Monday, September 14, 2009

How To Speak Southern

Addled: Confused, disoriented, as in the case of Northern sociologists who try to make sense out of the South, "What's wrong with that Yankee? He acts right addled."

Afar: In a state of combustion. "Call the far department. That house is afar."

Ahr: What we breathe, also a unit of time made up of 60 minutes. "They should've been here about an ahr ago."

Ar: Possessive pronoun. "That's AR dawg, not yours."

Ary: Not any. "He hadn't got ary cent."

Awfullest: The worst. "That's the awfullest lie you evr told me in your life."

Bad-mouth: To disparage or derogate. "All these candidates have bad-mouthed each other so much I've about decided not to vote for any of 'em."

Baws: Your employer. "The baws may not always be right, but he's always the baws."

Best: Another baffling Southernism that is usually couched in the negative. "You best not speak to Bob about his car. He just had to spend $300 on it."

Braht: Dazzing. "Venus is a braht planet."

Bud: Small feathered crature that flies. "A robin sure is a pretty bud."

Cawse: Cause, usually preceded in the South by the adjective "lawst" (lost). "The War Between the States was a lawst cawse."

Cayut: A furry animal much beloved by little girls but detested by adults when it engages in mating rituals in the middle of the night. "Be sure to put the cayut out-side before you go to bed."

Chunk: To throw. "Chunk it there, Leroy. Ole Leroy sure can chunk 'at ball, can't he? Best pitcher we ever had."

Clone: A type of scent women put on themselves. "what's that clone you got on, honey?"

Contrary: Obstinate, perverse. "Jim's a fine boy, but she won't have nothin' to do with him. She's just contrary, is all Ah can figure."

Daints: A more or less formal event in which members of the opposite sex hold each other and move rhythmically to the sound of music. "You wanna go to the daints with me Saturday night, Bobbie Sue?"

Danjuh: Imminent peril. What John Paul Jones meant when he said, "Give me a fast ship, for I intend to put her in harm's way."

Deah: A term of endearment, except in the sense Rhett Butler used it when he said to Scarlett O'Hara, "Frankly, my deah, Ah don't give a damn."

Didn't go to: Did not intend to. "Don't whip Billy for knockin' his little sister down. He didn't go to do it."

Dollin: Another term of endearment. (darling) "Dollin, will you marry me?"

Dreckly: Soon. "He'll be along dreckly."

Effuts: Exertions. "Lee made great effuts to defeat Grant."

Everthang: All-encompassing. "everthang's all messed up."

Everhoo: Another baffling Southernism - a reverse contraction of whoever."Everhoo one of you kids wants to go to the movie better clean up their room."

Fahn: Excellent. "That sure is a fahn-lookin' woman."

Farn: Anything that is not domestic. "Ah don't drink no farn liquor, specially Rooshin vodka."

Fetchin': Attractive. "That's a mighty fetchin' woman. Think I'll ask her to daints."

Fixin' to: About to. "I'm fixin' to go to the store."

Foolin' around: Can mean not doing anything in particular or sex, usually of the extramarital variety. "Sue caught her husband foolin' around, so she divorced him."

Fummeer: A place other than one's present location. "Where do we go fummeer?"

Gawn: Departed. "Bo's not here. He's gawn out with somebody else."

Gone: Going to. "You boys just git out there and play football. We gone make mistakes, but they are, too."

Got a good notion: A statement of intent. "Ah got a good notion to cut a switch and whale the dickens out of that boy."

Grain of sense: An appraisal of intelligence, invariably expressed in negative terms. "That boy ain't got a grain of sense."

Gummut: A large institution operating out of Washington that consumes taxes at a fearful rate. "Bill's got it made. He's got a gummut job."

Hahr: That which grows on your head and requires cutting periodically. "You need a hahrcut."

Hod: Not soft, but meaning stubborn or willful when used to describe a Southern child's head. "That boy's so hod-headed it's pitiful."

Hot: A muscle that pumps blood through the body, but also regarded as the center of emotion. "That gull (girl) has just broke his hot."

Hush yo' mouth: An expression of pleased embarrassment, as when a Southern female is paid an extravagant compliment. "Honey, you're 'bout the sweetest, best-lookin' woman in Tennessee. Now hush yo' mouth, Jim Bob."

Ignert: Ignorant. "Ah've figgered out what's wrong with Congress. Most of 'em are just plain ignert."

Ill: Angry, testy. "What's wrong with Molly today? She's ill as a hornet."

Innerduce: To make one person acquainted with another. "Lemme innerduce you to my cousin. She's a little on the heavy side, but she's got a great personality."

Iont: I don't. "Iont know if Ah can eat another bobbycue (barbecue) or not."

Jack-leg: Self taught, especially in reference to automobile mechanics and clergy-men. "He's just a jack-leg preacher, but he sure knows how to put out the hellfire and brimstone."

Jewant: Do you want. "Jewant to go over to the Red Rooster and have a few beers?"

Ka-yun: A sealed cylinder containing food. "If that woman didn't have a kay-un opener, her family would starve to death."

Kerosene cat in hell with gasoline drawers on: A colorful Southern expression used as as evaluation of someone's ability to accomplish something. "He ain't got no more chance than a kerosene cat in hell with gasoline drawers on."

Kin: Related to. An Elizabethan expression, one of many which survived in the South. "Are you kin to him?" "Yeah, He's my brother."

Klect: To receive money to which one is entitled. "Ah don't think you'll ever klect that bill."

Laht: A source of illumination. "This room's too doc (dark). We need more laht in here."

Lar: One who tells untruths. "Not all fishermen are lars. It's just that a lot of lars fish."

Layin' up: Resting or meditating. Or as Southern women usually put it, loafing. "Cecil didn't go to work today 'cause of a chronic case of laziness. He's been layin' up in the house all day, drivin' me crazy."

Let alone: Much less. "He can't even hold a job and support himself, let alone support a family."

Let out: Dismissed. "What time does school let out?"

Lick and a promise: To do something in a hurried or perfunctory fashion. "We don't have time to clean this house so it's spotless. Just give it a lick and a promise."

Mahty raht: Correct. "You mahty raht about that, Awficer. Guess Ah WAS speedin' a little bit."

Make out: Yes, it means that in the South too, but it also means finish your meal. "You chirren (Children) hadn't had nearly enough to eat. Make out your supper."

Mind to: To have the intention of doing something. "Ah got a mind to quit my job and just loaf for a while."

Nawth: Any part of the country outside the South _Midwest, California or whatever.If it's not South, it's Nawth. "People from up Nawth sure do talk funny."

Nekkid: To be unclothed. "Did you see her in that movie? She was nekkid as a jaybird."

Nemmine: Never mind, but used in the sense of difference. "It don't make no nemmine to me."

Of a moanin: Of a morning, meaning in the morning. "My daddy always liked his coffee of a moanin."

Ownliest: The only one. "That's the ownliest one Ah've got left."

Parts: Buccaneers who sailed under the dreaded skull and crossbones. "See that third baseman? He just signed a big contrack with the Pittsburg Parts."

PEEcans: Northerners call them peCONNS for some obscure reason. "Honey, go out in the yard and pick up a passel of PEEcans. Ah'm gonna make us a pie."

Pert: Perky, full of energy. "You look mighty pert today."

Pick at: To pester and annoy. "Jimmy, Ah told you not to pick at your little sister."

Purtiest: The most pretty. "ain't she the purtiest thing you ever seen?"

Quar: An organized choral group, usually connected with a church or school. "Did you hear the news? The preacher left his wife and run off with the quar director."

Raffle: A long-barrelled firearm. "Dan'l Boone was a good shot with a raffle."

Rahtnaow: At once. "Linda Sue, Ah want you to tell that boy it's time to go home and come in the house rahtnaow."

Ranch: A tool used to lossen or tighten nuts and bolts. "Hand me that ranch, Homer."

Raut: A method of getting from one place to another which Southerners pronounce to rhyme with "kraut". Yankees, for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery, pronounce "route" to rhyme with "root". Or worse still, "foot."

Restrunt: A place to eat. "New Yorker's got a lot of good restrunts."

Retard: No longer employed. "He's retard now."

Sass: Another Elizabethan term derived from the word saucy, meaning to speak in an impertinent manner. "Don't sass me, young lady. You're not too old to get a whippin'."

Shainteer: Indicates the absence of a female. "Is the lady of the house in?" "Nope. Shainteer."

Shudenoughta: Should not. "You shudenoughta have another drink."

Spell: An indetermined length of time. "Let's sit here and rest a spell."

Stain: The opposite of leaving. "Ah hate this party, and Ah'm not stain much longer."

Supper: The evening meal Southererners are having while Yankees are having dinner. "What's for supper, honey?

Take on: To behave in a highly emotional manner. "Don't take on like that, Brenda Sue. He's not the only man in Lee County."

Tal: What you dry off with after you take a share. "Would you bring me a tal, sweetheart?"

Tawt: To instruct. "Don't pull that cat's tail. Ah tawt you better'n that."

Thank: Think. "Ah thank Ah'll go to a movie tonight."

That ole dawg won't hunt no more: That will not work. "You want to borrow $20 when you still owe me fifty? That ole dawg won't hunt no more."

Tore up: Distraught, very upset. "His wife just left him, and he's all tore up about it."

Uhmewzin: Funny, comical. "Few things are more uhmewzin than a Yankee tryin' to affect a Southern accent, since they invariably address one person as 'y'all when any Southern six-year-old knows 'y'all is always plural because it means 'all of you.'"

Unbeknownst: Lacking knowledge of. "Unbeknownst to them, he had marked the cards."

Usta: Used to. "Ah usta live in Savanah."

Vaymuch: Not a whole lot, when expressed in the negative. "Ah don't like this ham vaymuch."

Wahn: What Jesus turned the water into, unless you're Babdist who is persuaded it was only grape juice. "Could Ah have another glass of that wahn?"

Wars: Slender strands of coated copper that carry power over long distances. "They're puttin' telephone wars underground now."

Wawk: A method of non-polluting travel by foot. "Why don't we take an old-fashioned wawk?"

Wear out: An expression used to describe a highly-effective method of behavior modification in children. "When Ah get ahold of that boy, Ah'm gonna wear him out."

