Today in History:

36 Series I Volume XLV-I Serial 93 - Franklin - Nashville Part I

Page 36 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVI

ham's corps, on the 4th but held out until assistant reached it from the garrison at Murfreesborough . The enemy used artillery to reduce the block-house, but although seventy-four shots were fired at it no material injury was done. General Milroy coming up with three regiment of infantry, four companies of the Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry, and a section artillery, attacked the enemy and drove him off. During the 5th, 6th, and 7th Bate's division, re-enforced by a division from Lee's corps and 2,500 of Forrest's cavalry, demonstrated heavily against Fortress Rosecrans, at Murfreesborough, garrisoned by about 8,000 men, under command of General Rouseau. The enemy showing an unwillingness to make a direct assault, General Milroy, with seven regiments of infantry, was sent out on the 8th [7th] to engage him. He was found a short distance from the place on the Wilkinson pike, posted behind rail breast-works, was attacked and routed, our troops capturing 207 prisoners and tow guns, with a loss of 30 killed and 175 wounded. On the same day Buford's cavalry entered the town of Murfreesborough after having shelled it vigorously, but he was speedily driven out by a regiment of infantry and a section of artillery.

On retiring from before Murfreesborough the enemy's cavalry moved northward to Lebanon ad along the bank of the Cumberland in that vicinity, threatening to cross to the north side of the river and interrupt our railroad communication with Louisville, at that time our only source of supplies the enemy having blockaded the river below Nashville by batteries along the shore. The Navy Department was requested to patrol the Cumberland above and below Nashville with the gun-boats then in the river, to prevent the enemy from crossing, which request was cordially and effectually complied with by Lieutenant Commander Le Roy Fitch, commanding Eleventh Division, Mississippi Squadron. At the same time General Wilson sent a cavalry force to Galatin to guard the country in that vicinity.

The position of Hood's army around Nashville remained unchanged, and with the exception of occasional picket-firing nothing of importance occurred from the 3rd to the 15th of December. In the mean while I was preparing to take the offensive without delay, the cavalry was being remounted, under the direction of General Wilson, as rapidly as possible, and new transportation furnished where it was required.

During these operations in Middle Tennessee the enemy, under Breckinridge, Duke and Vaughn, was operating in the eastern portion of the State against Generals Ammen and Gillem. On the 13th of November at midnight, Breckinridge, with a force estimated that 3,000 attacked General Gillem near Morristown, routing him and capturing his artillery, besides taking several hundred prisoners; the remainder of the command, about 1,000 in number, escaped to Strawberry Plains, and thence to Knoxville. General Gillem's force consisted of 1,500 men, comprising three regiments of Tennessee cavalry and six guns, belonging formerly to the Fourth Division of Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland, but had been detached from my command at the instance of Governor Andrew Johnson, and were then operating independently under Brigadier-General Gillem. From a want of cooperations between the officers directly under my control and General Gillem may be attributed, in a great cause of the latter's misfortune.

Following up his success, Breckingridge continued moving southward through Strawberry Plains to the immediately vicinity of Knoxville, but on the 18th withdrew as rapidly as he had advanced. General Amen's troops, re-enforced by 1,500 men from Chattanooga, reoccupied Strawberry Plains on that day.

Page 36 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVI