HDQRS. DEFENSES NASHVILLE AND CHATTANOOGA RAILROAD, Tullahoma, March 7, 1865.

Maj. Gen. G. H. THOMAS:

I have here in arrest two noted rebel women, Mrs. Dolly Battle and Miss Sallie Battle, who reside ten miles from Nashville, but came all the way to Wartrace, on horseback, two days ago, to recoffin [sic] and bury the body of Trummel, alias Van Houghton, who was killed at that place on the night of the 21st ultimo, while engaged, with nine other guerrillas, in robbing the telegraph office and stores. The daguerreotypes of these two she rebels [sic] were found on the body of this robber thief after he was killed, with letters from them showing great intimacy. They boast that they are rebels and have never taken the oath. Their father is an officer in the rebel army; their brother Bob is a guerrilla. This family have [sic] been spies and harborers of rebels and guerrillas since the beginning of the war. Their mother, as I was well informed last summer, boasts that they have done more good for the Confederate cause than a regiment of soldiers. I respectfully ask permission to send these two south of our lines.

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 856

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NASHVILLE, TENN., March 8, 1865.

Maj. Gen. R. H. MILROY, Tullahoma:

Did the Battles boast to you that they had never taken the oath of allegiance to the United States? The mere fact of their desire to bury their friend decently is not an act of disloyalty. The evidence which you report, however, creates a suspicion that they may have been taking advantage of their position as women and become the colleagues and associates of guerrillas-the most diabolical of all political criminals. If such be clearly the fact they must be sent beyond our lines.[1]

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army, Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 862

[1] There is no indication in the OR as to whether or not these two women were sent south of Federal lines. However, the Battle women were noted for their strong support for the Confederacy. For example, Fannie Battle, sister to Sallie and daughter to Dolly, had been arrested for spying earlier in April 1863.

Source: TSL&A

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