Wender: A glass-covered opening in a wawl. "Open that wender, It's too hot in here."

Yat: A common greeting in the Irish Channel section of New Orleans. Instead of saying "hey" in lieu of "hello" the way most Southerners do, they say, "Where yat?"

Yew: Not a tree, but a personal pronoun. "Yew wanna shoot some pool?"

Y'heah?: A redundant expression tacked onto the end of sentences by Southerners. "Y'all come back soon, y'heah?"

Yontny: Do you want any. "Yontny more cornbread?"

Yungins: Also spelled younguns, meaning young ones. "Ah want all you yungins in bed in five minutes."

Zit: Is it. "Zit already midnight, sugar? Tahm sure flies when you're having fun."

Taken from "More How To Speak Southern" written by Steve Mitchell

Things a True Southerner Knows

The difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit.

Pretty much how many fish or collards greens make up a mess.

What general direction cattywumpus is.

That "gimme sugar" don't mean pass the sugar.

When somebody's "fixin" to do something, it won't be long.

The difference between Yankee's and damn Yankee's.

How good a cold grape Nehi and cheese crackers are at a country store.

Knows what, "Well I Suwannee !!" means.

Ain't nobody's biscuits like Grandma's biscuits !!

A good dog is worth its weight in gold.

Real gravy don't come from the store.

The War of Northern Aggression was over state rights, not slavery.

When "by and by" is.

How to handle their "pot likker".

You should never loan your tools, pick-up, or gun to nobody.

A belt serves a greater purpose than holding Daddy's pants up.

The differences between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and trailer trash.

Never to go snipe hunting twice.

At one point learned what happens when you swallow tobacco juice.

You may wear long sleeves, but you should always roll 'em up past the elbows.

The difference between "pert' near" and "a right far piece".

They know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

Never to assume that the other car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A true Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."
A true Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is - as in "Going to town, be back directly."

True Southerners know instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. (If the trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'.)

True Southerners make friends standing in lines. We don't do "queues," we do "lines." And when we're in line, we talk to everybody.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin", you know you're in the presence of a genuine southerner.

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 on the freeway - you just say, "Bless her heart" and go your way.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Black Confederates

Walter Williams

DURING OUR WAR OF 1861, ex-slave Frederick Douglass observed, "There are at the present moment, many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down ... and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government."

Dr. Lewis Steiner, a Union Sanitary Commission employee who lived through the Confederate occupation of Frederick, Maryland said, "Most of the Negroes ... were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederacy Army." Erwin L. Jordan's book "Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia" cites eyewitness accounts of the Antietam campaign of "armed blacks in rebel columns bearing rifles, sabers, and knives and carrying knapsacks and haversacks." After the Battle of Seven Pines in June 1862, Union soldiers said that "two black Confederate regiments not only fought but showed no mercy to the Yankee dead or wounded whom they mutilated, murdered and robbed."

In April 1861, a Petersburg, Virginia newspaper proposed "three cheers for the patriotic free Negroes of Lynchburg" after 70 blacks offered "to act in whatever capacity may be assigned to them" in defense of Virginia. Erwin L. Jordan cites one case where a captured group of white slave owners and blacks were offered freedom if they would take an oath of allegiance to the United States. One free black indignantly replied, "I can't take no such oaf as dat. I'm a secesh nigger." A slave in the group upon learning that his master refused to take the oath said, "I can't take no oath dat Massa won't take." A second slave said, "I ain't going out here on no dishonorable terms." One of the slave owners took the oath but his slave, who didn't take the oath, returning to Virginia under a flag of truce, expressed disgust at his master's disloyalty saying, "Massa had no principles."

Horace Greeley, in pointing out some differences between the two warring armies said, "For more than two years, Negroes have been extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy. They have been embodied and drilled as rebel soldiers and had paraded with white troops at a time when this would not have been tolerated in the armies of the Union." General Nathan Bedford Forrest had both slaves and freemen serving in units under his command. After the war, General Forrest said of the black men who served under him "[T]hese boys stayed with me... and better Confederates did not live."

It was not just Southern generals who owned slaves but northern generals owned them as well. General Ulysses Grant's slaves had to await the Thirteenth Amendment for freedom. When asked why he didn't free his slaves earlier, General Grant said, "Good help is so hard to come by these days."

These are but a few examples of the important role that blacks served, both as slaves and freemen in the Confederacy during the War Between the States.

The flap over the Confederate flag is not quite as simple as the nation's race experts make it. They want us to believe the flag is a symbol of racism. Yes, racists have used the Confederate flag, but racists have also used the Bible and the U.S. flag. Should we get rid of the Bible and lower the U.S. flag? Black civil rights activists and their white liberal supporters who're attacking the Confederate flag have committed a deep, despicable dishonor to our patriotic black ancestors who marched, fought and died to protect their homeland from what they saw as Northern aggression.

They don't deserve the dishonor.
by Walter Williams

Sons of Confederate Veterans reunion to be held in Murfreesboro

The Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to announce that the 2012 Sons of Confederate Veterans National Reunion will be held in Murfreesboro.

Capturing this event is a great accomplishment for the city, as Murfreesboro was up against stiff competition with Civil War-entrenched Richmond, VA—among other cities—to play host to the event, which brings in around 500 registered SCV members plus their families.

The dates of the 2012 reunion in Murfreesboro will be July 11-15 and the event will fall on the sesquicentennial—or 150th —anniversary year of the Battle of Murfreesboro as well as the exact anniversary date of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Murfreesboro raid and his birthday.

"For several years, Murfreesboro SCV Camp # 33 had looked at the sesquicentennial years of the ‘War Between the States,’ especially the Battle of Murfreesboro and Forrest's Raid, as an opportunity to commemorate those two great battles,” said James G. Patterson, Adjutant. “Winning the bid for the 2012 SCV reunion is a significant victory.”

Stones River National Battlefield, Oaklands Historic House Museum, the Sam Davis Home and other sites will help make this event a glowing success. Hosting a reunion during one of the sesquicentennial years is a prized time for commemorating the “War Between the States” and SCV expects record-breaking attendance.

Murfreesboro-based Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #33 worked with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, Mayor Bragg and County Mayor Burgess to attract the SCV reunion to Murfreesboro.

In February, Camp #33 placed a bid for the 2012 SCV National Reunion to be held in Murfreesboro. Camp Convention Chairman James G. Patterson made a presentation in the spring of 2009 at the SCV Time and Place meeting in Columbia, Tennessee at the SCV National Headquarters—Elm Springs.

Also at Elm Springs for the presentation were: Mona Herring, Vice President, Convention and Visitors Bureau; Barbara Wolke, Director of Group Sales, Convention and Visitors Bureau; Sheron Clifton, Senior Sales Manager, Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center; Dr. Steve Murphree, Camp #33; Ashley McCrary, Camp #33; Wayne Wilson, Camp #33; Brian Corley, Camp #33; Mike Puckett, Camp #33.

The Time and Place committee made a recommendation to the General Executive Council that Murfreesboro be the site of the 2012 SCV National Reunion. Camp #33 members were told that Murfreesboro’s presentation was the most well-organized the Council has seen in many years.

Camp #33 then made a presentation at the 2009 SCV National Reunion in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where Richmond members also made a final attempt to secure the 2012 reunion. Murfreesboro won the bid with only one descending vote from the 500 delegates.

There has never been an SCV National Reunion in Murfreesboro, although Richmond has hosted nine reunions over the past 114 years. With Richmond being the Capitol of the Confederacy and the site of many battles, it was an enormous victory for Murfreesboro to win the bid.

“Hosting this will help establish Rutherford County as a Civil War destination within the SCV organization and it should bring other Civil War-related groups to our community,” said Patterson.

National membership in the SCV is around 30,000 members and Murfreesboro Camp #33 has 165 members and is the third largest camp in the state. Camp #33 also celebrated the 30th anniversary of their charter last year.

The SCV was founded in 1896 and is the predecessor of the United Confederate Veterans which was a veterans’ organization for the surviving Confederate soldiers. Membership to the SCV requires a direct descendant link to a Confederate soldier.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Washing Day In Camp

" This is washing day' with us," writes a soldier of the Forty-first Onio regiment " Washing day! You know at home what a terrible disturber of domestic comfort it is. My recollections of it are associated with cold feet, damp floors, meagre dinners, cros* mothers, and birch rods. The servant girls and I used to fight more on washing days than on any other. Washing is as much a duty as fighting. Woe to the unlucky sloven that appears at Sunday morning inspection with dirty clothes, dirty hands, long hair, or untrimmed beard. We are expected to bathe all over once or twice a week. This requirement is one of the soldier's greatest blessings. At first, clothes washing was o difficult and tedious operation; but now there is not one of us that is not thoroughly initiated into the mysteries of washing, rinsing, and wringing. It is genuine satisfaction to see a fastidious youth, who, perhaps, has often found fault with his mother or sister on account of fancied imperfections in his linen, knee deep in water, worrying about some garment, in vain endeavors to wash it. Justice comes round at last. When I was a little brat I frequently used to throw down my bread and butter when it was not sugared to suit my whim. My mother would then say, ' You'll see the day, my boy, when you'll be glad to get that crust.' I have realized the truth of her words scores of times within the last year. Washing day with us has its amusements. On one occasion, last summer, while we were stationed at Murfreesboro', a party of about a hundred of us were washing at a large spring on the opposite side of the town from where we were encamped. Buell's army was, at that time, exceedingly short of supplies. But few of us had more than one shirt — some were not even that fortunate. It was a warm, pleasant day. We had removed our clothes, placed them in kettles, built fires, and were boiling them out, busying ourselves, meanwhile, in playing ' leap-frog,' ' tag,'' blackman,' and divers other games, when lo! a party of rebel cavalry came thundering down upon us in pursuit of a forage train that had been sent out in the morning. What were we to do ? We had no arms with us ; our clothes were in boiling hot water; the enemy were drawing near, fearfully near. Jumping over the fence, the whole party of us scud right through the town for camp like* so many wild Indians, as fast as our legs could carry us. The citizens, supposing we would all be captured, came out in great glee, shouting,' Run, Yanks! run Yanks!' as we fled through the streets. We reached camp in safety, to the great astonishment and amusement of our comrades. It was a long time before we heard the last of that washing day. I asked one. old black woman if she didn't blush when she saw us running through town. She replied, ' Why, de Lord God A'mi'ty bress ye, child — I couldn't blush for laughing.'"

