7th Illinois Cav letter written the day of the Battle of Franklin

Also auctioned off in 2013 was this important letter from a Union cavalry soldier:

Pvt. Albert Swap, 7th Illinois Cavalry, Co C, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 30, 1864

[The 7th Illinois was part of Hatch’s Division, Coon’s Brigade. They served with the 2nd IA, 6th & 9th Illinois, and the 12th TN Cavs.]

“…you said you suppose Chas Dewey would arrive before I received this message of yours, so he did, but I regret to say he is among the missing on our trip to this place. We left Memphis on the 17th and was 9 days on the River there was several men drowned before we arrived at his place and C. L. D. and John R. Chapman of Co. C are among the missing. The last I saw of them was about two miles above New Madrid, Mo….

It has now been 62 days since the Regt. went out on this scout, they are now about 40 miles from this place at Columbia where they are having some very hard fighting with Hood’s Army. Genl. Thomas is out there with two corps of Infantry but the rebs still drive him back. We could hear very heavy cannonading in that direction for about an hour this morning. There is going to be some very hard fighting about this city in a short time if they keep driving our men back. We are camped about two miles from the city and they are going to move us in towards the city as they think we are exposed to a raid from the Lebanon Pike…

There is considerable excitement here today the Rebel General Hood is still driving our men they are now within 20 miles of this place. Some of our men who have come from the front seem to think that Genl. Thomas is falling back to get the rebels where he can gain some advantage over them while others seem to think they are two strong for us, if the latter there will be some hard fighting and then we will either have to fall back or be gobbled but we must always look on the bright side of everything…

But alas how many of our Brave soldiers are falling hourly as I am penning you these poor lines, the sullen booming of the cannon that I can hear very plainly speaks of death…to the soldier…”

letter2

 

Notes:

  • Charles L. Dewey was from Mendota, Ill; he survived the war. A total of eight men with last named Dewey fought int he 7th ILL Cav; six in Company C, like Charles.
  • John R. Chapman, Co C., also survived the war.

New York Times headlines, December 25, 1864

Before the Battle.; PERSONAL.

