Northeast Tennessee Prisoners of War

A prisoner of war is any person held captive by the enemy during a conflict. This applies to organized armed forces, but it can also include guerrillas, civilians who openly take up arms against the enemy, noncombatants associated with a military force, or civilians who accompany the army. Prisoners of war are held in custody for a variety of legitimate and illegitimate reasons: to punish them, to prosecute them for war crimes, to collect intelligence from them, or to force them to serve in their army.

Prisoners from the Front, Winslow Homer (1866).
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A youthful Union brigadier general, Francis Barlow, (right) confronting a trio of captured Confederates—about to be fellow-citizens again, against their will—on a devastated field. Barlow, crisp and cool, with his hands clasped behind him, radiates professional rectitude. Two of the rebels are clad in near-rags: one is an inattentive, shambling young lout; the other a white-bearded man, his face clenched with anxiety. The third is a long-haired cavalier in high boots, his tight gray uniform negligently buttoned and his cap set at a rakish angle. 

23 AUGUST 1861
Arresting Women
Women on both sides of the American Civil War are suspected of engaging in treasonous activities, especially spying for the enemy. This is often true in border regions like Washington DC, with its large population of Confederate sympathizers. Several DC women suspected of disloyal behavior are arrested and imprisoned.
On 23 August 1861, Federal authorities arrest Eugenia Levy Phillips, an outspoken Southerner. She is held at the home of another suspected spy for the Confederacy, Rose O’Neal Greenhow. In her journal, Phillips describes the humiliation of her confinement with her two daughters and her sister Martha.
After her release, Phillips moves to New Orleans where she crosses paths with USA General Benjamin Butler whose nickname is ‘Beast’ for a reason.
Butler imprisons Phillips on Ship Island, off the coast of Mississippi. Her husband negotiates her release after a few months and moves the family out of Union-held territory for the duration of the war.

Eugenia Levy Phillips became known as a “fire-eating secessionist in skirts” for her avid support of the Confederacy.

Undermining Confederate Authority
• Unionist bridge burners destroy two railroad bridges in Northeast Tennessee.
• Other Union men organize into groups, many with weapons, and rise up against the Confederate government.
• The proposed invasion by Union troops to support and protect the bridge burners is called off.
• Confederate authorities hang five men for bridge burning.
• 1500 to 2000 Unionists are arrested and forced to serve long confinements in southern prisons, where many die.
• 5000 to 10,000 men flee from their homes into exile or into the army.
• These actions fill the minds of all loyal people of Northeast Tennessee with fear and anxiety for almost two years.
East Tennessee and the Civil War, Oliver P. Temple

‘Must be sent at once to Tuscaloosa jail.’
At this juncture, Confederate authorities make a key blunder, which will drastically change the situation in Northeast Tennessee. Reasoning that their policy of conciliation has failed, the unanimous decision is to employ terror tactics.
CSA Secretary of War Judah. P. Benjamin’s instructions for dealing with the East Tennessee Unionists are quite plain:
1st All such as can be identified as having been engaged in bridge burning are to be tried summarily by drumhead court-martial and if found guilty, executed on the spot by hanging. …
2nd All such as have not been so engaged are to be treated as prisoners of war and sent with an armed guard to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, there to be kept in prison at the depot selected by the government for prisoners of war. Whenever you can discover that arms are concealed by these traitors, you will send out detachments, search for, and seize the arms.
In no case is one of them known to have been up in arms against the government to be released on any pledge or oath of allegiance. The time for such measures is past. … Such as voluntarily take the oath of allegiance, and surrender their arms, are alone to be treated with leniency.
P.S. Judge [David T.] Patterson [son-in-law of Andrew Johnson], Colonel [William] Pickens [who attempted to burn the Strawberry Plains bridge], and other ring-leaders of the same class must be sent at once to Tuscaloosa jail as prisoners of war.
Unconventional Warfare in East Tennessee, 1861-1865, pages 49-50.


Tuscaloosa Paper Company
The Tuscaloosa Paper Company was on River Hill. Cotton rags were used to make fine quality paper, but the company went out of business after a few years, likely due to difficulty of transporting paper. The building was used to house Union prisoners during the Civil War. [No image.]

30 NOVEMBER 1861
Twenty-one of the prisoners lately brought here from East Tennessee, yesterday appeared in the Confederate Court, acknowledged the error of their ways, took the oath of loyalty to the Southern Confederacy, and attached themselves to a company being raised in Nashville.
~ Nashville Daily Gazette

5—7 DECEMBER 1861
Dispersal of Union sympathizers in Cocke County.
KNOXVILLE, 5 December 1861.
The following dispatch received this morning dated from Bird’s Point: Capt. Cocke just in with two bridge-burners and other prisoners. Have no news from Col. Leadbetter. Col. Powel reports by special messenger that he has seen no gathering. Will hold his position. Will throw my forces over the river in the morning and report. Dispatch from Morristown says courier in from [Capt.] Monsarrat. Cannonading and musketry at 8 o’clock. Tories have made a stand.
WM. H. Carroll, Brig.-Gen., C. S. Army.

Map of Tennessee highlighting Cocke County

KNOXVILLE, 7 December 1861.
Capt. Monsarrat has dispersed the tories in Cocke County and captured thirty of the ringleaders.
WM. H. Carroll, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 852.



8 JANUARY 1862 – 20 JANUARY 1862
Entreaties for the release of prisoners jailed for uprising against the Confederacy in East Tennessee
CLEVELAND, TENN., January 8, 1862.
DEAR SIR: I have received your request to write you the facts about the arrest of James S. Bradford by Capt. W. L. Brown’s command, and he was a few days after sent to Tuscaloosa.
The nature of the charge against him I am ignorant of. I feel confident that his arrest and transportation from here must have been done under a misconception of his position as regards the rebellious feeling that has disturbed East Tennessee, and had an investigation be allowed him he would have been discharged without spot or blemish. …
I do not desire as you know to have any man released who in any way encouraged rebellion; but Bradford I know is an innocent man and is a good Southern man and so shown himself from date named and I would therefore be glad to see him released.

10 JANUARY 1862
Plea for pardon on Confederate charges of treason
BLOUNTVILLE, TENN., January 10, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Southern Confederacy.
SIR: I am charged with treason toward the Government of the Confederate States for which I make an appeal to Your Excellency for pardon. I will give you the details of my case in full. At the time of the gathering up of the Union men in Eastern Tennessee I went into camp and took the office of issuing commissary. I staid in camp two days when the regiment left for Kentucky, and I being unwilling to go with them started home, and on my way home I learned that some soldiers were lying in wait for me to kill me.
On receiving this information I left in search of refuge. I went to Kentucky. On arriving there and finding out Lincoln’s policy in full it became so obnoxious to me that I returned to Tennessee though not to my home. I have turned aside to await an answer from Your Excellency.
I have given you the case in full. You can examine it and see whether I am guilty of a crime worthy of death or not. If it please you to pardon me, I am then willing to take a position in your army; and if not I will again return to the North but I much prefer the South to the North. I await your answer with patience.
Your humble servant,


13 JANUARY 1862
SIR: I have the honor to inform you officially that the Congress on this day (to wit, January 13) adopted the resolution a certified copy of which is herewith transmitted:
Resolved, That the President be requested to communicate to Congress by what authority and under what law citizens of Tennessee are imprisoned at Tuscaloosa or other points in the State of Alabama, and whether said prisoners or any portion of them have been transported beyond the limits of their own State without a trial, and whether in any instance the writ of habeas corpus has been suspended.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. J. HOOPER, Secretary of the Congress.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 2, pp. 1412-1413.

20 JANUARY 1862
Plea for release of political prisoners held by Confederate authorities.
President of the Confederate States of America:
We, the undersigned petitioners, humbly request that E. Hodges and W. E. Hodges, citizens of Sevier County, Tenn., and who were sent to the military prison at Tuscaloosa and are as we understand now at Mobile, Ala., be released from prison and set at liberty by their giving full assurances of their loyalty to the State of Tennessee and the Confederate States.
We also believe that the said Hodges have fully atoned for the crimes they have committed and that justice is fully satisfied in their cases. We, your petitioners, would further represent that men more guilty than they have been released and nolle prosequi entered in their cases merely by their giving bond for their good behavior; and we would represent to you that the Hodges are men whose families are in straitened circumstances and those to whom clemency has been shown are in quite affluent circumstances.
We, the undersigned petitioners, would also represent to you that we are men that have in no way favored the late attempt at rebellion in Eastern Tennessee but have been contending and laboring for the cause of the South both before and since the difficulties have been upon our country, and we would further state that we ask not for their release upon any personal grounds but merely that even-handed justice be meted out to all alike.
And your humble petitioners will ever pray, &c.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, pp. 876-877.

20 JANUARY 1862
Bridge-burning cases of East Tennesseans
SIR: In passing through East Tennessee I have been informed by a gentleman of integrity and whose loyalty to the Confederacy has never been questioned that some forty-five or fifty of the citizens of that section of country have been arrested by persons having or assuming to have military authority under this Government; that after arrest the most of them have been told they must volunteer or be sent to the Government prison at Tuscaloosa, Ala., and that those who refused to volunteer under such compulsion have been sent to and imprisoned at Tuscaloosa where they now remain.
The names of the persons thus dealt with as far as my information extends are as follows: Dr. John G. Brown, Charles B. Champion, James S. Bradford, Allen Marlow, Sidney Wise, John F. Kinchelow, Samuel Hunt, —Potts. W. R. Davis, —Gamble, Thomas L. Cate, John bean, Sr., and John Boon.
These men were arrested by a captain of Tennessee cavalry and as I learn without ever having been before any tribunal, civil or military, without any specification of charges and without the examination of a single witness they were hurried off to imprisonment.
Levi Trewhitt, William Hunt, Stephen Beard, John McPherson, George Munsey, —Thompson were taken to Knoxville but had no investigation before any tribunal. The first two were sent from thence to Tuscaloosa. The remaining four were released either on parole or unconditionally but after returning to their homes they were arrested by the captain of cavalry before alluded to and also sent to Tuscaloosa. As I am informed none of the persons whose names I have given were taken in arms or suspicioned of having been in arms against the Government.
I was requested to bring these facts to the attention of the Tennessee Congressional delegation. I learn that many if not all of them have received corroborative information. By their request I have been induced to bring the subject to your attention that justice might be done in the premises and the character of the Government vindicated. It is insisted and I presume correctly that the terror engendered by these arrests was an efficient cause in changing public sentiment in East Tennessee.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, pp. 870-871

John C. Burch
Staff Officer in the Confederate Army

During the Confederate crackdown following the East Tennessee bridge-burnings in late 1861, Levi Trewhitt was arrested and detained at the Knoxville jail.

