4TH-TENNESSEE-CAVALRY-L ArchivesArchiver > 4TH-TENNESSEE-CAVALRY > 2004-11 > 1101238209
Subject: Re: 4th Tennessee Infantry
Date: 23 Nov 2004 12:30:09 -0700
This is a Message Board Post that is gatewayed to this mailing list.
Message Board URL:
Message Board Post:
I signed up with the 4th Tennessee Volunteers in the spring of 1863 mustered in at Nashville June 15, 1863
We were brought out from Confederate lines marched by night, lying in concealed caves and forests during the day to elude the pursuit of the Confederate conscript officers. We were assembled at Louisville, on May 22, 1863, commanded by James W. M. Grayson
Union Army regulations required a unit to be a certain strength to be recognized, and to be paid. For many months, the 4th. Tennessee did not meet those requirements. It was finally officially mustered at Nashville, even though a great many of the men had already seen months of duty in East Tennessee and Kentucky. Official records for the 4th. Tennessee Volunteer Infantry list the unit was the 4th. East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, as it was understood that East Tennessee would succeed from the State of Tennessee, as West Virginia had, to be a Union state, but without a Federal Army’s presence in the area, the separation was impossible.
Skirmishes: Cumberland Gap Campaign, Big Creek Gap, Cumberland Gap Occupation, Expedition to Pine Mountain, Kentucky, Skirmish Big Creek Gap,
Evacuation of Cumberland Gap Tennessee and retreat to Greenupsburg, Kentucky.
Action McMinnville, Tennessee.
October 3, 1863 Action McMinnville, Tennessee (large detachment captured). On September 30th, General Braxton Bragg (CSA) sent Maj. General Joseph Wheeler with a large cavalry force against Rosecran’s lines of communication and supply (referred to as the “cracker box line” with Murfeesborough and Nashville.
On October 2, after capturing a small wagon train, Wheeler split his 5000 man force, and while he and Brigadier General William Martin’s troops attached and captured a massive Federal wagon train at Anderson’s Crossroads, Brigadier General John Wharton attached McMinnville.
It’s garrison of 587 men and 200 horses was tremendously outnumbered and Capt. Michael T. Patterson accepted the terms of a second surrendered request, and the men of the 4th Tennessee (US) Volunteer Infantry were paroled to their homes later that night. The paroles were later ruled invalid and the men returned to the unit. The 4th. Tennessee Infantry was sent from Nashville to join the 5th. Iowa Cavalry guarding supplies at McMinnville on September 9, 1863. The 4th consisted of approximately 400 men, 136 of which were put to guarding roads and various buildings in the town. The rest were put in the existing rifle pits around the town. On October 1st. Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler led 5,000 cavalrymen under Brigadier Generals William Martin and John Wharton across the Tennessee River to break the “cracker- box” line. The 2nd. Of October found Wheeler splitting his command and while he and Martin attacked Anderson’s Crossroads, de!
stroying an 800 wagon caravan, General Wharton moved on McMinnville.
The previous day October 1st. a group of refugees which included Judge John C. Gant from Cleveland Tennessee told Major Patterson that a large force of
Confederates were approaching (between 5,0000 and 10,000) and plans were made to burn the warehouses the following day. On the following day October 2nd several Union Military Officers arrived in the town and reported no enemy troop activity and the plans to destroy the supplies were put on hold. On October 3rd Lieutenant Farnsworth, with 20 men on horses requisitioned previously wee sent to patrol the area and locate any enemy, but were not heard from (tit was later learned they were cut off) and Lieutenant Allen and another 20 men were sent on the same mission. The town was attacked by General Wharton’s Cavalry on that morning, the fighting lasting an hour and a quarter, before a courier under a flat of truce brought a note demanding surrender which Major Patterson refused, citing the unofficial and incomplete message that was received. An hour and a quarter later, another message was received and the terms of surrender were accepted by Major Patterson and the Off!
icers and men were paroled to their homes.
We do solemnly swear that we will not bear arms against the Confederate States of America, nor in any way give aid and comfort to the United States against the Confederate States, during the existence of the war between the said United States and Confederate States, unless we shall be duly exchanged for other prisoners of war, or until we shall be released by the President of the Confederate States. In consideration of this oath, it is understood that we are free to go wherever we may see fit.
Following the surrender, according to Major Patterson, there occurred “the most brutal outrages on the part of the rebels ever known to any civilized war in American or elsewhere.” The Major was shocked as the cavalrymen proceeded to outfit themselves in new clothes from head to foot, taking”boots, watch, pocket-book, money, and even finger-rings, or in fact anything that happened to please their fancy”. Patterson, observing that General Wheeler had arrived on the scene, appealed to him directly to stop the pillaging. Wheeler only replied that he could not control his men, and that they would do as they pleased. Considering the dire condition of Forrest’s men, whom most of these were, and their known reluctance to obey Wheeler’s orders, the General probably stated the simple truth. The surrendered men were held may house by their captors and it was late night before they were allowed to begin their trek to their homes. Due !
to events after the surrender, Andrew Johnson, the Military Governor of Tennessee, on October 12, inquired of general W. S. Rosecrans whether the parole was valid of not, and Capt. James A. Garfield, Asst. Adj. General, declared
The parole invalid, and the troops, which had progressed only as far as Sparta on their trip home, wee ordered to rejoin Major Patterson in Nashville. Also, on October 12, the Board of Inquiry ruled that Major Michael Patterson had acted in his best judgment in surrendering the command at McMinnville, and he was ordered back in command.
On November 17th the Colors and Standards of the 4th. Tennessee Infantry wee recaptured from a courier in Northern Georgia, and returned to the unit.
February 20, 1864 Action, Holston River
February 21-22 1864 Skirmish near Greenville, Tennessee
July 7-9 Scout from Kingston to England Cove, Tennessee
July 12-18 Scouts from Kingston to England Cove
Mustered out of service at Kingston August 2, 1865 Unofficial: at least 26 enlisted men were killed and 65 enlisted men died from disease or other non-battlefield causes.
After the war, Colonel James Grayson was appointed a United States Marshal, and let a group of men in the capture of one Thomas Dula, a suspected murderer. The folk song “Tom Dooley” is the account of this incident, the “Grayson” mentioned in the verse refers to the one time commanding officer of the 4th. Tennessee.