1846 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.
1859 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.
12 APRIL Fort Sumter 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 Inscription. 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. Location. Marker is in Cleveland, Tennessee, Bradley County, on North Ocoee Street. hmdb.org/m.asp?m=153687 hmdb.org/Photos5/532/Photo532433o.jpg
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.
JULY 1861 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.
JULY 1862 Confederate hospitals. 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.
SEPTEMBER 1863 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.
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.
AUTUMN 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.
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.
Confederate Hospitals 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.
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. Inscription. 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. (captions) 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. Location. Marker is in Cleveland, Tennessee, in Bradley County, at the intersection of Inman Street East (U.S. 64) and Parker Street Northeast. hmdb.org/m.asp?m=69342 hmdb.org/Photos2/257/Photo257381o.jpg
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. Location. Marker is on Dalton Pike 0.4 miles south of Old Weatherly Switch Road S hmdb.org/m.asp?m=115884
MARCH 1864 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 Inscription. 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. Captions. 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. Location. 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. hmdb.org/m.asp?m=153744 hmdb.org/Photos5/532/Photo532589o.jpg
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 SPECIAL ORDERS, 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.
RAHT HOUSE 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. Lovely day.
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.
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.
NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 1861 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 ia800206.us.archive.org/8/items/cu31924081260972/cu31924081260972.pdf
‘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. trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2865&context=utk_gradthes
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. Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR: 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. Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR: 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.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT PRISONERS OF WAR
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. Col. CHARLES M. MCGHEE. 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. FRANCK W. LEA.
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, J. LOONEY TAYLOR.
13 JANUARY 1862 OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE CONGRESS, His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS. 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. CANNON’S STORE. His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, 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. REND BIRDWELL, JAMES W. CHAMBERS, W. H. CANNON, D. O. MCCROSKY, E. L. MULLENDORE. OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, pp. 876-877.
20 JANUARY 1862 Bridge-burning cases of East Tennesseans His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES. 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. Respectfully, JNO. [JOHN] C. BURCH. OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, pp. 870-871
LEVI TREWHITT: PRISONER OF WAR During the Confederate crackdown following the East Tennessee bridge-burnings in late 1861, Levi Trewhitt was arrested and detained at the Knoxville jail.
KNOXVILLE, TENN. 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. JAS. W. GILLESPIE, Col. Forty-third Regt. Tennessee Volunteers.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS 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. WILLIAM GRANT. T. L. HOYL. JNO. B. HOYL. [+ 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.
4 FEBRUARY 1862 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, J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
24 FEBRUARY 1862 WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond. TO THE MEMBERS OF THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION IN THE CONGRESS. 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, J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War. ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/114/0880 + 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, E. L. GARDENHIRE. WM. H. TIBBS. H. S. FOOTE. G. W. JONES. J. B. HEISKELL. G. A. HENRY. WM. G. SWAN.
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. ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/114/0881
SPRING / SUMMER 1862 / BEGIN 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. … ia800206.us.archive.org/8/items/cu31924081260972/cu31924081260972.pdf SPRING / SUMMER 1862 / END
17 APRIL 1862 Military Governor Andrew Johnsonfavors 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.
WOODSON’S GAP BEGIN 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. KNOXVILLE, TENN. 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. KNOXVILLE, TENN. 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 HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, 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, E. KIRBY SMITH, Major-General, Commanding. WOODSON’S GAP END
19 APRIL 1862 HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, 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, E. KIRBY SMITH [CSA], Major-General, Commanding. ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/114/0883
26 APRIL 1862 Confederate imprisonment order for Unionist W. H. Malone and release of John Patterson. HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville. COMDG. OFFICER OF PRISON, Atlanta, Ga. 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. KNOXVILLE, TENN. 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.
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.
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 ofEast Tennessee Unionists taken prisoner as Confederatesseeking removal from Camp Chase.
3 JULY 1862 PRISON No. 3, MESS No. 1, Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio. Hon. HORACE MAYNARD. 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, JOEL B. CRAWFORD.
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, CALVIN GARRETT. WILLIAM MARTIN. 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. mycivilwar.com/pow/oh-camp-chase.html
14 JULY 1862 Statement of Joseph S. Lamb, prisoner. CAMP CHASE. 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 , 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. JOSEPH S. LAMB, 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. HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville. 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. HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville. 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 releasingTennessee 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. NASHVILLE, TENN. 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.
5 SEPTEMBER 1862 RELEASE OF REBEL PRISONERS. 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 HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn. Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, 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.
13 OCTOBER 1862 Confederate forces ordered to Johnson and Carter counties to disperse Unionists. HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLE, 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, CHAS. S. STRINGFELLOW, 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 ofEast Tennessee Unionistsseeking 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.
DANIEL ELLIS 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 GENERAL ORDERS, No. 18. 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
7 SEPTEMBER 1863 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.
12 SEPTEMBER 1863 ‘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.
17 SEPTEMBER 1863 HDQRS. ARMY OF THE OHIO. 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.
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. SAMUEL N. BENJAMIN, Lieut., Second U. S. Artillery. OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 342-344.
3 DECEMBER 1863 Maj. Gen. JOHN G. FOSTER, Tazewell. FOUR MILES FROM WALKER’S FORD, 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. HDQRS. ANDERSON’S CAVALRY, Dandridge. 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, WM. J. PALMER, Col. 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.
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. SEVIERVILLE, TENN. 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. Respectfully, S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Cavalry. OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 114-115.
27 JANUARY 1864 HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Dickey’s, 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. JNO. [JOHN] A. RAWLINS, 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. loc.gov/resource/cwpb.02955/
2 FEBRUARY 1864 Report of Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry. Commanding First Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Maryville, Tenn. … 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.
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.]
21 SEPTEMBER 1864 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, Jimmie 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. HDQRS. DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, FOURTH DIVISION, TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS, Knoxville, Tenn., 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.
7 DECEMBER 1864 Confederate foraging party attacked near Greeneville GREENEVILLE, TENN. Major General BRECKINRIDGE: 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, JOHN C. VAUGHN, Brig.-Gen. CSA 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.
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.
7 FEBRUARY 1865 HDQRS. VAUGHN’S CAVALRY, Bristol. 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.
20 FEBRUARY 1865 Negotiations for exchange of prisoners of state in East Tennessee, excerpt: HDQRS. CAVALRY, DEPT. OF EAST TENNESSEE AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, 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.