On the 19th day of November last I arrested and brought to this place Levi Trewhitt, esq., of Cleveland, Tenn. This arrest was made under an order from Col. W. B. Wood, commanding the Sixteenth Alabama Regt., who at that time was the commander of this post.
The arrest was ordered because Mr. Trewhitt was suspected of a knowledge of the burning of the railroad bridges and the plans by which it was done. He was retained here for some weeks and then sent to Tuscaloosa by order of Gen. W. H. Carroll, who succeeded Col. Wood in command. There was no trial or investigation of the charges so far as I know or have understood.
Col. Forty-third Regt. Tennessee Volunteers.

President of the Confederate States of America:
Your petitioners, the undersigned citizens of Bradley County, Tenn., humbly represent and show unto your excellency that Levi Trewhitt, who is now as they understand confined in Mobile as a prisoner of war, is one of the old, influential citizens of Bradley County, Tenn.; that he is about sixty-five years of age and has been for the past few years afflicted with paralysis, and as they now understand is sick and in the hospital at Mobile. … We therefore pray that said Levi Trewhitt be released from said confinement upon his becoming a loyal citizen and taking an oath to support the constitution of the Confederate States of America.
[+ 31 others.]
We, the undersigned officers in the Confederate service, fully concur with the above petitioners.
D. M. KEY,
Lieut.-Col. [JAMES W. ] GILLESPIE,
Col. Regt. Tennessee Volunteers.
[+ 16 others.]

Levi Trewhitt died in a Confederate prison in Mobile, Alabama, in 1862. East Tennessee’s Unionists were incensed by his senseless death.

21 JANUARY 1862
Warnings of residual pro-Union sentiment in East Tennessee.
HDQRS., Knoxville, Tenn., January 21, 1862.
Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-Gen., Richmond, Va.
SIR: Outwardly the country remains sufficiently quiet but it is filled with Union men who continue to talk sedition and who are evidently waiting only for a safe opportunity to act out their rebellious sentiments. If such men are arrested by the military the Confederate State courts take them by writ of habeas corpus and they are released under bond to keep the peace; all which is satisfactory in a theoretical point of view but practically fatal to the influence of military authority and to the peace of the country.
It seems not unlikely that every prisoner now in our hands might or will be thus released by the Confederate court even after being condemned by court-martial to be held as prisoners of war.
It is reported to-day that several fragmentary companies recruiting in different counties ostensibly for the service of the Confederate States have suddenly disappeared; gone to Kentucky. It is confidently hoped that the bridge over the Holston at Union [Zollicoffer] will be completed in the current month.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
D. LEADBETTER, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 877.

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond.
Honorable [L. C.] Landon Carter HAYNES, Knoxville, Tenn.
SIR: On the 28th of January last Brigadier-General [Jones M.] Withers was directed to release Samuel Hunt with other political prisoners upon their taking the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States.
Your obedient servant,
Secretary of War.

General Jones Mitchell Withers CSA

24 FEBRUARY 1862
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond.
GENTLEMEN: When a body of traitors a few months ago combined to wage war against the Government in Eastern Tennessee a number of captives were taken. Those found engaged in actual commission of the crime of bridge-burning were tried by court-martial and executed. Others found in arms were by executive clemency considered rather as prisoners of war than as traitors and as such are held in custody in Mobile.
It is not only possible but probable that in the confusion and disorder of the times some innocent men have been confounded with the guilty yet it is almost impossible to discern the truth. Nothing could be more alien to the wishes and intentions of the Government than to exercise arbitrary power or to hold any of its citizens in custody except under due process of law.
It was an act of clemency not of persecution to consider the misguided men found in arms as public enemies instead of traitors. I have, however, received the inclosed statement* and petition of some of those now held as prisoners of war and from which you will perceive that they deny the fact that they were taken in arms or were hostile to the Government. If so, they ought at once to be released.
Will you be good enough to take this subject into consideration and give me your advice and counsel as to these men. Do you know them? Is there any one here that can tell whether or not their statements are correct? Do you think that they can be safely returned to East Tennessee at this time?
I would feel greatly obliged by your co-operation in this matter that I may do what is right for the individuals without endangering the public safety.
Very respectfully,
Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, 24 February 1862
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
SIR: Yours of this date with inclosed petitions has been duly considered. We are credibly informed that all the petitioning prisoners have been released from confinement except Stone, Anderson, Fitzgerald, Beam, Matthews and Evans. We think it was bad policy to discharge them but we know the Government acted in view of the best interests of the country. In answer to your interrogations we state that some of us know all the prisoners. We believe the statements false. We do not think it would be safe to permit them to return to East Tennessee at this time.
We are, sir, with great respect, your obedient servants,

No date
I submit to Colonel W. M. Churchwell, provost-marshal for East Tennessee, the following conversation of Captain Fry now a prisoner. I was placed in charge of the wife of said Fry to conduct her to her husband and allow her to communicate with him:
Among other things spoken of by said Fry he was directing his wife how to dispose of his property. He told her that Colonel Carter would see that she got his wages, remarking that there was $1,000 due him aside from his wages.
I then made him explain how the $1,000 extra came to be due him. He then told me that General Thomas had agreed to pay him $1,000 to come to East Tennessee. He did not tell on what business he came.
Respectfully, submitted,
A. C. BLEVINS, Captain, C. S. Army.

Union men crossing Northeast Tennessee mountains into Kentucky
Sketched by A. W. Warren

By the spring and early summer of 1862, when it became evident that the Confederate conscript act would be enforced, nearly every male inhabitant, liable to military duty, who was able to endure the hardships of the journey and could leave his family, had determined to seek safety in Kentucky. …
If these unfortunate men were captured [as many were], though already exhausted by their journey, they were placed in line for an immediate march to Knoxville, distant more than forty miles. They were hurried forward as rapidly as they could be forced to go. …
They were driven to the already crowded jail or small jail-yard, into which they were huddled, making their condition almost intolerable. Soon afterwards, they were marched under a strong guard to the railroad and sent off to Tuscaloosa, or some other prison, to be held during the war as political prisoners.
They were the tender and gentle sons of the intelligent and independent farmers around New Market and of the beautiful and rich valley of the same name, celebrated all over the state and beyond it as one of the fairest and wealthiest regions in all the land. …
The imprisonment of these young men was done under the order of CSA Gen. E. Kirby Smith, who had recently taken command of this department [8 March 1862]. General Smith … had the reputation, both before and since the war, of being a fair and a just, indeed a good man, and that was true of him in his normal condition. But he had caught the spirit then prevailing in East Tennessee and was no longer himself.
Soon after the accession of Gen. Smith, the celebrated orders directing Mrs. Andrew Johnson, Mrs. W. G. Brownlow, Mrs. Horace Maynard, and Mrs. William B, Carter, with their families, to leave the state and go north, were issued at his command … These families were ordered to leave in thirty-six hours … harmless, innocent ladies, … all of whom were verging on old age, and two of them well advanced in life.
It is no justification of such a policy to say that General S. P. Carter afterwards sent out of Knoxville women and children, nor that Andrew Johnson did the same at Nashville and General Sherman at Atlanta. It is enough to say that the practice, except in cases of actual danger to the general cause, is one to be discountenanced rather than encouraged. …
And after the bridges were burned, and it was found that no Federal army was coming, the Union men again became perfectly quiet, and remained so for twenty-two months following. During all these long, gloomy months, arrests and imprisonments numbering thousands were made, so that at last most of the male population were driven into exile. …
The condition of the Union men of East Tennessee during the latter part of the year 1861 and during the year 1862, and until September of the year 1863 [when Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside occupied Northeast Tennessee], was gloomy beyond description. …
It was hard, very hard to leave home and family as an exile, not knowing when, nor whether at all, they should ever return. … Many persons who could not go, did not dare to remain at home. So, they hid themselves in the hills or the mountains, coming in when no danger seemed to be near. …
In April 1865, the exiles and wanderers nearly all returned to their homes. Some of them had been absent two, some three, and some nearly four years. They returned wiser and generally better men. War and time had to some extent mellowed their fierce spirits. …

17 APRIL 1862
Military Governor Andrew Johnson favors release of Tennessee prisoners of war who affirm they will take the oath of allegiance to the United States.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Nashville, Tenn.
Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
SIR: Inclosed herewith I send a petition from certain members of Tennessee regiments at Camp Douglas in which they express a strong desire to renew their allegiance to the Government and become true and loyal citizens. I will only state in presenting this petition for the consideration of the War Department that whenever circumstances shall justify the discharge of prisoners of war from this State entertaining such views and feelings as are set forth by these petitioners their reappearance among their friends and relatives will I doubt not exert a great moral influence in favor of the perpetuity of the Union.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
ANDREW JOHNSON. OR, Ser. II, Vol. 3, pp. 457.

