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Doc. 187.-the fight at Gallatin, Tenn.

Brigadier-General Johnson's report.

Hartsville, Tenn., August 22, 1862.
Colonel J. B. Fry, A. A.G., Chief of Staff, Huntsville, Ala.:
I have the honor to report that on the eleventh instant, I left McMinnville, Tenn., in command of three regiments of infantry, one battery of artillery, and six hundred and forty cavalry, taken from the Second Indiana, Lieut.-Col. Stewart; Fourth Kentucky, Captain Chillson; Fifth Kentucky, Major Winfrey, and Seventh Pennsylvania, Colonel Wynkoop. With this force I marched to Smithfield, where I was joined by two additional regiments of infantry. With this command I proceeded to Liberty. Here I received an order recalling my infantry and artillery, and I sent them back to McMinnville.

Hearing that the enemy, under Col. Morgan, was encamped in an old field in the angle formed by the Cumberland and Craney Fork, with my cavalry I marched to the point designated, and found that I had been incorrectly informed, but [585] was here told that the force had left for Kentucky. I determined to return to Liberty, thence to Cooksville, and await their return.

On my arrival at Cooksville, I received reliable information to the effect that the enemy was encamped in or near Hartsville, and I took up the march for that place, but, on reaching it, found that he had left the evening before, going in the direction of Gallatin. I took possession of his old camp, captured several prisoners, a number of wagons, mules, horses, etc., which had been taken from Colonel Boone's command.

At this place I heard of the approach of Forrest in my rear, and decided upon uniting my force to the one in Gallatin, for the purpose of resisting an attack from the combined forces of Forrest and Morgan, but, on my approach to Gallatin, I found that it was in possession of Morgan's forces, which I was satisfied did not exceed eight hundred men.

I immediately ordered an attack. Lieut.-Col. Stewart and Major Winfrey, gallantly leading the charge of their respective regiments, threw their whole strength against the enemy with terrible effect. Col. Wynkoop and Captain Chillson also brought their commands handsomely into action, and for some time the conflict seemed to progress finely for us.

Soon some horses were wounded, riders killed, and confusion began to appear. Regimental and company organizations were lost, and, without any apparent cause, at least half of my command precipitately fled, throwing away their arms, etc. Many of the men, after getting a thousand yards from the enemy, wildly discharged their revolvers in the air. I sent back a staff-officer to rally them, but they could not be induced to reappear on the field.

Seeing my advance wavering, I ordered a retreat and tried to rally them behind a hedge and fence, but as soon as the firing became general the whole line gave way. I tried to get them to stand at several different points, with the same result. Finally, seeing that I could get them to fight no longer, I ordered a retreat, and marched to the rear about three miles, and undertook to re-form them. While re-forming, seeing that I was not pursued, I sent in a flag of truce and asked that I might be allowed to bury the dead, but was informed that the dead were being buried, and I was requested to surrender, men and officers being promised their paroles. This request I declined.

Being well satisfied that my men would stand no longer, I took up the line of march for Cairo, on the Cumberland, hoping to be able to take a strong position on the river and hold it; but, my rear being hotly pressed, I formed line of battle with the Second Indiana and Fifth Kentucky, and made my arrangements to fight on foot. Soon the firing became brisk, and my line of battle broke and the men fled in every direction, leaving only about seventy-five on the ground. Seeing Lieut.-Col. Stewart and Major Winfrey, I asked them if they thought it possible for them to rally their men, and they replied that they could not, and that a surrender of the few left was all that could be done. Lieut.-Colonel Stewart made his escape. With the few left I remained and held the enemy in check long enough to enable the greater portion of my command to ford the river, but finally, being completely surrounded by overwhelming numbers, I was compelled to surrender.

I regret to report that the conduct of the officers and men, as a general thing, was shameful in the lowest degree, and the greater portion of those who escaped will remember that they did so by shamefully abandoning their General on the battle-field, while, if they had remained like true and brave men, the result of this conflict would have been quite different.

I turn from the mortifying recollection of their action to mention the names of those whose conduct was meritorious in the highest degree. My Assistant Adjutant-General, Captain W. C. Turner, exhibited the same cool courage which characterized his conduct on the field of Shiloh. Lieut. Hill, Second Indiana cavalry, and acting aid-de-camp, was of great service to me, and proved himself a man of courage. Adjt. Wynkoop, when his regiment became disorganized, joined me, and his gallantry and courage were conspicuous. He was killed at my side, assisting me to rally the troops.

Lieut.-Col. Stewart, commanding the Second Indiana, was foremost in the charge, and exhibited great coolness and courage. Captain Leabo, Second Indiana, had command of four companies of his regiment and handled them well, but was taken prisoner early in the action. Capt. Starr, with his company, (C,) did good execution.

Major Winfrey, Captain Duncan and his company, Lieuts. Campbell and Cheeck, Capt. Carter and his company, all of the Fifth Kentucky, behaved well and managed their troops with skill, and proved themselves gallant men.

My loss was thirty killed, fifty wounded, and seventy-five taken prisoners.

About two hundred horses were killed or disabled in this action.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. W. Johnson, Brigadier-General.

Major Winfrey's report.

Louisville, Ky., September 8, 1862.
Messrs. Editors: Not having an opportunity of reporting to General Johnson, in writing, the part the regiment I had the honor to command took in the battle at Gallatin, Tenn., between the forces of Col. Morgan and Gen. Johnson, before his official report, I desire, through your columns, to make a plain statement of the fight and the conduct of each regiment, so far as necessary to explain that of my regiment. On the morning of the twenty-first of August, we ascertained that Colonel Morgan, with his brigade, was stationed in or near Gallatin, numbering between one thousand one hundred and one thousand five hundred men, and having, as I understood, been ordered by General Nelson to attack wherever we found him, regardless of numbers, and believing the advantage [586] vantage we would have in making the charge would equal the number that Morgan's forces exceeded ours, we charged upon the enemy with all the force we had, not leaving any behind as a reserve. The Second Indiana and Seventh Pennsylvania attacked the forces upon the right and centre, and the regiment I commanded upon the left, by marching within less than forty yards of the enemy, the length of my regiment in columns of fours, wheeling them in line of battle and firing upon the enemy before they did upon us; but the fire was immediately returned, and in this position the fight lasted some time — say one hour — during which time the men and officers of my regiment maintained their position and fought with determined bravery and such terrible effect as compelled them to waver and fall back over one hundred and fifty yards. I then thought the day was ours, and such a shout as went up from the Fifth Kentucky was sufficient to have scared Morgan's men half to death; and at this moment, and while consulting some of my officers as to the best mode of charging them with the sabre and pressing the advantage we had gained, my Adjutant galloped up to my side and informed me that our right wing and centre were giving way. I immediately turned my attention in that direction for the first time since the fight commenced, and saw that they were falling back, at least a great portion of them, in great confusion. I immediately ordered my Adjutant to ascertain whether they were falling back by order of the General or not, and was soon informed that it was positively against his orders, and being unable to charge upon the division which had engaged my regiment and fallen back, on account of two strong fences intervening, one on each side of the pike, dividing us, I determined to take my forces to the support of the centre, but before reaching that point the confusion had become so general as to prevent my plan from having the expected effect, and in the confusion the fight, at least firing, lasted say three quarters of an hour, and until we were all ordered by the General to fall back, with, doubtless, the intention of forming in a new position and giving the influence of the panic time to cease. We had gone, however, but a short distance when we were ordered, by General Johnson, to form on the right of the road, behind a fence at this point. I succeeded, without difficulty, in forming the greater portion of my regiment, and, as I then thought, all of them in line of battle behind the fence. After remaining in this position some fifteen minutes, the General told me to bring my regiment on, and we would fall back upon those d — d cowards that had run off and left us. I did as directed, and to my great surprise, found between twenty-five and forty of my men who had concluded that discretion was the better part of valor. All of our forces were then marched to the cross-roads, some three miles from our original position. There we remained — say between one and two hours--during which time I had each company formed in line, and roll called, to ascertain the missing, and amount of ammunition, which I ordered to be equally divided between the men of each company. I also talked a short time to each company, telling them that they had, in the general, fought well, and that I was well pleased with their conduct; told them we would soon be attacked and compelled to fight again, and urged them to stand and fight like men and soldiers. They promised to do so. In a few minutes the entire command started in the direction of the river, taking a dirt road that left the pike at right angles and led to Cairo, my regiment being in the rear. We had marched but a short distance until we discovered the enemy in two divisions, one moving upon us in the rear, and the other upon our right flank. I immediately sent my Adjutant to the General and informed him of the fact. He ordered me to place a good officer in the rear of my regiment, and fight as they approached. This order I obeyed by placing Captain Duncan in the rear, instructing him as directed by the General. But a few minutes elapsed until they commenced firing upon my rear and right flank at the same time. At this juncture, no one could describe my feelings, believing, as I did, that my regiment, and particularly Capt. Duncan and his company, would be cut to pieces without any probable means of escape. I again sent a courier to the General, informing him of my condition, and telling him to immediately halt the column and fight them, or my regiment would be cut to pieces. A portion of the forces of the Second Indiana and Fifth Kentucky were thrown in line of battle on the left of the road to await the approach of the enemy, the residue being panic-stricken and flying through the woods like the d--<*> was after them, heeding not our appeals to remain with us, share our fate, and die like soldiers, if necessary ; but onward they went, and in a few moments we were again in the midst of battle, the woods swarming with the pursuing enemy upon almost every side. Their fire was returned by the gallant band of Indianians and Kentuckians who remained to give them battle the second time, and hold the enemy in check, to enable those men to make their escape who had abandoned then in this their most trying hour. This second fight lasted about twenty minutes, and until General Johnson, his Adjutant, myself, and this gallant band were completely surrounded and compelled to surrender.

Our forces engaged in the fight numbered less than six hundred--theirs, over nine hundred.

I do not mean to be understood in saying the centre.and right wing fell back, that they acted cowardly — far from it; but suppose they did so because they were greatly outnumbered, and compelled to do so. Without particularizing, I must, in justice and truth, say that the officers and men under my command, until the panic, caused as already explained, occurred, fought like true, brave, and gallant soldiers, and for their conduct deserve the highest praise.

Our casualties were as follows: Twelfth, one killed; Eighth, one wounded, and thirty-five prisoners; Fifth, one killed, and Gen. Johnson wounded. [587]

All who witnessed that battle will accord to Gen. Johnson the highest praise for his courage, skill, and gallantry throughout the engagement.

Thus it will be seen, upon a plain statement of the facts of the battle, that the regiment I commanded did their duty, and whipped the enemy they fought, although greatly outnumbering us; that the panic that caused confusion in my regiment originated elsewhere, and that the men who remained and fought in the second engagement were nearly all of my regiment.

Colonel Morgan treated all the prisoners well, for which I am, as a gentleman, compelled to give him credit.


T. C. Winfrey, Major Fifth Kentucky Cavalry.

Report of the guerrilla Morgan.

headquarters Morgan's regiment, Hartsville, August 22, 1862.
To Gen. Cooper, Adjutant-General, Richmond:
General: I beg to confirm my despatch of the twentieth instant, announcing the result of yesterday's expedition.

My command, consisting of my own regiment, seven hundred strong, and a squadron of Texas Rangers, numbering one hundred men, returned that day, worn out, to Gallatin.

At eleven P. M. I received information from one of my friendly scouts that the enemy's cavalry were encamped on the road-side between Castilian Springs and Hartsville, a distance of only twelve miles from my camp.

Judging from the fact that they had halted by the road-side, I concluded that they intended to march at night and attack early in the morning, and I made my preparations accordingly, despatching scouts upon whom I could depend to bring me positive information as to the enemy's movements.

At daybreak my column was on the move, and as the advanced guard reached the head of the town my pickets came galloping in, followed by my principal scout, who reported that he was closely pursued by a large body of cavalry.

Not wishing, on account of the inhabitants, to make Gallatin the scene of our contest, I advanced my column, and was greeted, on reaching the Hartsville pike, by a heavy fire from that direction.

I dismounted the two leading companies to fight, and threw them into the woods, on the left of the road. The enemy increased his fire, and I gradually had my whole command engaged.

The fight began at half-past 6 o'clock, and was maintained without much advantage on either side — the enemy having, perhaps, rather the best of it at first--until about half-past 8, when they began to fall back, and my men to redouble their efforts. At half-past 9 I had driven them four miles, and was preparing for a final charge, when a flag of truce was brought, proposing an armistice, in order to bury their dead.

My reply was, that I could entertain no proposition except unconditional surrender.

I learned then that the troops were commanded by Brig.-Gen. Johnson. During the parley, the enemy had formed into line of battle, and were, evidently, ready to defend themselves from any fresh attack.

I divided my force into three divisions, leading one myself in the direction which I thought Gen. Johnson had taken. Major Morgan had five companies under his orders on my left. Lieut.-Col. Duke, on my right, had three companies and his advanced guard.

Some delay was occasioned by the non-arrival of my gallant Texan Rangers, who formed part of the body under my own immediate orders. They had been separated from their horses during the preceding fight, and had not been able to recover them in time to come to the front. On their arrival, we marched on in the direction of the enemy, and Colonel Duke's division coming within sight, advanced at a canter and opened fire.

Gen. Johnson's forces, being on a good pike, retreated for some time faster than my men, who were on difficult ground, could follow, but after a pursuit of some two miles they were overtaken and compelled to fight.

They were dismounted and formed behind their horses. The position they had selected was a very good one, especially as they considerably outnumbered Col. Duke's force, which was the only one opposed to them, Major Morgan and my own detachment, in the eagerness of pursuit, having taken too far to the left.

Col. Duke reports that on perceiving that the enemy had halted, he formed his three companies and the advanced guard into columns of squadrons, preserving the regular distances betwixt each, so as to be able to form into line at command and attack.

