Letter – Albert Wilson, 3 September 1864

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Letter written by Surgeon Albert Wilson of the 113th OH Volunteer Infantry, to his father, from the 113th headquarters in Jonesboro, GA. Wilson writes that they have destroyed the Macon railroad, and mentions the constant skirmishing on their march from Atlanta. The Union troops were able to drive the Confederates back. As the Confederates evacuated Atlanta, they destroyed their magazines, ammunition, and locomotives along the way. Wilson writes they will continue to pursue the Confederates, as General Sherman is not the type to rest while there is still work to be done. Wilson hopes that the war will soon be over, but is mortified that “Rebels of the free states” are joining together to resist the draft.


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Hd Qrs 113th OVI

Jonesboro Georgia Sept 3d – 1864

Dr Father

We are now at the above named place 20 miles from Atlanta (by Rail) on the Macon RR which we have destroyed in a great measure for a number of miles both in front & rear. About 8 days since we cut loose from atlanta moving with 15 days Rations passing to the south of Atlanta and striking the R.R. at Rough & Ready about 8 miles from this place & now to our rear. During this movement we had constant skirmishing as we were closely watched and entirely surrounded by rebel cavalry. Our movment when first discovered was mistaken for a retreat and they detached 30 thousand men to take care of us On Sept 1st we came up and found the enemy entrenched along the R.R. Our Corps was ordered to attack which they did and succeeded with comparatively small loss in driving them from their works & capturing many prisoners & 8 pieces artillery And putting the army to flight much of this success is attributable to our division and not a little to our brigade. Pursuit was made at the earliest convenient moment and since then we have no reliable news

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but brisk artillery firing 6 or 8 miles distant was heard last eve and nearly all day today. The rumor last circulated in Camp says that the 4th Corps attacked on yesterday and the rebel army now reinforced by the force left back at Atlanta and in trenched and were repulsed but both the armies are now said to be in trenched and a rebel deserter just in says the rebs intend to attack today. Official news of the occupation of Atlanta on yesterday at 11 oclock reached us today the Rebel army having evacuated the previous night. They blew up their magazines and burned 80 car loads of ammunition & destroyed several locomotives. The latest rumor is that the 14th Corps will return to atlanta I do not think we will rest however until the Rebel army in our front is completely routed & I cannot say that I have any desire to stop until the work is thoroughly accomplished. Sherman’s not the man to desist or rest for an hour while there is work to be done. I have been unwell for the past 2 weeks but have still kept on duty. I am very anxious to hear from Cossins but shall not be able to for the present the 23d Corps passed up to our left yesterday eve

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I have strong hopes that the war will soon be over and we will be permitted once more to return to civil life. I am very much mortified to learn that the peace party or rather the rebels of the free states are banding themselves together for the avowed purpose of resisting the draft. Political demagogues who mislead them however will some day (when the soldiers who have fought the battles of the country) be brought to justice and made to regret the day they ever gave aid and comfort to the rebels in arms. We in the army are of the opinion that as the war democrats have had sufficient strength to nominate a war ticket at the Chicago Convention that there need be but little fear of resistance to the draft to come off on the 6th inst Weather here has been escepively hot & dry untill today. Today we have had copious rains. The Mail is about to leave and I must close

I remain your unworthy son

A. Wilson

Col Jesse H Wilson


Albert Wilson originally enrolled at age 32 as an assistant surgeon with the 1st OH Volunteer Infantry on April 16, 1861. He was mustered out on August 16, 1861, but rejoined them immediately and served with the regiment until he was discharged for promotion on September 30, 1863. He then joined the 113th OH Volunteer Infantry as a surgeon and served until mustering out at Louisville, KY on July 6, 1865. His father Jesse was a former Ohio militia colonel.

Letter – Asbury Fouts, 16 January 1865

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Letter written by Private Asbury Fouts of Company I, 9th IA Infantry, to his parents, from a camp near Nashville, TN, during Hood’s Tennessee Campaign. Fouts writes about marching out to the breastworks under the command of General James B. Steedman, where they could see Confederate rifle pits. The brigade was ordered to draw the Confederates out, though heavy fire caused them to leave before doing so. Two days later they were ordered to Fort Negley to hold the breastworks. On December 19th, 1864, they started for Murfreesboro, and went as far as Huntsville, AL, when they heard the Confederates were at Decatur. A hard march brought them to the Tennessee River, which they crossed on gunboats. The Confederates shelled them, and the town was eventually evacuated.


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Camp Near Nashville

Jan the 16th 1865     

Dear Parents

It is with pleasure that I seat myself down to write you a few lines, for I have not had time to write until now. For about 6 or 7 weeks I wrote you a few lines while at Courtland but do not know whether you received them or not. I wish I had kept an account of our movements since we came to Nashville. I have forgotten all the dates, so I will not attempt to give an account of the Battle of Nashville. Four days after we came to Nashville we drew our arms for the defense of the city, and marched out to the breastworks on the left under Gen.

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Steedman’s command. The Rebs’ rifle pits were in plain view about a mile and a half off. We remained in this position for 8 days without disturbance from the enemy. I believed they would have stayed there all winter without attacking us if we had not drove them out. One day our brigade [Col. A. G. Mallory’s, Capt. C. C. Cox’s Battalion] was ordered out on skirmish for the purpose of drawing them out of their works. Our reg[iment] advanced along in front, with the reserves down under the hill. We fought them until the [fire] got too hot for us, and fell back slowly without accomplishing our purpose. The man standing next to me was wounded. Just before the fight one of the boys gave his revolver to his comrade and said, boys, this is the last time I will have of

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speaking to you. Pointing to them, he said there is the Rebels, they will kill me. He was shot through the neck and killed instantly. In two days afterward our corps was ordered over to the right, or rather in front of Fort Negley, to hold the breastworks. That day our forces attacked their works. A heavy cannonading was kept up all day. The second day still heavy infantry fire – very heavy. The fight became general all around. Our company was not in the fight at all. [We were] held as reserves in the breastworks. It is hardly necessary for me to try to give a description of our brave boys fought; it is old news to you before this time. The Rebs fought

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well. On the 19th of December we started for Murfreesboro, there taking the cars, went down as far as Huntsville, Alabama. There we heard the Rebs was at Decatur. We started for that place on the 25th. After marching through mud knee deep, wading swamps & rivers in cold weather, we reached the Tennessee River opposite Decatur about noon on the 28th. [We] crossed over on the gunboats above the city. The boats played on them while we prepared for a night attack. They shelled us a while, but did not pay much attention to them. About ten o’clock they evacuated the town. It was well fortified. It is getting dark. I will close for the present.

[balance of letter missing – unsigned]


Asbury Fouts, from Taylor County, IO, enlisted at age 19 in Company I of the 9th IA Infantry on October 19, 1864. When en route to the 15th Army Corps (W. T. Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee), via Nashville, Fouts was assigned for temporary combat duty at Nashville along with other recruits and also veterans returning to active service. He was placed in Colonel A. G. Mallory’s brigade, Capt. C. C. Cox’s battalion, and participated in the reconnaissance of December 13th along the Murfreesboro Pike toward the Rains farm. Mallory’s brigade suffered 10 total casualties. Fouts joined the 9th Iowa in March 1865, and was discharged at Louisville, KY On July 18, 1865.