17 APRIL 1862
Capture of Union refugees near Woodson’s Gap
Report of Major General E. Kirby Smith,
C. S. Army, with instructions in reference to enlistment of Union refugees.
SIR: On the 17th instant 475 Union men of East Tennessee were captured en route for Kentucky [at Woodson’s Gap], and sent, by Maj. Gen. [E. Kirby] Smith’s order, on the 20th instant, to Milledgeville, Ga. Some of them expressed a wish before leaving to enlist in the Confederate States Army. They were not permitted to do so, because of the apprehension that they might [not] be faithful here to their oath of allegiance. …
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 649.

Woodson’s Gap and nearby locations
Woodson’s Gap [now Woodson] is in Campbell County, Northeast Tennessee.
The elevation is 742 meters above sea level.

23 APRIL 1862
Skirmish near Woodson’s Gap, East Tennessee
Report of Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, C. S. Army.
With instructions in reference to enlistment of Union refugees.
SIR: On the 17th instant 475 Union men of East Tennessee were captured en route for Kentucky [at Woodson’s Gap], and sent, by Maj.-Gen. Smith’s order, on the 20th instant, to Milledgeville, Ga. Some of them expressed a wish before leaving to enlist in the Confederate States Army. They were not permitted to do so, because of the apprehension that they might [not] be faithful here to their oath of allegiance.
Elsewhere they may make good soldiers. Remembering your request, the major-general commanding directs me to say that you have whatever authority he can give you to proceed to Milledgeville, Ga., and enlist as many of them as consent for service in South Carolina, or elsewhere except in East Tennessee. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 649.

26 APRIL 1862
Report of Capt. H. M. Ashby,
Company C, Fourth Battalion Tennessee Cavalry.
SIR: According to your order of the 16th I left Knoxville at 4 p. m., with about 40 men from my company and the same number of Capt. Bradley’s, and proceeded to Clinton, where I was joined by 40 men of Capt. Gillespie’s company, under Lieut. King. I marched all night, reaching Jacksborough about sunrise next morning.
Five miles above Jacksborough, at Big Creek Gap, I left Capt. Bradley, with his command, to reconnoiter the country between that point and Fincastle, 5 miles above Big Creek Gap, there to await further orders. With the remainder of my command I pressed on to Woodson’s Gap, 6 miles beyond Fincastle, where I detached Lieut. Gibbs, of my company, with 10 men, to guard the road coming into Woodson’s Gap from the direction of Clinch River.
I then pressed forward with the remnant of my command to watch some passes a few miles above. In a short time a courier from Lieut. Gibbs informed me that he had captured the advance guard of the tories, when I immediately changed direction and returned to Woodson’s Gap.
The tories had by this time come in full view, with an apparent force of from 700 to 800 men. I at once ordered Lieut.’s Owens and Gibbs, of my company, to attack them in the rear with 25 men, while I charged them in front, thereby preventing their crossing to Cumberland Mountains. After an hour’s fight I succeeded in capturing 423 prisoners, killing about 30 and wounding the same number.
Five members of my company were seriously wounded during the engagement; among the number Lieut. Gibbs. Capt. Bradley’s company was not engaged in the fight, having been left, as stated above, at Big Creek Gap. Officers and men under my command behaved with great gallantry.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. ASHBY, Capt. Company C, Fourth Battalion Tennessee Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt, I, pp. 649-650.

28 APRIL 1862
Knoxville, Tenn.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that a portion of the Fourth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers (Colonel Morgan) will leave to-day for Milledgeville, Ga., in charge of Union prisoners. The officer of the detachment is directed to report afterward with his command to the military authorities at Savannah, Ga. In more than one communication Brigadier-General Stevenson has reported many desertions from this regiment to the enemy and urged its removal from Cumberland Gap.
Because of this and the general character of the regiment for disloyalty I have thought it best to send it beyond the limits of this department. Being thus removed beyond the influence of friends in the ranks of the enemy it is thought these men may make loyal and good soldiers. I trust my action in this matter will meet the approval of the Department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.


19 APRIL 1862
Brigadier General S. P. CARTER [USA],
Commanding Twenty-fourth Brigade, Cumberland Ford.
GENERAL: In acknowledging the receipt of your communication of the 16th instant let me assure you that nowhere within the limits of this department will any violation of the rules of civilized warfare meet with my sanction.
David Fry was captured within our lines in citizen’s dress and was sent to Knoxville charged as a citizen of East Tennessee with bridge-burning. He has as yet laid no claim to being a prisoner of war nor has he announced himself as an officer in the U. S. service.
His presence within our lines in citizen’s dress and engaged in the felonious occupation of bridge-burning makes him amenable either as a citizen of East Tennessee to the criminal courts of the land or as a spy to the military court of the service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.

26 APRIL 1862
Confederate imprisonment order for Unionist W. H. Malone and release of John Patterson.
SIR: By direction of Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, commanding this military department, I have to request that you will admit into the prison in which the Union men of Tennessee are confined Mr. W. H. Malone, a gentleman who bears this communication and whose loyalty is indorsed by some of the best and most patriotic citizens of the State.
Mr. M. proposes to enlist into the army of the Confederacy such of the prisoners as may be disposed and whom he may deem reliable for service without the limits of this department. The major general commanding heartily approves the motive which influences Mr. M., and trusts that the object he would attain will as far as possible be advanced by the authorities who have the prisoners in charge.
You will release John Patterson, one of the prisoners who was by mistake sent among the number.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. I, p. 885.

26 APRIL 1862
Report of Capt. H. M. Ashby, Company C, Fourth Battalion Tennessee Cavalry.
SIR: According to your order of the 16th I left Knoxville at 4 p. m., with about 40 men from my company and the same number of Capt. Bradley’s, and proceeded to Clinton, where I was joined by 40 men of Capt. Gillespie’s company, under Lieut. King. I marched all night, reaching Jacksborough about sunrise next morning.
Five miles above Jacksborough, at Big Creek Gap, I left Capt. Bradley, with his command, to reconnoiter the country between that point and Fincastle, 5 miles above Big Creek Gap, there to await further orders. With the remainder of my command I pressed on to Woodson’s Gap, 6 miles beyond Fincastle, where I detached Lieut. Gibbs, of my company, with 10 men, to guard the road coming into Woodson’s Gap from the direction of Clinch River.
I then pressed forward with the remnant of my command to watch some passes a few miles above. In a short time a courier from Lieut. Gibbs informed me that he had captured the advance guard of the tories, when I immediately changed direction and returned to Woodson’s Gap.
The tories had by this time come in full view, with an apparent force of from 700 to 800 men. I at once ordered Lieut.’s Owens and Gibbs, of my company, to attack them in the rear with 25 men, while I charged them in front, thereby preventing their crossing to Cumberland Mountains.
After an hour’s fight I succeeded in capturing 423 prisoners, killing about 30 and wounding the same number. Five members of my company were seriously wounded during the engagement; among the number Lieut. Gibbs. Capt. Bradley’s company was not engaged in the fight, having been left, as stated above, at Big Creek Gap. Officers and men under my command behaved with great gallantry.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. ASHBY, Capt. Company C, Fourth Battalion Tennessee Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, part, I, pp. 649-650.

2nd Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry CSA

8 MAY 1862
Release of Confederate political prisoners.
HDQRS., Knoxville, Tenn.
Mr. JOHN L. M. FRENCH, Chattanooga, Tenn.
SIR: Your favor of the 5th instant is to hand. The political prisoners you mention can be released under the consideration that they will each give a bond signed by a good Southern man, provided such prisoner or prisoners have not heretofore taken the oath of allegiance to the Southern Confederacy. Of course you must require good Southern men to indorse the bonds and return same to these headquarters.
Respectfully, W. M. CHURCHWELL,
Col. and Provost-Marshal.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 2, p. 1423.

19 MAY 1862
Confederate proposal to release political prisoners upon taking loyalty oath.
KNOXVILLE, Col. W. M. CHURCHWELL, Provost-Marshal.
SIR: As per your order of the 13th instant I proceeded to Madison, Ga., and released the prisoners whose signatures are appended to the oath I herein hand you. My instructions were to “release no man who had before taken the oath;” and to discriminate between those that had or had not taken the oath, I had this oath administered to them:
That you shall make true answers to the questions I shall ask your having taken an oath to support the constitution of the Confederate States of America. So help you God.
I then asked them if they had taken said oath and in every case was answered in the negative. As soon as they had all taken and signed the oath as per orders I turned them all over to Mr. T. J. Jarnagin. In looking over my list I found that several were never there, several are dead, and some have volunteered; and I would advise that a statement be made by Capt. Calhoun of all the prisoners that are or have been there-when released and by whose order. …
I consulted with the prisoners before their release but could find out nothing important enough to include in this report.
The above report, colonel, is respectfully submitted.
H. M. BEARDEN, Lieut., Company D,
Thirty-ninth North Carolina Troops.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 2, pp. 1426-1427.

