Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Report of General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army Commanding Army of Tennessee on the Battle of Stones River

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,Tullahoma, Tenn., February 23, 1863.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant [and Inspector] General, Richmond, Va.
SIR: On December 26, last, the enemy advanced in force from Nashville to attack us at Murfreesborough. It had been well ascertained that his strength was over 60,000 effective men. Before night on that day the object of the movement was developed by our dispositions in front, and orders were given for the necessary concentration of our forces, then distributed as follows: Polk's corps and three brigades of Breckinridge's division, Hardee's corps, at Murfreesborough; the balance of Hardee's corps near Eagleville, about 20 miles west of Murfrees-borough; McCown's division (which, with Stevenson's division removed, constituted Smith's corps) at Readyville, 12 miles east of Murfreesborough, the three cavalry brigades of Wheeler, Wharton, and Pegram occupying the entire front of our infantry, and covering all approaches to within 10 miles of Nashville; Buford's small cavalry brigade, of about 600, at McMinnville. The brigades of Forrest and Morgan (about 5,000 effective cavalry) were absent on special service in West Tennessee and Northern Kentucky, as will be more fully noticed hereafter. Jackson's small infantry brigade was in rear, guarding the railroad front Bridgeport, Ala., to the mountains. On Sunday, the 28th, our main force of infantry and artillery was concentrated in front of Murfreesborough, while the cavalry, supported by three brigades of infantry and three batteries of artillery, impeded the advance of the enemy by constant skirmishing and sudden and unexpected attacks. To the skillful manner in which the cavalry, thus ably supported, was handled, and to the exceeding gallantry of its officers and men, must be attributed the four days' time consumed by the enemy in reaching the battle-field, a distance of only 20 miles from his encampments, over fine macadamized roads. Fully aware of the greatly superior numbers of the enemy, as indicated in my early reports from this quarter, it was our policy to await attack. The position was selected and line developed with this intention. Owing to the convergence upon our depot at Murfreesborough of so many fine roads by which the enemy could approach, as will appear from the inclosed map, marked 1, we were confined in our selection to a line near enough the point of juncture to enable us to successfully cover them all until the real point of attack should be developed. On Monday, the 29th, it was reported that heavy columns moved on both the direct road from La Vergne and on the one leading into the Lebanon road by way of Jefferson, but on Tuesday, the 30th, it was ascertained that the Jefferson pike was abandoned by a countermarch, and the whole forces of the enemy were concentrated on and near the direct road on the west of Stone's River. The dispositions made for the unequal contest will appear from the inclosed map, marked 2, and the copy of memoranda to general and staff officers, marked 3. These arrangements were all completed before the enemy crossed Stewart's Creek, 9 miles out, and the infantry brigades were at once called in, and the cavalry was ordered to fall back more rapidly, having most gallantly discharged its duty and fully accomplished the object desired. Late on Monday it became apparent the enemy was extending his right, so as to flank us on the left. McCown's division, in reserve, was promptly thrown to that flank and added to the command of Lieutenant-General Polk. The enemy not meeting our expectations of making an attack on Tuesday, which was consumed in artillery firing and heavy skirmishing, with the exception of a dash late in the evening on the left of Withers' division, which was repulsed and severely punished, it was determined to assail him on Wednesday morning, the 31st. For this purpose, Cleburne's division, Hardee's corps, was moved from the second line on the right to the corresponding position on the left, and Lieuten-ant-General Hardee was ordered to that point and assigned to the command of that and McCown's division. This disposition, the result of necessity, left me no reserve, but Breckinridge's command on the right, now not threatened, was regarded as a source of supply for any re enforcements absolutely necessary to other parts of the field. Stone's River, at its then stage, was fordable at almost any point for infantry, and at short intervals perfectly practicable for artillery. These dispositions completed, Lieutenant-General Hardee was ordered to assail the enemy at daylight on Wednesday, the 31st, the attack to be taken up by Lieutenant-General Polk's command in succession to the right flank, the move to be made by a constant