yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

The Civil War Remembered:
Items from Area Newspapers

compiled by Brenda Kirk Fiddler

April 4, 1895

Savannah Courier
Savannah, Tennessee

Correspondence Between Gens. Grant and Beauregard after the Battle of Shiloh

Headquarters Army of the Mississippi
Monterey, April 8, 1862

Sir: At the close of the conflict of yesterday, my troops being exhausted by the extraordinary length of time during which they were engaged with yours on that and the preceding day, and it being apparent that you had received, and were still receiving reinforcements, I felt it my duty to withdraw my troops from the immediate scene of conflict.

Under these circumstances, in accordance with the usages of war, I shall transmit this, under a flag of truce, to ask permission to send a mounted party to the battlefield of Shiloh, for the purpose of giving decent interment to the dead.

Certain gentlemen wishing to avail themselves of this opportunity to remove the remains of their sons, and friends, I must request for them privilege of accompanying the burial party, and in this connection I deem it proper to say I am asking only what I had extended to your own countrymen under similar circumstances.

Resp't., General your obe't serv't, []
P.G.T. Beauregard
To Major General U.S. Grant, U.S.A. Commanding U.S. forces near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.

April 11, 1889

Savannah Courier

We paid our visit to the Shiloh battlefield last Friday….We are indebted to J.P. Atkins of Pittsburg Landing for accompanying us over the grounds and showing us places of interest. The spot where Albert Sidney Johnston died is now only marked by a small cedar brush, the tree by which he died having long since been carried away, root and branch, by relic seekers. Only a few relics were picked up by our party, the writer finding a Confederate canteen which had been pierced by two bullets and one shot, and some of the others finding bullets and pieces of shells. This battlefield contained no fortifications and the signs of war are rapidly disappearing.

September 5, 1902

Decatur County Herald

General Forrest; Last Speech Delivered by the Old War Horse

The following taken from an old copy of the Memphis Evening Ledge [could this be Ledger?] is a complete report of the last speech that was delivered by Gen. N.B. Forrest. It was a reunion of the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry at Covington on Thursday, Sept. 21, 1876:

"Soldiers of the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I name the soldiers first because I love them best. I am extremely pleased to meet you there today. I love the gallant men with whom I was so intimately connected during the late war. You must readily realize what must pass through a commander's mind when called upon to meet in reunion the brave spirits who through four years of war and bloodshed, fought fearlessly for a cause they thought right, and who, even they foresaw, as we all did, that war must soon close in disaster, and that we must all surrender, yet did not quail, but marched to victory in many battles and fought as boldly and as persistently as they did in the first. Nor do I forget those many gallant spirits who sleep coldly in death upon the many bloody battlefields of the late war.

I love them too, and honor their memory. I have often been called to the side on the battlefield of those who have been struck down, and they would put their arms around my neck and draw me down to them and kiss me, and say:

‘General, I have fought my last battle and will soon be gone. I want you to remember my wife and children, and take care of them.'

Comrades, through the years of bloodshed and many marches you were tried and true soldiers. So I through the years of peace you have been good citizens, and now that we are again united under the old flag. I love it as I did in the days of my youth, and I feel sure that you love it also.

Yes I love and honor that old flag as much as do those who followed it on the other side, and I am sure that I but express your feelings when I say that, occasion offer and our common country demand our services, you would as eagerly follow my lead to battle under that proud banner, as ever you followed me in our recent great war.

It has been thought by some that our social reunions were wrong, and that they would be heralded to the North as an evidence that we were again ready to break out into war. But I think that they are right and proper, and we will show our countrymen by our conduct and dignity that brave soldiers are always good citizens and law abiding and loyal people.

Soldiers, I was afraid I could not be with you today, but I could not bear the thought of not meeting with you, and I will always try to meet with you in the future. I hope that you will continue to meet from year to year and bring your wives and children, who may come after them to enjoy with you the pleasures of your reunions."

The reunion was held in the midst of the hot Tilden-Hayes presidential campaign, and it is interesting to note the manner in which the other speakers also referred to the great event. Col. T. H. Logwood said:

"We boys are as true to the Union as the boys who wore the blue, and should our country need our services in her defense. We will promptly enlist under the stars and stripes and meet its enemies with the same good will with which we fought under the stars and bars."

