The Inman family comes to Tennessee from North Carolina in the 18th century.
13 MARCH 1845
Myra Adelaide Inman is born, one of eight children, in Cleveland, Bradley County, Southeast Tennessee.
MYRA ADELAIDE INMAN
The family buys an inn, known as the Inman Inn.
While Myra is still a child, her father dies without leaving a will.
Mrs. Inman—Ann Jarnagin Inman—sells all of their property to survive.
She then moves her family to a new home, which is used as a boarding house.
Thirteen-year-old Myra Adelaide Inman writes the first entry in her diary on New Year’s Day, 1859.
She records her activities and those of her friends and family, as well as the events of her hometown of 250 people—Cleveland, an Appalachian community in Southeast Tennessee.
Myra often writes about visiting friends and attending balls, parties, and teas.
Her experiences appear to be similar to those of rural inhabitants across the South.
MAP OF SOUTHEAST TENNESSEE
MYRA INMAN’S CONFEDERATE DIARY
1 JANUARY 1859
Cousin John Lea was here this morning. Mother, Sister, Jimmie and Annie spent the day at Dr. Brown’s. …
A beautiful day but very muddy. I did not get any New Year’s presents.
Fighting at 4 o’clock this morning at Charleston, continues until the 13th.
Honor and Shame from no condition rise.
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
18 APRIL 1861
A pleasant day.
Perry Gaut and Dr. Carson here this morning to get us to assist making a Union Flag. Mother would not let us.
23 APRIL 1861
Sallie Shields presented the Unionists with a flag today.
8 MAY 1861
Saying goodbye to Confederate soldiers at Cleveland Depot.
We all went over to the depot … I gave a soldier a bouquet, got acquainted with several of them, gave a great many of them bouquets.
13 MAY 1861
Rumors of slave rebellion.
Last night the Negroes were to have an insurrection—so it was reported.
31 MAY 1861
Learning to shoot.
We all went down to the spring and learned to shoot.
Mr. Montgomery joined us there.
I shot twelve times, loaded the gun three times.
Enjoyed myself finely.
1 JUNE 1861
Confederate troops in train accident.
After the rain Venie, Rhoda, Sister, Mary E., Mrs. Garrison and I went down to Mrs. Stuart’s to see the troops.
They did not come, met with an accident down at Glass’s Station, and did not get here until night.
7 JUNE 1861
Secession speeches in Cleveland.
I went to hear Hon. John Bell and Col. Campbell deliver the secession address this evening in the courthouse yard.
8 JUNE 1861
The state of Tennessee voted out of the Union today …
CIVIL WAR MARKER
Masonic Female Institute: Sadly abused
Masonic Lodge No. 134 and the town of Cleveland established the Masonic Female Institute in 1848 and opened the school in 1856.
At the beginning of the war, student and diarist Myra Inman wrote of a disruption in the school’s leadership: “Mr. Blunt [the school’s principal] was not coming back.”
Principal Ainsworth E. Blunt fled the county with other young men, in fear of being forced into Confederate service.
The school operated until the fall of 1863 when the Union army arrived.
During the Battle of Missionary Ridge on 27 NOVEMBER 1863, Ohio cavalrymen raided the rear of Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s army, destroying 12 miles of railroad and burning the copper-rolling mill in Cleveland.
In anticipation of a counterattack the troopers camped in and around Cleveland.
The 1st Ohio Cavalry guarded the north end of town at the schoolyard.
The next morning, the Confederates attacked from nearby Charleston and forced the Federals’ retreat to Chattanooga.
The Confederate defeat at Missionary Ridge enabled the Union army to take possession of Cleveland, where it used the school building during 1864.
The school reopened in the fall of 1864 with the return of the school’s former principal, then Capt. Blunt, after his service in the Union 1st East Tennessee Cavalry.
He found that the army’s occupation had reduced the building to a “sadly abused condition.”
The school operated until the 1890s when the building was donated to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
The church later sold it, and the building was converted to apartments in 1915.
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker is in Cleveland, Tennessee, Bradley County, on North Ocoee Street.
Secession and Coercion in Bradley County
Bradley County votes 1,382 to 507 to remain in the Union.
Union men are coerced into enlisting in the Confederate Army. Those who refuse are imprisoned in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
In an attempt to escape Confederate enlistment some Union men hide in manmade caves. Food and supplies are brought to these refugees by Union-sympathizing women.
American Civil War
As the War approaches, pro-Confederate Myra Inman witnesses the divisions within her community.
Through her eyes, we gain insight into the life of a young woman in a middle-class Confederate family.
She writes of Confederate meetings and rallies and civic and military organizations.
Myra is fond of reading, needlework, and weaving – but after the Civil War begins, much of the family’s spare time is focused on making things for the soldiers.
Rebels confiscate guns from Unionists.
The private arms of Bradley County Union men are forcibly taken by Rebels.
Rebel soldiers take other property from Bradley Unionists, often paying them in Confederate currency.
7 JULY 1861
Fear of a Unionist insurrection near Cleveland.
