Newspaper Page Text
Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiauuiUiuia,4aiiiiiuaiiUiUiiuiiaiiuium!j BRANS ILUMBER COvl 3 ' . $ -v : " ; : H - : , . . .: g I WHOLESALE and j I RETAIL LUMBER I I CUSTOM DRESSING 1 3 Office, Yard and Planing Mill, 3 First St,; Union City, Tenn. g 3 Special attention given to the retail tracle. g 3 Let us figure on your House bills. v" 5 K. RIMBE.RLIN, Fire, Accident and Health Insurance OS Phone Office, 303; Residence, 92. GEN. N. B. FORREST'S BRIGHT STRATAGEM. Athens, Ala., Aug. 31. The Northern Missionary Society that finances Trinity College, the negro school at this place, is erecting a , new brick building on Fort Hill, which is to take the place of the college building destroyed by fire not long ago. The walls of the building are nearing completion. Anent the fort, there is told a truei story which illustrates well the sagacity and humanity of one of the South's most raggedy charac ters, that born character leader, N. B, Forrest. ' There ia no doubt of the truth of this story of a ruse tie guerre which saved many lives by pre venting the taking of the fort by storm. Old citizens who wcro eye witnesses' of the stratagem have attested its correctness, and the Courier, of Athens, published, some years ago, an account of the affair from the pen of Hon. John AW Morton, now Tennessee's Sec retary of State, and during the Civil War Forrest's chief of artil lery, but ' Gen. Forrest does not mention the rune in bis official re port to t h e Assistant Adjutant General at SelmaAla.', Maj. P. Ellis. : , : The garrison was composed of plored troops, officered by white n. lien. Forrest made an ap il to the Federal Colonel in com- and of the fort, Col. Wallace Campbell, to surrender, based on the strength of his force and on humanity. The garrison was com posed of negroes, but Forrest's cavalry of 4,500 could not have taken the place by storm without great loss of life. In his report, ninft 1 0 CoQled by Ten Big DahnKe's Makers of the BEST ICE CREAM and SH ERBETS in the city. Orders given to us .will get our personal attention. The place that can fill your wants for banquets, sociaIsretc. Telephone 109. ' 'ys-. OS FOR c which lies before your correspond ent, Gen. Forrest says: "While my troops were steadily advancing on the fort, and the'ar tillery was pouring into it a con centrated fire, I ordered . a halt and tbe artillery ceased firing, Knowing it would cost heavily to storm and capture the enemy's works, and wishing to prevent the effusion of blood that I knew would follow a successful assault, 1 de determined to see if anything could be accomplished by negotiations. Accordingly, I sent Maj. Strange, of my staff, with a flag of truce, demanding the surrender of the fort and garrison. After much apparent hesitancy, Col. Campbell refused to make the surrender. 1 returned to my command determ ined to renew the assault; but still desiring to spare my men and the massacre of the garrison, I sent another flag requesting an inter view witn Col. Campbell at any place he might designate outside the fort. The interview was granted. I assured Col: Campbell that for the sake of humanity I should do everything in my power to prevent a collision and for that purpose I invited him to examine my troops for himself and judge of my ability to take his works. ii e accompanied m e along m y lines and, after witnessing the strength i n d enthusiasm of my troops, he surrendered the fort with its entire garrison." . - A hasty sketch of the attack and surrender will show how bloodshed was avoided,, and how shrewdly a brave, bold, fearless soldier can play a trick of military legerde main. This was on, the brilliant raid that Forrest made into Middle Tennessee in the fall of 1861. He , ' itIaa' r24--T 0 Electric Fans-1 0 Cafe 8$ Union City, Tenn. " jya ; ::o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:2:o:o::o:o::o::o:o 0 Ur will exchange for city property or farming lana near Union City, 495 acres of rich hill land in District No. 3, J Ohion County, 17 miles west of Union City, 9 miles south of (g Hickman, Ky.; 33 acres in cultivation, balance in timber; "about 125 acres fenced with American wire on black Jocust and mulberry posts; one good shingle-roof house with 5 (gj rooms, two halls and one porch; also other necessary build ings; good cistern at bouse and plenty spring water on place J!j for stock. This is an opportunity for - someone to make a (gj paying investment. Terms One-third cash, and name your W own time on the balance at 6 S SAMUEL H. STONE, Th8 .'I!!!'..''.!!!!!!!;!"! brought his command up from Verona, Miss., to Corinth, at that stage of the war the eastern termi nus of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. " At Corinth he made every preparation for his raid, and left that place with ten days' rations in the knapsacks of the soldiers. At daylight on the morn ing of September 21 his command moved forward, and on the even ing of the 23d Athens, with its formidable fort, was invested. The fort was -a square redoubt with parapets from eight to ten feet high, and deep and wide moats. An abattis of sharpened boughs of large trees made it unapproachable by cavalry. The slave of the people of 'Athens had been im pressed to build, the fort, and many of the garrison wese form erly the property of Athens citi zens. .