Provost Marshal, Department of East Tennessee

27 MAY 1862
Letter from Confederate Assistant Surgeon Sam Houston Hynds at Big Creek Gap.
To his mother, Ann Hynds, in Dandridge, Jefferson County, Northeast Tennessee
Your letter directed to me at this place came safely to hand, as usual, glad to hear from you and from Dandridge.
I am not surprised that you wonder at the miraculous marches we have made since we left Knoxville early in the Spring. We have been, it seems to me, in every nook and corner in these Mountains … hunting up those interesting aids of Old Abe’s Army “Styled Home Guards” … these pious and puritanic soldiers are composed of the ignorant Mountaineers who are too lazy to run and consequently unfit to serve Old Abe in the Regular Army.
But from their knowledge of the mountains they are able to skulk about and murder our pickets and destroy the property of innocent persons under the covers of the “Stars & Stripes.”
A few Sundays ago I was sent with a detached Corps from our Brigade to scout in the mountains, and if possible to ascertain the position of a Federal band said to be stationed on Pine Mountain 15 miles from our present encampments, a portion of our corps engaged a number of “Jay Hawkers” about half way [into] our journey, one killed, one dead wounded, another badly, took 7 prisoners and captured a lot of guns, ammunition and camp equipment of ours.
One Lieut. was wounded badly in the head from the ax in the hands of an old woman, our boys did not kill the old woman as has been reported, they only knocked her in the head with a gun and left her for dead, but she was not badly hurt. I saw her myself in less than a half hour after the fight.
I have seen some very narrow risks since I have been in the Mountains, but have so far escaped unharmed. Perhaps the narrowest risk I have seen since I have been in the Army occurred while I was at Kingston. I came very nearly being captured and held as a prisoner for life by a very fascinating young lady of that Village.
It required the combined forces of resolution and determination to get me released but now I am safe again, yet extremely anxious to visit the place where I came so near falling a victim to woman’s charm. You see, I was Asst. Surgeon in the Kingston Hospital and some power devine laid low with the fever my fair one’s Grand-mother.
Of course I was called on to officiate in the capacity of the Good Samaritan. Many were the professional airs I put on, and large were the pills of bread I administered to cure the poor old woman. The same power that had laid her low soon came and restored every wound in nature and I was crowned with honor and respect besides being permitted to visit the family at my pleasure and without ceremony.
I now found that while in the presence of Miss Emilee I had not forgotten entirely some of my old accomplishment, and as my visits were by no means disagreeable, either to Miss Emilee or myself, I thought I might just as well use them as not. I cannot tell you everything that happened to me during my short stay in Kingston, Yet I assure you I am by no means displeased with what has passed between the fair Miss Emilee and myself. …
We do not like our Brigadier Gen. [probably Crittenden] he is a drunken braggart, and wholly unfit to command, he has been vainly attempting to occupy with our little army; to the side of the C. [Cumberland] Mountains at once. I have no idea what his next move will be as he must be convinced by this time that his former plans must prove fatal. …
The only news from the place is that the enemy; 10,000 strong are removing the blockade from these Gaps. They killed one of our spies yesterday, another went out this morning, he told us all goodby and said he would not return that he would be killed, that his brother was lying at that time dead on the ground (the one who was killed yesterday evening), that his father had been killed sometime since, that his family had been scattered by the vandals, and he intended to release them or to bring them into our encampment …
Give my love to all in general and Grand-ma in particular. …
Yours Affectionately,
Sam Houston Hynds
W.P.A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, pp. 93-94.

3 JULY 1862 – 14 JULY 1862
Statements of East Tennessee Unionists taken prisoner as Confederates seeking removal from Camp Chase.

3 JULY 1862
PRISON No. 3, MESS No. 1, Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio.
DEAR SIR: I am a prisoner at Camp Chase, Ohio, and I feel myself a loyal man, if I could have hope [helped] myself, but I am here and wish to let you know that I was not persuaded into it, but actually driven in, as all the violators of the Confederacy were, or hung, or imprisoned.
I as well as many other Union men of East Tennessee joined a company of Union home guard, gotten up by J. S. Lamb, in the Fourth District of Knox County, Tenn. I drilled with them and expressed my honest sentiments for the Union and Constitution, and for Andrew Johnson, Horace Maynard, [William G. ] Parson Brownlow and T. A. R. Nelson.
I have the pleasure to announce to you that I voted for the Union three times and would have done so again and again had I had the opportunity; but, alas, we have been overrun by a military despotism that prevailed in East Tennessee for over twelve months; but after the August election had done all that I could at the ballot box for the Union, and J. S. Lamb and some others saw it plain by Governor Harris’ and Zollicoffer’s proclamation that we were bound to be oppressed.
They gathered all they could and made an effort to cross Cumberland Mountains to Kentucky to join the U. S. Army, but we were defeated by the secesh soldiers and several prisoners taken. I got back home and kept myself hid for some time, and though all was over, I was surrounded and notified that those who were engaged in trying to get to the U. S. Army would be hunted up, and if they refused to go into service would be “sent up” – a phrase to mean shooting, hanging, or imprisonment, for they said that they would join the Union Army.
I therefore consented to go into a company of sappers and miners, as I was informed it was to work and not to fight, with the intention if I had any chance to escape and get to the Union Army; and four of us boys of the same company had entered into a secret covenant, as soon as we were sure that the Union forces were near enough we would go to them and leave Mr. Secesh.
Our names are as follows: J. S. Lamb, Calvin Garrett, William Martin, and myself, Joel B. Crawford. We were taken before we knew they were so near. I send this to you and I wish you as my friend to do the best you can for me. I am willing to take any oath that the War Department may require.
I am, respectfully, yours,

Layout of Federal prison at Camp Chase, Ohio

3 JULY 1862
FROM PRISON No. 3, MESS No. 1, Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio.
Hon. HORACE MAYNARD, Washington, D. C.:
We, the undersigned, wish to give you as full account of the cause as possible of our being prisoners in Camp Chase, as we were Union men, as J. S. Lamb has already referred to us as his “Union fellow-sufferers in East Tennessee,” by the secesh military despotism that reigned for some time in our country.
We know you and our fathers were your warm supporters as well as Union lovers, and so would we have done the same, but William Martin was too young to vote, I did myself, Calvin Garrett. I know you are acquainted with our fathers, Reuben Garrett and Jonathan Martin, that live (Garrett) on the top of Copper Ridge and Martin at the foot of the same, Union County, Tenn., on the road leading from Knoxville to Maynardville, Tenn.
We were with Joseph S. Lamb when he started to cross Cumberland Mountains to join the U. S. Army, but as J. S. Lamb has already informed you we were stopped by the secesh army and defeated, but we made the second attempt and again found we could not go through.
We got home and were about to be taken. We scouted in the ridges for some time. We were informed that if we would give ourselves up and agree to go into the service we would not be hurt. As we saw no other prospect, by their giving us our choice of company and some time to choose, we agreed to it and put off the time as long as we could and finding no possible way to get out of it we concluded to go into a company of sappers and miners, as we were informed that that company was to work and not to fight.
We had concluded to enter that company, and if any possible chance offered, if the Federal Army got close to us, we would desert and go to the Union Army. Four of us boys had entered into that covenant secretly ourselves.
The names are Calvin Garrett, William Martin, Joseph S. Lamb and Joel B. Crawford. We would not wish you to publish this to the world, for if we are safely discharged from here our secesh neighbors would kill us secretly.
The prisoners, some of them that are here, have threatened, particularly if an exchange takes place, that J. S. Lamb and Martin are to go up … Martin for conducting the Union boys to camp where Lamb was waiting … when I (Garrett) was taken, and for telling them that there were two horses and some Union boys who would be glad to go with them, and J. S. Lamb for going and getting the powder and giving it to them in order as he said to defeat the secesh pursuit; and none of us four ever wish, as you and the War Department may judge, to be exchanged.
We wish to be discharged by taking any oath that the Department may require. We send this to you and wish you to read and lay it before the War Department, and if you can do us any good we will be under all obligations to you.
We subscribe ourselves,
your obedient servants,
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 4, pp. 122-123.

Camp Chase > Prisoner of War Camp near Columbus Ohio
Upon an oath of honor, Confederate officers were permitted to wander through Columbus, register in hotels, and receive gifts of money and food; a few attended sessions of the state senate. But they were still prisoners.

14 JULY 1862
Statement of Joseph S. Lamb, prisoner.
I reside in Knox County, Tenn., ten miles from the city of Knoxville. I am a Union man and will continue to be as long as I dare speak and have been so all the time. I voted against secession and talked against it as long as I dared. I had a Union flag at home and have yet unless they have gotten in and robbed me of it. About the 1st of June 1861, I had my likeness taken with the Stars and Stripes across my breast.
I was well known at home as a Union man both by Union men and secessionists and can give plenty of references of Union men as to this fact. After the time of taking my likeness and the election Gen. Zollicoffer, of the rebel army, came to Knoxville and took command and proclaimed that all those of the South should unite with the Confederacy and warning them that they had better never have been born than strike a blow against the South.
Afterward, about the 9th of August [1861], I together with Calvin Garrett, William Martin and Joel B. Crawford, now confined in prison with me at Camp Chase, with many others left our homes in Knox and Union Counties and started for Kentucky to unite with the Federal Army, then lying at or near Camp Dick Robinson [KY].
After traveling all night and the forenoon of the next day, having arrived at the foot of the Cumberland Mountains and about thirty miles on our journey, our advance was attacked by a squad of secession cavalry under command of Capt. [Hunter] Ashby.
We were unarmed. Capt. Thornburg, of our party, was wounded in the neck and me and nine others taken prisoners. We were informed by the mountain pilots that it would be impossible to cross the Confederate lines, they being too closely guarded, upon which we all returned to our homes, narrowly escaping being taken prisoners upon our return. …
In about ten or fifteen days afterward there came into my home upon me some seven armed men and arrested me and informed me that the charge was treason. …
They cursed my wife the same night they arrested me for saying she did not think the Union men were traitors and tories for maintaining their sentiments; that such a charge should rather go upon the other side.
They compelled me then to go along with them to Knoxville. There I was informed that the only way to save myself was to join the Southern Army and support the South against invasion.
Being advised by my friends I did so, in hopes that the Federal Army would soon come and rescue us, and with the full determination never to fire a gun against the flag that had protected us. …
I was at Big Creek Gap waiting on and cooking for some sick soldiers about the 21st day of February last, when a squad of Capt. Cross’ company, of Second Tennessee (Union) Regt., came in sight some 200 yards off. I could easily have escaped after I discovered them had I had any disposition to do so.
Calvin Garrett was then with me and he could have easily escaped also. Instead of making my escape I was out of doors and immediately started, meeting them walking slowly. Garrett did not start toward them with me but did not attempt to escape.
I and Crawford, Martin and Garrett had previously entered into a secret agreement that if ever we came near enough to the Federal lines that we knew we could make our escape we would do so and unite with the Federal Army. We were all of us taken prisoners the same day by Capt. Cross’ company of infantry. … and have remained prisoners ever since. …
I am willing and anxious to take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government and to enlist and fight in the Federal Army till the last gun is fired if I should live or the rebellion is put down, and to support the government of Governor Andrew Johnson. I am a warm friend of William G. Brownlow and Horace Maynard and of Governor Andrew Johnson.
I am firmly of the opinion that Calvin Garrett, William Martin and Joel B. Crawford have at all times at heart been Union men, are now, and if released will be good citizens of the United States and I believe they would unite with the Federal Army.
Taken, subscribed and sworn to before me this 14th day of July, A. D. 1862.
C. W. B. ALLISON, Col., Cmdg. Post, Camp Chase, Ohio.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 4, pp. 217-219.

