Category Archives: Nannie Haskins Diaries

Nannie E. Haskins was born in 1846 and was the daughter of E. B. and Tennessee Stark Williamson Haskins. She was 16 and a Clarksville resident when the Civil War came to her. On October 6, 1870 she married Henry Philips Williams, and they lived at Greenleaf, Todd County, Kentucky. She had three siblings: Benjamin Arron Haskins, Robert Haskins and Tennessee Stark Haskins. Her husband had four children when she married him and together they had six children: Haskins Williams, Benjamin Philips Williams, John Frederick Williams, Teressa Stark Williams, Robert Williams, and Lucy Stark Williams.

Backup documents For Nannie E. Haskins Entries

February 19, 1862 – February 20, 1862 – Federal occupation of Clarksville by U. S. Navy
FEBRUARY 19, 1 862.-Clarksville, Tenn., occupied by United States forces.
REPORTS.
No. 1,-Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote, U. S. Navy.
No. 2.-Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
No. 1.
Report of Flag-Officer Andrews H. Foote, U. S. Navy.
U. S. FLAG-STEAMER CONESTOGA, Fort Donelson, February 20, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department that I left Cairo with the Conestoga, Lieut.-Commander Phelps, on the 18th instant, having previously
dispatched the gunboat Cairo, Lieut.-Commander Bryant, and six mortar boats,
in charge of Lieut. Bishop and Lieut. Lyford as ordnance officer, for Fort
Donelson.
Yesterday (on the 19th instant) I came up the river on an armed reconnaissance with the Conestoga and Cairo, having Col. Webster, of the Engineer Corps, and chief of Gen. Grant’s staff; on board. On nearing Fort Defiance, near Clarksville, we found a white flag displayed, and on landing found the fort deserted. Lieut.-Commander Phelps and Col. Webster took possession of the fort, the former hoisting the American flag. There were three guns mounted on this fort, three in the fort near the City, and two in a fort a short distance up the Red River.
On reaching Clarksville I sent for the authorities of the City, and soon after the Hon. Cave Johnson, the mayor, and Judge Wisdom came aboard, stating that the rebel soldiers had left the City, and with the portion of the defeated army which had escaped from Fort Donelson, had fled to Nashville, after having wantonly burned the splendid railroad bridge near the City, against the remonstrance of the citizens. I further ascertained that two-thirds of the citizens had fled from the place panic-stricken. In short, the City was in a state of the wildest commotion from the rumors that we would not respect the citizens either in their persons or their property.
1 assured those gentleman that we came not to destroy anything but tents, military stores, and many equipments. With this assurance they earnestly importuned me to issue a proclamation embodying my views and intentions to the citizens, that the confidence and quiet of the community might be restored. I was constrained, contrary to my predetermination of never writing such a document, to issue the proclamation of which the inclosed is a copy.
I leave this morning with the Conestoga to bring up one or two ironclad gunboats with the vessel and six mortar boats, and then proceed with all possible dispatch up the Cumberland River to Nashville, and, in conjunction with the army, make an attack on Nashville. The rebels have great terror of the
gunboats, as will be seen in their papers. One of them a short distance above Fort Donelson had previously fired an iron-rolling mill belonging to the Hon. John Bell.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. FOOTE, Flag-Officer, Cmdg. Naval Forces Western Waters. P S -I write in great hurry, as mail-boat is waiting
Y g
[Inclosure.J
PROCLAMATION.
To the Inhabitants of Clarksville, Tenn.:
At the suggestion of the Hon. Cave Johnson, Judge Wisdom, and the mayor of the City, who called upon me yesterday, after our hoisting the Union flag and taking possession of the forts, to ascertain my views and intentions towards the citizens and private property, I hereby announce to all peaceably-disposed persons that neither on their persons nor in their property shall they suffer molestation by me or the naval force under my command, and that they may in safety resume their business avocations with the assurance of my protection.
At the same time I require that all military stores and army equipments shall surrendered, no part being withheld or destroyed; and, further, that no secession flag or manifestation of secession feeling shall be exhibited; and for the faithful observance of these conditions I shall hold the authorities of the City responsible.
A. H. FOOTE, Flag-Officer, Cmdg. Naval Forces Western Waters. U. S. FLAG-STEAMER CONESTOGA, Ciarksville, Tenn., Febrwtry 20, 1862.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 422-423.

August 18, 1862 – Surrender of Clarksville to Confederates
Report of Col. Rodney Mason, Seventy-first Ohio Infantry, with War
Department General Orders, No. 115, of 1862
CAMP CHASE, Columbus, Ohio, August 27, 1862.
GEN.: Pursuant to your orders I reported with paroled prisoners at Benton
Barracks, and then, by order of Maj.-Gen. Halleck, proceeded with them to this camp.
Before receiving your command, through Col. Lowe, to leave Clarksville I had repeatedly asked re-enforcements from Gen. Buell, whose stores were accumulating at that point to a considerable amount. After receiving that order I went to Nashville, and explained fully to Maj. Side!!, Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, acting assistant adjutant-general to Gen. Buell, the situation of affairs. I told him that forces had been collected; that Lieut.-Col. Bristow, of the Kentucky cavalry, had sent me notice they were going to attack me; that I should be attacked in overwhelming numbers, and would not hold myself responsible for the stores, but would hold my camp against infantry. He still insisted on my remaining until you were heard from, and I consented. I received your orders to remain on the day I had fixed for departure.
On Monday, August 18, I had, according to the morning reports, for duty:
Commissioned officers, 18; enlisted men, 225; on extra duty, 36; sick, 34; in arrest, 7; total, 320. The extra-duty men were at the stables and post commissary and quartermaster’s offices in the City.
A little before 9 a. m. I was informed that the enemy were in force near town, I immediately started for camp (I was at my headquarters in the City), and arrived there just as the enemy came into the City, a party of about 150 dashing at a gallop for my headquarters, where they had hoped to capture me. The men in camp had been formed (according to instructions previously given by me) by their officers, the immediate command of the camp having been devolved upon Lieut.-Col. Andrews.
The enemy halted, deployed a considerable portion of their forces, and held the remainder in mass out of range and under cover of houses, placing a battery in position in a corn field southeast of the college, about which we were encamped. They then sent in a flag of truce, demanding a surrender. I laid the matter before the commissioned officers. While they were considering the matter I returned to the flag and asked whether I would be permitted to verify the statement of their forces. He went away and returned, saying that Col. Woodward, who commanded the force attacking us, requested a personal interview, to which I saw no objections, and we met midway. I made the same inquiry of him and he assented. I sent Lieut.-Col. Andrews to examine and count their force, which he did, and on his return stated that they were over 800 strong one company armed with volcanic rifles (16-shooters); one with Sharps carbines; the remainder of the cavalry with double-barreled shot-guns, and part of the infantry with muskets. They had a battery of three guns, with caissons, in the corn field, but he did not go to them. They were afterward found to be 6 and 12 pounder field pieces. This report was made to the officers, and their vote was reported to me as about three-fourths for surrender and the remainder against it. I told them to rejoin their companies; that notwithstanding the disparity of force I would fight them.
Before or about the time I reached the flag I was called by Lieut.-Col. Andrews, who informed me that owing to the overpowering force opposed, their display of artillery, to which we had nothing to reply, and only brick walls to oppose, the men were found, in some companies at least, to be discouraged, and that the officers unanimously recommended a surrender.
