Today in History:

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


little while before, and commenced firing. But no one seemed disposed to stop and support me, and I ordered my men to fall back as rapidly as possible. But by this time the enemy had got so near that I knew my men would suffer severely, having to fall back through an open field for some 500 yards before getting out of danger, and that up hill. The men were nearly exhausted from six or seven hours' hard fighting and maneuvering.

I herewith submit a list* of casualties; the list of missing, I am sure, not large enough by one-half to cover the real loss.

Too much praise cannot be awarded the officers and men who fought under my command on that memorable day. The officers all did their duty nobly; the men gallantly, bravely, effectively.

I cannot close this already too tedious report without making special mention of our color-bearer, W. T. Jones, who was lost on the last field. He carried the colors well to the front through every engagement and every charge. A braver, better soldier never went forth to battle, or offered up his life a sacrifice to the cause of justice than W. T. Jones.

Respectfully submitted.


Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment.

Brig. Gen. B. R. JOHNSON.

TULLAHOMA, TENN., March 18, 1863.

GENERAL: I submit some additional facts in regard to the hospital that I claimed in my report of the battle of Murfreesborough as having been captured by the Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment.

If any Confederate troops reached that hospital before the Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment, I cannot understand when or how they got in advance of us. When we started into the last skirt of woods, which lies south, or, rather, west of south, from the hospital, the enemy on our left were nearly on the same line with my regiment and enfiladed our line. General Liddell was some distance to the left and rear of my regiment. Colonel Keeble, whose regiment was on the left of our brigade, says that about this time General Liddell's brigade had separated from him some distance, and seemed to be moving still farther to the left. I ordered the "forward" here as soon as the enemy gave way on my left, as stated in my report. I know that my regiment at this point was in advance of any other portion of our line that was in sight of me. Every officer in my regiment who went through the fight will corroborate this, as well as any other statement I shall make.

On entering the woods above mentioned, my line was perpendicular to the lane which passed to the left and near by the hospital. Had my regiment continued to march straight forward it would have passed to the left of the hospital, but just before leaving the woods the regiment made a half-wheel to the right. Now, I am perfectly satisfied that it was impossible for General Liddell's brigade [or any part of it] to start on my left and rear, as it did, separated from me, as it was, by more than the length of Colonel Keeble's regiment, and enter the woods west of south from the hospital, make the circuit on the large exterior curve, which it must have done in the face of the enemy, and yet reach the hospital by this lengthened route before the Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment did, moving, as it did, on the interior curve rapidly and without halting. After passing from the woods west of south from the hospital, the Seventeenth Regiment was fired on by the Yankees from both sides


*Embodied in No. 191, p.680.