NASHVILLE., Tenn, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1864. The theatre of war has again been transferred to Middle Tennessee, and naturally, all eyes are turned in this direction. Military matters and events it seems, are uncertain, like changes in the weather, and the like. That man who, three months ago, would have dared to announce the fact that HOOD’s army would have been encamped within gunshot of Nashville, in December, 1864, would have been declared insane. Any person who would have cogitated upon such an event, would have involuntarily esteemed himself an ass. But such is the state of affairs. The rebel Army of Tennessee and the Army of the Cumberland confront each other precisely upon the ground they did just two years ago. ROSECRANS left this city on Christmas Day, 1862, and fought, and won a victory on the banks of stone River, near Murfreesboro, thirty miles from Nashville, a week after. Three hundred miles nearly, were the obstinate enemy pushed into the very bowels of Georgia, in the space of nineteen months, while tens of thousands of brave men upon each side were hurried to untimely graves. Three short months elapse, and we find the rebel army back where it was two years ago, numerically stronger, and more defiant, and better soldiers than Europe ever saw. But, ah! is there any one so unwise as to compare the interior of the situation of to-day with that of two years ago? I suppose not; I trust not. It cannot be possible that men of sense are impressed with the idea that the bloody battles of “Stone River,” “Chickamauga,” “Mission Ridge,” “Lookout Mountain,” “Resaca,” “New-Hope Church,” “Kenesaw,” “Peach-tree Creek,” and other sanguinary contests were fought in vain — that the blood of SILL KIRK, LYTTLE, HARKER, the great MCPHERSON, and fifty thousand other noble fellows has been spilled for nothing. God forbid that such an impression should become rife. No: the Federal situation, as I have many times informed you, is perfectly satisfactory. The rebels present a bold front, indeed; but they have no rear. Their army is like a snake with his guts snapped out. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS is pretty well known. I will merely add that he says everything is all right. It is known here and in Washington that he can whip and drive off HOOD’s army to-day. He aims to annihilate Hood and his army. Time will tell. Since my last, no material change in the movements of national or rebel troops, can be chronicled. While I write, the brightest moon, if you please, shines upon the coldest night I ever saw in Tennessee. Three days ago a violent storm of sleet ceased, and gave birth to a spell of cold weather, which makes even the sturdy Michiganders squeal. This sort of weather is still on hand, and absolutely nothing has transpired for nearly a week. Saturday and Sunday not a gun was fired, the soldiers’ time being chiefly occupied in feeding the roaring fires which blazed for miles around. Our troops, with plenty to eat and drink, with warm clothes, heavy blankets, good fires and sheltertents, have suffered with the cold. Must not the suffering on the rebel side, among the private soldiers, be intense? They are thinly clad, poorly shod, badly fed, with no tents and few blankets, and with thinner blood in their systems than that which courses through the veins of our own soldiers. This state of affairs can be relied upon. Rebel correspondents, more than two months ago stated, grandiloquently, that the “boys, blanketless and shoeless, started off upon their march for Tennessee, rending the air with their vociferations of joy.” Gen. HARDING, Mrs. A.V. BUREN and ladies and gentlemen of reliability within the rebel lines, send in the intelligence that the whole neighborhood has been stripped of carpets, which are cut up and made into blankets. Other statements, of a reliable character, are to the effect that the rebels are suffering for substantial food and clothing. Statements which I made in my last letter, regarding HOOD’s sweeping process of conscription, are corroborated by many who have escaped within our lines. His conscription, however, cannot injure us in the least. He gathers to his ranks a worthless crowd, who are traitors at heart, but unwilling to fight — a set of men who have invited this thing all along, and who have devoted their leisure in abusing the Government and slandering the patriots who are acting in its defence. As the war goes on brave men get braver. For instance; LYTTLE was killed at the head of his column, MCPHERSON was shot through the heart while rallying his troops. Gen. DODGE had a piece of his head chopped off while inspecting his lines. The rebel Gen. GRACLE’s life has just been cut off while personally examining his position. Hundreds and thousands of other brave men have perished in like manner. During the siege of Atlanta, which may be considered to have lasted from the date of MCPHERSON’s death to the capture of the city, I was impressed with the conduct of the general officers assisting in that campaign. The rebel strength, in the way of fortifications, lie in front of Atlanta, upon both sides of the railroad. The headquarter-camps of Generals PALMER, JOHNSON, BAIRD, KING, CURTISS, JEFF, C. DAVIS, MORGAN, and others, were less than a mile from the rebel batteries. Gen. THOMAS’ headquarters was a half mile further in the rear, but really in the worst place of all. His headquarters was immediately in the rear of SNYDERMASTER’s battery — the first one which opened upon Atlanta, which was on Saturday, the 23d of July. For weeks three rebel batteries of 32 and 64-pound guns kept up an incessant fire of shells, by day and night, upon SNYDERMASTER, about half of which, however, having “full???rations,” went thundering into General THOMAS’ camp. Several unexploded shells, shaped like a water-bucket, were on exhibition there at one time. They had been thrown from those 60-pounder guns stolen by FLOYD from the Washington navy-yard. The camps of JOHNSON, BAIRD and KING for weeks were pretty well attended to by the rebel artillerists, who hurled enough shot and shell in that space to start several iron foundries. Gens. SHERMAN and THOMAS rode around their lines daily, often to the dismay of some of those who accompanied them. General officers, now-a-days, seem anxious to make a personal inspection of their lines and of their working parties. One day Gen. SHERMAN was riding close to the skirmish line in GEARY’s front, when one of his staff officers launched off and remarked, “He may go right square up and get shot, if he wants to, but I’ll be — if I do.” Gens. BLAIR, LOGAN and DODGE might be seen at their front line of works almost daily. One afternoon Gen. PALMER sent word to BAIRD to open upon a certain battery which had been annoying some portion of his line. Gen. BAIRD ordered up the guns himself. As soon as they opened, the rebels directed their attention that way. BAIRD stood the whole fire, while portions of his staff, half a mile in the rear, took to trees. When BAIRD returned he laughed at them, and recommended that they improvise some “gophers.” I rode out with Gen. BAIRD one night when he was around upon the right. He sneaks around upon neutral ground like an Indian. He actually hitched his horse upon the inside of his works, and went upon the outside, and occasionally told me to “Go a little quiet along here,” and “There’s their line; stoop down a little,” and the like. BAIRD is very brave. CARLIN is just like him. When he was removed from brigade to division headquarters, last Summer, in front of Atlanta, he grumbled because he was so far off from his lines. I was visiting Gen. KING one day, and it happened that Gen. SCHOFIELD was moving his corps from left to right. This attracted the attention of the rebels in KING’s front, and they shelled SCHOFIELD vigorously all the afternoon; but, unfortunately, more than half of them exploded in or near KING’s camp. I must confess, I got slightly demoralized myself, and indulged in frequent potations of commissary, to renew my departing courage. Gen. KING laughed, as he watched the operations of his orderlies and “strikers,” who were exceedingly overcome with fright. After the shelling had ceased, he called up the crowd, and put them all back in the ranks, adding, that he wouldn’t have such a pack of infernal cowards about him. I could tell you a multiplicity of such stories. The above are from my own observation; and I am free to say that this war has developed one fact: that general officers are not to be found in the rear; and I can bear witness that no Commander, from the Chiefs down to Brigadiers’ escaped danger during the campaign from Chattanooga to Atlanta. They seemed to have courted it, if one may judge by the way they pitched into it. Hardly an engagement occurs, either here or in the East, but what some of our general officers are either killed or wounded. Our loss was slight at Franklin and yet we had two general officers wounded. PERSONAL. Although COUCH ranks WOOD, the latter continues to command the Fourth Corps, in STANLEY’s absence. This is as it should be, Gen. WOOD is an able and gallant officer, and has been in every fight in the southwest. He has twice been wounded on the field of action, and, curious to relate, he was both times wounded in the same place. No officer is more beloved than WOOD. Gen. JAMES STEEDMAN was in town yesterday. His headquarters is on the Murfreesboro’ pike, about one mile from town. Mr. JAMES HOOD, of the Chattanooga Gazette, is acting upon his staff, as Volunteer Aid-de-Camp. Gen. COUCH has been given a command of a division in the Twenty-third Corps. His division is one of the finest in the army. Citizens, who have arrived inside of our lines, report that no rebel general officer was killed, and but two wounded. This is the same as our own. They report that PATRICK CLEBURNE feigned dead to avoid capture, and that CHEATHAM’s legs saved him. They report the rebel loss in killed and wounded three times larger than our own. Gen. HOOD was upon the field during the Franklin fight, and in exceeding danger during its progress. He had been out of a sick bed but a week. BENJAMIN C. TRUMAN.

