Today in History:

145 Series I Volume XX-I Serial 29 - Murfreesborough Part I


On December 31, at 6 p.m., my command, consisting of a squadron of the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, under command of Major Rue; the Twelfth Kentucky Infantry, the Sixteenth Kentucky Infantry (which two regiments, together with the Seventh Tennessee, had been temporarily brigaded and placed under command of Colonel Craddock, of the Sixteenth Kentucky); the battery of artillery, and the Thirty-fourth Brigade, commanded by Colonel Reid, moved in pursuit. The order of march was as follows: First, the squadron of cavalry, under Major Gratz; second, one section of the battery; third, the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry; fourth, section of the battery, supported by Company A, of the battery, supported by Company A, of the Sixteenth Kentucky; fifth, Sixteenth Kentucky Infantry; sixth, section of the battery, supported by Company I, of the Sixteenth Kentucky; seventh, Twelfth Kentucky Infantry, mounted in wagons; eighth, the brigade of Colonel Reid, unbroken. In the above order we moved on the Campbellsville road until we reached a point near New Market. Here we were informed by a citizen of the death of the gallant, accomplished, and lamented Colonel Halisy, whom I could but admire for his great zeal in the cause of our Union, and the energy and promptness with which he executed every order confided to him. By his death the service has lost one of its most accomplished and chivalrous officers, and the community one of its most useful and honorable citizens. We were also informed by the same person that the rebels were then encamped 2 miles to our right, on the Rolling Fork. A halt of the column was ordered. Major Rue, of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, was ordered forward to guard the bridge over Rolling Fork. A strong cavalry picket was sent back upon the road leading from Saint Mary's to Lebanon, and which intersects the Campbellsville road 1 1/2 miles in our rear. This I thought necessary to prevent their passing to our rear upon Lebanon, and thence through Bradfordsville and Somerset, in the event they should discover our movement toward Muldraugh's Hill. I also ordered a reconnaissance of their position, which duty was assigned to Major Rue, his men being familiar with the locality in which they were said to be encamped. I ordered the remaining force to form in line of battle, with the artillery in position, and each section supported by a select company of riflemen from the Twelfth and Sixteenth Kentucky. In this position they were required to bivouac on their arms and without fires.

Near daylight on the morning of the 14st instant, the reconnoitering party returned, with the report that the rebels had left camp. I immediately ordered the column to be in readiness to move, and the march was resumed in the order of the previous night, except the transportation, which was turned over to the Thirty-fourth Brigade, the Twelfth and Sixteenth Kentucky marching.

On arriving at the summit of Muldraugh's Hill, I learned that the enemy's rear guard had passed about 12 o'clock the night previous. From citizens I learned that they had passed up the old Dug road, which intersects the Campbellsville road on the summit of Muldraugh's Hill. We now forwarded with all possible celerity in the hope that we might come upon them at Campbellsville, or at all events be in supporting distance, should Colonel Wolford's or any other force attack them in front or on the flank. Our cavalry was much worn down by scouting both at Lebanon and on the border. They were also in bad condition to attack a superior force, inasmuch as they were poorly armed, the Sixth Kentucky having no arms but pistols and sabers. Notwithstanding the were thus poorly armed, they manifested a dis-