36th Illinois soldier writes from Nashville and welcomes the day when “slavery will be wiped out.”

Private Freeman S. Dunklee, Co. A, 36th Illinois Infantry, to his family at home in Barrington, IL.

Cowan’s details:

A ringing condemnation of slavery, southern agriculture, southern food, the southern dialect and the general short comings of the southern educational system are all expounded on in Private Dunklee’s letter of August 3rd, 1864 from Nashville, TN.

He relates that “a Negro soldier on guard ordered a citizen not to cross his beat.” He was told that a “southern gentleman was not to be imposed upon by a nigger if he was a soldier.” Obeying his orders the soldier shot the citizen. A loud fuss was raised with the soldier arrested and taken to General Millroy. The General released him saying he liked to see a soldier doing his duty whether black or white. Private Dunklee wrote “This is very different to what it was here a few short years ago. One can hardly believe that so great an evolution could take place in so short a time…the institution [slavery] has been sapping the South; for it has ruined its morals, encouraged ignorance, overthrew it politics and in short degraded the whole population in every way.” Dunklee states “he stands ready to welcome the day when slavery shall be wiped out. And to do this we must see that Lincoln is President for the next term.

What happened to the CSA general hospital when the Federals captured and occupied Nashville in February 1862?

“The first Army of Tennessee general hospital post to be evacuated was Nashville, Tennessee, in February 1862, after the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson to the Union forces. The Confederate departure was panicked and haphazard, with a number of government officials, including the quartermaster, fleeing the town and their responsibilities. As a result, many supplies were simply abandoned. The patients were shipped to hospitals elsewhere and the doctors were sent individually to new posts, to fit into existing hospitals or organize new ones.”

Schroeder-Lein, Glenna R.. The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine . M.E. Sharpe. Kindle Edition.

Confederate diary of Robert I. Battle, CSA surgeon turned Morgan’s Raider and Confederate spy.

Battle writes of the engagement, “15th Thursday – … Heavy fight at Nashville. Cannonading as heavy as I ever heard./16th Friday – Visit the battlefield near Mr. Overton’s in 6 miles of Nashville. Fighting very heavy, surpassed anything I have heard during the war. Our troops behaved with great gallantry – repulsed eight or ten charges made by the enemy until at last by a desperate effort of the enemy to break our center they succeeded and whole of our line gave away in some confusion. I never in my life felt so awful about giving up our good old Tennessee.”

Cowan’s detail about Battle:

Robert Irvine Battle (1842-1921) was born near Nashville, Tennessee, to Col. William Mayo Battle and Sarah Jane Smith Battle. After graduating from the Nashville Medical College in 1860, he enlisted in the Confederate Army on 6/1/1861 as a surgeon in Company B, Tennessee 20th Infantry Regiment. Sometime after the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862), Battle was captured and taken prisoner in West Tennessee. Records list him as a POW on 5/1/1862, and indicate he was confined at Johnson’s Island prison camp in Ohio on or around 5/10/1862.

After six months in prison, a prisoner exchange landed the young surgeon in Richmond, VA, where he then joined General John Hunt Morgan’s forces as part of the Tennessee 9th Cavalry. Battle’s 1921 obituary indicates that he was with General Morgan on his famous summer 1863 raid into Ohio, and that he was among the men of Co. C led by Captain J. D. Kirkpatrick who escaped capture at Buffington Island. These men then made their way on foot through West Virginia and back to the Confederate Army. The obituary then states that upon reaching the Confederate Army, Battle was made headquarters scout for General Benjamin J. Hill, assuming the role with a hand-picked group of men of whom he was made captain. In the summer and fall of 1864 and 1865, General Hill served various roles in the CSA, but remained in the Tennessee region. Like Robert Battle, General Hill was a Tennessee native, and no doubt the General selected Battle as a scout in part because of his familiarity with the territory in which they were fighting.

Rare Civil War Broadside, Federal Forces Occupy Nashville and Issue Orders to Suppress Guerrilla Activities and Other Violence, 1864

Source: Cowan’sClick below to enlarge

Cowan’s description:

Printed broadside, 5 x 15 in., intended for wide circulation and posting in public places warning both US military forces and the civilian population that certain actions are to be taken as treasonous and prohibiting anti-US activities. With headline, General Orders No. 34/ Headquarters District of Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn. July 15, 1864, issued, By command of Maj. Gen. Milroy: B.H. Polk, Major and Ass’t. General, and secondary issuance at bottom in fancier multi-style print, Headquarters US Forces, Clarksville, Tenn., July 25, 1864. The above order will be strictly enforced within the jurisdiction of the Posts of Clarksville and Fort Donelson, A.A. Smith, Col. 83d Ills. Vol. Inf’t. Commanding.

The broadside commences: To the end that treason with its attendants of Guerillaism [sic], bushwacking and lawless violence of all kinds may be speedily and effectually suppressed and the supremacy of the Government restored in law and order in this district it is ordered. Then follows six separate orders for various actions to be taken by every commanding US officer…will cause immediate pursuit of any…lawless persons as may be seen or heard in his vicinity, the pursuit to be continued to extermination if possible…all persons harboring, aiding or abetting…to be treated in like manner…all houses/ buildings harboring and involuntarily feeding such lawless persons…to be burned…all citizens required to give immediate information to nearest officer of US of such lawless persons…highest duty of every citizen to be loyal and to yield every possible assistance to restoration of law and order…not [merely] by oaths and empty professions of loyalty but, by substantial acts…the day for passive lip-loyalty has gone…to be considered genuine loyalty, citizen must prove himself by works…disloyal and disaffected will be held responsible…and…in each neighborhood [will] remunerate loyal citizens against losses in the hands of guerillas [sic]…

Issued just after the occupation, this was the prelude to the Nashville campaign in mid-December, 1864. Milroy’s earlier suppression of guerrillas in the mountain district was so vigorous that the Confederates had put a price on his head.

This very rare, significant broadside truly embodies the enmities created as well as the dread and terror generated during the Civil War under an occupying force.

Provenance: Property of N. Flayderman & Co.