Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Taken from the Diary of Kate S. Carney

July 13th 1862
How to begin, I know not. I was aroused early this morning by firing. It has surely been an eventful day. I knew the firing must come from our own brave boys. Sprang from my bed, rushed to the window, called to cousin Ann & Bettie, we dressed hurriedly, not knowing what moment our house & yard would be full to overflowing with either our men or the frightened Yankees. The blue coats began to make a bee line through our yard & front yard, asking Pa to protect them, but he told them to push on, & acting on his advice they kept moving. It was amusing to see how frightened they were, although it was such a serious time, I prayed for victory, while I hissed the frightened Yankees on, expecting every minute to received a parting shot from some of them. Just think, only the day before they were our masters, I thought what would be our fate, if our poor fellows were whipped. The engagement grew general in a few moments. Persons dared not venture out on the square, if they did a report & a vacant saddle would be seen as the horse would dash by, carry their fate to their comrades. Our boys, after forming behind some one story buildings, made a bold rush gaining the court house, but many fell ere they reached the door, and although the Yankees had every advantage they were forced to surrender, & our prisoners turned out to seek their families & friends. Two of them stopped on their way home out here, Mr. Peyton & Mr. Brothers. They looked so happy but who did not except the dusky forms that hovered around our front steps. The gentlemen were afraid to venture up town, as they were firing from the houses, so much it was dangerous to go on the street. In the meanwhile they had attacked the camp down by the river where the battery was stationed, & on the approach of our men threw themselves into a hollow square with their artillery, pointed to resist a determined attack, and as our men had nothing but shot guns they could not get in range & were compelled to fall back three times. But later in the day a flag of truce was sent, & in a few minutes they consulted, surrendered 15,000 men including sick & wounded, including cannons, Camp equipage, which was mostly burnt, & small arms. This is one of the greatest victories of the war considering the number engaged. Gen. Forrest reports 17,000 men consisting of his men & Texas Rangers. (a number were Georgians) With a single piece of artillery besides being the attacking party, I'm sure the hand of Providence guided & directed our boys, for without a higher power that handful of men could never have succeeded against such odds. Our Great Father saw our suffering & travails. Gen. Duffield was wounded early in the engagement, & taken to Maj. Maney's. Gen. Crittenden surrendered to Mrs. Hagen, the lady with whom he was boarding. He was the man that came up to have several of our men hung tomorrow. Some say that was why the attack was hurried. Yes old Gen. Crittenden said we had not a right to the air we breathed (just yesterday). I would like to have asked him who had a right now. Two Genl's, four Col's & ever so many Lt's, Capt's and others [were captured]. A glorious haul. Gen. Duffield was paroled with a number of others that could not be taken away on account of their wounds. When Col. Lester went up on the square, he asked where is the army that took us, & Gen. Forrest proudly answered here they are, pointing to our handful of dirty & worn down by travel boys that stood by. A nobler set never breathed than those rough looking fellows. Nobler hearts never beat. The poor fellows that were waiting for the Yankees decision about surrendering, went fast to sleep so fatigued were they [by] forced marches & no rest. The Yankee Col. awoke our officer by saying "we surrender, we surrender." That gave the Yankees some idea how independent our boys were. We saw a Texas Ranger ride hastily over to Mrs. Laws, & Ma thinking he needed something made us run over and ask [if] we could do anything for him or any of the rest of his comrades. He was introduced as Mr. Dodd of Ky. (though now a Ranger), thanked us, [but said] he had been provided for by the kind ladies up town. Found him quite nice. Saw a Mr. McKa come riding up kissing his hand & we all rushed out to shake his hand. Pa asked if he had ever met him before, but he said no but I'm a Confederate soldier. Very proudly he replied. We insisted so, he had to get down, come in & get breakfast, but would take nothing to drink, which made me think all the more of him. Said he never drank anything. While he was breakfasting we trimmed his hat off beautifully with flowers, not knowing then & until sometime afterwards that he was a single man. He had heard that two stray horses were here, & thought one of them might be his, but neither were, but sent us word by cousin William Tilford this afternoon that he found his, & many thanks for our kindness. That morning as our soldiers were starting to attack the camp by Maj. Maney's, we saw two of our men coming toward our house. We insisted on them getting down & having something to eat. They said as they were about to charge the enemy they didn't have time, but finally said they would take a strong cup of coffee, & while they were drinking it the Yanks surrendered without any trouble. We had gone up into the garret to see the fight, but everything was very quiet. In the evening those two Rangers returned & ate supper with us. Lieut. Fort & AJG Robinson. When they got here not a servant was on the place, and we had to take their places until their return. The Yankee Provost Marshall was found hid between two feather beds, in Miss Corean's bed. The cover spread up & pillows upon it. It was at Mrs. Reeves' that he was captured. Mrs. Reeves & the girl treated our men shamefully. Said they didn't permit such ragged men to come to their house. Our men permitted Col. Parkhurst to go by and tell Josephine goodbye. Our men did better than the Yankees for they never allowed our boys to say goodbye to either mother or sister, much less sweetheart. They pressed Mrs. Reeves' carriage into service to take one of the wounded soldiers off, & when it was returned they cut up considerable, said they would never again ride in it. As if the Yankees had not time & again took our carriage, horses & everything else they could lay their hands on.

