Today in History:

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


during that day and part of the succeeding remained in park about 100 yards in rear of the first line formed by it.

On Monday, the 29th, at about 4 o'clock, the brigade having moved forward so as to occupy a hill in a corn-field overlooking Stone's River, and nearly opposite the right of Lieutenant-General Polk's line, my battery, under the direction of MajorR. E. Graves, chief of artillery, was posted upon the crest of the hill, the enemy's pickets occupying the bank of the river in front of the position, and distant about 600 yards. Toward night the enemy was seen to strengthen his picket.

At about 7 p.m. they made a bold dash across the stream, driving in our pickets so rapidly that they had, under cover of the darkness at the time prevailing, advanced to within a few paces of my battery and delivered their fire before the supporting regiment [the Forty-first Alabama] could be brought up. As soon as this could be it was done, whereupon the enemy fell back, having wounded Corpl. J. P. Coleman, gunner of the left piece. The battery was then, by order of Col. T. H. Hunt, commanding the force on the hill, withdrawn to a point in an open field bordering on the river, where it remained until near daylight, when the hill was reoccupied and the battery posted in its original position. The battery remained in this position throughout the several engagements.

On Tuesday, at 8 or 9 a.m., the enemy advanced a column, supposed to be a brigade, to within about 700 yards of my position and on the opposite side of the river. I immediately opened the battery upon it and succeeded in repulsing it. This drew upon me the fire of two of the enemy's rifled batteries, one at a distance of 1,200 yards and the other at about 700 yards. Engaging with the latter, I succeeded in driving it beyond the range of my guns. This done, I withdrew the battery behind the crest of the hill, to protect it from the fire of the enemy's pieces, of much longer range than mine. Light earthworks were thrown up in front of the battery during the day.

At night I was relieved by two rifle pieces from Captain Lumsden's battery and two from Captain [C. H.] Slocomb's battery.

On Wednesday, the 31st, at an early hour, I resumed my position of Tuesday, the two sections above alluded to [to wit, section from Lumsden's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Chalaron] remaining with me. During the day the battery, composed of my own and those two sections, was several times engaged, chiefly in support of General Polk's right, and, as subsequent inspection of the ground shows, with good effect.

Lieutenants Chalaron and Tarrant, as also Lieutenants [R. B.] Matthews and [B. A.] James, of my own battery, handled their guns with consummate skill and coolness, the two former with their rifle guns having succeeded several times in forcing the enemy to retire with their batteries behind the shelter of the ridges and heavy timber in our front.

During this day's engagement I had the misfortune to lose Corpl. J. F. Hawes, who had distinguished himself throughout by his courage and the great accuracy of his fire. He fell, while watching the effect of his shot. His loss is not easily repaired.

The battery was not engaged on Thursday, nor on Friday until very late in the afternoon, when, the enemy having deployed a large number of pieces to repel the attack made by General Breckinridge's division against their left, four shots were fired from Lieutenant Tarrant's section of rifled guns, which drove to the rear a distance of over 500 yards the