There were about five hundred “union men” collected together five miles from here to attack some troops they heard were going to Jimtown [Jamestown, Fentress County, East Tennessee] or Cumberland Gap.
21 JULY 1861
First Battle of the Civil War.
At Bull Run near Manassas Junction VA.
25 DECEMBER 1861
Confederate Christmas in Cleveland
Pretty day. Christmas day. Mother, R., Lizzie and I went down to Judge Gaut’s to see Mary Gaut present a flag to Capt. Dunn’s Company. They left for Knoxville today.
Mother and R. went to the depot [to see them off]. Their name is ‘Rough and Ready Rifles.’ Their motto, “We come to share the victory.”
23 JANUARY 1862
News of Zollicoffer’s death reaches Cleveland.
Heard this evening that Gen. [Felix] Zollicoffer’s forces were defeated and he killed in KY.
The fight took place last Sunday, 19th. Mr. Bradshaw came down after dark to hear the news.
The battle of Fishing Creek or Mill Spring was a complete rout of the Southern Army.
27 JANUARY 1862
Effects of war in Cleveland.
Pretty day. Emeline [a slave] went out to get some lard. I helped Aunt Phoebe [a slave] wash, had only two meals. Aunt E., Mary Edwards and Mrs. Bradshaw [were] here this morning.
Rhoda and Adelia took a ride this evening, went out to the “Poor-House.” Julius Jarnagin came down tonight and brought an invitation to attend Cousin Ellen’s wedding tomorrow eve at 3:30 o’clock.
Bob Grant [a Confederate soldier] came home sick today.
Cousin John came home this eve on furlough … was in the battle of Mill Springs.
Monttomerie was in the battle of Mill Springs, January 19th, Cousin John Lea brought him home from exposure.
1 MARCH 1862
Resistance to the Confederate military service.
I hear a drum beating for the noble young men of our state to defend us.
I am sorry to say that there are some few who will have to be dragged out in the militia (if not drafted) before they will deprive themselves of their pleasant homes to meet the invader.
2 MARCH 1862
Treatment of Unionists in Bradley County During Rebel Occupation.
What impudence the North has to think we will be under one of their tyrants. Has also called for 50,000 volunteers. Never will he get one of my kinsmen to respond to his call.
Anticipating battle casualties from the front in Virginia, Confederate hospitals are established in Cleveland, Chattanooga, and nearby places in northern Georgia.
HOSPITAL SCENE, 1864, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
12 JULY 1862
Wounded soldiers to Cleveland hospitals.
Doctor Edward’s daughter came over and told mother that she had seen a dispatch stating there would be 300 wounded soldiers from the Richmond battle sent down.
13 JULY 1862
Went over to the train this eve, but 20 came down.
14 JULY 1862
We all went over to see the wounded soldiers, 300 came today.
15 JULY 1862
125 wounded on the train.
5 NOVEMBER 1862
Railroad accident near Cleveland.
A gloom was spread over our town this morn. caused by a sad accident which occurred 16 miles from here. The cable of a car broke, which caused 18 men to lose their lives, while 70 were wounded. They were brought to the hospitals.
25 NOVEMBER 1862
A gloomy night for us all. I know. Hear the cars coming that is to bear Mr. Carter* off to the “seat of war.” He joined the army and is going to start to Mobile tonight. Will we ever see him again?
What will our condition as a nation and a family [be] this time next year? Will he be alive and at home, or have a resting place in a soldier’s grave far away from home?
Mother went over to the depot to see Mr. Carter’s regiment off, but [it] did not get there until just now.
*In 1853 Myra’s sister Darthula married John Carter, a salesman with businesses as far away as Charleston, SC.
4 FEBRUARY 1863
Love, marriage, and daydreams.
A sad and cloudy eve. Aunt Adeline is no better. Finished reading My Sister Minnie this eve.
Rhoda was called on this eve to reject another of her not very numerous suitors, Mr. Smith.
I do not know why it is that he fancied her among so many girls in Cleveland. She is not so pretty as others, but I love her none the less for that. She is the sweetest sister I have.
Oh! how utterly desolate he looked as he turned and bade her good-bye.
I do not envy him his feelings as he returns to his home this gloomy eve, neither his lonely ride which he has to take in order to break that hearthstone which will seem so dreary to him until he finds another that is worthy of that love he placed on the shrine of my coldhearted sister.
Wonder if R. will ever marry, as yet she has never reciprocated anyone’s [affection], neither told any they might dare to hope that has knelt to her.
This world is nothing and yet we cling to it and its maddening pleasures as if they, when gained, could be retained forever in our unworthy grasp.
How many hundred “castles in the air” have I built, and they all vanish, but the workman is too frail and her buildings are swept away by the first rude hand of adversity.
21 FEBRUARY 1863
A very rainy morn. Got up this morn, made up my bed, dressed, ate breakfast, worked on Sister’s chemise band, ate dinner, posted my journal, helped with supper, ate supper, washed and went to bed.
This is the manner in which I usually spend my Saturdays. Wonder if I will live to see the war ended and if it will be over this time next year.
19 JULY 1863
Cleveland prepares for reception of sick soldiers.
The town is full of soldiers getting the hospitals ready for the sick.
18 AUGUST 1863
Changes in lifestyle brought about by the war.
We have not servants [slaves] … here.
The first time [this has] occurred since I can remember.
It seems so strange we have to do our own work.
Susan washes & milks.
Sister & Mother cook.
Aunt Adeline & Lizzie iron.
Rhoda & I clean up the house.
21 AUGUST 1863
Conditions in Confederate Cleveland, expecting the Yankees.
A pretty day. Fast Day. I did not eat any breakfast, had a headache and ate an apple.
Mr. Carter came and informed us that Gen. [Braxton] Bragg CSA was making a move into Middle Tennessee.
We are expecting a battle there soon. I await the event with mingled hope and fear for our safety.
All the town is in confusion, the hospitals are being broken up and the sick are leaving as fast as possible.
They are expecting the Yankees in here very soon. They are attempting to cross the Tennessee at Harrison, Blythe’s Ferry, and Chattanooga.
They have been shelling Chattanooga all day. The casualties on our side at the last account were 7 men killed, one woman and a child’s leg shot off, it has since died.
Mrs. Stout [was] here after tea, she was very much excited (as we all are).
Mr. Carter, Rhoda, and I went up to Cousin M. Jarnagin’s to see if we could hear any news from Chattanooga.
Bragg arrived from Cherokee Springs yesterday eve; they were completely surprised at Chattanooga.
We all sat up until after eleven o’clock last night, hiding things. Waited until after the Negroes went to bed.
CIVIL WAR SUPPLY WAGONS
22 AUGUST 1863
Rumble of supply wagons.
The wagons are lumbering towards Chattanooga, they keep up a noise nearly all day. I am going to make pockets in my chemises, if the Yankees come I can hide some things from them. If this war was only over. I am so tired of the suspense we are always in, but I fear our scourge is just commencing.
LATE AUGUST – EARLY SEPTEMBER 1863
Union General Ambrose Burnside arrives.
Burnside and his army invade East Tennessee, making their headquarters in Knoxville, 80 miles northeast of Cleveland.
Anxieties about the war in Cleveland.
The house is in such a confusion I cannot sleep, we are looking for the Yanks. The Cavalry is passing through continuously en route for Chattanooga.
Federal soldiers arrive in Cleveland.
When will we see another Southern soldier, we are now in the federal government, and I detest it. I took a good cry this eve at our fate.
Union soldiers strip Cleveland of its supplies.
Myra writes about Union soldiers taking her family’s corn, potatoes, and chickens – and other Confederate families being robbed.
She is warned by another citizen that she must be careful visiting Southern families lest the secret police arrest her.
8 SEPTEMBER 1863
Anxieties about the war and the future in Cleveland.
All of the southern soldiers have left today. Oh, I feel so sad to think the southern army has left and left us to our fate. We are looking for the Yankees in soon. …
We are very busy baking biscuits for some soldiers, the last we will cook for them in a long time, I am afraid.
When will we see peace again?
I never wish to pass such a week as the last has been, such confusion and noise I never witnessed.
Cousin John Lea came and told us good-bye about 2 o’clock. He went down to Dalton [Georgia].
I am very lonesome this eve.
The soldiers have all left and everything is quiet, looking for the Yankees [to come] in every minute.
When will we see another southern soldier, we are now in the federal government, how I detest it. I do wish we could whip them.
We are cut off from all of our friends and relatives. The town looks deserted. I took a good cry this eve about our fate. …
8 SEPTEMBER 1863
Sad days for secessionists …
We all got up with sad hearts, longing for the return of our army. Everything is so still, no cars and very few persons passing about. We look for them (the Yankees) every day and wonder what will be our fate.
Numbers of southern families have left. …
Oh, it is so lonesome. We have no life about us, no encouragement to work. Do not know how long we will get to keep what we have even.
We are needing rain very badly, everything is perfectly parched up. …
I never felt so bad in my life, we hear nothing of our army, do not know what it is doing. We are cut off from all news. …
The Yankees’ cavalry came in a while after dark tonight. …
12 SEPTEMBER 1863
Union cavalry in Cleveland.
The Yankees cavalry rode in (about two hundred) from the fair ground where they bivouacked last night, the “stars and stripes” floating above their heads.
I could not realize they were our enemies and had come to deal death missals amongst us. … The Federals left town this morning.
15 SEPTEMBER 1863
Confederate cavalry dashes in.
Scott’s cavalry … made a dash in here with the intention of finding some Yankees but only shot at some renegades. The men ran in every Direction.
I was much excited … I am afraid we will have a battle here in Cleveland one of these days.
17 SEPTEMBER 1863
Federals arrest newspaper editor in Cleveland.
A pretty day. Mother and I went out to Uncle Caswell’s this morn. Mary Elizabeth came out and told us they were looking for 10,000 rebels, she and I stayed out there all day …
Mr. McNelley [editor of the Cleveland Democratic] came home this eve. Mother and Sister went there after tea, they arrested him whilst they were there.
Dr. Hughes here tonight to tell Sister and Mother that they are to be arrested tomorrow morn for being at Mr. McNelley’s.
Born in Blount County in 1820—McNelley was editor of the Cleveland Democratic newspaper. He supported the South during the Civil War.
18 SEPTEMBER 1863
A cloudy, raw day. This morn the Confederates had a skirmish with the Yankees’ cavalry here.
Commenced about 5 o’clock, killed 3, wounded some, took some prisoners, and ran the rest towards Charleston. …
We all went down in the cellar during the fight. …
The Yankees and Lincolnites left for Athens in a hurry this morn.
19 SEPTEMBER 1863
We heard cannons (in the direction of Ringgold) from 10 to 12 o’clock without ceasing this morn. We are very anxious to know the result.
The town looks gloomy and deserted. [We] see just a few men standing on the corners of the streets. The southern men and Lincolnites have all run.
The first engagements between Confederate and Union troops in Bradley County occurred in the autumn of 1863 as part of the struggle for Chattanooga.
22 SEPTEMBER 1863
Federal forces are en route …
We rec’d news that the Yankees were coming. Our forces fell below town. We got up from the table at dinner and went over to Mrs. Miller’s each with a sack. Mr. Carter went down to Mr. McCameys.
We came back about 2 o’clock, finished our dinner and packed our clothes in sacks and all (16 of us), went out and stayed all night at Mr. Reeder’s. Sister, Johnnie, Annie and I rode in the buggy. We had some apprehensions of them shelling the town.
29 SEPTEMBER 1863
Nathan Bedford Forrest’s command in Cleveland.
Gen. Forrest is here now, two regiments of his cavalry are encamped at the fair grounds.
Four took tea here, we cooked a great many of their rations. Had to turn off [turn away] quite a number.
13 OCTOBER 1863
Confederate depredations* in Cleveland.
The mails have commenced coming. The soldiers are dealing very badly, taking corn, leaving down fences, stealing horses, chickens, hogs and everything else they see. We turned off several that wanted dinner … Mother commenced putting corn in the little front room this eve.
Pillage and Plunder*
Both pillage and plunder refer to the taking of goods by force.
Pillage is the act of stripping a people of valuables.
Plunder is the roving of soldiers through recently conquered territory in search of money and goods.
18 OCTOBER 1863
On to the Field of Glory.
Forrest’s cavalry violate the Sabbath in Cleveland … [They] left this morn for Loudon.
The brass band played “Dixie” and “On to the Field of Glory” as if it was not Sunday.
How can we gain our independence when our soldiers regard not the Sabbath?
26 OCTOBER 1863
Reaping the harvests.
Our folks are very busy hauling in our corn. We will have plenty of corn, potatoes, tallow, pumpkins, and nearly enough meat to do us another year if we can only keep it from the soldiers.
How thankful we should be for our blessings.
The soldiers are ruining Uncle Caswell, taking his corn, burning his rails and killing his hogs.
29 OCTOBER 1863
First Union occupation.
The Yanks came into town this evening about 3 O’clock. General Sherman’s Company camped all around us tonight, robbing us of our corn, potatoes, and taking all of our chickens… We sit in the house with bowed-downed heads while the victorious army passes along with waving banners, and offer up a silent prayer for our country whilst we hear nothing but exultant shouts of our enemy.
The Inman House
Myra Inman’s widowed mother continues to operate the boarding house,
which becomes a favorite stopping place for travelers, including both Confederate and Union soldiers.
Anticipating battle casualties in the area, Confederate hospitals are established in Cleveland, Chattanooga, and several locations in North Georgia.
24 NOVEMBER 1863
Col. Eli Long arrives.
Union Col. Long rides into Cleveland with 1,500 Union cavalrymen.
Long demolishes the railroad in Bradley County and burns down the Cleveland Copper Rolling Mill, filling it with confiscated ‘rebel torpedoes.’
The following onslaught of explosions lasted for thirty minutes.
COLONEL ELI LONG USA
18-year-old Myra writes:
A raid of Yankees came in this eve. They took two hogsheads of our corn, and are all over in everything else. We go to bed with sad hearts. We have heard cannonading all day.
26 NOVEMBER 1863
The Yankees are taking our corn, potatoes, pork, salt, and never pay a cent, and besides talk very insulting to us.
[I]t is so hard to see it done and can’t help our selves. They burnt Mr. Raht’s wagon and the railroad and some cars. …
Oh, how I wish I had power.
Col. Long’s official report lists seized public property:
In Cleveland I found a considerable lot of rockets and shells, large quantities of corn, and several bales of new grain sacks, all belonging to the rebel Government.
Long added that he “burned several railroad cars found here; also the large copper rolling mill – the only one of its kind in the Confederacy.
BURNING OF THE COPPER ROLLING MILL IN CLEVELAND
Copper was essential for the production of bronze cannon and other material for the Confederacy, but it was most critical for use in rifle and pistol percussion caps.
29 NOVEMBER 1863
Federal army descends on Cleveland.
The Yanks came in town this evening about 3 o’clock. Gen. [William Tecumseh] Sherman’s Co. camped all around us tonight, robbing us of our corn, potatoes, and taking all our chickens. Left only two. A brigade surgeon, Dr. Abbot, took tea and stayed all night. A very cold night and we have very little wood. The soldiers are in Uncle Ned’s house and in the kitchen stealing and taking everything they can get. Took Aunt’s quilt off her bed. The Yanks took George’s and our two best mules, but let George’s loose. We sit in the house with bowed-down heads while the victorious army passes along with raving banners, and offer up a silent prayer for our country while we hear nothing but the exultant shouts of our enemy. They came in town playing “Yankee Doodle.” We go to bed with sad hearts but still hoping God has better days for us.
CIVIL WAR MARKER
Cleveland During the Civil War.
Struggle for Control.
When the Civil War began, Cleveland was a divided community with most residents being sympathetic to the Union.
Confederate troops occupied the area in 1861 to control the East Tennessee and Georgia [ET&GA] Railroad and to protect the vitally important Hiwassee River bridge.
President Abraham Lincoln worried about the future of the railroad junction at Cleveland, but the town remained under Confederate occupation until 1863.
The first engagements between Confederate and Union troops in Bradley County occurred in the autumn of 1863 as part of the struggle for Chattanooga.
The most destructive took place on 24-26 November, when Union Col. Eli Long’s brigade cut communications and transportation lines to Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s position at Missionary Ridge.
Long also severed railroad lines connecting Chattanooga to Knoxville and Dalton, destroyed the only copper-rolling mill in the South at Cleveland, and forced the Confederates to withdraw from the town. Long’s troops camped at the Cleveland Masonic Female Institute until they were attacked and withdrew to Chattanooga.
The Union victory at the Battle of Missionary Ridge on 25 November 1863, resulted in Federal troops controlling Bradley County for the rest of the war.
From May to October 1864, a Union artillery unit was stationed in downtown Cleveland, with the officers establishing headquarters at the Raht house overlooking the railroad depot and the town.
Union troops built Fort McPherson and Fort Sedgwick on the highest points here and successfully repelled Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s 17 August 1864 raid. The fortifications were located at Hilcrest Memorial Gardens on South Ocoee Street and Ft. Hill Cemetery on Worth Street.
“To take and hold the railroad at or east of Cleveland, Tennessee, I think is as fully as important as the taking and holding of Richmond.” ~ Abraham Lincoln, 30 June 1862.
Civil War Atlas, 1891
Col. Eli Long
Gen. James B. McPherson (1828-1864)
Gen. John Sedgwick (1813-1864)
Images courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker is in Cleveland, Tennessee, in Bradley County, at the intersection of Inman Street East (U.S. 64) and Parker Street Northeast.
SOUTHEAST TENNESSEE RAILROAD MAP
30 NOVEMBER 1863
Federal army leaves Cleveland.
The enemy left early this morn, en route for Knoxville in order to capture Longstreet’s Army. It is said about 2 corps are to go up. The wagons are passing through under whips and lash whilst the infantry are double-quicking it.
1 DECEMBER 1863
Conduct of Federal soldiers in Cleveland.
Wilder’s Yankee Cavalry camped on our lot from sundown until 12 o’clock, took corn, potatoes and straw and burnt a great number of our rails. The Major’s headquarters were near the pig pen. He appointed a Mr. Brown to guard us. Two soldiers came in and talked to us until late.
2 DECEMBER 1863
Return of hogs.
I feel so sad this eve about our condition. I often wonder what will be the end of all of this. If we retreat I would be willing to live any way , I think …
I went to see cousin Mary Jarnagin, she came home with me to get George [a slave] to kill her hogs she got from the Yanks this morn.
24 DECEMBER 1863
Christmas Eve in Cleveland.
We went over to see Mr. Walcott (the wounded soldier), he is worse this eve. It looks so gloomy and cheerless over there, I have felt so sad ever since I was there. Oh, if he would only get well. …
What a gloomy Xmas eve this, how unlike other Xmases I have passed. Will I ever enjoy myself as well again?
Rhoda came in from Aunt’ E’s this eve to enjoy, no not enjoy, but pass Xmas. She is now reading our hero “Stonewall Jackson’s Life” to Mother. R. and I fixed up a few ground nuts, walnut and hickory nuts for Stepney’s stocking.
Oh, so sad is our like at this time. If I could only see into the future, but it does no good to record sad thoughts and gloomy scenes, so I will close my journal. …
The Yanks have reinforced, are looking for the “Rebs ” tomorrow.
28 DECEMBER 1863
Skirmish at Cleveland.
The Rebels fired at the Yanks about 4 o’clock this morn. About daylight the Rebels came in town and fought a while. The Yanks repulsed them.
