previous next


The generous foe we fight — Yankee Estimate of Southern ladies.

The Yankee victors seem to have enjoyed the plunder of Fort Henry with amazing zest. A correspondent of the New York Times gives the following account of their investigations among the baggage and letters of our unfortunate troops:

‘ The rebels seemed to have evacuated in great haste, so much so that they forgot or had not time to take away many of their personal effects. The quantity of daguerreotypes and love epistles that were captured, exceeds in quantity all belief. Could some of the haughty ‘"chivalry"’ see a lot of Yankee privates gathered around some individual who had made a capture of some amiable Southern dulcinea, encased in papier mache, and hear the remarks passed — generally not as elegant as expressive — their aristocratic noses would curl to the very roots of the eyebrows in utter scorn — nor would they be less powerfully affected could they see some Yankee pull a billet-doux from his greasy pocket, and proceed to read it aloud to a crowd of jeering comrades. Every Southern soldier seems to have fanned into a flame the affections of some Patsy or Lemima at home. Southern skies must to a flourishing growth of love. Judging by their letters, the power of an 80-horse power steam engine, or that of a comet off at a tangent, drunk with nectar, is the very essence of weakness when compared to the strength of their love for some young brave, who clad in butternut homespun, and armed with a flint-lock rifle, is away fighting for Jeff. Davis and Freedom. In fact, the magnitude or their love is only equalled by one single thing, and that is their contempt — yea, their utter loathing — for the Yankees. In these letters the Northerners are all Yankees; they are nasty Yankees; they are dirty Yankees; cowardly Yankees; infernal Yankees; d — d Yankees — in short, every kind of Yankees that the dictionary of abuse, and Billingsgate affords a cognomen for. How many of these letters chuckle over the approach of these hated Yankees to Fort Henry, and how confidently do they anticipate their speedy and utter annihilation when they come, unless it be that in their own cowardice they run away before Southern valor consummates the desirable, and to the Yankees, deserved result.

Alas! for the hopes and anticipations of the letter-writers at home. Yesterday, amid the thunders and smoke of Yankee cannon, and the tremendous storm of Yankee grape, shell and cannister, their star went down, never more to rise over the (to them) distant horizon of Fort Henry. Their butternut hero is on his way to Cairo, escorted by Yankees; his shot-gun is the prize of a Yankee sportsman; his uncouth home-made bowie-knife, of fearful size, is strapped to a Yankee side as a trophy, or jeeringly handed about from one to another as a specimen of Southern skill.

Even your pacific correspondent has girded on a machine nameless in the nomenclature of things offensive and defensive. It is heavy and broad enough for a butcher's cleaver, long enough for a broad-sword, jagged enough for a handsaw, with a handle like a clay more; but whether it is intended for shooting, stabbing, chopping sausage-meat, digging ditches, or scalping Yankees, I cannot tell. There are hundreds of such institutions here, all evidently modeled as the genius, fancy and ferocity of the maker might suggest.

It is with such weapons, backed only by Southern valor, that Southern soldiers and Southern letter-writers expect to defeat the cowardly ‘"Lincolnites,"’ and achieve their so-called freedom.

’ A large number of the letters found were written from various portions of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, from which States the force at Fort Henry seems to have been made up. The number which made their escape was not less than from three to five thousand. Had they been less cowardly, the attack of the gunboats less terrible, or the roads less muddy, so that our forces could have come up in time, the entire force could have been secured. The troops might have been started earlier, but no one supposed the valorous Southerners would run within an hour, and consequently the land forces were a little too late. However, as it is, scores of the fugitives are being brought in hourly, and to-day a battery of field artillery, consisting of eight pieces, was also overhauled and brought into the fort. The country is being thoroughly examined in every direction, and probably many yet will be caught before they secure a place of safety.

The Confederates had arranged everything with a view to comfort. Besides the large number of tents in their possession, they had built warm log-houses, sufficient in number to accommodate 5,000 troops. Of course our men are making themselves as comfortable as circumstances will permit in the wigwams of the fugitive braves from Dixie. There are several comfortable log and temporary board houses in the fort, and these are now occupied by Gen. Grant, his staff, and body guard.

Private correspondence found here, from Georgia and others of the extreme Southern States, indicate that the greatest consternation exists there in consequence of the defeat and death of Zollicoffer. Writers from several points state, to their friends at the fort, that companies, and, in one or two cases, regiments, were cut completely to pieces; but in almost every instance they lay the blame on Gen. Crittenden, who, they say, was drunk, and led the army on purpose to betray it to the Nationals. A very desponding tone prevails in regard to the future, while business in every place is completely prostrated.--Dixie, in some quarters, is evidently getting somewhat tired of the job of whipping the Yankees.

A letter dated Pittsboro', Miss., Jan. 30, and addressed to ‘"Dr. Darrah, Fort Henry, Col. Drake's regiment,"’ has the following important items of information:


F. G. Enochs got home from Jackson, and brings very bad news concerning the condition of our Southern Confederacy. He says Col. Blithe was sent down to Jackson by Gen. Polk to inform the Legislature of the condition they were in, and their danger at Columbus, in order that the Legislature might inform the people of Mississippi. Generally they (rebels at Columbus) could not give the people information of their condition through the papers, because they would give it to the North. They have only 12,000 men at Columbus, and they have a force of about 110,000 to contend against. In a few days there will be a call for 20,000 troops in this State, the time of 60-day troops having nearly expired. J. M. Steele was at Jackson, Tenn., the other day, and was ordered to Columbus — he had but eight men, the balance all being sick. He sent the eight men and staid home with the sick.


Another letter, dated at Lauderdale, Ala., Jan. 31, pathetically describes the ill-luck of Uncle Jack:

‘ "Uncle Jack was drafted and he hired a man bi the name of jones to go in his place he give him a $100 and the man tuck the money and went and joined another Company and last Saturday while he was gone to hunt the man they come and got long jim and tuck him to wait on them I don't know whether uncle jack will have to go or not, the company is done gone but uncle jack has got a furl he does want to hire a substitute, but they don't want to reserve one so I don't no whether he will go or not take good care of yourself and don't let the yankees get you," &c.

Several other letters from Alabama speak of drafting, and complain in no measured terms of such an operation.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Jackson (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Alabama (Alabama, United States) (2)
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Pittsboro (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Lauderdale (Alabama, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Zollicoffer (1)
J. M. Steele (1)
J. C. Steele (1)
Polk (1)
Grant (1)
F. G. Enochs (1)
Drake (1)
Jefferson Davis (1)
Darrah (1)
Crittenden (1)
Blithe (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 31st (1)
January 30th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: