March 23, 2012

Conditions in Occupied Nashville: A Letter from J H Sypher

Location: Nashville, TN, USA
The Capitol at Nashville (HW 3/8/1862)
With spring's arrival came a flurry of new letters from correspondents across the Western Theater.  Jacob Hall Sypher, the Ohio artillery officer and future Radical Republican Congressman representing a district in Louisiana, wrote this letter a week to the Daily Evening Express (of which his brother was the local news editor) after arriving in Nashville with Battery B, 1st Ohio Light Artillery, of General George H. Thomas's division.  His letter touched on his impressions of his city, the widespread pro-Confederate sentiments of its inhabitants, and military policy towards civilians.  On the last point, Sypher boasts of the army's restraint and leniency--an important benchmark for comparison when we try to understand the Army under Buell vs. the Army under Sherman in 1864. 

From the Daily Evening Express of March 21, 1862 (alternate link): 

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