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3 3082 00527 6901 ^. OOr^lCTV

Publication No. 22

IVIajor-General William S. Rosecrans


Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37133-0906

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation

Published by the

President Mr. W H. Westbrooks

Vice-President Mr. James Mathey

Recording Secretary Mrs. Cathy Goode

Corresponding Secretary Mrs. Susan Daniel

Publication Secretary Mr. VJalter K. Hoover

Treasurer Mrs. Kelly Ray

DIRECTORS: Mrs. William Walkup

Mrs. Lalia Lester
Mr. Jerry Gaither

Publication No. 22^ (Limited Edition-500 copies is

distributed to members of the Society. The annual member-
ship dues is $10.00. (Family $11.00) which includes the
regular publications and the monthly NEWSLETTER to all
members. Additional copies of Publication No. 22 may be
obtained at $5.00 per copy.

All correspondence concerning additional copies, contri-
butions to future issues, and membership should be addressed

Rutherford County Historical Society

Box 906

Murf reesboro , Tennessee 37133-0906

UU8reiltS»R». HXItlSEI 37iai


History of Fortress Rosecrans

by - David Russell Wright page 1

Big Springs

by - Margaret M. Powell page 28

East Main Church of Christ

by - Carol Roberts page 52

Tax Record of Districts 23 and 24
Rutherford County for 1836, 1837, & 1849

by - E. K. Johns page 69

Mathias Hoover of Hoover Gap

by - Walter K. Hoover page 99

Index page 105




The Rutherford County Historical Society

P.O. Box 906

Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130

PUBLICATIONS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are out of print.

PUBLICATION 7: Hopewell Church, Petition by Cornelius Sanders'

for Rev. War Pension - - - - $3.50 + $1.00 postage

PUBLICATION 10: 1864 Diary, Peter Jennings, Henderson Yoakum, Early
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family $3.50 + $1.00 postage

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Lorance, Country Store, and Soule College

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PUBLICATION 13: Tennessee College, Coleman Scouts, New Monument in Old
City Cemetery and James Boles' Revolutionary War
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Russell Home, John Lytle and John M. Leak's Revolution-
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PUBLICATION 15: John W. Childress' home (1847), Whigs in Rutherford

County, 1835-1845 $3.50 + $1.00 postage

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Family, Jenkins' Homes, Will Abstracts (Record Books 3 &
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John Price Buchanan, Will Abstracts, 1836 Tax Records
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Tax Record District 23 & 24, for 1836, 1837, and 1849
Mathias Hoover $5.00 + $1.00 Postage

History of Versailles (southwestern Rutherford Co.) in hard cover, (Some
families included are: Adcock, Brown, Burns, Carlton, Covington,
Crick, Dyer, Farris, Garrett, Gillespie, Hendrix, Ivey, Jackson,
Jones, Lamb, Lawrence, Leathers, Lowe, Manier, Maxwell, Mc Gee,
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Rutledge, Sharver, Smotherman, Tabor, Taylor, Whitehead, Williams,
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History of Rutherford County by C.C. Sims (pub. 1947) Reprint - -

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1840 Rutherford County Census with Index $5.00 + $1.00 postage

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GRIFFITH : Illustrated by-centinnial publication- - $2.00 + $1.00 postage


Vol. 1 Northwestern third of county and part of Wilson and Davidson
Counties, 256 cemeteries with index and maps $10.00 + $1.00 postage
Vol. 2 Eastern third of Rutherford and the western part of Cannon Co,
241 cemeteries with index maps - - - - $10.00 + $1.00 postage

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Chapter V

from a thesis for MTSU



by- David Russell Wrl^t

The roads to Tiillahonia, Tennessee, were overflowing with Con-
federate soldiers, filled with the emotions of another retreat, as
they headed south with their wagons and guns on the cold night of
January 3, 1863. Their counterparts in blue, unsure of the Confeder-
ate plans and whereabouts, proceeded with caution as they slowly
entered Murfreesboro with two advanced brigades, later, on the 5th,
followed by the amy. Rosecrans followed the retreating Southerners
with patrols and deployed pickets before placing his array at rest.

Both amies had brought on a severe battle along the banks of
Stones River, ana each needed time to lick its wounds and reorganize
before atteo^tlng another stren\xous campaign. Though placed in a
large camp surrounding Murfreesboro for the winter, Rosecrans did not
allow his amy to lose face with discipline and become exposed to the
evils of idleness, a major problem encountered when an amy retired
for a rest. He put his encamped army into motion by ordering the men
to resume drilling and to transport supplies to the front from Nash-
ville. He ordered sufficient nvunbers of hatchets, axes, and shovels

to stgjply the troops for future use.

General Order No. 3, January 9, I863, photocopy of the original
order from the National Archives, Washington, D. C. Riotocopy in
possession of Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

- 2 -

The Army of the Cumberland was 215 ndles from its main base of

STjpplies at Lovdsville, Kentucky, and over thirty miles from its main

depot at Nashville. The anny was dependent upon military rations and

supplies that trickled southward over a single railroad line which was
easily broken by the enemy raiders and by flash floods . Rosecrans saw
that the thin line of supplies could not feed and clothe his army for a
long period of time, and he remembered the e3q)ectations and failures of
the same line in an atteoftt to si?)ply Buell six months earlier. Rose-
crans was planning a forward movement toward Chattanooga which would
require large stockpiles of supplies to be distributed in secondary
depots along the railroad. Copying Buell 's idea of detached depots,
Rosecrans decided on using only one or two depots, instead of a depot
in every railroad town, and fortifying them more thoroughly.

Murfreesboro would fulfill the needs of a secondary depot. Its
proximi-tgr to Nashville added to its secTirity, and the amy was
already encamped in the vicinity of the town, which provided a ready
work force. Rosecrans had to reorganize the army after the battle, wait
for reinforcements, and construct a sufficient cavalry force to be
congjatible with that of tne enemy. In the meantime, he would occupy
the troops with building the depot to erase the idleness of the army
and also to provide the new troops with a taste of field service.
Finally, Murfreesboro, if fortified and stockpiled with supplies,
would be a good point to fall back on and regroip if the army were
forced to retreat. The town was centrally located in the state and

provided flanking capabilities with the Tennessee River on the right


and the Knoxville mountain passes on the left.

The site location and fortification design for the depot was

2 Merrill, 3:390, 392.

3 Nejf York Times, 12 Jantiary I863.

- 3 -

assipied to the Chief aigineer of Rosecrans' staff, Capt. Janes St.
Clair Morton. The criteria governing the selection of the depot site

required it to be adjacent to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad,

to be large enough to protect an army of about fifty thousand troops,

and to maintain a stockpile of supplies that would feed the army for
sixty to ninety days. The site chosen by Morton (fig. 79, appendix A)
encorqjassed a range of rolling hills and ridges that s\irrounded the
Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad bridge over Stones River and the
junction of the Wilkinson and Nashville turnpikes. The location was
chosen for its defensive qualities, as it ccxnmanded the surrounding
country and the town of Murfreesboro, one-half of a mixe away.

As time was important and the size of the depot called for a large
area to be fortified, Morton quickly got down to business and surveyed
the site that he had chosen and began desigaing the depot fortifications,
He decided upon using an enclosed work that would surround the depot
and would be capable of protecting an army during a siege. His fort
or, as it was called, fortress, measured roughly 1,2$U yards north
and south by 1,070 yards east and west, enclosing about 20u acres of
land.^ On January 23, I863, the fort, officially named Fortress Rose-
crans in honor of the commanding general, >fej. Gen. William Starke
Rosecrans, was established, and construction began immediately after-

General Rosecrans began his Tullahoma march from Fortress
Rosecrans in June I863, his army nvimbering 50, 617 and the Confederates
under Bragg U6,665j Gilbert C. Kniffin, "Maneuvering Bragg Out of
Tennessee," in Johnson and B\iel, 3:635-3G.

Rosecrans to Haileck, February 13, I863, in OR, vol. 23, pt.2,
p. 59j Tower to Thomas, April 28, 1865, in OR, vol71i9, pt. 2, p. 502.

"Militaiy Posts," Section R, p. 371.

-u -

To carry out his architectural plans of the fort, Morton relied

on his coninand, the Pioneer Bsrigade, a brigade of engineer troops

which specialized in fortification and railroad construction and
also perfonned the duties of coiranon soldiers. The role of the Pioneer
Brigade was to supervise the construction crews made up of soldiers.
Inportant features such as magazines, blockhouses, and buildings were
built \jy the Pioneers and other soldiers ^o were capable of perform-
ing the special skills needed for those assignments.

