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[450] for the Thirty-third Kentucky, who had no arms, to scatter out over the country, and act in the capacity of scouts. They served me admirably in this respect, giving notice of Bragg's approach when over fifty miles distant, and notifying me of his numbers, pieces of artillery, direction taken, etc., in every movement made by him on his advance from Cumberland River. On Saturday, September thirteenth, Col. Scott, with a brigade of cavalry and a battery of five mountain-howitzers, came down the north side of the river from Greensburgh, and at eight o'clock P. M. demanded an unconditional surrender of the place. I peremptorily refused, and at three o'clock the next morning he commenced an attack by firing on our pickets. They contested the ground so stubbornly that he was compelled to bring up his artillery to drive them in, which he accomplished at daybreak, after losing his guide and a lieutenant-colonel killed. At daylight a furious attack was made on the pickets, on the south side of the river, by a large force of infantry; I immediately sent company K, Seventy-fourth Indiana, out to a belt of woods about a quarter of a mile in advance, to act as a reserve for the pickets to rally on. They held their ground until nearly surrounded, and only fell back when peremptorily ordered to do so by Major Cubberly, of the Eighty-ninth Indiana, who had charge of the pickets and skirmishers on the south side of the river. Our advanced line fought them stubbornly for an hour, and only came in when ordered to do so by me, as I did not wish to lose the advantage of our works. At half-past 5 the fighting became general along the whole line, the enemy having advanced to within two hundred yards of our works in large numbers.

At half-past 6 A. M., the enemy advanced in line of battle upon our west or main work, and, seeing their intention to storm our position, I ordered the men to fix bayonets, when the rebels came forward with a cheer, supposing our cessation of fire was a sign of retreat. When they came within about thirty yards I directed the men to fire, which was repeated by Col. Murray, and the officers along the line, and a very avalanche of death swept through the ranks, causing them to first stagger, and then run in disorder to the wood in the rear, having left all of their field-officers on the ground, either killed or mortally wounded. The regiments that made this charge were the Seventh and Tenth Mississippi and Seventh Alabama. Immediately after this repulse a similar one was made on the redoubt by the Ninth and Twenty-ninth Mississippi and a battalion of sharp-shooters. They were literally murdered by a terrible fire from the gallant defenders of the work. Major Abbott sprang up on the parapet with his hat in one hand and a drawn sabre in the other, urging his men to stand to the work, until he was shot dead under the flag he so nobly defended. A braver man never fell. The flag had one hundred and forty-six bullet-holes through it, and the staff was struck eleven times. Lieut. Mason, of the Thirteenth Indiana battery, commanding the artillery, in the mean time was riddling them with grape and canister, when they broke in all directions, fleeing as from a belching volcano, many dropping as they fled. At this juncture I sent Colonel Emerson, of the Sixty-seventh Indiana, with one more company to reinforce the redoubt, and to take command. The enemy soon rallied, however, and seemed to be more cautious in their movements, keeping up a constant fire from the best cover they could obtain, until half-past 9 A. M., making several weak efforts to charge us again; but they had learned a dear lesson, and profited by it. At half-past 9 they sent in a flag of truce, demanding again that I should surrender. I again refused,1 when they asked the privilege of removing their dead and wounded. I gave them leave to do so.

At nine A. M., I was reinforced by six companies of the Fiftieth Indiana, under Col. Dunham, who had come up on the railroad from Louisville, and were thrown off the track six miles back. At daylight they pushed through by a circuitous route, missing Scott's cavalry, on the north side of the river, and getting into the works without any loss, except one man slightly wounded. After the night closed, Colonel Dunham, being the ranking officer, assumed command, and will, no doubt, make a report of the events occurring on Monday and Tuesday following the Sunday's fight. My whole force consisted of the Sixty-seventh and Eighty-ninth Indiana regiments, one company of the Eighteenth regulars, two hundred and four recruits of the Seventeenth Indiana, two companies Seventy-fourth Indiana, one company of cavalry, Louisville Provost Guard, Lieutenant Watson commanding--one twelve-pounder heavy gun, one twelve-pounder Napoleon, one twelve-pounder howitzer, and one three-inch rifled gun, under Lieut. Mason; Thirteenth Indiana battery, sixty men; Thirty-third Kentucky, Capt. Wilson--the whole force amounting to two thousand one hundred and twenty-two men for duty. If I were to give a list of those who did their whole duty, it would simply be a muster-roll of all who were there; no man flinched or held back a particle.

1 The following is the correspondence that passed between the two parties:

Colonel J. T. Wilder, Commanding U. S Forces at Green River:
You have made a gallant defence of your positions, and to avoid further bloodshed, I demand an unconditional surrender of your forces. I have six regiments of infantry, one battalion of infantry sharp-shooters, and have just been reinforced by a brigade of cavalry, under Col. Scott, with two batteries of artillery. I have two regiments on the north side of the river, and you can't escape. The railroad track is torn up in your rear, and you can't receive reinforcements. General Bragg's army is but a short distance in the rear.

James R. Chalmers, Brig.-General Commanding First Brigade, Right Wing, Army of Mississippi.

To this demand and these arguments Colonel Wilder returned the following answer:

Brigadier-General Jas. R. Chalmors, Commanding First Brigade R. W. Army of Mississippi:
Your note demanding the unconditional surrender of my forces has been received. Thank you for your compliments. If you wish to avoid further bloodshed, keep out of the range of my guns — as to reeforcements, they are now entering my works. I think I can defend my position against your entire force. At least I shall try to do so.

J. T. Wilder, Colonel Commanding U. S. Forces at Green River

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