Letter written by Private Isaac Miller of Company E, 93rd Ohio volunteer Infantry, to his brother, from Nashville, TN. Miller is expecting a fight, as the Confederate troops are forming their lines. He writes that his regiment guarded the train to Nashville, and that they just missed the fighting at Franklin. He heard an account from a member of the 175th Ohio Volunteer Infantry about how the Confederates were unable to get over the Union’s abatis. Though they attempted to surrender, the 175th continued to fire. Miller says he doesn’t know how long his regiment will stay in place, as it likely depends on whether or not General John B. Hood charges. Miller mentions that he ate Thanksgiving dinner in a graveyard in Columbia.
Nashville, Tenn. December 2/64
I sit down this afternoon to let you know how I am and what we are doing. Well, the troops are marching around getting into position. I guess we have got even. The Rebels are forming their lines in front of us, and I guess we will have a fight. We had a pretty tough time retreating from Pulaski, but our division did not get in any fight – that is our brigade. I don’t know whether any of the other two brigades done any fighting at Franklin.
Our regiment was detailed to guard the train to this place. I guess you will hear of the great fight at Franklin before you get this. We were just leaving as it commenced. I saw about 1,000 of the Johnnies that our men took, and they say that they just piled them up in front of the works. I was talking with one of the 175 OVI [Ohio Volunteer Infantry] boys. They was in the fight. They had what they call [abatis] in front of the works – that is, brush and sharp pointed stakes, so that a man can’t hardly get through them at all. The Rebels charged up to them and could not get over, and they hollered to the boys
to cease firing – they would surrender. But they were a new regiment and the first fight they had been in, so they just kept firing away at them, and would not let them surrender. So much the better. All they kill, we won’t have to fight or feed anymore. I received your letter of the 25[th] and the shirt and socks also, and am very much pleased with them, and your letter. Believe I needed it, for I only had one old one left. I don’t want anything else that I know of. I will buy me a pair of boots in this place. I can get them as cheap as you can send them, but send me the other shirt.
I have no money but can borrow all I want of the boys. I can’t tell how long we will stay here. If Hood tries to take this place we will stay some time, but if he breaks off to some other place, we will have to follow him. I think if he charges these works like he did at Franklin, he won’t have many men to go with him. The troops are just wishing he would try to take this place, but I hardly think he will.
I am tickled at the joke played on Aaron and cousin John. I would like to see the picture. I guess you have got the photographs I sent you. I took dinner in a graveyard at Columbia on Thanksgiving Day, after marching all night and till nearly noon, and we formed our lines and regiment came right [remainder of letter missing]
Isaac Miller, enlisted on August 5, 1862, aged 20, as a private in Co. E, 93rd Ohio Vol. Infantry. He was mustered out of the army June 8, 1865 at Nashville, Tenn.