Emma Sansom Of Cherokee

Emma Sansom Of Cherokee. — The following is the story of her exploit, as related by Gen. Forrest to a party of his friends at Chattanooga:

Our readers have doubtless seen one or two short versions of the romantic part played by the above-named indomitable girl, in the great raid of Gen. Forrest from Murfreesboro', Tenn., to Rome, Ga., in pursuit of Streight's cavalry; but never the story as related by the General himself. The romantic and heroic conduct of Miss San- som will long live in the memory of the survivors of this war; and we are pleased in this connection to add, by late action of the Legislature of our State, she has been granted a valuable donation of land, as a token of appreciation for the undaunted bravery and fearless patriotism she evinced on the occasion referred to. The editor of the Southern Confederacy remembers the story, as related by Gen. Forrest, shortly after the capture of Streight and his command, and says:

He had been pursuing the enemy all day, and was close upon their heels, when the pursuit was effectually checked by the destruction, by the enemy, of a bridge over a deep creek, which, for the time, separated pursuer and pursued. The country was exceedingly wild and rugged, and the banks of the creek too steep for passage on horseback. Gen. Forrest rode up to a modest little farm-house on the road-side, and seeing a young maiden standing upon the little stoop in front of the dwelling, he accosted her, and inquired if there was any ford or passage for his men across the creek, above or below the destroyed bridge. The young girl proceeded to direct him with animated gesture, and cheeks flushed with excitement, and almost breathless in her eagerness to aid die noble cause of the gallant Confederate General.

It was a scene for a painter — the Southern girl, her cheeks glowing, and her bright eyes Dashing ; while her mother, attracted by the colloquy, stood holding the door, and gazing upon the cavalcade over her venerable spectacles, the cavalry chieftain resting his legs carelessly over the saddle pommel, his staff drawn up around him, and his weather-worn veterans scattered in groups about the road, and some of them actually

During the war the ship George Griswold was nt to England with a cargo for her starving poor.

»ent to

nodding in their saddles from excessive fatigue. After some further inquiry, Gen. Forrest asked the young lady if she would not mount behind him, and show him the way to the ford. She hesitated, and turned her mother an inquiring look. The mother, with a delicacy becoming a prudent parent, rather seemed to object to her going with the soldiers. "Mother," she said, " I am not afraid to trust myself with as brave a man as Gen. Forrest."

"But, my dear, folks- will talk about you." " Let them talk," responded the heroic girl; " I must go." And with that she lightly sprang upon the roots of a fallen tree. Forrest drew his mettled charger near her; she grasped the hero fearlessly about the waist, and sprang up behind him; and away they went — over brake and bramble, through the glade, and on towards the ford. The route was a difficult one, even for as experienced a rider as Forrest; but his fair young companion and guide held her seat, like an experienced horsewoman, and without the slightest evidence of fear. At length they drew near to the ford. Upon the high ridge above, the quick eye of Forrest descried the Yankee sharpshooters, dodging from tree to tree; and pretty soon an angry minie whistled by his car.

" What was that, Gen. Forrest ? " asked the maiden.

" Bullets," he replied; " are you afraid ? " She replied in the negative, and they proceeded on. At length it became necessary, from the density of the undergrowth and snags, to dismount; and Forrest hitched his horse, and the girl preceded him, leading the way herself—remarking that the Yankees would not fire upon her; and they might fire, if he went first. To this Forrest objected, not wishing to screen himself behind the brave girl; and taking the lead himself, the two proceeded on to the ford, under the fire of the Yankee rear-guard. Having discovered the route, he returned, brought up his axe-men, and cleared out a road, and safely crossed his whole column.

Upon taking leave of his fair young guide, the General asked if there was anything he might do for her, in return for her invaluable services. She told him that the Yankees on ahead had her brother prisoner, and if Gen. Forrest would only release him, she should be more than repaid. The General took out his watch, and examined it. It was just five minutes to eleven. " Tomorrow," he said, " at five minutes to eleven o'clock, your brother shall be returned to you." And so the sequel proved. Streight, with his whole command, was captured at ten the next morning. Young Sansom was released, «od despatched on the fleetest horse in the command, to return to his heroic sister, whose courage and presence of mind had contributed so much to the success of one of the most remarkable cavalry pursuits and captures known in the world's history.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where are the missing Civil War flags?

Nashville, Tenn. – June 6, 2008 – As the Tennessee State Museum curators gathered information on historic battle flags for a forthcoming book titled “Volunteer Banners: The Civil War Flags of Tennessee,” a mystery unfolded. Where are the banners that were carried by the Tennessee Union troops who fought in the Civil War?

At the beginning of the war, Tennessee found itself divided when the General Assembly voted to secede. Most people in East Tennessee were opposed to the Confederacy and many joined regiments to preserve the Union. Support for the Confederacy was centered in Middle and West Tennessee.

“The museum has located many Confederate flags and has photographs of color guards who carried their banners into battle, which will be included in the book,” noted Greg Biggs, renowned Civil War historian, project director and lead author of Volunteer Banners. “Only eight Union regimental flags out of the 60 to 70 believed to have been in existence during the war have been located. As there is no known record of Union flags being destroyed by post-war Confederate sympathizers, there is the possibility that the flags were hidden.”

The State Museum, known for one of the finest Civil War and battle flag collections in the nation, has been working on this project for several years. Because Tennessee was the primary western battlefield of the Civil War, with more than 400 battles and skirmishes within its borders, the state has vast holdings of military documents, firearms and uniforms. The institution holds some 60 flags, mainly Confederate in its permanent collection.

The West Point Museum, in Highland Falls, New York, just outside the gates of the United States Military Academy, holds seven Tennessee Union Flags as part of its collection. The 12th and 13th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops of Middle Tennessee carried three of these flags. These troops fought in the Battle of Nashville and were also responsible for building the railroad that ran from Kingston Springs to Johnsonville. These seven flags and their history are an example of the stories that will be included in the book.

“We are reaching out to the public to help us find Civil War battle flags and photographs of ancestors who may have been color bearers,” Biggs said. “This also includes females who may have been involved in the production of battle flags. Portions of the book will be dedicated to the women behind the banners.”

Women, who went to work in huge numbers during the Civil War, making flags, sewing uniforms, rolling bandages and working in arsenals, were responsible for the production of the community’s regimental flag. They often selected the fabric and the design and developed the patriotic slogans which appear on many of the flags. If they did not actually sew the flag, they generally hired the company that did. The Flag Presentation Ceremony, where women presented the flag to their men, was considered to be the “social event” of season, as it was the symbol and the bond connecting the soldiers to their home communities.

If the public has any information to contribute to the Tennessee Civil War Flag Book Project, please contact by emailing or by telephoning Myers Brown or Ron Westphal at 615-741-2692. Proceeds from the sale of “Volunteer Banners, The Civil War Flags of Tennessee,” will be used to preserve the Civil War Flag Collection of the Tennessee State Museum. For more information about the museum, visit

About the Tennessee State Museum:

In 1937, the Tennessee General Assembly created a state museum to house World War I and Spanish-American War mementoes and other collections from the state, the Tennessee Historical Society and other groups. This museum was located in the lower level of the War Memorial Building until it was moved into the new James K. Polk Center in 1981. The State Museum currently occupies three floors, covering approximately 120,000 square feet with more than 60,000 square feet devoted to permanent exhibits of more than 5,000 artifacts.

For more information please visit:

Please contact Mary Skinner at for high resolution images or for more information.

Echoes From The Battle of Murfreesboro

Confederate Veteran
Volume 11, Number 2
February, 1903


[Federals designated it Stone River.]

The memory of incidents in boyhood is rarely incorrect, because impressions first made are most lasting. I was seventeen when the great battle of Murfreesboro (Stone River) was fought between the Army of the Cumberland (Rosecrans) and the Army of Tennessee (Bragg). It was midway of the war between the States, and it was one of the most hotly contested battles in that great conflict.

Bragg had concentrated his forces at Murfreesboro, after the famous battle of Perryville, and Rosecrans massed his forces in Nashville, thirty-one miles north.

My home was between the two armies, at Old Jefferson, twelve miles from Murfreesboro, on a pike intersecting the Nashville and Murfreesboro pike near Lavergne. The battle ground was six miles from my home, northeast on a road that could flank Murfreesboro or intersect with the Murfreesboro and Lebanon pike and afford a fine route for the left wing of a pursuing army.

The location in the disputed territory gave me a better opportunity for taking in the situation than one who was in the front or rear. I had brothers in Morgan's Cavalry, stationed at Black's shop, the intersection of the Murfreesboro and Lebanon and Jefferson and Milton pikes, and a brother in Bragg's army, and my father's home was, of course, the rendezvous of many on our side. Wharton's Cavalry was near Triune, in front of Ilardee. Wheeler was below Lavergne, while John Morgan was watching approaches from Lebanon at Black's shop. Pegram was on the flank in front of our infantry at Readyville.

Scouting parties, making petty fights and movements, and foraging parties of both sides, made things lively, and an occasional gathering of the young folks between the lines, when "kissing games and chasing the glowing hours with flying feet" lent a lively pastime to some of our soldiers.

It was before the "cradle and grave act" of our Congress enlisting persons eligible for soldiers from sixteen to fifty, and as one of what was known as the "Seed Corn of the South." too young to be called on for service, the limit being eighteen, T would go along with the soldier boys "bearded like the pard, jealous in honor, seeking hubble reputation at the cannon's mouth," and join in the revelry-raids in progress about the State Insane Asylum, dashes on the Chicken road about Nolensville, the Hermitage, around Nashville, Lebanon, Gallatin, and other places.