22—26 JULY 1862
Union and Confederate negotiators reach an agreement for a standard of prisoner exchanges.

24 JULY 1862
Rules of procedure for hearing before the Provost Marshal.
Col. W. M. CHURCHWELL, Provost-Marshal, Knoxville, Tenn.
COL.: I am directed by the major-general commanding to say that you will order the assistant provost-marshal of the department whenever an arrest is made to send up with the prisoner a statement of the case accompanied with the names of the witnesses cognizant of the facts upon which the arrest is made.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 4, p. 826.

Major-General E. KIRBY SMITH CSA

1 AUGUST 1862
Confederate General E. Kirby Smith decries Federal policies toward civilians and threatens reprisals.
Brig. Gen. GEORGE W. MORGAN, Cmdg. United States Forces, Cumberland Gap.
GEN.: It has been reported to me that by your orders peaceable citizens without your lines have been arrested on account of their political opinions and are now held as prisoners. Since assuming command in this department I have arrested but 7 persons for political offenses and of these 6 have been released. By my intercession many who before my taking charge of the department had been sent South and confined have been released. I have ever given to the citizens of East Tennessee protection to persons and property regardless of their political tenets.
Six hundred and sixty-four citizens escaping to Kentucky, most of them with arms in their hands and belonging to military organizations in open hostility to the Confederate States, have been taken prisoners. All of these have been released excepting 76, who previously had voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States Government, and are now held as prisoners of war.
This policy has been pursued with an earnest desire to allay the horrors of war and to conduct the campaign with as little severity as is consistent with the interests of my Government. It is therefore, general, with deep regret that I hear of your arresting peaceable citizens without your lines, thereby inaugurating a policy which must bring great additional suffering on the two contending peoples.
I cannot but hope that this course has resulted from a misapprehension of my policy and a want of knowledge of my treatment of the Union element in East Tennessee. I have constantly had it in my power to arrest numbers of citizens disloyal to the Confederate States, but have heretofore refrained from so doing for the reasons above stated, and hoping all the while that the clemency thus extended would be appreciated and responded to by the authorities of the United States.
It is perhaps needless for me to state that if you continue to arrest citizens from without your lines whom the usages of war among civilized nations exempt from molestation, I shall be compelled in retaliation to pursue a similar course toward the disloyal citizens of my department, and shall arrest and confine the prominent Union men in each community.
I hope, however, that this explanation may correct any misapprehension on your part regarding my policy, and thereby obviate the necessity of my pursuing a course which is, to say the least, a disagreeable duty. This communication will be delivered to you by Mr. Kincaid, who hopes to be able to effect the release of his father, now held as a prisoner. …
I am, general, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 244-245.

3 AUGUST 1862
Military Governor Andrew Johnson’s policy on releasing Tennessee Confederate prisoners.
Hon. P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary:
In reply to your inquiry by telegraph I have to state, first, all Tennessee prisoners who are willing to take the oath of allegiance and enter into bond for its faithful observance should be released upon parole subject to notice. If they were released as suggested and permitted to return to Tennessee it would exert a powerful influence upon the State at this time.
The oath when taken and the bond should be forwarded to the Governor of Tennessee and filed in secretary’s office. If the power were conferred on me as intimated a short time since by the President—the power to prescribe the terms of release—I would at once appoint an agent competent to exercise proper judgment and send him to the various prisons where Tennesseeans are confined authorized to examine and release all who would take the oath and give bond.
All those who were not willing to comply with foregoing conditions I would either exchange or retain in prison. If this course were adopted I feel well assured that much good would result from it. I repeat I hope none of those Tennessee prisoners will be exchanged and sent South who are willing to conform to the conditions herein set forth.
ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 4, p. 333.

9 AUGUST 1862
Andrew Johnson appoints former Tennessee Governor William B. Campbell as prisoner of war commissioner to carry out prisoner of war release policy.
Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-Gen.:
In compliance with authority and instructions from the War Department on 4th instant I have appointed ex-Governor Campbell commissioner to visit the various prisons containing Tennessee prisoners and prescribe the terms and conditions of their release.
All prisoners not officers who are willing to take the oath of allegiance and give bonds will be released upon parole to report to the Governor of Tennessee, and all who refuse to do so will be retained in prison, exchanged. Governor Campbell will communicate to the War Department what policy he adopts in regard to the release of these prisoners.
I trust in God that in making an exchange of prisoners that the East Tennesseeans now confined in Southern dungeons will not be overlooked. The eastern part of the State has been too long neglected and our people left to oppression. Let that portion of her people are now in dungeons be set free at least while there is an opportunity to redeem them with traitors and rebels.
ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 4, p. 362.

Gov. Campbell of Tennessee, whose mission to Chicago we noticed at some length a few days since, has been successful in securing the release of three hundred and eighty-seven prisoners, now confined at Camp Douglas. By consent of the War Department, the prisoners alluded to came up yesterday and took the oath of allegiance. Twenty one of them left last evening—the balance taking their departure to-day. …
We are informed that many others would take the oath were it not for the general impression prevailing among the prisoners that they are to be released by exchange. The prisoners universally manifested a feeling of joy and relief that their captivity was over …
It is a noticeable fact that the prisoners from the Gulf States manifest no desire to take the oath, but, on the other hand, manifest a most inveterate hatred to everything federal. The batch lately brought from New Mexico are especially dogged and contumacious. They are a bloodthirsty, brutal pack, whom no amount of good treatment or kindness will ever effect.
~ Nashville Dispatch.

4 OCTOBER 1862
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: After being a few days in command here and finding the disloyalty and disaffection to the Government much more general and bitter than I had expected, I became satisfied that much good might result to our cause by putting myself in communication with a few of the most influential Union men. …
I believe there are Southern men in East Tennessee, small politicians generally, who do not desire that influential men who have heretofore been strong Union men should change their course and come out in support of the Government. They are actuated by petty party jealousy, and have done much mischief by denunciatory articles in the public prints on men who if let alone would gladly have abandoned their hostility and opposition to the Government. …
While I shall endeavor by a conciliatory but firm course to bring the leaders of what is known as the Union party and through them the mass of the party to the active support of the Government, I shall not fail every means in my power to suppress everything like open hostility or secret treachery. I regret to believe that much of such hostility and treachery exists in this department.
I have a detachment out now in an adjoining county to kill, capture, or disperse a party of some 200 or 300 armed men collected together in the mountains to join the enemy in Kentucky; and I hear there are other such bands. It may be well to arrest and send out of the country a few of the most obdurate and perverse Union men. I have received no instructions from you and am not informed as to the policy it is desired I should pursue.
I send with this copies of orders and a short proclamation to the people of East Tennessee. They, together with this letter, will indicate somewhat of the policy I propose to pursue, and I have respectfully to ask that you will submit them to the President and inform me if they meet his approval.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAM. JONES, Maj.-Gen.

Major General SAM. JONES CSA
Commander at Knoxville

13 OCTOBER 1862
Confederate forces ordered to Johnson and Carter counties to disperse Unionists.
Lieut. Col. [GEORGE N. ] FOLK, Cmdg.
Seventh North Carolina Volunteers:
You will proceed with four companies of your command to the counties of Johnson and Carter and break up and disperse an organization of tories from North Carolina and such other hostile bands as you may find. The prisoners taken from the North Carolina band will be sent to the provost-marshal at Salisbury, N. C., and the Tennessee prisoners to this place.
Private property will be strictly respected and all lawless acts of violence repressed with the utmost vigilance and discipline. A full report will be made to these headquarters.
Your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 940.

22 NOVEMBER 1862
A petition from Union Citizens in East Tennessee to Military Governor Andrew Johnson.
The undersigned would respectfully, as Union Citizens of Tennessee, request you to enforce your Proclamation of May last, and arrest or cause to be arrested ten rebels, or some such number, for each loyal Citizen of Tennessee now under arrest, or who may hereafter be arrested by the rebels, or under their authority, to be treated in all things as the loyal citizen may be treated by them. Such arrests, as far as practicable to be from the neighborhood of the loyal Citizen. …
The undersigned, in making the above request are satisfied that they represent the Union sentiment of Tennessee and by pursuing the policy of the Proclamation, hundreds of loyal citizens, now confined in loathsome prisons will soon be released and at home with their families and others can remain at home in security. …
Respectfully your fellow Citizens.
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 66.
Note: The petition contained 132 signatures, most of them from East Tennessee, including W. G. Brownlow, Horace Maynard, William J. Clift and A. B. Shankland, all mainstays of devoted Unionism in East Tennessee.


