24TH TN INF. FLAG
Courtesy Sheila Green TN State Museum
FLAG MAKERS OF THE CONFEDERACYhttp://www.confederateflags.org/FOTCflagmakers1.htm
William Hearn - Nashville, Hearns art gallery was on Market Street. Sometimes, in conjunction with Mrs. J.T. Lord, wife of a local sewing machine shop proprietor, he made flags for Tennessee units. Among those colors that he executed are the flags of the 3rd Tennessee Infantry (adorned with a knight in armor), and the regimental colors of the 23rd and 24th Tennessee Infantry (the latter two definitely with Mrs. Lords help). No other flags have been connected to Hearn as yet.
Mrs. J.T. Lord/Singer Sewing Machines Agent - Nashville, TN: Mrs. Lords husband, J.T. Lord, ran the Singer sewing machine franchise in Nashville. After the secession of the state, she used the stores ability to work with cloth to begin making flags. According to one source, Nashville papers ran advertisements of the store offering , 'Southern flags made to order.' Mrs. Lord worked with local painter William Hearn to produce a pair of flags for the 23rd and 24th Tennessee Infantry in 1861.
This was the next great battle of the campaign. Although the 24th was hotly engaged in the fight, none of the Company were killed, but George W. Pinkleton was missing and never heard of afterwards. Hazard C. Tindall was wounded in the heel, and died in hospital Feb, 29th 1864, from the scourge more to be dreaded than bullets, gangrene. B. F. Roberts was slightly wounded. Tom Harmon, Jacob B. Shires, Wm. H. Shires, John Caldwell, W. H. Fox, and J. A. Vernon were captured. Martin V. Hardison who had been wounded in the ankle at Chickamauga, went through this battle on a crutch.
On Dec. 14th, 1863, the field returns show that the 24th then had an effective force of 244; total present 257 number of arms, 148 with 40 rounds of ammunition per man, During the Ringgold Campaign the 24th lost 3 killed, 5 wounded, and 45 missing , but as is generally the case in the official record of the War of the Rebellion; the lists of names are omitted.
On the Resaca-Dalton Campaign, the field returns of April 30th shows that Lt. Col. Sam E. Shannon commanded the Regiment, Gen. O. F. Strahl the Brigade; Maj. Gen. B. F. Cheatham the Division Lt. Gen. W. J. Hardee the Corps and Old Joe Johnston is our Commander in the words of a favorite camp song.
A Picket Duel.--
On May 15th on the picket line at Resaca, occurred an incident that it seems strange, was of not uncommon occurrence during the Civil War. Calvin M. Cheek spied the Federal picket a short distance off, and took a shot a t him, which was also returned in due time by the Federal. These two soldiers kept this up until about twenty shots were exchanged, neither taking two shots to the other's one, or as the soldiers called it, they 'took shot about,' This duel did not end with the usual salutation, 'Good bye, Yank, ' and 'Good bye, Reb,' for the 'Yank' had the last shot, which stuck young Cheek in the bowels, from which he died the next day. Cheek had just attained manhood, and was a great favorite with the whole regiment as well as with the Duck River Riflemen. John F. Barham was also wounded in the arm while a vidette at Resaca, George G Daimwood was captured July 5th, and remained in prison until July 1865, Sergt. Sam W. Daimwood was wounded in July.
Hood Supplants Johnston.--
On July 17th Hood was commissioned a full General over the head of Hardee, and on the next day Joe Johnston was removed by President Davis, and Hood was placed in command of this army. This was one of the most unpopular acts of President Davis whole administration, especially with the rank and file of the western army. In that wonderful retreat from Dalton to Atlanta, the greatest display of military strategy that the Civil War presented. Johnstons methods had impressed the soldiers so highly with his abilities, as a great general, that the certain change of the Fabian policy into an entirely different system of tactics nearly demoralized that army and ony the fine discipline of these troops prevent almost an open mutiny. And, yet the soldiers had the greatest respect fro Hoods fighting qualities, which had never been doubted, and for his personal gallantry in action, But he had as yet had opportunity of showing his ability as Commander of an independent army in the field, and Beauregards appointment soon after as Department commander of the two armies in the West (Hoods and Dick Taylors) as practically only advisory.
The Personal Side of Gen. Hood.--
Just a line of two about Hood himself may not be too far out of place in this sketch of a local company. Hood was a Kentuckian and a West Pointer, graduation in 1853 in the same class with his present foes, Schofield and McPherson. He was a lieutenant in the famous Second Cavalry a regiment that had been organized by Jeff Davis when the latter was Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce of this regiment. Albert Sidney Johnston as Colonel, Robert E. Lee Lieutenant Colonel, and Wm. J. Hardee and George H. Thomas were the Majors, it also had many other officers of less rank who became famous in the Civil War. Hood was Adjutant to Major George H. Thomas Old Slow Trot: as Thomas was then called when in Texas; and U. S. Grant was Quartermaster of his Dragoons when in California. Hood had been appointed Chief of Cavalry at West Point in the fall of 1860, but declined not wishing to be hampered in case Kentucky should secede. In April 1861 finding that Kentucky was too slow in deciding what course she would pursue he offered his services to the Provisional Government at Montgomery, enlisting from Texas. Under the laws of the new Confederacy, he was given the same rank he had held in the U. S. Army, First Lieutenant, and reporting to Lee in Richmond. And was immediately assigned to duty under Magruder and soon rose rapidly in rank. In and Indian ambuscade some years before, Hoods left hand had been crippled; at Gettysburg one arm had been mangled, from which he had not recovered when at Chickamauga he lost the right leg, but in spite of these mutilations he managed a horse so well that he never required a ambulance.
Hood Takes the Offensive.--
Hood lost no time in changing Joe Johnstons Fabian policy, and in less than a week he fought two great battles for Atlanta, in both of which he suffered severely without gaining any corresponding advantage. Hardee was relieved from duty with the Army of Tennessee, and the President assigned him to the Command of the Department of South Carolina and Florida. In the battle on July 22nd, Sergt. George W. Rummage, of the Duck River Riflemen, was shot through the head and instantly killed in the charge on a fort just east of Atlanta. Wm. D. Hardison was captured in the next fight, on the 24th, and sent to Camp Chase. This was the second time he experienced a Federal prison, for it will be remembered that he had been detailed at Perryville for hospital duty, and in the retreat from Kentucky he had been ordered to remain in care of the wounded.
Soldiers Cried for Old Joe Johnston.--
The discontent of the soldiers increased to such an extent the President Davis visited the army, July 26th, and made patriotic talks to the troops. While passing down the line in review, some of the soldiers cried out, Give us back Old Joe Johnston much to the mortification of the officers. After the operations around Atlanta, Hood moved off to the North of Shermans line of communication; Sherman followed him back near to Rome, still leaving Atlanta strongly garrisoned. And then the novel spectacle was presented in war, of both armies running away from each other Sherman on his famous March to the Sea, and Hood on his ill-fated Raid into Tennessee. The late Gen. Francis A. Shoupe, of the Female Institute, who had been Joe Johnstons chief of Artillery, was Hoods Chief of Staff throughout his Campaign, and I am indebted to him for much of the information here detailed.
The failure of Hoods expeditions into Tennessee was almost assured by being delayed at Tuscumbia and Florence three weeks before completing the crossing of the Tennessee River. This delay was caused by the want of supplies and the absence of Forrests Cavalry in West Tennessee, in the famous movement which resulted in the destruction of so many millions of dollars worth of Federal stores at Johnsonville. Hood finished crossing the river on the 21st of November, with an admitted effective force of 30, 600 men, which was larger than was then available to Gen. George H. Thomas. Hoods plan was to get between Nashville and the Federal forces at Pulaski, Athens and Decatur, while Thomass object was to delay him south of Duck River until re-enforcement could be brought from Missouri and the north.
In Hoods Official Report he complains of the want of an accurate map of the country and in the march from Florence, with Columbia as an objective point. Stewarts and Lees two corps took the old Military road through Lawrenceburg, while Cheathams corps started by Waynesboro and Henryville. The day after the march began, snow fell, and then rain, making the movement very arduous; on Cheathams road the mud and hills were so bad that sometimes two regiments were detailed to help the artillery over the worst places. The Federal cavalry under Hatch and Capron also harassed the movement by constant skirmishing and obstructing the roads and stream crossing.
But by night fall on the 23rd, the advance of the Confederate infantry was in the Central Basin, on good roads, seventeen or eighteen miles southwest of Columbia, and by eight or nine oclock that night, Caprons Cavalry was being driven out of Mt. Pleasant by Forrests advance, led by Col. (now Rev.) David C. Kelley, who is so well known and loved in Columbia. Hatchs cavalry had also been driven from the old Military road, and had withdrawn east to Campbellsville.
The Race for Columbia.--
The Federal Army had retired north from Pulaski and most of it had been moved that afternoon around Lynnville, about 18 miles south of Columbia, but Gen. Jacob D. Coxs had been pushed on over the Elk Ridge and was encamped that night at McCains, seven miles south of Columbia on the Pulaski Pike. So it was to be a race between the two armies for Columbia, which a brigade of Rugers Division, in all about 800 men. These occupied Fort Mizner on Mount Parnassus, and had begun fortifying the town bridge and ford, and the railroad bridge.
The couriers bearing dispatches of Caprons disaster at Mt. Pleasant, did not reach Lynnville until about one oclock the next morning (the 24th) As soon as Schofield knew that the advance of the Confederate Infantry had got off the Highland Rim, and that Capron had been driven out of Mt. Pleasant, he sounded the reveille, and in about an hour his jaded troops were on a force march for Columbia, the artillery park and wagon trains leaving a little later. Schofield also at once dispatched a courier to Gen. Cox who was 11 miles nearer to Columbia, to march immediately; the troops were awakened, and by four oclock these were also on the march for Columbia.
When within three miles of town, Cox moved his column to the west. Taking the Pond Bridge road and going through the woods and fields, as most of the fences had been destroyed. By seven or eight oclock he was on the Mt. Pleasant pike, on the est side of Little Bigby, and immediately began making barricades of rails and timber to protect the bridge. And he was just in time, for in a short while Caprons Cavalry came rushing down the pike from Ashwood, closely pressed by Forrest, but the Confederate advance was checked by Coxs infantry and had to retire, after which the bridge was destroyed. Gen. Stanley says in his official report that Coxs rapid march to Little Bigby Creek saved Caprons command from annihilation, and probably Columbia from being captured by Forrest.
Death of Col. W. A. Dawson.--
In this pursuit, the gallant Col. W. A. Dawson of the 15th Tennessee Cavalry was killed while leading the command. He had galloped ahead of his men, and after emptying his revolver he rode up to the color bearer of one of Caprons regiment; while trying to wrest the flag from the Federal soldiers grasp, he was shot and killed in his hand-to-hand fight. Gen. Cox made his headquarters at the Martin place (now A. N. Akins) and as fast as the troops came up, they began making entrenchment, timber barricades, and rifle pits on the east side of the creek, The beautiful grove at Mrs. Wilsons, now E. H. Hatchers, and most of the other trees across the Mt. Pleasant pike were spared, but the lawns had rifle pits covering the entrenched works on the hills east of the Garnett Rainey place. The Confederates planted some artillery on the bluff on the west bank of the creek; north of the old fair grounds, which did but little damage.
The Fortifications at Columbia.--
The Federal forces from Lynnville reached Columbia about noon of the 24th. Gen. Schofield making army headquarters at the Athenaeum. As fast as the troops reached the hills about a mile south of town, they began constructing breastworks, aided by all the Contrabands: they could impress for the soldiers were broken down by the forced marches and loss of sleep. This line crossed the Pulaski Pike where the creamery is now, and the Campbellsville Pike just west, at the James place. From there it continued over the hills west nearly to the pike at the crossing of the Mt. Pleasant railroad, By the night of the 25th, these outer entrenchments and the detached works were sufficiently strong to resist any infantry attack, and it was not to be supposed that the Confederates would use artillery, with the city in the rear of the Federal line.
It began raining that Friday night (the 25th) and all day Saturday it was a hard, steady downpour, But the Federals and Contrabands had commenced building other works on the interior line, one beginning about half a mile below the railroad bridge connecting the Holland Mill and Fort Mizner, with detached words east to the river, This was to protect the river crossing, and placed most of the town between the two lines, and if the outer line should be taken, the Federals could ball back to the Fort and the interior line, and the battle would be fought from the streets and houses.
