This letter was written by Thomas T. Hall (1837-18xx), the son of Warrick [or Warwick] Hall (1809-Aft1880) and Lucinda R. ____ (1808-Aft1880) of Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio. The family has previously lived in Jefferson, Greene County, Pennsylvania.
Thomas was a corporal in Co I, 69th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.). The regiment was organized early in 1862 and guarded railroads most of the time in Tennessee until the Battle of Stone River in December where it took an active part in that engagement. On the 2d of January, 1863, it charged the enemy and captured a section of artillery. Thomas was transferred to Co. G, 8th Veteran Reserve Corps on 25 July 1863 and mustered out sometime later as a private. Hall was a blacksmith prior to his enlistment.
Hall wrote the letter to Clarissa (“Clara”) Lucretia Strieby (1832-Aft1875), the orphaned daughter of Samuel Henry Strieby (1803-1847) and Rebecca Cook (1800-1857) of Darlington, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. From the envelope we learn that Clara was residing in Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1862. Still unmarried, she is enumerated in the household of her married sister in Council Grove, Kansas, in 1875.
Addressed to Miss Clara L. Strieby, Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio
Camp near Nashville, Tennessee
December 16th 1862
Having just returned from a visit to the 1st Ohio and whilst there heard your letter read which you sent [George W.] Fawcett ¹ stating that you did not know what had become of me, which to my surprise I found I had been mistaken in your address. I have written you two letters since you have been on the frontier but have received none in return so the above will explain the whole difficulty. Hoping, therefore, you will not think hard of me for I lost the letter you sent to me giving your address.
We are encamped about three miles from Nashville, Tennessee, on the Murfreesboro railroad and on the right of the road as we go from the city. There are a great many troops here and we are expecting a battle at most any moment. The enemy is said to be concentrating their forces at a little creek a few miles from here but what the result will be, I cannot tell. But one thing I do know, if they do make the attack, they will get the best whipping they have had since the rebellion for we have the men and most of them the true grit. Well, the drum is beating for drill and I must lay my letter down till another time.
19th inst. At this present time I find a few moments time to write a few more lines for the first since I laid my pen down on the 17th, having a various amount of duties to perform besides drill, which we are kept at almost all the time as we expect to have a fight soon a short distance from here on a small creek called Steward’s [Stewart’s] Creek.²
The 20th Brigade was on a foraging expedition yesterday. [We] went out the Lebanon Pike to the Hermitage of Andrew Jackson. He is buried in one corner of the garden and a fine tomb placed over his remains. [We] turned off the Pike there and went through the woods about a mile where we got all of our wagons loaded and returned to camp without seeing a rebel to shoot at, having traveled about 25 miles making a big days march.
I have a word from Molly occasionally. I am well and hope this may find you the same and in a peaceful state of mind. I must confess I do not enjoy much of the love of God since I have been in the army, but hope finally to gain a home in heaven. I want you to write me and let me know how you are getting along. I must now close hoping this finds you well. This from your friend, — T. T. Hall
¹ George Washington Fawcett (1837-1912) was a sergeant in Co. I, 1st Ohio Infantry. He had previously served for three months as a private in Co. H, 19th Ohio Infantry. George was the son of Samuel Sharp Fawcett (1812-1906) and Hannah Elizabeth Harland (1820-1860). He married Nancy Ann Marshal (1839-1892) in Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio in October 1864.
² Stewart’s Creek flows into the Stone River.