Today in History:

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

Page 914 KY.,MID. AND E.TENN.,N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXXII.

Here the division remained on the defensive, at times skirmishing with the enemy and being shelled by their battery, until the night of January 2, when I was placed in reserve between the Nashville and Lebanon pikes. Here I remained until 1 a.m. on the 4th, when, in obedience to orders from Lieutenant-General Polk, I moved to this place.

During these operations one section of the Eufaula Light Artillery was detached with General [A.] Buford. Capt. L.t. Hardy's company of cavalry (acting as my escort) was thrown out to connect my left with General [J. A.] Wharton, where he suffered severely.

Among the many incidents of this severe and protracted struggle, I would mention the following: Col. J. C. Burks, commanding Eleventh Texas Regiment, though mortally wounded, continued to lead his regiment until exhausted. Colonel Burks was a gallant soldier, and idolized by his command. In the words of his brigade commander, "A better friend, a warmer heart, a more gallant leader than he was never drew the breath of life." Sergt. A. Simas, flag-bearer of the Tenth Texas (Colonel [M. F.] Lock), seeing in one of the charges a Federal flag-bearer with his flag waving his regiment forward, sprang forward and seized the Federal flag, when both fell dead waving their banners with their last breath. The Federal flag was captured. Sergt. James T. McGee, the only man left of the

color-guard, seized our colors, but for a moment, when another of our noblest and bravest men fell to rise no more. Private Manning, of Company H, then raised the flag and bore it aloof the remainder of the day. Private James W. Clark, of Company G, carried the flag of the Fifteenth Texas Regiment in the first charge, during which he was killed. The colors were then taken by Lieut. L. De Board, of Company F, who bore them the remainder of the engagement. Private Clark [D.] Jenkins, of Company D, First Arkansas Rifles, seeing a Federal officers making great exertions to rally his command, detached himself from his company, and, taking deliberate aim, shot him from his horse. The saddle had the saddle-cloth of a general officers. In the first charge in the morning, Sergt. J. R. Perry, color-bearer of the Fourth Arkansas Battalion, had his arm paralyzed by a short striking the staff, and the flag fell to the ground. Sergt. J. C. Davis, of Company A, immediately snatched the colors and bore them until reclaimed by Sergeant Perry.

Color-bearer H. W. Hamblen, Second Regiment Arkansas Rifles, gallantly bore his flag until shot down. The colors were immediately seized by Corp. J. W. Piles, of the color-guard, who bore them gallantly the remainder of the day. Color-bearer J. B. Bryant, of the Fourth Arkansas Regiment, was wounded. Lieutenant [John] Armstrong then took the colors and fell, mortally wounded. Lieutenant [G. D.] Goodner then took them, but was soon afterward wounded. Captain [John W.] Lavender bore the colors the remainder of the day.

In one of the charges of the Thirtieth Arkansas Regiment it had seven company commanders cut down and the color-bearer, yet the men never wavered. Later in the day a second color-bearer was wounded and the colors lost in a cedar brake, but whether found by the enemy or not is not known. The only field officer (Major [J. J.] Franklin) and several lieutenants alto fell, and yet this regiment maintained its organization. Seven color-bearers fell in General McNair's brigade and three in General Ector's. Col. G. W. Gordon, Eleventh Tennessee Regiment, fell, dangerously wounded, while most gallantly leading his regiment. I was informed by prisoners that the Federal General [Joshua W.] Sill was killed by my division while endeavoring to rally his defeated troops. My division moved so rapidly,and was so constantly engaged, that the guns captured were never counted; I am satisfied that [there were] at

Page 914 KY.,MID. AND E.TENN.,N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXXII.