Northern Reports from North Alabama. 

Correspondence Louisville Daily Journal]

                  STEVENSON, March [February] 19, 1864.

   How agreeable is it to find yourself waked up about midnight from a quiet and easy sleep on a railroad car, and snatching your carpet sack, or sometimes, in mistake, a lady's hand, jump on to the depot platform, and rove about for two or three hours in search of nothing, and when found, be in a condition unable to enjoy it. One becomes as bewildered as if in the presence of virtuous preachers, innocent maidens, and honest lawyers. He leaves the lady (suppose one in charge) standing by the corner of the door, and starts off in pursuit of a hotel. After a thirty or forty minutes' exploration he returns to find that some hackman or newspaper correspondent, or eminent divine has taken pity on the lone creature and escorted her wither her guardian knoweth not. Then comes the clenching of hands and the pressing of teeth, indications of unspoken language which avow a firm resolve that the next woman met with, and to whom protection and companionship been extended, shall not, after all the trouble and care of volunteer aid, desert him in the hour of great need. Whenever you travel on a railroad, and in custody of so delicate a charge as a frail and [illegible] woman, let her be like thine own secrets, close unto thine own heart. 


   To say that this is one of the dreariest and most desolate places I have ever seen, would, perhaps, be unjust; and to praise it for its beautiful location, splendid mansions, shady walks, and lonely groves, would be just as overdrawn the other way. It is midway between them. In former times, it was a prosperous little place, though one cannot really see the sources from whence it derived its wealth. The main arteries which gave it life were the railroads. The Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad pass through it, and it is also the terminus of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The surrounding country is very mountainous. The city itself is built upon the side of a steep and rocky hill, some two hundred feet in altitude. It never, in its best days, had a body corporate, and take away the army horses and its equipages, and it would have no body at all. Before the war it contained about six hundred inhabitants, most of whom have gone hunting their rights. At present here are about twenty of the original denizens here, the remainder being "invaders." In those days it has a couple of churches and schoolhouses, a few rampant preachers and niggers. Six months ago it had the reputation of being the most filthy and unclean spot ever visited by travelers. It is changed somewhat now. Under the active and efficient management of the present authorities, orders and cleanliness is observed, and, compared to former times, the mountain village looks quite respectable. 


   Colonel Ireland, commanding this post, has infused new life into all the departments under his control. The sanitary condition of the place is fast improving. There is not a drop of whiskey sold, and all improper and lewd women are banished from the department. Discipline among the troops is rigidly preserved, and their moral habits bespeak for them and their Colonel the highest praise. This very fine officer at present commands the 3d brigade 2d division, 12th army corps. The honors conferred upon him are justly deserved.

               THE PROVOST MARSHAL. 

   Captain Edward D. Murray, formerly Sergeant Major of the 17th Wisconsin, and now of the 149th New York, is Provost Marshal at his place. I have found him to be an accommodating and sociable gentleman,  as is also the assistant Provost Marshal, Lieut. Thos. Gaffney. 


   Captain H.C. Wilson (a genial soul), Commissary of Subsistence, informed me that, at the time of Colonel Ireland assuming command here, there were no less than 2,200 rations issued daily to destitute, or supposed destitute, citizens. Upon strict inquiry being made as to the real merit of those making charity, it was found that a large number of women were drawing not only for themselves but for their slaves, male and female, sometimes numberings as high as seven. The number of rations has been reduced to 600, and in short time not more than 200 will receive food from the Government. 

                  THE CAUSES.

   The causes of the above reduction arise in part from the sending of large numbers of the women and children to Fayetteville, there to be allotted upon the rich rebel sympathizers, who must support them. Those women and children, whose husbands and fathers are in the employ of the government remain.


   Seventy-five deserters were conveyed to the front yesterday evening. They are from almost every portion of the North, and some of them have been twenty-two months away from their command. They are a very hard looking set of men. 

                 STAMPEDE OF NEGROES .

   One hundred and fifty negroes from about Huntsville and beyond passed through here yesterday for Nashville. Large numbers pass through almost daily. The contrabands about here are also being sent to Nashville. Those remaining are employed by the government, and their families are furnished comfortable huts in a portion of the village by themselves. 

                  QUARTERMASTER WARREN.

   This gentleman has been ordered under arrest, and is supposed to be charged with some serious accusations as to his management of affairs. Capt. WARREN has been looked upon as a man of honor and integrity, and this strange and unexpected proceeding is rather unpleasant to his many friends.  


   Lieut. Turner Bryan, Co. C, 16th Alabama regiment, Lowry's brigade, and Cleburne's division, was captured on the 7th inst., near Gourd Neck, Jackson county, Ala. Lieut. Bryan is a very intelligent young gentleman, and was formerly connected with the New York Herald. At the breaking out of the rebellion he edited the Tuscumbia States Rights Democrat, and ably advocated the election of the lamented Douglas to the Presidency. Being defeated, he then preached and advocated reconstruction, but was also overpowered. Finally the flood of public opinion bro him down, as it did thousands of others, unwillingly, and rested him with arms in his hands ready for the destruction of the government of his fathers. 

                  AN OLD LADY'S STORY.

   In conversation with an old lady sixty years of age, and who has lately come inside the lines, I was informed that for three weeks she had lived upon one small handful of corn each day, and was pleased to have even so much. Great destitution prevails. It is believed that many of the people of that portion of the country between our lines and that of the rebel pickets will die of starvation. 



"Northern Reports from North Alabama - Stampede of Negroes," Memphis (TN) Daily Appeal, March 10, 1864, p. 2

Related Escape / Stampede
Location of Stampede
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Location of Coverage- City
Location of Coverage- State
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