9th TN Cavalry (partisan ranger) writes of action at Franklin

Transcription provided by Cowan’s auction:

“As November 1864 marches on, so do the Confederate troops led by Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood. Battle remarks about the excitement building among citizens in Tennessee as they anticipate Hood’s moving towards Nashville. “All in high spirits about the rebels coming half again into our old country,” he writes on November 27th. He hears the arms at the Battle of Franklin, on November 30, 1864, and writes that “The fight was terrific beyond description.”

On December 1st as the Yankees retreated towards Nashville, Battle is chased by the Yankees again, only to elude capture. Despite the Rebels devastating losses at Franklin, Battle and the men are “overjoyed” with the presence of the Confederates and “delighted at the idea of being in the rebel lines….”

Finally able to move freely in his home town of College Grove without the fear of capture, Battle begins recruiting young men for the CSA.  “The citizens of conscript age all anxious to join me. Travel around in the afternoon for recruits. Get a good many….”

Cowan’s description of the diary:

Confederate diary of Robert I. Battle, CSA surgeon turned Morgan’s Raider and Confederate spy. Diary measures 3.5 x 5.5 in., black cloth, 75 pp, in pencil. Entries are dated April 26, 1864, to June 18, 1864, then September 27, 1864, to January 4, 1865, with near daily entries during these periods during which Battle served as a scout and spy. Fascinating content details his movements through enemy lines, skirmishes with Union soldiers, the hospitality of Southern sympathizers, Union efforts to apprehend him, references to the Battles of Franklin and Nashville, and more.
Robert Irvine Battle (1842-1921) was born near Nashville, Tennessee, to Col. William Mayo Battle and Sarah Jane Smith Battle. After graduating from the Nashville Medical College in 1860, he enlisted in the Confederate Army on 6/1/1861 as a surgeon in Company B, Tennessee 20th Infantry Regiment. Sometime after the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862), Battle was captured and taken prisoner in West Tennessee. Records list him as a POW on 5/1/1862, and indicate he was confined at Johnson’s Island prison camp in Ohio on or around 5/10/1862.
After six months in prison, a prisoner exchange landed the young surgeon in Richmond, VA, where he then joined General John Hunt Morgan’s forces as part of the Tennessee 9th Cavalry. Battle’s 1921 obituary indicates that he was with General Morgan on his famous summer 1863 raid into Ohio, and that he was among the men of Co. C led by Captain J. D. Kirkpatrick who escaped capture at Buffington Island. These men then made their way on foot through West Virginia and back to the Confederate Army. The obituary then states that upon reaching the Confederate Army, Battle was made headquarters scout for General Benjamin J. Hill, assuming the role with a hand-picked group of men of whom he was made captain. In the summer and fall of 1864 and 1865, General Hill served various roles in the CSA, but remained in the Tennessee region. Like Robert Battle, General Hill was a Tennessee native, and no doubt the General selected Battle as a scout in part because of his familiarity with the territory in which they were fighting.

Union surgeon (Landis) writes of working in Hospital #1 in Nashville, late 1862

Dr. Abraham Hoch Landis wrote to his children and detailed his day-to-day activities in Hospital #1 (Nashville).

December 15, 1862 letter reads, in part:

All the churches in town and many other buildings are used for hospital purposes. The sick soldiers that I am attending are in three large rooms. Every morning when I get up and get my breakfast I go into a room and find from 10 to 15 sick men. I go from one to another and write on a piece of paper what kind of medicine each one needs, and the paper is taken to the hospital steward and he doses out the medicine. When I get through one room I go to another room until I get done. One house in town is used to keep rebels in. I went to see them one day. They were hard looking cases. It would scare you to see them, there was so much dirt on the floor that I could hardly see it and their shirts looked as if they had not been washed in a month.

Source below: HA.com

[Union Surgeon]. Dr. Abraham Landis Archive. A large archive of over 450 letters relating to Union surgeon, Dr. Abraham Landis, with approximately 189 letters from Dr. Landis, dating from April 5, 1862 – April 24, 1865. Many of the letters are accompanied by their original transmittal covers. Landis’ early letters detail about his medical work in Tennessee near Nashville. In 1863, he was captured by the Confederates at Chickamauga and was taken to Libby Prison, and the archive has two letters from his time there and one immediately after his release. About half of the letters then cover his service in the Atlanta Campaign, the Battle of Resaca, movements on and around Dallas, Georgia, and on Kennesaw Mountain. Landis was then seriously wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and his letters that follow are about his recovery in hospital.

Abraham Hoch Landis (1820-1896) joined the 35th Ohio Infantry in November 1862 at the age of 41. However, before he was mustered into the 35th OH, Landis was already helping the army in a medical capacity.

Chaplain the 90th Ohio Infantry writes of Hood’s retreat and Confederate dead after Franklin

The following letter was retrieved online on October 6, 2018 (Cowan’s Auction)

William C. Holliday (1838-1921) was born in Adams County, Ohio. The Minutes of Ohio Annual Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church described him as a “local preacher” as early as 1855. Holliday enlisted on December 21, 1863, as a chaplain and was commissioned into Field & Staff OH 90th Infantry. Holliday mustered out on June 13, 1865 at Camp Harker, TN.

Franklin Tenn Dec 18, 1864
1st Division Hospital 4 AC

Ma

Yesterday morning we moved easily in the AM. Our troops had moved rapidly after the panic stricken and fleeing rebels about four miles. It was night. They slept on the mud and under the rain. It rained all day – but this Army is so flushed with victory that they did splendid marching – though tired and worn from two days incessant fighting and almost sleepless nights. We came about fifteen miles. Rebels are still going. It is the greatest victory of the war….”

And writing to his wife from the Field Hospital ….

Six Miles North Columbia Tenn.”[Dec 19]

Mrs. Holliday,

It is about 7oclock PM. I sent you a very brief letter on the 18 at Franklin. On this same day we marched about 14 miles through the rain. At Franklin I had an opportunity of circling over the battlefield. The rebels suffered terribly. They assaulted our works and were killed by the hundred. I counted on one side the pile over three hundred and fifty graves. There were as many on the other side…”

Source: Cowan’s

 

Officers of the 38th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Spectacular Half Plate Outdoor Tintype

This tintype is currently offered (Oct 2018) on Cowan’s Auction site.

Text & images source: Cowan’s

Anonymous, half plate tintype featuring officers and enlisted men of the 38th Indiana Infantry, taken around Murfreesboro, TN in April of 1863, while the 38th was encamped there following the Battle of Stones River. This spectacular outdoor image shows the men gathered around an open tent, with a captain’s desk figuring prominently in the scene. Image housed in a full pressed paper case, fully separated at spine.

Accompanying period label with embossed maker’s mark identifies all of the subjects, including Captain George Windell of Co. K, Captain William Leneau of Co. B, and Lieutenant James Low of Co. D. At the time this image was made, it is likely that Low had recently returned to the regiment after recovering from a serious head would received at Stones River. Low eventually took command of the 38th, but was killed at the Battle of Bentonville, NC, before the official commission and subsequent promotion was received. Additional paperwork included with lot provides more detailed biographical information of each subject, referencing official reports, company histories, and post-war memoirs.