Today in History:

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


No. 241. Report of Lieut. John W. Mebane, Wright's Tennessee battery.

- -, 1863.

[i have the honor to report the] part taken in the battle before Murfreesborough by Capt. E. E. Wright's battery, light artillery, General Preston's brigade, General Breckinridge's division:

The battery was ordered out about 8 o'clock Sunday morning, December 28, 1862, and took a position 2 miles from Murfreesborough, on the left of the Lebanon road, in the center of General Preston's brigade. We held the position until 3 p.m., when we retired about a quarters of a mile on the south side of a small branch, where we remained in bivouac until Monday evening, 3 o'clock, when we moved 1 mile to the left of our first position, and took a position in the edge of a thick wood on the south side of a field, opposite some log-houses on the north side, which were burning at the time we took our position. We held the last-mentioned position until near sunset Tuesday evening, when we moved about a quarter of a mile to the left of our second position, and took a position just in the south side of the last-mentioned field, between the brigades of General Preston and Colonel Palmer, General Preston on our right and Colonel Palmer on our left. We held our third position until Wednesday morning about sunrise, when Captain Wright received orders to report with his battery to Lieutenant-General Hardee, on the left of our lines. He reported as ordered, and was ordered to park his battery in a field about half a mile west of Stone's River, on the Franklin road. We remained in park until Thursday evening, 2 o'clock, when we were ordered to take a position on the Wilkinson pike, about 2 miles from Murfreesborough, where we remained until 2 p.m. Friday, when Captain Wright received orders from General Bragg to report with his battery at the Nashville Ford, on Stone's River, where he would be met by a staff officer, who would show him his position. Captain Wright moved his battery to the ford, and no officer making his appearance, Captain Wright moved his battery about a mile northwest from the ford, to where General Breckinridge's division was in line, and, learning that General Breckinridge would make an attack at 4 p.m., Captain Wright moved his battery on the right of the division, and advanced with General Preston's brigade. We passed through an open skirt of woods about 100 yards in width into a cornfield about 400 yards wide. We advanced about 200 yards in the field, and opened fire on a Federal battery about 300 yards obliquely to our right. As we were advancing at a gallop in the field, before taking our first position, the off lead horse in one of our 6 -pounder gun teams was struck in the head with a ball and fell dead. Before the team could be halted, the carriage was rushed against the horse and the pole broken, which caused the piece not to be in action in our first position at all. We continued firing on the battery and a column of infantry, which was filling to the right in rear of the battery, about fifteen minutes, when the Federal battery ceased firing on us, and we limbered to the front to advance.

I received a very painful wound in my left arm from a fragment of a shell about the time my section had fired the first round, but remained in the action until the command was given to limber to the front, when Captain Wright ordered me to the rear to have my wound dressed, and ordered Lieutenant [J. C.] Grant up with the limbers of the caissons. I conducted Lieutenant Grant to the field and pointed out to him the