Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stones River Campaign

As 1862 drew to a close, President Abraham Lincoln was desperate for a military victory. His armies were stalled, and the terrible defeat at Fredericksburg spread a pall of defeat across the nation. There was also the Emancipation Proclamation to consider. The nation needed a victory to bolster morale and support the proclamation when it went into effect on January 1, 1863.
The Confederate Army of Tennessee was camped in Murfreesboro, Tennessee only 30 miles away from General William S. Rosecrans' army in Nashville. General Braxton Bragg chose this area in order to position himself to stop any Union advances towards Chattanooga and to protect the rich farms of Middle Tennessee that were feeding his men.
Union General-In-Chief Henry Halleck telegraphed Rosecrans telling him that, “… the Government demands action, and if you cannot respond to that demand some one else will be tried.”
On December 26, 1862, the Union Army of the Cumberland left Nashville to meet the Confederates. This was the beginning of the Stones River Campaign.
On December 26, 1862, the Union Army of the Cumberland left Nashville to engage Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee. General William S. Rosecrans sent the three wings of his army on different routes in search of the Rebel army.
Rain, sleet and fog combined with spirited resistance from Confederate cavalry slowed the Federal advance. By the evening of December 30, 1862 both armies faced each other in the fields and forests west and south of Murfreesboro.
During the night, Bragg and Rosecrans planned their attacks. Both chose to attack the right flank of the enemy and cut off their supply line and escape route. Bragg extended his lines to the south using all but General John C. Breckinridge's Division of General William Hardee's Corps. This movement of troops left only Breckinridge's men to face Rosecrans's planned onslaught on the east bank of the Stones River with General Thomas J. Crittenden's Left Wing.
While the generals planned, then men lay down in the mud and rocks trying to get some sleep. The bands of both armies played tunes to raise the men's spirits. It was during this "battle of the bands" that one of the most poignant moments of the war occurred. Sam Seay of the First Tennessee Infantry described what happened that evening.
“Just before ‘tattoo' the military bands on each side began their evening music. The still winter night carried their strains to great distance. At every pause on our side, far away could be heard the military bands of the other. Finally one of them struck up ‘Home Sweet Home.' As if by common consent, all other airs ceased, and the bands of both armies as far as the ear could reach, joined in the refrain. Who knows how many hearts were bold next day by reason of that air?”
December 31 Dawn - The Attack
At dawn on December 31, 1862, General J. P. McCown's Division with General Patrick Cleburne's men in support stormed across the frosted fields to attack the Federal right flank. Their plan was to swing around the Union line in a right wheel and drive their enemy back to the Stones River while cutting off their main supply routes at the Nashville Pike and the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad.
The men of General Richard Johnson's Division were cooking their meager breakfasts when the sudden crackle of the pickets' fire raised the alarm. The Confederate tide swept regiment after regiment from the field.
Lieutenant Tunnel of the Fourteenth Texas Infantry described the confusion.
“Many of the Yanks were either killed or retreated in their nightclothes … We found a caisson with the horses still attached lodged against a tree and other evidences of their confusion. The Yanks tried to make a stand whenever they could find shelter of any kind. All along our route we captured prisoners, who would take refuge behind houses, fences, logs, cedar bushes and in ravines.”
Union artillery tried to hold its ground, but the butternut and gray wave swept over them. Federal commanders tried to halt and resist at every fence and tree line, but the Confederate attack was too powerful to stop against such a piecemeal defense.
Soon General Jefferson C. Davis's Division found itself caught between attacks from the front and the right. By 8:30 AM those units also began to fray and retreat to the north.
The ground itself helped stave off disaster. The rocky ground and cedar forests blunted the Confederate assault, and Rebel units began to come apart. Confederate artillery struggled to keep pace with the infantry. Still, the Army of the Cumberland's right flank was shattered beyond repair. The Round Forest was a crucial position for the Army of the Cumberland. Poised between the Nashville Pike and the Stones River, the forest anchored the left of the Union line. Colonel William B. Hazen's Brigade was assigned this crucial sector.
At 10 AM, General James Chalmers' Mississippians advanced across the fields in front of Hazen's men. The partially burned Cowan house forced Chalmers' men to split just before they came a within range of the Union muskets. Artillery batteries guarded Hazen's flanks with deadly fire while the infantry poured volley after volley into the Confederate ranks. General Chalmers was wounded as his men wavered then broke.
Chalmers' attack was followed by General Daniel Donelson's Brigade as General Bragg sought to tie up Rosecrans' reserves pressing the Union left. Donelson's men crashed through Cruft's Brigade south of the pike. Hazen's men held firm to the north and Union reinforcements were able to seal the breach.
December 31 Afternoon
During the afternoon of December 31st, Bragg called on General Breckinridge's troops to hammer the anchor point of the Union line guarding the Nashville Pike. Two brigades went in first suffering the same fate as those that went before. Two more of Breckinridge's Brigades made a final assault as daylight began to fail. Hazen's men, reinforced now by Harker's Brigade, clung to their positions.
The carnage as described by J. Morgan Smith of the Thirty-second Alabama Infantry prompted soldiers to name the field Hell's Half Acre.
“We charged in fifty yards of them and had not the timely order of retreat been given — none of us would now be left to tell the tale. … Our regiment carries two hundred and eighty into action and came out with fifty eight.”
Colonel Hazen's Brigade was the only Union unit not to retreat on the 31st. Their stand against four Confederate attacks gave Rosecrans a solid anchor for his Nashville Pike line that finally stopped the Confederate tide.
Hazen's men were so proud of their efforts in this area that they erected a monument there after the battle. The Hazen Brigade Monument is the oldest intact Civil War monument in the nation.
After McCown's dawn assault, Confederate units to the north began attacking the enemy in their front. These attacks were not meant to break through, but to hold Union units in place as the flanking attack swept up behind them.
General Philip Sheridan had his men rise early and form a line of battle. His men were able to repulse the first enemy attack, but the loss of the divisions to his right forced Sheridan's commanders to reposition their lines to keep Cleburne's Division from cutting off their escape route. Sheridan's lines pivoted to the north, anchored by General James Negley's Division in the trees and rocks along McFadden Lane.
Confederate brigades assaulted Sheridan's and Negley's Divisions without coordination. The terrain made communication and cooperation between units nearly impossible. For more than two hours, the Union forces fell back step by bloody step slowing the Confederate assault.
By noon, the Confederate Brigades of A.P. Stewart, J. Patton Anderson, George Maney, A.M. Manigault, and A.J. Vaughn assaulted the Union salient from three sides. With their ammunition nearly spent, Negley's and Sheridan's lines shattered and their men made their way north and west through the cedars towards the Nashville Pike.
The cost of this delaying action was enormous. Sam Watkins of the First Tennessee Infantry, CS was amazed at the bloodshed.
“I cannot remember now of ever seeing more dead men and horses and captured cannon all jumbled together, than that scene of blood and carnage … on the (Wilkinson) … Turnpike; the ground was literally covered with blue coats dead.”
All three of Sheridan's brigade commanders were killed or mortally wounded and many Federal units lost more than one-third of their men. Many Confederate units fared little better. Union soldiers recalled the carnage as looking like the slaughter pens in the stockyards of Chicago. The name stuck. While the fighting raged in the Slaughter Pen, General Rosecrans was busy trying to save his army. He cancelled the attack across the river and funneled his reserve troops into the fight hoping to stem the bleeding on his right. Rosecrans and General George Thomas rallied fleeing troops as they approached the Nashville Pike and a new line began to form along that vital lifeline backed up by massed artillery.
The new horseshoe shaped line gave the Army of the Cumberland solid interior lines and better communication than their attackers. The Union cannon covered the long open fields between the cedars and the road. Most of the troops in this line had full cartridge boxes and knew that they must hold here or the battle would be lost.
Again the woods and rocky ground helped the Union. Confederate organization fell apart as they struggled through the cedars. Most of Confederate artillery was unable to penetrate the dense forests strewn with limestone outcroppings. Each wave of enemy attack along the pike was repulsed in bloody fashion by the Federal artillery that commanded the field.
Lietenant Alfred Pirtle (Ordnance Officer, Rousseau's Division) watched the cannon do their deadly work that afternnon.
“… then our batteries opened on them with a deafening unceasing fire, throwing twenty-four pounds of iron from each piece, across that small space. … But men were not born who could longer face that storm of canister. … They broke, they fled, and some took refuge in the clump of trees and weeds.”
As night approached, the Union army was bloody and battered, but it retained control of the pike and its vital lifeline to Nashville. Although Confederate cavalry would wreak havoc on Union wagon trains, enough supplies got through to give General Rosecrans the option to continue the fight.
January 2, 1863
After spending January 1, 1863 reorganizing and caring for the wounded, the two armies came to blows again on the afternoon of January 2nd. General Bragg ordered Breckinridge to attack General Horatio Van Cleve's Division (commanded by Colonel Samuel Beatty) occupying a hill overlooking McFadden's Ford on the east side of the river. Breckinridge reluctantly launched the attack with all five of his brigades at 4 PM. The Confederate charge quickly took the hill and continued on pushing towards the ford. As the Confederates attacked, they came within range of fifty-seven Union cannon massed on the west side of the Stones River. General Crittenden watched as his guns went to work.
“Van Cleve's Division of my command was retiring down the opposite slope, before overwhelming numbers of the enemy, when the guns … opened upon the swarming enemy. The very forest seemed to fall … and not a Confederate reached the river.”
The cannon took a heavy toll. In forty-five minutes their concentrated fire killed or wounded more than 1,800 Confederates. A Union counterattack pushed the shattered remnants of Breckinridge's Division back to Wayne's Hill.
Faced with this disaster and the approach of Union reinforcements, General Bragg ordered the Army of Tennessee to retreat on January 3, 1863. Two days later, the battered Union army marched into Murfreesboro and declared victory. The Battle of Stones River was one of the bloodiest of the war. More than 3,000 men lay dead on the field. Nearly 16,000 more were wounded. Some of these men spent as much as seven agonizing days on the battlefield before help could reach them. The two armies sustained nearly 24,000 casualties, which was almost one-third of the 81,000 men engaged.
As the Army of Tennessee retreated they gave up a large chunk of Middle Tennessee. The rich farmland meant to feed the Confederates now supplied the Federals. General Rosecrans set his army and thousands of contraband slaves to constructing a massive fortification, Fortress Rosecrans that served as a supply depot and base of occupation for the Union for the duration of the war.
President Lincoln got the victory he wanted to boost morale and support the Emancipation Proclamation. How important was this victory to the Union? Lincoln himself said it best in a telegram to Rosecrans later in 1863.
“I can never forget, if I remember anything, that at the end of last year and the beginning of this, you gave us a hard earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the country scarcely could have lived over.”

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

18th Tennessee Color Bearers at the Battle of Murfreesboro

18th Tennessee Infantry Color Bearers. L-R: Dr. Nat Gooch, Logue Nelson and William McKay. Published in Confederate Veteran, 1911. (Note: At the Battle of Murfreesboro, 10 men were killed or wounded bearing this flag, including Gooch and McKay.) (Courtesy Tennessee State Museum)


“the bravest of the brave”
by Shirley Farris Jones
The War Between the States was a very difficult and trying time for the
men, women, and children of this defining period in our nation's history.
Very few families were left “untouched” as a country at war with itself
struggled to survive. Regrettably, more than half a million lives were lost
for the “Cause” each believed to be right and when it was all over, those
who were left had to pick up the pieces and get on with the business of
living with or without their loved ones and the way of life they had
previously known. Many were left with only memories and footprints of a
past that was now history. Such is the story of a young man from Jackson
County, Tennessee.
William Sadler was born in 1832, the first born son of Betridge Scantland
and Nelson Sadler. Both the Scantland and the Sadler familes were among
the earliest settlers of Jackson County. The couple was married on
September 23, 1830, and William would soon have five sisters, Rachel Ann,
Nancy, Elizabeth, Mary Jane, and Lucetta, and two brothers, Lee and Henry,
to play with. Another brother, Garret, died in infancy but there was still a
lot of love and laughter in the house full of children, although the parents
didn't always get along too well and ultimately divorced in 1858 – which
was almost unheard of in that day and time. William was a grown man by
that time and the previous year, in 1857, had an “infatuation” with a young
woman named Elizabeth or “Betsy” White. This “infatuation” produced a
son, William Henry, nicknamed “Bose”, which is an old Scottish name for
Buddy. The couple never married, and Elizabeth soon married another man
named John Dixon and they were the parents of twin boys. Why the couple
chose not to marry is a mystery to this day as William was known
throughout the community as a “good” boy and a stickler for the rules.
On June 8, 1861 Tennessee voted to join the newly formed Confederate
States of America as the last seceding state. William Sadler, along with
two of his brother-in-laws, soon joined the Confederate Army. On June 6,
1862 he wrote to his Mother from Camp Trousdale where they were in
“I now seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know I am
well and in good spirits and hope these few lines may find you all in good
health. ... Mother, I want you to get some cloth and make me two pairs of
pants for summer. Get some that will not show dirt and have them made in
a week from this time, and send them by the first one that comes if you
have the chance. ... Get the cloth at Mahaneys and Sons that will last, for
fine cloths does not recommend a man much here for we have a dandy in
our ajoining (sic) company and the visitors tell him he is too fine for a
soldierin'. ... Tell all to write to me and write all the news of importance.
Tell Marion McCawley I am as fat as a Lion and would not give a cent to be
at home and would not come home if I had the chance without peace was
made. ... your son, Wm Sadler”
From Camp Trousdale, Pvt. Sadler was sent to Corinth, Mississippi.
Following reorganization, he became a part of Bragg's Army. On May 8,
1862, he was promoted to Captain, Company G, of the 8th Tennessee
Infantry. (The 8th Tennessee was comprised of men from Smith, Overton,
Lincoln, Fentress, Putnam, Jackson, Moore, and Marshall Counties.) In
the fall of 1862, the 8th Tennessee passed through Jackson County on their
way into Kentucky to face Federal forces there. It took three days and
three nights for General Bragg's troops to march through Jackson County.
They were greeted by Jackson countians who cheered the men on and
offered their support. William was able to visit his family for a short time
and encouraged his brother, Lee, to join up. Lee enlisted on September 8,
1862, just in time for the battle of Perryville the next month on October 8,
1862. Both William and Lee escaped the battle unharmed. But seeing this
kind of action must have made an impression on the brothers.
It was shortly after this that Captain William wrote a letter to his
fourteen year old brother, Henry, who was still at home on the farm. In the
letter, he expressed his concern about being killed in battle and what would
happen to his son, Bose. Apparently, William did not think too highly of
Betsy's husband, and didn't want his son growing up at the Dixon place and
“never larn (sic) to work as a man needs to.” He wanted Henry to promise
that if anything should happen to him that he would get the boy and “raise
him up good. ... raise him as his own, if something were to happen to him
during this war.”
After Perryville, both William and Lee were at McMinnville for a short
while and then headed to Murfreesboro. Just before the battle, the
brothers were bathing and William told Lee, “If you get hurt here, I can't
stop to take care of you. And if I get hurt or killed, you go on.” With those
words, a pact was made.
The Battle of Murfreesboro began on December 31, 1862. On the field,
William was shot in the head with a Yankee minute ball. Lee saw him shot.
William's last words were, “Go on! You can do nothing for me! Go on!” As
previously promised, Lee passed right on by his brother, just where his body
fell on the battlefield, and kept on fighting. The next day, Lee and some of
William's men came back to the battlefield, retrieved William's body, and
buried it behind a building nearby, leaving only a large stone for his marker.
It was said of the thirty year old William that “He was the bravest of the
brave.” William's horse, on its own, returned home to Jackson County, a
distance of almost one hundred miles.
John S. Quarles, who succeeded William Sadler as Captain of the 8th
Tennessee Infantry, wrote the following report: “... He was killed leading
his men in a charge on a 16-gun battery known as Loomis Battery. When he
fell his younger brother, Lee Sadler, ran up to him and asked him some
questions. His only answer was to go on, go on. I suppose these were his
last words. Capt. Sadler was a very brave man. As fearless as a lion and
as gallant as a knight. He was a very correct and strict disciplinarian. To
do his duty was but to know it. He hated the coward and deserter, but had
the greatest admiration for a brave man. Valor covered all faults with Capt.
Sadler. He sought no friends and dodged no foes but did his duty as he saw
it. ...”
Note: The Eighth Tennessee was in Donelson's Brigade of Cheatham's
Division so their main action was against Hazen's and Cruft's Brigades at
Hell's Half Acre around noon on December 31, 1862. Although Captain
Sadler's name appears only in the report of officers killed, it is highly likely
that he died during that ill fated attack. In all probability, Captain Sadler's
remains were most likely reburied at the Confederate Cemetery on South
Church Street in Murfreesboro after the war before being reinturred for the
third and final time at Confederate Circle in Evergreen Cemetery several
years later.
Henry, abiding by his brother's wishes, got on his brother's horse,
bringing along a mule, and headed for the Dixon farm. He collected Bose,
just five years old, “kickin' and a screamin' taking him from his mama and
brothers and stepdaddy. We all agreed to abide by William's wishes and
understood his reckoning. But it was mighty hard to watch such a
distraught little boy coming up the road, ridin' on a mule, towards our farm.”
Then “We stripped him down, washed him clean, and burnt his clothes.
Washin' the traces of his Dixon life away.” Henry, true to his word, raised
Bose as his own, and Bose came to know Henry as his father, at least the
only real father figure he ever knew. In 1886, when Bose was 30 years old,
he married Sarah Melvina Ray , and they became the parents of four
children, John, Kate, Mary, and Annie. Bose inherited much of his father's
sense of duty and belief in justice. Bose became Sheriff of Jackson County
in 1898 and again in 1916, serving a total of two terms. Bose and Vinnie
both lived into old age, living full and satisfying lives.
Descendants of Capt. Sadler continue to reside in Jackson County, near
Gainesboro, Tennessee to this day.
This information was provided by Mrs. Bonnie Mae West Dudney
Roberts, one of the children of Kate, the eldest child of Bose and Vinnie,
who married William Dillard West. She is the great-granddaughter of
Captain William Sadler. With special thanks to her daughter, Mrs. Janet
Dudney Meadows, great-great-granddaughter of Capt. Sadler.
Bibliography furnished upon request.

Reminiscences of a Soldier of the Orphan Brigade By LIEUT. L. D. YOUNG, Paris, Kentucky
It is to the great and interesting battle of Murfreesboro and some of the incidents and circumstances preceding it, that I shall devote this article. History will some day accord it but one name, whereas it now has two - Murfreesboro and Stone River - but I shall use the former.
Here a mile or so Southeast of the city, on a beautiful little plain or suburban scope of country, was encamped for a period of three months, the Orphan Brigade. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed both it and the many good things we had to eat and the hospitable greetings of the good people of the town and surrounding country. But while we were enjoying these good things, we were undergoing a strict military training, being drilled in the school of the company, battalion and the more comprehensive and enlarged movements of the brigade and division maneuvers, some of which we had seen employed at Shiloh and elsewhere by exigencies in actual battle. It was a matter of general pride in which as a member, I still glory that the Orphan Brigade was the most thoroughly drilled and best disciplined body of men in the Confederate army. In substantiation of this claim, I refer to the compliment paid us a little later on by General Hardee, in a trial drill with the First Louisiana Brigade, held at Beech Grove in the Spring following, and at which trial drill General Hardee was one of the judges, and was heard to say that to excel our drilling would require the construction of a different and better code than was laid down in the system of tactics bearing his name. The truth was we were determined to allow no body of troops to excel us in anything pertaining to these accomplishments or history of the soldier. This was accomplished in a great measure by the
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requirements and training of that military martinet, "Old" Roger Hanson. I use the appellation with the most profound respect. The facts as to these accomplishments can be attested by numbers of men still living and who often refer to General Hanson's rigid discipline and requirements with feelings of respect and pride. I must instance one circumstance, in support of this assertion.
Some time after he took command he issued an order that all officers and privates alike should be in full dress and in proper places at roll call in the morning after the sounding of the reveille. This did not suit many of the officers who wanted to take a morning snooze, but "Roger's" orders were inexorable to officers and soldiers alike and it was for a few mornings laughable to see these officers hustling on their clothes and into line. There was nothing that pertained to discipline and order that escaped his notice. It was sometimes amusing to hear some fellow relate his experience in attempting to outwit and fool him, and the fellow that attempted it was always caught. It just could not be done.
But the whirligig of time was rapidly turning and bringing with it lively and exciting times; big with importance to the country and the Confederate cause and especially and particularly to these dear Orphans of mine.
While in Mississippi and preceding his disastrous Kentucky campaign and in which his malevolent nature was displayed, Bragg refused us the great joy we so earnestly and hopefully prayed for viz, the return to Kentucky with his army, where we might see the dear ones at home, and incidentally aid the cause by inducing enlistments.
But the fact that quite a number of our fellow Kentuckians were coming out with the newly enlisted cavalry commands and bringing with them the news from home and friends - the first of consequence for a year or more - gave us some comfort and consolation. In the meantime some interesting matters of thrilling moment were transpiring
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down here, "Where the oak, the ash and red elm tree, all grow green in old Tennessee."
Rosecrans, not satisfied with results at Perryville, was cutting across the country for another opportunity to test his military skill and prowess, and to punish these unrepentant rebels for daring to offer resistance to the "old flag" and trying to "break up the best Government the world ever saw," and over which Government some of these same people are now fussing among themselves.
Excuse me, please. I see I am again off my base. Back to my beloved Orphans I must go. Oh, how I do love them!
The change from the ordinary routine of drill maneuver and review was brought about by the plan of General Morgan to attack the enemy's advance post at Hartsville, North of the Cumberland and about thirty miles or more from Murfreesboro. This movement included in its plan the co-operation of the Orphan Brigade and making it a distinctly Kentucky command, planned, led and fought by Kentuckians, and which was one of the most complete and brilliant affairs of the war. Some of us to this day feel the sting of disappointment of not being privileged to share in this "coupe de grace," as the Fourth and Sixth Regiments were left at Baird's mill to guard against the possibility of an intercepting column from Nashville. My heart went out in sympathy (practically) to these boys on their return to our encampment, worn out with fatigue, exhausted and hungry and almost frozen, the weather being bitter cold and the ground covered with snow to a depth of several inches. I confess also to a feeling of sorrow for the poor blanketless prisoners who passed a night of suffering, though we did the best we could for them by furnishing them with fires.
But here again the Orphans engaged in this fight paid dearly for their honors, especially the Second Regiment, which lost heavily in both officers and men, the Ninth Regiment also losing considerable. But this seemed but the
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prelude to the grand Christmas entertainment staged to come off later and when Breckinridge's Kentuckians received the soubriquet Orphan Brigade by which they have ever since been known and which will pass into the annals of history, alongside that of the "Tenth Legion," the "Old Guard" and "Light Brigade."
With a sense of feeling that impresses me with my utter inability to at all do justice to the subject of Murfreesboro (or Stone River), I fear to undertake the task.
To the writer this was in some respects one of the most interesting, exciting and captivating battles of the war in which he took part. Captivating, because the great battle of the 31st was witnessed from my vantage point of view - the left of our entrenchments on Swain's hill - overlooking the stretch of country on which the battle was fought, extending as it, did from the Nashville turnpike and railroad, which at this point are parallel, and at which point also stood the famous "Cowans' burnt house," referred to by historians and which I saw burn, the afternoon before. From this knoll I could see the principal part of the field.
Before attempting to describe the battle on this part of the field, I must look up my Orphans and see what they are now, and have been doing these last few hours. On the afternoon of Monday, the 29th they took possession of this hill, which was the acknowledged key to Bragg's position of defense. And herein lies a kind of mystery, why he would trust to these men, in the judgment of whose officers he showed later on he had so little confidence, this the most important point in his whole line, and why should it be entrusted to them - the Kentucky Brigade. Some were wicked enough to say, and his course toward us later, as that of Friday, strengthens this belief that he wanted us all killed, hence placing us in the most perilous position. Now mind you, gentle reader, I am not giving this as my opinion, but others have given it as theirs. While "bivouacking" a little behind this hill the enemy's skirmishers a little after dark made quite a determined onset on our
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skirmishers in front of the hill, but were driven back finally with considerable loss to both parties. It was a daring and courageous move and created no little excitement and concern and looked for a time like a night attack was pending. The 30th was spent in getting ready by both parties to the battle.
And early on the morrow we took our position on Swain's hill in support of Cobb's and the Washington artillery. From my vantage position I could see more plainly the Confederate lines than the Federal, because the Confederates were on a direct line extending Southward, while the Federals were obliquely to the front and partially obscured by an intervening cedar glade and in the afternoon the Confederates swung like a great gate on their pivotal position, while just behind and to the left of this was the enemy's strong point of resistance, to which he had finally been driven. The smoke from the guns of the long lines of infantry, as they moved forward to the attack and the counter stroke from the enemy's resisting columns, the dashing to and fro, up and down the lines and over the field by officers, orderlies, aides and couriers, carrying orders and dispatches, with here and there a battery belching forth shot and shell was a sight wonderful to behold and never to be forgotten. The most thrilling incident to that view was early in the day when a body of cavalry, supposed to be "Dragoons," swung into line from behind the cedar glade with drawn sabers, gleaming and waving in the crisp chill sunlit air, dashed down over the open fields in a grand charge upon the Confederate infantry, whose movements a few moments before convinced me of this approaching cavalry charge.
We had been instructed by Buckner, Monroe and others on the drill field in the formation of the "hollow square" to resist the charge of cavalry and when I saw these regiments doubling column at half distance I knew what was coming. To see the field officers on horseback rushing within the squares as they closed and the front rank kneeling,
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all with fixed bayonets glittering in the frosty sunlight, and these oncoming charges with waving sabers and glittering helmets was a sight unsurpassed by anything I witnessed during the war. The nearest approaching it was by Sherman's charge at Resaca. As soon as the squares were formed the artillery in the rear opened fire through these intervening spaces made by the formation of the square, whereupon artillery and infantry combined swept the field and the charging column turned in confusion and route, skurrying helter skelter back over the field, leaving numbers of men horseless.
Soon the "Rebel yell" down the line told us that things were going our way and looking we could see our friends moving forward like a mighty serpent drawing his coils.
While this was transpiring on the left a battery in our front on the opposite side of the river was industriously employed in shelling Cobb's and Slocum's batteries stationed on Swain's hill, and whose business for the time it was the Orphans to support. When I saw this cavalry charge, to which I have referred, the thought instantly and involuntarily came to my mind of the repeated attacks of Napoleon's cavalry on the squares of Wellington's infantry at Waterloo. The sight was so thrilling that I hoped they would repeat it. But how foolish, I thought this was, in this body of cavalry attempting to ride down regiments of veteran infantry. Their officers must surely have thought that they could reach the Confederate line before they could complete this formation. If so, they paid dearly for their mistake.
The battle progressed steadily and satisfactorily to the Confederates until about four o'clock, when they, in the language of the "bum," "run against a snag." Woods' and Sheridan's divisions, with other of Rosecrans' forces had concentrated upon his extreme left, which was his strongest position for a final and last stand. The conflict here
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was desperate and bloody, neither party seeming to have much the advantage.
The National cemetery now occupies this identical ground and in which there are more than 6,000 Federal soldiers buried. A beautiful and fit place for the remains of these brave Western soldiers to rest, for here upon this field was displayed a courage that all men must admire.
Both armies slept that night upon the field with the greater part of the field in possession of the Confederates and the advantages and results of the day almost wholly in their favor.
The Orphans spent the night in the rear of and among the artillery they had been supporting. When morning came we found that the enemy was still in our front instead of on the road to Nashville as Bragg believed. Both parties seemed willing that a truce should prevail for the day and scarcely a shot was heard. Bragg believed that Rosecrans' army was "demolished" and would surely retreat to his base (Nashville), and so informed President Davis.
But old "Rosy" had something else in his mind. He was planning and scheming and matured a plan for a trap and Bragg walked right into it with the innocence of a lamb and the ignorance of a man that had never known anything of the art of war, and the butchery of the next day followed as a result of his obstinacy and the lack of military skill. Had he listened to the protestations of General Breckinridge and his officers he might have saved for the time being his military reputation and the lives of several hundred brave and noble men.
The recounting of the steps that led up to this ill-conceived and fatal denouement and the efforts by General Breckinridge to prevent its consummation, by one while not high in rank, but who claims to know something of the facts in the case, may not go amiss even at this late day.
Early on the morning of January 2, Captain Bramblett, commanding Company H, Fourth Kentucky, and who had served with General Breckinridge in Mexico, received orders
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from him (Breckinridge), to make a thorough reconnaissance of the enemy's position, Company H being at that time on the skirmish line. Captain Bramblett with two of his lieutenants, myself one of them, crawled through the weeds a distance of several hundred yards to a prominent point of observation from which through his field glass and even the naked eye we could see the enemy's concentrated forces near and above the lower ford on the opposite side of the river, his artillery being thrown forward and nearest to the river. His artillery appeared to be close together and covering quite a space of ground; we could not tell how many guns, but there was quite a number. The infantry was seemingly in large force and extended farther down toward the ford. Captain Bramblett was a man of no mean order of military genius and information, and after looking at, and studying the situation in silence for some minutes, he said to us boys, "that he believed Rosecrans was setting a trap for Bragg." Continuing, he said, "If he means to attack us on this side, why does he not reinforce on this side? Why concentrate so much artillery on the bluff yonder? He must be expecting us to attack that force yonder, pointing to Beatty's position on the hill North of us, and if we do, he will use that artillery on us as we move to the attack." At another time during the afternoon I heard him while discussing the situation with other officers of the regiment use substantially the same argument. I accompanied Captain Bramblett to General Breckinridge's headquarters and heard him make substantially in detail a report containing the facts above recited. Captain Tom Steele was ordered (his company having relieved ours) on the skirmish line to make a reconnaissance also, and made a similar report, and lastly General Breckinridge, to thoroughly and unmistakably understand the situation and satisfy himself, in company with one or two of his staff examined the situation as best he could and I presume reached the same conclusion, and when he (Breckinridge) repaired to Bragg's
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headquarters and vouchsafed this information and suggested the presumptive plan of the enemy, Bragg said: "Sir, my information is different. I have given the order to attack the enemy in your front and expect it to be obeyed."
What was General Breckinridge to do but attempt to carry out his orders, though in carrying out this unwise and ill-conceived order it should cost in one hour and ten minutes 1,700 of as brave and chivalrous soldiers as the world ever saw. What a terrible blunder, what a bloody and useless sacrifice! And all because General Breckinridge had resented the imputation that the cause of the failure of Bragg's Kentucky campaign was the "disloyalty of her people to the Confederate cause." Could anyone of the thousands of Kentuckians that espoused the cause of the South, complacently acquiesce in this erroneous charge and endorse the spirit that prompted this order and led to the slaughter of so many of her noble boys? This was the view that many of us took of Bragg's course.
How was this wicked and useless sacrifice brought about? "That subordinate must always obey his superior" - is the military law. In furtherance of Bragg's order we were assembled about three o'clock on the afternoon of January 2, 1863 (Friday, a day of ill luck) in a line North of and to the right of Swain's hill, confronting Beatty's and Growes' brigades, with a battery or two of artillery as support. They being intended for the bait that had been thrown across the river at the lower ford, and now occupied an eminence some three-quarters of a mile to the right-front of the Orphan's position on Swain's hill.
This was the force, small as it was that Bragg was so anxious to dislodge. Between the attacking line and federal position was a considerable scope of open ground, fields and pastures, with here and there a clump of bushes or briars, but the entire space was in full view of and covered by the enemy's batteries to the left of the line on the opposite side of the river previously referred to. If
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the reader will only carry these positions in his eye, he can readily discover the jaws of the trap in this murderous scheme.
A more imposing and thoroughly disciplined line of soldiers never moved to the attack of an enemy than responded to the signal gun stationed immediately in our rear, which was fired exactly at four o'clock. Every man vieing with his fellowman, in steadiness of step and correct alignment, with the officers giving low and cautionary commands, many knowing that it was their last hour on earth, but without hesitating moved forward to their inevitable doom and defeat. We had gotten only fairly started, when the great jaws of the trap on the bluff from the opposite side of the river were sprung, and bursting shells that completely drowned the voice of man were plunging and tearing through our columns, ploughing up the earth at our feet in front and behind, everywhere. But with steadiness of step we moved on. Two companies of the Fourth regiment, my own and adjoining company, encountered a pond, and with a dexterous movement known to the skilled officer and soldier was cleared in a manner that was perfectly charming, obliquing to the right and left into line as soon as passed.
By reason of the shorter line held by the enemy, our line, which was much longer and the colors of each of our battalions being directed against this shorter line, caused our lines to interlap, making it necessary, in order to prevent confusion and crowding, that some of the regiments halt, until the others had passed forward out of the way. When thus halted they would lie down in order to shield themselves from the enemy infantry fire in front, who had by this time opened a lively fusillade from behind their temporary works.
While lying on the ground momentarily a very shocking and disastrous occurrence took place in Company E, immediately on my left and within a few feet of where I lay, A shell exploded right in the middle of the company,
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almost literally tearing it to pieces. When I recovered from the shock the sight I witnessed was appalling. Some eighteen or twenty men hurled in every direction, including my dear friend, Lieut. George Burnley of Frankfort. But these circumstances were occurring every minute now while the battle was raging all around and about us. Men moved intuitively - the voice being silenced by the whizzing and bursting shells. On we moved, Beatty's and Growes' lines giving way seemingly to allow the jaws of the trap to press with more and ever increasing vigor upon its unfortunate and discomfited victims. But, on we moved, until the survivors of the decoy had passed the river and over the lines stationed on the other side of the river, when their new line of infantry opened on our confused and disordered columns another destructive and ruinous fire.
Coupled with this condition and correlative to it, a battery of Growes and a part of their infantry had been cut off from the ford and seeing our confused condition, rallied, reformed and opened fire on our advanced right now along the river bank. Confronted in front by their infantry, with the river intervening; swept by their artillery from the left and now attacked by both infantry and artillery by an oblique fire from the right, we found ourselves in a helpless condition, from which it looked like an impossibility to escape; and but for the fact that two or three batteries had been ordered into position to check the threatened advance of the enemy and thereby distract their attention, we doubtless would have fared still worse.
We rallied some distance to the right of where we started and found that many, very many, of our noblest, truest and best had fallen. Some of them were left on the field, among whom was my military preceptor, advisor and dear friend, Captain Bramblett, who fell into the hands of the enemy and who died a few days after in Nashville. I shall never forget our parting, a moment or two before, he received his wound - never forget the last quick glance
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and the circumstances that called it forth. He was a splendid soldier and his loss grieved me very much. Many another gallant Kentuckian, some of our finest line and field officers, were left on the field, a sacrifice to stupidity and revenge. Thirty-seven per cent in one hour and ten minutes - some say one hour - was the frightful summary. Among the first of these was the gallant and illustrious Hanson, whose coolness and bearing was unsurpassed and whose loss was irreparable. He with Breckinridge, understood and was fully sensible of - as indicated by the very seriousness of his countenance - the unwisdom of this move and as shown in their protest to Bragg. What a pity that a strict observance of military rule compelled it to be obeyed against his mature military mind and judgment, causing the loss of such a magnificent soldier and gentleman - uselessly and foolishly.
Comtemplating this awful sacrifice, as he rode by the dead and dying in the rear of our lines, General Breckinridge, with tears falling from his eyes, was heard to say in tones of anguish, "My poor Orphans! My poor Orphans!" little thinking that he was dedicating to them a name that will live throughout the annals of time and crown the history of that dear little band with everlasting immortality.
I have tried to give you above a description from memory's tablet - of the battle of Murfreesboro, and I shall now relate some of my observations made on my recent visit together with further references, to the events that transpired on that eventful field - the study of which is of almost overwhelming interest.
Here, as elsewhere and on other fields, the view is especially and particularly interesting, because of the country being more level and more open with the view much less obstructed. It was worth a half dozen years to live over,
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in reminiscence, this week of intense excitement, interest and danger. And here too, as at Chickamauga, memory refused to be satisfied, and I find myself wishing I could see it again. I feel that I could never tire looking at the different aspects of the view and studying the tragic scenes as they transpired on this eventful closing of this eventful year of 1862, and the no less eventful opening of the year 1863. To those who lived in this historic decade and participated in these events of bygone years are of intense and ever thrilling interest, but few realize that these things happened a half century ago.
Here as elsewhere events came back to me and I had but little or no difficulty in locating the leading and many of the minor places of interest.
The immediate vicinity of our long encampment is changed considerably by houses being erected nearby and on the ground where our camps stood, but the big spring house, however, still does duty as of yore. The place on the Shelbyville turnpike where we held guard mount and review is much changed. So also are the grounds on the East side of the city where we held brigade and division drill, it now being "built up." But one of the leading landmarks of the town and of special interest to the Orphans and other Kentuckians is still intact and but little changed in appearance but now used for a different purpose. I refer to the Judge Ready residence where General Morgan captured his grand prize. There is not an old Orphan now living, that does not remember how he used to primp for the march by this house, and how proudly he stepped and with what perfect mien he marched to Billy McQuown's best pieces, all to, have the privilege of "showing off," and having the opportunity for a sly glance at the beautiful Queen sisters standing on the upper veranda. You know, old boys, just how this was, don't you?
But my mind is taking me back to the battlefield where the things of real excitement were transpiring, where "the
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pride, pomp and circumstances of glorious war are to be found."
Starting out in company with Rev. Everett Smith, we took the Nashville pike crossing the river at the same place we crossed when on the retreat from Bowling Green to Shiloh in February, 1862, and where I had crossed several times while encamped later, near the town and over and beyond which I saw the celebrated cavalry charge and the victorious columns of the Confederates move on December 31. My mind was so completely occupied and crowded that I scarcely knew what to do or say. I know I must have been a study, to my young friend for a time at least.
I could see again in imagination the smoke and red fire and could hear the crackling flames as they leaped high in air of the famous "Cowan" house as we rode by. I imagined as we rode on that I could hear the yells and shouts of the contending lines as they surged forward and across the turnpike to the famous cut in the railroad, where Wood and Sheridan saved the day to the Federals against the last grand charge of Cleburne, Preston and Pillow of the Confederates.
As before stated here is a fitting place for the six thousand Federals who rest here. Here at the cemetery, I was introduced to Captain Thomas, the officer in charge, who was exceedingly polite and courteous and whom I found by conversing with, that I had faced at Shiloh and who had the most perfect recollection of many of the chief points and incidents of that battle. I regretted very much that I could not spend more time with him, as he impressed me as being a man after my own heart. But my young friend and myself had promised to be back at the dinner hour and I was therefore, compelled to close my interview.
I spent the afternoon in glancing over town and meeting and conversing with old soldiers and others whom I found interested in my mission, and willing and anxious to give me any information I desired.
I met and arranged with Captain Mitchell, who now owns a part of the field over which the celebrated charge
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of Breckinridge was made, to go out with me next morning and in company with him and a young friend, W. H. Hohgatt, of Pittsburgh, Pa. We started early, going over the same road, crossing the same bridge, as the day before to a point near the cemetery where the road to McFadden's ford leaves the turnpike and runs North by the bluff, the famous bluff where Rosecrans' fifty-eight pieces of artillery were stationed that wrought such dreadful havoc upon Breckinridge's men as they moved across the fields to attack Beatty and Growes (the decoy) on the other side of the river, here we crossed the river at the lower ford, so famous in history but which is properly known as McFadden's. Here we "tied up" and in company with my companions we took to the fields and woods, which latter exist now in fancy only. Up the gradual slope we go to the crest of the ridge (now a cotton patch) to where Beatty and Growe were stationed, swinging around as we go to the point overlooking the river on which stood the massive oaks where the Sixth Kentucky, led by that incarnate demon of war, "Old Joe" Lewis, with flashing sword and blazing eyes, more terrible than the eyes of a raging lion and who impressed me as I was never impressed before or since, with the devil in human form. He presented a picture at that time I shall never forget. It is. as grimly and immovably fixed in my mind as the sun and the stars and I become enthusiastic whenever I think of him and the incident. Now we move along the crest Northward to the point where the Fourth Kentucky struck Beatty's line. Looking East and South towards the Lebanon pike, we can see the vicinity where we started in the charge about midway between the crest and the pike. Turning around we can look down the North slope of the ridge and over which we pressed Beatty and the right of Growes' brigade to McFadden's ford, dropping into, as we move down the narrow sag or depression that leads from the top of the hill straight to the ford and which furnished the only protection from the murderous fire of the fifty-eight guns
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massed on the bluff. Out of this depression, going or coming, we were exposed to this dreadful and incessant fire. Opposite to and some forty yards from this ford is the picket fence where we were compelled to halt and which is so well remembered by many of the Orphans.
