The Occupation of Nashville.—1862
THE quietude that reigned in Kentucky was suddenly broken in the latter part of January, 1862, by the collision between General Thomas and General Zollicoffer in what is known as the “battle of Mill Springs,” though it hardly deserved the name. Zollicoffer, having established himself on the north bank of the Cumberland River, on the road from the Gap to the central part of the State, caused a good deal of annoyance and suffering by sending raiding parties in different directions, as well as by repeated advances and retreats with his main body, which were met by counter-movements by the Federal brigade of General Schoepf, charged by General Thomas to watch the enemy. To put an end to these inflictions, Buell finally authorized Thomas to advance with his division toward the Cumberland. He reached a point ten miles from the rebel encampment on January 18, with part of his forces. The enemy was apprised of his approach, and decided to attack him before all his command had come up. The encounter took place on the following day. Zollicoffer having been killed early in the fight, the rebels lost their cohesion, and were beaten back after a struggle of several hours. They retreated in disorder to their fortified camp at Mill Springs. The Unionists followed them closely and surrounded their position during the night. In the morning it was discovered that the enemy had crossed the Cumberland in the darkness, leaving behind them twelve pieces of artillery, small arms, supplies, and their wounded. It was a very creditable victory for the Union cause, as the rebel strength was one-third greater than General Thomas's; and it had a great moral effect in the loyal States. The principal part in it was borne by the Ninth Ohio Regiment, commanded by Colonel Robert L. McCook. He was a prominent lawyer and partner of John B. Stallo, the well-known German leader at Cincinnati, and was one of the famous family of which no less than ten members, comprising the father and nine sons, bore arms during the war. The regiment had been recruited from among the Germans of Ohio, and was officered in part by ex-officers of the Prussian army, who had brought it up to a high degree of drill and discipline. Colonel McCook himself was wounded. The way to Cumberland Gap and into East Tennessee was now unobstructed, and Thomas was ready to push forward, but he received no orders to that effect, and remained on the Cumberland until the important developments in western Kentucky shortly afterwards changed the entire course of events.
Before speaking of these, it will be proper to describe the composition of Buell's army, whose coming experiences I was to share. It had gradually increased through the fall and winter, by steady reinforcements, until it numbered nearly seventy-two thousand men on the rolls, of whom about three-quarters were effective. They included nearly eighty-four infantry regiments, organized in the States of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota; half a dozen regiments of cavalry from Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio; and twenty batteries of six guns each. They first were formed into brigades of four foot regiments and one battery each, numbered consecutively up to twenty-one, and subsequently into six divisions, of four and three brigades, with a cavalry regiment each. The division commanders were, in the order of the numbers of their divisions, Brigadier-Generals George H. Thomas, Alexander McDowell McCook, Ormsby M. Mitchel (a regular-army officer), William Nelson (who had been formally transferred in August from the navy to the army, with the rank of brigadier-general), Thomas L. Crittenden, and Thomas J. Wood (of the regular army). Among the brigade commanders figured a number who afterwards became well known, such as M. D. Manson, L. H. Rousseau, R. W. Johnson, J. S. Negley, J. B. Turchin, Jacob Ammen, W. B. Hazen, Charles Cruft, M. S. Hascall, and C. G. Harker. During the active operations that followed, I had the opportunity of making the acquaintance of nearly all of these commanders and entering into friendly relations with a number of them, which continued even after the close of the war.
All through November, December, and January there had been, as is shown by the printed official records, correspondence by wire and mail between the Government at Washington and Generals McClellan, Halleck (who had superseded Frémont as commander-in-chief of the military department comprising Missouri and Illinois), and Buell, regarding the future programme for combined action upon the Western theatre of war. As early as the latter half of November, Buell had expressed himself in a general way in favor of using the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers as offensive lines, with Nashville as the main objective-point. Halleck favored the line of the Tennessee alone, as the movements along two lines would require too much force. But Buell did not urge his general suggestion, nor submit any plans in detail. Hence the protracted discussion had led to no agreement or decision up to the end of January. Buell had, however, slowly crept with his forces nearer the rebel front at Bowling Green, and, at that time, his lines extended from near that place eastwardly to Glasgow, Columbia, and Somerset. He still believed that the rebel forces in his front under Albert Sidney Johnston outnumbered him, and, owing to this illusion, his every forward step was characterized by excessive caution. The truth was, that Johnston's command was only little more than one-third as strong as Buell's army.
The dissensions and hesitations of the commanding generals were brought to an end in an unexpected manner. At the close of January, General Grant, in command at Cairo, and Rear-Admiral Foote, commanding the fleet of river gunboats, succeeded, after several vain attempts, in extracting permission from General Halleck to attack and, if possible, capture Fort Henry, constructed by the rebels for the defence of the Tennessee River near its mouth. On February 6, the loyal public was made joyful by the laconic news from General Grant: “Fort Henry is ours,” with the hope-inspiring addition: “I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the eighth.” The latter fort was erected at a distance of only a day's march from Fort Henry to lock the Cumberland against Northern troops and gunboats. When Grant sent this confident despatch, he had no idea how difficult it would be to make good his word, and how important his success would be in really determining the whole course of the war in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. The moment he received the news of the fall of Fort Henry, the rebel commander Johnston, at Bowling Green, realizing the danger it involved of the capture of Fort Donelson and of thereby having the centre of the rebel line from Bowling Green to Columbus pierced and his own left flank turned through the opening of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers to the Federals, held a council of war, at which, on his recommendation, it was decided to abandon his long-held position in Kentucky for the protection of Tennessee, and to fight for that object at Fort Donelson. This resolution was carried out with admirable promptitude. Fourteen thousand infantry were at once detached, under the command of Generals Buckner and Floyd, for the reinforcement of Donelson, and sent by rail to Clarksville and thence the short distance down the river by boat. The remaining eight thousand of the twenty-two thousand men, all told, that Johnston's army actually consisted of, broke camp and fell back on Nashville. Donelson was further reinforced by four thousand men from General Pillow's command. This throwing of a heavy force into the fort was sound and justified by the circumstances, but it utterly miscarried, owing to the determined offensive of General Grant and the lack of fighting spirit in the garrison. On February 16, the Northern States were electrified by the astonishing tidings of the unconditional surrender of Donelson with fifteen thousand rebels (including General Buckner), twenty thousand stands of arms, forty-eight small and seventeen heavy guns, thousands of horses, and great quantities of commissary and quartermaster's stores.
This great triumph of General Grant not only raised the patriotic enthusiasm of the loyal people to the highest pitch, but instantly broke the spell of apprehension that had kept the Union commanders in the West on the defensive. The force of events carried them irresistibly along. It ended the conflict of their strategic theories by compelling them to take advantage of the unexpected achievement on the Cumberland, which did nothing less than open the way for the Union armies to the very heart of the Confederacy west of the Alleghanies.
Already the fall of Fort Henry had roused Halleck and Buell. They had early information of the abandonment of Bowling Green by the enemy, and correctly divined that Johnston meant to use his forces to save Donelson. Buell was ready enough to take up his former plan of moving up the two rivers. He took the initiative in supporting Grant's operations by ordering Cruft's 13th brigade, stationed at Calhoun on the lower Green River, to join Grant, which it did in time to participate in the attack on Donelson. He started eight additional unassigned regiments by water for the same purpose, and, in response to an appeal from Halleck, he ordered three of his divisions, under Thomas, Nelson, and Crittenden, to make as quickly as possible for Louisville and embark thence on steamboats down the Ohio for the Cumberland. They could not get under way from Louisville, however, until the day of the surrender of Donelson. In consequence of that event, the other three divisions of Buell were at once ordered to move in forced marches upon Nashville. Buell himself joined the advance of General Mitchel's division. The march was made so rapidly that some of the cavalry arrived at Edgefield on the north bank of the Cumberland, opposite Nashville, on the morning of Sunday, the 23d. General Buell himself did not reach the same point with the division, nine thousand strong, till the evening of the following day. He was met there by the mayor of Nashville and a committee of citizens, who reported the evacuation of the city by the Confederate forces, and obtained an appointment for the next morning for the formal surrender. The destruction by the rebels of the suspension bridge for ordinary traffic, as well as of the railroad bridge across the Cumberland, made it impossible for General Buell to enter the city immediately. This deprived him of the satisfaction of being the first Federal commander in the capital of Tennessee, for, early next morning, a fleet of boats, escorted by the gunboat Conestoga, came in sight with a large body of his own troops under command of General Nelson, who landed at once and took possession.
The inspiring news of the attack on Fort Donelson caused me much perplexity. I had been at the front a fortnight before the capture of Fort Henry, but returned to Louisville when I learned of the decision to send reinforcements to Grant by the river route, with a view to accompany them. General Nelson, whose division was to take part in that expedition, invited me to come on his boat. I accepted and expected to go on board on the morning of the 16th. But the reports from Donelson in the morning papers of that day indicated such confidence by General Grant in its impending fall that I concluded to wait another day before deciding upon my course, lest, by starting down the Ohio, I might be too late for the capture of the fort, and also miss some important movement by General Buell. I went early in the evening to the Associated Press office, and impatiently awaited, with half a dozen others, the night report. The very first sentence announced the surrender of Donelson, and made all present break out into shouts of delight. I congratulated myself on my wisdom in not going with General Nelson, but in the morning I was obliged to doubt whether I had chosen the better part, on learning that Buell, on hearing of Grant's success, had immediately put his army in motion for Nashville. My quandary was, however, solved on as certaining later in the day that, in addition to Nelson's division, the divisions of Generals Thomas and Crittenden had been ordered to embark as fast as possible for the Cumberland. Learning that I could not overtake Buell by land, I made up my mind to go by water. Fortunately, a boat started down the river the same evening, with quartermaster's and commissary's stores for Nelson's division. Captain Miller, of the Galt House, knew the captain, and introduced me to him, thanks to which I was very well taken care of on the trip. I left most of my belongings behind, and set out, wearing my campaign army-blue suit and a regulation overcoat.
We reached Fort Donelson the next morning. It lay in a bend of the river on steeply rising bluffs, about a hundred feet above the water. We found a great fleet of boats, including those having on board Nelson's command, which was waiting for telegraphic orders. It took us some hours to make a good landing, owing to the number of craft in the way, and it was nearly dark before I managed to find General Nelson. No orders had yet reached him. He repeated his invitation to come on his boat, but, seeing that it was very crowded, and being assured by him that my boat would follow him wherever he went, I thought it best not to change. We were kept stationary and uncertain as to our final destination for four days. But I found myself in the midst of striking scenes of actual war that made our stay most interesting. There was the Fort itself, a rectangular work, inclosing about one hundred acres, with high ramparts and well-protected water-batteries of heavy guns; its earthen embankments ploughed and torn by our gunboat fire. There were camps of Union soldiers and of rebel prisoners, but few of whom had yet been sent North. The great majority of the latter were only partially uniformed, or were wholly in civilian clothes, and presented a very motley, dirty, and anything but respect-inspiring appearance. I talked much with them, and found them very ready, as defeated soldiers always are, to blame and denounce their officers. There was a chaos of thousands of captured wagons, horses, and mules. Mournful was the sight of long rows of fresh graves containing the killed on both sides, and of the field-hospitals crowded with Federal and Confederate wounded. A striking border to this picture was formed by the score and more of side-wheel and stern-wheel steamboats and grim-looking gunboats, puffing, blowing, and whistling, loaded with human and other freight. Altogether, there was enough to see and describe to keep me fully occupied. In one respect I was, however, disappointed. I failed to see “Unconditional Surrender” Grant, as he did not leave his boat while we remained, and, not knowing anybody on it, I did not feel bold enough to go on board.
At last, on the afternoon of the fourth day, orders reached General Nelson to proceed up the river as far as Clarksville and there await further instructions. We immediately got under way, and reached our destination in a few hours. The banks were well settled and quite attractive. We anchored in the river, not far from the great bridge of the railroad from Louisville to Memphis. Again our patience was tried by lying still for more than twenty-four hours, after which, late in the afternoon of the twenty-fourth, the welcome report came that the way to Nashville was clear, and that we should start for that city at daybreak next morning.
Accordingly, our flotilla of seven boats, convoyed by the gunboat Conestoga, got in motion in single file up the river as soon as there was light enough to find the way. The valley proved to be quite picturesque. Bluffs of a very diversified character, now of solid, barren rock, and again heavily timbered, rose close to the banks or bordered wide bottoms forming rich plantations. Half an hour before reaching Nashville, we passed Fort Zollicoffer, an unfinished river-battery with eight guns in position, but deserted. Soon after, we caught sight of the imposing State capitol, standing upon the highest hill within the city limits. A little further, and the ruins of the two bridges connecting the city with the north bank of the river came into view, and in twenty minutes more we were tied to a wharf at the foot of one of the leading streets.
Nashville had then a population of less than twenty thousand. (It had more than eighty thousand in 1890.) It was compactly and regularly built up over an undulating area, rising rather steeply at first and then more gradually from the river to a broken plateau. The lower streets, as in all river-towns the world over, were devoted to business, and the upper ones to residential purposes. The site was crowned by the hill on which the great State-house — greater in size than in correct architectural style — occupied a most commanding position. The business buildings, as well as the private residences, were mostly made of brick and stone, and had a solid but unpretentious look, although the style and proportions of a number of the homes gave evidence of wealthy ownership. Altogether, the appearance of the place indicated considerable thrift, and impressed me more as that of a Northern than of a Southern city.
I was among the very first to jump ashore. We supposed General Buell to have taken possession, and were surprised to learn that we were the first “invaders” to enter the city. Having learned also that not a single Confederate soldier remained in it, I did not hesitate to set out alone to see the place and to gather information as to the local events previous to our arrival. In an hour I had walked through all the principal streets. I found the wholesale and retail stores and most of the better class of residences shut up. Very few whites, but plenty of blacks were visible. The State-house presented a curious sight. I discovered only one person — a colored doorkeeper — in the big edifice that had contained, but a few days before, the whole State Government and the State Legislature with all its throng of attendants. They had all “done gone” a week ago, as the sole occupant informed me. Not a door was locked, and a good many stood wide open, indicating a most rapid disappearance of the executive and legislative branches. They had adjourned as far west as was possible within the State limits, viz., to Memphis.
I next sought the American House, the leading hotel, in order to secure board and lodging. The house was open, but seemed utterly deserted. After much ringing of the office bell, a colored man appeared, who, on my inquiry for the proprietor, answered, with a broad grin: “Massa done gone souf.” Not a guest had been entertained for several days, and he could not tell what would be done with the hotel. But I boldly ordered him to show me the better rooms and selected the best one, which I told him to reserve against all comers till I returned. I hurried back to the boat, got my saddle-bag and said good-bye to the captain, and within half an hour had taken actual possession of the room. It was well I had acted thus promptly, for, by noon, the hotel swarmed with other correspondents and staff-officers. A quartermaster's clerk with hotel experience was put in charge, the chief cook hunted up, and, with the supplies found in the store-room and meat procured from a butcher, the caravansary was soon in full running order. In a few days the proprietor returned and resumed control.
I lost no time, after securing my quarters, in making for the office of the Daily American, the principal paper of the city. I purchased the back numbers for three weeks and found them a mine of interesting information. Especially were the full accounts of what happened in the city after the fall of Donelson of great value to me and to Captain Fry, Buell's chief of staff, to whom I lent them in the evening, as they gave him a clear idea of the rebel military movements throughout the South. I found one of the owners and some of the editors of the paper in the office. I introduced myself as a “Northern colleague,” and they were evidently very glad to have some one to consult with as to the course they should pursue. They had continued the publication up to that day, but were in doubt whether it would be safe and profitable for them to go on with it. I advised them to do so by all means, but to print only news from the North and South and local intelligence, without any editorials or biased comments. I assured them that the military authorities would allow this. They followed my suggestion and printed the paper right along. Within a few days, they were able to publish the Northern Associated Press reports, but their Southern news naturally became meagre.
According to appointment, the mayor, B. B. Cheatham, a member of the prominent family of that name, which played a conspicuous part on the Southern side during the Rebellion, called on General Buell, at Edgefield, with a deputation of leading citizens, shortly after our landing. He received assurances that, in view of the surrender of the city at discretion, all law-abiding persons and their property would receive the fullest protection from the Federal troops. Soon after the conference, General Buell crossed over with his staff on a boat, and established his headquarters in a commodious mansion abandoned by its owner. The transfer of the troops he had led also commenced, and on that and the next day about fifteen thousand “Yanks” marched through the streets to encampments selected for them in the suburbs. For ten days, additional arrivals took place to the number of thousands a day, including the divisions that had marched from Bowling Green, as well as those carried up the Cumberland by boats, and before the middle of March the whole of Buell's army was concentrated about Nashville. The only troops quartered in the city, however, were a large provost-marshal's guard, charged with preventing officers and soldiers from entering the city except on duty or with proper permits, which were only sparingly granted.
The mayor at once issued a proclamation announcing the promise of protection and maintenance of order by General Buell, and calling upon all citizens to resume their occupations, and especially to reopen all stores for business, which was gradually done. He also called on the farmers of the vicinity to resume bringing their supplies to the city markets. This was quite in contrast with the bombastic manifesto issued by the Governor of the State, Isham G. Harris, at Memphis, against the ruthless invaders of Tennessee's soil.
A brief account of what happened in Nashville after the fall of Donelson and before the advent of the Federals will be in place here. The rebel commander-in-chief, Johnston, reached Nashville ahead of his troops on February 17, and at once informed the State and city authorities of the impossibility of defending the city, and his direct intention of retreating with his forces beyond it. He expressed his fear at the same time that the Federal gunboats and troops might appear within a few hours. The suddenness and portentousness of this announcement, which immediately became known to the inhabitants, produced at once the deepest consternation among all classes. The measures adopted by the Confederate commander before abandoning the city to its fate intensified the general fright into a regular panic. In order to obstruct and delay the Federal pursuit, the destruction of the railroad and suspension bridges was ordered and carried out — a wanton, useless act, as the height of the river made its use by the largest boats practicable. This only increased the general scare, as indicating want of faith in the re-establishment of Confederate rule. The papers stated that “this brutal outrage upon the city was perpetrated against the earnest and persistent protest of the leading citizens.” Next in folly was the conduct of the officers of the rebel commissary and quartermaster's department, who hastily abandoned their posts, and, before doing so, threw open the magazines holding the immense stores of miscellaneous supplies for the Confederate army, and allowed the public to help themselves to them in order to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. Naturally, a wild scramble for this public prey ensued among the lower classes, and, as might have been expected, led to disorder and violence. A lawless, defiant mob had virtual possession of the city. The newspapers reported the street scenes that were en acted for several days as “beggaring description.” “The untiring energy of the mayor and city authorities was inadequate to keep down the selfish, grasping spirit from running riot.” “Irish laborers and negroes competed with ‘gentlemen’ in ‘toting’ off ‘hog,’ flour, sugar, crackers, clothing, and other things.” The Governor at the same time pranced about the streets on horseback, vainly appealing for volunteer help in removing the State records. At a subsequent investigation ordered by the Confederate Congress, it was proved that the loss to the rebel Government from this authorized plundering was over one million dollars, and that it was an entirely unwarranted and culpable waste of public property, as almost a whole week elapsed before the Federals appeared after the retreat of Johnston. The pillage was finally stopped by the energy of the rebel cavalry leader Forrest, who later attained such notoriety as a daring and successful raider. With a command of only forty men, he succeeded in restoring order after several days, and maintained it till our arrival compelled his retirement.
The panic manifested itself in a general effort to run away from the coming “ruthless Northern hordes.” The reckless falsehoods that had been circulated by the Southern press about the savage warfare waged by the Northern armies, now bore their natural fruit. Having been constantly told that slaughter, pillage, “booty and beauty” were their insatiate longing, thousands sought safety in instant flight, abandoning homes and business and taking with them only what they could carry on their persons or in vehicles. Even the many sick and wounded soldiers from the hospital swelled the tide. The general fear, in view of the fate of the bridges, that the city would be burned so that the “Yankees” might find another Moscow, had much to do with this needless hegira. There were, indeed, some crazy secessionists who openly proclaimed their purpose to fire every house in the city.
Two days after our landing, I had the satisfaction of getting my first view of “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. He had unexpectedly come up from Clarksville, by boat, for a conference with General Buell. I met him with his staff riding up to the latter's headquarters. I could not help feeling rather disappointed by the commonplace appearance of the man. He stayed only a few hours, but took time to see the city and to pay his respects to the widow of ex-President Polk, who made her home in a stately mansion on the finest residence street, and was one of the few Nashville gentlewomen not scared away by the dread of the Northern vandals. Mrs. Polk, while not concealing her Southern sympathies, received him in a very ladylike manner. Her behavior was very different from that experienced by the Grant party from other women, having the appearance of ladies, in passing through the streets. These “Yankee haters” went so far as to show their venom by spitting contemptuously, sticking out their tongues, and hissing like snakes. I can bear personal testimony that such low manifestations of viragoism were of frequent occurrence during the first weeks after the Federal occupation; but they gradually disappeared.
I am tempted to recall, in this connection, that Grant's visit to Nashville came very near bringing his career as a Federal commander to an early end. He undertook the trip without giving notice, as required by the general field orders, of his intended absence from his command to his immediate superior, General Halleck, who in very strong terms reported this neglect of duty to the War Department, which replied giving him authority to relieve the offender from duty and put him under arrest. Halleck had also wired a severe reprimand to Grant, on receiving which the latter asked to be relieved before the order to the same effect had come by mail from Washington. But the difficulty was made up, most fortunately for the Union cause.
I had plenty to do for a fortnight in writing up the “past and present.” Communication by mail and telegraph with the North was opened within forty-eight hours after Buell's advent, and the first week I sent letters daily, and the second every other day. Military and other affairs in and about the city had then, however, settled down to a regular routine, so that material grew very scarce. Not a shot had been fired by either side in occupying and retreating from Nashville, nor was any sound of war heard afterward, so complete had been the disappearance of the rebels from the adjacent portions of Tennessee. Unfortunately for the loyal cause, there was no unity of appreciation among the Federal commanders of the logical strategic consequences of the February victories, or proper recognition of the vital importance of following them up with enterprise and energy. They were engaged for weeks in telegraphing suggestions and counter-suggestions, and, before they had agreed among themselves whether it would be best to advance from Nashville or from middle Tennessee or down the Mississippi, the enemy's movements were again to determine their own. Thus Buell's army remained encamped about Nashville, making good use of the time, however, by assiduous drilling and by completing its field equipment. The Tennessee capital became a new base of operations, and supplies of every kind and of ammunition were accumulated as fast as possible by rail and river.
The monotony into which matters had fallen was relieved by the advent in Nashville, about the middle of March, of Andrew Johnson. As United States Senator from Tennessee, he had achieved great renown and popularity, upon the outbreak of the Rebellion, by his unswerving, passionate loyalty. On the fall of Nashville, President Lincoln nominated him brigadier-general of volunteers, and, on his immediate confirmation by the Senate, vested him with the special function of Military Governor for the State of Tennessee, which he was to exercise till a regular civil government, faithful to the Union, could be re-established. He took possession, very properly, of the capitol, and at once adopted very vigorous measures for the assertion of his authority and the protection of the loyalists in the State. One of his first acts was to call on the mayor and the city council to take the oath of loyalty to the Federal Government. They refused to do this, by a vote of sixteen to one, whereupon Governor Johnson issued an order removing them and appointing an “acting” mayor, who thenceforth administered the affairs of the city without the control of a council. I saw Johnson almost daily, and watched him closely, in his official and his private relations. My judgment of him was that, while he was doubtless a man of unusual natural parts, he had too violent a temper and was too much addicted to the common Southern habit of free indulgence in strong drink. These failings really unfitted him for his task, and he proved even then as little qualified for the proper fulfilment of high executive responsibilities as he did three years later when a national calamity made him an accidental President of the United States.
Another noted character, popularly known as “Parson Brownlow,” appeared about the same time at Nashville. He was a popular preacher in East Tennessee when the Rebellion broke out, and, upon the first active secession movements in the Cotton States, denounced them with extraordinary boldness, energy, and ability, from both the pulpit and the rostrum. He had all the fervor of a regular camp-meeting exhorter, and by his homely, stirring eloquence became the moral mainstay of loyalism in his native section. He defied the rebel sympathizers and authorities there with unflinching bravery, and, in spite of all threats, never ceased to stand up for the Union and denounce secession until he was arrested and imprisoned. After a confinement of several weeks, he was exchanged for a prominent rebel officer, on condition that he should leave East Tennessee. This brought him to Nashville. I was amazed to find in him a tall, thin, beardless, hectic man, who moved about with difficulty and spoke with a husky voice. But, while his bodily weakness was extreme, his strength of spirit seemed unabated. He was a very entertaining talker, and spoke most movingly, with flashing eyes and pointing finger, of the wrongs to himself and his fellow-Tennesseeans. He stayed only a few days in Nashville, and then took a boat for the North in response to pressing invitations to speak in the larger cities, including the national capital, which President Lincoln himself had urged him to visit. Later, he was elected United States Senator by the loyal legislature organized by Andrew Johnson, and was admitted to the Senate.