11th Minnesota Infantry – Amasa Richards Writes Home & Sends Home a Sample of Cotton! The 11th was Fighting Guerrillas near Nashville
Amasa Richards was 31-years old and enlisted on August 16, 1864. The 11th Minnesota was detailed to guard railroads around Nashville from Confederate Guerrillas. There are 2 letter sheets, the first is headed, “Nashville, October 10th, 1864” it is 4 full pages in ink. The second is written on a half sheet headed “Tunnel Hill, Oct. 10th”. Both letters and the cotton came enclosed in an envelope addressed to “Mrs. Mary E. Richards, South Plymouth, Minnesota”. 

 Here is the interesting content:

• “Night before last at one o’clock am order came to camp for us to march. Immediately we started. Fifteen minutes past two and took the cars on the Louisville Road.”

• “A little after sunrise we arrived at South Tunnel Station. The guerillas came upon the place about three o’clock. Killed five colored soldiers and wounded one. Cut the telegraph line, burnt three or four hundred cords of wood, and robbed some of the citizens of their money and clothes.”

• “We are camped in our stockade on Tunnel Hill to guard the railroad. There is but a few Union white persons in the vicinity.”

• “We rode on the outside of the cars to protect them from the guerrillas that are prowling along the road watching for an opportunity to run the train off the track and burn it.”

• “We past cotton fields on the road. The train stopped near one, and I got out and picked some. I will send you some of it.”

• “Yesterday morning while the train was waiting at Murfreesboro for another train to come out. I went to an old Rebel fortification and dug a ball out of a tree. It was fired by the Union Army the time that the place was taken from the Rebels.”

• “Soldiers are stationed all along the road to protect the road and bridges. One of the guards that left the day after we did accidently shot himself at Stephenson, Alabama. The charge entered his right side and passed up through his shoulder and chin. He was not expected to live.”

• “Chattanooga is in Tennessee but have to pass through a portion of Georgia and Tenn. to get there. The cars pass close to Lookout Mountain and a short distance from Missionary Ridge, famous for the battles that have been fought on them. I don’t see but what I can perform all the duties required of a soldier.”

Minnesota letters are quite scarce and this one talking about Guerrillas and sending home a cotton sample is especially interesting.

#L710MN - Price $250