wheel to the right, on Polk's right flank as a pivot, the object being to force the enemy back on Stone's River, and, if practicable, by the aid of the cavalry, cut him off from his base of operations and supplies by the Nashville pike. The lines were now bivouacked at a distance in places of not more than 500 yards, the camp-fires of the two being within distinct view. Wharton's cavalry brigade had been held on our left to watch and check the movements of the enemy in that direction, and to prevent his cavalry from gaining the railroad in our rear, the preservation of which was of vital importance. In this he was aided by Brig. Gen. A. Buford, who had a small command of about 600 new cavalry. The duty was most ably, gallantly, and successfully performed. On Monday night Brigadier-General Wheeler proceeded with his cavalry brigade and one regiment from Pegram's, as ordered, to gain the enemy's rear. By Tuesday morning, moving on the Jefferson pike around the enemy's left flank, he had gained the rear of their whole army, and soon attacked the trains, their guards, and the numerous stragglers. He succeeded in capturing several hundred prisoners and destroying hundreds of wagons loaded with supplies and baggage. After clearing the road, he made his way entirely around and joined the cavalry on our left. The failure of Major-General McCown to execute during the night an order for a slight change in the line of his division, and which had to be done the next morning, caused some delay in the general and vigorous assault by Lieutenant-General Hardee. But about 7 o'clock the rattle of musketry and roar of artillery announced the beginning of the conflict. The enemy was taken completely by surprise. General and staff officers were not mounted, artillery horses not hitched, and infantry not formed. A hot and inviting breakfast of coffee and other luxuries, to which our gallant and hardy men had long been strangers, was found upon the fire unserved, and was left while we pushed on to the enjoyment of a more inviting feast, that of captured artillery, fleeing battalions, and hosts of craven prisoners begging for the lives they had forfeited by their acts of brutality and atrocity. While thus routing and pushing the enemy in his front, Lieutenant-General [W. J.] Hardee announced to me by a messenger that the movement was not being as promptly executed by Major-General Cheatham's command on his right (the left of Lieutenant-General Polk's corps) as he expected, and that his line was, consequently, exposed to an enfilade fire from the enemy's artillery in that front. The necessary instructions for prompt movement at that point were immediately dispatched, and in a short time our whole line, except Breckinridge's command, was warmly engaged. From this time we continued to drive the enemy more or less rapidly until his line was thrown entirely back at right angles to his first position, and occupied the cut of the railroad? along which he had massed his reserves and posted very strong batteries. A reference to the map No. 2 will show this second and strong position. The enemy's loss was very heavy in killed and wounded, tar exceeding our own, as appeared from a critical examination of the field, now almost entirely in our possession. Of artillery alone we had secured more than twenty-five pieces. While the infantry and artillery were occupied in this successful work, Brigadier-General Wharton, with his cavalry command, was most actively and gallantly engaged on the enemy's right and rear, where he inflicted a heavy loss in killed and wounded, captured a full battery of artillery endeavoring to escape, and secured and sent in near 2,000 prisoners. These important successes and results had not been achieved without heavy sacrifices on our part, as the resistance of the enemy after the first surprise was most gallant and obstinate. Numbering at least two to our one, he was enabled to bring fresh troops at every point to resist our progress, and he did so with a skill and judgment which has ever characterized his aide commander. Finding Lieutenant-General Hardee so formidably opposed by the movement of the enemy to his front, re-enforcements for him were ordered from Major-General Breckinridge, but the orders were countermanded, as will hereafter appear, and Polk's corps was pressed forward with vigor, hoping to draw the enemy back or rout him on the right as he already had been on the left. We succeeded in driving him from every position except the strong one held by his extreme left flank, resting on Stone's River, and covered by a concentration of artillery of superior range and caliber, which seemed to bid us defiance. The difficulties of our general advance had been greatly enhanced by the topography of the country. All parts of our line had to pass in their progress over ground of the roughest character, covered with huge stones and studded with the densest growth of cedar, the branches reaching