I just discovered an auction lot being offered by Cowan’s with items belonging to Daniel H. McArthur, 24th WI Infantry and later in the Signal Corps. While in the Signal Corps later in the war he passed through Nashville in early December, which would have been just after the Battle of Franklin. He records the following in a letter about what he saw in Nashville:
You who are in your comfortable homes in the north can form but a small idea of the amount of suffering caused by the war aside from the soldier’s life. In this town are hundreds of families (refugees) who have no place to live except in the tents furnished them by the government and they all draw rations just the same as the soldiers. A great many of them are women with children whose husbands and other friends are dead or in the rebel army. One night week before last it was very cold, and a train came in loaded with refugees and they had no place to go to for shelter from the cold and there was seven children froze to death, and who knows at this moment how much suffering there is in different parts of the south!