Sunday, December 12, 2010

REports of Co. W.P. Robinson

Series I-Volume XXXIX
Part II-Correspondence, Etc. p. 57

Reports of Col. William P. Robinson, Twenty-third Missouri Infantry, of operations in Tennessee

HDQRS. Twenty-Third Missouri Volunteer Infantry
Post McMinnville, Tenn. May 30 1864

Maj. B.H. Polk,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dist. of Nashville, Nashville, Tenn.:

SIR: I have the honor herewith to acknowledge receipt of telegram from Nashville, May 29 1864 by special messenger from Murfrees-borough, Tenn., and I have accordingly ordered three companies of my regiment, F, I, and K, numbering in the aggregate 200 men, to remain at this post until relieved or until measures can be taken for the removal of all Government property and the sick and wounded at the post hospital. With the remainder of my command I expect to march at 10a.m. to-morrow for Tullahoma, as directed in orders from district headquarters. I consider it my duty to state that in my view of matters here, the post McMinnville, Tenn., ought to be, at least for present, occupied by troops, not only for the protection of the many loyal people here, but also to prevent the numerous small bands of bushwhackers from collecting in a body, which they will certainly do if not continually harassed and kept dispersed by troops. I learn from Mr. Th. Comer, the trade agent at this post, that there are at present time $27,000 worth of goods and merchandise at McMinnville, all of which will have to be removed if the post be abandoned, as the citizens themselves are not capable of protecting themselves against these robbers and guerrillaa, and brought these goods here under the impression that they would be protected by military power. I am also satisfied that in the present famine-like condition of the poor classes, many who would otherwise remain quiet and peaceable will, under the continual pressure of want of the necessaries of life, engage in robbery and every other crime, unless restrained or overawed by troops; neither would there be any safety for the lives and property of several Union families here, for instance, of Dr. Armstrong, Captain Clift, General Rodgers, and other families and property. Should this post be completely evacuated, I would respectfully recommend that the citizens be made aware of that fact, and sufficient time given them for removal to other parts of the State.

I am, major, most respectfuly, your obedient servant,

W.P. Robinson

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