to the ground and forming an almost impassable brake. Our artillery could rarely be used, while the enemy, holding defensive lines, had selected formidable positions for his batteries and this dense cover for his infantry, from both of which he had to be dislodged by our infantry alone. The determined and unvarying gallantry of our troops, and the uninterrupted success which attended their repeated charges against these strongholds, defended by double their numbers, fully justified the unbounded confidence I had ever reposed in them and had so often expressed. To meet our successful advance and retrieve his losses in the front of our left, the enemy early transferred a portion of his reserve from his left to that flank and by 2 o'clock had succeeded in concentrating such a force in Lieutenant-General Hardee's front as to check his further progress. Our two lines had by this time become almost blended, so much weakened were they by losses, exhaustion, and extension to cover the enemy's whole front. As early as 10 a.m. Major-General Breckinridge was called on for one brigade, and soon after for a second, to re-enforce, or act as a reserve to, Lieutenant-General Hardee. His reply to the first call represented the enemy crossing Stone's River in heavy force in his immediate front, and on receiving the second order he informed me they had already crossed in heavy force and were advancing on him in two lines. He was immediately ordered not to await attack, but to advance and meet them. About this same time a report reached me that a heavy force of the enemy's infantry was advancing on the Lebanon road, about 5 miles in Breckinridge's front. Brigadier-General Pegram, who had been sent to that road to cover the flank of the infantry with his cavalry brigade (save two regiments detached with Wheeler and Wharton), was ordered forward immediately to develop any such movement. The orders for the two brigades from Breckinridge were countermanded, while dispositions were made, at his request, to re-enforce him. Before they could be carried out, the movements ordered disclosed the facts that no force had crossed Stone's River; that the only enemy in our immediate front there was a small body of sharpshooters, and that there was no advance on the Lebanon road. These unfortunate misapprehensions on that part of the field (which, with proper precaution, could not have existed) withheld from active operations three fine brigades until the enemy had succeeded in checking our progress, had re-established his lines, and had collected many of his broken battalions. Having now settled the question that no movement was being made against our right, and none even to be apprehended, Breckinridge was ordered to leave two brigades to support the battery at A, on his side of Stone's River, and with the balance of the force to cross to the left and report to Lieutenant-General Polk. By the time this could be accomplished it was too late to send this force to Lieutenant-General Hardee's support, who was unable to make further progress, and he was directed to maintain his position. Lieutenant-General Polk was directed with these re-enforcements to throw all the force he could collect upon the enemy's extreme left, and thereby either carry that strong point which had so far resisted us successfully, or, failing in that, at least to draw off from Hardee's front the formidable opposition there concentrated. The three brigades of Jackson, Preston, and Adams were successively reported for this work. How gallantly they moved to their task, and how much they suffered in the determined effort to accomplish it, will best appear from reports of subordinate commanders and the statement of losses, herewith. Upon this flank, their strongest defensive position, resting on the river bank, the enemy had concentrated not less than twenty pieces of his heaviest artillery, masked almost entirely from view, but covering an open space in front of several hundred yards. Supported right, left, and rear by heavy masses of infantry, this position proved impracticable, and after two unsuccessful efforts the attempt to carry it by infantry was abandoned. Our heaviest batteries of artillery and rifled guns of long range were now concentrated in front of, and their fire opened on, this position. After a cannonade of some time the enemy's fire slackened, and finally ceased near nightfall. Lieutenant-General Hardee had slightly retired his line from the farthest point he had attained for better position and cover without molestation from the enemy. Lieutenant-General Polk's infantry, including the three re-enforcing brigades, uniting their left with Hardee's right and extending to our extreme right flank, formed a continuous line very nearly perpendicular to the original line of battle, thus leaving nearly the whole field with all its trophies- the enemy's dead and many of his wounded, his hospitals and stores---in our full possession. The body of