The Federals passed around the end of this fence, they being acquainted with the situation, but we struck it square and were compelled to halt. Just outside and along this picketing were piled the enemy's drums and upon which the minnie balls from their new and supporting line on the opposite side of the river were beating a funeral dirge for many of our dear boys who were here compelled to halt and die to no purpose whatever. I walked along this picket fence, which looks just as it did then, but of course has been rebuilt, and over the very ground on which my dear Captain Bramblett fell and with whom I exchanged glances a moment before. To give expression to my feelings as I contemplated this last glance, this look in life at my dear friend and leader is impossible and I turn away with sickened heart from the fatal spot and retrace my steps over the field to the rallying point, every step of the way marked by exploding shells and flying shot from the enemy's battery of fifty-eight guns which seemed determined to show no mercy at all.
Lest some one may say I am magnifying this story of the "battery on the bluff" I will quote here verbatim from the tablet on the twenty-foot granite monument which marks the place occupied by these guns to mark the place from which the death-dealing shot and shell were hurled that resulted in the death of so many of Kentucky's noble and brave boys.
I understand this monument was erected by the president of one of the great railway systems, the N. C.& St. L., who had participated in the famous charge. It is the most interesting and historic point of all the very interesting points of this eventful field. It was with awe and overpowering wonder and feeling that I indulged the scenes
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of fifty years ago, enacted on this spot. Here the very earth trembled beneath the thunderings of these fifty-eight cannon, sending death and destruction into the ranks of us poor unfortunate Confederates.
The tablet upon this monument reads as follows:
"On January 2, 1863, at three p. m., there were stationed on this hill, fifty-eight cannon commanding the field across the river and as the Confederates advanced over this field the shot and shell from these guns resulted in a loss of 1,800 killed and wounded in less than one hour."
What a harvest of death in so short a time was wrought by shot and shell! The most of whose victims were mutilated and lacerated beyond recognition or description. Had the earth been torn by an earthquake the scene would not have been more terrible and hideously appalling.
On a board marker, near by, in faded letters is this indefinite inscription:
"Col. S. Mat-, Third Division 14th A. C. Fed-, Col. S. W. Price commanding. Holding Lower Ford, Dec. 31, 1862."
This evidently refers to the battery that played upon Cobb and Slocum on Swain's Hill.
It would seem from these last words of this poster that the Federals were afraid on the first day's fight that the Confederates would attempt to turn their left by crossing at this ford, hence the placing of this battery here. Bragg, it seems, had no such thought, and, however, it was stationed in our immediate front, West from Swain's Hill and as the battle progressed on the plain South of the railroad and turnpike it played upon Cobb and Slocum with increasing vigor and spirit. As before stated, the Orphans were stationed at this time in support to these batteries, and it was from this point that I witnessed the thrilling sights on the West side of the river.
In company with my new-made genial and accommodating friend, W. G. Beatty, whose father owned the land on which the battle of the 2nd was fought, I visited
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Swain's Hill, which is evidently a mistaken name for the place, no one with whom I conversed, old or young, knew it by that name. I found on the hill, which I very readily recognized from the distance, the old entrenchments intact, save from the leveling effects of time, and on which an occasional locust sapling is growing with quite a thicket of the same in the immediate front. But from the left of this line of works and where I was stationed on the 31st the view overlooking the railroad, turnpike and plain is perfectly clear. From here I looked, studied and wondered. Why should I not linger and contemplate? Never until the great day of judgment do I ever expect to witness such a thrilling and awe-inspiring scene as I here witnessed on that eventful day of December 31, 1862.
Beatty contemplated me with interest, if not astonishment. So intensely interesting were these scenes and recollections I was almost tempted to spend another day contemplating and reviewing them. But we returned to the city at night to attend a church affair at the instance and invitation of my young friend from Bourbon, Rev. Everett Smith, whose guest I had been while here.
I tried hard to forget and partially succeeded in forgetting the thoughts and reminiscences the day had suggested - in the presence of so many charming ladies and gallant gentlemen of Brother Smith's congregation and the additional enjoyment of the ice cream, cakes and strawberries, my appetite of fifty years ago suddenly returning to remind me of the difference twixt now and then.
Next morning my friend Beatty was on hand early with his automobile and speeded me over the city which I am frank to say is one of the most beautiful little cities I ever saw. I was charmed by the old time warmth and hospitality of its people and the greeting given me and I shall remember them as among the happiest of my life. And if I were young once more, I would be almost tempted to cast
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my lot with these good people in this good country, both of which are the next best to Kentucky.
I must not forget to remind the old Orphans and others who may read this paper that after considerable inquiry I was able to find the old Haynes home, in which General Hanson died, and which is now occupied by Hon. Jesse C. Beasley, the present Democratic nominee for Congress in this district. I was shown through the house by his good little wife who although taken somewhat by surprise at my sudden and unexpected visit, but who courteously invited me to examine and inspect until fully satisfied. I stood in the room in which he died almost dumfounded with emotion. Here, in the presence of his heart-broken wife, and sorrowing friends his life gradually ebbed away and took its flight to the realms above.
I was reminded to tread lightly and speak softly on this solemn occasion, for here, passed away into the Great Beyond one of Kentucky's grandest and greatest noblemen.
I attended that afternoon, in company with Captain Baird, Beatty and others, the anniversary decoration of the Confederate graves and listened to a fine oration and the delightful rendering of several appropriate songs by the Murfreesboro quartette. When they sang "My Old Kentucky Home," I hugged tightly, the tree against which I leaned and fear I betrayed a weakness for which I am not altogether ashamed, for what Kentuckian that lives, especially when away from home, whose soul is not moved, when he hears the sweet strains of this touching and soul inspiring song. How can he, when thus reminded of his old Kentucky home, keep from exclaiming (in mind at least) in the language of the poet:
"Lives there a man (Kentuckian) with soul so dead, Who to himself hath not said, this is my own, my native land."
Before closing this chapter I must not fail to say that I found on this trip a manifestation of the same liberal
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hospitable and magnanimous spirit, that has ever characterized this noble and self-sacrificing people. To the good women of the South I owe my life; to them I bow and acknowledge obeisance as the truest, purest, sweetest and best of all God's creatures.
No sacrifice, that mortal man could make is, too great a recompense for the love and devotion of these dear women who sacrificed, wept and suffered during the four long years of midnight darkness. They are the angels of the earth today; to them, as such I uncover my head and I hail them.
Finally I wish to acknowledge my thanks to Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Ivie, at whose home I was the guest of my friend, Rev. Smith and his charming little wife. To Editor Williams, W. G. Beatty, Captains Baird and Mitchell, Dr. Campbell and others, I am indebted for many courtesies and favors.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

The Battle of Murfreesboro (Confederate View)

On the 20th of November, 1862, the Confederate army of Tennessee was constituted under Gen. Braxton Bragg, consisting of the army corps of Lieut.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith, Lieut. Gen. Leonidas Polk and Lieut. Gen. W. J. Hardee. At the conclusion of the campaign in Kentucky, Major General Buell, the Federal commander, was relieved, and Maj. Gen. W. S. Rosecrans assigned to the command of the army of the Cumberland. The Federal army occupied Nashville, and after months of preparation General Rosecrans began his advance on the 26th of December. The Confederate center was at Murfreesboro under General Polk, the right wing at Readyville under Maj. Gen. John P. McCown, the left at Triune and Eagleville under General Hardee. The right and left were withdrawn, and the forces concentrated at Murfreesboro ready to receive the attack made by Rosecrans. Rosecrans' plan of movement was for Major General McCook with three divisions to advance by Triune, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas to advance on his right with two divisions, Major General Crittenden with three divisions to move directly on Murfreesboro. At 3 o'clock p.m. of the 30th, General Palmer, in advance, sent back a signal message that he "was in sight of Murfreesboro, and that the enemy were running." An order was promptly sent forward to "occupy Murfreesboro." General Cheatham's division was yet composed of the brigades commanded by Gens. Daniel S. Donelson, Alex. P. Stewart, George P. Maney and Preston Smith. This division, with that of Maj. Gen. Jones M. Withers, constituted Polk's corps. The Sixteenth Tennessee, Col. John H. Savage; the Thirty-eighth, Col. John C. Carter; the Eighth, Col. W. L. Moore; the Fifty-first, Col. John Chester; the Eighty-fourth, Col. S.S. Stanton, and Carnes' battery, constituted Donelson's brigade. The Fourth and Fifth Tennessee consolidated, Col. O. F. Strahl; the Twenty-fourth, Col. H. L.W. Bratton; the Nineteenth, Col. F. M. Walker; the Thirty-first and Thirty-third consolidated, Col. E. E. Tansil, and Stanford's Mississippi battery, constituted Stewart's brigade. The First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee consolidated, Col. H. R. Feild; the Fourth (Confederate), Col. J. A. McMurray; the Sixth and Ninth consolidated, Col. C. S. Hurt, Capt. Frank Maney's sharpshooters, and Turner's Mississippi battery, constituted Maney's brigade. The One Hundred and Fifty-fourth (senior) Tennessee regiment, Lieut.-Col. M. Magevney, Jr.; the Thirteenth, Col. A. J. Vaughan; the Twelfth, Maj. J. N. Wyatt; the Forty-seventh, Capt. W. M. Watkins; the Twenty-ninth, Maj. J. B. Johnson: the Ninth Texas, Col. W. H. Young; Allin's Tennessee sharpshooters, Lieut. J. R. J. Creighton, and the Tennessee battery of Capt. W. L. Scott, constituted Smith's brigade, commanded during the battle by Col. A. J. Vaughan, Lieut.-Col. W. E. Morgan commanding the Thirteenth regiment. Hardee's corps included the divisions of Maj.-Gens. John C. Breckinridge, P. R. Cleburne and J.P. McCown. The Eleventh Tennessee, Col. George W. Gordon, was a part of the command of Brig.-Gen. James E. Rains, McCown's division. Brig.-Gen. Gideon J. Pillow was assigned to the command of Col. J. B. Palmer's Second brigade of Breckinridge's division, on the afternoon of the 2d of January; it was composed of the Eighteenth Tennessee, Col. J. B. Palmer; the Twenty-sixth, Col. John M. Lillard; the Forty-fifth, Col. A. Searcy; the Twenty-eighth, Col. P. D. Cunningham, and Moses' battery. (The Thirty-second Tennessee, Col. Ed. C. Cook, of this brigade, was on detached service.) The Twentieth Tennessee regiment, Col. T. B. Smith, and the Tennessee battery of Capt. E. E. Wright were in Gen. William Preston's brigade of Breckinridge's division. The Second Tennessee, Col. W. D. Robinson; Thirty-fifth, Col. B. J. Hill; Fifth (Confederate), Col. J. A. Smith, constituted a part of the brigade under Gen. Lucius E. Polk, Cleburne's division. The brigade of Gen. Bushrod R. Johnson, Cleburne's division, included the Thirty-seventh Tennessee, Col. Moses White; Forty-fourth, Col. John S. Fulton; Twenty-fifth, Col. John M. Hughs; Seventeenth, Col. A. S. Marks; Twenty-third, Lieut. Col. R. H. Keeble. The First Tennessee cavalry, Col. James E. Carter, and the Tennessee battalions of Maj. DeWitt C. Douglass and Maj. D. W. Holman were part of Wheeler's brigade of the cavalry division commanded by Gen. Joseph Wheeler. The Second cavalry, Col. H. M. Ashby; Fourth, Col. Baxter Smith; Murray's Tennessee cavalry, Maj. W. S. Bledsoe; Wharton's escort company, Capt. Paul F. Anderson, and the battery of Capt. B. F. White, Jr., were the Tennessee commands in the cavalry brigade of Gen. John A. Wharton. Rosecrans consumed four days in advancing a distance of twenty miles over macadamized roads, his movements being delayed and embarrassed by the watchfulness of the cavalry commanded by Generals Wheeler and Wharton. On the 26th, Wheeler engaged Rosecrans during the entire day, falling back only three miles, and on the 28th and 29th he killed and wounded large numbers, his own command sustaining slight loss. At midnight of the 29th, General Wheeler, reinforced by Col. James E. Carter, First Tennessee cavalry, was ordered to the rear of the enemy. He reported that at daylight he met near Jefferson a brigade train which he took and destroyed, capturing 50 prisoners; at Lavergne attacked and captured 700 prisoners and destroyed immense trains amounting to many hundred thousand dollars in value; at Rock Springs captured and destroyed another large train; at Nolensville captured large trains, stores and arms, and 300 prisoners; after which he proceeded to the left of the Confederate army, thus making a compass of the enemy's rear. At the dawn of day, December 31st, Major-General McCown (Tennessee) opened the battle of Murfreesboro with his division, composed of Ector's, McNair's and Rains' brigades. A volley was delivered after advancing for several hundred yards under fire, and with fixed bayonets the position and batteries of the enemy were taken, and the officer in command, Brigadier-General Willich, was captured. McCown, continuing his advance, supported by Cleburne's division, reached a point near the Wilkinson road, where, finding the enemy strongly posted, the division was pushed forward and after a fierce struggle again routed the forces opposing. It was at this point that Brig.-Gen. James E. Rains (Tennessee) fell, shot through the heart. General McCown reported that the fall of this gallant officer and accomplished gentleman threw his brigade into confusion. The division, after driving the enemy two miles, was ordered to retire a short distance' for reformation; about the same time the gallant Col. G. W. Gordon, Eleventh Tennessee, afterward brigadier-general, fell dangerously wounded. Cleburne, advancing with his division, composed of L. E. Polk's, Bushrod Johnson's, St. John Liddell's and S. A.M. Wood's brigades, soon found himself in the front line, skirmishing over broken ground filled with limestone boulders and cedar bushes to such an extent that his advance was attended with much difficulty, and Polk's and Johnson's brigades had to move more than once by the flank. At the distance of three-quarters of a mile in advance of his bivouac of the previous night, he encountered the enemy's line of battle, established behind a fence and natural breastworks of limestone. The fight was short and bloody, lasting about twenty-five minutes, when the enemy gave way and fell back on his second line, which was again assaulted. This soon yielded and both lines, pressed into one, left the field, Liddell capturing two rifled cannon, which were immediately turned upon the enemy. The Seventeenth Tennessee, Col. A. S. Marks, captured a battery of four guns. When the regiment came in sight of it, Colonel Marks said, "Boys, do you see that battery? It is ours, is it not?" The regiment rushed upon it, drove back its support, and took the guns, but the gallant colonel fell, maimed for life. Cleburne mentioned him as "one of the best officers in the division." Others wounded in Johnson's brigade were Maj. H. C. Ewing, Forty-seventh, mortally; Col. Moses White and Lieut. Col. R. D. Frayser, Thirty-seventh, and Col. J. M. Hughs, Twenty-fifth. Bushrod Johnson's brigade and Liddell's were already the chief sufferers. The latter, now in advance, was reinforced by Johnson in double-quick time, and taking position behind a fence and ledge of rocks, a battery of four Parrott guns was silenced and captured, and after a conflict of twenty minutes the enemy's force was routed. But, observing the supporting troops on the fight falling back without apparent cause, Johnson's brigade retired in confusion without orders. The loss of life in Johnson's front was enormous, many lying side by side in the position assumed to await the approach of the Confederates, while large numbers fell as they turned to retreat. It was in this combat that Capt. M. R. Allen, Twenty-third, was mortally wounded, and Capt. F. M. Orr, Seventeenth, Lieuts. Simpson Isom, Twenty-fifth, and J. J. Hill, Forty-fourth, were killed, and Maj. J. T. McReynolds, the last field officer on duty, of the Thirty-seventh, was mortally wounded. Polk's brigade on the right advanced with Johnson's and shared its fortunes. Their gallant commanders could always be trusted for promptness, courage and intelligence on the battlefield. Col. B. J. Hill, Thirty-fifth, on Polk's right, was first engaged when advancing across the Franklin dirt road. The brigade, aided by Calvert's battery, drove the enemy in confusion, pursuing to a point where he had reformed, then again assailing and forcing back the Federals in disorder. A third successful assault was made with the brigades of Wood and Johnson. Yet again going forward with Liddell's and Johnson's brigades, and Preston Smith's, Col. A. J. Vaughan commanding, the enemy was found posted on the railroad near the Nashville turnpike, with several batteries of artillery. In a few moments the new Federal line was broken and forced back to cedar brakes in its rear, the Confederates pursuing. Here Adjt. F. T. Smith, Fifth Confederate, was badly wounded at the moment he was cheering his men with the colors of the regiment in his hand. This point, thought Brigadier-General Polk, was the key to the Federal position. If Confederate reinforcements had arrived when this last successful assault was made at 2 p.m., the enemy's line of communication would have been cut, and a position in the rear of Rosecrans secured. Capt. C. P. Moore and Lieut. J. L. Gifford, of the Second, were killed. General Polk names with honor Col. W. D. Robinson and Lieut.-Col. W. J. Hale, Second; Maj. R. J. Person, Fifth Confederate; and recommended promotion for Col. J. A. Smith and Col. B. J. Hill, which was in time accorded to both. Gen. Bushrod Johnson made honorable mention of Col. A. S. Marks and Lieut. Col. W. W. Floyd, Seventeenth; Lieut. Col. R. H. Keeble, Twenty-third; Col. John S. Fulton and Lieut.-Col. John L. McEwen, Jr., Forty-fourth; Capt. Putnam Darden, of Darden's battery; Capts. R.. B. Snowden, assistant adjutant-general, twice wounded; John Overton, volunteer aide, wounded; Lieut. George H. Smith, wounded; and Capt. Jo. H. Vanleer, volunteer aide, who, after having his horse disabled, fought in the ranks with a rifle. General Cleburne called particular attention to the gallant conduct of Sergt. William N. Cameron, color-bearer of the Twenty-fifth regiment, who in the last combat advanced in front of his regiment so far that when it fell back he was unable to follow and was captured. He tore the flag from the staff, concealed it upon his person, and made his escape at Bowling Green, Ky., bringing back with him the colors of his regiment. Colonel Palmer's brigade occupied the left center in Breckinridge's line of battle. On Wednesday morning, Palmer, learning that there were Federal troops in his front, ordered his skirmishers under Capt. G. H. Love to advance, assigning Capt. David H. C. Spence of his staff to direct their operations. Uniting with a detachment of Pegram's cavalry, Captain Spence captured 18 wagons and 170 prisoners without sustaining loss. At noon of the same day, this brigade, with Preston's, under orders from General Breckinridge, moved across Stone's fiver to the left wing of the army, then hotly engaged, and assailed at once the enemy's position just west of the Cowan house, which was carried after a stout resistance. The brigade charged across an open field for a distance of 400 yards, under a heavy musketry and artillery fire. It was during this advance that the Twentieth Tennessee, Preston's brigade, passing to the right of the Cowan house, engaged the enemy with vigor, captured 25 prisoners and cleared the woods in front. The regiment sustained serious losses, and Col. Thomas B. Smith, referred to by General Preston as "a brave and skillful officer," was severely wounded. With Polk's corps, the battle of Murfreesboro opened at sunset on the 30th of December. Robertson's Florida battery was placed in the Triune road, supported by the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Tennessee and two Alabama regiments of Loomis' brigade, Withers' division. Soon after going into position the battery was assailed by three Federal regiments, which were repulsed, the battery and its supports sustaining serious losses. Darkness suspended hostilities. At daylight on the 31st the attack made by McCown on the extreme left was taken up by Loomis' brigade, acting under orders of General Cheatham; it having been agreed on account of the character of the country and the formation of the corps that the brigades of Manigault and Loomis should receive orders from General Cheatham, and the brigades of Donelson and Stewart should be under the control of General Withers. The enemy was 300 yards in front of Loomis as he advanced to the attack, which was vigorously made; but on reaching the cedar woods, he found superior numbers and was forced to retire to his original position. The supporting brigade (Preston Smith's), under Col. A. J. Vaughan, repeated the attack over the same ground, driving the enemy from his battery, so fatal to Loomis, and capturing two of his guns; but, receiving an enfilading fire of artillery and musketry from his right, Vaughn was content to hold what he had so bravely won. He was in good order and was again sent forward by Cheatham. In the attack by Colonel Loomis he was badly wounded, the command of his brigade devolving upon Col. J. G. Coltart; and in the desperate charge made by Colonel Vaughan, Lieut. Col. W. E. Morgan and Maj. Peter H. Cole (Thirteenth) were mortally wounded. Manigault, advancing simultaneously with Loomis, was compelled to fall back by the latter's retirement, and then reforming, gallantly advanced the