Vicinity of Chattanooga: 1863. Envelope or Cover. This four-page letter is datelined “In the ‘Trenches’ near Chattanooga Town, Sept 25/63”. A 3-cent rose Washington stamp (Scott #65) is tied to the envelope with a target cancel. The envelope bears a double-circle Nashville postmark dated October 1, 1863. Both are in nice shape; half of the envelope’s sealing flap was removed when opened. Transcript included.
In this letter, Harman—the First Sergeant of Company I, 93rd Ohio Volunteer infantry—writes to a female penpal, describing his company’s actions during the Battle of Chickamauga, which concluded only five days before:
“Last Saturday and Sunday we had another terrible fight. Our Company –“I”—lost just have the number, in killed and wounded on Saturday that it too into the fight. On Sunday we lost but one man out of the company – killed. This regiment charged upon a rebel Battery on Saturday Evening taking one section – two pieces – We killed every one of their horses and wounded all their artillery men, save two. Our loss was terrible. With superior numbers they soon drove us from our position. On Sunday the casualties were fearful on both sides, but on our no so heavy as we were protected by “breast works” which we erected during the night. In several successive charges we mowed them down like grass, but after all our desperate fighting we were compelled to leave the field partly in their possession. The fight was not renewed on the following day. Skirmishing is still kept up this being the seventh day. This Brigade Since the beginning of the fight lost three-eighths of the number of which they took into the fight.“
The action of the 93rd Ohio was one of the bright spots in the Union Army’s defeat at Chickamauga. Harman also describes the dangers of picket duty, which his regiment was performing at Chattanooga since it withdrew from the battlefield at Chickamauga.
“I must in this letter be very brief as there is no telling at what moment or hour a general engagement may take place. Firing on the picket line is going on all hours in the day and night. Occasionally brisk cannonading takes place. And besides we get but very little rest; Having been on the march ever since the 30th of August. Rebel Sharpshooters annoy our pickets very much and make it a regular practice of picking men off their post. Occasionally our pickets get a sight of them in some tree and dislodge them, bringing them head-foremost to the ground. . .. Yesterday the Sharp-Shooters killed and wounded fifteen of this Brig.”.
Very good. Item #009573 A very well written letter with considerable information about a significant action within one of the major battles of the American Civil War.
Harman was later promoted to 1st Lieutenant and wounded while serving at Nashville. He survived the war and was mustered out on 8 June 1865.
A very well written letter with considerable information about a significant action within one of the major battles of the American Civil War.