Brigadier-General Sill, one of their division commanders, was found where he had fallen, and was sent to town and decently interred, though he had forfeited all claim to such consideration by the acts of cruelly, barbarity, and atrocity but a few days before committed under his authority on the women, children, and old men living near the road on which he had made a reconnaissance. During the afternoon, Brigadier-General Pegram, discovering a hospital and large numbers of stragglers in rear of the enemy's line and across Stone's River, charged them with his cavalry and captured about 170 prisoners. Both armies, exhausted by a conflict of full ten hours' duration, rarely surpassed for its continued intensity and the heavy losses sustained, sank to rest with the sun and perfect quiet prevailed for the night. At dawn on Thursday morning, January 1, orders were sent to the several commanders to press forward their skirmishers, feel the enemy, and report any change in his position. Major-General Breckinridge had been transferred to the right of Stone's River, to resume the command of that position, now held by two of his brigades. It was soon reported that no change had occurred, except the withdrawal of the enemy from the advanced position occupied by his left flank. Finding, upon further examination, that this was the case, the right flank of Lieutenant-General Polk's corps was thrown forward to occupy the ground for which we had so obstinately contended the evening before. This shortened our line considerably, and gave us possession of the entire battle-field, from which we gleaned the spoils and trophies throughout the day and transferred them rapidly to the rear. A careful reconnaissance of the enemy's position was ordered, and the most of the cavalry was put in motion for the roads in his rear, to cut off his trains and develop any movement. It was soon ascertained that he was still in very heavy force all along our front, occupying a position strong by nature and improved by such work as could be done at night and by his reserves. In a short time reports from the cavalry informed me heavy trains were moving toward Nashville, some of the wagons loaded and all the ambulances filled with wounded. These were attacked at different places; many wagons were destroyed and hundreds of prisoners paroled. No doubt this induced the enemy to send large escorts of artillery, infantry, and cavalry with later trains, and thus the impression was made on our ablest cavalry commanders that a retrograde movement was going on. Our forces, greatly wearied and much reduced by heavy losses, were held ready to avail themselves of any change in the enemy's position, but it was deemed unadvisable to assail him as then established. The whole day, after these dispositions, was passed without an important movement on either side, and was consumed by us in gleaning the battlefield, burying the dead, and replenishing ammunition. At daylight on Friday, the 2d, the orders to feel the enemy and ascertain his position were repeated with the same results. The cavalry brigades of Wheeler and Wharton had returned during the night greatly exhausted from long-continued service with but little rest or food to either men or horses. Both commanders reported the indications from the enemy's movements the same. Allowing them only a few hours to feed and rest, and sending the two detached regiments back to Pegram's brigade, Wharton was ordered to the right flank across Stone's River, to assume command in that quarter and keep me advised of any change. Wheeler with his brigade was ordered to gain the enemy's rear again, and remain until he could definitely report whether any retrograde movement was being made. Before Wharton had taken his position, observation excited my suspicions in regard to a movement having been made by the enemy across Stone's River immediately in Breckinridge's front. Reconnaissances by several staff officers soon developed the fact that a division had quietly crossed unopposed and established themselves on and under cover of an eminence, marked B on map No. 2, from which Lieutenant-General Polk's line was both commanded and enfiladed. The dislodgment of this force or the withdrawal of Polk's line was an evident necessity. The latter involved consequences not to be entertained. Orders were accordingly given for the concentration of the whole of Major-General Breckinridge's division in front of the position to be taken, the addition to his command of ten 12-pounder Napoleon guns, under Capt. F. H. Robertson, an able and accomplished artillery officer, and for the cavalry forces of Wharton and Pegram, about 2,000 men, to join in the attack on his right. Major-General Breckinridge was sent for and advised of the movement and its objects, the securing and holding of the position which protected Polk's flank and gave us command of the enemy's by which to enfilade him. He was informed of the forces placed at his