“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:
100 Illinois Infantry co. D. His Residence Plain field Illinois Enlisted 8/1/1862 as a Private. Promotions Sergt. He mustered out on 6/12/1865
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.
This letter was auctioned off in 2013 and provides some interesting detail about rebel activity after the Battle of Franklin as well as casualty numbers for the 64th Ohio Infantry.
Private Frank Ashley
Co. H, 64th Ohio Volunteers
Camp Near Nashville Tenn
December 8 – 64
“…it is reported the railroad is cut between here and Louisville…it is also reported that the (rebels) are falling back in the direction of Franklin Tenn But they are visible in our front also hear cannonading up the river…I have not heard of W T Sherman for some time but he is alright with out doubt The non veterans of our Regt will be mustered out soon which will make it Small having a heavy loss in the late Battle of Franklin our loss is 121 men killed wounded and missing…”