Today in History:

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


the captured wagons by using all that would fit our guns. We remained here full half an hour before any support came up, Colonel Keeble coming first of your brigade. After you reformed the brigade at this point to make a second advance in line, my regiment had but little to do with the enemy until after 12 o'clock, except Captain [F. B.] Terry's company, which was thrown forward as skirmishers near the Federal hospital, north of the Franklin pike. Here Captain Terry drove back the enemy's sharpshooters, killing several and having several of his own men wounded.

The next thing worthy of note was when you brought up your brigade to support General Liddell. In that action my regiment came up with, I think, the Second Arkansas Regiment in a wood lot. That regiment was driving the enemy slowly, but surely, before it. On reaching the fence on the north side of the lot, this regiment faced about and retired through my lines. I immediately gave the command forward, and nobly and gallantly did the boys clear the fence. This brought us into an open field in plain view of a fine battery of the enemy's guns, down at the foot of the hill [we occupied the top], distant about 500 yards. This battery was supported by a heavy line of infantry. The retreating force that Liddell had been driving made one stand against us before reaching the bottom of the hill and did us serious damage. I halted the regiment about half way down the hill, and gave the enemy a few rounds. Meanwhile his battery was playing heavily upon us, but the well-directed fire of our boys soon drove the gunners from their pieces and stopped the trouble from that quarter. Scarcely had I given the command "forward" before I perceived the boys going at a double-quick for the bottom of the hill.

In this charge I lost Captain Orr, killed, and several others wounded. On reaching the foot of the hill, I halted the regiment, discovering a fine position behind a fence in some sinks or basins, bordered by rocks, &c. The men promptly took advantage of these things, and commenced pouring a deadly fire into their ranks as they were lying in the edge of a cedar glade. The distance between our lines ranged from 75 to 100 yards, or less. Here my boys commenced the work of destruction in good earnest. Never have I seen such cool, deliberate aim taken in battle. The enemy stood the fire well, and returned it briskly, but with little effect. The engagement at this point lasted some thirty minutes, when the enemy arose to retreat, but a deadly volley from our boys prevented most of them from escaping. Another "forward," and the boys soon occupied the ground the Yankees had just left.

In this charge we gained full possession of the fine battery that had annoyed us so but a short time before. My men took a position behind a ledge of rocks that bordered the cedar glade, which afforded a fine shelter from the enemy's bullets. Along the edge of the cedar glade was the greatest destruction of Yankees I have seen on any battle-field. I do not claim for my regiment full credit for taking the battery captured at this point. Colonel Keeble did some effective work here, although the battery was opposite the left wing of my battalion. The position I occupied at this point I considered a very safe one, believing that we could hold it against any reasonable force with but little cost; but after remaining there for some time, I was notified that the right was rapidly giving way. On looking in that direction, I saw the brigade on the right of yours had fallen back considerably, and that the right wing of your brigade was falling back also. I turned to the left, and found it giving back, too. I immediately ordered my command to fall back to the fence, which they did in good order, many of them taking the position again from which they had done such noble work a