Transcribed and Submitted by
Great Great Granddaughter of Charles Hennrich, Company D.
Camp in the field near Pulaski, Tenn
December 28, 1864
I received your letter the 27th of December and see that you are all well as I, thank God, also am. I hope that these few lines will find you in good health.
What surprised me was when I saw that Fritz had become a soldier. I wish he had come to us for one can give the young recruit a great deal of help.
Dear parents, since my last letter, which was interrupted by the thunder of cannon, we had to march then at once and take up another position. The rebels did not halt again. Our cavalry, under General Hatch, were so close at their throats that they let their cannon stand, cutting the harness from the horses to save themselves. The 24th was reached the Duck River, a river like the Turkey River. Old Hood was pressed so hard that he threw his cannon, 15 in number, into the river. We pulled them out again. Our way lay full of cannon balls, bombs, and cartridges which they had thrown away in order to lighten their wagons.
We crossed the Duck River the 25th near Columbia on a pontoon bridge. Our army started to cross on two pontoon bridges on the 23rd and were not yet all over the the 28th.
We have had bad weather ever since we left Nashville. Yesterday the news came that General Washburn had captured 7 cannon and several thousand men from General Hood as Hood tried to cross the Tennessee River. If he can't cross the river then good night Hood! Then he can finally go into winter-quarters. He said, when he lay before Nashville, that he wanted to make his winter-quarters between Nashville and Louisville, and wanted to starve out General Thomas and his army in Nashville. So thought Hood, but Thomas arranged otherwise.
The Tennessee soldiers under Hood are running all over saying that they do not see why they should fight any longer here. On the way where both armies passed it looks terrible. The families have lost everything. The houses were practically burned over the heads of some. Others were not left enough for the next morning's breakfast.
Dear parents, you probably celebrated Christmas better than I did. We were engaged in following Hood and had to change our customs. Early on the morning of the 25th one could hear the thunder of cannon. That was really a fine Christmas greeting!
We are camped now near Pulaski and will probably march further in the morning. You wrote that Fritz was in Davenport. When you write him a letter tell him that he should write to me once.
And Elizabeth has let herself be heard from which gave me great joy. And I wish Ernst would let himself be heard from, if he cannot write then let little Elizabeth write for you.
Now I will close and send greetings to all of you. Greet Fritz Dock and his family. Fritz should have been here with us and he would have had his eyes opened for he could have had a good look at a battlefield.
Greet Waterman for me. We have heard, since we left Nashville, that Heinrich is improving. Many greetings to you all.
I wish you a prosperous New Year.
NOTES: "Fritz", Fred Hennrich, enlisted Dec. 2, 1864 and was assigned to Company D, 8th Iowa Infantry. He was mustered out Dec. 1, 1865.