Also auctioned off in 2013 was this important letter from a Union cavalry soldier:

Pvt. Albert Swap, 7th Illinois Cavalry, Co C, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 30, 1864

[The 7th Illinois was part of Hatch's Division, Coon's Brigade. They served with the 2nd IA, 6th & 9th Illinois, and the 12th TN Cavs.]

“…you said you suppose Chas Dewey would arrive before I received this message of yours, so he did, but I regret to say he is among the missing on our trip to this place. We left Memphis on the 17th and was 9 days on the River there was several men drowned before we arrived at his place and C. L. D. and John R. Chapman of Co. C are among the missing. The last I saw of them was about two miles above New Madrid, Mo….

It has now been 62 days since the Regt. went out on this scout, they are now about 40 miles from this place at Columbia where they are having some very hard fighting with Hood’s Army. Genl. Thomas is out there with two corps of Infantry but the rebs still drive him back. We could hear very heavy cannonading in that direction for about an hour this morning. There is going to be some very hard fighting about this city in a short time if they keep driving our men back. We are camped about two miles from the city and they are going to move us in towards the city as they think we are exposed to a raid from the Lebanon Pike…

There is considerable excitement here today the Rebel General Hood is still driving our men they are now within 20 miles of this place. Some of our men who have come from the front seem to think that Genl. Thomas is falling back to get the rebels where he can gain some advantage over them while others seem to think they are two strong for us, if the latter there will be some hard fighting and then we will either have to fall back or be gobbled but we must always look on the bright side of everything…

But alas how many of our Brave soldiers are falling hourly as I am penning you these poor lines, the sullen booming of the cannon that I can hear very plainly speaks of death…to the soldier…”

letter2

 

Notes:

  • Charles L. Dewey was from Mendota, Ill; he survived the war. A total of eight men with last named Dewey fought int he 7th ILL Cav; six in Company C, like Charles.
  • John R. Chapman, Co C., also survived the war.

This letter was auctioned off in 2013 and provides some interesting detail about rebel activity after the Battle of Franklin as well as casualty numbers for the 64th Ohio Infantry.

Private Frank Ashley

Co. H, 64th Ohio Volunteers

Camp Near Nashville Tenn

December 8 – 64

“…it is reported the railroad is cut between here and Louisville…it is also reported that the (rebels) are falling back in the direction of Franklin Tenn But they are visible in our front also hear cannonading up the river…I have not heard of W T Sherman for some time but he is alright with out doubt The non veterans of our Regt will be mustered out soon which will make it Small having a heavy loss in the late Battle of Franklin our loss is 121 men killed wounded and missing…”

letter

This article was just posted to The Tennessean online.

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Here are the most searched-for Infantry units on the blog according to the blog visitors. Not surprisingly, Confederate units are of the highest interests by my visitors.

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A blog reader needs help with this:

I talked to you a year ago or so. I am still looking for graves from the 2nd Michigan Cav. Buried at Franklin . One thing I have found is a lot of Union Soldiers confirmed as buried in Franklin , many that died at the Battle of Franklin, just never made it to Stone’s River National Cemetery. An Ohio Civil War veterans group tried to find several of Battle of Franklin KIA sometime in the early 1900’s and determined that they were not interred at Stones River even though all the Union Graves in the Franklin Area were supposedly all moved there. They are listed on the Stone’s River register even though there is no grave. But then again out of 6,100 graves at Stone’s River 2,562 are unknown. It appears to me that the re-internments from Franklin to Stone’s River were careless and haphazard, compared to the more meticulous re-interments in the Northern VA and Pa area…. I say that because even those that died before the Battle of Franklin and placed in Identified graves never turned up at Stone’s River. A lot of dead just never made it, or maybe they were just put into wagons without respect to identity and moved to Unknown Graves at Stone’s River…  Maybe that is unfair, because I notice that the confederate cemetery in Franklin also has about 1/3 Unknowns….

Lyle Borton

Lyle Borton <lyle.borton[at]comcast.net>

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Summary of the Battle of Franklin

The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee; in Williamson County. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee (around 33,000 men) faced off with John M. Schofield's Army of the Ohio and the Cumberland (around 30,000 men). Often cited as "the bloodiest five hours" during the American Civil War, the Confederates lost between 6,500 - 7,500 men, with 1,750 dead. The Federals lost around 2,000 - 2,500 men, with just 250 or less killed. Hood lost 30,000 men in just six months (from July 1864 until December 15). The Battle of Franklin was fought mostly at night. Several Confederate Generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, and the Rebels also lost 50% of their field commanders. Hood would limp into Nashville two weeks later before suffering his final defeat before retreating to Pulaski in mid December. Hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers were taken to the John and Carrie McGavock home - Carnton - after the battle. She became known as the Widow of the South. The McGavock's eventually donated two acres to inter the Confederate dead. Almost 1,500 Rebel soldiers are buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, just in view of the Carnton house.

Make sure to check-out the Google Map of the Franklin Civil War Guide.
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