disposal, and instructed with them to drive the enemy back, crown the his, intrench his artillery, and hold the position. To distract their attention from our real object, a heavy artillery fire was ordered to be opened from Polk's front at the exact hour at which the' movement was to begin. At other points throughout both lines all was quiet. General Breckinridge at 3.30 p.m. reported he would advance at 4 o'clock. Polk's batteries promptly opened fire and were soon answered by the enemy. A heavy cannonade of some fifteen minutes was succeeded by the fire of musketry, which soon became general. The contest was short and severe; the enemy was driven back and the eminence gained, but the movement as a whole was a failure, and the position was again yielded. Our forces were moved, unfortunately, so far to the left as to throw a portion of them into and over Stone's River, where they encountered heavy masses of the enemy, while those against whom they were intended to operate on our side of the river had a destructive enfilade on our whole line. Our second line was so close to the front as to receive the enemy's fire, and, returning it, took their friends in rear. The cavalry force was left entirely out of the action. Learning from my own staff officers, sent to the scene, of the disorderly retreat being made by General Breckinridge's division, Brigadier-General Patton Anderson's fine brigade of Mississippians (the nearest body of troops) was promptly ordered to his relief. On reaching the field and moving forward, Anderson found himself in front of Breckinridge's infantry, and soon encountered the enemy's light troops close upon our artillery, which had been left without support. This noble brigade, under its cool and gallant chief, drove the enemy back and saved all the guns not captured before its arrival. Capt. F. H. Robertson, after the disabling wound received by Major [R. E.] Graves (General Breckinridge's gallant and efficient chief of artillery), took the entire charge of all the artillery of the division in addition to his own. To his gallantry, energy, and fearlessness is due the smallness of our loss sustained before the arrival of support-only three guns. His report, herewith, marked 4, will show the important part he played in this attack and repulse. Before the end of the whole movement it was quite dark. Anderson's command held a position next the enemy, corresponding nearly with our original line, while Breckinridge's brigade commanders collected their scattered men as far as practicable in the darkness, and took irregular positions on Anderson's left and rear. At daylight in the morning they were moved to the front and the whole line reestablished without opposition. During the night, Major-General Cleburne's division was retransferred to its original position on the right, and Lieutenant-General Hardee directed to resume his command there and restore our line. On Saturday morning, the 3d, our forces had been in line of battle for five days and nights, with but little rest, having no reserves; their baggage and tents had been loaded and the wagons were 4 miles off; their provisions, if cooked at all, were most imperfectly prepared, with scanty means; the weather had been severe from cold and almost constant rain, and we had no change of clothing, and in many places could not have fires. The necessary consequence was great exhaustion of officers and men, many having to be sent to the hospitals in the rear, and more still were beginning to straggle from their commands, an evil from which we had so far suffered but little. During the whole of this day the rain continued to fall with little intermission, and the rapid rise in Stone's River indicated it would soon be unfordable. Late on Friday night I had received the captured papers of Major-General [A. McD.] McCook, commanding one corps d'armée of the enemy, showing their effective strength to have been very near, if not quite, 70,000 men. Before noon, reports from Brigadier-General Wheeler satisfied me the enemy, instead of retiring, was receiving re-enforcements. Common prudence and the safety of my army, upon which even the safety of our cause depended, left no doubt on my mind as to the necessity of my withdrawal from so unequal a contest. My orders were accordingly given about noon for the movement of the trains, and for the necessary preparation of the troops. Under the efficient management of the different staff departments everything had been secured and transferred to the rear, including prisoners, captured artillery, small-arms, subsistence, means of transportation, and nearly all our wounded able to bear moving. No movement of any kind was made by the troops on either side during this most inclement day until just at night, when a sharp skirmish occurred between Polk's right and the enemy's left flank, resulting in nothing decisive. The only question with me was, whether the movement should be made at once or delayed