4 JANUARY 1864
Myra Adelaide Inman’s views on the war.
A cloudy and rainy day. … About 100 more Yanks came in this eve. One here for milk and another for butter. How I long for peace or even to see our army back here again.
This is the darkest hour our Confederacy has ever seen. About two thirds of Georgia has given it up, they are putting every man from the age of 15 to 65 in the army. A great many of our soldiers are deserting, how disgraceful.
Wonder if the yoke of bondage will be on our necks this time next year. I feel so impatient to see the end of all this strife and bloodshed. If I could only see into the future 6 months, but I presume I will be … anticipating yet never realizing my wishes.
10 FEBRUARY 1864
The Federals hoisted their flag this morning. It now floats over Cleveland. Sad emblem of what once was.
Once happy and beloved United States, never will liberty and freedom be perched on the banner as it was when thousands of patriots poured out their life’s blood under the sacred folds.
CIVIL WAR NO MAN’S LAND
After battles at Chattanooga in November 1863, and before the Atlanta Campaign the following May, southern Bradley County lay between Union and Confederate lines at Cleveland, Tennessee, and Dalton, Georgia. Both armies scouted the area. Soldiers and guerrillas looted farms and businesses. Here in February 1864 elderly Unionist Joseph Lusk II fought off rebels trying to steal his mules. One rebel was killed. Lusk’s home was burned in retaliation.
Erected 2015 by Tennessee Historical Commission.
Marker is on Dalton Pike 0.4 miles south of Old Weatherly Switch Road S
How I sigh for independence; my spirits feel crushed. In vain I sigh for peace and find none.
3 MARCH 1864
Confederate and Yankee suitors in Cleveland.
Miss Callie and I went over to see Mr. Walcott [a recuperating Confederate soldier]. I took him a paper and some pie, we enjoyed the jaunt, it is so refreshing to see a rebel and talk our sentiments freely.
Lieut. Simmons [Federal soldier] called and brought me two papers this morn. I am better pleased with him than any so far, but there is something repulsive in a Yankee’s look, not like the bold candor, handsome and brave heart of southern heroes.
If we can only gain our independence, it is all I ask. I would willingly sacrifice everything.
27 MARCH 1864
A lovely day. The sun arose in resplendent glory this morn, auguring a beautiful Sabbath, but … we heard not the clear chimes of the [church] bell peel forth, but in its place we are greeted by the oaths & curses of our fellow men.
Sad degeneracy of human nature, caused by war! Two East Tennessee renegades here this morn. If this war was only over. Why are we scourged so bitterly? My conscience answers for our sins. …
What will be another year hence? I am in hopes the wheel of time will in its revolution bring peace, but my hopes are very shallow. It seems hardly possible.
CIVIL WAR MARKER
Union IV Corps at Blue Springs: The Calm Before the Storm
After Union victories at Chattanooga in November 1863, the Union Army IV Corps’ First Division, led by Gen. David S. Stanley, camped in this valley and made preparations for the Atlanta Campaign.
By April 1864, more than 9,000 men were present, confronting Confederate lines at nearby Dalton, Georgia.
Col. William Grose wrote that the site was “a good camping ground, [with] good water and plenty of wood.”
Stanley reported, “Our position was one of risk, but I made our fortified hill so strong that it was a veritable place d’armes [military parade ground].
Many officers sent for their wives and we had a very domestic time. … The evening meetings were rich in fun, joke and song, helping to while away the dreary winter of 1863-1864.” Religious services also were held here.
Chaplain Father Peter Cooney wrote of a harsh winter and a 10-inch snowfall late in March.
On February 10, 1864, Col. Grose and Col. Louis Waters, both based at Blue Springs, delivered patriotic speeches in Cleveland to more than 2,000 people who gathered to cheer the raising of the Stars and Stripes.
The Federals here also guarded against Confederate raids into Tennessee and tested enemy defenses. On February 22-27, a demonstration against the Confederates near Dalton resulted in heavy fighting that left hundreds dead, wounded, and captured on both sides.
The Atlanta Campaign began when the camps emptied in early May 1864.
Bottom left: IV Corps wagons near Blue Springs, 1864 ~ Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute.
Top right: Easter Sunday 1864 services, Blue Springs, conducted by Father Peter Cooney, chaplain, 35th Indiana (First Irish) Infantry – Courtesy Library of Congress.
Bottom right: 36th Indiana Infantry posing in battle formation, Blue Springs – Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute.
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker is near Cleveland, Tennessee, in Bradley County. Marker is on Old Blue Springs Road west of Blue Springs Road Southeast, on the left when traveling west. Marker located at entrance to Blue Spring Park.
2 MAY 1864
Lieut. Simmons [a Federal soldier] called on me this eve. He loves me, I dislike him, he is a Yank, he filled my heart with dolt as regards Gen. Johns[t]on’s success. I sewed a button on his coat for him. He bade me goodbye.