Construction of Fortress Rosecrans was given top priority from
January until raid-April when work slackened and finally became piece-
meal by Jime. During January and the early part of February, many of
the Pioneers were on detached service rebuilding railroads and construct-
ing blockhouses. Morton put his available Pioneers to work on the fort

The Pioneer Brigade was formed in December 1862 and commanded by
Capt. James St. Clair Morton, Corps of Ehgineers and Chief Engineer of
the Array of the Cumberland. The brigade was composed of three battal-
ions, whose members were specially chosen from the regiments that formed
the three corps, and one battery of artillery. The First Battalion
was formed from the Right Vftjig (McCook), the Second Battalion from the
Center (ThcmasJ, and the Third Battalion from the Left Wing (Crittenden).
The Chicago Board of Trade Illinois Battery comprised the artillery
battery until March I863, when it was transferred to the Second Brigade,
Second Division of the Army of the Cvnnberland and replaced by Bridge's
Illinois Battery, which had previously been the newly organized Ca75)any
G, 19th Illinois Infantry Regiment. Bridge's Battery remained with the
Pioneer Brigade until October I863, when it was assigned to the Third
Division of the Fourth Corps. In June I863, the Fourth Battalion was
formed from Gordon Granger's Reserve Corps. Not counting the Fourth
Battalion, the Pioneer Brigade numbered about two thousand troops, and
in the spring of I863 the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics under
Col. William P. Lines were attached to the brigade, bringing the total
of troops to about three thousand. In January I86U, General Morton
was transferred to Washington, D. C, and Col. George P. Buell, command-
er of the 58th Indiana Infantry Regiment, was named commander of the
Pioneer Brigade. In June I86U, the Pioneer Brigade was disbanded, and
its members became the 1st U. S. Veteran Volunteer Ehgineers. The
engineer regiment was mustered out of service on September 26, l86$.
Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendim of the War of tiie Rebellion , 3 vols.

(New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959), 1:U65, 2h$i OR, vol 22, pt. 2,
page 285j pt. 1, p. l82j vol. 23, pt. 2, pp. 298, 580.

- 5-

and recalled the remainder of the brigade to Murfreesboro after vork

was conq)leted at the various points. Construction began with clear-
ing pathways for the raniparts throu^ forests on the east and north-

west sides of the fort and two or three houses. The soldiers and

engineer troops weire required to work day and night in eight-hour

shifts for seven days a week until Aprils averaging four thousand

laborers each day. All work on Sundays was aboli^ed beginning on

the Uth of April, followed by the termination of labor on Saturdays

for all troops except those constructing magazines. By the 20th, the

necessity for night work had ceased, and construction of the fort was

trimmed down to include only the daylight hours. The work hours were

reduced In )^rll as the fort neared completion, and In J\me efforts

were caice again stepped up to complete the project before the can^jaign

began at the end of the month.

The type of work initiated on the fort between February and May

varied. Outside the routine ditch excavation, special squads of 100


"Morton to Davis, January 30, I863, "Records of the Office of the
Chief of Engineers," Record Groi^) 77, National Archives, Washington,
D. C, vol. 173, p. 11 (hereafter cited as "Engineer Records";; Morton .
to Huntington, Febnjary 3, I863, and Morton to Donnahugh, February 12,
1863, "Engineer Records," vol. 173, pp. l5, 16.

9^ Atlas, plate XXXII, map 1; plate CXXI, map 3.

•'■^Rosecrans to Halleck, March 20, I863, in GR, vol. 23, pt. 2,
p. l5Uj Order from Morton, April k, I863, "Engineer Records," 171*: 17;
Morton to Dodge, April 17, I863, and April 2o, I863, "Engineer Records,"
173s37, 39j Morton to Clark, June 19, 1863, "Engineer Records,"
vol. 17U, n. pag.

- 6 -

to 250 men constructed fascines for the revetments during the period
of at least three months. This shows that the parapets were prob-
ably not begun until late February and neared coTi5)letion by May or
June. Hi^ly skilled and specialized work such as the construct-
ion of magazines, blockhouses, and railroad spurs were conpleted by
the First Michigan aigineer and Mechanics Regiment and the more
skilled members of the Pioneers and other troops. Other priorities
within the scope of the fort-st^jply depot included the construction

of railroad switches and spurs, large warehouses for coiranlssary and

quartermaster goods, and a field hospital.