New York Times Headlines, December 24, 1864

GEN. THOMAS’ ARMY.; Particulars of Hood’s Defeat and Flight. Eighteen General Officers and Seventeen Thousand Men Disabled. FIFTY-ONE CANNON CAPTURED. Hood’s Pontoons on the Tennesse Out of Reach of Our Gunboats. OUR ARMY STILL PURSUING. The Advance Across Duck River. HOOD’s ADVANCE AT PULASKI. THE VERY LATEST. THE BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. THURSDAY’S FIGHT. FRIDAY’S FIGHT.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times. FRANKLIN, TENN., Thursday, Dec, 22. The rebel retreat from Franklin to Duck River beggars all description. HOOD told his Corps Commanders to get off the best way they could with their commands. FRANK CHEATHAM told his aunt, Miss PAGE, that HOOD was ordered to Nashville against his own wishes, but he blames HOOD for not attacking SCHOFIELD at Spring Hill. HOOD ordered BATE to attack at Spring Hill, and he didn’t do it. The rebel army is now beyond Columbia. During the rebel tarry in front of Nashville they captured but two locomotives and ten cars. The railroad is but little injured, and trains are running up to Spring Hill, but two small bridges destroyed. Trains were run to Murfreesboro’ on Sunday. Telegraphic communication is all right with all points. But two small trestles are destroyed on the Johnsonville road. Johnsonville itself was not destroyed. The rebel lose, during the campaign, was 17,000 men, fifty-one cannon captured and eighteen general officers. The killed, at Franklin, numbered 1,400 the wounded 3,800 and 1,000 prisoners were taken. In the battles before Nashville and retreat to Columbia there were 3,000 killed [and wounded and 8,000 prisoners. The Federal loss in the battle at Franklin was 2,000, before Nashville not 4,000. The total Federal loss will not reach 7,000, with two generals slightly wounded. HOOD has a pontoon bridge above the shoals on the Tennessee River, where our gunboats can’t reach it. HOOD marched on Franklin with 40,000 men, including cavalry, and 65 pieces of artillery. He lost just half his general officers, and counting in deserters which are coining in and stragglers which are being captured, he will lose nearly half his men. The rout is complete, although his army is not quite annihilated. B.C. TRUMAN.

NASHVILLE. Friday, Dec. 23. The latest accounts from the front locate Gen. THOMAS headquarters at Rutherford Hill, yesterday morning, eight miles this side of Columbia. Since that time our forces have crossed Duck River, and have moved to a point south of Columbia. Our cavalry forces crossed at Hunter’s Ford, below Columbia, and dashed into the town, the enemy meanwhile retreating without firing a shot. We captured about fifty stragglers. The rebel force was, at last accounts, at Pulaski, yesterday morning. They are probably some distance south of that place to-day. They are closely followed by our cavalry. No particular damage was done to the town of Columbia by the passage through it of the two armies. At least one-third of HOOD’s armies are without arms and equipments, everything which impedes their flight having been thrown away. Rebel deserters and prisoners report the only effective corps of HOOD’s army to be S.D. LEE’S. FORREST effected a junction with HOOD at Columbia on Tuesday evening. The water on the Shoals is fifteen feet deep, and at a stand-still.

