Mustered in at Nashville, April 26 to August 27, 1862; mustered out at Greeneville, Tennessee, May 25, and at Knoxville, June, 1865.
Alvan C. Gillem was appointed colonel of this regiment May 13, 1862, at which time only three companies had been mustered into service. It was first reported in the Official Records in June 10, 1862, in Brigadier General Ebenezer Dumont's Independent Brigade, District of the Ohio. On June 14, 1862, Colonel Stanley Matthews, at Nashville, reported there were no troops in Nashville except the Provost Guard and the "unorganized First Tennessee Regiment (Governor's Guards)."
A letter from Captain Oliver D. Greene, Assistant Adjutant General, dated July 17, 1862, gives some indication of the circumstances under which the regiment was organized. "The house you inquire about belonged to Colonel Heiman, of the rebel army and was taken possession of by the military authorities for sequestration under act of Congress August 6, 1861. During my absence Governor Johnson ordered the provost marshal to give the keys to a Major Thurneck, of the First Tennessee Volunteers, then being raised here. On my return, finding that Major Thurneck with his family was living in the house, although his regiment was under canvas, and knowing your orders about officers living with their men, I telegraphed to know if that order was still in force. I found it was, and verbally directed Major Thurneck that he must live with his men. No attention was paid, on the grounds that the regiment was not in U.S. Service and not liable to the United States authorities. Finding that many other officers of the same regiment were making preparations to bring their families to live in houses under the same circumstances, and recognizing the injury to the service which must arise, I directed the provost marshal to cause the house to be vacated, as also other houses occupied by soldiers and officers without authority from these headquarters.* * * * The order was promptly executed by the provost marshal in all instances except Major Thurneck and the quartermaster of the same regiment. The latter claimed that he rented his house. * * *Major Thurneck held on to his house by false representations-that his children and wife were so sick that removal would be at the risk of their lives. I finally sent a surgeon to examine. Upon his report of the facts I directed Colonel Campbell to have him ejected as occupying a house in possession of the United States without civil authority. He refused to obey the order. The order was reiterated peremptorily, and he peremptorily refused to obey the second order. He was arrested; and his lieutenant colonel obeyed the order at once. I am sure that if any officer in the department not directly interested had examined the matter and reported, my action would have been approved." By way of footnote, it might be added that Major Thurneck resigned in September, 1862, and Governor Johnson requested that Captain Greene be ordered elsewhere.
The regiment, as the 10th Tennessee Infantry, was reported as part of the Post Forces of Nashville on October 8, 1862. In January, 1863, in the organization of the XIV Corps, the regiment was reported as unattached to any brigade.
On May 3, 1863, Major General W. S. Rosecrans wrote the Adjutant General, U. S. Army: "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from the Secretary of War to the General in Chief, directing that Colonel Gillem's First Tennessee Infantry be detached from general service and placed under the command of Governor Johnson, and indorsed by General Halleck for me to carry it into execution. I shall give the requisite orders, but it is my duty to express the apprehension that we shall thus lose the services of a regiment. I am also apprehensive that having a regiment within the garrison of Nashville not subject to the orders of the general commanding is far more likely to beget discord and trouble than anything else."
On June 30, 1863, the regiment was reported at Camp Spears, Nashville; on July 31, it was reported in the Reserve Corps, 2nd Division, 3rd Brigade; on August 31, it was still at Camp Spears; but on September 24, 1863, after the battle of Chickamauga, General Rosecrans wrote: "I want Gillem and his regiment tomorrow to Bridgeport (Alabama) to aid in securing the railroad."
On October 19, 1863, two companies were at Camp Rosecrans, with the 2nd U. S. Colored Infantry, guarding the construction of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, 30 miles from Nashville. On October 31, the regiment was reported as one of the unassigned regiments along the line of railroads. On December 31, 1863, it was reported as one of the regiments along the line of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad.
On January 2, 1864, the regiment was assigned to the 1st Brigade, District of Nashville, of the XII Corps. On April 14, the XI and XII Corps were consolidated to form the XX Corps, and the regiment assigned to the 1st Brigade, 4th Division, XX Corps, and on April 23, was reported with 775 effectives.
On June 6, 1864, Major General George H. Thomas directed the regiment be dropped from the returns of the Army of the Cumberland and transferred to Governor Andrew Johnson as a Governor's Guard. It continued to serve in this capacity until April 1865, when it was sent to Knoxville, to form part of the 4th Division, Army of the Cumberland. On April 24, it was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 4th Division, stationed at Greeneville. It was mustered out of service June 23, 1865.
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This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted © 1964 by the “Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee” and is published here with their permission.
This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.
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