Managing Member & Webmaster
- Apr 1, 1999
- Martinsburg, WV
Service/Branch: United States Army
Entered Service at: Toledo, Ohio
Entered Service on: August 16, 1862 as a Corporal
Unit: Company D, 124th Ohio Infantry
Discharged: Mustered Out with Company on July 9, 1865
Service Notes: appointed Sergeant Jan. 28, 1865
MEDAL OF HONOR DETAILS
Location of Action: Nashville, Tennessee
Date of Action: December 16, 1864
Date Award Issued: February 24, 1865
Citation: Recapture of U.S. guidon from a rebel battery.
Details from the Regimental History:
The morning of the fifteenth of December opened with everything about our lines and camps veiled in an impenetrable fog. One could not see a man ten feet away. Under the cover of this fog General Thomas opened a demonstration on the enemy's right that caused Hood to weaken his left to support his right. About ten o'clock a. m., as soon as the fog had lifted a little, Thomas sent the dashing Kilpatrick in on Hood's extreme left, followed by a charge from General A. J. Smith's entire corps. General Smith's men simply ran over the rebels. When the rebel left had been badly shattered by the charge made by Smith, and when the firing showed the rebel line was crumbling, the 4th Corps in the center was ordered in, and away we all went across an open field toward the rebel works. The rebels in our front occupied a strong position behind a stone wall that they had materially strengthened, but seemed to be dazed by the impetuosity of the charge on the left and center, and hardly fired a shot. I think in this charge our brigade captured more of the enemy than we had men in line. When we passed the stone wall there was not an armed rebel in front of us that we could discover. The firing was over along the entire length of the line, and some of us thought that we had taken all the rebels there were out there. I am of the opinion of all the artillery firing we ever experienced, that of the battle of Nashville was the most intense. When the cavalry commenced the charge on the right, every gun in Fort Negley commenced firing, as well as all the other forts and all the field and reserve artillery about Nashville. Of all the pandemonian scenes we ever witnessed, this was the climax. The firing was so intense and ceaseless that not an individual gun could be distinguished, but there was one dreadful roar of shot and shell, and all along the rebel lines and beyond, the bursting missiles filled the air with clouds of smoke. I do not believe its equal was ever before witnessed on the American continent, if in the world.
We pushed on to the front and found no enemy, and for some unexplained reason did nothing more that day. If we had advanced in line of battle immediately after the charge in the morning, I am firmly in the belief that there would have been no second day's battle. On the second day we moved to the front early in the morning, and found that the enemy had gathered his scattered ranks, and had taken and fortified a position, his line running across the Franklin pike. Our regiment was at the left of the pike in an open wood. Our regiment was also at the left of the brigade, and joined the right of Stedman's division of colored troops. Colonel Post, by reason of seniority of rank, had command of our brigade, and had been in command since the 89th Ill. had been added to us at Atlanta. It seemed the same tactics were resorted to the second day as the first, and at four o'clock p. m. we could distinctly hear Smith's infantry hammering away directly in the rear of the rebel line. All the afternoon Colonel Post had been soliciting General Wood to order our brigade to charge the rebel position on the Franklin pike, but could not obtain the consent of the old general, as he (Wood) said the charge would result in driving the rebels away, while by waiting we could get all of them without any trouble or loss. This was great big sense, and there was not an officer or man in the brigade, save Colonel Post, that did not realize the fact. But our brigade commander was anxious for a star, and as old Tommy became more spiritually-minded, he consented to let the old second brigade charge. The rebels had good rifle pits, but nothing so strong as on the Atlanta campaign; but near the pike they had a battery of field artillery*, some of the guns of which had been disabled early in the day. At the order to charge we moved on in fine form until we came near the works, when the rebels opened on us with canister that momentarily checked our advance. The colored infantry on our left seemed to receive the most of the rebel fire, as Stedman's division was in such a position that as soon as they came in range they were enfiladed for more than three hundred yards of their line, and consequently they suffered much more severely than our brigade. I never saw more heroic conduct shown on the field of battle than was exhibited by this body of men so recently slaves. I saw a color-bearer of one of these regiments stand on the top of the rebel parapet and shake the flag he bore in the faces of the confederate infantry until he fell, riddled with bullets. Soon after this, owing to a slight accident of war, your humble servant was compelled to go to the rear. But I remember (while lying on a stretcher) I heard the shout of the old regiment (that I could tell as I could my mother's voice), as they carried the rebel works.
What I know about the remainder of the battle of Nashville, and the pursuit of Hood, you of the old regiment and brigade know better than I. The rebel infantry ran away, just as old Tommy had said they would. This charge was a terribly severe and useless mistake. We had two brave young officers, Payne and Dempsey, killed, and many noble men killed and wounded. And all for what? To gratify the ambition of an officer that desired promotion. "What is ambition? 'Tis a glorious cheat."
* One could presume, this is the battery that Cpl. Franklin Carr collected the lost Union guidon from...
From : The Campaigns of the 124th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, With Roster and Roll, by George W. Lewis, 1894.
Birthplace: Stark County, Ohio
Spouse: Catharine “Kate” Trubey
Died: October 16, 1904 in Pittsburg, Oklahoma