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On 13 August 1861, Nathan W. Wilcox joined the Engineering Regiment of the West, out of Missouri. He lived in New London, Iowa. He recruited over 20 of his fellow Iowans before reporting for duty. He spent the next two-plus years building roads, bridges, canals, and railroads. He was discharged in Nashville where he continued to work under contract to the government doing surveying and architectural work.

When the war was over, he sent for his family and settled in Tennessee, living and working in Knox, Davidson, Montgomery and Franklin counties, over the next 25 years. When his body finally gave out 9 Sept 1891, he was interred in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.  If he had a tombstone originally, it has long-since disappeared.  Descendants of Captain Wilcox recently replaced his tombstone with a new marker.

Pvt Robert A. Jarman, 27th Mississippi, Co K.

Jarman served in the Army of Tennessee for three years. He was one of only four members remaining in his company after the Battle of Nashville in 1864.

Source: Soldier Life, Time Life Books, 2007: 134.

At Franklin, the 27th was in Lee’s Corps, Johnson’s Division, Brantley’s Brigade; serving with the 24th, 29th, 30th, 34th Mississippi units too.

5th Iowa Cav. (Curtis Horse) – August Schlapp

Tells story of action at Lockridge’s Mill, TN (part of Siege of Corinth) where the 5th Iowa suffered severe casualties, over 60 soldiers captured, including Schlapp

The 5th Iowa was engaged in Hood’s middle Tennessee campaign, fought at Nashville and was much engaged in Hood’s Retreat in late December.

Iowa Cavalry soldier, prisoner of war story in relation to the siege of Corinth, battle detail between cavalry units, middle TN action, soldier and a Cav unit that saw significant participation at the Battle of Nashville and in Hood’s retreat.

- – – – – -

Fort Heiman, TN (near Dresden and Ft Henry)
Soldier (August Schlapp, Co. F) writes “Seven miles from Dresden we stopped and camped, when we were attacked by 2200 Secesh cavalry, we slapped on our saddles and off we went to where our main force was encamped, you will remember that 40 of our whole force of 128 fleeing, one of them kept a mile in the rear of the balance as rear guard. Many of our rear guard was killed, wounded or taken prisoners, before they got to their horses. When we got to the other camp they was not mounted, but most of them soon became so, and we formed a line of battle, but after a very short stand were ordered to retreat, then commenced such a funny race between Secesh and Union soldiers which I never witnessed before. Horses plunging into holes, men tumbling off killed or wounded or jumping off and taking to the bushes, with the constant roar of musket, carabine and pistol fire, saber rattle and Indian like yell of the men made a laughable fuss for a cool listener. To make short a long story 61 of us were taken prisoner … back to Corinth where we were sent on parole across the lines, into Halleck’s Camps. There we met with severe ill treatment from Halleck who contrary to our oath put us to hospital work such as digging graves and burying dead. At last we were sent to our Regiment and upon refusing to report for duty before regularly exchanged, were put in the Guard house and bound to hard labor. After two weeks confinement they read us an order wich releaved us of our parole,”

Notes from Schlaap’s letter

1. He is describing the severe engagement at Lockridge’s Mill, TN where he and 60 of his comrades were captured during a surprise raid by Rebel cavalry.

2. Details incredible action during the raid between Union and Confederate cavalry forces.

3. Mentions 61 of the Union men were taken prisoner, and were taken back to Corinth, paroled, and had to dig graves under Halleck’s supervision.

Research notes on August L. Schlapp, Co. F. 5th Iowa Cavalry

August L. Schlapp was from Burlington, Iowa. He was 24 years old when he enlisted on September 7th, 1861 as an 8th Corporal. On October 25, 1861 he mustered in to Co. F., 5th Iowa Cavalry. He reenlisted 1/14/64 and mustered out 8/11/65.

About two months prior to writing this letter he was listed as a POW at Lockridge’s Mill, TN.  He was returned to his regiment on 6/10/62, writing this letter just a few weeks later. Schlaap was born in Germany.

