Category Archives: Hood’s Retreat

2nd Iowa Cav GAR badge

I visited a relic store in Decatur, GA recently and found this 2nd Iowa Cav GAR badge. It goes nicely with the tintype I recently sold of Milton Sweet, a 2nd Iowa Cav soldier. The 2nd Iowa Cav was part of the Battle of Franklin, especially Hood’s Retreat.

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The badge (right) is for sale for $75.00. The image of Sweet (left) is sold.

12th TN Cav Lt Col involved in Hood’s Retreat

12th-tn-cavCharles C. Huefling was 29 years old when he enlisted. He was commissioned into Field & Staff at 1st Lt., on 1/11/1864 of the 12th Tennessee Cavalry (U.S.).  He saw promotions to Major on 3/24/1864 and Lt Col on August 16, 1864. He also saw service in Company M, 4th US Army Cavalry.

Huffing saw action at Franklin and participated in Hood’s Retreat.

Twelfth Cavalry. 

— Col.,George Spalding Lieut.-Cols. Charles C. Huefling, John S. Kirwan, Maj s., Sater Boland,  Jason A. Bradshaw. James W. Spalding.

This regiment was organized by companies, the first of which was mustered into service Aug. 24, 1863.  On Feb. 22, 1864, six companies had been mustered, and George Spalding was commissioned lieutenant-colonel.

The regiment was then assigned to Gen. Gillem’s division and was placed on guard duty on the Nashville & Northwestern railroad, where it remained until April, 1864.  During the remainder of the year the regiment was in active service almost continuously.

It was one of the most efficient regiments in opposing Wheeler on his raid through Middle Tennessee and had several severe engagements with portions of his command.  In the latter part of September it marched to contest the approach of Gen. Forrest, with whom it was several times engaged with considerable loss.

It was also active in the campaign against Hood, participating in the battles at Lawrenceburg, Campbellsville, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville.  From Nashville the regiment was in the advance in pursuit of Hood and fired the last shot at the enemy as he crossed the Tennessee River at Bainbridge.

On Feb. 8, 1865, the regiment went into camp at Eastport, Miss., where it remained until May 11.  It was then transferred from the 2nd to the 1st brigade under the command of Bvt. Brig-Gen. George Spalding, who had been commissioned colonel upon the completion of the regiment Aug. 16, 1864, and ordered to St. Louis.

It was there remounted and refitted and sent to Fort Leavenworth, at which place, after having performed some escort and scout duty through northern Kansas and southern Nebraska, it was mustered out Oct. 7.

It returned to Nashville and was there finally paid and discharged Oct. 24, 1865.

December 20th, 1864 Officer’s diary describes Hood’s fleeing army from Nashville

We started in good time over frozen ground and ice though the pike was tolerable good only in spots. All day we have passed the wrecks of Hood’s fleeing army, signs of hot pursuit. We reached Spring Hill at 4 p.m. and go in camp just before it commences to rain again. The little village is very much dilapidated to what it was when we first saw it. It was near that the Rebs came near cutting off our retreat up to Franklin. Made a search to find commissary wagons but fail and have to crumb it scantily at that. Rain increases and our bed is wet as has been for sometime.

A.L. Ewing (63rd Indiana Infantry) diary for Dec 20th, 1864

Source: The Eli Lilly Library, Indiana University

Indiana officer remarks about fresh graves in Franklin as Federals chase Hood to Alabama in retreat

Oh what a night for any but veterans. The weather drizzled til about 3 p.m. when it set in to rain in earnest and continued to pour down till late this afternoon. The first thing I saw on waking up was a sea of mud and water all around me, and when I got up water soon ran into the depression where I had slept. As soon as the men began moving around, the soft earth became a perfect lob, which we had to cook, eat and stand around near 4 p.m. when we moved over to Franklin and camp on the old battleground which is dotted with many graves of the slain of 18 days ago. I went up to see the old works where we lay during the fight. We are camped on solid grassy ground. The night is cool and I think freezing but we are made comfortable by our camp stove which my boy carries and we have a plank to sleep on. Crossing the bridge a man fell off but was near enough to shore to scramble out safe but was bad scared.

A,L. Ewing diary entry for Dec 19, 1864

Source: The Eli Lilly Library, Indiana University