This was done with admirable precision and coolness by his men, and nothing could exceed their gallantry.

The enemy were formed under the brow of a hill, and my men were drawn up above them, so that their fire told with effect on my line, whilst that of the attacking party went over their heads.

After a very sharp engagement of about fifteen minutes they broke and ran.

Gen. Johnson, his Adjutant-General, Captain Turner, Major Winfrey, and a number of privates were captured, but the main body escaped to the hills, through the woods and high corn, making for the Cumberland River.

Thus ended an action in which my command, not exceeding seven hundred men, (one whole company being in the rear with prisoners,) succeeded in defeating a brigade of one thousand two hundred chosen cavalry sent by Gen. Buell expressly to take me or drive me out of Tennessee, killing and wounding some one hundred and eighty and taking two hundred prisoners, including the Brigadier-General Commanding, and the greater part of the regimental officers.

My loss in both actions amounted to five killed and eighteen wounded, two missing. Among the wounded was Capt. Huffman, who had his [588] arm shattered by a ball whilst leading gallantly on his brave Texan Rangers, a small body of men commanded by Major Gano, of whom I cannot speak too highly, as they have distinguished themselves ever since they joined my command, not only by their bravery, but their good soldier-like conduct.

To all my officers and men my best acknowledgments are due; nothing but hard fighting carried them through.

To my personal staff I am deeply indebted. Col. St. Leger Granfell, Acting Adjutant-General, ably supported me; Captain Lewellen, my Quartermaster, and Capt. Green Roberts, who acted as my Aids-de-Camp, were most active and fearless in carrying my orders, and the captains of companies cool and collected in the performance of them.

Lieut.-Col. Duke led on his regiment, if possible, with more than his usual gallantry, and contributed, by the confidence with which he has inspired his men, to insure the success of the day.

Lieut.-Col. Duke makes particular mention of the cool and determined manner in which Lieut. Rogers, commanding advanced guard, Captains Hutchinson, Castle, and Lieut. White, respectively commanding the three companies composing his division, behaved; in fact the conduct of both officers and men deserve the highest praise.

I received every assistance from the patriotism and zeal of the neighboring citizens, amongst whom Major Duffey and Captain R. A. Bennett were preeminent.

I have also to report that I have received a despatch from Gen. Forrest, stating that he has encamped within eight miles of me, with a reenforcement of eight hundred men, but no artillery. The want of this arm cripples my movements and prevents my advance with that certainty of effect which a battery would afford.

Recruits are daily and hourly arriving. The population seems at last to be thoroughly aroused, and to be determined on resistance.

I hope shortly, General, to be able to report further successes, and rest assured that no exertions on my part shall be wanting; no sacrifices on that of my officers and men will prevent our giving as good an account of the enemy as our small numbers will admit of.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, General, your most obed't servant,

John H. Morgan, Colonel Commanding Cavalry C. S.A.
P. S.--This morning I received positive. information as to Gen. Nelson's intentions and movements. He is retreating from Nashville to reenforce Bowling Green, at the head of one thousand five hundred infantry, two hundred cavalry, and twelve cannon. It is evidently the intention of the Federals to attempt the defence of the line at Bowling Green and Lebanon.

J. H. M.

Morgan's address to his men.

headquarters Morgan's brigade Hartsville, Tennessee, August 22, 1862.
soldiers: Your gallant bearing during the last two days will not only be inscribed in the history of the country and the annals of this war, but is engraven deeply in my heart.

Your zeal and devotion on the twentieth, at the attack of the trestle-work at Saundersville, and of the Springfield Junction stockade, your heroism during the two hard fights of yesterday, have placed you high on the list of those patriots who are now in arms for our Southern rights.

All communication cut off betwixt Gallatin and Nashville, a body of three hundred infantry totally cut off or taken prisoners, the liberation of those kind friends arrested by our revengeful foes, for no other reason than their compassionate care of our sick and wounded, would have been laurels sufficient for your brows. But, soldiers, the utter annihilation of General Johnson's brigade, composed of twenty-four picked companies of regulars, and sent on purpose to take us, raises your reputation as soldiers, and strikes fear into the craven hearts of your enemies. Gen. Johnson and his staff, with two hundred men, taken prisoners, sixty-four killed and one hundred wounded, attests the resistance made, and bears testimony to your valor.

But our victories have not been achieved without loss. We have to mourn some brave and dear comrades. Their names will remain in our breasts — their fame outlives them. They died in defence of a good cause; they died, like gallant soldiers, with their front to the foe.

Officers and men, your conduct makes me proud to command you. Fight always as you fought yesterday, and you are invincible.

John H. Morgan, Colonel Commanding Cavalry,

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