At the time of Schlapp writing this letter he was a member of the District and Army of West Tennessee.

According to David Conzett’s web site: Schlapp was one of the men who was part of an amazing episode in the regiment’s history. The Official Roster entry says “taken prisoner May 5, 1862, Lockridge’s Mill, Tennessee. Returned to Company June 10, 1862.” However, the story did not end there. The men had been paroled by the Confederates, but were not properly exchanged. Nevertheless they were coerced by their commander to reenter the fray. This was contrary to laws of war, and the men knew it. Some disobeyed the order, but most acquiesced when they witness the punishment of their friends. Schlapp’s entry in the 1888 Portrait and Biograhical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa describes the event this way, stating he “was captured near Mayfield, Ky., in 1862, held a prisoner for two weeks and discharged on parole. The parole was not respected by his superior officers, and, with others of his comrades, he was forced to return to active duty.”

The 5th Iowa Cavalry saw action at:

  • Paris, TN – March 1862
  • Lockridge’s Mill, TN - May 1862
  • Cumberland Iron Works, TN – August 1862
  • Lafayette, TN – October 1862
  • Garrettsburg, KY – November 1862
  • McMinnville, TN – September 1863
  • Wartrace, TN – October 1863
  • Chattahoochee River, GA – July 1863
  • Atlanta Campaign – summer 1864
  • Duck River, TN - November 1964
  • Battle of Nashville – Dec 15, 1864; “when the great battle before that city was fought it took part at the extreme right where it suffered but little.”
  • Pulaski, TN (Hood’s Retreat) - late December; In the pursuit of Hood, which nearly annihilated his whole army, the regiment was very active, repeatedly overtaking and engaging his cavalry, with some loss.
  • Other places: Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee

Key words this letter pertains to:

5th Iowa Cavalry | August Schlaap | Confederate Cavalry | Union Cavalry | Lockridge’s Mill, TN | Prisoner of War | Corinth | Burying the Dead | Fort Heiman | Battle of Nashville | Duck River | Hood’s Retreat

More about Schlapp:

August L. Schlapp, a member of the wholesale grocery house of Biklen, Winzer & Co., was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, July 27, 1837, and is a son of H. L. Schlapp, also a native of that country. He was educated in the gymnasium of his native city, taking a classical course, and then was employed in an antiquarian book-store for a time as a salesman, but subsequently emigrated to America, coming direct to Burlington, Iowa, which he reached in July 1857. At this time he was but twenty years of age. He engaged as a farm-hand in Des Moines County, also doing some work of he same character in Henry County until the war broke out, when he enlisted in the Fremont Hussars, an independent cavalry regiment, but was subsequently transferred with his company to the 5th Iowa Cavalry, was captured near Mayfield, Ky., in 1862, held a prisoner for two weeks and discharged on parole. The parole was not respected by his superior officers, and, with others of his comrades, he was forced to return to active duty. His promotion to the rank of Second Lieutenant occurred Oct. 20, 1864. Until 1863 Mr. Schlapp’s services were employed in hunting guerrillas, but at that time his regiment joined the main army, the Army of the Cumberland, before Murfreesboro, and participated in the battles of Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Chattanooga, capture of Atlanta, battle of Jonesboro, Franklin, Nashville, Decatur, the raid through middle Tennessee, Wilson’s Raid, the capture of Selma, Ala., and of Columbus, Ga. He was mustered out at the close of the war, Aug. 20, 1865.

On his return from the war, Mr. Schlapp located in Burlington, Iowa, and engaged with Starker & Hagemann, wholesale grocers, as shipping clerk, and one year later left them to engage in the retail grocery business at Ft. Madison. He carried on that business successfully until 1875, when he sold out, returned to Burlington, and with Biklen and Winzer succeeded the wholesale grocery house of Starker, Hagemann & Co. Mr. Schlapp has been an active member of the firm of Biklen, Winzer & Co., the most extensive house in this line in the city since its incorporation.