About fifty yards form the top of Mount Parnassus another entrenchment was made of rocks and dirt, almost encircling the Fort. What timber that remained on The Knob was cut down as close to the ground as possible, so as to prevent even a stump being used by a Confederate sharpshooter. The logs were used to strengthen this encircling line of breastworks and an abates made of the lines; this chevaux de frise or shiver and freeze as it was called in the cold weather, was made with the outward points sharpened, and all were fastened together with telegraph wire, making an obstruction that it seemed impossible to get over.
Telegraph Wire Spiked.--
I have heard but do not myself remember that the telegraph wire was spiked from stump to stump so as to trip any advancing troops; this was a Yankee Invention that had been first used at Knoxville just a year before, and which saved that city from capture by Longstreet and Hood. In 1862 the Federals under Gen. Negley had made a small entrenchment on West Market Street at the corner of the Female Institute lot, which was only intended to be sufficient fro attacks from Dunc. Coopers and other similar bodies of Cavalry. This was now enlarged into a strong redoubt, occupying part of the lot afterwards sold to George L. Thomas, and right on the bed of the Old Military Road to Florence. A smaller entrenchment was made just across the street where G. T. Hughes now lives, and about fifty feet west the street was cut and entrenched, leaving the usual turn out for vehicles; these works were connected with Fort Mizner by rifle pits and abatis. The artillery in this redoubt commanded the street west to the junction of the Mt. Pleasant and Hampshire Pikes, as well as the Old Military Road. Good approaches were prepared for the pontoon bridge at the Santa Fe Pike, and the railroad bridge was floored over for the passage of troops and teams.
Entrenchments at Riverside,--
The Federals and impressed Negroes also dug strong entrenchments and rifle pits in the peninsula where Riverside is now, especially to guard the town ford and bridge. But there was still so much timber there, and the peninsular being commanded by the bluffs on the south side of the river from above Ashtons Mills down to Whites Spring, that another and stronger line was built by Gen. Cox on the higher ground about a mile north of town, which the Brown residence was near the center.
The rain and cold did not stop this work, night or day, and those soldiers and darkies worked on in the rain and mud like beavers; the soldiers with guns stacked close at hand ready to return to the entrenchments in case of an attack, and the Negroes badly scared at the prospect of a battle. Time has obliterated many things connected with the Civil War, but some of these entrenchments yet remain and are silent reminders of the times that tried mens souls. Fort Mizner, with its underground magazines, which was considered impregnable from any direct assault, has given way to the reservoir which supplies the city with water. But the redoubt near the Mooresville pike east of the present Fair Grounds, the breastworks on the hills south; the entrenchments at Col. Allen Browns; the fort at the railroad bridge these and many others, are still plainly visible.
The Confederates Invest Columbia.--
Owing to the hard rains and the conditions of the roads, it was the 27th before the Confederate forces were all in position in front of Columbia. On that day Cheathams Corps was sent east to the right win, his headquarters being moved from E. H. Hatchers to John M. Francis; Stewarts headquarters at Nimrod Porters (now Mrs. Major Joe Dobbins) while Army headquarters had been moved by Hood from Andrew J. Polk, at Ashwood, to Mrs. Cornelia Warfields.
The Federals Evacuate.--
Most of the Federal forces had been withdrawn to the interior line in Columbia on the night of the 26th, leaving however a strong force of infantry and some artillery in the outer works. On Sunday night, the 27th, all were placed on the north side of the river, the outer line being quietly abandoned by the Federals after midnight. The Fort and Magazine were then fired but the destruction was only partial; The pontoons were taken up or scuttled, and the town bridge burned; the railroad bridge was fired at both ends, but like the magazine in the fort, was not entirely destroyed.
Burning of Citizens Houses.--
That Sunday afternoon under orders from Gen. George D. Wagner, the homes of Col. Trotter and Col. Sanford, at the intersection of the Campbellsville Pike and Shun Street, and the residence of Rev. Jon F. Hughes and Judge Wm. S. Fleming, between the Pulaski Pike and Campbellsville Pike, were burned. These were large prominent houses between the picket lines, and their destruction was deemed a military necessity by the Federals. The officers notified these people an hour or so previously, and permitted the families to remove such of the contents of the houses as they could, but with no conveyances at hand and none of the men at home, but little was saved. The whole community suffered in the loss of Judge Flemings library and historical data.
Confederates Pillage Columbia.--
Before daylight of the 28th, the Confederate pickets discovered that the outer works were abandoned and Col. W. R. Butlers Tennessee troops pressed in, hoping to secure the ford and bridge, but were repulsed by the Federals on the north bank of the river, In a few hours swarms of Maj. Gen. Carter L. Stevensons command were in town, and the stores and many residences were looted by our own troops more than had occurred during the war. Gen. Hoods headquarters were three miles south of town, and as soon as he heard that Columbia had been wantonly and disgracefully plundered, he issued orders which soon restored discipline.
Hoods Famous Flank Movement.--
The Federal position was so strong and the possibility of a direct attack in front was so apparent, that Hood decided to flank it on the east. The Sappers and Miners were sent up the river to Davis Ford on the 28th, and made good approaches on both banks for the pontoon bridges, which were successfully laid that evening and night without interruption by the Federal cavalry pickets at Hueys Mill, two or three miles below. Some of Forrests cavalry had crossed at Davis Ford, but most of them had been sent further up the river, and had affected a crossing on the 28th, securing a lodgement on the Lewisburg and Franklin Pike. Caprons Brigade of Federal cavalry was guarding the approaches at Hardisons Mills and the fords in the vicinity, holding the peninsula south from Orrs Cross Roads. By some mishap this force was allowed to escape north up the pike, although the Confederates had them as it were in a cul de sac, with nothing to do but pull the string and bag them. The escape of this command had a depressing effect on the Confederates and the Federals were correspondingly elated next day on the retreat to Franklin.
Confederates Cross the River.--
Leaving Stephen D. Lee with a port of his corps to make demonstrations and feints at Columbia, and thus help conceal the flank movement, Hood moved to the right early on the morning of the 29th. He deemed this movement of such importance that he had crossed the river about daylight with his staff and was in personal command. Cheathams corps was in the advance, followed by Stewarts and a division from Lees corps, all in the lightest possible marching order, with only one battery of artillery to the corps. These crossed Duck River on the pontoon bridges near Davis Ford, the small body of accompanying cavalry fording or swimming the river, and by nine of half past nine oclock, this entire force was across Duck River without discovery or interruption by the Federals.