May 15, 1908

Lexington Progress

Attention Veterans of Forrest's Cavalry

I have secured the use of Gelder's Hall, corner Fourth Ave., and Twentieth Street, Birmingham, Ala., for Headquarters of Forrest's Cavalry during the Reunion in June. By writing to Col. Thomas S. Tate, at Birmingham, or applying to him immediately upon arrival, you can secure a horse, saddle and bridle for use on day of parade. All are requested to meet at Gelder's hall at 10 o'clock a.m., second day of reunion. A mass meeting election will be held. Let every veteran of Forrest's Cavalry make an effort to attend. We will never have such an opportunity to meet again.

Most sincerely your comrade,
H.A. Tyler, Lieutenant Gen.
Commanding Forrest's Cavalry Corps

June 12, 1908

Lexington Progress

Old Confederates; Meet in Their Fast Thinning Annual Gathering

The United Confederate Veterans have held their annual meeting this week in the hospitable and progressive city of Birmingham, Alabama. The attendance of Veterans and visiting Sons of Veterans and others was expected to be enormous, but Birmingham had met every requirement and both "Vets" and visitors were accorded a characteristic Southern welcome to the Iron City with its conglomerate population. This county was represented by Veterans G.W. Florence and T.E. Sellars and by A.H. Fronabarger. [Notes from Brenda Fiddler: A.H. Fronabarger was not a vet. A much younger man, he accompanied the elderly gentlemen. The microfilmed newspaper was black and torn, and I did my best to get a complete account.]

April 30, 1909

Lexington Progress

Dr. John H. Howard

Upon our desk there lies a yellow and time stained paper, rather insignificant in size and appearance, but 44 years ago, come the 4th of June next, it stood for the freedom of a gallant Confederate soldier, who two years and three months before it was issued had entered the United States Military Prison at Point Lookout, Maryland, as a prisoner of war. The paper in question is a "Certificate of Release of a Prisoner of War," and is dated June 4, 1865, which was more than a month after the flag of the Confederacy was folded forever as the emblem of a free and independent nation of the earth, when the peerless Robert E. Lee sheathed his stainless sword and signed the capitulation of the Confederate Army at Appomattox Courthouse. The "Release" was issued to "John H. Howard of Henderson County, Tennessee," whom it certifies has taken the oath of allegiance to the United States. The "Oath and Parole" are printed on the back of this certificate to which is also appended another oath taken, and signed by the prisoner and attested by A.C. Brady, major and Provost marshal. In this paper the "prisoner" is described as having dark complexion, light gray hair and hazel eyes, and as being five feet, 8 1/2 inches in height. The "prisoner" who was then hardly twenty-five years of age is now Dr. Howard of Lexington of Lexington, the uncle of Attorney-General B.J. and Messrs. Charles F. and F.A. Howard of our city, where he has almost as many friends as in his own home town. Two years and three months in a Northern prison sufficed to turn his hair gray before he was 25, but forty-four years have not faded his love for the uniform he wore and the cause for which he fought, and though like all of the other brave men who took the "oath of allegiance," he has kept it truly, his heart still beats with pride when he recalls the glorious fight made by the soldiers of Dixie. Dr. Howard, if not only a veteran of the "Lost Cause," but a veteran in the medical profession, which he adorned for nearly half a century and in which he did in the ranks of the gray. He is as hearty and hale as many men of 50 and his friends hope that he will march at many more reunions and that for untold years to come he will continue to minister to their ills and fight their diseases.--Jackson Sun

June 18, 1909

Lexington Progress

Memphis Reunion; Passed into History as Biggest Since the U.C.V.'s Were Organized Visitors Fleeced For Lodging

The great annual meeting of the United Confederate Veterans, held in Memphis last Tuesday,, Wednesday and Thursday, will probably be remembered by all as the most largely attended in the entire history of the organization. No other point is so centrally located, so accessible by rail and river and no other place will work so hard as does Memphis to drum up a crowd for Memphis has an eye to business and can see the advantage of bringing to that city a crowd of more than a hundred thousand people.

There are many beautiful and commendable features about this yearly coming together of the now old men, who, in their youth, or early manhood, marched from their homes to give their lives if necessary to defend the fair Southland against the Yankee invader. Old soldiers, who, together went through the hardships of war, loved to meet again when all is peace and tell each other again and again of their sanguine experiences, their sad homecomings and their thoughts of what "might have been," which is in no way lessens their loyalty to the "Stars and Stripes" which now float protectedly [sic] over all.

