Today in History:

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


we were drawing. I then went forward to consult with Brigadier-General Hanson as to the particular moment when the second line should be moved up to his support, and thus to avoid confusion. I had hardly reached him when he was struck,and, I observed, too seriously wounded to entertain the matter I desired to see him about. The first line was already beginning to yield and some of the men falling back, when I at once ordered the advance of the second line. I ordered the Thirteenth Louisiana Volunteers to oblique to the right, and sent Captain [A. A.] Lipscomb to order Major Zacharie, commanding Sixteenth Louisiana Volunteers, also to move forward. I went forward with the right regiment, moving it rapidly into the woods, and we soon engaged the enemy under very heavy and steady fire. I presumed that the left regiment was coming up under cover of the bank of the river. Our battery moved up to the position we vacated on the bank of the river, in the open field near some houses that had been destroyed by fire. The Thirteenth Louisiana Volunteers, Major Guillet, went into action in perfect order and succeeded in driving the enemy a considerable distance into the woods. Perceiving that the troops on our right were falling back, and that our own losses, especially in officers, were very heavy, I went to the river and found that the Sixteenth Louisiana Volunteers had crossed the river, and was moving up the stream. It then became evident that the Thirteenth Louisiana Volunteers, which was maintaining its position with great steadiness and on which the enemy was gradually closing, should be retired. Its position was such that in falling back we had to leave nearly all of the wounded in the woods. In several instances those who were bearing the wounded off were shot as soon as they entered the cleared field. Fourteen officers out of the twenty-eight who were in the action were wounded just here, and several of them were dangerously injured. Some companies were left without officers, and many of the men put down as missing were killed or wounded in this position.

The battalion of Louisiana sharpshooters and the Thirty-second Alabama were left, in obedience to the orders of Major-General Breckinridge, as a reserve, and to the position occupied by them the balance of the brigade was collected.

Major Zacharie's position, taken under a mistake of orders, on the opposite side of the river, enabled him to drive in the skirmishers of the enemy and to hold him in check at this particular ford in front of our batteries for some time.

The inclosed report* of the casualties will show with what devotion this command stood by its colors and contested the field with the enemy.

I would make especial mention of the gallant conduct of Major Charles Guillet, Captains Lipscomb, Ryan, and [J. M.] King, of the Thirteenth Louisiana Volunteers.

I have the honor to remain, colonel, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Adams' Brigade.

Colonel T. O'HARA, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


Near Tullahoma, Tenn., January 24, 1863.

SIR: On Friday, January 2, while in command of Adams' brigade, I was ordered from the cedar brake on the left, where I was reporting to Brigadier-General Preston, commanding division of two brigades, to


*Embodied in Numbers 191, p. 678.