NASHVILLE, Friday, Dec, 16 — Midnight. The readers of newspapers do not know what correspondents suffer sometimes in mind. For Instance, imagine a poor fellow taking the chances of a battle all day, then riding several miles in the dark, with mud up to his horse’s belly, to find “the wires down east of Louisville,” This has been the case with the subscriber, and others, for the past two days. The fighting yesterday and to-day, as I have stated in a telegram which, may be, you have never received, has been grander and more magnificent in detail than anything I have ever witnessed upon a field of battle. Early in the morning the enemy’s line of battle was within musket shot of Nashville, with both flanks resting upon the river, with Gen. FRANK CHEATHAM’S corps on the rebel right, crossing the Lebanon, Murfreesboro and Nolensville Pikes; STEPHEN D. LEE’S corps in the centre, crossing the Franklin, Granny White and Hillsboro Pikes, and STEWART on their felt, crossing the Harding and Charlotte Pikes, and resting on the river a few miles south of the city, and commanded by HOOD in person. Our forces were commanded by Gen. THOMAS, and moved upon the enemy in the following order: A.J. Smith upon the right, STEEDMAN on the left, and WOOD in the centre, with SCHOFIELD in reserve, and most of our cavalry, under Gens. JOHNSON, HATOR and WILSON, on the right. Beside, we had gunboats assisting in the protection of our ranks, which rested on the river. A.J. Smith moved out the Sixteenth Corps about 8 o’clock, and skirmished with the enemy until a little before 1 o’clock, with little or no loss to either side, making about a mile in that time. WOOD moved out the celebrated Fourth Corps about the same time, and charged two lines of works and captured them before he took his dinner. Gens. BEATY’S and ??? divisions ??? with great ??? and enthusiasm, and were received in gallant manner by the rebels, who fought with their accustomed desperation. But two rebel batteries were brought to bear upon the two divisions, while six batteries of field artillery, and all the big guns on Fort Negley, and guns upon Casino and Confiscation, for more than an hour, were employed in hurling destruction into the rebel ranks. Immediately in front of Mrs. ACKLIN’s house the charge was made with unbounded spirit. POST’S brigade and a battery of artillery piled into the lines head over heels, and captured one hundred men and a section of artillery. Gen. STEEDMAN moved out his men, composed of a portion of his own division, detachments of troops belonging to the different corps with SHERMAN, and two brigades of colored troops, respectively commanded by Cols. THOMPSON and MORGAN. Gen. STEEDMAN’S orders were to make a vigorous attack, for two reasons: Gen. THOMAS desired to get possession of a nasty fort upon our extreme left, which commanded our line for two miles to the right, and further, to deceive HOOD, as SMITH and SCHOFIELD were to turn the enemy’s left, had any attempt to crush STEEDMAN taken place. But the rebels did not await the second charge of the two colored brigades, which went right up to the summit of the hill without much wavering, driving the enemy a Quarter of a mile, and capturing nearly a hundred prisoners. Up to noon STEEDMAN’S troops were pretty actively engaged, the white and the black men, shoulder to shoulder, pitching in like fury, regardless of all considerations of color. At noon STEEDMAN had moved nearly a mile and a half, and had commenced to swing his extreme left in a little from the river. On our extreme right, our cavalry had about all they could conveniently attend to during the forenoon, experiencing slight repulses, owing to the fine positions of the enemy. Our infantry and cavalry got some very rough handling just about this time, but were helped out of their dilemma by the gunboats, which came along in the nick of time. The Carondelet threw about fifty 64-pound shells into the rebel left, driving the troops resting on the river in great confusion, and silencing a battery of artillery. In the afternoon STEEDMAN was not so busily engaged as he had been during the early part of the day. His troops, however, were under fire all the while, and behaved with great gallantry. During all these charges, the colored troops hardly gave way. They were admirably handled by Cols. THOMPSON and MORGAN, both brave young men, and as they tugged up the hill the white soldiers upon either side rent the air with vociferations. The negroes, too, as they dashed inside of the works, shouted, screamed, yelled and threw up their hats, notwithstanding they had left nearly two hundred of their comrades behind, the bleeding victims of rebel shot and shell. As I said above, of the grand charge which I have described, STEEDMAN moved with little opposition, as the rebels, in contracting their lines, necessarily abandoned some strong positions in his front. WOOD’S corps stood the brunt of the fight in the afternoon, and added new laurels to its well-known and well-earned fame. A little before 3 o’clock, the Second and Third Divisions made two glorious charges upon a long line of rude rifle-pits. An entire battery of brass guns were captured, but most of the troops ran away, and but few prisoners were captured. Before dark another line of works were taken, WOOD’S corps sustaining a loss of over one hundred men killed and wounded during the charge. He was above an hour from the commencement to the conclusion of this charge, during which time the enemy made very little use of his artillery. At dark the Fourth Corps was four miles from Nashville, having taken half a dozen lines of works, several cannon, and toward four hundred prisoners. Although WOOD’S corps did the hardest fighting in the afternoon, A.J. SMITH, in conjunction with the cavalry and a portion of SCHOFIELD’s corps, made a multiplicity of brilliant movements, resulting in the capture of two batteries of artillery, nearly a thousand prisoners, a wagon train, and Gens. LER’s and CHALMER’s headquarters’ trains. This was in a great measure owing to the sagacity and skill of Gen. A.J. SMITH, who seems as much at home upon a field of action as one might well imagine. Portions of SCHOFIELD’s corps were also eminently interested in the saking of the batteries, as were also HATCH’s and JOHNSON’s divisions of cavalry. The gunboats kept up their thundering all the latter part of the afternoon, and did considerable execution upon the enemy’s left. At dark firing ceased, with the exception that our artillerists threw an occasional shell into the rebel lines. The enemy had been pushed over three miles all round since daylight, although at times the fighting was of the most stubborn character. The victory was one of the superbest of the war. Our troops drove the enemy at all points, extending our territory three miles south of our position in the morning. Some five distinct lines of rebel works were taken on the left and centre, and the rebel left broken. We captured eighteen guns, with caissons, &c., all in complete order. We also captured 1,600 prisoners, a large amount of small arms, and a number of wagons. It is believed that our own and the enemy’s loss in killed and wounded, is about the same, each side losing between 1,200 and 1,500. The rebels used very little artillery, but used what they did to a purpose. The captured guns were all smooth bores but four, and of excellent workmanship. On account of the rolling condition of the country and the thinness of the forests, the movements of the troops upon both sides were witnessed to much advantage. At one time the entire front of STEEDMAN’s and WOOD’s troops and two corps of the enemy, could be seen distinctly from a safe position. Gens. Thomas, Smith, Schofield, Wood, Steedman, Wilson and other general officers, were upon the field all day. No general officer was injured, although WOOD like to have lost his head by a cannon ball twice. In point of splendor and magnincent results, today’s affair was even more glorious than yesterday’s. During the night, Gen. HOOD contracted his lines in a remarkable degree, resting his right a short distance east of the Franklin pike, and his left on the Harding pike, making his line of battle less than four miles from flank to flank, although it was double that number of miles in extreme length, owing to its zig-zag order upon and near the Franklin pike. He also retired his army from a naturally weak position and disposed his forces at the base of a range of detached spurs of the Cumberland. It was evident that he intended to make another stand, and it was also evident that the preservation of his rear and his line of retreat upon the Franklin pike, were objects of his particular attention. Gen. THOMAS evidently knew what HOOD’s programme was as well as HOOD himself, and at daylight moved STEEDMAN out rapidly upon the left, with orders to swing in and cross the Murfreesboro’ and Nolensville pikes. This was done with rapidity, but no captures were made owing to the rebel evacuation of their works on our left during the night. WOOD and A.J. SMITH moved up to within musket shot of the rebel lines, while SCHOFIELD was held partly in reserve on the right and partly in a position to make a rapid dash in conjunction with our cavalry, upon the enemy’s left, should the situation suggest such a demonstration. All this transpired before 9 A.M. I went out upon the Granny White pike, a little before night, and watched the movements of our right and the enemy’s left until noon. The enemy had a very fine position at the base of a range of hills, extending from the Granny White to to the Harding pike. He was protected by a line of works which had been hastily constructed near the edge of the woods. GARRARD’s and MCARTHUR’s divisions had to advance through an open field over a mile in length. After getting within four hundred yards of the rebels our column went down upon their bellies, and crawled up some fifty or sixty yards closer. Three batteries followed up these two divisions, and when they halted commenced shelling the woods back of the rebel line and some houses on the pike, from behind which about fifty sharpshooters were banging away. Up to near 11 o’clock this was the order of things in front of SMITH. About that time the rebels snowed their heads in great numbers above the works, and acted as though they intended to charge the three batteries. They came out of their works shortly after, and our batteries were retired temporarily to a safer position. Just before 12 SMITH’s whole corps from right to left made a desperate charge, but could not carry the works. About half past 12 the attempt was again made, and a portion of the works were carried. MCARTHUR ordered up two six-gun batteries upon his left, and one battery upon the right of his division, his own and GARRARD’s men made a charge, the three batteries being advanced so that an enfillading fire could be got in. The whole manoeuvre was grand in projection and execution. The artillery did frightful work along the rebel line, our infantry carrying the works during a temporary panic, which was caused by the vigorous hurling of grape and canister into the rebel ranks. In this charge over two hundred of the enemy were captured. SMITH’s whole line then advanced, his right swinging around a little from off the Hardin pike and a portion of the Twenty-third corps falling and making up the gap between the Sixteenth and HATCH’s division of cavalry. It was now quite 1 o’clock, and a most terrible cannonading had opened all along our left and centre. Knowing that WOOD and STEEDMAN had a certain amount of work to perform to bring up with SMITH. I went over upon the left and centre, where I spent the afternoon until dark, and witnessed, in an unsafe position, more thrilling sights than I have ever seen before. The rebel bullets were whizzing quite uncomfortably, but their artillery, which is the thing that generally produces the demoralization, remained comparatively quiet, and I, in company with two other correspondents, took the chances of the former. The Sixth Ohio, and a battery of the Fourth Regular Artillery, took a position upon an open field, about fifty feet in the rear of our infantry; to the right of BEATTY’s division a Michigan battery and two Ohio batteries, took up a position in an open field, near and upon WOOD’s extreme right, while two batteries got in on the left. From 1 till 2 o’clock