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Not Hardin County, or McNairy County... but Madison County, a bit to the northwest. 

Robert Cartmell was a married, 33-year-old farmer working a property just outside Jackson, Tennessee when war broke out in April 1861. Since 1859 he maintained a diary (and faithfully recorded daily entries through April 1862.) Because Jackson was HQ for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad; and because the telegraph ran to Jackson, farmer Cartmell had access to timely news reports (often within hours or a day of the event) and Robert Cartmell would walk into town nearly every day to get the latest news, and then record that news (and his analysis) in his diary. Some of the more noteworthy entries:

  • page 37       1859             Robert visited Corinth and recorded his impression of that soon-to-be famous railroad junction;
  • (94)               14 Apr 61   The contest at Fort Sumter confirmed;
  • (107)             8 Jun 61     Robert cast his ballot for Tennessee to secede;
  • (149)             24 Jan 62   The defeat of Crittenden and Zollicoffer in Eastern Kentucky reported;
  • (151)             8 Feb 62      "Went to town this evening and learned Fort Henry has fallen"
  • (151)             10 Feb         "Beauregard has arrived at Bowing Green (and gunboats have gone up the Tennessee River to Florence)
  • (152)             16 Feb         "Walked into town and learned Fort Donelson had fallen"
  • (154)              24 Feb        "The Governor wants the people of Madison County to volunteer (and he has gone to Memphis)"
  • (154)                                   Robert Cartmell joined a "militia company of married men" (Ford's Company at Jackson)
  • (155)              3 Mar           "A continuous stream of soldiers arriving at Jackson [from evacuation of Fort Columbus]"
  • (155)                                  "General Beauregard is here (and may make Jackson his HQ)"
  • (155 - 162)                         Reports steamers carrying Federal troops up the Tennessee River; reports the arrival of Confederate soldiers in vicinity, until on April 5th he estimates 100,000 Rebels and 150,000 Federal troops are poised for a contest (all the while recording the daily weather; time spent at drill with Ford's Company; and work done on his farm...)

A "diary with a difference," this record kept by Robert Cartmell is available online courtesy Tennessee Virtual Archive at:

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15138coll39/id/268/rec/302  Robert Cartmell diary (mostly recorded at Jackson Tennessee).




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Glad you found the Cartmell diaries of interest. The following link provides a listing of most of the significant references (persons and places) to be found in the Cartmell diaries (date of entry and diary page number often indicated): 

http://sos-tn-gov-files.s3.amazonaws.com/forms/ROBERT_H_CARTMELL_PAPERS_1849-1915.pdf  Cartmell references begin page 7

Also, much of the Nannie Haskins diary is available at Tennessee Virtual Archive (young woman who resided in Clarksville Tennessee during the Civil War and recorded her experiences and reported significant events): 

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll1/id/12  Nannie Haskins diary exerpts

All the best



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