Wasson, John – October 18, 1863

Michigan Civil War Collection Letters

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: 2nd Michigan Cavalry

Battles Mentioned: Chickamauga, Georgia

Historical Figures: Alexander M. McCook, Braxton Bragg, Nathan B. Forrest, Robert H. Minty, William S. Rosecrans

Rankins ford Tenn
Oct the 18th 63
Dear Uncle
I Send you these
fiew lines in answer to your letter
of the 28th of August since that
time I have had verry little opper-
tunity to write and we have not
herd from home Since that time the
rebs got one train of wagons with
a lot of our Mail when we wer down
in George and I think that is
the reason we have been here since
the 28th of Sept. without geting any
Mail or even any papers so you se
we know verry little of what is going
on we have not been with the regt
Since the 28th of Sept they haveing
been of after old Wheeler and our
Battalion is guarding this ford the
enemy is on the other side of the river

all the time and we talk with them
evry day we made an agreement with
them not to fire on them if they would
not on us but they fired on us yesterday
without any cause atall Since whitch
time they have had to hunt there holes
and keep there Butternut packets out
of Sight we crosed the river on the
29th of Au and went round in the
rear of Chattanooga about 47 Miles
South of it will McCooks Corps we
got in between Johnsons army Comeing
from Atalanta to reinforce Brag at
the same time Brag was falling back
from Chattanooga So you se we wer
right between the two rebble armys
the Saturday before the Battle we got
after a train of 300 wagons and run them
right into there main force of Infantry
and Stired up the whole nest they made
an attack on us the next morng and
drove us back the wer Closeing in on
two sides of us and trying to cut

of our retreat we fought with
them all day this was the Sabbath
before the Battle Sept. the 13th they took
6 of our ambulances and 47 men prisoners
and I do not know how many wer hurt
on our side in this fight but not many
at this time the whole Cavalry
Command of Rosecraus army except
Colonels Minly’s brigade wer with us about 15000
old General Forrest was wonded in
this fight at this time the army began
to Consentrate for the Grand contest to
se who would hold Chattanooga they left
it to draw Rosecraus on over the river
and then they hoped to crush him
before he could get reinforcements and
they done there verry best to do it but
they failed for three whole days the army
of the Cumberland withstood the
Combined attack of Brag Johsons
Buckner and two Corps from virginey
infact allmost the whole rebbel army
they wer about three to one of us is it any


wonder that we wer repulsed this I think
was one of the most hotly contested fights
of the war the enemy left no stone untu-
rned to reash Rosecraus Army and they have
failed to do it and wer compeled to draw
of there force and leave us in possession
of Chattanooga they brasight on the engage
ment themselvs before we wer ready
So our army assumed the defensive
throughout the entire battle I will not try
to discribe the seens of the field for they ar
beyond discription the line of battle was
15 Miles in length faught in a valley be-
tween two ranges of Mountains the valley
is called Chickamauga I valley and
from this the Battle takes its name we wer
in it two dayes the 19 and 20th Saturday
and Sabbath we fasight on the extream
right of the line of battle the canonade
was awful I never want to se the like agane
sometimes it seamed as if the air was

was alive with the sereme of Shell
and the his of shot we commensed to
fight on the morning of the 20th as soon
as we could see and wer kept at it till
after dark and then started for Chatt-
anooga 15 Miles of and Marched all
night and without anything to eat for our
selves or our horses our regiment was very
luckey our los was slight on the whole
compared with others we only lost one
Commissioned officer Captain Holley of
Company G he was shot on the filed 6
balls passed throw him the good fortune
whitch has always attended the 2nd
Mich. in Battle did not forsake us an
this occation but I mis a good
many faces with whitch I have
associated with. we went over the Tenn
river on the pontoon at Chattanooga on
the morning of the 21st and went 15 miles
up the river to guard a ford we could
Still here the canonade here for the
first time in 4 dayes we got time to cook

something to eat wash our selves and
on saddle our poor tired horses the
rebs Clame a victory at Chickamauga
but by that that victory they have
lost all of East Tenn. and Chattanooga
the verry hart of the confederacy I think
one as two more such victorys will
use them up. I am verry anxious to
here from him pleas write as soon
as you get this we ar all well and have
been liveing on ¼ rations for one
month the reason of this it htat the roads
ar so bad that they cannot get any more
rations through to the army at Chattanooga
and they have not got the rail road
done yet but they ar Building a gun
Boat at Bridge post whitch will be
ready to run in a bout two weeks
and then i think the rebs along
the river will have to leave and let
us run Boats to Chattanooga
No more at this time
from John Wasson