these thirty-six guns shelled the rebel position, which was very strong in WOOD’s front, and particularly strong in front of STEEDMAN. At precisely 2 o’clock it commenced to rain, and rained hard during the balance of the day. A little after 2 the Third and First Divisions of WOOD’s corps made a desperate charge upon the rebel line which was located upon a slight elevation. The firing lasted fully twenty minutes, when the rebels retired in considerable disorder, leaving their dead and wounded and forty odd prisoners in our hands. The rebels had parallel works on this hill, and the two divisions, without orders, with the wildest enthusiasm, charged the other line of works in the face of a deadly volley of musketry and a shower of grape from four Napoleon guns. Really, I discovered no signs of wavering, and the whole drama was in full show. In ten minutes after they rushed into the works, captured three hundred men and the battery, which was ??? splendid one of four guns. Every member of the battery — the Second Louisiana — was either killed, wounded or captured. SMITH and WOOD were now on an even line, and a frowning-looking eminence, topped with strong works, three regiments of Tennessee infantry and STAMFORD’s Mississippi battery ??? before STEEDMAN, who, at this juncture, was in conversation with Wood. Capt. TRACY informed me that the two colored brigades would be ordered to storm the hill. I crossed the Franklin pike to see Col. THOMPSON, commanding one of the colored brigades, who is a particular friend of mine, when I heard the orders given for the assault. Immediately the two brigades of colored men started up the hill. I crossed back to the right of the Franklin pike, where I could see the whole movement, without placing myself in too great danger. When within about a hundred yards of the crest of the hill the lour guns and the infantry poured a broadside into the negroes, when a frightful panic took place upon STEEDMAN’s right, resting on the pike. The movement ceased for a few moments, when a couple of our batteries commenced an enfilading fire, and the assaulting party, with an additional brigade of white troops, again attempted the ascent. The rebel infantry blazed away at a fearful rate, and the artillery discharged sixteen shots of cannister, which made the assaulting column reel, waver and almost fall back. This was the most exciting picture I had ever seen so close, as I stood, in company with Capt. BOYD, of Gen. MILLER’s Staff, about two hundred feet to the right of the assaulting party. After a manly struggle, with the loss of over two hundred men killed and wounded in the colored brigades, including eight officers; the party reached the top, and with a yell, went over the works, captured the entire battery and nearly three hundred prisoners. The guns were of the James pattern, were manufactured at Columbus, Ga., and were quite warm when I arrived. Every caisson had been smashed by our artillery, and most of the horses killed, although the guns were in good order. The men composing this battery stood like men to their post — 32 out of 70 being killed and wounded. Every officer was killed. As soon as the hill was taken, the colored troops pitched after the retreating rebels, chasing them through a valley nearly a mile. Firing wholly ceased upon the left, which had swung around nearly a mile and a half in two hours. WOOD’s corps carried another line of works, without much opposition, however, although POST’s and STRAIGHT’s brigades pitched in like good fellows. This was a little before 4 o’clock, and, when all was quiet upon the left and centre, a tremendous crash took place upon the right. It only lasted about ten minuses, but the firing was awful during that time. I started to go over to the right, but when half way over, met Capt. BURROUGHS, of Gen. THOMAS’ staff, who told me that SMITH had made a glorious charge, and with the assistance of SCHOFIELD, had taken twelve guns, two general officers, and fifteen hundred prisoners. As I told you in the start, SCHOFIELD had a certain plan to carry out if the opportunity presented itself. It did, While SMITH was making a charge, SCHOFIELD threw his whole corps away round to the right, and shut up toward A.J. SMITH’s corps in front, the two corps grabbing the number of guns and prisoners stated above in the operation. Darkness came abruptly on, and hostilities ceased. As near as I can judge our loss is about two thousand in Killed and wounded. The enemy’s loss in killed and wounded is smaller. We captured about four thousand prisoners and two general officers. Gens. SMITH and SCHOFIELD captured 12 guns, and I saw WOOD’s and STEEDMAN’s corps capture a like number, while HATCH captured a section of artillery on our extreme right. I started for the city a little before 7 o’clock, at which time all was quiet at the front, and all of our dead, and our own and the rebel wounded had been cared for. Our front occupied a position between eight and nine miles from the city. Rebel prisoners admit their defeat, and deplore their great loss in artillery and prisoners. Orders were issued last night for 5,000 rations for prisoners. Gen. JACKSON, captured by SMITH, is a Major-General, and is an old man. SMITH is a middle-aged man, and pays a high compliment to our troops, who, he says, are brave in a fight and magnanimous after victory. LOSSES. The following summing up of the relative losses of both armies during the two days’ fight may be considered quite accurate: Rebel killed and wounded, Thursday…. 1,500 Rebel killed and wounded, Friday……. 2,000 — 3,500 Rebel loss in prisoners, Thursday…… 1,600 Rebel loss in prisoners, Friday……….. 4,000 — 5,600 and two general officers. Rebel loss of cannon, Thursday…………… 18 Rebel loss of cannon, Friday……………… 26 — 44 The Federal loss in killed and wounded in the two days’ fight, I think, will exceed the enemy’s by a thousand. No prisoners are reported taken by the rebels. Total rebel loss………………………….. 8,100 Total Federal loss……………………….. 4,500 Allowing our loss in killed and wounded to be one thousand more than the enemy’s even, gives us the advantage of 3,600 men, 2 general officers, 44 cannon, 5,000 small arms, &c., &c. BENJAMIN C. TRUMAN.

