December 5, 1864

Madison claims the honor of being the home of the youngest veteran - Johnny Messick, just discharged with the 42d Indiana, in which he served three years as a drummer. He is now but 12 years old. His father, Lt. Jacob Messick, of the same regiment, was captured at Chickamauga, and is now a prisoner of war at Columbia, S.C. The boy is now at the house of Capt. Stineback in this city.

December 10, 1864

Our friend H.F. Robbins came up from Louisville last evening, and reports a lively time in that city and vicinity, occasioned by impressments of horses for Government use. One gentleman owning a fine span of horses thought to save them by turning them into his magnificent parlor, closing the shutters and lowering the blinds; but it was no go - the press gang scented them out....An Indianian who crossed over to Louisville with a load of brooms was quickly made horseless. Indeed, horses were taken wherever found, and in this regard Uncle Sam was "no respecter of persons." A receipt was given in each case to the owner for the value of the animal taken.

December 20, 1864

From Sherman.

New York, Dec. 20. - The Herald's correspondent from Fort McAllister and Hilton head, the 14th, says:

When Gen. Sherman arrived in front of Savannah, after having marched 300 miles, his troops meanwhile living on the very best provision, he had with him a drove of 1,200 cattle, though when he started from Atlanta he had only 200. He also gathered up on the way over 7,000 able-bodied Negroes, and so many horses, mules and wagons as to embarrass him. His army, during a considerable period of the march, extended over a sweep of country sixty miles in breadth, as much as forty miles at times intervening between the right wing of one column and the left of the other; but communication was at all times kept between the two. His whole loss in men from the time of leaving Atlanta till his arrival in front of Savannah, from wounds, sickness, captures, straggling, and all other causes, was only about 1,000. The average daily march was about twelve miles....

December 20, 1864


And Still the Good Work Goes Bravely on.

New York, Dec. 20 - Times special from Nashville, 19, says: Thomas is pursuing the enemy to Duck River.

We have nearly all of Hood's artillery. The rivers are high, and the bridges in front of Hood are destroyed. We have captured 9,000 prisoners, including 3,000 wounded, at Franklin, and 4 generals....Gen. Stoneman has whipped Breckinridge in East Tennessee, near the Virginia line, killing, wounding and capturing large numbers and taking most of his artillery. Gen. McCock is after Gen. Lyon, in Kentucky, and he can't escape. Murfreesboro, Bridgeport, Stevenson, Chattanooga and Knoxville, are all right.

Note: The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin -Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. It was fought at Nashville, TN, on December 15-16, 1864, between the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood and Federal forces under Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas. In one of the largest victories achieved by the Union Army during the war, Thomas attacked and routed Hood's army, largely destroying it as an effective fighting force.

December 27, 1864

The dispatches of General Sherman...are as follows:

Savannah, Georgia, December 23, 1864

His Excellency, President Lincoln:

I beg to present to you as a Christmas gift, the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, also, about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.

[Signed] W.T.SHERMAN, Major-General Commanding.

Research conducted by the Jefferson County Civil War Round Table.