On December 8, 1862, among the flying ordits, we received the news that Gen. John Morgan had taken his own command and Hanson's Kentucky Brigade and captured 2,000 prisoners at Hartsville. Morgan returned a lion, and my young heart leaped with joy when I went up to Black's shop and saw the 2,000 bluecoats filing by. Every tongue was in his praise, and the Confederate Congress congratulated the brilliant achievement. In the midst of this rejoicing it was secretly whispered that one of Muefreesboro's fair women, Miss Mattie Ready, had captured John Morgan. "The voice of the bridegroom and the bride" was soon to be heard, and from out the exuberance over military glory, on December 14, at the home of the bride's father, Judge Ready, in Murfreesboro, Lieut. Gen. Polk (Bishop Polk) in full uniform, performed the ceremony, and Gens. Bragg, Hardee, Cheatham, and Duke stood by them as best men. Even Col. St. Ledger Grenfel, the Moor, whose rigid enforcement of military discipline was causing a reign of terror among the cavalry, was there. \vreathed in smiles, and, while he was fearful that the marriage might lessen Morgan's usefulness, yet he thought it grand that his chief was honored by such guests. About this time Stevenson's infantry division had been sent off to Baton Rouge, while Rosecrans was reenforcing. Then Forrest had to look after hostile forces in West Tennessee, and, in order to divert Rosecrans, Morgan was started on another raid to Kentucky.

Some of our infantry was sent near the front as supports to cavalry, and dashes and fights became more frequent. On the night of December 28, at a party of young folks at Smyrna Depot, it was said that the Federal army was moving upon us; that McCook's Corps had taken the Nashville-Triune pike, Thomas's the Franklin to the intersection of the Wilson pike, leading to Nolensville, and that Crittendon and Rosecrans were advancing on the pike from Nashville toward Murfreesboro, and had reached Lavergne. The soldiers at the party took leave of their friends and sweethearts. Among them was a lieutenant, F. B. Crosthwait, who went to his command (the Twentieth Tennessee). whilst the "Seed Corn Contingent" returned to their respective homes, awaiting developments.

On December 29 there was heard the rumbling of artillery. Toward Lavergne it was more distinct and gradually came closer and closer, until about nightfall on all of the pikes could be seen time stubborn falling back of the cavalry. At Nolensville, Thomas came in the rear of McCoo, who was at Triune fighting Hardee's front (Bragg's left wing), which also was slowly falling back toward Murfreesboro. At Lavergue, Crittenden's Division broke off at the intersection and took the Jefferson pike and camped that night at Espey's Church, throwing their vanguard to the north side of the bridge, on the west fork of Stone River. There was a calm that night preceding the storm, that even a boy in bewilderment noticed. About daybreak Wheeler's Cavalry from Murfreesboro moved out to strike the Federal rear. Meandering paths were taken to the Sharp Springs ford opposite Espey's church, and in a short time the zip-zip of Minies and the basso interlude of the shells beat upon the air.

It was my first sight of a battle. It sounded like the breaking of millions of sticks, and the cannons boomed like a trip hammer sounds over a stubborn piece of heated iron. Then followed the woo-oo-oo-ing of the solid shot, the whizzing, whining howl of a shell as with a shuck tied to it. Wheeler bad engaged them for a while with a brigade, and continued to the rear toward Lavergue, where he struck the wagon train, and must have destroyed much.

One of the diverting incidents of the Espey's Church battle was the conduct of a neighbor physician. He was of a nervous turn, but, like Weelam McClure in "Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush," he was highly respected as the doctor of the glen. When the shells crashed through his house he broke through the woods, urging his wife to follow. She said "Hold on; let me get my baby." The Doctor said, "Let the baby go," and off he ran to get away from danger.

In a short time after the fight this flanking column was all marching via Smyrna Depot, called back to the Murfreesboro pike, and then the rattling and rumbling of firearms everywhere all day and at rapid intervals was kept up at Stone River and in the rear. The flank movement via the Jefferson pike having been withdrawn, when perhaps they found that the bridges above and below Jefferson in the fork of the junction of the river had been burned, it left us high and dry from the invader, and their "round up" made the west fork of Stone River their line of defense. And so it was that Rosecrans had concentrated his army near Murfreesboro.

From a memoranda issued by Gen. Bragg for general and staff officers the line of battle of the Army of Tennessee was formed for the coming onslaught:

"1. The line of battle will be in front of Murfreesboro, half of the army (left wing) in front of Stone River, right wing in rear of the river.

"2. Polk's Corps will form left wing, Hardee's Corps right wing.

"3. Withers's Division will form first line in Polk's Corps, Cheatham's the second line. Breckinridge's Division forms first line, Hardee's Corps; Cleburne's Division, second line, Hardee's Corps.

"4. McGowen's Division to form reserve opposite center on high ground, in the rear of Cheatham's present quarters.

"5. Jackson's Brigade reserve to the right flank, to report to Lient. Gen. Hardee.

"6. Two lines to be formed from 800 to 1,000 yards apart, according to ground.

"7. Chiefs of artillery to pay especial attention to posting of batteries and supervise their work, seeing that they do not causelessly waste their ammunition.

"8. Cavalry to fall back gradually before the enemy, reporting by couriers every hour when near our lines. Wheeler will move to the right and Wharton to the left to cover and protect our flanks and report movements of the enemy. Pegram to fall to the rear and report to commanding general as a reserve.

"9. To-night if the enemy has gained his position in our front ready for action, Wheeler and Wharton, with their whole commands, will make a night march to the right and left, turn the enemy's flank, gain his rear, and vigorously assault his trains and rear guard, blocking the roads and impeding his movements in every way, holding themselves ready to assail his retreating forces.

"10. All quartermasters, commissaries, and ordnance officers will remain at their proper posts, discharging their duties. Supplies and baggage should be ready, packed for a move forward or backward, as the results of the day may require, and the trains should be in position out of danger, teamsters all present, and quartermasters in charge.

Should we be compelled to retire, Polk's Corps will move on Shelbyville, and Hardee on Manchester pike. Trains in front, cavalry in the rear.


And so was Bragg's disposition of his army.

Our cavalry was so persistent that it took Rosecrans four days to move twenty miles to confront Bragg. Rosecrans was all day Tuesday, the 30th, locating his artillery and extending his right so as to flank BraggÆs right from the McFadden Ford. When nightfall came McCook commanded Rosecrans's right, Thomas the center, and Crittenden the left.

Gen. Rosecrans reported: "My plan of battle was to open on the right and engage the enemy sufficiently to hold him firmly and to cross with my left (at McFadden's Ford), consisting of three divisions, to oppose which they had only two divisions. But the enemy attacked the whole front of our right wing, massing his forces on its right flank, which was partially surprised, thrown into confusion, and driven back."

Gen. Bragg says that it became apparent that the object was to flank on his right, and be determined to assail him on our left Wednesday, the 31st. For this purpose he moved Cleburne's Division, Hardee's Corps, from the second line on the right to the left, having previously moved McCown to the first line on Triune road left, and Gen. Hardee was ordered to that point and assigned to the command of that and McCown's Division.

The movement was made on the evening of December 30, and before seven o'clock the next morning, the anticipated time for Rosecrans to begin his flank movement on his left. The result of this was the entire rout of the Federal right wing, and it would have been of Rosecrans's army had it been vigorously followed up. To show that this was so, those of us in the rear picked up stragglers fleeing in every direction. A number of tts near Old Jefferson got over 200 during the battle and marched them to our pickets at Black's shop, four miles on the Lebanon pike crossing, and turned them over as prisoners. They came down the west side of the river in squads, and when we would halloo "Halt," up would go a white handkerchief.

The flush of Wednesday's battle, together with the information from these stragglers that we had run them back north of the pike and corralled the whole Federal army from the turnpike north at what is now the cemetery to the McFadden ford, coupled with Wheeler's and Wharton's burning 800 wagons from Overall Creek to the asylum, led all to believe that the retreat of Rosecrans was inevitable and the destruction of his army certain.

Among these stragglers that the "Seed Corn Contingent" were picking up appeared a lieutenant colonel with his eagles and epautlets. He was on a good horse and had a pair of fine Holsters. Two of us, anxious for big game, commanded him to surrender, but that fellow went for his navies, and, fearing that our little six-shooters were too small, we "absquatulated," and after picking up a few more boys, followed on, and took him in seven miles this side of Lebanon. He said that he was not going to let two boys with pocket pistols capture him. That colonel was six miles from the battlefield, and a Federal officer told me after the war that he was cashiered for cowardice.

Notwithstanding the apparent confusion in the enemies' rear on Thursday, the roaming of artillery continued at Murfreesboro, and about three o'clock on Friday the firing of artillery and small arms was more terrific than usual. A fearful battle was evidently in progress. It turned out to be Breckinridge's fatal charge, where he is said to have been repulsed with a loss of 1,500 killed and wounded. It is the history of that event that he was driving one or two lines into the river at McFadden's Ford, when fifty-two pieces of artillery opened up and almost decimated his ranks. On that Friday my dear mother made her way to Murfreesboro through the Confederate pickets to look after husband and sons, and reached there, after passing through long lines of cavalry mounted arid ready for the conflict.

I quote from a letter she wrote of this trip: "On entering town what a sight met my eyes! Prisoners entering every street, ambulances bringing in the wounded, every place crowded with the dying, the Federal general, Sill, lying dead in the courthouse-killed Wednesday-Frank Crosthwait's (Twentieth Tennessee) lifeless corpse stretched on a counter. He had been visiting my house, and was killed on Wednesday. The churches were full of wounded, where the doctors were amputating legs and arms. I found my own safe, and, being informed that another battle was expected to begin, I set off on my way home, and passed through our cavalry all drawn up in line. I had only gone a mile when the first cannon boomed. but I was safe. I think of that trip now with wonder that I had no fear, but my anxiety was so intense it seemed at the time that it was no more than a visit."

In all these days, from the 26th to the 29th, Wheeler, Wharton, and Pegram seemed busy, and then from the 30th to the 4th of January they made three rounds of the Federal army, and rushed back to Murfreesboro at times to protect the flanks. The movement was wonderful, and it was there that Gen. Wheeler properly won the sobriquet of "Fighting Joe."

Undoubtedly up to the time that Breckinridge made his fatal charge the Confederates had the battle, and the Federal commander was expecting to retreat. It is said, whether true or not, that in the Federal conference after the rout of December 31 the commander was bewildered.