New York Times headlines, December 13, 1864

THE WAR IN TENNESSEE.; Reports from Nashville. The situation in Middle Tennessee–Relative Positions of the Two Armies–Further Particulars of the Franklin Fight.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times. WASHINGTON, Sunday, Dec. 11. Dispatches received by the Government from Gen. THOMAS represent the position of affairs at Nashville unchanged. Gen. THOMAS says that the recent storm has interfered with army movements on either side for several days at least.

NASHVILLE, Saturday, Dec. 10. The situation of affairs remains unchanged. In front of the Fourth Corps not a shot was fired up to 2 o’clock this afternoon. Since then some slight skirmishing has occurred. Owing to the slippery state of the ground, the men find it impossible to move about. The rebels can be plainly seen from the front of the Fourth Corps standing about their camp fires. Hostilities may be said to have ceased on account of the bad weather. Deserters who come in say that the rebels have strong intrenchments, with two rows of chevaux de friese, with wires stretched around to strengthen them. No report has yet been heard from the gunboats which went down the river yesterday morning. No cannonading has been heard here since their departure. The river is three feet deep on the shoals, and falling From Our Own Correspondent.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 4, 1864. THE SITUATION The most splendid military exhibition of the war in this section may be witnessed, as I write, from Capitol Hill. The entire Federal lines of battle, almost from right to left, may be plainly seen with the naked eye. Over fifty thousand troops occupy our lines, which is just five miles. A.J. SMITH’s corps is on the right, resting on the river, on low-ground, on what is known as the John Harding pike — a branch road of the Charlotte pike. What is known as the right wing extends east to within a hundred yards of the Franklin pike. Then comes the Fourth Corps, temporarily commanded by Gen. THOMAS J. WOOD, in place of Gen. STANLEY, who was wounded at Franklin. Gen. WOOD’s headquarters is at the Widow ACKLIN’s, on the Granny-white road. Our line of battle just escapes the exquisite grounds of this lady, although all of her “nigger huts,” walls and fences have been torn down for breastworks. The centre extends east to beyond the Murfreesboro pike; then comes the left — the Twenty-third Corps — under Gen. SCHOFIELD, which extends to the river, Gen. STEEDMAN, with his command from Chattanooga, filling in, and in reserve, upon a high bank of the river, a few hundred yards south of the reservoir. Our extreme left rests upon a bank 76 feet above high-water mark. The rebel line of battle is plainly visible, about two miles from town. It is believed that DICK TAYLOR’s forces, numbering nearly ten thousand strong, are in reserve. and it may be that this corps is operating near Murfreesboro. Gen. FRANK CHEATHAM is commanding the enemy’s right wing. He has three divisions — Gens. GEORGE MANEY’s, BATES’ and ANDERSON’s. It is a curious fact that these three General officers, commanding divisions, and the corps Commander, (CHEATHAM,) are citizens of Nashville. CHEATHAM was a “sporting man;” MANEY was a lawyer, rather a fast young man; BATES was Attorney-General of the State when the war broke out, and was not universally admired; ANDERSON was Postmaster of this city, and is not considered a man of extraordinary mind. STEPHEN D. LEE’s corps is in the centre, and STEWART commands a corps on the enemy’s left. STEPHEN D. LEE’s corps is composed of three divisions, and STEWART has four. In LEE’s corps, PATRICK CLEBURNE (if not killed) commands a division, and so does Gen. STEVENSON. In STEWART’s corps, QUARLES and WALKER command divisions. Gen. BATTLES, of this county, commands a brigade in GEO. MANEY’s division. PAT. CLEBURNE, of Arkansas, (a native of Ireland,) is one of the most earnest and intrepid commanders in the rebel army, and is generally found conducting the enemy’s rear upon all critical occasions. Teere are many rumors in regard to his death. Gen. GORDON, a prisoner, says that before he was captured, a report was rife that either CHEATHAM or CLEBURNE was killed. CHEATHAM has his headquarters at the residence of Mr. EDMUNDSON, on the Murireeshoro pike, four miles from town. He can’t very well be dead, of course. Mr. EDMUNDSON was in the city yesterday, and says that FRANK insists that HOOD’s destination is Nashville; that he has orders to take this city or go to hell. This is all rebel blow, at any rate, and may be the inventions of FRANK himself. But, many of the prisoners report CLEBURNE killed, and venture a description of his fall. The story which would seem to most earnestly urge his death is told by our General, KIMBALL, and reiterated by his staff officers. Gen. KIMBALL says that during the thickest part of the Franklin fight he saw a rebel General upon the ground, and that he gasped “I’m mortally wounded.” Before he could order his removal, WAGNER’s division gave way, the line was changed, and the wounded man removed by rebel soldiers. I give you this as I hear it from various sources, but will add that I did not hear Gen. KIMBALL tell the story. It seems pretty generally believed, by the way, that either CLEBURNE or some other general officer was killed in the battle of the 30th ult. FORREST has command of the entire rebel cavalry, and has two divisions upon each flank. Gen. WILSON, late of the Army of the Potomac, commands all our cavalry, and is one of the most pertinacious soldiers in the service. His military skill and his bravery are a match for FORREST’s cunning and intrepidity. Commodore FITCH commands upon the Cumberland, and assists in protecting our flanks to a considerable extent. He has one iron-clad up the river, above the position of our left wing, and another down the river near Hyde’s Ferry, watching the enemy upon our right. There are, also, several other gunboats, of various shapes and sizes, patrolling the river from Carthage up to Clarksville down. At the latter place is a turreted craft, not unlike the ocean monitors. From Carthage to Clarksville, then, it will be almost an utter impossibility for the rebels to cross the river. As fast as HOOD advanced, after leaving Pulaski, he destroyed the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad, running from this city to Decatur. This would urge the belief that it was his intention to either cross the river and strike for Kentucky, or fall back toward Bridgeport, along the line of the Chattanooga road, if he falls to attack this place. On our left, quite a large body of our cavalry are across the river, but the enemy are wholly upon the Nashville side.

THE FIGHT AT FRANKLIN. I must put in a little word for The TIMES in this connection. It was the first newspaper in the country, of course, (in this case,) that had the news of this fight, and my dispatch was the first one and the only one sent anywhere over the wires Wednesday night, 30th ult. I had previously sent you a dispatch that Gen. THOMAS intended to draw the enemy to this point. Subsequently I went to a party, and was returning home about 12 o’clock Wednesday night. As I arrived at the St. Cloud I met Gen. MILLER, who informed me that Gen. THOMAS had just received intelligence of a great victory at Franklin. I went Into Gen. THOMAS’ rooms, and he permitted me to send the news North. Well, speaking about the fight at Franklin, I will reiterate that it was, beyond a doubt, one of the most gallantly-contested battles, and the cleanest victory (won in an open field) of the war. Had HOOD succeeded in whipping us, he would have captured our entire wagon trains, and routed a large portion of our army. The real fight lasted just one hour and forty minutes, in which time six thousand of the enemy were placed hors du combat, while our own loss falls a little below a thousand. This dreadful check may be the cause of the delay in rebel demonstrations in our front, if that, indeed, is the programme. The enemy really at Franklin, was at least one-third stronger than our own forces. They fought us with two whole corps and part of another, while less than half of both the Fourth and Twenty-third were engaged upon our side. They charged, as if every man was iron-clad, four times against our works, and, with the exception of the first charge, were driven back in great disorder. Our artillery, too, made prodigious havoc in their ranks, actually mowing the brave men down or scattering them in confusion. I have one or two quite interesting items in connection with this fight, which I have omitted to mention: We lost two battle-flags, which were captured from WAGNER’s division, during the panic which temporarily existed in that body, and we captured thirty-two stand of colors, the Twenty-third Corps getting the credit for twenty-two of them, and the Fourth Corps for ten. Many of these trophies are now to be seen at SCHOFIELD’s headquarters. Gen. GORDON was captured by a stalwart fellow of the Sixteenth Kentucky, who grabbed him by the coat-collar, actually “yanking,” or “Yankeeing” him, square off his feet. Gen. STANLEY, Commanding Fourth Corps, was evidently a target for both rebel artillery and infantry. He was actively engaged in rallying WAGNER’s division, and the enemy’s sharpshooters got a sight at him. He was twice (slightly) wounded in the neck, while two bullets passed through his clothes. A cannon-ball sent his horse to thunder, it going one way and its rider the other. Gen. BRADLEY was shot in the arm while upon the left of his brigade, leading his men back to a position from which they had wavered a little. I tell you what it is, it’s mighty queer work, sometimes, fighting these fellows, especially when they get right well warmed up. Their demonstrations upon certain occasions are fearfully demoralizing. At such times a gill of “fluid” is a quart of courage “every pop.” The ladies of Franklin, most of whom are rebels, and beautiful rebels too, some of them are, assisted en masse, in caring for our wounded. Mrs. CARTER and her daughters contributed in this holy work. Mrs. Dr. CLIFF, a Union lady of renown, and Mrs. WILLIAMS, an estimable woman, threw open their houses for the reception of sufferers. Miss FANNY COURTNEY, decidedly loyal from the commencement, although she has two brothers in CHEATHAM’s corps, made herself useful. Her sister, formerly Miss OCTAVIA COURTNEY, was some time ago married to Lieut. COCHNOWER, son of the merchant of that name in Cincinnati. She is an elegant lady, and waved a string of red, white and blue ribbons when Gen. NEGLEY entered Franklin nearly three years ago. When BUELL’s retrograde movement took place, a little over two years ago, Miss FANNY COURTNEY, upon the approach of the rebel columns, saddled a horse, forded Harpeth River, and came to this city alone during night. FANNY is all right — I know her; she is pretty, too. You may recollect that, in a letter of mine, within a couple of weeks ago, in which I gave your readers a brief description of several towns along the Tennessee and Alsbama Railroad, I stated that Franklin, of all other towns, had been most first in the hands of our forces and then in the possession of the enemy, and so on. Of course, just now, it is again in the Southern Contederacy. If the citizens of Franklin had been compelled to take the oath of allegiance to every Government that came along, they would have become frightfully profane by this time, and might practiceswearing for a living. It is rumored that ISHAM G. Harris, the nomandic Governor of Tennessee, is with the advance of Hood’s army. He is enjoying, at least, all the felicity that Moses did — he can look into Nashville. King ISHAM, as Governor JOHNSON calls him, has been a wanderer upon earth for a long time. Should he ever again visit the capital during the rebellion, he will no doubt bring with him the State archives, but it is rather hinted that he might forget that million-dollar school fund, which disappeared from Nashville just about the time ISHAM did. However, in all probability, HAREIS will not come, this trip. BENJAMIN C. TRUMAN.