“Col. Tarkington has been petitioned by union men of his county to organize a Regiment.”

Two days ago I received a telegram from Gen. McClernand asking that men of Tennessee who are loyal to the Union be organized into companies and armed to protect our supply lines.  Fortunately we have located someone to lead such a force.  I sent a telegram to the Military Governor of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson. “Mr. J. W. Tarkington, a union man of Henderson Co, reports that he has now five companies already organized and five more partially that will be filled soon.  He wishes to be commissioned as Col. of the Regt raised in Henderson, Haden, Carroll & McNary counties and [Mr.] Fielding Hurst as Lt. Col.  Hurst has been a refugee from his home and has acted as guide and scout for the army until our forces rendered it safe for him to return.  This Regt if accepted will want arms and orders of locating.  Allow me to suggest Perryville until fully prepared to move.  Dispatches sent to me will reach Col. Tarkington.  Col. Tarkington has been petitioned by union men of his county to organize a Regiment.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, vol 5, p 236

Library of Congress, Andrew Johnson

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