Following the Old Davis Ford Road north, the command pressed rapidly on, moving by the right flank, the column occupying the road and the woods and fields adjoining, for there were precious few fences left to Maury County. The weather had turned warm, the day was bright and sunny, and the troops were in good spirits. The Duck River Riflemen were pressing on in the advance with Strahl and Cleburne, and passing through a country that was home; yet none dropped out of ranks, although short furloughs had been given to most of the troops from this section but all seemed animated with the desire of the command to complete this movement.
Schofield Was Awake.--
The hills east of the Nashville Pike and west of the Davis Ford Road, it was thought, would partly screen this movement from the observation of the Federals, and with Lees feints and assaults at Columbia, would prevent them from moving until their line of communication could be cut in the rear. But Schofield was far to experienced a soldier to be caught napping quite that badly, and Posts Federal Brigade being sent up what is now the Bear Creek Pike to reconnoiter, reported the movement of infantry in force. The Federals immediately began evacuating the peninsula north of Columbia early in the afternoon, and another race this time to Spring Hill or Franklin was on.
Lee Crosses Duck River.--
Lees order was at Columbia were that as soon as the enemy showed signs of retreating, to cross the river and press him north. He had posted Col. J. M. Dedmans Alabama regiment on the bluffs up the river about the lime kiln, while Greenwood Cemetery and the bluff where the jail is now, fairly swarmed with sharpshooter. Col. R. F. Beckham, Gen. Lees Chief of Artillery, superintended the planting of the batteries on the bluff, and was mortally wounded on the 29th, lingering until the 10th of December. He lies in an honored grave in historic St. Johns churchyard at Ashwood, where so many of his gallant brother officers were buried after the battle of Franklin.
The Grape-Vine Pontoon Train.--
But Lee had to lay a pontoon bridge before the infantry could cross. And when that reserve pontoon train came into town, it was followed by scores of boys who were attracted by the novelty of the sight, and such a sight it was. Those huge canoes probably 25 feet long, only one on each ramshackle wagon, with load after load of bridge timbers on a little better wagons, drawn by the first (and poorest) long-horned Texas steers ever seen here, and instead of leather or ropes or chains to draw the wagons grape vines. One of these pontoon boats had been sent down to the river in advance, and although the men in charge of it were being constantly fired on, they pushed it into the river, and commenced carrying the soldiers over. After the boat had been launched, the troops that were being carried over were comparatively safe, the north bank of the river protecting them from the fire of the rifle pits. After getting to the northside these troops remained under the bank until a great many loads had been charged with a rebel yell, driving the remaining Federals back to the line of works of the Brown house. The pontoon bridge was then laid in a few hours. The last of the Federal soldiers retired from the works after dark and began that perilous night march to Spring Hill and Franklin.
Gen. Hoods Guide.--
Nearly every old citizen knows Mr. J. S. R. Gregory, who although in his 76th year, bears his age well, and his memory in unimpaired. Uncle Sol as he is familiarly called, has told me many of his personal recollections of these and other local events. He was a member of Capt. Groves Company in Biffles Cavalry and had been detailed to act as a guide to Gen. Hood in this flank movement. About ten oclock on the morning of the 29th, Hood, Cleburne, and some other officers made special inquiries of him about the Davis Ford Road they were then on, as Hoods map, which had been furnished by the Richmond authorities, differed materially from the information then obtained. Mr. Gregory drew a rough sketch on the ground, showing the relative distance and location of the roads, explaining it at some length to the officers. Mr. Jim Smith, who now lives about two miles southwest of town, was there as guide to Gen. (now Senator) W. B. Bate and Gen. Pat Cleburne, and corroborated Gregorys information. Cleburne made a copy on a piece of paper of Gregorys map or ground plan and said that having known Gregory when the latter lived in Arkansas, and this information being confirmed by Jim Smith, that he had more confidence in it than in the map which Hood was complaining of as being so imperfect. Hood and Cleburne had quite a discussion on this matter, and the conclusion seemed to Gregory to be that it would require great effort to get to where they intended going by the time they wanted to be there.
Gregory was sent alone to the Eph. Davis hill and from there he saw a Federal line of battle formed on the Beasley place south and southeast of the present location of Mount Olivet Church, the line was facing south down the small ravine from the Beasley spring; this a Posts brigade, which had been sent out to reconnoitre. Gregory returned to Hood; who by that time was at the Amos place at the former site of Old Asbury Church, and reported this fact. At that time there was much timber on the hills between Beasley and Amos places and Hood said that these would help the woods and muddy fields parallel with the Davis Ford Road, even wading Rutherford Creek a few hours later.
Hood at the Loftin Mill.--
When the column crossed the Murfreesboro Road just west of Center Star, Hood rode off a short distance on the Loftin Hill just east, and had his big Dutchman (as Jim Smith calls him) help him off his horse; here he sat down on a log and consulted with some officers and his staff, making frequent references to his map, and inquiries from the guides as to the three (?) roads; if he was not impressed with the view, one of the most beautiful in Maury County, he must have felt elated at the success so far of this brilliant flank movement. Eight miles south of west, the prominent figure in the landscape was Fort Mizner, from which the Confederate flag now floated; while between and beyond lay the fertile valley of Duck River, a country worth fighting for, or dying for, as was remarked by one of the officers.
Lees Artillery Helped.--
The booming of artillery at Columbia could be plainly heard, showing that Lee was keeping the attention of the enemy engaged in his feints and demonstrations of crossing. Almost at their feet were passing column after column of the veterans of the Confederate army, all in high spirits and elated with the idea of getting in the rear of the enemy for the object of this rapid march was now apparent to even the common soldier. Hood remained here some little while, then his big Dutchman helped him on his horse and he again rode forward to the head of the column.
Hood, Cleburne and Granberry Quarrel.--
They halted for dinner at a late hour just south of Blantons Chapel, when there was some more misunderstanding between Hood, Cleburne, and Granberry. Gregory overheard it all but did not pay much attention to it; his present impression is that there were some words between them, as to Cleburne or Granberry being put in the extreme advance and some chafing and dissatisfaction because some of the troops were so slow in coming up.
The Great Blunder Occurs. --
About sundown Cleburne had got his infantry up to the pike about a mile south of Spring Hill, and there was a sharp skirmish with the Federal forces marching north on the pike, which lasted till after dark. The Duck River Riflemen were with their command in the advance, and the forward movement of the 24th was stoped by a staff officer. The regiment remained in position near McCutcheons creek, throughout the night, eagerly expecting the order to resume the advance and cut the train in retreat on the pike but the order never came.
That Fatal Tuesday, Night, Nov. 29, 1864.
Hood made army headquarters that night at Capt. Thompsons two miles and a half South of Spring Hill. Almost as soon as headquarters were established, Hood come out of the house and sat on a log some two hundred yards from the house, near the fishpond. Gregory was there in attendance, and saw couriers frequently come, and from what he overheard, then reports were that the enemy were giving way. Granberry was there on the log with Hood for quite a while, but Gregorys impression is that Cleburne did not come up until the skirmish was over, by which time Hood had returned to the house, after a long conference with Gen. Stewart, who had arrived about dark.
Confederate Generals Were Drinking.--
Capt. Thompsons folks spread a big feast that Tuesday evening for these officers and as they were constantly coming and going, it was between eleven and twelve oclock before it was over. There had been much drinking and hilarity among the officers (and some of the men) that day. Uncle Sol says that Hood and Governor Isham G. Harris had not been drinking, or if they had, they showed no effects of it. Gen. Cheatham was much under the influence of spirits; Walthall, Cleburne and Granberry had also been toasting rather freely, but were not at all drunk.
Stewarts Incompetent Guide.--
Gen. Stewart was given a guide (who proved very incompetent) and told to continue north on the Spring Hill and Rally Hill Pike, connect with Cheathams right, and take position on the pike at or near Spring Hill. After marching north on the pike to where it bends west in the suburbs of Spring Hill his guide took him east up the private pike leading to Col. R. W. McLemores residence; he kept this road probably half a mile, then struck out across the country, and about eleven oclock bivouacked in the woods and fields near the road on the Military Reservation line.
Whole Federal Army Passed by Unchallenged.--
That night the Confederate Army remained close to the Columbia Pike, in easy hailing distance of the Federal forces that with trains 15 miles long were crowding the pike in the hurried retreat to Franklin and Nashville. One of the Federal officers said that in riding up and down the line they had to remain close to the column to keep from riding over the Confederate pickets. A single column thrown across the road would in all probability have routed Schofields entire command, and that would have given Middle Tennessee, and probably Kentucky, to the Confederacy.
The Failure at Spring Hill.--
But it is useless in this sketch to moralize on The Failure at Spring Hill, which has been so much discussed (and cussed) for nearly forty years. No satisfactory explanation of it has ever been made but the fact remains that the Commanding General was on the ground in person, and if his orders were not delivered or executed, he should have led the movement himself Or fixed the responsibility of the failure on his subordinate. But if the world does not know the cause of this failure, it does know that through some blunder worse then criminal, the opportunity lost that night the greatest offered in the Civil War caused the frightful useless butchery the next evening at Franklin, which brought desolation to so many thousand southern homes.
Hood awoke the next morning to find that there were no Federals south of Spring Hill on the Columbia Pike, and not believing it possible that they all could have escaped up that pike, he sent Forrest to the Carters Creek and Franklin pike to intercept them.
The Pursuit to Franklin.--
That night march of the Federals was one of the most trying experiences of the war. These soldiers had been on hard duty for some days and nights; they had marched from Lynnville to Columbia by night less than a week and frequently with scanty food and fuel. And now to be again on the retreat by night, with the prospect of a night attack by the Confederates to position and flank with a strong force to say nothing of Lee crowding them in the rear was extremely trying.
Coxs Division led the retreat to Franklin, as it had done from Lynnville to Columbia; arriving at Franklin about sunrise on the morning of the 30th, his broken down soldiers were allowed one hour for rest and breakfast, and them immediately began work on the line of entrenchments on the Columbia Pike at the Carter house and the old gin. As the other commands arrived, they too, were put to work on the fortifications, which were already strong from long occupation by the Federals as an outpost of Nashville. By three oclock these works were in good order, and Schofields trains were across Harpeth River and well on the way to Nashville.
By the time the Confederate forces in pursuit came in sight and commenced deploying. Schofield did not think that Hood would attack another flank movement, which would be comparatively easy, with the river fordable almost anywhere, But in this he was mistaken, for Hood at once began to prepare for battle. He evidently was chafing under the disappointment and the blunder of the night before at Spring Hill, and he probably had thought all day of the storm of criticism Schofields escape would provide throughout the country. And then, possibly he had heard mutterings from the men of his army that day and he determined to retrieve everything by defeating Schofield in open battle.
An Inspiring Scene.--
The history of the world presents few scenes more thrilling than the one at Franklin that beautiful autumn evening. The advance of the Confederate host in battle array to the martial music of the bands, with flags flying, the generals and their staffs mounted, and the regimental officers as carefully dressing the lines as if on parade. In thee near distance directly in front, this the horizon line was the strong fortifications, under whose head logs projected the gleaming rifles which foretold the useless butchery about to take place. At Fort Roper on the northeast the Federal artillery kept up a constant fire on the reforming and advancing lines, but it was not until within close musket range that the carnage was so great, for all other battles this was one principally of infantry and infantry, where the other branches of the service, the cavalry and artillery, played a comparatively unimportant part.
I notice that in the last installment published of the Duck River Riflemen, that I omitted some facts related by Mr. Gregory of that Tuesday night, Nov. 29, 1864, as the Confederate officers were enjoying Capt. Thompsons hospitality near Spring Hill. The Federals were under the impression that Mr. McMeens house, about half a mile south of Capt. Thompsons was the Confederate headquarters for the night; they fired their artillery on it, which set it on fire, and it burned to the ground just about dark, This was after the Duck River Riflemen and Strahls advance was in position just east of the Columbia pike, and after the skirmish there had been.
Gen. Forrest had a son, a mere boy who was wounded that afternoon in the calf of his leg by a minie ball, and who had been sent to Capt. Thompsons for surgical attention. But Forrest himself had pressed on north with his cavalry and had crossed the pike, burning several wagons and loads of supplies on the pike and at Thompsons Station a few miles further north.
