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TENNESSEE UNION GUARDS 
Fascinating letter to future president, then Tennessee Governor, ANDREW JOHNSON (1808-1875), from a Tennessee Unionist company

Fascinating letter to future president, then Tennessee Governor, ANDREW JOHNSON (1808-1875), from a Tennessee Unionist company. Manuscript petition addressed to Johnson, who was serving as military governor of occupied Tennessee. As governor, Johnson had command of the state's military forces, and it is in this capacity that the members of the Middle Tennessee Union Guards petitioned him for a new captain. Tennessee was a state of the Confederacy, and like the other border states fielded both Federal and Confederate regiments during the Civil War. The Middle Tennessee Union Guards were a company of Southern Unionists. Their captain having been lost in action, they petitioned Johnson for a new one, by name, Interestingly, their choice for their new captain was a member of a Maryland volunteer regiment, another border state with both Union and Rebel regiments in the field. The company's first captain, Stephen P. Tipten, had been killed in a fight near Tracy City on January 20, 1864. James H. Shannon, the popular choice to replace him, was serving with his 3rd Maryland Volunteer Regiment guarding the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Johnson had the power to commission Shannon, but not to release him from his Maryland service. It seems Shannon, leaving little to chance, was doing some lobbying of his own - on February 8, 1864, he was mustered out of the 3rd Maryland and the next day accepted his captain's commission from Tennessee. This company was one of three Tennessee companies in Federal service as part of the 1st Regiment of Tennessee and Alabama Vidette Cavalry. Most of the company's enlisted personnel are listed on the petition in the same hand. Of the few who did sign, most were illiterates who made their "X" mark over the entry for their names. Interestingly, the company seemed to be made up mostly of relative from a few local families. There are 5 Myers', 8 Fultons (inlcuding father and son Daniel Fulton Sr. and Jr.), 3 Culdwells, 5 Cambells, 7 Hunleys, and 7 Hobbs'. Items relating to the Unionj forces raised in the Confederate States are extremely scarce. A unique and fascinating document offering a glimpse into the Civil War in the border states at a very personal and local level. $475.00


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