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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

Memphis in the Eyes of a Northern Newspaper

We take a break from "Scooping" today to bring you another glimpse of life in Memphis during the Civil War. With the city firmly in Yankee control, the local paper, now published by the occupiers, gave a much different view of Memphis's military and social affairs.


(Fleeing from Jackson, Miss., the staff and presses of the Memphis Daily Appeal are on the road to Atlanta. This week’s excerpts come from the Federal newspaper in Memphis, The Daily Bulletin.)

May 20, 1863
Our streets are almost unendurable. The dust is suffocating. Everybody is inquiring, “When will the streets be sprinkled?” We are informed by the gentleman who is fixing the water tank on the bluff that he will be prepared to water the streets either this afternoon or early tomorrow morning.

May 21, 1863
Jackson, reported occupied by Grant’s troops, is the seat of government of the State of Mississippi — the third State Capital of the seceded States which has been “held, occupied and possessed” by our troops in the progress of the war, Nashville being first and Baton Rouge next.

May 23, 1863
That Vicksburg has been evacuated is confidently stated in New York dispatches, and the statement is said to be received with confidence in Washington. Persons arriving from below express the same opinion. Observations with telescopes have undoubtedly revealed a state of desertion and quietude.

May 24, 1863
The guerrillas under Ferguson or Mitchell made a dash on the Federal pickets about dark on Wednesday evening, eight miles east of Germantown, capturing 10 and killing two. Colonel Loomis went in pursuit but was unable to find them. The guerrillas are estimated at 200 well-armed men.

May 26, 1863
General Order No. 65, Memphis Tenn. — An entire year of occupation of this City by the United States has given abundant opportunity for all persons to make their deliberate election of the sovereignty to which they owe their allegiance ... Giving aid and comfort to the enemy is punishable with death and the leniency with which such persons have been treated must cease. Any person who shall hereafter offer insult by word or act to the United States or who shall express sympathy with the enemy or satisfaction at any imagined or real success of the Confederate arms will be arrested at once and severely punished. By order of Maj. Gen. S.A. Hurlbut



(After fleeing Jackson, Miss. on May 14, 1863, The Memphis Daily Appeal set up its presses in Atlanta. The first issue from that city was published on June 6. Unless otherwise noted, excerpts below are from the Federal newspaper in Memphis, The Daily Bulletin.)

May 28, 1863
Cotton — A few bales are arriving in wagons, but they are not enough in number to make a market. Most of the article in the city is held by the government. We have not seen a bale put on a steamer for some days.

May 29, 1863
Gen. Forrest has been made a Major General, and has gone with his cavalry to Mississippi. Gen. Wheeler takes his place at Columbia, and Gen. Morgan has charge of the line of Cooley Fork and Cumberland River. (Nashville Dispatch)

A young and very interesting girl, to all appearance not more than 17 years of age, was captured a few days since for attempting to get through the Federal lines under the disguise of boys’ clothing.

May 30, 1863
The steamer Shingles arrived at this port last evening with another barge loaded with ice, over 400 tons from the Government contractors, Messrs. J.W. Parrish and Co., for the Medical Department of the Army. The ice is of excellent quality and from the St. Lawrence River. Captain Lyman immediately ordered transportation for this barge to Vicksburg for the wounded and sick of General Grant’s army.

In our advertising columns will be found a call for a meeting of the committee of arrangement for the celebration of the sixth of June, the day of deliverance of Memphis from Pillow, Polk, safety committees, Jeff. Davis ravings and the secession flag.
May 31, 1863
A giant picnic party will be given today in the grove attached to the Leath Asylum, for the benefit of that excellent institution.