23 JANUARY 1863
Daniel Ellis account of the murders of East Tennessee Unionists seeking to escape Confederate East Tennessee.
[Ellis was a pilot who led Northeast Tennessee Unionists across the mountains into Kentucky, either for their personal safety or to join the Union Army.]
Some of the men whom I had agreed to conduct through to Kentucky had the misfortune of being captured and cruelly murdered by the rebels. The names of the poor fellows were James Taylor, Samuel Tatum, Alfred Kite, Alexander Dugger, and David Shuffield.
The infamous men who perpetrated these murders belonged to Folk’s regiment, accompanied by some of the home guards of Johnson County, who had been ranging all over the country for conscripts, taking these home guards along with them for guides.
They were all together when the rebels discovered them, they being on one side of the Watauga River and the rebels on the other. When they first observed these men, they at once dashed across the river on their horses and surrounded them on a small ridge.
Some of these men had arms … nothing more than a pistol or a knife, which so enraged the rebel demons that they rushed forward like blood-thirsty tigers, and butchered these poor men in cold blood, without pity and without mercy. …
When the rebels first fired, poor Taylor surrendered; they continued to shoot at him, while he begged them to be treated as a prisoner, but instead, one of these incarnate devils ran up and soon silenced in, by shooting the top of his head off with a musket.
Two of them then caught him by his feet, and pitched him violently over a large rock down a steep declivity, which bruised his body and broke his limbs in a most shocking manner. … Tatum was killed nearly at the same time that Taylor was, he being first wounded in the shoulder, and then dispatched with great cruelty. …
Thrilling Adventures of Daniel Ellis, p.107-110.

A pilot through Northeast Tennessee mountains
Ellis led Unionists, Confederate deserters, prison escapees, slaves, and fugitives through the mountains into Kentucky or the Union lines.

2 JUNE 1863
Bragg issues General Orders No. 18
Relative to refugee policy
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT No. 2, Tullahoma, Tenn.
The enemy has seen fit to expel from his lines and send to our midst not only those supposed to be guilty of crimes, but non-combatants found at their homes in the peaceful pursuits of life. In the perpetration of these outrages on humanity, and these violations of civilized warfare, he has prostituted the flag of truce to the base purpose of protecting the guards who drive forth these exiles.
Hereafter that flag will not protect those guards, but they will be seized and sent forward to be treated as spies or prisoners of war, as the circumstances in each case may require.
By command of Gen. Braxton Bragg
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 858-859.

25 JUNE 1863
One East Tennessean’s concerns about Federal conscription.
From Loveland Ohio.
Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee
Dear Sir: Will your Honour please to inform me whether I am subject to conscription or draft or not. Here is my case. I am an East Tenn. 14 months ago I left home to join the Union Army. In crossing the Lines I was captured as a citizen, to remain a prisoner during the war.
So having no protection from the U. S., I took an oath not to fight against them. (Rather then to remain a prisoner) I gave Bond of $2000 Dollars. Since I crossed the Lines, rather than go to the Rebel Army, I have also got my family here, with me. My home was once in Greeneville Tenn. I was a printer in the Democrat office. …
I hope to have your opinion soon.
Your Friend, F. M. Farmser.
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 276-277.

29 JUNE 1863
Return to duty orders for Confederate prisoners of war in East Tennessee.
General Orders No. 60
Headquarters, Dep’t East Tenn., Knoxville.
All officers and soldiers captured by the United States forces under Col Saunders is their recent raids—Sanders’ Raid—are hereby directed to report for duty immediately to their representative commands, as the paroles given are not recognized by the Authorities at Richmond.
By command of,
Maj. Gen. S. B. [Simon Bolivar] Buckner
Knoxville Daily Southern Chronicle.

Major General Simon Bolivar Buckner CSA

Federal Provost Marshall seeks release of political prisoners in East Tennessee.
Office Provost Marshal Gen. of E. Tenn., Knoxville.
All persons whose friends have been arrested for political offenses, and carried off by the Rebels, and are still held in confinement, are requested to report the names of such prisoners at this office, as soon as possible, with the charges on which they were arrested, in order that measures may be taken to secure their release.
By command of S. P. CARTER,
Brig. Gen. and Pro. Mar. Gen. E. Tenn.
Knoxville Daily Bulletin.

‘Dear wife I was captured at Jonesborough.’
Letter from prisoner of war John Bachman at Knoxville.
To his wife Rachel in Sullivan County.
I am well except a very sore ankle. I wish you would send me a good pair of socks and 2 shirts and a good Blanket or an overcoat and pants; put them in a satchel or haversack. Don’t grieve after me … tell the Boys to take care of the Crop, as well as they can keep what grain you have.
Get Lynes or bob to see to your claims &c. Andy Coleman owes $16.00 & Thomas Hickman $10.00. Borrowed at Salt Works. I have no time to write you much satisfactions; there is with me J. H. Grouch, Jon Ball Edmon, Wheelock & others of my friends.
We expect to be sent to Camp Chase, and if it should be so, we may Remain some months.
So I remain your affectionate Husband,
John Bachman
W.P.A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 126.

Hail! Hail! Burnside!
During the first few days of September 1863, Major General Ambrose Burnside arrives in Northeast Tennessee and begins to free the Unionists there from Rebel occupation, which they suffered under for more than two years.
The general travels with his troops up the Valley and personally takes part in some of the engagements, like wresting Cumberland Gap from the Confederate garrison occupying it. Not the best general in the war, but he deserves the credit for finally coming to the aid of the Unionists in Northeast Tennessee.

GENERAL FIELD ORDERS, No. 13, regarding foraging regulations and punishments for depredations.
As it is the mission of this army to rescue East Tennessee from rebel despotism, so it is also its duty to see that within its lines law and order are enforced.
No advantage must be taken of its presence to avenge private wrongs or to gratify a personal malice, and it must be distinctly understood by all, both citizens and soldiers, that any unauthorized injuries inflicted by any, on either person or property, will be promptly punished with the utmost rigor of military law.
No levies on property for the public service will be made, except by the proper authority, and in no case will any person, no matter how great may be his criminality, be left without the means of subsistence. Offenses or depredations should be at once reported to the nearest provost-marshal, who is authorized to immediately arrest the offender and hold him for punishment.
Vouchers will be given in all cases for property, and these vouchers will state on their face what is known as to the loyalty or disloyalty of the persons from whom property is taken. …
Citizens as well as soldiers are notified that all prisoners of war, when released on their taking the oath of allegiance, will be permitted to return to their homes and resume their ordinary avocations, and will not be threatened or molested by any one so long as they observe their faith to the Government … but any violation of the oath will be promptly reported to the nearest provost-marshal, who is authorized to take immediate action.
By command of Maj. Gen. [Ambrose] Burnside.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 718-719.

Wagon train carrying supplies to the armies

6 OCTOBER 1863
Federal policy of retribution against Rebel sympathizers in East Tennessee announced.
Office Provost Marshal General East Tennessee. Knoxville, Tenn.
WHEREAS, The Rebel forces in Upper and Lower East Tennessee have been engaged in the wanton seizure and destruction of the property of Union men, … it has been threatened that Union citizens shall be visited with “fire and sword” – and the threat has already been carried out by the arrest, imprisonment, and maltreatment of Union men, for no alleged crime but that of loyalty to their Government …
It is not the desire of those in authority to arrest quiet and orderly citizens, or molest them merely on account of opinions they may have held, it is, therefor Ordered, that with a view of bringing such barbarous practices to an end, the severest retaliatory measures shall be adopted.
In every case where a Union man, has been arrested and is held in confinement, a prominent Rebel, or active Rebel sympathizer, living in his vicinity, shall be arrested and held in close confinement as a hostage, and be subject, in all respects, to the same treatment and punishment which the Union man receives at the hands of the rebel authorities, until his release from prison and restoration to liberty …
In all cases where it can be shown that the property of Union men has been seized or wantonly destroyed, the property of rebels, and of citizens of rebel sympathies in the neighborhood where such destruction has occurred, shall be taken and held by way of retaliation, and for the purpose of indemnifying Union citizens for their losses.
By command of S. P. CARTER,
Brig. Gen. and Pro. Mar. Gen. E. Tenn.

4 NOVEMBER 1863 – 23 DECEMBER 1863
Longstreet’s Knoxville Campaign.

At First Light: The Gwinnett Artillery at the Battle of Fort Sanders
Ken Smith, Artist

29 NOVEMBER 1863
Assault on Fort Sanders
Knoxville, Tennessee
Report of Lieut. Samuel N. Benjamin, Second U. S. Artillery, Chief of Artillery.
Maj.-Gen. BURNSIDE, U. S. Army:
DEAR GEN.: Inclosed you will find an account of the siege of Fort Sanders, giving the plan of the defense and a description of the assault. …
We took over 250 prisoners unhurt, 17 of them commissioned officers (we were not 250 strong in the fort); over 200 dead and wounded lay in the ditch, among them 3 colonels. One-half in the ditch were dead; most of the others were mortally wounded. We also got over 1,000 stand of arms. The prisoners in the ditch represented eleven regiments, and estimated their regiments at about 400 strong, each. …
From what I learned from their officers and from what I saw, I gathered the following plan of assault:
Two brigades to watch and fire on our lines, one brigade to assault, and two more to support it. Two brigades came up to the ditch.
The party actually engaged in the assault numbered about 4,000 men, not including reserves. Of these they lost from 1,300 to 1,500 killed, wounded, and prisoners; a very large proportion killed, and a large number mortally wounded.
In the fort we lost 13 men, 8 killed and 5 wounded. Gen. Ferrero was in the little bomb-proof, and I did not see him outside, nor know of his giving an order during the fight.
The capture of the fort was to have been at once followed by a general assault on the town, their whole army being in readiness.
Lieut., Second U. S. Artillery.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 342-344.

Lieut. Samuel N. Benjamin USA
Medal of Honor Recipient for Civil War service.
From Bull Run to Spotsylvania, VA – July 1861 to May 1864.

Maj. Gen. JOHN G. FOSTER, Tazewell.
GEN.: I forward dispatches received from scouts. Prisoners will be forwarded in the morning. One of them by the name of Smith, First Tennessee, was attached to Gen. Jones’ headquarters; told him the night before the fight that he was going to Blain’s Cross-Roads. It is possible that while Wheeler’s brigade started toward Kingston, Jones’ command will move up toward Virginia to cover Longstreet’s left flank. There is no doubt that Col. Dibrell was wounded and Assistant Adjutant-Gen. Allison killed in the affair of yesterday.
O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 394-397.

