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    "There the truble begun"

    [Battle of Murfreesboro]. Union Sergeant Benjamin F. Lantz's Diary. Over seventy pages of pen and ink entries, 4" x 6", dated throughout the 1860s and consisting of an eleven-page narrative covering several months of military action during the Franklin and Nashville Campaign; personal notes; expenditure records (many are war-dated and likely record expenses during the soldier's Union service, though some entries are post-war); a muster roll for the Ohio 178th Infantry, Co. "A"; and various other lists of names. All dates (except Lantz's genealogy) appear to be during or post-Civil War (all are during the 1860s). The diary contains no covers and is well-worn, though all pages are bound by the original twine binding. Moderate soiling throughout.

    The diary belonged to Sergeant Benjamin Lantz, who enlisted in the Ohio 16th Infantry in April 1861. He mustered out just four months later, but reenlisted as a sergeant in the Ohio 178th Infantry, Co. "A", in September 1864. He remained with that unit until June 1865.

    In the eleven-page narrative, dated August 31, 1864, through January 17, 1865, Sergeant Lantz begins as he and Co. "A" travel south by steamboat, arriving in Nashville, Tennessee, in November 1864. On November 25, he writes that Confederate Generals John Bell Hood and George H. Thomas were "fiting at Columbia 25 miles north of Shelbyville." In early December, Lantz's 178th Regiment marched to Murfreesboro, where they encountered General Nathan Bedford Forrest, sent by General Hood to harrass the Union troops. On the morning of December 7, Lantz describes the battle that ensued: "Dec. 5th. Firing all around the picket lines. Dec. 6th. Skirmish lines throwed out heavy skirmish all day. Dec. 7th. Six Regiments of infantry and 4 hundred of cavalry under General Milroy went out to feel of the rebels and 7 pieces of artillery run the Rebels in to there hole and there the truble begun. Heavy cannonading for a few minutes after witch the 174 O.V. I. opened fire on the Johnies followed by the 181 O. they opend a very heavy fire and the 178 O.V. I. came in on a flank move witch caused the Rebel to fall back from there breast works. We run the rebels till dusk." On December 15, a unit left camp to forage for corn when "they found the Johnies had got in there Rear. They had a pretty hard fite and would have ben Captured had it not ben for Reinforsments from the fort. . . . We lost 2 men and our Color Sargent had his leg Shot off Close by the knee." Lantz and his regiment then marched 121 miles west to Clifton, Tennessee, where they boarded another steamboat travelling north.

    The muster roll lists seventy members of Co. "A" of the 178th, circa late-1864. This book served several purposes, and Lantz did not write his entries in chronological order from front to back, causing us to think that some entries, including the eleven-page narrative, may have been transcribed after the events took place.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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