On December 1, the 175th Ohio marched to Nashville and was garrisoned in Fort Negley during the Battle of Nashville. After the Confederates were defeated there, they went back to Columbia to take command of the post. Joseph summarizes the month thusly in his diary in his last entry, December 31, 1864:
This has been a month long to be remembered. We was gone from Columbia one month, was in one fight, marched from Columbia to Nashville, lay at Fort Negley twenty four days, part of the time in mud shoe mouth deep, without wood or rations. Then march back to Columbia to take command of the post.
March about twenty miles the first day. Go and look at the Franklin battlefield. Snow on the ground today about 3 inches deep. The country as we went to Nashville was rich and look[ed] prosperous. I never saw better corn. As we came back the same road it was the reverse. It was all one mass of ruin. From Nashville the roads as well as the fences was destroyed. Houses was not spared.
H.A. Gibson has been sick the most of this past month. I left him and Abe Coons at Nashville. My health has been very good. I have missed but one meal’s victuals on the account of sickness since I left home.
We have now got in a country where we can live by forage. It is just sundown and I am sitting by a warm fire in my shack on the bank of Duck River, two miles from Columbia, Maury Co., Tenn. the last day of the year.
Permission is granted by Patrick Garner.