42nd Illinois soldier enlists in mid October 1864 and sees action at Franklin

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,

Maj. Forty-second Illinois, Cmdg. Regt.

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