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80th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Captain Daniel G. Hildt

Letter from Capt. Daniel G. Hildt to his brother Lt. Col. George H. Hildt

                                                                           Head Quarters Co. “E” 80th O. V. I.
                                                                           Resaca, Ga. Oct. 27th, 1864
Dear Bro.

     I received your letter of the 18th inst. on yesterday; also one from Nashville just before the raid, & should have answered immediately but for the interruptions in our R. R. communications. We expect the Road to be in running order this evening, & I will mail this in time to go out with the first mail.

     We had quite a lively time here after the Election, for on the 12th the Enemy attacked our pickets about 2:00 P. M. which was the first notice we had of their approach. They came up quite lively for a while, but we formed a strong skirmish line, & presented such a bold front that they were deterred from entering immediately, as they no doubt expected to. The 56th Ills. of our Brig. Stationed at Calhoun was soon on hand, & by the time they had got their batteries in position, we were ready for them. At about 4:00 P M they sent in a summons to surrender as follows:

     “To the C. O. as Resaca, Ga.
          I demand the immediate surrender of the post & troops of Resaca, Ga. If this demand is acceded to white Soldiers & Officers will be paroled in a few days; if not, I will proceed to assault your works & no prisoners will be taken.”

          (signed) J. B. Hood Gen’l”

     Col. Weaver of the 17th Iowa was in command of 2” brigade & Post, in the absence of Gen’l Raum who was comdg. Div., & replied as follows:b

     “I am surprised at the last clause of your communication. In my opinion, I think my force sufficient to hold this place. If you want Resaca you must come & take it.

          (signed) C. R. Weaver,
                                   Comdy. Officer,”

giving no rank, letting them infer all they wanted. We delayed the flag as long as possible in order to give them no opportunity to assault us that night, for we were expecting a Brig. of Cavalry from below to reinforce us, which got here about sundown that afternoon, which numbered about 700 muskets counting the 56th Ills. & the Cav’ly Brig., about 1000 muskets. We improved the time by strengthening our works; working incessantly all night & all day, for we knew it was for our lives, & we expected to be assaulted early in the morning, but they did not come. We then strengthened our skirmish line, which was almost as strong as a line of battle, & gave them all they wanted to run against.

     Our Battery Boys did most splendidly; they are details from our Brig., & it was their first attempt at firing. They killed a Brig. General & two Colonels on the first afternoon. We skirmished all day the 13th; Lee’s Corps. held us in check, while the two other corps were passing by, they held their lines until about 12:00 the night of the 13th, when they withdrew, just in time to get clear of Sherman’s Army, which was coming up as fast as possible, & the greater part passed through that night.

     Our loss here in killed & wounded was about 25, & theirs, we have since learned, was between two & three hundred; some prisoners put it as high as five hundred in all, both here & at Snake Creek Gap, which they held for a few hours against the 4th Corps. We were all very well satisfied they way it turned out, for they could have taken this place, but it would have cost them more men they were willing to sacrifice. The 17th (Iowa) stationed at Tilton were captured, & taken to Andersonville. Capt. Hicks & Lt. Swearingen escaped from them below. The Capt. was drowned while swimming the Coosa River below Rome; but the Lieut. succeeded in reaching here day before yesterday looking next thing to a dead man.

     Dalton was disgracefully surrendered by Col. Johnson of the 44th Colored Inf., was scared into it by a like summons which was sent to us. The negroes wanted to fight, & just begged him not to surrender them, but he would not permit them to fire a gun. A good many of them broke for the woods & escaped in that way. He is sure to be mustered out.

     Sherman is still after Hood. On Monday night his Hd. Qrs. was at Yalesburg, Ala. Our army is now without rations and subsisting on the country. Rome is now the base of supplies, & all the Army teams were there on Sunday for supplies, but none on hand. They have spared all they could from Atlanta & all the supplies ________1 at Allatoona.

To my last, tell him I am anxious for an answer. Remember me to all the friends & write soon.

                                                                                                         Your aff. Bro.
                                                                                                         D. G. Hildt

1 – letter damaged – one or two words completely missing.

(Submitted by Vicki Hildt, January, 2011)

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