Any man who is a man, takes off his hat to the brave soldier who fought conscientiously under any flag and the REAL SOLDIER part of the Reunion is a delight which we hope may continue to be experienced and expressed in annual meeting until the last handful of the brave fellows shall have answered the last bugle call. All cities which bid for the Reunion raise a fund for the entertainment of Veterans and, while Memphis has done no more than others in that way, Memphis let as as many veterans go unhoused as had ever happened in any city. Hundreds of old soldiers slept in the parks, on the benches and ground, as did thousands of the COMMON VISITORS who could not find a place to sleep or would not pay the robber prices exacted. Such hotels as the Peabody more than doubled the price of rooms and on cots worth but little if any more than a dollar, a man was asked $1.50 to sleep one night. In the matter of eating there was no reasonable complaint, for houses which fed well held to regular prices, but on lodging the robbery was notorious-an imposition which should never be submitted to in any city, and Mobile should be given fair warning as that city has been selected for the next Reunion.

The matter of Sponsors, Maids of Honor, Sons of Veterans, et al., have become a nuisance. The ____[newspaper torn] are sweet, most of them good-looking and we love them but we'd like to see one real reunion on a "tented field," _____ [newspaper torn] the ladies as mere visitors in the hotel and lodging ______ thieves left to sleep on their own beds.

Memphis papers are boasting that the Reunion brought to that city more than a million dollars in cash--and there you have the burning patriotism which prompted the city to entertain the veterans who came-and were found.

The Memphis Street Car Company is said to have done $50,000 business last week and did it honestly, charging the regular price, 5c per ride. We wish the company could have made a hundred thousand.

June 18, 1909

Lexington Progress

Local and Personal

Our country districts as well as town were numerously represented at the Memphis Reunion last week. Among those we saw on train or on the streets of the Bluff City were Mrs. G.W. Stanford, who lives North of town; L.F. Gordon, of Wildersville; Hubert Brown, Esq. Miles Rhodes and G.B. Wallace, of the old 5th; A.S. Bird and wife of Luray; Guy McHaney, old Crucifer, Albert Hatchett, of the old 6th; G.A. Duke, of the old 20th.

June 25, 1909

Peter Evans of Moore's Hill, of the old 15th district, had with his family as visitors, his relatives, Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Johns, of Chattanooga. Mr. Evans and family had not seen each those relatives since 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Johns remain in this county until tomorrow when they will leave for Chattanooga but stopped over a few days in Nashville. Mr. Johns is an old railroad engineer's loyal Bryan Democrat. [Note from Brenda Fiddler: Peter Evans also vet.]

April 7, 1911

Lexington Progress

Tribute to the Memory of Dan and Clint McCollum

My comrades and fellow countrymen, in speaking to you of the utterances of President McKinley, relative to the government caring for the graves of Confederate dead, in his speech at Atlanta, Georgia., several years ago, I am made to think of Dan McCollum, a member of my company falling in battle on July 20, 1863, near Atlanta.

Gen. Hood attempted to dislodge the Federal army from behind their breastwork by a direct attack. Gen. Cheatham, with his division of brave Tennesseans, was ordered to lead this attack against the enemy under a terrific fire of musketry and cannonading.

We failed to repulse the enemy and were forced to fall back to the ravine to shelter us from this fire. Our loss was heavy and among those killed was Dan McCollum, who was lying near their works. Tom Hart, Jap Stegall, Dan Snow and myself crawled back under a heavy fire to bring from the field the body of our friend. While doing this, we met some of the boys of the 51st Tennessee with the body of Clint McCollum. We secured an ambulance and carried both these boys to the cemetery at Atlanta and buried them side by side in that ill-fated southern city.

Forty-seven years have come and gone, but I am left to tell of those brothers who died amid the carnage of war. With their pale faces turned to the pitying sky, we all sorrowfully knelt beside their lifeless bodies while the great guns thundered their requiem and the roar of battle hushed the voices of the surviving soldiers.

