Letter – Isaac Miller, 2 December 1864


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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.

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Nashville, Tenn. December 2/64

Dear Brother

     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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Letter – Isaac Miller, 21 November 1863


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Letter by Private Isaac Miller of Company E, 93rd OH Volunteer Infantry, to his sister, from Chattanooga, TN. Miller mentions that the Confederate troops are still out in front, though they haven’t shot from Lookout Mountain in two days and are losing many soldiers to desertion. He thinks that the Confederates will soon give up, and that the war will end if General George Meade defeats Robert E. Lee and takes Richmond. He predicts that if the Confederates remove some of their forces to reinforce Lee, they will get a “good drubbing” at Chattanooga.

               Chattanooga Saturday November the 21, 1863

Dear Sister

     I sit down this morning to answer your letter of the 7[th] which I received some time ago & I had to write to Dad about some money at the time and I thought it was nice [?] to write to both at once. This leaves me well, and hope it will find you all the same. It has rained all night, and is still raining, and it is getting very muddy. We have had very nice weather for some time. It has not been very cold down here yet, and I hope it won’t [be] soon. The Rebels are still out in front. They have not shot from Lookout for two days. I don’t know what they are about, but I think they are

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taking their guns off of it. They might as well, for they can’t do much harm with them, and their men still deserting them. I saw the pickets that came past our camp this morning – had one, and if they come in all around the whole line like they do in front of us they will soon lose their army. Three or four mornings ago it was awful foggy, and they say that there was five hundred came it all together. Their pickets could not see them, and they could get through. They have a hard time to get through. They don’t put any of them on picket that they think will desert. I see by the papers that France has come down on them and took some gunboats from them. I think that they will soon begin to see that they can’t do anything, and will give up.

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I don’t care how soon, for my part. I think that again [come] spring, they will be about started out, and if Meade whips Lee and takes Richmond, it will end the war. And if they take any of their men away from here to reinforce Lee they will get a good drubbing here, and maybe they will anyhow. Sherman is here from Vicksburg with a good force, and Hooker. I think we are able to fight them well. I will close. You write soon and give me all the news, and I will try and answer them. I guess the money has not come yet. It may be some time yet before Doc gets it. It was reported that Capt. Allen lost all he took. I did not like to risk him with much.

                             Isaac Miller

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.