About midnight Forrest came back to Capt. Thompsons to see how seriously his boy was wounded and how he was getting on. As he rode up he seemed astounded at the drinking and carousing going on among the higher officers, and at once asked for Gen. Hood, who with Governor Isham G. Harris, had retired. On being shown to the room by Mr. Gregory, Forrest told Hood that the Yankees were getting through on the pike, and suggested and urged in his emphatic way that a force of infantry be thrown forward immediately and cut the retreating column on the Columbia Pike. He told him of his burning the wagons and the stampede of the teamsters and guards, a few miles up the pike near the Duck River Ridge, and of his success at Thompsons Station a few hours previously. Gregory says that Hood was not at all excited nor had been that evening when the skirmish was going on, and he heard him remark to Forrest in his calm, unmoved way, that hed find the Yankees in the morning. After this interview with Hood, Forrest went out to where his wounded boy was laying, muttering to himself such a rush of expletives that might show what a task it was for his preacher-colonel the Rev. David C. Kelley to convert him into the utmost Christian he finally became.
In the battle of Franklin the 24th Regiment was on the left of Strahls Brigade, in the supporting line, following the advance of Vaughans Brigade, at a distance of about 200 yards just west of the Columbia Pike, and directly south of Carters brick house, where the Federals breastworks were very high and unusually strong. Wagners Federal division had built a hasty barricade of rails on the pike in front of the main line of works, and with more bravery that discretion held this until the Confederates were right on them; and when they retired, the Federals and Confederates were so intermixed that the Federal fire was withheld from the mass of blue and gray that crowed pell mell through the turn out gap in the pike, and over the breastworks at the Carter house. The Confederates captured the artillery stationed at this point and turned it against the late comers. It was at this critical moment for the Federals that Colonel Emerson Opdyke of the 115th Ohio advanced his reserve line from the north side of the Carter house and regained possession of the breastworks, captured nearly 400 of the confederates who were inside and recovered possession of the artillery which had been lost a few minutes previously. Many of Wagners men were captured by the Confederates in the rush on the outer barricades, and twelve members of the consolidated company of which the Duck River Riflemen formed a part, sent these prisoners to the rear. The four commissioned officers and the remaining 24 privates pressed on with the rest of the command to the Federal line, but their advance was retarded by and abatis about twenty yards in the front of the fortifications. In going over this obstruction, Lieut. Tindall had four bullet holes put through his hat. When these men got on top of this high Federal breastworks, Lieut. Tindall says that right in front were four lines of Federal infantry, standing with fixed bayonets glistening in the setting sun, and the rifle barrels seemed big enough to crawl in. A Confederate Captain, who was conspicuous from having on a brand-new uniform ran from near the pike on top of the works, down to the position of the 24th, and urged the men to come on and get on the inside. A Federal soldier immediately stopped his jaw by bayoneting him in the cheek; the irate Captain called to some of the men in the ditch on the berm, Give me a gun this kill this ______ yankee rascal. Tindall handed him a sword with which he slashed at the Ohio soldier, and in doing so, the unknown Captain fell among the enemy. The Federal line having by this time been restored, just east of the pike and gin-house, Strahl was subjected to a heavy enfilading fire, in which the artillery in the fort across Harpeth River joined; and of this consolidated company, now consisting of four officers and 24 men, three of the officers and 22 of the privates were killed or wounded.
Charley Nicholson was shot seven or eight times, dying on the Federal breastworks near Gen. Strahl. The brave boys remains were brought home a few day late by Humphrey Hardison and buried with military honors in the family graveyard near Rock Spring by Capt. Fount Scott and an accompanying escort. The day before he was killed, he passed in sight of his home while making the march along the Davis Ford road, and despite the entreaties of his family (and sweetheart) to take his furlough and stop, he went on with the command. Sergt. Jasper W. Dillehay, George W. Hardison and Martin V. Hardison were so badly wounded that they had to be left at home on Hoods retreat. This was the third time that Martin V. Hardison had been wounded in battle, yet he is still living. Lt. Col. Sam E. Shannon was wounded in the neck and the next morning at three oclock was carried by some of the Riflemen to his sisters in Franklin. Col. John A. Wilson was wounded in the shoulder and the 24th Regiment was commanded by a Second Lieutenant all the higher officers being killed or wounded. Even an outline of this unique battle would require a separate article but some idea of the useless butchery (as Gen. Joe Johnston called it) may be formed from a few facts:
The Confederate deploying and advance was over a large open plain, where every movement was easily seen, until the smoke of battle and the evening haze soon settled like a pall over the field. Almost the whole of this advance was subject to the fire from the breastworks, as well as Fort Roper. The Confederates had only three batteries of artillery, and these could be used but sparingly, on account of the town being in the rear of the Federal lines. The Fourth Army Corps (Federal) used one hundred wagon loads of ammunition in this short battle. In proportion to the forces engaged, and the short duration of the fight, it was the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. Hood admits a loss of about 4,500 but Thomas makes the total 6.252; the Federal loss was not nearly so great, being protected by the fortification. The proportionate loss of the Commissioned Officers in the attacking lines was probably never equalled not even at Bunker Hill. Generals Cleburne, Adams, Strahl, and Granberry were killed; Generals Brown, Carter, Manigault, Quarles, Cockrell, and Scott were wounded; and Gen. Gordon was captured.
Granberrys Brigade consisted of these regiments: 5th and 6th Texas, 5th Conf. Regulars, 7th Texas, 10th Texas, 35th Tenn,. 17th and 18th Texas Cavalry, besides Nutts Louisiana Cavalry Company. At the close of the fight the Brigade was commanded by a Captain. In Quarles Brigade of Walthalls Division every staff officer was killed, and the highest officer in command was a Captain. This Brigade had only six regiments and lost three of the regimental flags, the color bearers having been killed or wounded within the Federal interior line. Col. Ellison Capers of the 24th South Carolina (now the Episcopal Bishop of S. C.) was wounded for the third time in the same leg. A year ago he visited his son here, Rev. W. B. Capers, Rectory of St. Peters Church, and together they went over the battlefield, He reports that every staff officer of Gen. Gist was killed except one, and that this brigade was also commanded by a captain. Capt. Robert D. Smith who was Ordnance Officer of Gen. Walthalls Staff had every Ordnance Officer under him killed on the field.
The 24th Tennessee Regiment of which the Duck River Riflemen formed a part, had the colonel, Lieut. Colonel, Major, Adjutant, and every Captain and First Lieutenant, killed or wounded, the ranking officer being a Second Lieutenant. The third day after the fight I want over the battlefield, and the impression made on my boyish memory by the hundreds ad hundreds of dead men in every conceivable position still remaining unburied upon the field have never been effaced. The Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War in 1854 is noted as being one of the most celebrated in history. Poets have sung it and painters have pictured it in the most glowing colors; the British government granted pensions to the survivors and heaped honors on those who fell, And what hosts of school boys on Public Fridays for nearly 50 years have recited Tennysons stirring poem of ~
Half a league, half a league
Half a league onward
All in the valley of Death rode the Six Hundred.
As a matter of act, there were 673 horsemen in this Charge, but poetic license reduced the number to 600. Yet in this Death Charge a Balaklava, as our British cousins like to call it, the total casualties were only 247 or some writers place them a 280 and some of them were very slightly wounded; which included the 12 officers killed and 11 wounded.
Now does this compare with the record of this local command, which lost over half its number in killed and wounded at Shiloh and at Franklin and had only three men unhurt out of 28. It is a far cry from Englands Poet Laureate and the Crimean War to the impromptu camp rhymster in our own late unpleasantness, but as the old adage says there it is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous, here is a sample verse of camp song that soon became very popular with the Southern soldier:
You talk about your Beauregard, And boast of R. E. Lee
But J. B. Hood of Texas, he played hell in Tennessee.
Another curious item about the battle of Franklin is that although Schofield was present, his position across the river left the management of the battle to Stanley. In the first rush of the Confederates, the worse on the Columbia Pike were carried. Federals and Confederates crowding through the gap in a continued mass. Stanley was wounded at this time and the command developing on Cox, he drove the Confederates back, except about 400 who were captured within the lines, and regained possession of part of the breastworks. It was Cox who had led the advance of the march the night before and had thrown up these works, Cox practically fought this battle and yet his name was not even mentioned in Gen. Thomas official report. After the war, Cox was elected Governor of Ohio and President Grant gave him a seat in his cabinet as Secretary of the Interior. While filling the latter office his family spent part of a season with us at the Athenaeum hoping that the change of climate would prove beneficial to his son Kenyon Cox. who has become world famous as an artist.
The Field Returns November 6th shows Stewarts Army Corps to have 8,708 total effectives resent, and Cheathams Corps, 10,519. The next field return is December 10th (after the Franklin fight and before the Battle of Nashville) when the figures are respectively 5,321 and 7,272, showing a loss of over one-third.
Hoods Bravado Advance on Nashville.--On the 10th of December, in the trenches in front of Nashville, where the fires behind the breastworks sillohoutted the troops., into emptying targets from Federal bullets, a sort of reorganization was made, by which the remains of the 19th, 24th, and 41st Tennessee Regiments were consolidated and place under the command of Captain Daniel A. Kennedy, Strahls Brigade, was commanded By Col. Andrew J. Kellar, the noted editor of Memphis.
The Battle of Nashville, December 15th and 16th was the finishing blow for Hoods army, routing it until Duck River was placed between it and the pursuing Federals and it was not much after that. John L. Biggers and Jacob Bennett of the Duck River Riflemen were captured at Nashville, the other members going with the escaping Confederates.
Hoods Memorable Retreat.--
Hoods Retreat out of Tennessee that December was one of the most horrible episodes of the Civil War. On the morning of the 18th it began raining. It stormed all day of the 19th, stopping about night and beginning again the next afternoon, winding up with a heavy snow and sleet on the 21st. The weather had turned intensely cold, and it was a mud, mud everywhere with a frozen crust on top, through which men, horses, and wheels continually broke. The previous movements of the armies had cut the roads and adjoining fields into a state that can hardly be imagined; the bridges were all destroyed, and even the culverts were in most cases torn up or damaged. The conditions of the fords and approaches to the pontoon bridges defy description with the mud knee-deep, and dead horses and mules making stepping places for the soldiers.
Probably a third of the Confederate infantry had no shoes and every stop was marched in bleeding feet cut by the frozen ground and ice. These men would tie strings around the bottom of their trousers just at the ankle as the mud and ice would wear this into a fringe and break off. They would tie higher up, and many had the strings so high that with their bare legs below the knee they looked like Highlanders. And for rations, well, there were almost none issued regularly, and few citizens had any to give. Fuel had become extremely scarce, and may people had to cut dawn the shade trees near their homes, as there were no teams to haul wood with. Hoods army was routed, demoralized, and had entirely lost faith in him, and yet, in spite of all the bare-footed veterans plodding along, cracking jokes, singing, and often cursing, in a jolly good-natured way.
Forrest to the Rescue.--
Forrest had been hastily recalled from the right wing where he was operating against the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad. He began retreating on the 16th crossing a good part of his command at Lillards Mills next day, but the waters rose so rapidly that he had to come down the north bank of the river to Columbia to avail himself of the pontoon bridge,
The Confederates finished crossing Duck River on the 19th of Dec. during a hard storm, and immediately took up the pontoon bridge and moved out of town on the Pulaski Pike, after which the rain ceased. Three of the cannon that could not be put across were spiked ad pitched into the river and were afterwards fished out by the Federals. Forrest remained in town until all the infantry had gone out, deploying skirmishers from about Ashtons Mills to Greenwood Cemetery until this was completed.
Forrest and Hatch Meet at the River--
After these troops had withdrawn from town the Federal advance which had finally succeeded in getting over Rutherford Creek, appeared across the river, and a battery was placed at the Brown house, which shelled the town. Forrest rode back to Columbia with an escort, carrying a flag of truce, and went to the bridge abutment. Gen. Hatch and an escort soon came to the north side with a flag of truce, in answer, when Forrest told him that the city had been evacuated by the Confederates, and Hatch promised that he would stop the shelling which he did.
The escape of the entire Confederate army from its perilous situation north of the Duck River was permitted, or at least greatly assisted by one of the most ludicrous mistakes in military annals. But as this incident was not especially connected with the subject of this sketch, it will be reserved for another article.