W.M. Crook, Star City, Ark. April 2, 1910

We publish the above letter which is a tribute to the brothers of our fellow townsmen, E.L. and L.M. McCollum and Mrs. Lucy Arnold of Lexington, Tenn.--Henderson Gazette New Era.

August 15, 1913

Lexington Progress

Local News

Charles Browning, an ex-Confederate soldier, who lived in this county many years ago, and has lately been living in North Mississippi, was in Lexington Tuesday selling spectacles.

editors note: The census information about Charles Browning confirms Progress editor W. V. Barry's article about Browning's visit to Lexington. 

1850 Henderson County Census

William Browning (35) born in Kentucky, living in District 2, a farmer worth $1200, with family: Frances (35), Mary (14), Martha ( 12), George W. (11), Charles (10), Frances (5) and Hannah E. (9 months).

1860 Henderson County Census - District 2

William Browning (45) with family: Frances (46), George W. (21), Charles N. (20) , Martha J. (20), Francis (14), Elizabeth (10).

1870 Henderson County Census - District 2

William Browning (age 53), farmer, $1000/$400.

November 14, 1913

Lexington Progress

Information Wanted

L. F. A. Holleman, at Stigler, Oklahoma., aged 82 years, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War of '61-65, wants information that will bring him into communication with Capt. Kizer of West Tennessee, who was the head of "Kizer's Scouts" during the Civil War.

Mr. Hollman writes that Kizer's scouts, a company composed of officers who had by reorganization lost their own commissions, served until end of the war under General Bedford Forrest and he seems sure Capt. Kizer's home was Lexington, Tenn. If this is seen by any person who was one of the Kizer scouts or who has information of such surviving person, they will please communicate with Mr. L.F.A. Holleman at Stigler, Oklahoma, or with The Progress editor who desires to help the veteran.

April 10, 1914

Lexington Progress

Local and Personal

The Progress editor has been instrumental in getting into communication with each other. Mr. B.C. Chamness, an old Confederate soldier, now living in Panola County, Texas, and his cousin, John Richardson, who lives in this county, near Reagan. Mr. Chamness was born near old Mifflin but his father left Tennessee close to 1850. Mr. Chamness promises to attend the Jacksonville Confederate reunion to come by this section on his return home.

June 30, 1916

Local and Personal

T. A. Houston, an ex-Federal soldier of Company B 47th Iowa Regiment, was in Lexington yesterday on his way to Texas, after walking from Johnson City, Tenn., to attend the Confederate reunion at Birmingham--a distance of 677 miles he had walked when he reached Lexington. Mr. Houston was 71 years old on May 25th and is a fine specimen for that age.

February 15. 1924

Lexington Progress

Civil War Projectiles Are Found In Jackson

Jackson, Tenn., Feb. 7: Two rust incrusted cannon balls, one weighing five pounds and the other 25, were found this afternoon by workmen digging an excavation for the Crook Sanitarium on Baltimore and Shannon Streets.

J. F. Snider, whose father owned the property as far back as 1835 but later sold it to the father of T. G. Hughes, is of the opinion that the balls were stored in the cellar of the house which once stood on this property. Brittain Lane is 12 miles west of Jackson and quite an engagement was fought there during the Civil War. There was also a good deal of skirmishing on the outskirts of Jackson.

North of the city part of the breast works erected to protect the population from invasion is still standing. On the site were these cannon balls were found Dr. Crook is erecting a $12,000 addition to his sanitarium ground was broken seven days ago.

May 8, 1925

Lexington Progress

Wadley Family Will Meet in Texas

The following surviving sons and daughters of the late William B. and Mrs. Martha Wadley of this county will meet at Dallas on the occasion of the Confederate Reunion gathering at the city of Dallas, where the rest of them, all of this county, will be met by Will W. Wadley of Crisp, Texas. The Henderson County members of the family will leave here on the 14th; namely, George, Dike, Albert, Miss Jennie, Levi and Charlie. Will, who moved to Texas many years ago, has four sons and a daughter or two living in Dallas and all have other relatives there. We are glad to see Miss Jennie and the boys taking the trip and meeting in perhaps the only complete reunion they will ever have.

