Friday, August 19, 2016

Rolling Mill at Cleveland, Tennessee - Destroyed November 1863, several references

On or around November 26, 1863, Union cavalry under Colonel Eli Long destroyed a copper rolling-mill on the outskirts of Cleveland, Tennessee, by setting fire to it. The mill was filled with missiles and shells (Confederate stockpiles) possibly moved there by Long, before firing the mill. There were loud explosions as the shells went off, sending shrapnel over the town.

Below are several references to the event, including Long's report:

Colonel Eli Long Report
Official Records, Volume 31, Part , pages 561-566; with rolling mill mentioned on 561.

Report no. 185.

"Report of Col. Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, Second Cavalry Division of raid on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, and including operations November 17, 1863-January 3, 1864.

"Hdqrs. Second Brigade, Second Cavalry Division, Calhoun, Tenn., January [19], 1864."

The report contains a detailed account of operations.
[QUOTE]:  On the 24th, receiving orders from Major-General Thomas to march to Cleveland, Tenn., and destroy as far as possible the enemy's lines of communication in that direction, I crossed by pontoons above Chattanooga, and struck the Chattanooga and Cleveland dirt road, running along the railroad.
Nov. 25, Sent detachment on East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad toward Hiwassee River and Charleston (Tenn.) Continuing, November 25th or 26th (undated, in report, it falls between Nov. 24th and Nov. 27th, specifically after the 25th, which is not dated, but specified as "Next morning" after the night of the 24th.)
[QUOTE]:In Cleveland I found a considerable lot of rockets and shells, large quantities of corn, and several bales of new grain sacks, all belonging to the rebel Government. Destroyed all that was not appropriated to use of my own command. Burned several railroad cars found here; also the large copper rolling mill--the only one of the kind in the Confederacy.
Official Records, Series 1, Volume 31, Part 2 (Reports), (Washington: Govt. Printing Offc., 1890.), "Report of Col. Eli Long" (560-565), 561.

Title: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume 31, Part 2
Editors: Robert Nicholson Scott, Frederick Caryton Ainsworth, George Breckenridge Davis, Joseph William Kirkley
Compiled by: Calvin Duvall Cowles
Contributors: United States. Record and pension office, United States. War Records Office
Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1890
Original from: the University of Michigan

This report references the rolling mill. The date, November 18th, is before the date mentioned in other sources. However, it is the date of the detachment. Other sources show that the mill was destroyed on November 29th, which would be eleven days into Long's mission.

Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 31, Pt. 1, (Reports), 436, No. 54, "Itinerary of the Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland, Maj. Gen. David S. Stanley and Brig. Gen. Washington L. Elliott commanding," sv. "November 18," (in which Col. Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, cmdg. Second Brigade, et al.), 436.
"He burned a large rolling mill...."

History of the Rebellion (link to book)
J.S. Hurlburt, History of the Rebellion in Bradley County, East Tennessee (Downey & Brouse, printers?: Indianapolis, 1866), 15.

Tells about Eli Long destroying the rolling mill (page 15).

J.S. Hurlburt, History of the Rebellion in Bradley County, East Tennessee (Downey & Brouse, printers?: Indianapolis, 1866), 15.

Historic Marker at Lat34North
Rolling mill destruction mentioned in text.

Julius Eckhardt Raht, in Wikipedia
Pioneer of Copper Industry in East Tennessee

Destruction of Rolling Mill, indexed in Final Report (Claims)
Claims: Destruction of rolling-mill by Col. Eli Long. Dec. 1, 1863
Claim no. 682, Henry August Bohn...
Claim no. 683 Susanne K. Boulingval.

French and American Claims Commission (Washington, D.C.), The Final Report of the Agent and Counsel of the United States: With Treaties and Schedule of Claims, (reprint edition), (Washington: Gibson Brothers, printers, 1884), 70 (index).

Another source (Myra Inman Diary) doesn't specifically mention the rolling mill, but does mention that they burned Mr. Raht's wagon, and I think mentions the burning of railroad cars; she mentions shelling or fighting, which could refer to the sound of the shells going off. (Link not available). Will try to add a more specific reference later.

References: Inman diary entries for the month of November 1863:

From Myra Inman: A Diary of the Civil War in East Tennessee :

Wed. 25. "We have heard hard cannonading all day."(Snell, Inman Diary, 230). The editor's note explains that this was shelling in one of the Battles of Chattanooga, thirty miles away (cf. 38).

Thurs. 26 (as Yankees are actually in Cleveland, taking things): "They burnt Mr. Raht's wagon and the railroad and some cars."(Snell, Inman Diary, 230).

The rolling mill was run by Julius Eckhardt Raht; possibly Myra confused the burning of the wagon with the destruction of the rolling mill; or perhaps it was all one. She didn't specifically mention the shells and missiles that flew all over town, according to Hurlburt's description, but she mentioned cannonading on the 25th.

William R. Snell, ed., Myra Inman: A Diary of the Civil War in East Tennessee, (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2000), 230.


Related: Julius Eckhardt Raht Wikipedia Article

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