During the construction of Fortress Rosecrans, not all of the
men of the Pioneer Brigade were eIt^)loyed yspon the work. Platoon and
company-size sections were used in the construction of railroad block-
houses and bridges while other sections delivered pontoons, a floating
/svapport, to the front. Other Pioneers found themselves employed In

common brigade drills, skirmish drill, and sapper and miner duty,
practice of constructing earthworks under enemy fire. Morton placed

"Norton to Laniberson, March 8, I863, "Qigineer Records," 17li:8l;
Morton to Stokes, May 6, I863, "Engineer Records," vol. 17ii, n. pagj
Morton to Stokes, March 29, I863, I7li:10.

^^Morton to Dodge, April 17, 1863, "Engineer Records," 17307.

^Amandus Sllsby to father, March 23, I863, l^rpescript copy in
possession of Dr. James Huhta, Historic Preservation Program, Middle
Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, transcription by
Ms. Inez Bums, Maryville, Tennessee; Moi^ion to Laniberson, March 8,
1863, "Engineer Records," 17U:8l.

^^rton to Moore, March 1, I863, "Engineer Records," I73:l8j
Morton to Lamberson, March 8, i863, 17U:81; Morton to Jiikes, February
22, 1863, 173:17; Circular from Morton, April 7, I863, i7U:22; Morton
to Cianents, April 27, 1863, vol. 17U, n. pag.; Morton to Clements,
April 6, 1863, 17U:18; and Morton to Stewart, April 19, I863, vol.
17U, n. pag.

- 7 -

the training sessions vcpaa a revolving drill and practice 87sten for
the coiopanles and battalions of the Pioneer Brigade to attend. When
a company conpleted several days of drilling in the skirmish formation^
it was then sent to stiidy sapping and mining, pontoon bridge building,
or to resme its former occupation of earthwork or blockhouse construct-
ion. These drills and field practices helped train and maintain a hig^
level of efficiency in the various duties of the Pioneer troops. Later,
when the three battalions were divided between the three army corps,
the Pioneers, after receiving the training sessions, were able to pro-
vide their respective corps engineering services with speed and pre-
cision during the sunmer campaign of maneuvering Bragg out of southern
Tennessee .

As Fortress Rosecrans neared con5>letlon in April, the summer
campaign was in the making. Stockpiles of supplies were transported
to the Nashville warehouses from Louisville, Kentucky, and the second-
ary depots at Franklin and Murfreesboro, the latter containing enough
food substances to last aliaost six months and forage for three

months. ^^ By mid-June the fort had received its garrison, 2,391*

convalescent troops. Convalescent soldiers were used as a garrison

to free able-bodied soldiers to be sent to the front where they were

needed. Once the convalescents had reciqjerated from their woTinds or

sicknesses, they were returned to active duty at the front. However,

''Frederick D. Williams, ed.. The Wild Life of the Army ; Civil
War Letters of James A. Garfield (East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan
State Ihaiversity Press, 1961i;, Garfield to Secretary, April 12,
1863, p. 256.


Garfield to Rosecrans, June 12, I863, in OR, vol. 23, pt. 2,
p. U23.

- 8 -

the average number of convalescents for garrison duty was insuffi-
cient, at one point nvunbering only 926 men, nine-tenths of whom were

unfit for duty.

The duties of the convalescent garrison ranged from the monot-

otis functions of military life to the labors of the carpenter and

farm hand. The duties Included preparing logs and the operation of

the four saw mills, altering embrasures and building carpenter and

blacksmith shops, commissary buildings, and housing for the troops.

as late as ;^ril 3, l865, buildings were erected for the chaplain

and livestock. In the winter, the artillery pieces were winterized

by placing tarpaulins or wooden sheds over the cannons and limbers.

