Today in History:

375 Series I Volume XX-II Serial 30 - Murfreesborough Part II


26, 1862, they refused to obey orders and march with the army to the front, except some 200 or 300. December 27, 1862, General Mitchell advised them to reconsider and go to the assistance of their comrades in conflict with the enemy. They refused to go. He telegraphed General Rosecrans they refused to go until officered and organized. December 28, 1862, General Rosecrans telegraphed, appointing three acting majors to complete organization required, until others were regularly appointed. December 29, 1862, General Rosecrans ordered General Mitchell to send the Anderson Cavalry to the front; said he would not submit to their whims. Same day General Mitchell ordered them to move the front. Next morning about 90 obeyed; the balance refused, but finally obeyed the order, but conditionally. Enemy's cavalry forced this party to retreat the same day. Again ordered to move to the front early December 31, 1862, with a large force, to escort supplies, and they positively refused to go, except the 90. This and following day 315 were arrested and confined in the city work-house. Subsequently those in front were ordered back to Nashville. January 4, 1863, some 95, who had positively refused to obey their superior officers and do duty, many of their number having been in the battle of Murfreesborough, were confined in the yard of the county jail; 5 others confined in penitentiary, preferring confinement to duty. January 19, 1863, General Rosecrans, by letter to General Mitchell, authorized their release, officers of their own selection, re-equipment, and offered to take them on duty at his headquarters if they would go to duty. January 20, 1863, General Mitchell ordered all released who accepted the terms. All were released same day, except 200 in the work house, who positively refused to do any duty. Yesterday 4 at camp refused to do picket duty, and were confined in jail. During their confinement more liberties and greater privileges have been allowed those men than is usual in the military service for less offenses, and the usual supplies furnished troops at this post they received, except those in jail-yard were without tents a few days. Proper treatment [sic] police would keep the place of confinement in order. The work-house is smoky. No other available place for safe confinement in a military sense. All reasonable means to induce these men to do their duty have been exhausted. The regiment, or a portion, is demoralized and disorganized. Leading spirits in this mutinous course are, I think, among the members, but are unknown to me. It is reported that one or more of a committee recently here from Philadelphia have induced the last act of a mutiny and disobedience; I think with truth. I do not think the contingency exists for telegraphing. General Rosecrans preferred these men being tried for mutiny and disobedience of orders. The discipline, efficiency, and well-being of this army depends much upon Government action relative to these men. From sources reliable, it is reported that hundreds of the troops are closely watching this matter, and their future action will be shaped by the result in the case. The men of the Anderson Cavalry claim they have been deceived by their recruiting officers, and they are not organized and officered as promised; that they enlisted as body guard to General Buell, and not to do picket and guard duty. No doubt they were deceived; they are generally very intelligent men. Names of those confined who were in the battle of Murfreesborough will be forwarded by main, or in person, as directed. The papers I have (with a fuller report) will explain more satisfactorily the state of the case-a very important one to the service.


Assistant Inspector-General, U. S. Army.