3 MAY 1864
A lovely day. Will I ever, can I ever, forget this day? Never, never. Our hearts all bowed down in grief. I am sitting at the parlor window.
I hear the drums beating, the bands and fifes playing and ever and anon I let my eyes wander over the once beautiful country, I behold the foes marching and their guns and bayonets glistening in their onward march to desolate our country and rout our high spirited but downtrodden friends.
I have (ye, we all have) mingled many a tear with our fervent prayers to God for our success. Fifteen thousand, they say, are to march from here. Whilst thousands are going from this vicinity, and thousands are to flank our poor boys; God have mercy on their souls. …
Watch over and guard and protect our friends in this coming struggle. Save the souls of those whose lot is to fall on the impending battle. Sherman is marching on Gen. Johnston with an army of one hundred and fifty thousand strong.
Such an army has never been mustered in these United States. We wish and tremble at the result. A few weeks will decide it. Sgt. Douglass [one of Myra’s Union suitors] came and told us good-bye. Thousands of cavalry have passed this morn, going on, on to kill our beloved friends. … Uncle Caswell has no hope for our success. …
4 MAY 1864
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, No. 125.
The One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Infantry will move by rail to-morrow morning to Cleveland, Tenn., where the regiment will leave the cars, and after having been supplied with the necessary transportation will march without delay to Red Clay and report for duty to Brigadier General J. D. Cox, commanding Third Division, Twenty-third Army Corps.
By command of Major-General Schofield:
R. MORROW, Assistant Adjutant-General.
11—12 MAY 1864
A sad, gloomy and cloudy day. It is disagreeably cold this eve. They have been fighting ever since Saturday. It is still undecided.
Oh! Our poor soldiers, how many are suffering. … Capt. Hending and his clerk dined here. Capt. took breakfast and remained all night last night.
We head this eve that yesterday [10th] the Federals drove our forces back a great deal from them and Gen Johnston drove their left wing back four miles.
But with our suffering soldiers … raise up your friends and relatives to alleviate their pains and administer to their wants. If I could only be there to wait on them.
I feel unusually sad this eve, and you, old journal, are the friend that I will confide in. Rather cold this morn. The woods are green and beautiful; our roses are in bloom.
I feel so sad when I think probably they will fade and none of our Confederates see them. I would be so happy if I could only see them or if I even thought I would have the pleasure of presenting my sweetheart with a bouquet. …
Report says that a raid of our Confederates is coming. Welcome brave heroes, to the land of your nativity! Thrice welcome stalwart sons of freedom!
9 JULY 1864
Confederate sympathizers arrested in Cleveland.
Mollie G. & Julia Grant came this morn, they are in a great deal of trouble in consequence of being notified to report at Chattanooga. …
The order was read to us by a sergeant in the dining room, just as tea was ready, stating that all rebel sympathizers had to report at Chattanooga Monday [11 July].
Through the assistance of Chaplain Spence [a Federal soldier] we have been released [from reporting]. How sad I feel to think even if we are permitted to stay our friend will go …
we cannot even bid them farewell or else we will be accused of sympathizing with them & plotting against the government & be sent off without a thing in the world.
20 JULY 1864
It is reported that several thousand cavalry is to be encamped here, coming from the front. … The brass band belonging to the 2nd Ohio Heavy Artillery plays every evening at the Raught (Raht) House on the hill.
I like to hear it, yet it makes me very, very sad. I hear it now playing in the distance.
After Rhoda and I go to bed in our snug little domicile, we hear them beat the tattoo, after that dies way the sound of the bugle pierces our ears, when the last blast [is] heard all is still for the night …
we sink to rest with a heavy heart amid fortifications and cannon ready to deal deadly missiles among our hearts’ idols who are banished and exiled from their homes.
22 JULY 1864
Mandatory passes in Cleveland.
Persons are required to have street passes.
We were advised by some friends not to visit southern families, that we are watched by secret policemen.
In 1861 Thomas Callaway constructed this house, fronting the Southern Railroad, east of the track and depot. J. E. Raht bought it the same year.
It served as his home and office while he directed the operations of the Ducktown Copper Company.
Legend has it that during the Civil War a tunnel was dug from this house, west to the railroad station, which was used to hide Confederate soldiers and supplies.
16 AUGUST 1864
We were awakened last night at 1 o’clock from our slumbers, by the hurrying to & fro of army wagons, horses, men, etc., caused by an alarm given that the Confederates were coming.
Rhoda arose, dressed.
We all packed some few clothes to take in case we were ordered out of town.
About 4 o’clock we all dressed, put on our bonnets & ate a little cold breakfast & were ready to start to the country when the first gun was fired.
17 AUGUST 1864
At noon the alarm was given that, “The Rebels were coming.” We were eating when the first cannon fired.
We all fled to the cellar leaving the table just as it was.
We then concluded that it was not safe even there & we then left … and went to Mr. Reeder’s, hundreds of persons joined us, (with bundles, etc.), in our march for the country.
We went to Mr. Reeder’s & stayed all night. In due time Mother and the rest joined us there.