On the 13th of October, 1866, in Burlington, Iowa, Mr. Schlapp led to the marriage alter Miss Lina Krust, a native of St. Louis, Mo. Three living children grace their union, two sons and a daughter–Carl H. L., Ernest Otto and Anna.

Mr. Schlapp was a Republican for many years, but is now known as a member of that class called Mugwumps, and, having never been an aspirant for the honors of public office, has devoted his attention strictly to business pursuits. He is a member of the Turners’ Society, the Crystal Lake Shooting Club, the Burlington Commercial Club, and Burlington Schuetzen Verein, and has always taken an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare and development of the city, being recognized as one of the representative business men.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Desmoines County, Iowa. Chicago: Acme Publishing, 1888.

All information is deemed reliable but subject to revision as more is learned. I offer few items for sale so please contact me at civilwargazette[at] if interested.   Let me know if you’re looking for specific items or areas of interest.

This CDV was recently sold at auction by HA.  It is a carte de visite of the Confederate dead outside Battery Robinette at Corinth.  Col. William Rogers, 2d Texas Infantry is in the foreground.

Here are some additional views of the same image blown up for detail.

Col. William Rogers, 2d Texas Infantry is on the left

While in camp at Tupelo, Mississippi, 2nd Lt. Samuel Robinson , Co. G/I, 63rd Virginia Infantry, wrote home to his wife Lydia in Virginia………

Tupelo, Mississippi

January 15, 1865

Lilbourne Blevins, Co. C, 63RD Virginia Infantry

“We have been marching and fighting all of the time on the 30 day of November we had the hardest little fight that has bin during this campaign but we was too hard for them. We drove them out of their works but our loss was heavy. It is reported to be thirty eight hundred kiled and wounded and I han’t any dout but it is true for I want over the battle field the next morning and it was the turiblest sight that my eye ever beheld. The men lay piled and crossed upon each other where or men charged them. I think that we had about 3 to the yankeys one kiled. This fight took place at franklin. Tennessee and we run them on to Nashville where we skirmished with them several days when our Brigade was ordered to murfreesborough, we reached there on the 6 day of December and in the 7 we had a faight there with the yankeys but they was too many for us. We had several kiled and wounded our colonel was shot through the arme and was left in the hands of the enemy. They was one of my Co. that was left there but I don’t know whether he was kiled or captured and we fell back some three or four miles and took appsition so as to keep them from reinforcing at Nashville and on the 15 and 16 was a big fight on the night of the 16 Janeral hood commenced retreating from Nashville with a heavy loss and we have retreated some too hundred miles through the wet and cold mud half leg deep and a great many of the men was entirely barfotted and almost naked. The men marched over the frozen ground till their feet was worn out till they could be tracked by the blood and some of them there feet was frosted and swolen till they bursted till they could not stand on their feet now this is what I saw my self and our Brigade left back with Jeneral Forrest Caveraly to Bring up and cover they retreat which left us in danger of being captured at any time but we got out safe or the mos of them, we had to stop and fight them most every day. On the 25 of the month which was Christmas day we pased through the town that is called Pulaski and we crossed the river and the caveraly aim to burn the bridge but the yankees run up and drove our men away about too o’clock they overtaken us and we form a line of battle and they came up and we let loose a volley at they which turned them and we charged after them and captured several horses all one brass pees of artillery and that given them a sear till was not pestered with them any till we reached Tennessee River and we crossed over where we joined the rest of the army, or what got out. They was at least one third of the men left in Tenn kiled wounded and captured. So I will stop writing for this time. I am truly thankful that I am spared with they has so many hundred yeas thoughsands killed by and round me and I have yet escaped.”


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Kraig McNutt is the author and publisher of this blog. He has been blogging on Franklin for over five years and on the Civil War in general since 1995. Email him.

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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.

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