January 14, 1927

Lexington Progress

Died at Nearly Ninety-Seven

Mrs. Elizabeth Boyd Guinn, who died recently in Savannah, Hardin County, would have been 97 years old had she lived until March. She was the grandmother of Mrs. Will Houston, teacher of expression in Lexington City School, and left several children to mourn the loss of a wonderful mother. She had been a member of the Methodist Church eighty years-and from what we hear of her every year of that four score was filled with anxiety. One of the most remarkable incidents of her long, active and useful life happened during the Civil War of 1861-1865, when her brother Buck Boyd, was a prisoner in the hands of the Federals, at some point not distant from Savannah. A Yankee officer went into the tent where Boyd was confined and in resentment of something said by Boyd, spat in the face of the prisoner. This so enraged Boyd that, manacled as he was, he kicked the officer from the tent and on the outside, seized a crowbar and killed him. Word was gotten to sister Elizabeth, at Savannah, and when she reached the scene, the soldier had a rope around the neck of Boyd and was about to swing him to a limb. Mrs. Guinn had brought along her butcher knife, and undaunted, rushed to the side of her brother and after cutting the rope from his neck, dared the soldier to again lay hands on him. The bravery of the woman so appealed to the officer in charge that he refused to let the execution of Boy be carried out. Mrs. Guinn was a wonderful woman and as Julius Rosenwald said of his mother, it should have been regarded "as a gracious gift from Almighty God every day that old woman lived."

March 2, 1928

Lexington Progress

Ingersoll's Capture in Lexington

In writing or rewriting a recent article on the capture of Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, in Lexington, during the Civil War of 1861-1865, when the afterwards celebrated agnostic was pulled from under a school house than then stood on the present site of the Dr. Sam T. Parker property, on North Main Street, now occupied by the families of J.D. Tilson and Mert Teague, and which was built by the late Mrs. Lizzie White. we are indebted to our neighbor, Mr. Joe H. Moffitt for the information that John Wallace and Scott Davis, both of the town of Lewisburg, were the Confederate soldiers who chased Col. Ingersoll up the hollow which comes up from the sandy bottom on the West side of Lexington, then up the smallest hollow which reaches North Main Street at the Jordan home. We are also indebted to Mr. E.F. Boswell for the information that the late Major Tom Smith was the person to whom Col. Ingersoll repaid a sum of money borrowed while the colonel was located here. We also have from Mr. Boswell the information that the school house under which Col. Ingersoll took refuge was called the Howell Institute, that it was torn down and built into the two-story frame house that stood on the present site of the lumber office of the Threadgill Lumber Company and that the same framing timbers are now incorporated in the structure, built on Huntingdon Street, by W. R. Britt, now of Jackson, and at present owned and occupied by Dr. W. B. Summers and family.

May 24, 1929

Lexington Progress

A Watch With a History

Our townsman, Mr. W. S. Odle, has a very handsome solid gold, open-face watch, with raised Roman numerals, which he prizes so highly that he says he would have to be dead broke, and then some-to part with it for the consideration of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS; in fact, the watch comes down to Mr. Odle on the motherÕs side and is entitled in honor, to be handed down by elder sons to elder sons.

The watch was bought in England more than one hundred years ago-Mr. Odle estimated the time at 125 years-by Prof. Stanford Tippett, an instructor in the University of Georgia before the Civil War of 1861-1865, who came to Tennessee at the breaking out of the war and finally lost his life by being drowned in the Tennessee River, at Rockport Landing, Benton County. It is told of Prof. Tippett that when the Yankees burned the warehouse at Johnsonville or Reynoldsburg, he knew of the fact and told the people over Benton County that he believed a lot of good salt could be had in the ruins of the burned warehouse. They went after it and found plenty of good salt under the debris.

Prof. Tippett gave the watch to his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Odle, of Benton County, who gave it to her son, Will's father and so it came on down to our townsman about 30 years ago. It has not been used a timepiece for 65 years until about a month ago when Mr. Odle had it repaired by a Memphis jeweler, but it is now in perfect running condition. The case all over the back and all around the edge is exquisitely engraved and one can see at a glance that the work was done by hand. Mr. Odle is proud, indeed, of his ancient timepiece.

May 30, 1930

Lexington Progress

Local and Personal

Daniel Small, formerly of this county and a son of the late Daniel Small, is now an inmate of the great home for Federal veterans, near Santa Monica, California., has been back on a visit. Mr. Small left here the last time in 1913.

Go to Civil War Veteran Obituaries and Death Notices

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