Of the 225 men reported for duty 22 were on river guard, 7 on telegraph, guard, and 6 out on telegraph line, repairing it-in all 35; leaving of those who ought to have been in camp 190; but of those only 152 were reported to me as in camp, including the camp guard of 42 men. Where the other 38 were I do not know.
I was then to determine whether I would, with this force of 152 men, or may be 175, by arming prisoners and bringing in men who might not be in line, fight over 800 men, armed as well as we were for the sort of a fight that was impending, most of their men being soldiers of the regular army, who had been sent home to recruit under Johnson, Woodward, and Garth, the 800 being increased by several hundred citizens who had appeared already in arms, and who were being constantly increased by men coming inform every direction. Had it been simply a fight of small-arms there would have been a general willingness to attempt to hold the college against any odds; but their artillery gave them complete control of this, and then we had nothing left. We had, as you are aware, no artillery. A little gun (found at the rolling-mill), that would not chamber a grape-shot, had been sent from Fort Donelson, and mounted at a gun Carriage for a 24-pounder, was of no earthly value, and if it had been we had no anrmunition for it. All the men the City, nearly one-third of my aggregate, were already in the hands of the enemy. We bad no hope of reenforcements and no possibility, with the Cumberiand and Red Rivers on three sides of us and an enemy indefinite in numbers in front, to retreat. To me then was submitted the question whether, against the judgments of all my commissioned officers, and my own most deliberately formed judgment (for I was dealing with a state of facts that for weeks I had contemplated and attempted to provide against), I should sacrifice the lives of my soldiers to the hope of retrieving a reputation for myself and survivors. However strongly personal considerations required my making a desperate resistance my conscience required me to surrender, and now, reviewing all the facts, I think I did my duty.
Anxious to save every possible chance, I stipulated that the surrender should not be made until sundown, at which time I yielded my camp, the entire mass of public property outside having been inevitably in the hands of the enemy from the beginning. I advised against giving parole, and refused to give my own, as did also Lieut.-Col. Andrews, Capt. Houck, of Company I, and Lieut. Hetzler, of Company H, acting commissary of subsistence at the post. Lieut.Col. Andrews afterward made an arrangement for a parole for thirty days, at the end of which time we agreed to report to the officer commanding the Confederate forces at Hopkinsville, Ky. The other officers and the enlisted men gave their parole not to take up arms against the Confederate States until exchanged. These paroles I suppose to be binding, as Lieut.-Col. Woodward held the commission as lieutenant-colonel of the C. S. Army, and his men were all regularly mustered into service.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant, R. MASON, Col. Seventy-first Ohio Volunteers. GENERAL ORDERS, No. 115. WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. GEN. ‘S
OFFICE, Washington, August 22, 1862.
Col. Rodney Mason, Seventy-first Regt. Ohio Volunteers, is, by order of the
President of the United States, cashiered for repeated acts of cowardice in the
face of the enemy.
By order of Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 130. WAR DEPT., ADJT. GEN. ‘S OFFICE.
Washington, March 22, 1866.
III. By direction of the President, General Orders, No. 115, August 22, 1862, from this office, relating to Col. Rodney Mason, Seventy-first Ohio Volunteers, is hereby revoked, and he is mustered out of the service of the United States to date August 22, 1862.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I. Vol. 16, pt. I, pp. 863-865.

September 5, 1862 – September 10, 1862 – Expedition from Fort Donelson to Clarksville, Tenn., and skirmishes (6th) at New Providence and (7th) at Riggin’s Hill.
Report of Col. William W. Lowe, Fifth Iowa Cavalry.
IE{DQRS., Fort Donelson, September 10, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to state that I have just returned from an expedition to Clarksville, and have to report as follows:
On the morning of the 5th instant I started from this post with parts of the Eleventh Illinois, Thirteenth Wisconsin, Seventy-first Ohio Infantry, part of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, one section of Flood’s battery, and one section of Stenbeck’s battery, numbering in all about 1,030 men. During the day and night I marched to a point called Blue Springs, about 16 miles from Clarksville. About midnight I received a dispatch from the general telling me I need not attempt to take Clarksville at present. I immediately replied that I was not already on the way, and within 16 miles of Clarksville. “Shall I return?” stating also, “Awaiting your reply, I shall menace them”.
Acting in accordance with this assertion, and because the point where I had stopped was not well supplied with water, I moved on slowly during the morning of the 6th to a good position, within 10 miles of the town, receiving from time to time during the day positive information that the enemy, about 1,100 strong, were in good position 3 miles from the town, and had determined to give us battle.
During the afternoon a small reconnoitering party, under Lieut. Moreing, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, came in sight of their pickets, and immediately gave chase, running them more than a mile, when they were fired upon by some 50 or more rebels in ambush. Though within 15 yards of the road, with their guns at a rest, not a man was injured by the volley, and but 1 horse was killed and 3 wounded. I immediately ordered Lieut.-Col. Patrick, of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, to move forward with four companies of cavalry, three companies of infantry, and one piece of artillery, with a view to driving in their pickets and creating the belief that we were advancing upon them. Early in the morning of the 7th (having received the necessary permission) I moved on in the direction of the town, driving their pickets before us for more than two hours. About 10.30 a. m. we name in view of the enemy’s position and immediately opened upon them a fire of shell and canister, and in thirty-five minutes they were completely routed, both sections of artillery being well served and doing fme execution. Finding that the enemy were rapidly retreating, I immediately formed line (the right commanded by Col. Ransom and Maj. Hart, the left by Lieut.-Col. Chapman, follow immediately by the sections of artillery and the detachment of cavalry), and pushed on rapidly in pursuit. They fled so rapidly, however, that they could not be overhauled by infantry, and I immediately pushed forward some companies, under Lieut.-Col. Patrick, to prevent them from tearing up the Red River Bridge, the only practicable approach to the town. He caught them in the very act, charged them, drove them from the bridge, and held his position until I succeeded in planting two pieces of artillery on a bluff commanding the town. The enemy fled precipitately through the place and scattered in all directions.
Their loss, according to the report of their commander, Col. Woodward, was 17 killed and from 40 to 50 wounded. Some of their dead were buried on the field and others taken to Providence and Clarksville.
We captured about 40 horses and a considerable quantity of arms and
accouterments. I occupied the town during the night and the greater part of the
next day, requiring the citizens to furnish rations for my command. While there I burned about 1,000 bales of hay, destroyed some 250 boxes of commissary stores, captured 3 Government wagons and several prisoners. By pressing teams into the service I was enabled to bring away nearly 200 boxes of commissary stores. I also brought with me several Union families, who were afraid to remain in the place.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
W. W. LOWE, Cot. Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. I, pp. 955-956.

October 17, 1862 – November 1, 1862 – Citizens of Clarksville contact Jefferson Davis seeking protection from Federal army depredations
CLARKSVILLE, TENN., October 17, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond:
DEAR SIR: Permit me to make known to you the Rev. Mr. Taylor and his young friend Mr. William Hume, both among the most respectable of our citizens. They have been commissioned to deliver you a memorial adopted at a town meeting to-day, asking the protection of the Confederate Government against marauders from the Northwest, who are daily committing the most gross outrages upon our citizens, briefly set forth in the memorial, and will be more fully explained by the Rev. Mr. Taylor, who is conversant with the facts, and who is a gentleman of undoubted integrity and possesses the entire confidence of this community and a thorough knowledge of the operations of our armies in this section, embracing the valleys of the Cumberland and Tennessee River, which can and will furnish an immense quantity of provisions for the Confederate armies if they can be made secure from the depredations of these jayhawkers from Iowa and Northern Illinois. I am confident there are not less than 50,000 or 60,000 barrels of flour in the mills in this immediate neighborhood, and inimense crops of corn ready for gathering. Two or three regiments of these thieves and robbers are stationed at Forts Henry, on the Tennessee, and Donelson, on the Cumberland, who are daily visiting and destroying everything that comes in their way and seem likely to lay waste the whole section. Our immediate neighborhood has furnished three regiments for the Confederate service-the Fourteenth, Forty-ninth, and Fiftieth-who have taken most of the arms in the country and left us entirely without the means of defense. Unless some protection can be afforded before the winter freshets in our rivers take place most of the citizens will be compelled to abandon their homes and seek protection in other sections not within the reach of their gunboats.
There is but little difference among our citizens, indeed I may say none, upon the great questions now in contest between the North and the South, and therefore the Federals more willingly harass and oppress us than in other sections less united.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your friend and servant,
C. JOHNSON.
[Inclosure.]
CLARKSVILLE, TENN., October 17, 1862.
At a meeting of some of the citizens of Clarksville, held this day for the purpose of apprising the War Department of the Confederate States of America of the manner in which the people of this portion of the country have been treated by Col. [W. W. ] Lowe, and Col. A. C. Harding, of the Eighty-third Illinois Regt., and other Federal officers commanding at Fort Donelson, on motion the Hon. Cave Johnson was called to the chair and Rev. Dr. McMullan was appointed secretary.
The following statement of facts was then made and unanimously adopted by the meeting as an expression of a part of the outrages that have been committed as above mentioned:
The commanders above named and others have been and still are engaged in arresting many of the citizens of this portion of country and placing them in a loathsome dungeon and keeping them there unless they take the oath of allegiance, these citizens being in no way connected with the Confederate Army. They have gone to the premises of many citizens, seizing them, and destroying or carrying away all their property of every description. In some cases they burn everything before them. They have taken away many hundreds of negroes. They have visited houses, insulting ladies, and threatening to shoot, stab, bayonet, or even burn them. They have robbed them of their wardrobes, not only those of men, but even those of women and children. They are in the habit of taking all the negroes whenever they go and also all the horses. They have burned the rolling-mill of Woods, Lewis & Co., destroying everything, and taking away 240 negroes. They have also broken up or destroyed the various iron mills and furnaces in this region of country, so that this interest, so’ important to the Government, is now, and until we can be protected must remain, wholly inoperative. We in this city have been visited by these men and threaded in a savage and brutal manner, and they daily threaten that they will return and utterly destroy the city and imprison all the citizens who do not take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government. The aforesaid Harding visited a church in the country and arrested two ministers of the Gospel and placed them in prison, where they still are. He also took the horses and carriages from the congregation, and required the persons present, both male and female, to take the oath or go to prison, and he proclaims that every man in the country shall be arrested and either take the oath or go to the dungeon. This is our present condition. Now, we are wholly unprepared to repel these insults and oppression. It is true there are still many men here who are willing to meet them, but we are wholly destitute of both arms and ammunition, nor is there any military force in this vicinity that is able to repel them.
We think it will appear to the Department, as it is perfectly manifest to ourselves here, that unless these marauders can be driven from this region of country this whole region will soon be devastated by them.
We earnestly call the attention of the War Department to this subject in the hope that whatever can be done for the suppression and prevention of these evils will soon be accomplished.
In order that the whole matter may certainly and speedily be laid before the Department we send this paper by Villiam Hume, as our special agent and messenger.
C. JOHNSON, Chairman.
B. B. MeMULLAN, Secretary.
[Indorsements.j
OCTOBER 25, 1862.
Respectfully submitted to the President.
This information, coming from reliable sources, seems to justify the outlawry
that has been denounced against Pope and others. The messenger returns on
Monday and wishes to carry some assurance that the Government will act in
the matter. I therefore recommend that he be authorized to say that the Government will exert itself to redress the wrongs of the people of Clarksville, and will immediately declare Col.’s Harding and Lowe not to be entitled to the treatment of prisoners of war, and that if captured they will be treated as felons.
G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War. To the SECRETARY OF WAR:
The outrages set forth in this paper and the inclosed letter of the Hon. C. Johnson call for the most strenuous efforts to redress the wrongs suffered. It would be well to bring the matter to the special notice of Gen. Bragg and to give him a copy of these communications; also to declare, for the reasons set forth, that the officers named would not be (unless exculpated by evidence) regarded as entitled to the consideration accorded to soldiers and treatment of prisoners of war, who are by stipulation of cartel to be released if captured, upon parole.
JEFFERSON DAVIS.
NOVEMBER 1, 1862.
ADJUTANT-GEN.:
Furnish copies to Gen. Bragg, and prepare and submit for consideration a general order carrying out the President’s instructions also a general order rescinding the order against Pope in consideration of his having left the army operating in Virginia and of an assurance from the Adjutant-Gen. of the United States Army that his obnoxious orders were not considered to be in force.
G. W, RANDOLPH.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, Pt. II, PP. 730-732.

