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The Nashville weekly union. [volume] : (Nashville, Tenn.) 1862-1866
Place of publication:
Nashville, Tenn.
Geographic coverage:
  • Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Assn. of Printers
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1862; ceased in 1866.
  • English
  • Davidson County (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Nashville (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Tennessee--Davidson County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205346
  • Tennessee--Nashville.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204195
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 21 (Mar. 23, 1863).
  • Editor: S.C. Mercer, 1862-1863.
  • Publisher: Assn. of Printers, 1862-1863; Wm. Cameron & Co., 1863-1866; Nashville Union Print. Co., 1866; Beckett, Browne, Hanks & Co., 1866.
sn 85038522
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The Nashville weekly union. [volume] May 21, 1865 , Image 1


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Daily Nashville Union

Many Tennessee newspapers suspended publication after the fall of Fort Donelson in February 1862. The Daily Nashville Union, however, was one of the few that were established during-- and that survived--the war. An anonymous group, An Association of Printers, launched the paper from the offices of the Daily Nashville Patriot on April 10, 1862. Two months later, on June 19, the newspaper changed its name to the Nashville Daily Union.

The newspaper was edited by S.C. Mercer. Mercer had been recommended to Governor Andrew Johnson as an editor of a Unionist newspaper. After little more than a week, Johnson, pleased with Mercer's publication, wrote to William H. Seward, Secretary of State, requesting government patronage for the paper: "The Nashville Union, a decidedly loyal newspaper, and zealous in its labors for the restoration of the Union, has been established here within the past ten days. . . . A sound union paper at this point cannot fail to exert great influence for good in Tennessee and indeed states south of us." The request was granted, and by September 1863, the Federal government had provided more than $800 to the newspaper for the printing of official notices and advertisements.

Like many newspapers during the Civil War, the Nashville Daily Union made use of the technological advances in telegraphic communications. Its "By Telegraph" column provided on-the-spot news sent by wire; "Midnight Dispatches" reported the latest from the front lines, including losses and injuries from the battlefields and military maneuvers.

The Union's motto reflected its pro-Union stance: "For Freedom and Nationality." This steadfast viewpoint brought the paper into conflict with the politically devoid Nashville Dispatch. Yet the Union did not regard the other paper as a threat. On December 4, 1863, the Nashville Daily Union wrote, "The Dispatch seems to be under the impression that the Union regards it as a rival" and that "if it were blotted out of existence to-day, we would not be profited a cent thereby." The editorial went on to attack the Nashville Dispatch for not having "the manliness to take a position in times like these . . . ."

In 1863, William Cameron & Co. took over the publication of the Nashville Daily Union. Mercer left the paper in December 1863 and in February 1864 started the Nashville Daily Times and True Union. In May 1865, that newspaper merged with the Nashville Daily Press and became the Nashville Daily Press and Times.

Subsequent publishers of the Nashville Daily Union were the Nashville Union Printing Co., between February and May 1866, and Beckett, Browne, Hanks & Co., in May and June 1866. The Nashville Daily Union's final issue appeared on June 17, 1866. Citing a decline in business that had a "paralyzing affect" on every branch of trade and commerce in the city, the paper expressed "sincere regret" at having to suspend publication. A weekly edition continued, with the hope of re-establishing the daily at a later date. However, the weekly also ceased publication later that year. Loyal to the Union to the end, the closing announcement of the paper concluded with Daniel Webster's words, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable."

Provided by: University of Tennessee