CHASTAIN-L ArchivesArchiver > CHASTAIN > 1999-07 > 0931116277
From: Debi <>
Subject: [CHASTAIN-L] letter from E. W. Chstain to Gov. Brown
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 1999 15:24:37 -0400
August 11, 1863
His Excellency, Joseph E. Brown
I wrote you a few days since, relation to the conduct of the deserters
and bushwackers giving you the program of their actions up to that
time. I called out my cavalry as far as they were armed. Capt. Kincade
called out his infantry company and they are now stationed at the
place. Both companies have actively engaged scouring the country but up
to this time we have not been able to capture any of them.
Last night one hundred and twenty five of these disperadoes were
within five miles of this place swearing they would come to the town and
burn it. They were met by the sheriff and persuaded to disband. The
sheriff has several relatives in the crowd and he therefore went boldly
to work, and finally prevailed with them to desist.
We have no arms or any value, scarcely old rifles and a few single
barreled shot guns and no ammunition, not two rounds a piece. We cannot
muster more than fifty or sixty guns which I consider worthless. We
must have arms and ammunition or this town will be burned and the
country over run and perhaps many citizens massacred. They swear hat no
man who is a Southerns man in sentiment and action, will be permitted to
keep a gun or any other weapon of defense. They are bold and reckless.
I repeat to you that we must have help, both in men and arms or our
county will be over run. There are some of the Georgia deserters who
have sent me word if I can obtain the consent of the War Department that
they will join the company here for home defense, but they swear they
will die before they return to the army. Can you procure the consent of
the department. It would be better to quiet them in this way than to
let them connect themselves with these North carolina desperadoes.
Under an order of Gen. Buckner of a recent date, I am informed that the
names of all the deserters under his command have been stricken from the
company rolls. It strikes me therefore that the war department might
willingly, if applied to, give permission for them to join the companies
for home defense, I must confess I have little confidence in them but
they can be better controlled in this way, they can be dispersed all
over the country.
If this meets with your approbation I trust you will immediately
telegraph the war department and if they give their consent, write me
immediately and I can quiet all the Georgians in this section.
Since writing the foregoing, I learned that a large party of these
scoundrels, after dispersing last night went back a few miles into the
edge of Union County and took all the guns they could find in that
section. They say they can muster eight hundred men. Every man in
Cherokee, N. carolina who was enrolled for conscription have taken to
the bush and if this is true, I doubt not that they can muster a large
force. The Tennessee deserters and conscripts are also with them--many
of them. And they are all sworn to defend one another, I am not scared
but I confess that the times are any thing but pleasant to contemplate.
I intend to hold this place if I can, but how it is to be done without
arms or ammunition I must confess looks doubtful. The lives of all the
prominent citizens are threatened and unless some relief is sent
forthwith, they will doubtless execute their threat.
Now my Dear Sir, as you see how things stand and it is for you to take
such course as you think the emergency requires. If you can arm the
battalion composed of the companies from Gilmer and this county, we can
successfully defend this section and drive the marauders from this
country. Without help however we are destined to suffer.
I am as your friend and servant.
E. W. Chastain
P.S. I had omitted to say that the whole country is panic stricken.
That I cannot get them to turn out for their own defense. They are
afraid to move anyway. EWC.
Again, I typed this exactly as it was printed in the book.
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