The papers captured on the field out of McCook's headquarters wagon placed the Federal army there between sixty and seventy thousand. And with Bragg's force of 30,000 effectives, beside 5,000 cavalry, undoubtedly his battle as aggressor in an open fight was one of the most masterful efforts of tlmc Army of Tennessee. Bragg outgeneraled his adversary in the outset, and on Wednesday evening, had he thrown BreckinridgeÆs division-although heavily drawn from-against Crittenden at McFadden's Ford, as he says he ordered, the fruits of the victory of Hardee and Polk on Wednesday would have been realized.

There were incidents in that b~ittle that made wonderful impressions on me. For eight long hours MeCown, Cleburne, and Withers and Cheatham's Divisions were mowing down line after line of McCook and Thomas, and even parts of Crittenden's until they were driven from the Triune road across he Wilkerson to the Nashville pike, two and one-half miles back, until the enemy was formed into a north and south instead of the former east and west line.

The backward run of the enemy's right and center became a whirlpool of disorder until the railroad embankment was their only salvation. Men, although mortally wounded, continued the pursuit until they fell fainting from loss of blood. Col. Locke, of a Texas regiment, they say, slapped his hands over the wound in his breast to stop the blood, and hallooed, "Charge em, boys: and followed on until he fell. Maj. Douglas, of artillery fame, captured a battery from the enemy. In the twinkling of an eye, and with grape and shrapnel, at the critical moment he cut swaths in the lines of blue, appalling and stampeding them. They also say that Sergt. A. Sims, flag bearer of the Tenth Texas, seeing in one of the charges a Federal flag bearer with his flag waving his regiment forward, sprang at him and seized it, and while struggling both fell dead while waving their banners. It is said that Lieut. Fred James, volunteer on Cheatham's staff, a lawyer from Murfreesboro, was killed near his mother's farm in the battle. The Allen boys, Orville Ewing, Nat Gooch, J. B. Johns, Col. Don McGregor (First Arkansas, who formerly lived here) were wounded or killed, and the death knell throughout the army was awful.

Capt. Semple, of Semple's Battery, located on the left, saw a fine-looking officer dashing up the pike in the direction of the center. He thought him a general, and asked one of his gunners to pick him off. The gunner loaded a solid shot, took careful aim with his cannon, and at her belch the officer fell down dead from his horse. It turned out to be the adjutant general of the Federal army, Col. Garesche, reported "killed by a solid shot."

In the meantime the "Seed Corn Contingent" were picking up stragglers, in a hard rain, and delivered them to our pickets at Black's shop. As the blue lines rose and fell the Federal general Sill (we heard) was killed, and our Gen. Rains was pierced through the heart. The fearful destruction of color bearers, some regiments losing six to eight, will give an idea of the fierceness of the struggle. Two Federal brigadiers were captured; Gens. Wood and Vancleve were wounded. The seven days' fight around Murfreesboro recalls that of the name around Richmond. It has been forty years ago, but the memory is as vivid as if it were yesterday.

But after Wednesday the aggressive work stopped. Cleburne said that the enemy was intrenched, and while he could defend, yet it was unsafe to pursue again with worn-out troops. So Thursday came, and every moment's delay was death to the ultimate success of Southern arms. The suspense made us restless about the result. Wagons and bodies of troops were moving back toward Nashville, and stragglers from the Federal lines did not diminish. But the charge of Breckinridge came on the 2d, causing that awful slaughter. It fell upon us like a thunderbolt. Our neighbors and relatives and friends were there. The gallant Hanson, of Kentucky, was killed. Col. Palmer of our town. was wounded, and our dead and dying lay before fifty pieces of the enemy's guns, massed by Mendelhall, Crittenden's chief of artillery, at McFadden's Ford.

It was a sudden shock to the flushed spirits of the Army of Tennessee. Friday night in the lull my father, who had been watching the battle, returned to its and said that our army would retire. And thus ended the great battle. Polk withdrew on the Shelbyville pike and Hardee on the Manchester pike.

We boys went through the form of paroling our prisoners. After the war we received a letter from one of those Yanks, wanting a certificate of parole, having mislaid the one we gave him. They were accusing him up North of desertion in a race for the Legislature. But we could not help him, as we were not empowered to issue paroles.

And now, when summing up the battle of Murfreesboro (Stone River), we assert that for fierceness and the display of military skill it was not surpassed.

In the official reports Union and Confederate armies (Volume XIV., Series I., page 1,097), the list of ordnance and other articles captured and of men wounded and taken prisoners by Gen. Bragg's army at Murfreesboro are as follows: Artillery, 40 pieces; muskets, 6,000; wagons, 800; mules, 4,000; killed, 5,000; wounded, 16,000; prisoners, 6,103. This report, though, does not agree with the returns of casualties in the Union forces, which places the aggregate of losses in killed, wounded, and missing at 13,249. The returns of casualties in Confederate forces killed, wounded, and missing, 9,865. Of these, 7,706 were killed and wounded, and only 888 missing, showing a game fight on the part of our army from start to finish. (See Series I, Vol. 20, page 681, Rebellion Records.)

The battle was never a victory to Rosecrans. His overwhelming numbers in pursuit were defenders in the conflict.

It was a victory to Southern arms, for the lion dared not pursue us. We retired at will, and retained the larger part of Tennessee for ten months, that we had been forced before to give up, affording supplies to our people. Our outpost retired back only twelve to fifteen miles.

On the night of January 3, 1863, after burying valuables for loved ones and saying good-by, those of Jeff Davis's "Seed Corn" that had been so active at Old Jefferson during the battle, retired with the grand old Army of Tennessee to pick their flints and come again.

The result of the battle with some tended to impair Gen. Bragg's usefulness, for all felt sure that the battle was won. Bragg's conception of it was grand, his execution praiseworthy, and he had ordered the right to advance on Wednesday and complete the rout, and but for the unfortunate information to Breckenridge that enemy was flanking, the order would have been carried out. That was the turning point in the battle, and no commander could foresee it. Information as to increased reenforcements to his army induced Bragg's generals to advise retreat.

Bragg's conception of every battle displayed generalship. The more the passions subside, and reason sits enthroned upon the heart, the more history will take the part of the private soldier and do Gen. Bragg's memory justice, and the world will commend the Confederate government for retaining him among her faithful generals.

It was not Northern generalship that brought mishaps in some of our battles, nor a want of Southern skill that caused the overthrow of the Confederacy-it was God.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Twentieth Tennessee Regiment Volunteer Infantry, C.S.A. , First Reunion

On the second Thursday in September, 1877, the Twentieth Tennessee held its first re-union in McCavock's Grove, near Franklin, Tenn. About two hundred members of the regiment were present, together with a vast concourse of the citizens of Franklin and the adjacent section, estimated at between 6,000 and 7,000 people.

The first speaker on this occasion was the former surgeon of the regiment, Dr. Deering J. Roberts, who on being introduced delivered the following 'address, summarizing the history of the regiment, which was published in the Nashville Daily American of the next day.

" Felow-comrades of the past, ladies and gentlemen: Permit me to preface my remarks by begging your kind indulgence for one who is more given to practice than to preaching. More than fifteen years ago the Twentieth Tennessee Regiment, in company with the rest of Crittenden's command, marched out from its encampment at Mill Springs, to meet the enemy, and one of the most sanguinary struggles that history has to record took place — an engagement memorable to all of us as being the forerunner of all the disaster, sorrow, and trouble that afterward overspread our grand old Commonwealth. You of the Twentieth, with your comrades, marched to the battle on that day in high spirits, colors flying, and hearts beating tumultously wild with that excitement that only brave men can feel. Many, for the first time, were to hear the terrific roar of the enemy's artillery, the murderous whistling of the minnie bullet; to behold for the first time in battle array the invaders of our country; to contend in a struggle for life with' their fellow-beings. How manfully the Twentieth stood its ground, history has already recorded. How bravely they fought on that occasion, became a household word throughout the land. Overpowered by an enemy superior both in numbers and equipments, they contested every foot of the ground, made charge after charge, until over half their number lay dead or wounded on the field, and then stubbornly and sullenly falling back to their encampments. Look at them again during those fearful days that succeeded, when stern necessity has demanded, and in obedience to their orders, behold them on their first retreat from Middle Tennessee, leaving behind them mothers, fathers, sisters, wives, homes, everything that man holds dear. Their hearts cannot but be sad, their minds enveloped in gloom; but without a murmur of disapprobation, they leave all to give their hearty support, their strong right hand, aye, even their lives if necessary, to sustain the government they were assisting to erect.

Behold them on the eventful field of Shiloh. From 8 o'clock on the morning of the first day till night had spread her sable pall over the field of the dead and dying on the second and most fatal day of that sanguinary engagement, right nobly did they sustain their already brightening reputation, having a large proportion of their officers and men killed and wounded; their grand old patriarchal Colonel, captured, and his two gallant sons dead on the field. See them again, in the poisonous swamps around Vicksburg, for months under the continual cannonading of the fleets above, and below that fated city, until the shriek of the terrific shell became as familiar as the nightly hum of the mosquito. And at Baton Rouge, while dashing through the Federal encampment, did the bright sun on the 5th of August, 1862, gild their colors with new honors, as they drove the boys in blue through the streets of the little town, over the river's bank, right down to the water's edge, where they cowered in terror under the powerful guns of their fleet.

At Murfreesboro, again, we see this little band, its ranks becoming thinned by disease and death, in the attack on the center on Wednesday evening, when Hollister, Cator, and .their comrades gave up all for your sake and mine, and went to join that gallant band led by Peyton and E. Shields, on whose muster-roll was subsequently added the names of L. Greenfield and others whom I know are ineffaceably enshrined in more hearts than are here to-day; and in the hottest of that ever-to-be-remembered charge of the day following of the gallant Breckinridge on Friday, when Bragg was a good dog, but hold-fast would have been better. At Hoover's Gap the ground was reddened with their best blood. Claybrooke, Callender, and others here laid down their lives for what they believed right. On the second retreat from Middle Tennessee, a great portion of the time in the post of honor bringing up the rear of our army, skirmishing with the enemy's advance, they are once more forced to leave their homes.

On Chickamauga's deathly banks, what colors are those now rushing forward in the headlong charge; now resisting an impetuous attack of the enemy, stubbornly holding them at bay; now being driven sullenly back, fighting and dealing death at every step? Yet, again, with a rush and a yell, forward is now the cry, and forward is the watch-word as they dash madly and impetuously over the enemy's breast-works. Surely that peculiar but beautiful flag is the one presented to this gallant command by one of Kentucky's most noble and gifted daughters. That white and crimson silk once enveloped the fair form of one of Kentucky's fairest maidens, when she plighted her troth at the altar with the noble soldier, statesman, and patriot, who himself knew that it could but receive additional honor in the hands in which she placed it. Look at their record at Mission Ridge. There they have left a name that will live through years to come. I quote from General Bragg's official report: " To Bate's brigade (of which this command was an integral part) is due the credit of having saved the Army of Tennessee from total rout and destruction." Again see them, after having been twice forcibly expelled from their homes, exiled from the land they loved so well, driven from point to point, their bodies scarred and bruised, their colors tattered and torn, but never dishonored; the beardless boy of two years ago now transformed into the robust soldier, the middle-aged man, the lines of care and thought deepened by his own and his country's trials — for more than one hundred miles of North Georgia's rugged soil did they contend every inch of the way; toiling and delving by night and righting by day, hastily snatching a mouthful of the hastily prepared and meagre food in occasional momentary lulls of the incessant skirmishing from Dalton to Atlanta, culminating in the brilliant charge on the twenty-second of July, when General McPherson fell and his followers recoiled from the living breastworks formed in part by this command ; and at Jonesboro, on the 3 1st of August, last but most fearful of all the engagements from Dalton down. Leonidas and his Spartans in the rocky defile of Thermopylae deserved not greater fame than did Hardee and his little corps when they measured swords with the whole of Sherman's grand army. From early morn till past mid-day did these heroes contend in a hand to hand struggle with a numerical opposition of more than ten to one; and when give way they did, it was not to superior valor, but to mere brutal weight, were they forced to succumb, and not then, until the point for which they strove so hard was accomplished. The other two corps d'armee and the Georgia militia were enabled to escape from the net the wily Sherman was weaving around them; and was so severely punished by the nettle Hardee that he thought within his grasp, that he gave Hood ample time, without further molestation to put his troops in order and mature his future plans. Here fell my old school-mate " Bob " Allison, he with whom I conned my " Liber Primus" and " Caesar's Commentaries." Only a private in Company C, yet he was a man in every sense of the word. No cenotaph could be raised too high to honor the names of such as he. One of the bravest of the brave — the truest of the true. Here also we lost our gallant major, John F. Guthrie, and if I am not becoming wearisome, I hope you will permit me to read you an extract from a little sheet that I know is familiar to some of you.

Here Dr. Roberts read an obituary published in the Chattanooga Rebel, printed at that time (Sept. 9, 1864) at Griffin, Ga., eulogizing this gallant officer and Christian gentleman, who, starting out as a private in Company B, had, at the time of his death, atained the rank of major of this heroic command.

But, to continue, shall we follow the lame Texan in his weary march through North Georgia and Alabama, across the Tennessee, until we find them on this hallowed ground? It is unnecessary for me to mention, surely in this historic locality, the brilliant action that here occurred on the last day of November, 1864. The very walls of the houses of your beautiful little town know that part of history only too well. Was the Twentieth here ? The soil of these grand old hills can exclaim with one accord: " We were moistened with some of its best blood." The gallant " Todd Carter," my old mess-mate, whose spicy communications in the Southern press under the nom de plume of " Mint Julep," was rapidly making fame in the field of literature, here breathed his last in his father's house, under his own roof tree that he had so successfully assisted to wrest from the occupancy of the enemy. Fit companion for the heroic souls of Cleburne, Strahl, and others of that stamp, he accompanied them on their last journey to receive the reward meted out to them from the hand of their Creator. And Bill Shy, noble spirit, who was ever the reverse of his name on the field of battle, though elsewhere as modest as a girl, he, too, in the trenches in front of our Capital city, on the 15th of December following, although then the colonel commanding this gallant wreck, with his hand tightly clasped on a fallen soldier's musket, closed his eyes on the terrible storm that was again to envelop his home in its last dark embrace. For the third and last time had this sorely-tried little band to turn their backs on their homes and everything that man holds dear, this time leaving their boy commander, whose trio of stars they had assisted to enwreath with a general's rank, a captive in the hands of the enemy, severely wounded by the stroke of a sabre on that imposing brow, that marred not his physical appearance in after life, but I sadly fear had much to do in shattering that wonderful intellect under whose powerful impulse the boy-soldier had attained a general's command. Think, if you please, of the manly, aye, the peerless form, the matchless courage and unvarying coolness, under the hottest fire, of one of Tennessee's bravest sons. Think of him in subsequent affliction, and hear him, as excitedly he walks the wards of an asylum, in maddened frenzy exclaim:—

" I'm adrift on life's ocean, and wildly I sweep Aimless and helmless, its fathomless deep; The wild wind assails me, it threatningly storms — The clouds roll round me in hideous forms." But let us draw the veil on that sad picture — too sad for the joy and jesting of this occasion — and follow me one step farther. Again crossing the Tennessee River, in obedience to orders and what they considerd their duty, across the little remnant of territory left to our Confederacy, through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, to an obscure little hamlet in the old North State, that grand old State that claims to be the mother of Tennessee, at Bentonville, after Lee's surrender and the fall of Richmond, was the last despairing blow struck by the shattered remnant of the Army of Tennessee and the Twentieth Regiment. I have followed rapidly the steps of this command in its gigantic struggle ; looking on its shifting scenes, its varying fortunes. My aim has been to draw but an outline of the mighty wrestle. Of this great American Revolution the world will always doubtless differ in their views; parties will hold opposing opinions, and during the life-time of the present generation, those opinions will be colored by partisan feeling. What men will not differ about, however — what all will agree upon — is the reluctance with which these men of Middle Tennessee entered upon the struggle, and the constancy and courage which they brought to the long, bitter, and terrible ordeal. Right or wrong, they were brave, were they not ? Ask their desolated fields, their vacant firesides, their broken hearts. Prostrate, panting, bleeding at every pore, they were faithful to the last in the defense of their principles, and rather than yield those principles, dear as their heart's blood, they bared their bosoms for four years of destroying war. Before that dread and sombre tribunal they dared all, risked all, suffered all — and lost all? No! Their stainless escutcheon is still left them, and their broken swords, which no taint of bad faith or dishonor ever tarnished.

On the 26th-day of April, 1865, the soldiers of the Twentieth stretched the hand of friendship to the foe they had fought so long. In accordance with the terms of the military convention entered into on that day between Gen. Jos. E. Johnston and General Sherman they took a solemn obligation not to take up arms against the United States Government, and were permitted to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by the United States authorities so long as they observed said obligation and obeyed the laws in force where they might reside. How that agreement has been observed by both parties I leave you to decide. One lesson which we may learn from the past is, that no uprising of a great people is wholly based on falsehood or delusion. Their errors are, at most, but half truths, and the opposing parties in the conflict are never either wholly in the wrong. The gallant knights in the fable, who fought about the shield, one side of which was of silver and one of gold, were both right, but neither could see the side the other saw until they met after the strife. So in our civil war, the North fought for a united country, from ocean to ocea% from the lakes to the Gulf, and shed its blood to oppose the right of secession. So far as the South was concerned, the question of negro slavery was but an incident of the strife. The great principle of individualism which asserts itself in local self-government, and which in a republic like ours must be jealously guarded as the bulwark of our liberties, was the mainspring of Southern valor. Nor was the precious blood shed in its defense poured out in vain. The doctrine of State rights, under the Constitution, which seemed in danger of being forgotten, is once more in the ascendant, guiding the policy of the government and transforming political parties. " War," says Dean Paul Ritcher, " is the moulting time of humanity." The eagle, when shedding his plumage is sick and his pinions droop, but when his time is over he plumes his wings for a higher flight. This each one of you must feel to-day is the attitude of our common country as it enters a new era of its existence, and to this consummation every act of sacrifice and self-devotion, all the patriotic blood shed on our battle-fields, whether by the wearers of the blue or the gray, has contributed.

And now, to these ladies here, permit me to assure you from my inmost heart that the debt of gratitude incurred whilst I had the honor to be with you in those sad closing days of '64, can never be repaid. Day after day I witnessed the fair daughters of Williamson bending o'er the rude couches extemporized for our wounded, and whether the sufferer was from the far away everglades of the land of flowers, or the pine ridge or sandy savannahs of Georgia, those fair hands ministered as tenderly, lovingly, and impartially as to the wounded scion that sprang from these historic blue-grass hills and dales. They treated them all as brothers, as brothers who had fallen in their defense.

Oaklands Celebrates 50 Years

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DIXIE... an American Classic!

There are a wide variety of sights and sounds that one could immediately associate with the South or being Southern. Nothing proclaims the heritage and honor of the South like the sight of our sacred banner floating on a warm southern breeze. It is a scene that makes the heart swell, the blood run faster and brings forth a cheer from deep inside us.

Likewise no sound can engender deep emotion, pride and strengthen our bonds like the strains of DIXIE. Whether it’s detractors like it or not, no other tune speaks to the honorable history of the South, and indeed is as ingrained in the American psyche as the distinctive tune of DIXIE.

Daniel D. Emmett published and first performed DIXIE in April of 1859. This makes 2009 the sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, of our beloved anthem. Since that time DIXIE has been played generation after generation at most any civic function. Every college band had it in it’s selection list. It was always played as a part of the program of Patriotic music both by the military and private organizations. School children were taught to sing it. It not only was the Song of the South but a cherished piece of American musical history.

All that began to change in the early 1990’s when the scourge of political correctness started sweeping the land. In reality this [sic] is nothing more than censorship of ideas and beliefs. They have tried to tell us that the simple act of playing or singing of DIXIE is an act of racism. This of course is ridiculous, however that has not stopped their success in removing DIXIE from the national song book.

It is time to take a stand for DIXIE! If you do not know it, learn it. Teach it to your children, school groups, church groups, etc. And make sure it is sung or performed.

Always Stand for DIXIE!
The Southron, Vol Nine, No. One: The Year of Dixie


Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten,
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

In Dixie Land, where I was born in,
early on one frosty mornin',
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.

(Optional Verses)

Ole Missus marry "Will the weaver"
Willum was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

But when he put his arm around 'er,
He smiled fierce as a forty pounder,
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

His face was sharp as a butcher's cleaver
But that did not seem to grieve 'er
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

Ole Missus acted the foolish part
And died for a man that broke her heart
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

Now here's a health to the next ole Missus
An' all the gals that want to kiss us;
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

But if you want to drive 'way sorrow
Come and hear this song tomorrow
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

There's buckwheat cakes and Injun batter,
Makes you fat or a little fatter;
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

Then hoe it down and scratch your gravel,
To Dixie's Land I'm bound to travel,
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

Sunday, March 29, 2009


MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Nov. 7., 1901.—This, perhaps, was the proudest day in the history of this beautiful little Tennessee city —when a handsome monument erected by this loyal people in commemoration of the valor of the Confederate dead, whose dust now mingles in the fields of this section, was unveiled with elaborate and dignified ceremonies. Fully 3,000 persons gathered at the Court Square this morning to witness the dedication of the memorial.
Intermingled in the vast assemblage were hundreds of veterans of the lost cause, many of whom had traveled miles to be present and pay tribute to their fallen comrades. Some of them had not been on the field since the days of the war. Perhaps half a hundred or more were present from distant cities, relatives of the gallant men who were swept down in the defense of principles they believed to be right and just. Here and there over the big audience which surrounded the stately structure were men and women, many of them bent with age, with tears trickling down their cheeks. These tears spoke forcibly the sentiment of the people, or at least their interest in the solemn, but at the same time happy occasion. Some of the old-time Southern melodies, as rendered by a bevy of pretty young ladies from Lebanon, were very striking, and as the sweet strains wafted out over the crowd, heads were bower: in remembrance of the fallen heroes.
By far the audience was the most distinguished that has gathered in Murfreesboro in years, likely in the history of the city. In the assemblage were many prominent sons of Tennessee, including the remnants of the Army of Tennessee. They were there from Major Generals down to the Johnny Reb who carried the musket. One happy feature of the dedication was that all of the comrades stood upon an equal footing; they were all comrades in the strongest sense of the word, engaged in a love feast. Among the more prominent men who were present were: Senator William B. Bate, Governor Benton McMillin, Hon. James B. Frazier, of Chattanooga; Hon. James D. Richardson, Hon. John C. Ferriss, of Nashville; Hon. E. D. Wilson, of Nashville; Judge Frank S. Wilson, Comptroller Theo. King, Hon. N. W. Baptist, Hon. J. N. McKenzie and Dr. J. B. Cowan, of Tullahoma.
Nature smiled upon Murfreesboro for the day. The sun was

