Friday, July 22, 2011

The Kentuckians in Tennessee

Here is another article from the Covington Journal of July 20, 1861, discussing Kentucky troops at Camp Boone, Tennessee, as discussed in a previous post. I will separate this into smaller paragraphs than the original, to make it easier to read.

Here is a brief article with a bit more information about this camp. 

The Kentuckians in Tennessee
Accounts from "Camp Boone" (the rendezvous of Kentuckians in Tennessee) are as discrepant as anything furnished by the Northern telegraph.

The Frankfort Commonwealth had conversed with two young men direct from Camp Boone. - "They give a deplorable account of the hardships and suffering at Camp Boone. They were induced to enlist for one year with a promise of $11, when they arrived there per month; good clothes, good rations, blankets &c. They were there fifteen days, and did not receive a cent of money, no clothes, had to sleep seven in a little tent, and did not have half enough to eat." 

On the other side, a correspondent of the Louisville Courier furnishes the following account of Camp Boone: 

"The camp is located eight or nine miles from Clarksville, a short distance from the turnpike leading from Clarksville to Russellville, and about a mile from the Memphis branch railroad. The tents are pitched in a beautiful oak woods. - The boys had some hard work to do, grubbing and cleaning up their camping spots, but by energy and persevering labor, they have a camp which would do credit to veterans. Near the camp flows a beautiful stream, affording ample bathing facilities, while beautiful springs give the very best water for drinking purposes. In regard to the eating department, I am surprised to find it so well furnished. You will be glad to know that the boys have met a cordial reception from the neighborhood, as proven not only by kind words, but by generous deeds. The camp is only a few miles from the Kentucky line.

Just beyond the line in Todd County - in which Jefferson Davis was born, by-the-by - lives a sturdy farmer of wealth named Merriweather. This morning he sent as a gift to the regiments a wagon load of provisions, among which were five barbecued mutton, any number of cooked hams, together with other substantial edibles, all of which were received with appreciative thanks by all. He also informed the General that he had a large herd of beef cattle which were not for sale but which were at his service for the use of the camp and further said that he and a neighbor had three hundred and fifty acres of very fine wheat which they designed cleaning and presenting to the regiments.

But, to show you that this spirit is not confined to one person neighborhood, I will state that on Saturday, after a short canvas by Colonel Quarles, of Tennessee, the Kentuckians near the line subscribed ten thousand bushels of wheat and guaranteed seventy thousand bushels if necessary. From what I can see there is ample here to feed fifty thousand men.

"But I have written enough and will only add a remark in reference to the return of some recruits, which seems to be misunderstood. A number came here with no definite idea of what was expected of them. Thinking they were going on a frolic, they came and found hard work before them. An enlistment for the war is the only terms offered and this, with hard drilling and camp duty, has scared off a few." 

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