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William Velie Letter

Identifier: MS-3211

This letter, which William Velie wrote in 1864 from Fort Rosencrance in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, notes the heavy combat in the area. He mentions the ability to hear the cannon shots from Franklin, Tennessee and recognizes the presence of General Hood and the Confederate Army. Velie notes that 12,000 Confederate troops stopped in Murfreesboro on their way to Nashville. These troops tore up the railroad and laid siege to a blockhouse that was 5 miles from the fort. The Union Commander, General Melroy, sent a force out to deal with the Confederate problem: Our boys went out under command of General Melroy and made them skedaddle. This engagement proved to be a relatively light battle for the Union Army, but the letter mentions increased combat and fatalities. With the increase of Confederate troops, Melroy sent out a force of 5,000 men and succeeded in forcing a Confederate retreat and capturing 200 prisoners. Velie describes in detail the final moments of several members of his regiment following this skirmish and identifies them by name.

Aside from discussions of combat, Velie notes that if it were not for letters from the girls of the north he would not be able to remain in service. The letter is written to his cousin Mary in Minnesota, and thus makes casual conversation about his life in camp and various topics not related to combat.


  • 1864

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0.1 Linear Feet


This letter, written by William Velie and sent from Fort Rosencrance in Murfreesboro, Tennessee describes battles in the Middle Tennessee area, including Franklin and Nashville. Velie notes that the Commanding Officer of the Confederate Army in the area is General Hood, while his own commander in the Union Army is General Melroy.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Velie was born to William and Elizabeth (Sayles) Velie in about 1837 in Pennsylvania. His family migrated to Minnesota (by way of Indiana) sometime before 1860. Velie enlisted in the Union Army 1862 August 18 as a musician and mustered into Company F of the 8th Minnesota Infantry. He mustered out on 1865 July 11 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. William Velie's brother Henry served in this same regiment, and both returned to Minnesota after the war.


This collection consists of one folder

Acquisition Note

Purchased by Special Collections 2007 September 19.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA