Death? Major John M Wall 15th&37th TN VOL

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Feb 26, 2021
Good morning gentlemen! I am very pleased to have found this site and hope that some if not all of you can be some help to my quest! I need any and all info about Major John M Wall Company G of the 15th & 37th TN Vols. He is my great great great grandfather on my mother’s side. I have included a letter sent to John’s Widow’s son from her new marriage asking about his old dear friend. My family has never known what happen to Dr.Wall after the battle of Atlanta. This is a mystery I’m trying to solve while also trying to find any correspondence from Bate Bragg.... anything! I am sure someone wrote major Wall letters!?!? I have read the Gleason book and even tracked the old man to nursing home and got to speak to him about his book, thinking he knew what happen to John.I have his muster rolls and election letters to Major from Archives.. I even have a portrait of the Doctor. I am looking for any and all help about the 15th and my ancestor!

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connecticut yankee

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Jun 2, 2017
The Gleeson book "Illinois Rebels" on page 81 in the Postscript states that Major John M. Wall of the 15th/37th was mortally wounded at the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864 and died having bled to death two days later. I assume he was left on the field between the lines as author Gleeson also wrote on page 81 that Major Wall bled to death close "to the tent of Union Captain Hibert A. Cunningham".
 
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Jul 19, 2016
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Spotsylvania Virginia
I spoke to Gleason about that and he said that he was just trying to coin a poetic reference that a man that used to serve along side John was yards away fighting on the other side of the fight. He stated he honestly did not know what happened to major John M Wall.
That’s too bad ... I ran into a similar incident when reading about Major Pelham..... seems one author decided to “ad a little flavor” to his death w/o regard to facts. Be careful what you read .... as the old military saying goes “..don’t believe anything you hear and half of what you see”
 

lelliott19

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My family has never known what happen to Dr.Wall after the battle of Atlanta. This is a mystery I’m trying to solve
Ok, so I had an opportunity to review the CMSR for Major John M Wall, filed with the 15th Tennessee. I assume you have already seen these records? When you said Wall was a doctor with the rank of Major, I assumed he served as a Surgeon during the war. It looks like he was promoted to Major but only served briefly as an Assistant Surgeon.

Most of his duty was as the actual Major of the regiment. There are 72 pages of records in his file with the 15th TN - mostly Company Muster rolls indicating his presence or absence and a variety of requisitions for his own pay, requisitions for forage for his two horses being used in service of the Confederate Army, etc -- pretty routine stuff. There are also a few requisitions for supplies for the regiment - stationery, arms, ammunition, accouterments, and even one that includes a request for 2 battle flags and staffs.

John M Wall, enlisted into Company G, 15th Tennessee Infantry on 5 June 1861 at Union City for one year and appointed 1st Lieutenant; appointed Major, to rank 11 May 1862.

There are only a few mentions of him as an Assistant Surgeon. Assistant Surgeons usually had the rank of Captain, indicating that his rank of Major was not a result of his services as a medical officer. Here on 7 January 1862, he is promoted to Assistant Surgeon (which would have come with the rank of Captain) and detailed to that duty.
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And there's this pay voucher that lists his rank as Major, dated 1 June 1862, that indicates he was ordered to duty as an Asst Surgeon by Maj Gen Leonidas Polk.
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He was elected Major 11 May 1862 so again, it seems his rank came about in the usual way, not as a result of being a surgeon.
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He was wounded at Perryville and Chickamauga. Both times he is listed as Major - not as Assistant Surgeon.
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Both August and September Inspection Reports show him captured July 22, 1864.
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Interestingly, there are no Prisoner of war records filed with his records for the 15th TN. I'll check for records in the 37th TN. EDIT TO ADD: nothing filed with the 37th TN.
 
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Feb 26, 2021
That is all wonderful info with specifics I myself would have never seen! Is there any sure way to find letters written to Major Wall from other Confederate officers? Such as Bragg, Tyler or Polk?

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lelliott19

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Is there any sure way to find letters written to Major Wall from other Confederate officers? Such as Bragg, Tyler or Polk?
Is there a specific reason why you believe that such letters exist? Wartime correspondence generally consists of after action reports filed "up the chain" of command. Most information and orders going "down the chain" consisted of Commanding Officer providing information or orders directly to his Corps Commanders. Corps Commanders communicated with their Division Commanders. The Division Commanders passed the instructions to their respective Brigadier Generals, who passed them along to the Colonels of the regiments in their brigade. The Colonels would have then passed instructions to the officers of their regiments (including Lt Col, Major, and on down.) I did notice that Major Wall was listed as commanding the regiment on at least one occasion. When that occurred, he would have received instructions directly from Brigadier General Thomas Benton Smith. But the men were in direct proximity so there would have been no need to send instructions in a letter. Perhaps they communicated after the war? And there is evidence that these letters exist?
 
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