second time, but was forced back to his original position. Then forming on the right of Maney's brigade, the two advanced, led by Cheatham, toward the Wilkinson road, near the Harding place, and were opened upon by two of the enemy's batteries, one on Manigault's right on the west side of the road, the other on the east side. Turner's battery, placed in position by General Maney near a brick kiln, opened on the battery on the east and soon silenced it. Uniting with Colonel Vaughn, commanding Smith's brigade, the Wilkinson road was crossed, the enemy's battery on the right was silenced, its support driven away and the guns abandoned. At this point the advancing line found the brigade of Gen. Alex. P. Stewart in a hot fight, the result of which was the capture of three guns of the First Missouri battery. In the assault, Col. H. L. W. Bratton, the gallant commander of the Twenty-fourth, was killed. Vaughan was now ordered by General Cheatham to advance with Cleburne's division, and the enemy was driven from two of his guns and fell back to the Nashville road, where he was heavily reinforced. Vaughan's brigade, flushed with victory and rushing forward with great spirit, outstripped the force on the right, when suddenly it was subjected to a heavy enfilading fire. He retired in order, a short distance, to the Wilkinson road, where, unmolested by the enemy, he bivouacked for the night, before doing so having driven the enemy from another battery, which he was unable to bring off. Vaughan led his brigade with skill and judgment and with characteristic gallantry, was ably supported by his regimental officers, and his veteran soldiers were always reliable. He reported that "when Color-Bearer Quinn, a gallant soldier of the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Tennessee, was killed, Maj. J. W. Dawson snatched the broken staff and carried it with the colors at the head of the regiment during the fight." Likewise Colonel Young, of the Ninth Texas, seized the flag of his regiment and carried it through one of the most desperate charges made by the brigade. The brigade lost 705 officers and men out of a total present of 1,813. Among the killed were Lieuts. J. S. Fielder and T. H. Patterson, Twelfth Tennessee; Capt. J. H. Sinclair, Forty-seventh; Lieut.-Col. C. S. Hall, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth; Lieuts. A.M. Burch and J. R. J. Creighton, Allin's sharpshooters. The gallant Capt. John R. Duncan, Twelfth, was mortally wounded. After the capture of the guns of the First Missouri battery, General Stewart drove the enemy steadily before him. While moving through the cedar forest the brigade of Gen. John K. Jackson came up, and the Fifth Georgia on his right, uniting with the Fourth and Fifth Tennessee, advanced beyond the general line and delivered a heavy and well-sustained fire upon the retreating ranks of the enemy, doing great execution. Referring to the assault made on the Federal line, Maj. Gen. Withers says that at the critical moment, "Brig. Gen. A. P. Stewart was ordered forward to the support. In splendid order and with a cheer this fine brigade moved forward under its gallant and accomplished commander, attacked and drove back the enemy, and completed the rout of his first line and the capture of his batteries." At this point the reserve artillery, consisting of three or four batteries of the enemy, opened on Stewart and exposed his brigade to a terrific fire of shell and canister, and without artillery himself, he could make no further advance. In Stewart's last assault, Lieut. Col. W. B. Ross, formerly of the Second (Walker's) Tennessee, acting aide to General Stewart, was mortally wounded; Lieut. J.P. Ferguson, Fourth and Fifth; Capt. S. J. Frazier and Lieut. S. G. Abernathy, Nineteenth; Capt. Jesse Irwin and Lieuts. J. B. Arnold and J. S. Hardison, Twenty-fourth; Lieut. W. P. Hutcheson, Thirty-first and Thirty-third, and Lieut. A. A. Hardin, Stanford's battery, were killed; and Lieut. Col. J. A. Wilson and Adjt. H. W. Mott, Twenty-fourth; Maj. R. A. Jarnigan, Nineteenth, and Capt. T. H. Francis, Fourth, were wounded. Lieut. Col. Andrew J. Keller, of the Fourth, was very sick, but in spite of his disability was at his post. Stewart lost one-fourth of his brigade; the Nineteenth, under gallant Frank Walker, suffered more heavily than any other regiment. Colonel Walker reported the brave conduct of Orderly-Sergt. Joseph Thompson, Company I, who, after the brigade had halted, advanced far into the field and captured two prisoners. Donelson's brigade, advanced as a support to Chalmers of Withers' division, was under fire of shot and shell until nightfall, and sustained losses in killed and wounded in every part of the field of battle early in the action. When General Chalmers was wounded, causing his brigade to fall back in confusion, Donelson moved up, under heavy fire, to its place in the front line. Reaching the Cowan house, the brigade separated, the Sixteenth and three companies of the Fifty-first being forced to the right because of the picket fencing. This detachment, under the gallant Col. John H. Savage, advanced upon the enemy until checked by three batteries with heavy infantry supports, and then unable to advance and determined not to retire, the veteran Savage deployed his command as skirmishers, and held his ground against great odds for three hours, and until reinforced by Adams' brigade. Adams made a spirited attack but did not move the enemy; subsequently, this position was assaulted by Preston's brigade with the same result; the two bivouacked for the night close upon the Federal position. If the attack had been a combined one, the result might have been disastrous to the enemy. In this combat the Sixteenth lost Lieut. Col. L. N. Savage, mortally wounded, Capt. D. C. Spurlock, killed, and Major Womack was badly wounded. Colonel Savage carried 400 men into action and had 208 killed, wounded and missing, of which 36 were killed on the line. After the fall of Captain Spurlock, no officer of his company surviving him, Private Hackett was placed in command, who exhibited courage and good conduct. After Color-bearer Sergeant Marberry was wounded, the flag was taken by Private Womack. He, too, was wounded, the colors were shot into fragments, and the flagstaff severed by a rifle ball. The Eighth, Thirty-eighth, and seven companies of the Fifty-first advanced to the left of the Cowan house, charged and broke the enemy, and inflicted great losses. In this charge, Col. W. L. Moore of the Eighth, after his horse was shot and fell upon him, disengaged himself, went forward on foot with his regiment, and died with the shout of victory in his ears. A noble gentleman, a soldier and a patriot, his loss was a severe blow to the service. The gallant Lieut. Col. J. H. Anderson succeeded to the command of the regiment. General Donelson reported the capture of 11 pieces of artillery and 1,000 prisoners, and the successful holding of the position the brigade had won. The conduct of Donelson's brigade won high commendation from Cheatham, the division commander. The fruit of the bravery of the men was great, but the loss was severe--out of 1,400 men, 691 killed, wounded and missing, the 19 missing being prisoners of war. The Eighth Tennessee showed a long list of killed and wounded; in Company D, Capt. M. C. Shook was killed, and out of 12 officers and 62 men engaged, but corporal and 20 men escaped unhurt. Capt. William Sadler, and Lieuts. Thomas O. Blacknall and N. Martin Kerby were killed. Capt. B. H. Holland, of the Thirty-eighth, was killed with the colors of the regiment in his hands. Color-Sergt. J. M. Rice, being shot down, clung to the flag, and crawling on his knees, carried it a short distance, when he was killed by a second bullet. Adjt. R. L. Caruthers, of the Thirty-eighth, was severely wounded; Capt. T. C. Campbell, of the Fifty-first, was killed, and Capts. J. A. Russell and James F. Franklin and Lieuts. G. C. Howard and R. A. Burford were severely wounded. Maney's brigade was in support of Manigault, but soon advanced under Cheatham's orders to the front line, at "the brick kiln," where they encountered fierce opposition. Colonel Feild, of the First Tennessee, said this was the only place where "we actually engaged the enemy." The latter was driven from his guns, pursued across the Wilkinson road, driven from another battery of four guns in reserve and the guns captured, and the brigade then bivouacked on the line from which the enemy was driven, and held it until our forces retired to Shelbyville and Tullahoma, three days after the conflict. The First Tennessee lost Lieut. R. P. James, killed (an officer trusted by Colonel Feild with the performance of duties demanding tact and courage), and 80 men killed and wounded; the Fourth lost Capt. D. P. Skelton, mortally wounded, and Capt. C. Brown, Lieut. John Shane and 40 men wounded. Conspicuous in a regiment famous for its courage was Sergeant Oakley, color-bearer, who found no place too perilous for the display of the regimental flag. The Sixth and Ninth lost Lieuts. W. D. Irby, A. J. Bucey and F. J. Gilliam, killed, and Capt. E. B. McClanahan, wounded, and 40 men killed and wounded. The aggregate loss of the brigade was 196. The officers and men of Carnes' battery, Capt. W. W. Carnes; Smith's battery, Lieut. W. B. Turner; Stanford's battery, Capt. E. J. Stanford, and Scott's battery, Capt. W. L. Scott, were conspicuous for steadiness, skill and courage in action. When General Wheeler had returned from his successful raid of the 30th he found the battle on, and his cavalry joined in the attack and drove the enemy for two miles, engaging him until dark. Then Wharton's cavalry was ordered to the rear of the enemy, but, he says, so vigorous was the attack of our left (made by McCown's division) that he had to proceed first at a trot and then at a gallop two and a half miles before he could execute his orders. Reaching a point near the Wilkinson pike, with the enemy in his front, Capt. B. F. White (Tennessee) was ordered to open with his battery. The First Confederate regiment, Col. John T. Cox, charged and captured the Seventy-fifth Illinois infantry. Four companies of the Eighth Texas, under Capt. S. P. Christian, charged and captured a four-gun battery complete. Wharton sent his 1,500 prisoners to the rear, and moved across the country a short distance near the Nashville road, until he found a large body of Federal cavalry facing him. White's battery again opened the ball, and the Second Tennessee, Col. H. M. Ashby, and McCown's escort company, Capt. L. T. Hardy, with the Eighth Texas on the right, were ordered to charge. They were met by a countercharge, supposed to be by the Fourth regulars, but the enemy was routed, and retreated in wild confusion, abandoning several hundred wagons. One thousand infantrymen were captured. Wharton's forces too zealously followed the retreating enemy. Soon another Federal force of about 300 cavalry, seeing White's battery unprotected, moved down rapidly, and when within 400 yards General Wharton opportunely returned from the pursuit. Col. Baxter Smith, Fourth Tennessee, promptly formed about 20 men, the guns were unlimbered, several shells were exploded in the enemy's ranks, and they retired in disorder. The same Federal command subsequently attacked the guard of the captured wagon train and recovered a portion of them and several of the prisoners, but a large number of wagons, 5 or 6 pieces of artillery, 400 prisoners, 327 beef cattle, and a large number of mules were secured. Col. Baxter Smith, said General Wharton, "behaved with the utmost gallantry and judgment," and he named Captain White, "whose gallantry upon this and every other field was most