shining brightly, a slight breeze afloat, just enough to rustle the Confederate flags and bunting, which were displayed in profusion over the business portion of the town. It was an ideal autumnal day.
In front of the monument Captain Richard Beard, master of ceremonies, had a large speaker's stand erected. Just over this improvised stand in a neat frame resting upon the massive testimonial of love and esteem, was the original Eighteenth Tennessee battle flag, which passed through some of the most terrific battles of the civil strife. With this flag, five color sergeants fell. The last man to carry the historic emblem was T. J. Nelson, who had it in charge on the memorable Friday evening of Breckinridge's charge. Underneath this flag were Confederate streamers,
festooned over the inscription,
"Lest we forget—1861-65,"
wrought out in large letters. An arch was also formed across the stand with small United States flags. Directly in front were displayed two large United States and Confederate flags on either side. In the center hung the banner of Joe B. Palmer Bivouac, of Murfreesboro. Upon the side was a large bunch of fragrant flowers.
Before the ceremonies commenced the young ladies of the Lebanon Orchestra took seats upon the stand. There were Mrs. Lillard Thompson, chaperone; Misses Emma and Edna Beard. Mary Barbee, Annie Hearne, Irene Neal, Sammie Carter. Anna May Thompson, Mrs. Harry Freeland, Mrs. A. S. McDowell, and Misses Gertie Fakes, Mary Prewett and Olive Mace. Then came the invited guests, as follows: Governor Benton McMillin, Hon. James D. Richardson, Dr. J. B. Cowan, H. E. Palmer, Hon. James P. Frazier, John C. Ferriss, Gen. William B. Bate, Judge S. F. Wilson, Dr. T. A. Kerley, Mrs. J. B. Murfree, D. P. Perkins, and Gen. H. H. Norman. In charge of the unveiling, Miss Julia Ransom and others.
Those to occupy places upon the stand had been seated, when Company B and Troop A, of Nashville, came marching up the wide road leading from the station. They carried their large flags, and as they fluttered in the little breeze the old "Johnny Rebs" were cheered lustily. Approaching the stand, they circled around the structure and during the ceremonies stood "at rest." They were received at the monument with a pretty demonstration, which the old comrades apparently enjoyed.
The master of ceremonies, Captain Beard, stepped to the front of the stand and presented Rev. T. A. Kerley, who delivered the invocation. In his prayer he paid homage to the dead who had sacrificed their lives upon the altar of their country; thanking the Lord for the love burning in the hearts of the people, for the surviving veterans who were present upoj1 the occasion. He asked for the blessing of all soldiers of the past, gathered again to express their devotion and love of those who had fallen in the mighty conflict. He said: "Let thy blessing rest upon these veterans in the time of peace and help us to be true citizens in everything that pertains to the high citizenship of our people. Help them to be true soldiers to all that is right and oppose everything wrong. May their lives be such as to win all to the higher principles of true manhood." He paid honor to the Confederate wives and sisters who had sacrificed their all in the vicissitudes of war and the dark days following the fall of the Confederacy. He dwelt at length upon their bravery in standing face to face with adversity and poverty during the long years of the struggle. He asked that the hand of God ever be with the noble women and guide them in their future laudable undertakings. "May they be shining lights to the whole land," he concluded.
Here the young ladies of the Lebanon Glee Club struck up a combination of stirring Southern melodies, ending with that soul-inspiring song, "Dixie." The enthusiasm of the assemblage knew no bounds. Their cheers rent the air.
Here the unveiling committee, composed of Captain Beard, Judge Richard Ransom and Captain Daniel Perkins, took charge of the exercises, assisted by General H. H. Norman. Miss Julia Ransom, one of Murfreesboro's fair daughters, arose from the center of the stand and pulled a small cord which unveiled one of the prettiest little monuments erected on a Southern battlefield. A thousand hands clapped their approval. Engraved upon the east face was this inscription:
"In commemoration of the valor of Confederate soldiers, who fell in the great battle of Murfreesboro, Dec. 31, 1862, and Jan. 2, 1863, and in minor engagements in this vicinity, this monument is erected."
On the north face is:
"Lest we forget 1861-1865." On the west face is:
"A monument for our soldiers, Built of a people's love." On the south face the inscription reads:
"Honor decks the turf that wraps their clay."
Following the unveiling, the boys of the Tennessee Industrial School band played. Their work was very creditable and well received.
Captain Beard then introduced Colonel Bennett H. Young, a brilliant Kentuckian, the orator of the day. In presenting the speaker Captain Beard made a few remarks, in which he referred to the trials and tribulations of those who raised the monument fund He said
that the monument should have been erected thirty years ago, telling Of the work of the old Monumental Association in the years gone by; how they raised $800 for the purpose, which was spent in the base. The work was taken up by the Daughters of the Confederacy, who, after years of constant and persistent effort, raised an additional $800, which was supplemented by $1,200 raised by the Palmer Bivouac. He said:
"There have been other monuments erected on the battlefields more gorgeous in design, but none on the face of the earth was ever erected for a higher or more noble purpose."
The master of ceremonies introduced Colonel Young, the orator, as a noble son of the Bluegrass State, which sent thousands of courageous and gallant men to aid the South, which fact, he said, was attested by the presence of their dead upon every battlefield in the West. These soldiers kept the lamps of chivalry in the hearts of many.
Colonel Young, the polished orator that he is, was at his best, and though he was at a disadvantage on account of the breeze carrying his voice toward the back of the stand, his delivery was excellent and his effort a masterpiece. He was eloquent and his frequent reference to the hallowed dead aroused the old-time enthusiasm of the Southern people gathered about him. Often his remarks were punctuated with violent outbursts of applause. He said in part:
"It is a great distinction to have been a Confederate soldier; it is a greater thing to have been a Confederate woman; it is a noble thing to have been a Tennessee Confederate, a representative of the great "Volunteer State" of the South that did so much to make the contest of the Southern people for liberty illustrious and immortal.
"Of the seventy regiments in the Confederate service which had the highest percentage of mortality, Tennessee had twelve. Four of these badges of honor were won here in the battles of Stone river. At Shiloh, fought on April 4, 6 and 7, 1862, of the ten regiments which experienced the most dreadful mortality, Tennessee had four. At Perryville, fought October 8, 1862, of the eight regiments sustaining the highest loss, Tennessee had seven, the Forty-first Georgia alone having a place alongside that of your state. Of the twenty-nine regiments having the highest percentage of loss at Murfreesboro, Tennessee had seven, and at Chickamauga, that awful holocaust, there were three Tennessee regiments among the sixteen which suffered the heaviest decimation. The infantry regimental number of the Tennessee troops passed the
100 1/2 mark and reach 154.
"In 1860 Tennessee had 160,000 men capable of bearing arms. Of these she put in over 120,000 for the Confederate service. Tennessee gave thirty-six generals, of whom seven died on the battlefield. She brought to the defense of the South two lieutenant generals, Forrest and Stewart, and. nine major generals,
"Beginning with the first fight on Tennessee soil on September 29, 1861, at Travisville, down to Germantown, in April, 1865, three years and eight months, 780 engagements were fought in Tennessee, and more than one-third of all the 2,2O0 skirmishes and battles which
marked the four years of death, havoc and destruction, took place within the limits of this Commonwealth.
"In the crucial hour of 1861, when the people of the South appealed to the God of battles and placed their cause in his keeping, when millions of voices chanted :
"God save the South, God save the South, Her altars and her firesides, God save the South, now that war is nigh. Chanting her battle cry, Freedom or death,"
"In that period, so full of all that tested man's nobility and courage, out of Kentucky came thousands who loved right more than they loved their State Government, and followed principle rather than policy, and who left all that was dearest to man, who suffered expatriation, to cast in their lot with the men of the South. Forty thousand Kentuckians heeded this sacred call. Amid all the privations, sacrifices and dangers of that great contest they stood with you, Tennessee Confederates, to resist the invasion of your homes and to defend your firesides. It was not spoils they sought; it was not glory which beckoned them away from their State to yours; it was justice and truth as they saw them which ranged them on your side and impelle1l them to share your fortunes and all the trials fate should bring. A large percentage of Kentucky Confederate dead rest in your soil, and a common bereavement and burial brings Kentucky and Tennessee close together.
"The pitiless hand of death, through thirty-seven years, has thinned the ranks of these Confederates, but they still love you, and, comrade, they glory in all that made you glorious, and with you they claim part of that transcendent renown which has made the name and the fame of the Confederate armies eternal.
"Nearly forty years have passed since the great conflict was fought near to where we stand, and which today you are commemorating by this monument. It takes rank as one of the great battles of the American war. Nine thousand killed or wounded on the Confederate side—one-fourth of the entire force engaged; 8,780 killed and wounded on the Federal side, and 3,500 prisoners, speak in unmistakable tones of the fierceness of the conflict."
Here the speaker unrolled the battle-scarred jacket he wore during the war, and as he exhibited the garment, with the remark that he would rather have it known that he had worn the gray than to be the greatest king on earth, the assemblage again became demonstrative.
''Bragg's army at Murfreesboro was composed in a large measure of Tennesseans, who receded from Tennessee with a sullen and grim courage which boded no good to the foes who sought to dispossess these men of their State and their homes. Of the forty regiments of Tennesseans with him—all were ready, if need be, to die in defense of Tennessee.
"This superb monument to our dead would not have been possible had it not been for the patience and zeal, the interest and usefulness of the women, who labored so long to erect this memorial. We call it 'ours' because it belongs justly to the Confederates. I doubt not that many who helped at the inception of the undertaking have been denied the happiness of witnessing its fulfillment, but we can feel their sweet presence though they passed over the river before success crowned their work. If they are not here we shall at least in gratitude remember them and their devotion to the cause and their absence alone mars the completeness of this occasion.
"The noblest and highest of the war's demands was to be worthy of the faith and trust of the Southern women, and it mitigated the anguish and bitterness of defeat to be able amid manly tears to look down into the tear-dimmed eyes of the women of the South and tell them that in all the conflicts and privations of that weary struggle, there had been nothing done or left undone which rendered the men of the Confederacy unworthy of what was required by its women. An now, after the lapse of long years, we find the same gentle, earnest, brave women with all the enthusiasm of their noble nature, erecting this splendid tribute to our comrades who went down in the storm of war, and thus keeping the record of those heroes who gave their blood as the seal of their fealty to the land of their love. Sincerest benedictions we utter for them. May the angels of blessing and peace hover over them in this life and at its end bring them joyfully to that place where there will be no tears, where monuments are not built, where death and sorrow never come.
"There were none on that fateful field who were not ready to obey every call, to meet any fate, to respond to every order and to endure all that patriotic duty required at their hands. The battle of Murfreesboro has not received its just place in history. The casualties were as great as those at Shiloh, but Shiloh came in as the initial wave of destruction which was to sweep over the land, and it impressed the public mind and left memories on the public hearts which were more lasting than those probably of any battle fought outside of Gettysburg. If it be true that we had at Gettysburg 100,00 men, it will be seen that the percentage of loss was not any greater than at Murfreesboro. There were more men engaged at Shiloh, on the Confederate side, than were engaged> at Murfreesboro, and yet the loss in killed and wounded and missing was greater than at Shiloh; so that Murfreesboro stands alongside of Gettysburg, Chickamauga and Antietam. Very few, if any, of the battles of the war showed greater percentage of loss than was experienced on both sides at this battle, the valor of the troops engaged in which, you are this day assembled to commemorate.
"The majority of those who sleep the sleep of death here are not Tennesseans. They were brought to Tennessee by noble, patriotic impulses and- are strangers in a strange land, but they gave up all for the right as they saw it; they made the most costly sacrifice man can make at the call of duty. The fact that those who loved them most will never come to weep at their sepulchers or place sweet flowers on their graves appeals with tenderest and most pathetic eloquence to the magnanimity of those for whose homes they fought, for whose liberty they died, and the care of their graves, unmarked— in many cases unknown—devolves upon those who are left a sacred trust. Somewhere in the Southland whence these unknown dead came, loving hearts mourn their loss. There are vacant chairs that will never be filled, there are firesides that will never be the same, because these heroes will never return, and there are broken circles where faithful ones will love on to the end, and in silence and tears keep sacred the memory of those who lie hidden in unmarked graves in this valley of Stone's river. They cannot sleep among their kindred and in most cases they do not rest 'Neath the parent turf, nor can the 'sunshine of their native sky shine sweetly on them' here, but I am sure that true, gentle, sympathetic hearts will guard these graves and keep the sod over them green until the great call from on high shall bring these dead once again into communion with those from whom war and death have so cruelly and harshly separated them.
"After all, comrades and friends, it was the man in the ranks, the man who carried the musket, who was the true Southern hero. The largest proportion of the courage and chivalry of the South was in the ranks, and the bravest men that died were those of whom history will never speak. Scouts, pickets, the men in the skirmish line, in the rifle pit, on the parapet, in the trench, the men who charged the batteries, who carried the colors, were the men who dared most, endured most and gave the most in that great struggle, the men who experienced the greatest privations, who exhibited the greatest bravery and the truest devotion and the super best courage, were the men who carried the guns and never reasoned why, but only dared to do and die.
"It is to this class of men to whom the South owes most, and their memory ought to be imperishable. There is glory enough in the defense which the South made for her liberty, to endow all her people who took part in that struggle with splendid renown. It is glory enough for any man to have worn the gray jacket, and of the thousands who possess that distinction, there are none who would exchange the humble uniform, typical of the grandest devotion to duty and the noblest patriotism, with its faded renown, for the jeweled coronet of any duke of any kingdom, which was inherited or won by manliness and courage.
"All the dead of our Confederacy are our treasure. All the precious blood that was poured out to defend the South is our inheritance. All the memories which gather about the thousands of battlefields involving innumerable instances of superb courage and splendid manhood—all, all belong to our Southland.
"Words are powerless to depict or paint the glory which lingers around the memories of the Confederate dead. Living, they met the requirements of every duty, they faced fearlessly every danger, they shrank at no sacrifice that patriotism exacted, and they denied their country no service its needs demanded. Two hundred thousand graves contain the dust of our heroes, 200,000 lives were the price we paid for our efforts to be free. Their glory is our glory.
"Magnificent host, superb assemblage of fate's immortals, we claim a share in your renown, and we count this joint tenancy in your splendid achievements the richest treasure earth can give.
"I cannot close this address without reference to the magnificent record of the Army of Tennessee, which in many respects was the most gallant host that ever fought under any standard. I could not be induced to utter a single word in depreciation of Confederate valor or any field or in any department. Every courageous act done by any Confederate soldier is the common property of all who followed the Southern flag; but history has not dealt fairly or justly with the Confederates of this department The reasons for this are so obvious that they need not be mentioned in this intelligent presence. But I do affirm that the army that fought at Perryville and Richmond, Ky., that contended at Shiloh and battled at Murfreesboro, that unflinchingly met the terrific slaughter at Chickamauga, that bore without complaint and defiantly, the destruction and privations of the one hundred days before Atlanta; that captured Streight and Stoneman and won at Hartsville; that practically annihilated its foes at Tishomingo creek, or Brice's Cross Roads; that rode and fought with Forrest, Morgan and Wheeler, and at the end met substantial annihilation in the heroic, but useless, sacrifice on the bloody field of Franklin, is not unworthy to stand in any company of warriors who ever went forth to conflict, or fought for any cause in any land.
"The Army of Tennessee, never the best equipped of Confederate forces, met more defeats without destruction, endured more hardships without complaint, made longer marches with less straggling, followed more unfortunate leaders with fewer desertions, showed more cheerfulness in distress and exhibited greater fortitude in disaster than any military organization known in history. It was always hopeful in misfortune, brave in action, patient in privation, valiant in conflict, constant in trials, unmurmuring in difficulties and unconquerable in spirit, and no more brilliant display of extraordinary qualities was ever shown by this wonderful army than in the battle to whose slain you this day dedicate this shaft"
Again the Lebanon Orchestra discoursed sweet music, this time "OW Kentucky Home." As this followed the speaker from Kentucky, the scene was dramatic.
The exercises were closed with the reading of a poem by E. D. Hancock, entitled, "The Southern Soldier." The poem was one of some length, and in arranging it Mr. Hancock utilized the entire inscription upon the memorial monument.
The benediction was said by Rev. W. L. Logan.
The ceremonies were brief, that is, shorter than the usual exercises of this character, and the assemblage did not feel wearied at the conclusion as upon occasions when the orators speak for two or three hours. The address of Colonel Young was even shorter than he expected to make. In fact, he did not deliver the full address he had prepared for the occasion. The appropriate length of the programme, along with the smoothness with which it was presented, was frequently commented upon favorably.
After the exercises the visitors were invited to luncheon at the homes of Murfreesboro's hospitable people. Almost every citizen of the little city was a host during the day. Some of them had three and four visitors at their homes.
The afternoon was spent by many of those from distant cities in riding through the town and visiting the various points of interest upon the surrounding battle fields. Many of the old veterans tramped the fields over the entire afternoon in effort to locate a spot they might recognize. Several of those who had not been on the field in almost forty years were successful in locating old landmarks and in all they spent a most enjoyable day. The young ladies of the Lebanon Glee Club gave a concert at the armory during the afternoon, while the Tennessee Industrial School band held forth at the public square, rendering several selections.
To-night the Vendome Stock Company, of Nashville, played to a crowded house this being a part of the day's festivities.
Every road in the country led to Murfreesboro this morning. Hundreds came in from the surrounding country, but the largest crowd arrived on the Nashville special. Upon this train came the Confederate cavalry troop under command of Lieutenant W. T. Hardison and the infantry company commanded by Captain Mark S. Cockrill, and the Gaines Rifles, Captain Kramer. On this train were many State officials and citizens of Nashville.
Wm. Moffitt, Jr.