112th Reg Ill Vol Inf
Fort Negley-Nashville Tn
Dec 7 1864
My Dear Wife,
I hope you had a good time going to town on the 30th, and succeeded in purchasing all you required. I wish I had been with you. That was the day we had such a terrible fight at Franklin; where men fell by thousands, and where shot and shell and grape and canister rattled thick and fast, where the whistling of bullets, the roar of cannon and the yells of the mad soldiers were enough to confuse any man’s senses, and confound his mind. Oh! What a terrible day, an awful day, and one that no man who was there can ever forget. Nearly five thousand men killed in one day; upon one field, every one of whom left a wife, a mother, a sister, or perhaps children to mourn his death. War is terrible: this war is more terrible than any other, and the end is not yet (in sight). Hood’s army continues to encircle the city, but whether he will risk an attack or will move off towards Kentucky is not yet apparent. If he goes to Kentucky, as some think he will, we will follow him. In that case we will have a long and arduous campaign before us-in the midst of a cold, wet winter. I hope Hood will attack us here, for I believe we can annihilate his army if he does . . .
Brad F Thompson
Brad Thompson was born in Osceola Illinois, enlisting as a 1st sergeant in Co B, 112th Illinois Volunteer Infantry on Aug 12, 1862. He was promoted to 2nd Lieut March 31, 1863, served as adjutant from Nov 25, 1863, and promoted to captain April 25 1865, prior to his muster out June 20th 1865.
December 1: “Soon after sun up we started in the direction of Nashville. Found the Block house Station deserted and troops moving in direction of Murfresboro no telegraph wire cut Stoped a while in Mur. and then for Nashvill wich we made without anything occuring. Camped in front of a battery. Rained.”
December 2: “Put up tents after the rain was over and soon had to pull down. Went out about a mile formed in two lines and put up one line of works. Picket firing commenced and some artillery in the direction of Murfersboro but no news from there. Some rebs wer visible…”.
December 3: ” Rolled out at 11 AM and stood in line till day light amidst wind and rain and I shook considerably….Fort Negley spoke a few times. No musket firing near…”
December 4: “Strengthring [sic] our works. We have very good ones….Some skirmishing and cannonading on our left and front but no sign of an attack from Hood neither do I belive he intends to do so.”
December 5: “Made a line of pickets (sharpened sticks stuck in the ground) and a line of brush work in our front twenty and fifty steps from the main line. Saw something of Gen. Steadman that I did not like. If he can manage an army he can not his own temper and he that governs his own temper so great than he that gaineth a victory.”
This image is currently (Oct 2018) offered on Cowan’s.
Sixth plate tintype and ribbon of Henry Hole, 51st OVI, presumably shown with his wife, wearing a state-style jacket without epaulets. Hole first served in the 40th OVI until 1864, when he transferred to the 51st. While in the 40th Hole would have participated in the Battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, and Franklin.
The 51st Ohio was in Whitaker’s Brigade, Kimball’s Division, on the Federal right flank.