Alice Williamson Diary

Eleazar Arthur Paine


(from Durham, Walter T. Rebellion Revisited, a History of Sumner County, Tennessee From 1861 to 1870. Sumner County Museum Association. Gallatin, Tennessee. 1982)

Throughout her diary Alice Williamson refers to him as E. A. Payne, Payne, Gen. P., Old Payne, Our king, Tempest, his lordship, old hurricane, Thunder Storm, and Old Marster, but his real name was Eleazar Arthur Paine. He was born on September 10, 1815, in Geauga City, Oh. He died on December 16, 1882 in Jersey City, NJ. He graduated from West Point 1839 and went on to be a lawyer and militia officer. After the war he practiced law. He was a cousin of Gen. H E Paine, who later became a congressman, and a bureaucrat. His Civil War service includes:

(from http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~hoemann/ung_p.html)

The following is a short table, showing some figures about the men and weapons under Paine's command, taken from The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies Ser.1, v.32 pt.3.

District of Nashville (Rousseau)
Officers Men Agg. present Agg. present and absent pieces of artillery

heavy   field

Gallatin (Paine) 8 130 157 159             6

Gallatin was repressed by the brutal General Eleazor A. Paine, commander of the Union railroad guard from November 1862, to April, 1864. The occupying army in Gallatin had two assignments; protect the rail and water lines, and police the civilian population. In 1862, they built a fort at Gallatin, called Fort Thomas, that overlooked the town. The provost marshall stationed at the fort wa s given the responsibility of policing Gallatin.

During 1863 General Paine tightened military control over the Gallatin area. He did this by giving patriotic speeches to his troops, and getting support from the local newspapers. His men criss-crossed Summer County, looking for rebels and bushwhacker s. For example, in January, he took a large force eastward towards Kentucky, using cavalry to round up rebels.

His tyranny was always present. He was known all around Gallatin for executing suspected rebel spies without a trial. His sadistic executions like chasing down prisoners who were set free on old horses is described in Williamsonís diary as "chasing the fox with fresh horses". He also had a fondness for villagersí furniture, confiscating it for his own use.

He was removed from the post April 29, 1864 by the orders of Major General William T. Sherman, who transferred him to Tullahoma to guard bridges across the Duck and Elk rivers. The following is the text of the order as published in The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies Ser.1, v.32 pt.3.


April 29, 1864

General Rousseau,

Nashville, Ten.: Order General Paine and the regiment now at Gallatin to Tullahoma, and give him charge of the defense of the road, embracing Duck and Elk River bridges. Replace Paine's troops by some guard at the bridges. The road north of Nashville is not important to me but the south is vital. Remember to place gun racks and muskets in all the forts and strong buildings, so that citizens may, if necessary, assist in the defense of Nashville. But there is no danger there now and cannot be for a month to come

W.T. Sherman

He was quickly back to his old ways, and soon he was under investigation. A congressional inquiry into his actions in Kentucky found him guilty on some counts, and punished him by reprimand at Paducah.

Eleazer A. Paine's son was mentioned by Alice as "Capt. Paine (Son of Tempest)", and was stationed at Gallatin for a time. His full name was Captain Phelps Paine.

(from Durham, Walter T. Rebellion Revisited, a History of Sumner County, Tennessee From 1861 to 1870 Sumner County Museum Association. Gallatin, Tennessee. 1982.)


Alice Williamson Diary - Table of Contents


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