Monday July 14th 1862
We can scarcely realize the joy of being free. Many expect the Yankees back today. Bettie & I sat up at Mrs. Duffer's last night, cam back & slept until nine, in the meantime having been waked up several times, which we did not relish one bit. Uncle John Lytle was in to see us. It has been a long, long time since I had seen him. Aunt Helen, her two daughters Bettie & Mollie, & Mrs. King were in to see us, but had to leave early for fear the Yanks would put out pickets. Sister Amanda & Mary Turner were here also & had to hurry off. Ma & Pa have been [away] from home all day, attending to wounded soldiers, principally Yankee ones. We had our rooms prepared for some of the wounded Confederates, but did not succeed in getting any to nurse. Mrs. John Burton was here a few moments this morning. A number of ladies went out to the battlefield, I should like to have seen it. I slept nearly all the afternoon, then got up & had our new horse attended to, the one the Rangers left with us.

Tuesday July 15th 1862
It was clear until the middle of the day, then the clouds gathered & rained very hard. Cousin Ann, Bettie & I were up town today. B-- & I stopped to see Kate Marchbanks. Everybody seems so, so happy. We that are Southern in feelings sympathize in our troubles & share our joys. Kate will leave us for the mountains tomorrow, if nothing prevents her doing so. She insisted we should remain, & tell Mrs. Anderson goodbye, but she did not get back before we left. We stopped at Mrs. Boles' & they were as happy as we were, & had as much to tell us as Kate had. They said they heard a gentleman say he knew the negro that cursed us & he would have him shot. We then went around to Uncle Avent's, on our way Mrs. Brady hailed us & would have a talk with us. Cousins Tabitha & Ell were both around at their mother's, & had a bundle of news to tell. Capt. Rounds shot one of our men from the window at Mrs. Reeves', & he ran into Aunt's & told them who shot him. They told us how the Reeves girls did. I left Bettie there to return with her mother, & I came back alone. I saw Anna Murfree just as I passed Mrs. Henderson's, & we had quite a long talk. She said 4 Yankees had died up at Soule College since yesterday, and one was about to die. Said also they seem to be very grateful for the kindness of the ladies, but that those at the University were very ungrateful. It is rumored that Nashville has been taken by our men, & Clarksville has been attacked. If the first was true Bro. John would have been home by this time. Kate Avent is spending the night with Rosa. Last night 3 persons came up the pavement, rung the bell & we did not know at first who it was. Pa made them give their names before he let them in, for we were afraid they were Yankees, but they were after clothes to bury one of our men that had died.

Wednesday July 16th 1862
Was up writing before breakfast. Ma & Pa were around to see our wounded soldiers that are scattered around town. We have lost several, & they say it is impossible for some of the rest to get well. Ma & Pa went up to see Uncle Ephe Lytle this afternoon, they report Aunt Judy is looking badly. 13 or 14 of our soldiers passed by here today. Took that Yankee storekeeper prisoner, that our boys made take the oath. It is reported that Gen. Cheatham is in five miles of Nashville, & going to attack it. The Yanks are fortifying it strongly. The 1st Regt. is with Cheatham & Legrand with it. Kate Avent returned home this morning. Old Mr. Fritz, that old Frenchman that staid a day or two out here, sent word for Ma to send for him, but neither Pa or Ma was here, or the buggy either and I was glad of it, as I don't want him here.

Thursday July 17th 1862
I aroused earlier than usual, found it raining quite hard. A paroled Yankee took breakfast here this morning. He is from Bowling Green, Ky. & has been wanting Ma & Pa to help him desert & writing home to his brother not to join the army that they were not fighting for what they thought they were. His name was Holmes. Ma & Pa went up to see our wounded. At dinner another paroled Yankee came for his dinner, and as our boys had burnt up all their provisions, I felt it was a charity to give him something to eat, as he praised our boys. Said they even took their own provisions & gave to them, depriving themselves of something to eat. I afterwards found out he was an abolitionist, born in Boston, & now living in the West. He pretended to blame his Officers for surrendering. Everything he said only made me love Dixie, & the Southern boys more than ever. He said an unsophisticated country girl was out about 4 miles in the country sitting on a ten rail fence, hurrahing for Jeff Davis, said her mouth was large enough, but when she opened it, it reminded him of a coffee pot with the top open. He intended that as a witty remark, but I couldn't see the wit or the beauty, either. I did not enjoy the remark at all. If I had thought of it I would have given him another specimen, by making an ugly mouth at him. Old Mr. Fritz came here before dinner, & I don't know for how long. The Yankees came in town, did not stay long. I wonder if they have found afraid in their dictionary yet. Two flags of truce were in today, one from our men saying for the paroled Yankees to leave here, another from the Yankees to see about their sick & I must not forget a third that came in to hunt for their wagon. Some say he came in just to look around. Some think we will have a big battle here tomorrow, but I don't think so, or our men would not have sent word they would be in with 30,000 men.

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