10 DECEMBER 1863
Skirmish at flour mill at Rutledge, Confederate still near Clinch River and surrender of Confederates at Knoxville.
Rutledge, December 10, 1863—6.15 p. m.
… If the enemy had any spare force across the river, their remaining so long thereabouts is explained by the fact that they are running a still about 1 1/2 miles back from the river. Marsh reports that Strong and Anderson, of Gen. Foster’s staff, were in Knoxville yesterday.
The other brigade he met on the road with Mott’s was composed of Tennessee troops, and I suppose was Spears’, and Marsh says between 300 and 400 prisoners came into Knoxville yesterday, picked up in squads on the French Broad.
Yours, truly ROBERT B. POTTER, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 369-370.

13 DECEMBER 1863
Skirmish near Dandridge’s Mill.
GEN.: I have just received the order to move with my command to Morristown to protect a telegraph party sent out from Strawberry Plains. My pickets were attacked at 10 o’clock this morning by a small scouting party of the enemy sent out (as prisoners assert) from Bull’s Gap. I happened to be near the picket post at the time and immediately pursued them with the reserve, on the Bull’s Gap road, and succeeded in capturing 6 of them … after a chase of 6 miles. We got their horses, arms, and saddles. I send the 6 prisoners to you herewith …
I am, general, very respectfully,
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 404.

15 DECEMBER 1863
Skirmish near Kingston and capture of Confederates.
HDQRS., Kingston.
Maj.-Gen. FOSTER: Company E of my old regiment that is now down at White’s Creek informs me that a body of about 40 rebels made an attempt to cross the river near where they are stationed. They fired into the rebels and took about 14 of them prisoners. About 12 of them succeeded in crossing to the south bank of the Tennessee. They were armed with Colt revolvers and axes. The prisoners say that John [Hunt] Morgan was among those that crossed the river and made their escape.
Respectfully, R. K. BYRD, Col., Cmdg. Post.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 418-419.


15 JANUARY 1864
Capture of C. S. A. cavalry, including General Vance, brother of the Gov. of North Carolina.
DANDRIDGE, 15 January 1864.
Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, U. S. Army.
Commanding Cavalry, Department of the Ohio.
I have just word from Col. Palmer … and whom I had sent after a party 300 strong, under command of Gen. Vance, a brother of the Governor of the Governor of North Carolina, that he overtook them on Cosby Creek, 23 miles from Sevierville, at 3 p. m. on the 14th instant.
They had rested to feed their animals, and were about to take the road to Newport when he charged them, routing their entire command.
He captured 52 prisoners, including Gen. Vance, his adjutant-general, and inspector-general; also about 150 saddle-horses and over 100 stand of arms, besides destroying a large number of arms on the road. …
The Home Guards are pursuing the dismounted rebels, who fled to the mountains, and many of them will no doubt be captured.
The entire command is dispersed, and the rebels not captured will no doubt return to their homes. …
The prisoners are on their way to Knoxville …
S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Cavalry Corps.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 74.

Old farm in Cosby, Cocke County, Northeast Tennessee.

24 JANUARY 1864
Skirmish near Newport [Cocke County]
REPORTS. No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis,
U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry, Department of the Ohio.
GEN.: I have just returned from Fair Garden [Sevier County] and McCook’s position near Dandridge [Jefferson County].
Yesterday evening Col. LaGrange (First Wisconsin) was sent with his brigade to intercept a reported train of wagons (said to be 100) with infantry escort war Newport, and conveying forage to Morristown [in Hawkins County during the Civil War].
The colonel has returned, but found no wagons. He captured 15 prisoners.
Both these scouting parties examined the country with a view to its resources of forage … and report that the forage has been nearly all hauled by the enemy to the north side of the river, where it is protected by strong guards of infantry.
Col. LaGrange estimates that in what was reported to be the richest portion of the valley a division of cavalry could not subsist longer than three days.
I do not know that it can be avoided, but I may say that it is a pity that circumstances should compel us to entirely exhaust the country of these loyal people.
If we remain here long they must suffer, and it will be impossible for them to raise anything [crops] next year.
The necessity for pressing supplies leads so immediately to plundering that soldiers find no difficulty in taking the step from the one to the other, and in spite of all I can do to the contrary.
It is distressing to witness the sufferings of these people at the hands of the friends for whom they have been so long and so anxiously looking.
You cannot help it; neither can I, and I only refer to it because my heart is full of it.
S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 114-115.

27 JANUARY 1864
27 January 1864—6 p. m.
GEN.: After driving the whole cavalry force of the enemy steadily all day long, our troops went in about 4 o’clock with the saber and a yell and routed them, horse, foot, and dragoon, capturing over 100 prisoners, which I am sending down, and 2 pieces of artillery, 3-inch steel guns.
Our troops are very much worn down with continuous fighting and little to eat, but they are a band of as patient and brave soldiers as I have ever seen thus far. Some 50 or 60 of the enemy were wounded and killed in the charge alone. In the whole day’s fighting their loss must be very large.
As Wolford and Garrard were brought from a long distance, they fell in as reserves, so that this glorious day’s work was performed alone by the gallant men of LaGrange’s and Campbell’s brigades, of McCook’s division.
Respectfully yours, &c.,
S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen.

28 JANUARY 1864
Maj. Gen. J. G. Foster telegraphs from Knoxville, Tenn., under date 9 a.m. 28th, as follows:
I have the honor to report that the cavalry under Gen. Sturgis achieved a decided victory over the enemy’s cavalry yesterday near Fair Garden, about 10 miles east of Sevierville.
McCook’s division drove the enemy about 2 miles, after a stubborn fight, lasting from daylight to 4 p. m., at which time the division charged with the saber and yell, and routed the enemy from the field, capturing 2 steel rifled-guns and over 100 prisoners.
The enemy’s loss was considerable, 65 of them being killed or wounded in the charge.
Garrard’s and Wolford’s divisions came up, after a forced march, in time to be pushed in pursuit, although their horses were jaded.
Brig. Gen. and Chief of Staff.

USA Brig. Gen. John A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff, with wife and daughter at door of their quarters. City Point VA, 1864.

Report of Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry.
Commanding First Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland.
… Col. LaGrange, with detachments of Second and Fourth Indiana Cavalry, by a magnificent and gallant saber charge upon the Fair Garden road, captured two pieces of artillery, sobered the cannoneers and supports, and captured a large number of prisoners. …
It was now nearly dark … our men were worn out by an advance over a hotly contested and difficult ground, our supply of ammunition was in a great measure exhausted, and I therefore, after occupying the position taken, sent out detachments of the First East Tennessee and First Wisconsin Cavalry – these detachments comprising the only men that had not been actively engaged in pursuit.
They overtook the enemy at Flat Creek and captured quite a number of prisoners. …

23 APRIL 1864
Capture of thieves in Greene County.
A few days ago that most efficient of the Federal scouts, Capt. Reynolds, in command of about fifty picked men, visited Greene county for the purpose of breaking up a nest of twenty-five thieves and murderers under the command of a villain by the name of Reynolds who have been for months robbing Union hoses and killing Union citizens.
They were an independent organization, and had done as much real and hellish work as any equal number of assassins in the rebel service.
Our troops came upon them in the waters of Lick Creek, some ten or twelve miles from Greeneville, and killed ten, and captured the remaining fifteen with their infamous leader included, bringing them all to this city [Knoxville] and the leader of the gang in irons.
We think our soldiers are to blame for making prisoners of any of them – they ought all to have been executed on the spot.
Brownlow’s Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator.

21 AUGUST 1864
Tennessee Confederate Congressman Joseph Heiskell arrested during Union military operations at Rogersville.

MINI BIO: Joseph Heiskell
Joseph Brown Heiskell was born in Knoxville, son of publisher Frederick S. Heiskell, editor of the Knoxville Register. Before the Civil War, Joseph practiced law in Rogersville, Hawkins County, Northeast Tennessee.
Like many secessionists, Heiskell first opposed secession but switched sides after Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to put down the rebellion.
Heiskell was elected to the first Confederate Congress in November 1861. He took his seat in Richmond on 18 February 1862 and served through the end of the second session in October 1862.
Congressman Heiskell favored arresting any Unionist and holding them hostage until Confederates could be exchanged.
He was reelected unanimously to the second Confederate Congress and assumed more and more responsibilities.
Federal forces captured Heiskell on August 21, 1864 and imprisoned him at Camp Chase, Ohio until the end of the war.
After the war he moved to Memphis, like other former Confederate officials like Landon Carter Haynes and William G. Swan, where he practiced law.
Heiskell did not receive a pardon for his actions during the American Civil War and was considered an Unreconstructed Rebel.

Confederate Congressman Joseph Heiskell

28 AUGUST 1864
Military Governor Andrew Johnson proposes keeping captured Confederate Congressmen in prison.
NASHVILLE, 28 August 1864.
Gen. SHERMAN: Albert G. Watkins, ex-member of Congress, and Joe Heiskell, member of the Confederate Congress, have been captured in the recent expedition in upper East Tennessee and sent to Knoxville.
I hope Gen. Sherman will permit me to suggest the propriety of their being [kept] elsewhere for safe-keeping …
They are bad men, and exercised a dangerous and deleterious influence in the country, and deserve as many deaths as can be inflicted upon them.
They are extensively connected with influential persons throughout that region of the country.
ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 311.
[Heiskell is held as prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio for the balance of the war.]

S. P. Carter, Provost-Marshal-Gen. of East Tennessee.
Seeking release of Confederate political prisoners.
Brig.-Gen. [Alvan] GILLEM, Bulls’ Gap:
I am advised by the commissioners who met the rebels at Greeneville that according to their arrangement no more citizens should be arrested in East Tennessee by either side for mere political offenses before their next meeting, on the 1st of October.
As I am most anxious to secure the release of Union citizens, will you please direct your command to abstain from any further arrests that would be in violation of above agreement.
S. P. CARTER, Brig. Gen.
Provost-Marshal-Gen. of East Tennessee.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 440.