I will always remember the night between 40 and 50 persons were there & nearly as many Negroes.
The children and grown people laying stretched on the bare floor.
I was ensconced in a large feather bed where I nearly suffocated from heat. …
Silence reigned in the direction of our lonely & deserted homes. Not more than half a dozen families remained at home.
Occasionally we could hear the booming of cannon firing from the fort at the Confederates, who were peering saucily at them from the woods beyond the fair ground.
They tore up all the Rail Road & left about dark.
I felt considerably disappointed, was in hopes they were going to pay us a visit of two or three days & we could get to see all our friends.
17 SEPTEMBER 1864
I have been sick all day. Took too much laudanum. Have sat up very little.
23 SEPTEMBER 1864
Gently & softly the sad news came of Gen. [John Hunt] Morgan’s death, tempered from a thunder bolt to a mournful regret that our southern Marion had fallen.
Killed in Mrs. Williams’ garden at Greeneville, Tenn.
A woman by the name of Mary Henderson rode 13 miles in the night and reported where he was.
14 OCTOBER 1864
Federals leave Cleveland.
A great confusion in town, the Yankees have evacuated this place. The town is perfectly quiet this eve, all the Union men have left.
15 OCTOBER 1864
Sister, Cousin M. Jarnagin, Mrs. Rumple, Lizzie Rhoda, Jimmie & I went up to view the fortifications & deserted Yankee encampment this morn.
I have the headache this eve & laid down to take a nap.
I will be so disappointed if the Rebels do not come.
I still look for them a little.
31 OCTOBER 1864
Mrs. W. told Mr. D. Saturday that the Rebels were gentlemen by the side of the Yankees. …
Sherman’s men took from her 21 bed quilts, 4 head of horses, 8 milk cows, 18 hogs, 100 chickens & turkies , every knife & fork, broke the locks on all the doors, 1 bag of salt, flour, all, meal, all, took all of [her] jewelry, watch, all of Cleo’s gloves, handkerchiefs, stockings and some of her underclothing, and knocked Mrs. W. down because she tried to get her shawl from him.
Kicked her bureau and sewing machine to pieces.
Injured her $5000.00 worth.
CIVIL WAR LETTERS AND NOTES TO AND FROM MYRA INMAN
Cleveland/Bradley County Public Library’s History Branch.
5 APRIL 1865
Mysterious it is to me why God permitted such a sad calamity to befall our South. …
Many a bitter tear and sad regret has the termination of this unhappy ending caused me.
Like dominoes, the armies of the Confederacy began surrendering across the South.
General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his force of 90,000, the Army of Tennessee.
16 APRIL 1865
Reaction to the murder of Abraham Lincoln.
Pretty day. Easter Sunday.
Mr. Guthrie came over from town this morn, informed us that Lincoln was shot Friday night at the theatre, died at 7:30 o’clock Saturday morn.
Secretary Seward was stabbed whilst in bed, was not killed.
Wilkes Booth was the perpetrator of the deed, assisted by others whose names as yet are not known. Cannons were fired every half hour at Chattanooga all day.
8 MAY 1865
These days are so sad and lonely to me.
Not until my friends returned did I fully realize that my long cherished schemes were thwarted, my brightest, fondest, dearest hopes and wishes blasted forever – the independence of the South. …
It seems to me as if a wild infatuation possessed the minds of the people of the Southland and rendered their reasoning facilities dormant, which caused us to boast and dream vain dreams of our independence until our last weapon was wrested from our hand and our great leader, Gen. Robert E. Lee, rendered powerless.
Jefferson Davis has eluded the vigilance of his enemies and retired beyond the limits of the United States, where I trust he may breathe out his life in a peaceful asylum, for I still love and revere him as I did when we looked to him for guidance and protection. …
It is so hard for me to relinquish my dreams of our Confederacy without a sigh and I often repeat, as if in amelioration, these lines from [Sir Thomas] Moore:
Let Fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,
Bright dreams of the Past, which she cannot destroy;
Which come in the night time of sorrow and care,
And bring back the features that joy used to wear.
Long, long be my heart with such memories filled!
Like a vase in which roses have once been distilled,
You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang ’round it still.
So it is with our Confederacy. … But gradually I hope this night will wear away and stay even more brilliant for our Confederacy than we had anticipated, and will illuminate our lives and cause us to feel … that it was not as we would have had it.
9 MAY 1865
President Andrew Johnson announces the end of the war. Cleveland’s citizens are forced to reconcile their political differences.
TOWN OF CLEVELAND, TENNESSEE, AFTER THE CIVIL WAR
Myra’s sister Darthula and her husband John Carter move to his Charleston, Tennessee farm [18 miles north of Cleveland] at the end of the war.
Myra’s sister Darthula dies.
Myra Inman marries Darthula’s widower John Carter, and they have three children.
Myra Adelaide Inman Carter dies in 1914 at age 68.
Her grave is in Fort Hill Cemetery in Cleveland, Tennessee.