Nannie E. Haskins Diary ~ February 16, 1863

Entry #1 in her diary follows.

Monday Morning February 16th ’63

Again I have commenced a journal. I used to keep one but two years ago when the war broke out, I ceased to write in it just when I ought to have continued. Yes! Our country was then perfectly distracted; To arms! To arms! was echoed from every side; volunteer companies were being gotten up all over the country to fly to her rescue; and of course Clarksville did her part, one regiment was immediately enlisted and sent forth. The 14th Ten. regiment. Oh! What a glorious name it has made upon the 10th of July – I think it was they left – dear old Ten. and went to Virginia to protect her soil. The war cry was still heard and in the autumn of the same year (’61) another regiment was sent from this place-the 49th Ten. My oldest brother enlisted in the former one and anon my youngest and last went to share his fate with the 49th. They were immediately ordered to Fort Donelson, Ah! There they went and there they stayed for sometime. Upon the 5th of the following Feb. Fort Henry fell into the hands of the Federals. F. H. was only a few miles from F. D. consequently a fight there was inevitable. On the following Sunday the 9th a volunteer company went out under command of Maj. Brandon Jonnerly a Maj. In the 14th Regt. but being in bad health came home to recruit. Scouting our boys were met-and overpowered, some made their escape and a few were taken prisoners. Pillar (probably Gen Pillow) and staff passed through here to take command of the two regiments at F. D. and the command from Hopkinsville which afterwards went down with Colonel Quarles regiment. Gen. Floyd went down with some of his men. I saw old Gen. Floyd. He looked like an old war horse. Gen Buckner with part of his command went down from Bowling Green, while all this was going on, Gen A. S. Johnson was moving back from Bowling Green. Skirmishing was going on all Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday the fight began. Thursday it raged. Friday was still more furious and Saturday evening was the worst of the battle up to that time, we had whipped them, driven them back, killed, slaughtered, whipped them as dogs were never beaten before. There was from 10,000 to 12,000 of our men, fighting against from 25,000 to 30,000 of their land forces, besides their innumerable gun boats which were contending with us Sunday morning. Ah what terrible news did we hear! That Fort Donelson had surrendered. Would to God that such a great misfortune had not befallen our young republic but I write as if I was complaining against heaven; As after all it may have been for our good, we had been victorious so far and were becoming too sanguine, now we were awakened from lethargy, but it was an awful stroke, our soldiers were worn out fighting and fasting and freezing and after whipping the Yankee devils they were surrendered prisoners of war; today just one year ago this horrible disaster took place; and my dear brother was among the number who was to be sent and incarcerated in a northern bastille where he languished and died.

The sixteenth of February; this is a very pleasant day, it is more like spring than winter, it is so different from this time last year. It snowed nearly every day during the fight at F. D. It came like a winding sheet for the dead. The fallen brave. I have said it was Sunday the news came, such panic stricken people were never before seen. The wounded were being brought up, they were to be attended to. A great many died on their way up here, who were to be buried. The citizens were running. There was already two hospitals here which were filled with the sick and they poor fellows were crawling out from every place walking, going on horse back, in wagons, indeed they went any way to get out of reach of the Yankees for it was not known at what moment that the vandals would be here, but fortunately they did not come until all the soldiers had left.