-' When Forrest entered the town by the Florence road the main body of the enemy was encamped in Easter's grove, in the north eastern part of the town, three quarters of a mile away from the "fort, which was in the south wes tern part of the town. As Forrest approached from the west the pickets of the enemy were encoun- tered about a" mile out and were rapidly driven in, and the enemy opened on the Confederates from the fort with two pieces of artil lery. When the Confederate Gen eral heard the whistle of a locomo: tive at the depot he ordered the Second Tennessee, commanded by Col. C R. Bar team, and Maj. An derson, of his staff, to take his escort and move rapidly to the north of the town and cut the rail road and telegraph lines. This order was promptly executed, after which the escort captured about 100 horses and some other prop erty. While this was being done Col. T. , II. Bell occupied the eas tern part of the town. Crossing the railroad south, he met the ene my from the camp and after some sharp skirmishing deove them to the fort, and rested on the eastern side of the railroad. Col. DC. Kelley, the noted Methodist divine, was ordered later in the night to take his position southeast of town, his left resting on the railroad and his ftgLt extending towards Bell's left. Gen. Buford, with Lyon's brigade, remained on the west, his left on the Florence and his right on the Brown's Ferry road. Col. W. A. Johnston, commanding Gen. Roddy's men, that General being ill at the time, did not arrive in time to take a place that night. but the next morning his" troops were disposed along several streets facing the fort, about 800 yards from it. The Twentieth Tennes see Cavalry, under, command of Lieut. Col. Jess A. Forrest, and the Fourteenth Tennessee Caralry, under Lieut. Col. R. R. WhL of Kelley's brigade, has ber de- ached on the way up fror, Flor ence the day before to destroy a Government car at McDonald Sta tion, four miles south of Athens, and, having performed that service and destroying also the railroad and telegraph line, were stationed south of town as they approached fTH . L- 1 W 1 ii. luus was, iuo iuwu luvesieu on the morning of Sept. 24. " Firing began at 7- o'clock, but the general advance on the fort was not begun until 10 o'clock. Then the flag of truce already told of was sent on its mission of mercy. Capt John W." Morton says this, o SALE. o Si per cent. Call on or address 8J Grocer, Union City, Tenn. 8 and other historians and local tra dition confirm his assertions. When the flag carried by Maj. P. R. Strange and Capt. Harry Poin ter, of Forrest's staff, brought Col. Campbell out to the interview with Forrest, the latter remarked: "Wrell, Colonelj, I am not only quite willing, but would prefer to have you make' a personal inspec tion of my troops, 'which will sat isfy you that I have fully 10,000 men, a charge from which you could not possibly withstand." The Federal Commander replied that if he were ; satisfied such a force surrounded him he would not feel justified in making a defense. For rest pressed his request for an in spection, and finally Col. Camp bell, accompanied by several of his staff, rode along the lines with Forrest. The first troops inspected were cavalry, dismounted for the pur pose, and armed with Enfield rifles. Forrest pointed to them with the remark: "There is my infantry line." Several hundred yards to the rear the horse holders were drawn up. and mounted as "cav alry." Said Forrest: "You see, Colonel, I have 5,000 cavalry." A battery was observed in one position, and during the re view it would be so shifted as to show four, then six, then eight guns in different, positions, the same guns being seen repeatedly, but not in the same position. For rest had only eight guns with him. Four were at first placed on the south of the Florence road, about 800 yards from the fort; two about the same distance on the Brown' Ferry road, and two on the Buck Island road. The "infantry" and "cavalry" were also snitted so as to do double duty. To strengthen the ruse, just as the review ended, Col. Wheeler, of the First Tennes see Cavalry, dashed up to Gen. Forrest, saluted and said: "Gen Wheeler, with two full divisions, has just arrived and desires an in terview." As Gen. Joe Wheeler had recently made a raid through North Alabama, the announcement of his arrival was not surprising, Accordingly Col. Campbell decid ed to surrender, only asking that his officers might retain their side arms and private property. Soon thereafter the garrison of 1,400 troops was on its way to Florence as prisoners under command of Col. Nixon. Besides the prison ers, two pieces of artillery, a large amount of small arms, thirty-eight wagons, two a m b u 1 ances, 300 horses and a considerable amount of ordinances and Quartermaster's and commissary stores were car tured. Two block houses and suf parts of the fort as could be con sumed were burned by. the Con federates, as were two locomotives and two trains of cars, and the Federals destroyed many of their valuable stores during the night previous to the surrender. All bloodshed was not averted that day. The Federals attempted to reinforce the garrison from De catur. The enemy approached up the railroad in their effort to make the beleaguered fort. Col. D. C. Kelley endeavored to intercept them. The Federals took position behind a pile of cord wood, where the railroad runs through the first cut belov Mifns. The Fifteenth Tennessee, Qu: Thomas H. Lock wood commanding, charged them behind their breastwork;?, putting them to flight, killing several and Ui7 Goran a GROCERIES and CITY MARKETS Country Produce, Fruits, Cigars, Etc. Sole agents for Chase & Sanborn's Famous Boston Teas and Coffees, Ferndeli Pure Food Products. We are sole agents for Bulte's Excel lence Flour, the finest the market affords. .TWO STORES... 