25th Indiana Infantry soldier (John Nilson) writes about a soldier being hunted by bloodhounds and torn to pieces near Holly Springs, MS.
Great content related to guerilla warfare in the summer of 1862.
Autograph letter signed (ALS), 4pp., 8vo.,
Nilson writes with a keen eye that while on a blackberry expedition he heard some shooting nearby. His group returned to camp since they didn’t have their guns with them. He did not want to repeat an incident that took place at Holly Springs (MS), when one of the 25th Indiana soldiers from Co. F had fallen behind and was “hunted down by bloodhounds and tore to pieces.” In retaliation, the Hoosier-Yankees burnt the plantation rails and destroyed two large fields (cotton, corn),leaving for memphis to guard the train, etc.
Very Fine condition
(free shipping & insurance)
- Union soldiers are hunted by Rebel bloodhounds in the Southwest, Harper’s Weekly 11/21/63
Other content notes about this letter, i.e., what else Nilson mentions?
- Richmond news . . . 30,000 Rebels killed
- “Our freedom is not far distant”
- Other men named Murphy, Sheerer and Wright
- Very descriptive account of the blackberry expedition
- “our Army (presence) . . . is very disagreeable to the people . . .”
- poignant account of the bloodhounds killing a Co F soldier at Holly Springs
- “will be in Memphis soon”
Research notes on John Nilson and the 25th Indiana:
John Nilson was from Medora, Indiana, and was promoted to 1st Lt on 8/18/64 and to Captain on 1/1/65. At the time of this letter he was with the District and Army of West Tennessee.
The 25th Indiana saw action at:
- Ft. Donelson – losing 16 killed and 80 wounded. It was part of the force which stormed and captured the outer works the next day and occupied the fort after its surrender.
- Shiloh – The 25th left for Pittsburg landing on Mar. 5, reaching there on the 18th and in the battle of Shiloh, lost 27 killed and 122 wounded.
- Siege of Corinth – The regiment was in the siege of Corinth and on June 10 occupied Grand Junction.
- Memphis – The 25th moved for Memphis July 17 and remained there until Sept. 6, engaged in scouting and hunting guerrillas.
- Bolivar – It then occupied Bolivar until Oct. 4, when it moved with Hurlbut’s division to cut off Price and Van Dorn, meeting their forces at Hatchie River and engaging in a short but fierce battle, in which the regiment lost 3 killed and 76 wounded.
- Davis Mill – It then moved to northern Mississippi, and six companies under Col. Morgan were stationed at Davis’ Mill on Wolf River where they were attacked by Van Dorn with a large force of mounted infantry. They fought so fiercely that the enemy was compelled to leave the field, after losing 23 killed, many wounded and some prisoners. The remaining four companies were distributed along the line of railroad from Grand Junction to Holly Springs.
- Atlanta Campaign – It joined the 4th division, 16th corps, before Atlanta, and was actively engaged in the siege from Aug. 8 to ,26. It was in the engagement at Jonesboro joined in pursuit of Hood’s army, attacked and routed the enemy at Snake Creek Gap . . .
- Savannah – It returned and accompanied the army to Savannah, and participated in the investment of that city. It remained in that vicinity until Jan. 4, 1865, when it moved with the 11th corps to Beaufort, S. C. going from there to Pocotaligo.
Key words this letter pertains to:
25th Indiana Infantry | John Nilson Co. G | Van Dorn | Shiloh | Corinth | Guerilla warfare | Ft Donelson | Holly Springs, MS | Marshall County, MS | Northern Mississippi
- Holly Springs, MS
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]yahoo.com if interested. Let me know if you’re looking for specific items or areas of interest.