One of their gun boats came up with a flag of truce on Tuesday. Of course a white flag was raised over the town for we had no one to try to hold the place. On Wednesday they came Gen. Smith, Colonels Cook and McArther, they behaved very well. Afterwards Colonels Banne and Wright the latter was a black hearted abolitionist then Colonel James who was a perfect gentleman and after him we had a Colonel Mason. The citizens thought as much of him as could of an enemy. Then one day in August I have forgotten the date but I think it was either the 14th or 16th, our men under Woodward and Johnson came dashing into Clarksville. The Yanks surrendered without any hesitation. We took some three or four hundred prisoners, one or two cannon, a great deal of ammunition, many guns, horses, about one hundred and fifty wagons and one ambulance. I was as wild that day with delight as I was with grief on the day of the fall of Fort Donelson. Six months since I had seen a confederate. They came dashing in on their old poor horses, dirty clothes and all sorts of arms, they had no band at all not even a bugle or a flag to show to whom they belonged but their old dirty “grey” but “fight was in um”, and they “tuck” the place and the “Feds” with all their blue broad cloth and brass buttons. They stayed with us until the 7th of September. They left and the Jay Hawkers came from Fort Donelson on a thieving expedition, they took off a great many negroes and horses, and among the latter was my beautiful “gallant grey” “Stonewall Jackson,” he was a present to me from Pa. I thought a great deal of him because he was all my own. I do wish I had made Woodward a present of him. Just to think that my beautiful horse should fall into the hands of those —–, I don’t know what to call them. I neglected to say that our men heard that these yanks were coming and went to meet them, but as they were in a large force with infantry, artillery, and cavalry. Our men did not attack them but after the Yankees shelled the woods awhile our men retired. A certain Colonel Lowe was in command of these hungry wolves. His report of their visit up here, which was made after they went back was a base lie from beginning to end. They reported seventeen killed which was a story for there was only one little boy who was killed by the bursting of a bomb-shell, a great many prisoners, which was not so for they only arrested two of the citizens and took them off to that loathsome place, and the capture of several hundred horses, which was the biggest ____ of all for I know they stole nearly all they took away with them for mine like the rest was taken at the expense of a broken lock. I have since heard that he was sent to Mrs. Colonel Lowe as a present from the soldiers. Soldiers? On that is not the right title, unless they were soldiers of the d__l certainly not of their country for, if it had been patriotism that caused them to join the army, they would not have acted so much like demons. However, a description of their stay here was written and sent to Jeff Davis upon the effect of which he issued a proclamation declaring that if the said Lowe or any of his men were taken they should be treated as “felons”. After they left, our men came back, then the Yankees, and so on until Christmas day. Sometimes the two parties would meet near here and have little skirmishes; sometimes they would catch one or two of our men here. They (the Yanks) came in once and sent one of their men on ahead dressed as a butter-nut of course he was thought to be one of our men, he came in and found out where several of our men were, and of course caused them to be taken prisoners. This was done several times until the rascal began to be known so one day in came the “butternut”, up rode one of our men and ordered him to “halt”. He obeyed orders and the rebel crossed him over the river, but he not having a horse (I made a mistake the seecsh walked up to him) and being so closely pursued, he made the scamp take the southern oath, alighted him off of his horse, mounted him (the horse) himself and rode off. After he came back they burnt the ferry boat and made the young man’s father take the oath of allegiance to the U. S. which was not very palatable I don’t suppose. That is the last we heard of the butter-nut except that he proved to be a deserter from the Southern Army and a Yankee spy.

Well upon Christmas day Colonel Bruce with his “whiskey jug” and several regiments took possession of this place and here they have been ever since. And here I am too still writing in my journal and about those detestable blue coats for whom I have such a disgust. Well I am glad I have at last commenced my diary for I have been wishing too for so long, but have not been able to get a book, now have got one, I feel like I can come here, as to an old friend, and lay my heart open. Sometimes I feel like writing when I can not talk for, unfortunately, I have but one intimate friend and she is far from me. How I long to see her. My darling Jessie.

I said I had but one intimate friend, yes I have several such friends as come to see me and tell me their secrets. In short, make one their confident but I have but one bosom friend my own dear friend who I hope loves me like I love her!

“Procrastination is the thief of time”.

Phyllis Smith is the board president of Fort Defiance. Her work on transcribing the Nannie Haskins Diary will be presented here on the Fort Defiance web site. If you have any comments or questions regarding the diary, please email Ms. Smith at phyllis@ftdefianceclarksville.com

February 22, 1863

Sunday evening, 22 February, 1863

This morning we were all awakened by the ringing of the church bells and the firing of the canon. At first we could not conjecture what it was. Pa thought it was a fire. I was sure Morgan had come, but Ma suggested that it was Washington’s birthday, and she was right. It is the twenty-second of February. This day one hundred and thirty-one years ago George Washington was born the Father of this country and the Prince of rebels. He was the great leader of our forefathers who were his followers when they rebelled against the tyrannical government of our mother country.

Ah! With what a thrill of joy did we used to celebrate this day, but alas, the Yankees try to usurp this as well as the rest of our rights. No! The right as well as the pleasant duty of doing it still remains to us. Although they (the Yanks) say that we have not. Oh it does make my heart ache to see these villains celebrate the nativity of that great man. I know that rather than have them make such a fuss over him, if his ghost could rise up it would say “let me be forgotten.” “I fought not for tyrants. My heart is with the South,” but we have another Washington in our noble Davis. He will ever live in the heart of the southerner. God bless him!!!

I’ll declare I’m so sleepy I must go to bed.

Why is the president of the United States like screech-owl? Because he is always A-blinkin-Abe-linkin-A-b