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TitleA Year in the South: Four Lives in 1865
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.9 MB
Total Pages304
Table of Contents
                            Contents
Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations
Preface
Prologue: Four Southerners
PART ONE: WINTER
	Louis Hughes
	Cornelia McDonald
	John Robertson
	Samuel Agnew
PART TWO: SPRING
	Samuel Agnew
	John Robertson
	Cornelia McDonald
	Louis Hughes
PART THREE: SUMMER
	Louis Hughes
	Samuel Agnew
	Cornelia McDonald
	John Robertson
PART FOUR: FALL AND ANOTHER WINTER
	John Robertson
	Cornelia McDonald
	Louis Hughes
	Samuel Agnew
Epilogue: 1866 and Beyond
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index
	A
	B
	C
	D
	E
	F
	G
	H
	J
	K
	L
	M
	N
	O
	P
	R
	S
	T
	U
	V
	W
	Y
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

A YEAR IN THE SOUTH
FOUR LIVES IN 1865

Stephen V. Ash

Page 2

A YEAR IN THE SOUTH

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Page 152

14. Memphis river front at the time of the Civil War

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138 � SUMMER �

In the days that followed, as he carried passengers here and there, Lou
had a chance to visit every part of the city and talk to people and get a sense
of what was going on. It was an exciting place to be, there was no doubt of
that. He surely spent much of his time going up and down the busy street
that led to the wharf. It was graded but still steep, a challenge to even the best
driver. The scene down along the river was what really captivated visitors to
Memphis. The city was the chief port between St. Louis and New Orleans,
and rare was the steamboat that did not pay a visit on its way up or down. On
any given day that summer one could see boats of all shapes and sizes moored
along the wharf, rocking gently in the muddy water. Overshadowing the oth-
ers were the great “floating palaces,” multitiered and gaily painted, with
enormous paddle wheels and towering smokestacks. One could also see along
the wharf dozens or even hundreds of cotton bales, stacked and awaiting
shipment—last year’s crop, only now able to be shipped to market.47

Something was doing at the wharf all the time, but the arrival of a boat
triggered a particularly colorful flurry of activity. As the vessel put in, huck-
sters and hackmen would crowd around to proposition the debarking passen-
gers, their voices competing with the calls of the deck hands and the shouted
orders of the captain. Newsboys would jump aboard even before the gang-
planks descended, then scurry among the passengers hawking the latest issue
of the Memphis Bulletin or the Argus. Once the boat was secured, stevedores
would lug 400-pound bales to the dockside and push them up one plank
while passengers and luggage and freight descended on another. Sunset
brought no cessation of activity: illumination was provided by lanterns hung
on poles all along the wharf, and the bells and whistles of arriving and depart-
ing boats could be heard through the night.48

When his work took him into the southern section of the city, Lou had a
chance to size up the situation of his fellow freedmen. Here was concentrated
the bulk of Memphis’s black population. Seven hundred or so, mostly women
and children, resided in a camp on President’s Island that had been estab-
lished by the army. It was the last one remaining of several “contraband
camps” set up around Memphis during the war to care for fugitive slaves. But
the majority of the city’s freedmen lived in rented rooms or abandoned build-
ings or shanties in what was now being called South Memphis. Here a true
black urban community was in the making, something that did not exist—
could not exist—in Memphis in the days of slavery. There were newly
founded black churches, led by black ministers. There were black businesses,

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288 � A YEAR IN THE SOUTH �

McGehee, Edmund (Boss): buys Louis
Hughes, 1; cruelty of, 3, 119–20;
mansion of, 3, 114, 118, 131;
paternalism of, 3, 25, 27, 114, 119, 243;
death of, 4, 20, 112, 118; mentioned, 19,
26, 27, 114, 117, 122, 217

McGehee, John (Master Jack): plantation of,
110–18 passim, 122, 123, 124, 128; and
Louis Hughes, 111, 114; character and
habits of, 112–14, 116–17; resists
emancipation, 124, 127–28, 131–32,
135; mentioned, 4, 120, 121, 134

McGehee, Sarah (Madam): cruelty of, 3, 27,
118–19; in 1865, 110–11, 116, 118;
mentioned, 1, 20, 25, 109, 120, 121

McGehee, William, 122, 124, 128, 134–35
Madam. See McGehee, Sarah
Master Jack. See McGehee, John
Memphis, Tennessee: Louis Hughes in, 3,

130–33, 136–41; conditions in, 130–31,
132, 136–41, 210, 211, 212, 213; Enoch
Agnew in, 149, 229; mentioned, 4, 112,
118, 119, 121, 124, 129, 144, 209, 217,
222

Middle Tennessee, 173, 188–90
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 242, 243, 244
Missionaries, Northern, 140, 140–41, 207
Mississippi: postwar military occupation of,

82, 84, 124, 127, 144; political
reconstruction of, 144–45, 148–49, 220,
221–22, 227, 230–31; black uprising
scare in, 225–27, 231; Black Code of,
227, 228, 231. See also Panola County,
Mississippi; Tippah County, Mississippi

Mullens, Newton, 185, 186, 193

Nashville, Tennessee, 52, 93, 189–90
Northern army. See Union army
Northerners: Cornelia McDonald’s opinion

of, 42–43, 105, 159, 198; John
Robertson’s opinion of, 53, 184, 191,
194–96; as missionaries, 140, 140–41,
207; in Lexington, 159, 200, 207. See also
Cincinnati, Ohio; Freedmen’s Bureau;
Hamilton, Ohio; Reconstruction,
political: federal policy on; Union army

Opium, 69–70, 78, 85, 143

Panola County, Mississippi: slavery in, 4,
115–16, 117, 121–22, 123–24, 127, 134;

description of, 110; conditions in, 111,
112, 117–18, 127

Paxton, Madge, 167, 168
Payne, Reverend, 59, 87, 88, 95
Pendleton, Alexander (Sandie), 35, 161, 204,

205
Pendleton, Ann, 34, 35, 44, 99, 167, 204–205,

206, 240
Pendleton, William: during war, 35, 44, 99;

after war, 106, 159, 160–63, 200, 201,
202, 206, 240–41

Powell, Mrs. John, 36, 38, 44, 98, 167

Race relations. See Blacks; Slavery
Reconstruction, political: in Tennessee, 55,

93–94, 173, 238; federal policy on, 84,
107, 139, 144–46, 173, 215, 221–22,
227, 230–31; in Mississippi, 84, 144–45,
148–49, 220, 221–22, 227, 230–31

Refugees, 7, 34, 54, 106, 130, 228
Roane County, Tennessee: conditions in, 59,

88–89, 93, 95, 171, 173, 176, 183;
description of, 87; Confederate river
raid in, 89–90

Robertson, Allen, 57, 58, 59, 87–95 passim,
171–80 passim, 183, 185, 186

Robertson, James, 176, 183, 184, 185, 193
Robertson, John: early life of, 8–12; goals and

character of, 8, 12, 47, 49–50, 51, 53, 59,
87–88, 91, 195–96; in Greene County,
8–11, 12, 49, 91, 172, 177, 239; wartime
religious activities of, 8, 12, 47–48,
49–51, 58–59, 87–88; Confederate
patriotism of, 10, 12, 53, 55, 90–91; as
Confederate soldier and home
guardsman, 10–12, 50, 91, 177, 179;
does farm work, 10, 95, 171, 172, 175,
193; education of, 10, 12, 193–94, 195,
238, 239; skills of, 10, 49, 57, 176;
attempted murder of, 11, 53, 177–80; in
Knoxville and Knox County, 11, 12,
47–57; and Southern unionists during
war, 11, 12, 50, 53–54, 55, 90–91, 177;
as schoolteacher, 12, 176, 178, 180, 183,
238; travels to and from Roane County,
12, 47, 48, 57, 91; religious conversion
of, 49–51, 59; comments on
Northerners, 53, 184, 191, 194–96; and
blacks, 55–56, 187–88, 190; and
Margaret Tennessee Robertson (Tennie),
91–92, 95–96, 171–76 passim, 179, 180,

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289� INDEX �

183–86 passim, 196, 238–40; postwar
religious activities of, 95, 171–78 passim,
185, 194, 238, 239; and Southern
unionists after war, 172–74, 177–80,
183, 186, 190, 238; decides to flee east
Tennessee, 180, 183; travels to Iowa,
183, 185–93; in Iowa, 193–96, 238; later
life of, 238–40. See also East Tennessee;
Roane County, Tennessee

Robertson, Margaret Tennessee (Tennie),
91–92, 95–96, 171–76 passim, 179, 180,
183–86 passim, 196, 238–39, 239–40

Rockbridge County, Virginia. See Lexington
and Rockbridge County, Virginia

Salt, 23–24, 64. See also Alabama state salt
works

Sharkey, William L., 145, 148
Sherman, William T., 41, 42, 71, 80, 90, 100,

186, 187, 193–94
Slavery: blacks’ behavior under, 3, 4, 21–22,

117, 120–21; and Confederate army, 4,
67, 121; efforts of whites to maintain, 4,
22–23, 38–39, 67, 103–104, 120,
121–22, 123–24, 127–28, 132; in Panola
County, 4, 115, 117, 121–22, 123–24,
127; at salt works, 4, 20, 21–23, 24–25,
28, 109; in east Tennessee, 8, 55, 56,
187; and Union army, 16, 39, 40, 56, 67,
78, 82, 104, 122–23, 124, 127, 131–32,
138, 158–59; in Lexington and
Rockbridge County, 38–39, 40, 102,
103–104, 158–59; on Agnew plantation,
67–69, 82–84; collapse of, 81–84, 124,
158–59. See also Blacks

Springfield, Iowa, 193–96, 238
Susan (cook), 29, 38, 40, 43, 97, 158, 168

Tennessee, political reconstruction of, 55,
93–94, 173, 238. See also Brownlow,
William G.; Chattanooga, Tennessee;
East Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee;
Memphis, Tennessee; Middle Tennessee;
Nashville, Tennessee; Roane County,
Tennessee

Tennie. See Robertson, Margaret Tennessee
Tillson, Davis, 52, 54, 140, 141
Tippah County, Mississippi: disruption and

crime in, 16, 65, 67, 76, 81, 147–48;
privation in, 16, 63, 64, 65, 78–79, 84,
144, 149–50, 150, 219, 223–24; Union

army raids in, 16, 61–63, 65, 67, 76,
77–78, 84; description of, 61, 65;
Confederate troops in, 64, 65–66, 77–78,
79–80, 81; local government in, 64, 65,
79, 84, 144, 148, 221, 226; sickness in,
154, 220; black uprising scare in, 226–27;
poor-white restlessness in, 228

Tubbs, C. Jerome, 197–200, 207

Union army: occupies west and middle
Tennessee, 4, 16, 188–90; destruction
and impressment by, 7, 39, 40, 52, 63,
65, 78, 84, 111, 123, 150, 160, 188–89,
200–201, 203; occupies Lexington, 7,
40, 104, 158–63, 200–201, 203, 206,
241; raids Shenandoah Valley, 7–8, 31,
39–40, 165–66; occupies east Tennessee,
11, 48, 52, 89, 90, 93, 186–87; raids
northern Mississippi, 16, 61–63, 65, 67,
76, 77–78, 111, 122–23; and slaves 16,
39, 40, 56, 67, 78, 82, 104, 122–23, 124,
127, 131–32, 138, 158–59; moves against
Mobile, 28, 109; hard-war policy of,
39–40, 90, 160; black soldiers of, 56,
139, 187–88, 189, 215, 225; occupies
Mississippi after war, 82, 84, 124, 127,
144, 148, 225; soldiers of, return home,
93, 212, 213; and freed blacks, 132, 138,
146, 151–52, 153, 158–59, 160, 225;
postwar Southern hostility toward,
159–63, 200, 225

Unionists, Southern: harassed by
secessionists, 10, 11, 54, 90, 177, 201;
vilify and harass secessionists during war,
10, 11, 12, 53–55, 90; in Knoxville, 53,
54–55; organize relief association, 54;
vilify and harass secessionists after war,
93–95, 172–74, 177–80, 183, 228. See
also Brownlow, William G.

United States army. See Union army

Virginia. See Lexington and Rockbridge
County, Virginia

Virginia Military Institute, 30, 40, 203

Walker, Thomas A., 131–32, 133, 140
Washington College, 30, 200–203, 206, 240
Whillock, George, 48, 49, 51
Woolsey, Benjamin, 19–28 passim, 109

Young, James L., 70, 77, 147, 219, 233, 235

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