17th Indiana soldier writes of action at Hoover’s Gap

Two Sixth Plate Tintypes & Journal of Sgt. W. H. Thompson, 17th Indiana.

Cowan’s item description (2005):

“The inside front page is signed Wm. H. Thompson/Sergeant Co. F/17th Ind. Mtd. Infantry followed by a preamble that reads, My object in writing this manuscript is to preserve for myself should I live and my friends in case of my death an account of my life as a soldier. We learn that Thompson had kept an updated diary until the advance on Chattanooga when misfortune caused me to loose it.

This, then, is Thompson’s later recapitulation, with brevet entries in real time from August 1863 forward. Of the brigade’s participation at Hoover’s Gap Thompson writes, had a brilliant skirmish with the enemy at Hoover’s Gap a distance of some 25 miles from Murfreesboro, Tenn. on the Pike leading from Murfreesboro to Manchester. This was on the 24th of June. Our loss was some 50 killed and wounded. We succeeded in routing the enemy. They leaving their killed and wounded on the field.”

Cowan’s Auction | Items sold for $4,600 in Nov 2005

Wikipedia account of the Battle of Hoover’s Gap:

“The Battle of Hoover’s Gap (24 June 1863) was the principal battle in the Tullahoma Campaign of the American Civil War, in which Union General William S. Rosecrans drove General Braxton Bragg’s Confederates out of Central Tennessee. Rosecrans’ feigned move on the western end of the Confederate line had left the eastern mountain passes lightly defended, and Colonel John T. Wilder’s mounted infantry achieved total surprise when they attacked Hoover’s Gap. Success was attributed both to Rosecrans’ brilliant deception tactics and the high morale of Wilder’s ‘Lightning Brigade’, equipped with the new Spencer repeating rifle, which totally disoriented the enemy.”

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