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Auction listing: 2nd Michigan Cavalry, no back mark, ink-signed “Shirk Miller/2nd Mich. Cavalry” on verso. Miller enlisted in Company F, 2nd Michigan Cavalry in September 1861 as a private and rose through the non-commissioned ranks to become a lieutenant in July 1865, finally mustering out in August. Lacking chevrons, this view probably taken shortly after joining as Miller still wears civilian corduroy pants or, alternatively, during veteran’s furlough in March 1864. The regiment served exclusively in the western theater from the siege of Corinth to Chickamauga, Atlanta and Franklin ending the war in Wilson’s Cavalry Corps having lost 74 men killed and wounded.
Source: Cowan’s auction, 2006
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…”
- 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 image of Hatch was recently sold on Cowan’s. The description read:
An unsigned wartime view of Colonel Edward Hatch, 2nd Iowa Cavalry, no back mark. Edward Hatch (1832-1889) joined as Captain, Co. A, 8/61 and had advanced to Colonel by 6/62. Hatch commanded a brigade during the battle of Corinth and later participated in Grierson’s famous diversionary raid through central Mississippi during Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. He was severely WIA at Moscow, TN (12/4/63) during raiding operations and was later promoted to Brig. General (4/27/64) on the recommendation of General Grierson. General Hatch commanded a cavalry division against Hood during the Nashville Campaign and sparred with Forrest intermittently in late 1864, earning him a brevet promotion to Major General (12/15/64).
Hatch mustered out of volunteer service 1/66, and re-entered the regular army as Colonel of the all black 9th US Cavalry, 7/66. Hatch was awarded two post-war brevets—Brig. General (3/2/67) for “gallantry” at Franklin, and Major General (3/2/67) for “gallantry” at Nashville. General Hatch retained command of the 9th US Cavalry on the western frontier until his death in April 1889.
Levi Greathouse, Co H, 42nd Illinois Infantry mustered in on October 18, 1864. hardly six weeks later he saw his first action at Franklin, then at Nashville two weeks later. He was apparently severely wounded during this action as he died of his wounds February 12, 1865 in Huntsville.
From Major Atwater’s official report after Franklin:
After dark the Forty-second Illinois was placed on picket and I was detailed as officer
of the day, and before daylight of the 30th, the army all having passed, I
withdrew the pickets an rejoined my brigade, and arrived at Franklin at
noon, where we were soon placed in position on the left of the Columbia
pike, with orders to throw up works and to hold them. Not having many told
we could not built very good works, and consequently could not hold them
long after the enemy came upon us, although we did not leave them until the
right and left both gave away, and we were obliged to fall back over a level
ground a distance of at least 600 yards and the enemy in very strong force
closely following us and continually firing upon us; upon arriving at a main
and strong line of works in our rear I halted and formed the regiment and
fought as well as possible until long after dark, with a loss of 55 killed,
wounded, and missing. During the fight of the 30th one of my recruits shot
down a rebel color-bearer and took his flag from him, but was soon ordered
by a colonel in the Twenty-third Corps to turn it over to him, which he
did and during the night two more of my regiment went out in front of the
works and found three rebel flags, which they brought in with one of
the rebel soldiers, who was on picket, as a prisoner, but as soon as they
came into our lines an officer of the Twenty-third Corps ordered them to
give him the colors, and like good soldiers they obeyed the order.
So far as the conduct of the officers and, men of the regiment is concerned
I have only to speak of it in the highest terms.
About midnight of the 30th we quietly retired from Franklin to Nashville,
where we arrived at 10 a. m., very nearly tired out.
I have the honor to be, sir, your very obedient servant,
F. A. ATWATER,
Maj. Forty-second Illinois, Cmdg. Regt.