17 NOVEMBER 1864
A Confederate prisoner’s letter to his sweetheart at Mulberry Gap, Hancock County.
Chattanooga Military Prison
Miss Jo:
I have been a prisoner of war since October 28th. I was captured at Morristown, Tennessee.
I am in very good health and expect to be sent North in a very short time – would like very much to receive a letter from you but do not expect to be so heavenly favored soon.
When I am permanently located in a Northern Federal Prison, I will let you know where I am and you must write me there.
I saw your father at Knoxville, he was looking well. I have written a note to Lizzie – I hope you succeed in sending it through.
Yours as ever,
W.P.A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 60.

1 DECEMBER 1864 – 7 FEBRUARY 1865
Initiation and termination of talks relative to the exchange of East Tennessee political prisoners.
Brig. Gen. JOHN C. VAUGHN, C. S. Army:
GEN.: Your communication of November 29 has just been received.
The major-general commanding the department [] directs me to say that you and Gen. Carter can continue negotiations for the exchange of non-combatants at a designated place during eight or ten days, or longer if necessary.
Ladies within your lines whose husbands or relatives are in our army, and who may wish to come into our lines, will be received.
Ladies within our lines who may wish to go within yours must apply to the proper authority for permission.
These negotiations, &c., not to interfere in any manner with or suspend the military operations of the U. S. forces in East Tennessee.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
J. AMMEN, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, p. 1176.

Major General John C. Breckinridge CSA
Department of East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia
27 September 1864 – 20 February 1865

Confederate foraging party attacked near Greeneville
In regard to sending Gen. [Basil] Duke’s command north of the Holston River as soon as I can spare them, that time will not come as long as the forces remain in East Tennessee that were in our front when you left us, and now there is a force that came from Cumberland Gap of from 2,000 to 4,000 men, so all my scouts and citizens report.
But is my intention to send Gen. Duke’s command to Hawkins County to-morrow or next day, if everything is quiet.
My scouts were at Noah’s Ferry of Ford, yesterday p. m., and the enemy were still encamped in the vicinity of Bean’s Station, with pickets at all the fords on the Holston near there.
This county is full of parties from the Federal Army bushwhacking.
Gen. Duke’s men were attacked to-day, while foraging, within four or five miles of Greeneville, and two of his men captured. …
The enemy have foraged none above the Strawberry Plains since you left south of the Holston River.
Gen. Carter and I agreed to exchange all citizen prisoners, except a few who are indicted for treason.
I have sent a copy of the agreement to the Secretary of War. Whether they will agree to it or not is to be seen. I did what I thought was best for our friends.
The railroad is repaired only about half way to Greeneville at this time.
To send Cosby’s and Giltner’s brigades into Hawkins or Hancock Counties, in Tennessee, or Lee Country, Va., would threaten Cumberland Gap and cause the force at Bean’s Station to fall back. There is plenty of supplies of all kinds in either of those counties.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 664.

10 DECEMBER 1864
Exchange and release of citizens of East Tennessee.  
Maj. Gen. E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Commissioner for Exchange, Washington DC
GEN.: I inclose copy of agreement entered into on 1st instant at New Market, East Tenn., with Brig. Gen. John C. Vaughn, acting in behalf of the so-called Confederate Government, for exchange and release of citizens of East Tennessee held by the U. S. military authorities and by the rebels.
I also inclose list of rebel sympathizers now imprisoned at Johnson’s Island and Camp Chase, Ohio, as hostages for Union men imprisoned by rebels, and respectfully request that they be sent to Knoxville as early as practicable, in order that the proper exchange may be effected according to agreement.
For your information I send lists of rebel sympathizers held at this place as hostages who are to be released, as well as of Union men supposed to be in the hands of the rebels.
Copies of these lists were left with rebel commissioner.
An effort was made by the rebel commissioner to secure release of parties indicted for treason … to agree to make no further arrests in East Tennessee and to agree to a suspension of the conscript law for this district. Under your instructions I declined to consider his proposition.
Hoping that the arrangement I have made looking to the release of many warm friends of the Government who have suffered long in rebel prisons will meet the approbation of our authorities.
I am, general, respectfully,
your obedient servant,
S. P. CARTER, Brig. Gen. and Provost-Marshal-Gen. of East Tennessee.

Prisoner of War Camp on Johnson’s Island, Ohio

10 DECEMBER 1864
Brig. Gen. J. C. VAUGHN, Cmdg. Confederate Cavalry, East Tennessee.
SIR: I am in receipt of your communication of the 7th instant, inclosing list of twenty-nine citizen prisoners this day delivered at our lines.
In looking over the list I am surprised to find that the name of Charles Inman of Sevier County, does not appear.*
He has been arrested, as I understand, since you took command in East Tennessee, and his case was specially referred to in our interview, with a promise on your part that he should be speedily released.
I trust that the apparent oversight in his case will be speedily corrected. I have already written to Washington to have the prisoners who are held as hostages at Johnson’s Island and other points sent to this place for exchange.
They will be sent to your lines without unnecessary delay after their arrival at Knoxville.
I trust that you will have the Union prisoners, who have been so long absent from their homes, brought to East Tennessee at as early a day as possible in order to [secure] their release.
I inclose list of hostages who are hereby released and sent to your lines.
You will see that [they] have been set at liberty here.
A few other persons held at Knoxville shall be sent to your lines, if they desire it, at an early day.
I have already written on the subject of treason cases, as agreed upon.
Hoping that all citizen prisoners of East Tennessee now held may soon be restored to their homes,
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. CARTER, Brig. Gen. and Provost-Marshal-Gen. of East Tennessee.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 1208-1209.
* Author Charles Frazier based his book, Cold Mountain, on the Civil War service of William P. Inman of the Twenty-fifth North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

15 DECEMBER 1864
Brig. Gen. JOHN C. VAUGHN:
SIR: I regret that I cannot give my approval to the recent agreement made between Brig. Gen. S. P. Carter and yourself in relation to East Tennessee prisoners.
Whilst it requires that all “Union citizens of East Tennessee who are held by the Confederate authorities” shall be released, there is no corresponding stipulation in respect to our own loyal people.
It is well known that a large number of Confederate citizens have been arrested by the U. S. military authorities in East Tennessee and turned over to the State for indictment.
Most of the Union men whom we hold were arrested in retaliation, and in fact are held as hostages for such persons.
The agreement not only leaves such as have been turned over to the State authorities to an almost hopeless captivity, but fails to require the release of all other citizen prisoners.
The Federals only agree to deliver the hostages.
It is believed there are some, if not many, loyal Confederates now in confinement who have not been turned over to the State and who are not held as hostages. As to such Gen. Carter only agrees “to use his best efforts” for their release.
The Confederate authorities are willing to enter into an agreement for the release of all citizens or political prisoners on both sides belonging to East Tennessee.
They cannot be charged with any want of liberality in this proposition, as it is generally conceded that the larger part of the population of that country, not under arms, is hostile to us.
Capt. Shad. Harris is a deserter from our service; he was tried as such and condemned to death. The mercy of the President saved him from a just doom.
Capt. Battle is unjustly held as hostage.
To give up Harris for Battle would strengthen the hands of the enemy in their avowed purpose of contesting our right to try deserters from our service. Capt. Rogers is now safe within our lines.
The fifth section of the agreement, if adopted, would, I am afraid lead to difficulties.
What is meant by conforming to the “requirements of the authorities?”
We and the enemy will in all probability give very different constructions to such a phrase and thus again precipitate what we wish to avoid.
In the event of your inability to secure general release of citizen prisoners belonging to East Tennessee, including Mr. [Joseph] Heiskell, I approve of your desire “to arrest a number of prominent men as hostages.”
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. A. SEDDON, Secretary of War USA.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, p. 1229.

HON. JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.
… I would also respectfully call your attention to the propriety of something being done that shall secure the exchange and release of our citizen prisoners from East Tennessee.
There are many noble and inoffensive Southern citizens confined North who can be exchanged for, thus relieving our friends of much suffering, restore them to their families and friends, and save our Government of much expense in feeding the many citizens we have confined under the most trivial charges. …
I remain, as ever, your true friend,
JOHN C. VAUGHN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 964-965.

Brigadier General John C. Vaughn CSA
Commanding Vaughn’s Brigade; 60th Tennessee, 61st Tennessee, 62nd Tennessee

20 FEBRUARY 1865
Negotiations for exchange of prisoners of state in East Tennessee, excerpt:
Brig. Gen. L. S. TROWBRIDGE, Provost-Marshal-Gen., Department of East Tennessee:
… Justice to the citizens who are made thus to suffer for their opinions’ sake requires it at my hand, and candor requires me to give you timely information that I will continue to arrest man for man one Union citizen for every Southern man arrested on your side.
I will in carrying out this determination have regard to those and all of those who have been arrested since the 10th of November, the date of the New Market agreement.
I promised Gen. Carter orally that I would wait a reasonable time for the release of Jos. B. Heiskell, in whose case he said there were some difficulties over which he could not then exercise full control, but he hoped to be able to effect his discharge in a short time.
Mr. Heiskell is still in confinement, and I have given orders for the arrest of citizens to be held as hostages for him.
Permit me, however, general, to give you my solemn assurance that whenever a proper disposition shall be exhibited by the U. S. authorities to carry out the letter and spirit of our agreement, entered into in November at New Market, which can be illustrated only by the release of all citizen prisoners now in your custody and by ceasing to make any such arrests in future, I will gladly not only discharge all we hold, but will throw full and inviolable protection around all Union citizens in the same manner.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN C. VAUGHN, Brig. Gen., Cmdg. Cav.
Dept. of East Tenn. and Southwest Va.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 8, pp. 272-274.

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