Letter of John R. Miller (Union), detailing Battle of Franklin

Nashville, Tenn

Dec 4th, 1864

Dear Father,

I have not written to you since I was at Chattanooga but we have been run about so that I have scarecly had time.

I have not had a letter from home since we left Decatur, GA and I am anxious to hear from you. I received the articles you sent me by Busley, I was glad to get them and thank you for sending them.

We had a pretty hard time for a few days. We were at Columbia about 8 or 10 days. At the time the rebels advanced on that place. Our regt was laying on Duck River guarding the fords. Six companies under Col. McQuiston were at Williamsport and 4 companies ‘B’ ‘C’ and G and our company under Col. Walter were at Gordon’s ferry 4 miles farther down the regt., while the 91st Ind., was at a point farther down the river. When our army fell back to Franklin, we were cut off from it. The army evacuated Columbia in the morning and we did not receive notice of it till 12 o’clock that night, we immediately started. We marched till day light when we halted about 30 minutes for breakfast and then resumed the marched, we marched all day and in the evening found we were cut off from our army and in the rear of Hood’s army.

We marched around the rear of the rebels, passing within 2 miles of their camp fires and stopped past his flank. All this time they were fighting hard at Franklin, had they not been we could not possibly have escaped. About 10 o’clock that night we reached the Big Harpeth river and were safe. We marched 47 miles that day. The next day we came to Nashville. It was reported and believed here that we were captured. I suppose you have read at home that we were. That day I had more expectations of being in some southern prison by this time.

We are laying in the trenches here expecting an attack at any moment. We have got to fight here and fight hard. I hope they will at any rate, for I would fight them here than any place else. We have got to fight them sometime and I would just as big to it now as any other time, and rather do it here than any where else.

They are fighting on our right today, I do not know how the fight is going. I am as well and stout as ever and expect to remain so. Newt & Billy Matkin & Tom Anderson are all well.

You need not look for me home this winter, as I have not the least idea of being able to get a furlough, as long as the fighting continues.

John R. Miller


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