On the other hand, routine duties of the troops were drilling,

cleaning cait?>, and guard duty for the blockhouses and construction

crews on the railroads. Maintenance was also required for the

■"■^Houghtaling to Goddard, November 2, 1863, in "Fort Rosecrans,
Tennessee, Post Records, l863-i86$," "Records of U. S. Army Continent-
al Commands, 1821-1920," Record Groi?) 393, National Archives, Washing-
ton, D. C, p. 8 (hereafter cited as "Arrry Records";. The convales-
cent garrison was supplemented periodically with active duty troops
during the r-emaining two years of war. In January l861i, the 1st Ken-
tucky Battery helped garrison the fort, and in March i86U, one company
from the 31st Wisconsin Volunteers and the ll5th Ohio Volunteers were
sent to the fort. By March 1865, the fort contained only three
artillery coii5)anies, and the infantry force guarded the town and depot.
The sipply depot was not contained within the fort but remained near
the town. Mendenhall to Brannan, January lU, 186U, in OR, vol 32,
pt. 2, p. 93; Special Orders No. 72, March 12, lb6U, "Arny Records,"
p. 332; Tower to Thomas, April 28, i865, in OR, vol U9, pt. 2, p. 503.
For a review of the Confederate cavalry raids on the railroad defenses
around Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and how the garrison of Fortress
Rosecrans coxmtered these movements, see Edwin C. Bearss, The History
of Fortress Rosecrans (M\irfreesboro, Tenn.: Stones River National
Military Park, i960;.

- 9 -

fortress such as euttdng the grass on the parapets j dunging reftise,
storing ammunition 9 and maintenance on the cannons and linibers (for

a review of the guidelines for defense and maintenance of Fortress

RosecranSj see appendix B).

Before the war terminated, a period of less than twenlqr-foTir
months from the time the fort was conpleted. Fortress Rosecrans had
suffered severe deterioration. Di seven months' time after the main
amy advanced from Mxirfreesboro in June I863, evidence of deterior-
ation began to appear in areas that were exposed to the elements of
weather. Some of the magazines were damp after long periods of rain,
and parts of the traverses were eroding, althou^ the garrison had

already rebuilt <Mie traverse. The scarps of the redoubts had fallen,

and the galleiy, a covered passageway loopholed for defense, around

the main magazine had begun to fall in. The scarps of the redoubts

were giving way because thsy had been left in an unfinished condition

awaiting the garrison to construct galleries. However, plans for the

inclusion of the galleries had been deemed unnecessary and were phased

out. Even the blocldiouses were not immune to the destructive elements

of the weather, as they all leaked badly.

Special Orders No. U, October lU, I863, in "Army Records," p.
318; and other references in "Amy Records": Houghtaling to Russell,
August 3* 1863, p. 5; Special Orders No. kt January h, 1865, p. 206j
Special Orders No. U9, April 3, l865, p. 227 j Special Orders No. 10,
January 13, l86$, p. 209j Lawrence to Daxi^ty, September 2, l861i, p.
l83j Special Orders No. 65, August 2li, l861i, p. 179; Lawrence to
Stiles, August 17, 1861^, p. i5j Houghtaling to Jeffers, Atigust 5, I863,
p. 5} Circular, April 2, I863, p. 29U.


Mahan, pp. lOU-05; Scott, p. 320.

^endenhall to Brannan, January Iht 1861^, in OR, vol. 32, pt. 2,
pp. 93-91.

- 10 -

By the end of the war, the large fort was deteriorating at an
accelerating rate despite the efforts of the garrison. The scarps
and exterior slopes of the parapets of the redoubts had lost much of
their original slope, settling to a forty-five-degree slope. The para-
pets of the main line had begvm to fall, assisted tty the freeze-thaw

cycle of winter. Lxmette Thomas had about thirty feet of fascine

revetment lying on the ground. The fort, considered surplvis, was

finally put to rest In i^ril 1866, when it was abandoned by the United

States Army.

Fortress Rosecrans (fig. 80, appendix A), over two hundred acres

In size, was an irregular, semipermanent work composed of lunettes

connected by curtains and abatis forming a series of bastion fronts.

The outer line or body of the place contained eleven lunettes that

performed as independent forts providing both direct and flank fires.

Between the lunettes were curtains and numerous sally ports with

their fronts protected by abatis. Beyond the ditches of the fort were

three detached works, two demi-lunettes and one redan, located on

prominent hills that commanded the Interior of the fort. Within the

interior of the fort were four redoubts and one lunette which functioned

as keeps to the defense. The outer line was designed to provide cross

fires from the lunettes to the flanking Ixmettes, and the indented

lines were capable of delivering cross fires to the flanks of the

adjacent limettes and direct fires to the front. The gorges of the

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