for twenty-four hours, to save a few more of our wounded. As it was probable we should lose by exhaustion as many as we should remove of the wounded, my inclination to remain was yielded. The whole force, except the cavalry, was put in motion at 11 p.m., and the army retired in perfect order to its present position behind Duck River without receiving or giving a shot. Our cavalry held the position before Murfreesborough until Monday morning, the 5th, when it quietly retired, as ordered, to cover our front. We left about 1,200 badly wounded, one-half of whom we learn have since died from the severity of their injuries; about 300 sick, too feeble to bear transportation, and about 200 well men and medical officers as their attendants. In addition to this, the enemy had captured about 800 prisoners from us. As the 1,200 wounded are counted once under that head among our losses, they should be excluded in the general total.As an offset to this loss we had secured, as will appear from the report of my inspector-general, herewith, marked A, considerably over 6,000 prisoners; had captured over thirty pieces of artillery, 6,000 stand of small-arms, a number of wagons, ambulances, mules, and harness, with a large amount of other valuable property, all of which was secured and appropriated to proper uses. Besides all this secured, we had destroyed not less than 800 wagons, mostly loaded with various articles, such as arms, ammunition, provisions, baggage, clothing, medicines, and hospital stores. We had lost three pieces of artillery only--all in Breckinridge’s repulse. A number of stand of colors (nine of which are forwarded with this report) were also captured on the field. Others known to have been taken have not been sent in. The list, marked B, is herewith transmitted. A tabular statement of our forces, marked C, is herewith submitted, showing the number of fighting men we had on the field on the morning of December 31 to have been less than 35,000, of which about 30,000 were infantry and artillery. Our losses are also reported in this same comprehensive tab]e, so as to show how much each corps, division, and brigade suffered, and, in case of Breckinridge's division, the losses are reported separately for Wednesday and Friday. These reports are minute and suggestive, showing the severity of the conflict, as well as when, where, and by whom it was sustained. Among the gallant dead the nation is called to mourn, none could have fallen more honored or regretted than Brig. Gens. James E. Rains and R. W. Hanson. They yielded their lives in the heroic discharge of duty and leave their honored names as a rich legacy to their descendants. Brig. Gens. James R. Chalmers and D. W. Adams received disabling wounds on Wednesday; I am happy to say not serious, but which deprived us of their valuable services. Having been under my immediate command since the beginning of the war, I can bear evidence to their devotion, and to the conspicuous gallantry which has marked their services on every field. For the sacred names of other heroes and patriots of lower grades who gave their lives, illustrating the character of the Confederate soldier on this bloody field, I must refer to the reports of subordinate commanders and to the lists which will be submitted. Our losses, it will be seen, exceeded 10,000, over 9,000 of whom were killed and wounded. The enemy's loss we have no means of knowing with certainty. One corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, which was least exposed in the engagement, reports over 5,000 killed and wounded. As they had two other corps and a separate division (third of a corps) and their cavalry, it is safely estimated at 3,000 killed and 16,000 wounded; adding the 6,273 prisoners, and we have a total of 25,273. Lieut. Gens. L. Polk and W. J. Hardee, commanding corps; Maj. Gens. J. M. Withers and P. R. Cleburne, commanding divisions, are specially commended to the Government for the valor, skill, and ability displayed by them throughout the engagement. Brig. Gen. J. Patton Anderson, for the coolness, judgment, and courage with which he interposed his brigade between our retreating forces and the enemy, largely superior to him, on Friday evening, and saved our artillery, is justly entitled to special mention. Brig. Gens. Joseph Wheeler and John A. Wharton, commanding cavalry brigades, were pre-eminently distinguished throughout the action, as they had been for a month previous in many successive conflicts with the enemy. Under their skillful and gallant lead the reputation of our cavalry has been justly enhanced. For the just commendation of other officers, many of whom were pro-eminently distinguished, I must refer to the reports of their more immediate commanders. To the private soldier a fair meed of praise is due; and though it is so seldom given and so rarely expected that it may be considered out of place, I cannot, in justice to myself, withhold the opinion ever