator Peart submits a petition to the State Senate ―from the colored men of East Tennessee,‖ asking for equal rights and protection under the law: ―Without our political rights, our condition is very little better than it was before.‖ [NYT] April 26 Confederate Gen. Joe Johnston meets with General William T. Sherman in North Carolina to negotiate the surrender of the Army of Tennessee and all remaining Confederate forces still active in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida – it is the largest surrender of the war (89,270 soldiers). [Interesting note: Sherman provides Johnston‘s hungry troops with ten days‘ rations, earning Johnston‘s astonished gratitude and making the two men friends for life. When Sherman dies in 1891, Johnston will be a pallbearer.] Although CSA President Jefferson Davis is firmly set against surrender, and many com- manders (includingForrest in Alabama and Kirby-Smith in Texas) still know nothing of either surrender, the loss of both Lee‘s and Johnston‘s armies – the largest remaining forces – essentially means that the Civil War has ended. April 27 Sally Wendel Fentress comments in her journal on the Lincoln assassination: ―Saw a paper this evening continuing a letter from John Wilkes Booth in which he intimated his intention of doing some desperate act in revenge for the tyranny practiced upon the people of the South. His name should be written on the highest pinnacle of fame for that one deed. He has sacrificed more than any of his contemporaries, sacrificed his profession which brought him twenty thousand a year, home, friends, family, all for ridding the world of the most consummate villain under the sun.‖
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April Abraham Jobe writes in his memoirs: ―I must hasten on to give a very short account of a few of the many things which took place...during the War of Rebellion. This was popularly called a Civil War, but I think it was a Secessional War.... I espoused the cause of the Union very early, when the war clouds first began to rise. Although born and reared in the South, I could see nothing but disaster [in the campaign for secession].‖ Few love letters can compare with this gem sent by A.R.V., a Tennessee soldier in Pensacola as he contemplates returning home to his beloved: ―Dear sweet Mollie Oh my love of loves clarified and oil of citron, white loaf sugar of my hopes. And molasses of my expectation you have been absent from me three years The sun is dark at midday the moon and stars are black when you are absent. Thy step is the muse of the spheres, and the wind of thy gown when you pass by as a Zephyr from the garden of Paradise in the spring time of earthly flowers! I kissed you when last we met and my whole frame thrilled with sweetness! One of your ―curls‖ touched me on the nose and that organ was transmuted to loaf sugar. Oh spices, garden of delight! Send me a lock of your hair send me anything your blessed fingers have touched. And I will go raving mad with exstasy [sic]. One look from thy bright eyes would transmute me _____ with the third heaven. Your words are molten pearl dropping from your mouth. My heart blazes at the thought of your being my bride wilt thou consent? __ sincere lover A.R.V.‖
May 8 Sally Wendel Fentress has reconsidered her earlier harsh comments about the assassination: ―Papers of a late date give an account of Mr. Lincoln‘s funeral. Everything went off in grand style. His death was, as bad, the worst blow the South has ever sustained. Although I am not an admirer of Mr. Lincoln yet I still deplore his loss to the people of the North. He was always so much more lenient to his fellow countrymen...than any other Northerner. But it may be for the better that this great tragedy has been enacted at the closing scenes of this bloody drama. If we are treated as a magnanimous foe everything may now be settled amicably, but if persecutions such as hanging, robbing, taunts, jeers and inhumanity are to be practiced, trouble has only commenced.‖ [Diary, 1865] May 9 Having failed to defend Alabama against Wilson‘s Raid, and finally having surrendered, Nathan BedfordForrest makes his farewell address to his troops, closing with these words: ―You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous.‖ May 14 ―Poor fellows [soldiers] – four long years of service – hardship and suffering, and all for what? And some are sleeping here in our crowded grave- yard – and many will never even be so near in death – they sleep
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among strangers in unknown graves, on dreary battlefields. Oh! For what? For what? Did God permit this war? Shall we ever find out why it was allowed?‖ [Lucy Virginia French journal] May 29 Pres. Johnson issues his Amnesty Proclamation; Johnson‘s Reconstruction strategy disenfranchises large land-owners (anyone with taxable property over $20,000) and former Confederate military leaders until their individual petitions for amnesty are approved; the federal government also now requires all states to ratify the 13th Amendment; only 10% of the voting population of any Southern state must take a loyalty oath in order for the state to be readmitted to the Union [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/states/sf_timeline.html] Johnson also intends that each state convention declare secession null and void and repudiate the debt each Confederate state has acquired during the war. Unfortunately, the state conventions and leadership will openly defy or circumvent him, thus cutting off their best ally in Washington, since Johnson stands between the exConfederate states and the congressional Republicans. As a Democrat in a Republican administration that has no respect for him, he is ineffectual against the political realities of 1865-66, even though he has proved himself an anti-secessionist and a convert to the cause of emancipation in Tennessee. [Hunt]
June 9 Explosion of ordnance building at Chattanooga
August Southern states open Constitutional Conventions to renounce secession, disavow the Southern debt, & ratify the 13th Amendment. Tennessee‘s delegates have already completed their task – the voters ratified the new constitution on March 26. [http://itw.sewanee.edu/reconstruction/html/chronology.html] The first State Colored Men‘s Convention meets at St. John‘s African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville. Delegates call for the final ratification of the 13th Amendment, as well as full citizenship and black suffrage. There is no apposite response from the Tennessee General Assembly. [http://www.tnstate.edu/library/digital/document.htm] Night riders expand their terrorist activities throughout Tennessee, causing Major General George H. Thomas to increase the Union presence in the state. [http://www.tnstate.edu/library/digital/document.htm] August 28 Letter, Prominent Franklin resident – Royce – prosecutes claim for loss of home during the Civil War
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Six months after both Lee and Johnston have surrendered, there is one more skirmish in Tennessee, at the Stones River Railroad Bridge in Murfreesboro.
The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, is ratified. [http://itw.sewanee.edu/reconstruction/html/chronology.html] TSLA Notes: Resources: Brock, Darla K. Battles of Their Own: Memphis’s Civil War Women. Graduate thesis, 1994. Faust, Drew Gilpin. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. New York: Knopf, 2008. (preface, xi) Hunt, Robert E., Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University. th Lauder, Kathy B. This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19 Century Tennessee.‖ http://www.state.tn.us/tsla/exhibits/blackhistory/index.htm Toney, Marcus B. Privations of a Private. Robert E. Hunt, ed. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005. Principal reference sources, Tennessee State Library and Archives A. R. V., Pensecoll [sic], to Miss (?) E. Frey, April 1865. Farmer Collection. III-F-3. Box 1-30. House Journal Jobe, Abraham. Autobiography and Memoir. Transcript, 1948. Ac. No. 464. Lindsley, John Berrien, Diary. Lindsley Family Papers, ca. 16001943 – IV-D-3,4 Senate Journal
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