Dec 3rd, 1864 letter by 104th Ohio soldier offers grisly detail of Rebel casualties

Nashville, Tenn
Dec 3rd, 1864

There is a mail going out in a few minutes and I must write a few lines to tell you of my safety. You have heard of the fight at Franklin day before yesterday and will be anxious to hear particulars.

I was sent with several others of the Co. after rations about an hour before the charge was made and the fight was almost over before we could get to our works. Tho we started immediately, I tell you, it was a hard battle but our boys stood their ground like heroes, tho a part of the 4th Corps left their works which almost lost the day for us. Our Corps has now, at last, a name which we may be proud of. The enemy’s loss was awful, you can have no idea of it unless you could see the field. The nearest fighting in our Brigade line was directly in front of our Co. We were the left center Co., next to the Colors, and they seemed determined to capture them, but our boys stuck to them. The rebels came up on to our works, some of them jumping clear over them. The ditch in front was piled with dead and wounded and for rods in front, a man could hardly put his foot down without stepping on them. Our loss was comparatively slight, 5 wounded in our Co . . . .

We don’t fear the enemy here. We are well fixed.

Source: (p. 125)

“Burning Rails as We Pleased”: The Civil War Letters of of William Garrigues Bentley, 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. McFarland, 2011.

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