entertained and so often expressed during our struggle for independence. In the absence of the instruction and discipline of old armies, and of the confidence which long association produces between veterans, we have had in a great measure to trust to the individuality and self-reliance of the private soldier. Without the incentive or the motive which controls the officer, who hopes to live in history; without the hope of reward, and actuated only by a sense of duty and of patriotism, he has, in this great contest, justly judged that the cause was his own, and gone into it with a determination to conquer or die; to be free or not to be at all. No encomium is too high, no honor too great for such a soldiery, However much of credit and glory may be given, and probably justly given, the leaders in our struggle, history will yet award the main honor where it is due--to the private soldier, who, without hope of reward, and with no other incentive than a consciousness of rectitude, has en countered all the hardships and suffered all the privations. Well has it been said, "The first monument our Confederacy rears, when our independence shall have been won, should be a lofty shaft, pure and spotless, bearing this inscription, 'To the unknown and unrecorded dead.'" The members of my staff, arduously engaged in their several duties, before, during, and since the prolonged engagement, are deserving a mention in this report. Lieut. Cols. George G. Garner and G. W. Brent and Capt. P. H. Thomson, adjutant and inspector general's department; First Lieuts. Towson Ellis and F. S. Parker [jr], regular aides-de-camp; Lieut. Col. W. K. Beard, inspector-general; Lieut. Col. A. J. Hays, Provisional Army; Majs. James Strawbridge, Louisiana infantry, and William Olare, late Seventh Alabama Volunteers, acting assistant inspectors-general; Lieut. Col. L.W. O'Bannon, chief quartermaster; Maj. M. B. McMicken, assistant quartermaster; Maj. J. J. Walker, chief commissary; Majs. F. Molloy and G. M. Hillyer, assistants; Lieut. Col. H. Oladowski, chief of ordnance; Capts. W. H. Warren and O. T. Gibbes, and Lieut. W. F. Johnson, assistants; Capt. S. W. Steele, acting chief engineer, and Lieuts. H. C. Force, A. H. Buchanan, and J. K. P. McFall [assistants]; Lieut. Col. J. H. Hallonquist, acting chief of artillery; First Lieut. R. H. S. Thompson, assistant; Surg. A. J. Foard, medical director; Surg. E. A. Flewellen, assistant medical director; Actg. Surg. T. G. Richardson, attendant on myself, staff, and escort; Cols. David Urquhart, of Louisiana, J. Stoddard Johnston, of Kentucky, and G. Saint Leger Grenfell, of England (the two former volunteer aides, long on my staff), served me most efficiently. Maj. E. W. Baylor, assistant quartermaster; Maj. B.C. Kennedy, assistant commissary of subsistence, and Lieut. William M. Bridges, aide-de-camp to the late Brigadier-General [J. K.]Duncan, reported just before the engagement and joined my staff, on which they served through the battle. Col. M. L. Clark, of the artillery (Provisional Army), being in Murfreesborough on temporary service, did me the favor to join and serve on my staff during the engagement. His Excellency Isham G. Harris, Governor of Tennessee, and the Hon. Andrew Ewing, member of military court, volunteered their services and rendered me efficient aid, especially with the Tennessee troops, largely in the ascendant in this army. It is but due to a zealous and efficient laborer in our cause that I here bear testimony to the cordial support given me at all times since meeting him a year ago in West Tennessee by His Excellency Governor Harris. From the field of Shiloh, where he received in his arms the dying form of the lamented Johnston, to the last struggle at Murfreesborough, he has been one of us, and has shared all our privations and dangers, while giving us his personal and political influence with all the power he possessed at the head of the State government. To the medical department of the army, under the able administration of Surgeon Foard, great credit is due for the success which attended their labors. Sharing none of the excitement and glory of the field, these officers in their labor of love devote themselves silently and assiduously to alleviate the sufferings of their brother soldiers at hours when others are seeking rest and repose. The reports of subordinate commanders not yet received have been specially called for and are soon expected, when they will be promptly forwarded. During the time the operations at Murfreesborough were being conducted, important expeditions, under Brigadier-Generals Forrest and Morgan, were absent in West Tennessee and Northern Kentucky. The reports already forwarded show the complete success which attended these gallant brigadiers, and commend them to the confidence of the Government and gratitude of the country.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.

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