conspicuous." The entire strength of the brigade was 2,000. The loss was 108 killed and wounded, 107 captured. After placing the captured property within our lines and arming his command with improved arms captured from the enemy, General Wharton returned to the rear of the enemy and engaged him until nightfall. Then he placed his command upon the left of the Confederate army and picketed for its protection. On Friday afternoon, January :d, Major-General Breckinridge was ordered by the commanding general, in person, to take the crest of the hill in his front on the east side of Stone's fiver. Capt. E. Eldridge Wright's battery, which had been detached, was ordered to rejoin Preston's brigade. Brigadier-General Pillow, who had reported for duty, was assigned by General Bragg to Colonel Palmer's brigade, and "that fine officer resumed command of his regiment," the Eighteenth. The division advanced, Pillow with the Tennesseeans on the right, supported by Preston; Hanson on the left with the Second, Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Kentucky and Forty-first Alabama, supported by Adams' brigade, Col. R. L. Gibson, Sixteenth Louisiana, commanding. As soon as the field was entered, the battle opened, and the enemy was driven over the crest of the hill. Wright's battery was advanced, and the Twentieth Tennessee, on the right of Preston, soon in the front line, suffered severely; but it dashed forward and drove the enemy down the hill, capturing 200 prisoners. The division moved to the charge in perfect order, and in a few minutes the Federal division in its front was routed and driven from the crest, but the ground so gallantly won by Breckinridge was commanded by the enemy's batteries within easy range. The Federal guns swept the front, fight, and left, and large numbers of fresh troops were rapidly concentrated, forcing Breckinridge back to his original line. "Wright's battery was bravely fought," said General Preston, "but lost its gallant commander, who was killed at his guns." At his fall, Lieut. J. W. Mebane, himself wounded, succeeded in withdrawing all of the battery except two pieces. According to General Breckinridge, "one was lost because there was but one boy left (Private Wright) to limber the piece, and his strength was unequal to it." The "boy" named by General Breckinridge was Luke E. Wright, younger brother of the gallant captain, and afterward junior-lieutenant of the battery. The experience of that fateful day made him a veteran and a conspicuous soldier; he survived the war and attained civil prominence as one of the leaders of the bar of Tennessee. Before the fragment of the company was hardly out of the battery, in obedience to orders to retire, the Federal flag was flying on one of their lost guns. Lieutenants Grant and Phillips, with the guns saved, stood fast and covered the retreat of the attacking division, which fell back in the face of overwhelming numbers, and with the conviction that somebody had blundered. General Hardee, the corps commander, said in his official report, "this movement was made without my knowledge." On the 20th of April, 1863, Lieutenant-General Hardee, under instructions, furnished the following names of officers of his corps who fell at Murfreesboro, who were conspicuous for their valor, to be inscribed on the guns of one of the reserve batteries: Maj. Henry C. Erwin, Forty-fourth; Maj. James T. McReynolds, Thirty-seventh; Capt. E. Eldridge Wright, Wright's battery, and Capt. Edwin Allen, Company C, Twenty-sixth. General Preston recommended for promotion Sergt. Frank Battle for conspicuous gallantry. "After four color-bearers of the Twentieth had been shot down and the regiment was in confusion, he seized the colors and bravely rallied the men under my eye." It was stated by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, Federal, in his official report of the battle, referring to the assault made by Breckinridge: "I sent orders to Negley to advance to the support of Crittenden's troops. This order was obeyed in most gallant style and resulted in the complete annihilation of the Twenty-sixth Tennessee regiment." But, in fact, the Twenty-sixth, Colonel Lillard, with Palmer's brigade in this attack, left the field over 300 strong, in perfect order, in obedience to command. It had 1 officer and 8 men killed, 71 wounded, and 17 captured, during the engagements of the 31st of December and 2d of January, and was distinguished in the subsequent battles of the war. Col. Joseph B. Palmer, Sixteenth, afterward brigadier-general, a soldier of judgment and undaunted courage, three times wounded in this attack, said in his official report that "the entire force on the right bank of the river was completely routed and driven by our division either across or down the stream: but they had massed a force of many thousands on the opposite bank, where they had a large force of artillery, so located and arranged that both their small-arms and batteries could be brought to bear upon and rake all the western portion of the field over which their troops had been driven. It therefore became proper for our forces to withdraw, although they had not been repulsed." General Rosecrans reported that Breckinridge's attack was upon Van Cleve's division, supported by a brigade of Gen. John M. Palmer's division. "Breckinridge advanced steadily," says Rosecrans, "to within 100 yards of the front of Van Cleve, when a short and fierce contest ensued. Van Cleve's division giving way, retired in considerable confusion across the river, followed closely by the enemy." The strength of the force assailed by Breckinridge, according to the Federal return, was 5,221. After Van Cleve's rout, according to Rosecrans, the onset of the Confederates was met by "two brigades of Negley's division and the Pioneer brigade;" which, by the return published at that time, were 5,520 strong. Breckinridge made the assault with a force of 4,500, of all arms, and lost 1,700 killed, wounded and missing. Among the dead Tennesseeans were the gallant Col. P. D. Cunningham, Thirty-second regiment; Capt. John Dick and Lieut. Samuel M. Smith, Eighteenth; Capt. Edward Allen, Twenty-sixth; Lieuts. J. L. Proffitt and J. M. Saylors, Twenty-eighth; Capt. J. W. Watkins and Lieut. F. B. Crosthwait, Twentieth. Seven of the ten captains of the Eighteenth; Lieut.-Col. J. L. Bottles and Maj. R. M. Saffell, Twenty-sixth; Adjt. John M. Douglass and Sergt.-Maj. Fletcher R. Burns, Eighteenth, were wounded. Colonel Palmer stated that after five color-bearers of the Eighteenth had been shot down, "Logan H. Nelson, a private soldier of Company C, gallantly sprang forward, raised the flag from the side of dying comrades and carried it triumphantly throughout the combat." Maj. F. Claybrooke, Twentieth, reported that four of his "color-bearers were shot, and the flagstaff twice shot in two and the colors riddled by balls." On the 1st of January, General Wheeler, with his own and Wharton's cavalry, returned to the rear of the Federal army. He dispersed the guards of a large train near Lavergne, destroyed a number of wagons and stores and captured one piece of artillery. At 9 o'clock of the evening of the same day he again went to the rear of the enemy, capturing trains of wagons, horses and prisoners, and regained his position at 2 o'clock of the next morning on the left flank of the army, where he remained all day, engaging the enemy at every opportunity. At 9 o'clock that evening he made his fourth sortie to the rear of the enemy, and next morning, the 3d, captured prisoners, wagons and horses. On regaining his position on the left flank on the morning of the 4th, he learned that General Bragg had fallen back. At 3 o'clock p.m. of the 4th, Rosecrans advanced to the river and commenced a skirmish. After dark he retired a short distance. The cavalry pickets were not molested during the night. At daylight on the 5th, General Wheeler retired three miles from Murfreesboro; at 3 p.m. the Federals advanced a brigade of infantry, with artillery and cavalry, but were driven back. In his report General Wheeler included Capt. Richard McCann of Tennessee, commanding a detachment, among those of whom he said, "during the many engagements incident to the battle of Murfreesboro, I take pleasure, in commending their gallantry and good soldierly conduct." General Rosecrans, commanding the Federal army at Murfreesboro, reported his strength at 46,940 officers and men of all arms; killed and wounded, 8,778; lost by capture, 2,800; but the revised statement accompanying his report shows that he lost 3,673 captured by the Confederates, a total of 12,451; and a loss of 28 pieces of artillery, 3 battery wagons and 5 forges was admitted. General Rosecrans reported a reserve of 7,495 at Nashville, 3,550 at Gallatin, and nearly 4,000 at Bowling Green and Clarksville. Maj. W. K. Beard, inspector-general on the staff of General Bragg, made an official report in which he accounted for 6,273 prisoners captured at Murfreesboro. Colonel Brent, adjutant-general on the staff of General Bragg, reported that we had present and in the battle 37,712. officers and men of all arms, including 4,237 cavalry. Bragg's loss amounted to 10,266, of which 9,000 were killed and wounded, and 1,200 of the badly wounded, left in the hospitals at Murfreesboro, constituted the largest part of Rosecrans' captures. Nearly one-third of the army of Tennessee were Tennesseeans; many of them fought and fell almost in call of their own wives and children; there were no holiday soldiers among them and no desertions, and they fell back from their homes with a loss of 3,500 killed and wounded, nearly half of the entire loss. The greatest loss of the army was in Cheatham's division of Tennesseeans, 36 per cent killed and wounded. Johnson's Tennessee brigade, of Cleburne's division, lost 29½ per cent, Palmer's Tennessee brigade the same, and the Tennessee troops in other commands sustained about the same loss. They fought heroically and were led superbly, took the enemy's positions, his artillery and small-arms and many prisoners, and met the perils of the battlefield, and death, with the high-born courage that springs from a sense of duty. Yet the commanding general in his official report had no word of commendation for them, or for the men who led them with so much skill and courage. Cheatham, the ranking officer of Tennessee, with a division of the troops of the State, seemed inspired by the fierceness of the battle. He was like Marshal Massena, as described by the Emperor Napoleon: "His conversation gave few indications of genius, but at the first cannon shot his mental energy redoubled, and when surrounded by danger his thoughts were clear and forcible. In the midst of the dying and the dead, the balls sweeping away those who encircled him, he was himself, and gave his orders with the greatest coolness and precision." The striking feature of this battle is that Rosecrans, who led the attacking army, was on the defensive every hour of the battle, never pursued an advantage if it was won, in the actual fighting was beaten at all points and driven from the battlefield with enormous losses. He permitted three days to pass, after the battle of the 31st of December, without firing a shot, except on the skirmish line and to defend himself from the assault of Breckinridge on the afternoon of the 2d of January. Bragg retired at 2 o'clock a.m. on the morning of the 4th, and two hours later the cavalry under General Wheeler occupied his position, and continued in it until the break of day on the 5th of January. At 4:30 of that morning, General Rosecrans telegraphed the secretary of war, "God has crowned our arms with victory."Source: "Confederate Military History," Vol. 8, Chapter V