War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0367 Chapter XLII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

men I placed under guard for stealing poultry and killing hogs, and held them in custody until we returned to Chattanooga. The officer to whom I delivered these men failed to obtain their names. I found that a large number of men, unarmed and many of them mounted, were sent out with the train to obtain supplies for officers (as they said). Some of these returned with potatoes, poultry &c., which they claimed to have bought and paid for. I incline, however, to the belief that most of these articles were stolen. It was impossible for me to determine whether they were or not with certainty.

Every forage train leaving Chattanooga takes with it a large number of wagon-masters, forage-masters, orderlies, and negroes, who, together with the teamsters, manage in some way not provided for in general orders, to supply themselves with fresh meat on the road and return to camp with a stock for future use. Many of the people in Sequatchie Valley are thoroughly loyal, and for this reason have for a long time been subject to ill treatment, and not only by rebel soldiers but by their rebel neighbors. Walden's Ridge is settled chiefly by Germans and people who removed from the State of New York. They are generally poor, and usually a garden and a few cattle, sheep, and hogs form their only means of subsistence. They are loyal, and have also suffered much for their fidelity to the Government. The thieves who accompany our forage and supply trains are, however, no respecters of persons. When they discover a henroost, sheep, or hogs, they do not stop to inquire the sentiments of the owner; neither does it concern them if they are about to take the last sheep or hog belonging to the family. They take them or it as they choose, and perhaps insult the owner if he or she urges loyalty or poverty and protests against the robbery.

On the road up the Tennessee Valley over Walden's Ridge, and near the foot of the mountain on the other side, almost every garden is found stripped and one will hardly discover a chicken or hog. Mr. Grigsby, my guide on this expedition, a thoroughly loyal and, I believe, reliable man, informed me that one woman who had five sons in the Federal army (one now dead), had been robbed of everything she possessed in the way of edibles by some of these miserable scoundrels who accompany forage trains or go into the country to plunder on their own account. On the morning of the 11th instant two wagons loaded with forage, which preceded our train some two or three hours, were halted in front of the house of a Mrs. Cunningham, on Walden's Ridge, while the drivers and guards killed and loaded on the wagons eight sheep belonging to Mrs. C. They took them without permission, and left without either paying for them or offering to do so.

At Poe's Tavern, the Ninth Indiana Volunteers, commanded by Major Carter, in charge of a supply train en route for Stevenson, began the killing of hogs in the unauthorized way referred to. I had the men engaged in it arrested, sent for the major commanding, and told him if his men wanted fresh meat to make a detail in charge of an officer to gather up the hogs, slaughter them, and direct his quartermaster to give proper vouchers. Later in the evening a supply train arrived at Poe's and halted for the night. It was guarded by a detachment of the Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant James A. Spear, of Company B, said regiment. Soon after its arrival the men killed one of the two cows owned by the woman living there. I arrested the men, but finding that the officer in command had virtually given them permission to kill the