305 Main Street Phones 79 and 516 capturing eight prisoners. The reinforcements then renewed their efforts to gam the fort, and Gen. Forrest says they fought with "great gallantry and desperation." They pressed en, but found, the Twenty-first Tennessee, command ed by Jesse Forrest, between them and the fort. This gallant regi ment opened fire upon the advanc ing enemy, and during the engage ment Col. Forrest fell seriously wounded in the knee. Col. A. N. Wilson then engaged the rein forcements and Gen. N. B. tor rest ordered Col. G. N. Nixon and Col. J. E. Carter with their re spective commands (numbering about 150 men each) to move rap idly to his relief. They did so and the enemy surrendered, and vere marched up to the fort just in time to see the garrison march out of it and stack arms. There was some loss of life on both sides in this fighting between the railroad and the fort. Every year, with the returning summer, the local chapter of the Daughters W .the Confederacy strew flowers on those graves of the Confederates at the Athens Cemetery, and their burial place will soon.be marked by a beautiful monument. Uf the two blockhouses men tioned, one located a mile and a half from 'Athens, south, surrea dered without any fighting, but at the other, almost within t.he cor porate limits of the town, a stout but fatal resistance was attempted. Here Capt. Morton showed the skill as an artillerist which won him much praise in the war. The occupants of this fort had an exag gerated idea of its strengths Gen Wheeler had before this tried to take it and failed, and the inspector of the department Jial pronounced it impregnable. Positive orders against surrender had been posted on the outside and on the inside. "JNo surrender under any circum stances. An afficer who shall sur render a blockhouse will be guilty of gross cowardice and dismissed from the service in disgrace." Capt. Morton had informed him self somewhat, and remarked to Gen. Forrest that, notwithstanding the thickness of the walls of hewn oak timber, by firing at the joints he might penetrate within ""and make it so warm for the occupants that they would be glad to come out. He placed Mayson's battery in position on Coleman Hill, some 200 or 300 yards southwest of the blockhouse, and Walton's section about GOO'yards northward? When Maj. Strange went to ask the sur render of the fort- the officer in charge hooted at him. The Major assured him cf the surrender of the fort, and presented the folly of a refusal in the presence of such numbers. "I care nothing for the fort. I owe hut one debt to G oil I can pay this in my blockhouse. f r ii fe?'- '..illiariis 3 Cor. Home & College - ' " Phone 96 You would best leave or I will order my men to fire on vou n Thereupon Maj. Strange galloped up - to Morton, and exclaimed: "Giveit to them, Captain." Mor ton, turning in his saddle, ordered May son to fire. The first shot struck the top of the house, mak ing the dirt and plank fly, and the next penetrated the house, killing four negroes. A shot from Wak ton's gun quickly-followed, killing two and wounding threo. At this moment the gallant Federal Cap tain, who had apparently changed his mind suddenly as to when he would choose to die came rushing out and waved his hat frantically in lieu of a flag, and yelled lustily: "I surrender, I surrender." Gen. Forrest rode forward in person to meet him. The Captain, in great excitement, exclaimed: "You have killed or wounded nearly all ray men. Your shells bore through my blockhouse like an augur, sir!" The garrison of the blockhouse numbered thirty five. Forrest's prisoners that day amounted to about 1,900. , , A few years ago Capt. John W. Morton visited Athens, and walk ing down to the site of the burned" blockhouse, observed a small cedar tree growing in the center of the embankment about the old walls. He transplanted this evergreen into his own yard in Nashville, where it is hoped it has grown to be a reminder of his prowess on the 24th of September, 18W, when, on the famous raid, the first fruits of which were the capture of the fort at Athens. - The colored youth . acquiring knowledge under tbe shadow of the historic fort should recognize the humane spirit which caused Gen. Forrest to tax his ingenuity to avoid bloodshed there, for hi good will towards the colored peo ple was shown more? than once to be no Jess than that of tbe Cau casian philanthropist who desires. to put within their reach the means of expanding the mind and heart of earning self-sunnort. and im- proving the morals of tbe indi vidual. Good Business Opening For an energetic man who can furnish good reference. Expe rience not necessary. - Address ' E. E. Forjif.9 Puxo Co., 162 N. Main Street, , ' Memphis', Tenn. CAPfJOHNW. MORION Will be a candidate for ' re-election to the office of Seretary of State.