Category Archives: O.F. Strahl

William E. Cunningham, 41st Tennessee Infantry, likely fought at Franklin, buried at Rest Haven

William E. Cunningham mustered in as a private, into Company F, 41st TN Infantry on November 4, 1861. Records show that he was eventually promoted to Captain in December 1863.

Like so many of his comrades, he was captured at Fort Donelson and exchanged shortly thereafter. He was a POW at Camp Morton in Indianapolis until his exchange in August.

The 41st Tennessee saw major action in the Western theater during the Civil War, including: Fort Donelson, Holly Springs, Chickamauga, the Atlanta campaign, Franklin and Nashville.  The 41st TN also saw action at Gettysburg.

Cunningham’s record indicates he was likely personally engaged at Franklin and Nashville in late 1864.

At Franklin, the 41st Tennessee served in Strah’ls Brigade alongside the 4th-5th Tennessee, as well as the 19th, 24th, 31st, 33rd, and 38th Tennessee units.

William Eason Cunningham was the son of Rev. A.N. Cunningham, a Presbyterian minister. W.E. Cunningham was one of the original members of the Franklin KKK organization. He is buried at Rest Haven in Franklin.

Newton Jasper Anglin, 24th TN Infantry, likely fought at Franklin, buried in Rest Haven

Image courtesy: The Williamson County Historical Society

Newton Jasper Anglin was just 18 when he enlisted with Company H of the 24th Tennessee Infantry on August 24, 1861. He has quite an interesting record.

He was officially listed as a deserter on 28 June 1862 but his records show that he re-enlisted Dec 1, 1862. The record leaves one to wonder if he really deserted or was he absent for some other reason that his current record does not reflect.

His unit, the 24th Tennessee Infantry, was engaged at Stones River (Dec 31, 1862 through Jan 2nd, 1863). Anglin was listed as wounded and even captured. It appears his leg was amputated from the Stones River wound.

His amputation apparently did not end his military service. He was granted a furlough on Feb 23, 1864, apparently even serving through the spring of 1865.  If Anglin served through the war, he would have likely seen action at the Battle of Franklin and even Nashville.

During the war, the 24th Tennessee Infantry saw action at Stones River, Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta campaign, Franklin and Nashville.

The 24th Tennessee Infantry (CSA) served in Strahl’s Brigade along with the 4th-5th, 19th, 31st, 33rd, 38th and 41st TN at Franklin (Nov 30, 1864).

Anglin's marker at Rest Haven in Franklin

Seth Speight’s – Co H, 5th Tennessee Infantry CSA, account of his involvement at Franklin

Seth Speight’s accounts of his action at the Battle of Franklin from his interview in the August 25, 1935 “The Altus Times-Democrat”, Altus, Oklahoma:

Seth Speight, 5th Tennessee Infantry

Yankee soldiers were lying all about as were the Confederates, making it almost impossible to determine friend from foe in the melee.

I was lying there enjoying the fight as best I could, when I happened to glance at a man lying in front of me.  I saw he was wearing the blue of the Yankee so I pushed my rifle into his side and told him to just lay his gun aside and roll over to me.

We crawled on a little farther and I saw another blue uniform.  I repeated the stick-up set again and another victim was added to my life of captures.

This went on until I had gathered about nine Yankees.  They were crawling along in front of me without their rifles and I was bringing up the rear, herding them toward out lines when the most burning and searing agony I have ever known tore through my shoulder, barely missing vital spots.  The agony was caused by a minnie ball about the size of the end of a man’s thumb.  It had passed through my shoulder, not quite coming out the back.

As for the Yanks I had captured, I don’t suppose I shall ever know what became of them.  My major worry at the time had no place for the Yank at all.  I was simply interested in doing something to stop the severe pain that was shooting through my whole uppoer body.

One of my comrades came along about that time and applied a tourniquet, which is probably the one thing that prevented my bleeding to death right there on the field of battle.

Source: info submitted by a descendant.

See his full profile here.

Here’s a word cloud based on his letter content:

Brigadier General Otho French Strahl was killed at Franklin

General Otho French Strahl

General Otho French Strahl, one of the choicest spirits that embraced the cause of the South, and finally offered all upon her altar, was a native of Ohio, who had settled in Tennessee and was practicing law at Dyersburg when the great war of States began.  Although of Northern birth, both of his grandmothers were Southern women, and perhaps had much to do with moulding the sentiments which made him such an ardent sympathizer with the South.

When Tennessee was making ready to cast in her lot with the Southern Confederacy, the young lawyer entered the Fourth Tennessee regiment as a captain (May, 1861).  Early in 1862 he became lieutenant-colonel of the regiment.  As such he shared in the hardships and glories of the campaigns of Shiloh, Bentonville and Murfreesboro, in which he so conducted himself as to be promoted colonel early in 1863, and then to the rank of brigadier-general, July 28, 1863.

In the hundred days’ campaign from Dalton to Atlanta in 1864, he and his men added to their already magnificent record.  Mr. S. A. Cunningham, who was a boy soldier in his brigade at Franklin, November 30, 1864, has given in his magazine a graphic account of the conduct and death of his commander on that fateful day.  Mr. Cunningham being that day right guide to the brigade, was near Strahl in the fatal advance, and was pained at the extreme sadness in his face.  He was surprised, too, that his general went into the battle on foot.

The account of Mr. Cunningham continues: “I was near General Strahl, who stood in the ditch and handed up guns to those posted to fire them.  I had passed to him my short Enfield (noted in the regiment) about the sixth time.  The man who had been firing, cocked it and was taking deliberate aim when he was shot, and tumbled down dead into the ditch upon those killed before him.

When the men so exposed were shot down, their places were supplied by volunteers until these were exhausted, and it was necessary for General Strahl to call for others.  He turned to me, and though I was several feet back from the ditch, I rose up immediately, and walking over the wounded and dead took position, with one foot upon the pile of bodies of my dead fellows and the other upon the embankment, and fired guns which the general himself handed up to me, until he, too, was shot down.”

The general was not instantly killed, but soon after received a second shot and then a third, which finished for him the fearful work.  “General Strahl was a model character, and it was said of him that in all the war he was never known to use language unsuited to the presence of ladies. ”

While the army was camped at Dalton on the 20th of April, 1864, services were held in the Methodist church by Bishop Charles Todd Quintard, of the Episcopal church.  On this occasion Bishop Quintard baptized General Strahl and presented him to Bishop Stephen Elliott for confirmation, with three other generals of the Confederate army — Lieutenant-General Hardee and Brigadier-Generals Shoup and Govan.

Source:  Confederate Military History, vol. X, p. 334

Cleburne and other Confederate Generals are laid out on Carnton porch, video

The next day after the battle, December 1st, Patrick Cleburne, and three other Confederate Generals were brought to Carnton and laid out on the back porch.  Jacobson eloquently tells the story.  What about his Kepi?  His pistol?

The bodies of Confederate Generals Cleburne, Adams, Strahl and Granbury were laid out right on this porch on the morning of December 1st, 1864.

This is the authentic Kepi worn by Cleburne the day he was killed.

Image of Cleburne’s Kepi courtesy of the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN.

Want to know more?

Read the incredible true story of what happened to the once-lost pistol that belonged to Patrick Cleburne.