36th Illinois soldier is killed on Carter House lawn, story comes full-circle more than 150 years later

One of our Facebook members – Kendyl Wallis – recently shared this story with us:

“The Colonel of my G-G grandfathers regiment, Colonel Porter Olson, 36th Illinois, was killed on the Carter House lawn. A shutter was torn from the house to use as a litter to carry him to the rear. About 10 years ago I was at Carnton, and I met a descendant of Fountain Branch Carter. We had a pleasant visit, and I pulled out my wallet and offered to reimburse her family for the shutter. We had a good laugh about that!”Lieutenant-Colonel Porter C. Olson, 36th Illinois Infantry


The 36th Illinois was in Odycke’s Brigade and in reserve about 500 yards north of the Carter House. These Opdycke troops were called into action to stem the Confederate breech around the Carter House when some CSA units broke through the main and interior Federal lines during the battle.

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The Carter House | Franklin, Tennessee



Original 59th Illinois frock coat worn at Franklin-Nashville goes for over $5,200.00 at auction

Civil War Frock Coat Belonging to Sam’l. F. Patton, Co. A., 59th ILL.

Cowan’s Auction: June 2014

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A partial auction description:  A fine navy blue wool nine-button single-breasted frock coat worn by 1st Lieut. Samuel F. Patton, Co. A. 59th Illinois, sold with Patton’s relic Staff & Field sword, a post-war GAR walking stick, and a letter of provenance from family descendants.

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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…”




  • 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.

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.

Presentation cane to Union General W.C. Whitaker, fought at Franklin

eBay is selling an 1864 dated GOLD Presentation Cane from 96th Illinois Infantry Regiment to Brigadier General WALTER CHILES WHITAKER.

The gold cane top is engraved: “Presented to Brig. Genl. W. C. WHITTAKER by the Enlisted Men of the 96th Regt. Ill Vol. Infy. Dec. 25, 1864”

The sides are engraved with Battle Honors of his commands:

Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta and Nashville; New Hope Church, Franklin; Lookout Mountain, Resaca; Chickamauga, Rocky Face Ridge.

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