The Famous Rear Guard.--
Hood made army headquarters at the Nathan Vaught place (now R. G. Sparrows) from the 18th to the morning of the 20th of December 1864, when he left for Pulaski. On that morning Forrest was placed in command of the rear guard of the army, and Walthall was ordered to support him with eight brigades of picked infantry. These eight brigades gave him an effective force of 1900 men of whom about 400 were without shoes, and many more were practically bare-footed. Such was the picked infantry of the famous rear guard! Two of these brigades, Maneys and Strahls were commanded by the gallant Col. Hume R. Field, and the field returns next day show a total of only 113 effectives for both brigades. Among them was the wreck of the Duck River Riflemen, which had now become so absorbed in these reorganizations and consolidations that it lost all semblance of existence as a separate organization. Yet these few were true and faithful soldiers unto the end and followed the waning star of the Lost Cause until it sank never more to rise.
The Last Consolidation.--
In North Carolina, March 21st, 1865, in the final death gasp of the Confederacy, the Third Tennessee Consolidated Regiment was organized; it was composed of the 4th, 5th, 19th, 31st, 33rd, 35th, 38th, and 41st, Regiments of which James D. Tillman was commissioned Colonel in the Brigade of Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Palmers. Maj. Gen. B. F. Cheathams Division, Lt. Gen. W. J. Hardees Corps, and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Commander. The whole of the 24th Regiment was used to help make up Company K of the new Third Tennessee Consolidated, and the following members of the Duck River Riflemen were among the officers for the new company just before the surrender in April 1865:
R. W. Tindall, Capt.
John E. Hardeman, 2d Lieut.
Sam W. Daimwood, Orderly Sergt.
Spun Cotton as Money after the Surrender.--
In the return home from North Carolina the Confederate money even if the soldiers had been paid would have been worthless to defray the expenses. It was impracticable to furnish food and transportation for it was over the mountains to Tennessee even if the food and transportation had been available. But there was a good supply of spun cotton yarns on hand and with raw cotton worth over a dollar a pound in good money this spun cotton was a valuable currency easily carried, and this was what was given to the soldiers to trade with citizens on the road for food. One wagon and team was allowed to each large command to haul the cotton yarns, and incidentally to help such of the men as should be broken down on the trip. And so, with heavy hearts these soldiers began their homeward march.
The Last Charge--
John H. Derryberry had suffered with chronic diarrhea in the army and on the march over the mountains this was complicated with pneumonia. The few retiring members of his company remained with him at a widows house about ten mile east of Greeneville, Tennessee, and gave him al the attention that they could, but he died in a few days, There was not means enough among his comrades to bury him, and as he was now a civilian since the surrender, they wanted to put him in a coffin, So a council of war was held, and after much deliberation it was decided to make one more charge. That night four of the Riflemen led by Anderson Daniel made the charge on the combined commissary, Quartermaster, Paymaster, and Ordnance Train which was the one headquarters wagon carrying the spun cotton yarns, and captured four bales. With three of these, a coffin was procured from Greeneville and the other bale was given to the widow for her attention to John H. Derryberry and for a grave for him in her apple orchard. This was the last official act of the Duck River Riflemen.
A Glorious Record.--
Here is a summary of this Company, compiled from the best information now available; it is necessarily incomplete, yet any changes would only show an increased loss. It is a record that was equalled by few companies in the Civil War--a record of which the members and families of the Duck River Riflemen, and all Maury Countians, can well be proud.
2 commissioned officers and 15 men killed in battle.
4 mortally wounded.
3 missing, never heard of afterwards
1 died on the way home after the surrender
4 died from sickness
31 wounded in battle, some more than once.
7 wounded and discharged, or left at home
10 discharged for ill health.
9 otherwise discharged too young, or too old.
1 name placed on the Confederate Roll of Honor at Richmond for conspicuous Bravery in the Battle of Murfressboro.
Something of Capt. Tindall.--
Before closing this sketch let me add a line or two about Capt. Robert W. Tindall, the last Captain of the Company, and one of the best of the many good citizens of Maury County. He was like so many others, a strong Union man and opposed to secession, yet when Tennessee cast her lot with the Southern Confederacy, he enlisted as a private in the Duck River Riflemen. His comrades tell me that he was in every battle and skirmish in which the command participated, was never wounded or captured, never had a furlough, and never shirked any military duty. And he tells me that he surrendered at Greensboro (formerly known as Guilford Court House) where he was born, and that the pay he received at the close of the war was one dollar and twenty-five cents in silver. He paid the dollar for a marriage license, and has kept the quarter on which two generations of children have cut their teeth.
A Tribute to the Riflemen.--
And a final paragraph about the personnel of the Company. These men belonged to that God fearing, law abiding, hard working class that fulfilled the Biblical command of earning a living by the sweat of the brow. Not a tenth of them over owned a slave of had any personal interest in preserving the peculiar Institution except in so far as it affected the general interest of the community, and nearly all of them were Union men until President Lincoln issued his call of 75.000 men to suppress insurrection. Returning to their desolate homes at the close of the war to encounter the horrors of the Reconstruction period, berefit of all save honor, disfranchised, the Duck River Riflemen were types of the Confederate soldiers, who, accepting the logic of events, went to work and succeeded in that wonderful development and rehabilitation of the South which has made it the most important factor in the present prosperity of the United States a result which is the wonder of the political economist and will be the admiration of the future historian.
Columbia, Tenn., March 1904 Frank H. Smith
A Civil War Filler:
INCIDENT OF THE WAR--Maury Democrat, 12 August 1897
August 5. --Today is the anniversary of a war incident that is indelibly impressed on the minds of at least several of Franklins citizens. It was just 35 years ago today that Gen. John M. Palmer, commanding the Federal troops, retreated through this place (Franklin) on his way to Nashville. During the retreat Gen. Palmer had been greatly annoyed by Confederates firing on his men, and, anticipating further trouble at Holly Tree Gap, five miles north of here, the General arrested 11 citizens of this place and took them along with him as hostages. The troops were not molested on the march, and after passing Holly Tree Gap, the citizens were allowed to return home.
After a lapse of 35 years, almost an average life-time, seven of those citizens are still alive. They are Messrs. James Karr, Ed. G. Sherman, Henry P. Fowlkes, Mack Craig, O. C. Owen, of Columbia, Thos, L. Owen and Rev. John W. Hanner, of Bellbuckle. The dead are Charley Crouch, Robert Brown, William Ragsdale, and Dick Gault.