Newly discovered letter from 125th Ohio soldier details action at Franklin and casualties of ‘green’ troops and new recruits

I recently purchased the following letter from a soldier in the 125th Ohio – Opdycke’s Tiger’s – at Franklin. Notice his reference to the ‘green’ troops engaged.


Head Quarters, 4th Army Corps
Nashville, Tenn. Dec 3rd, 1864

Dear Brother, I received yours of the 20th of November. Was glad to hear from you. The reason I did not get your letter sooner was that I was at Atlanta, GA until the 5th of this month and then you directed your letter to the 125th Ohio*. I thought that you knew that I had not been with my regiment for six months. I stay at Corps Head Qtrs and have been ever since we got to Atlanta. I was at Murfreesboro the 15th of this month. But did not know that you was there. I suppose you know that we have been fighting Hood all of the way from Pulaski, Tenn, at Columbia, Spring Hill and Franklin. We had the hardest fight at Franklin that we have ever had. Only 18 miles from Nashville. We left the most of our dead and wounded on the field, and then retreated to our holes at this place. We have lost an awful sight of killed and wounded but our consolation is that we killed two of them to one of ours and perhaps more, for they were laying in piles. They charged in one place seven times and in another nine times, and it was one continual roar of musketry and artillery from three o’clock in the afternoon till 12 o’clock at night and then we drove off leaving our dead and wounded on the field. Such as we could not get away. The Cooper [?] brothers from Ashley, John something was killed from 26th Ohio and I do not know how many more. I have not heard from home for a long time but the last was that Sarah was very sick and mother was out to Ind[iana] staying with her. That is what father and Lizza wrote. My hand is so numb and cold that I cannot write but if you get this and answer I will write more for I am very uneasy about you for the new Regts and Recruits were most all killed or wounded for they do not know how to fight or how to save themselves. When you write direct to Sergt John A. Bell, Ambulance Corps, Head Qtrs, 4th A.C. Care of Capt Tousler [?]. So wrote soon and often and oblige a brother who loves you as a brother. I forgot to state that we took fifteen hundred prisoners, give me all the news and oblige. John A. Bell, Head Qtrs, 4th A.C.

Give my respects to all the boys that I know. Tack Mason* is safe and so are all of my Co. I saw them yesterday. I will write home in a few days or two but I do not know as they will get it soon. I hear the R.R. is cut between here and you.

3 thoughts on “Newly discovered letter from 125th Ohio soldier details action at Franklin and casualties of ‘green’ troops and new recruits

  1. I WISH MORE LETTERS COULD BE FOUND TELLING OF THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN MY GREAT GRANFATHER J.D. BURNEY FOUGHT AT FRANKLIN HE WAS IN THE 49TH TN INF CO F.MADE IT THOUGH THE BATTLE AT FRANKLIN ON TO NASHVILLE.

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