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[176] more or less skirmishing ensued, until our men arrived under cover of our forts.

Hardly had they effected their escape, when the enemy brought out two twelve-pounders upon the Murfreesboro pike, in full view of our gunners upon St. Cloud Hill, and commenced firing away, the first shot striking at a distance of a quarter of a mile from the base of the elevation.

At the same time, two guns, which were not visible, opened upon us from the Franklin pike. The guns upon the Murfreesboro road, after the first two shots, directed their fire toward General Palmer's camp, occasionally kicking up quite a dust within musket-shot of the General's Headquarters.

Finding that they could accomplish nothing in that location, and fearing to advance closer, the rebels directed their fire toward Mr. John Trimble's residence; and, after several shots, succeeded in unroofing the smoke-house upon his grounds, and producing quite a commotion among his stock and negroes.

Simultaneously with these demonstrations of the rebels upon the pike leading from South-Nashville, Morgan, at the head of about two thousand five hundred cavalry, came dashing down the Gallatin pike, and through Edgefield, capturing all of our pickets across the river, consisting of companies D, F, and G of the Fifty-first Illinois regiment, and sending them to the rear. It was the intention of Morgan, no doubt, to destroy the railroad bridge, at least, thinking that our attention was wholly absorbed by the events which were transpiring in South-Nashville. But, before the rebels arrived within gunshot, Colonel Smith's regiment, which is encamped in Edgefield, was in line of battle, most of his men having but little clothing on. Morgan, however, persisted in his attempt to obtain possession of the bridge. Seeing this, Col. Smith ordered his men to fire, an act which was quickly returned by the rebels, a portion of whom dismounted, and assisted in placing a howitzer in position, which had just arrived. At this juncture, Colonel Wood, with his regiment, arrived, and formed in line of battle, and Lieut. Beech, who has charge of the guns near the bridge upon this side of the river, brought his pieces to bear upon Morgan, who, perceiving it, beat a retreat, leaving six killed and nineteen wounded. Our loss was one killed and eleven wounded--two severely. Lieut. Frazer, of company F, Fifty-first Illinois, lost his right arm. Morgan destroyed an old building near the Edgefield depot, and several broken-down cars which were standing upon the track, as an evidence, I suppose, that he had been around.

During all this time, the rebels upon the Southern pikes were still firing at our forts, but as yet had been unanswered. Gen. Negley hoping that the artillery, with adequate support, might be induced to advance. After a reasonable time, however, he gave Capt. White orders to discharge a few shells in that direction from his thirty-two-pounders, and almost immediately three of the Rodman guns opened, and at the fourth fire dismounted one of the enemy's pieces, the other being taken to the woods. The guns were then turned in the direction of the Franklin pike, and quite a brisk cannonading took place between the rebels at that and the guns of Fort Negley. By this time General Palmer advanced about a mile upon the Murfreesboro pike, with two regiments of infantry and two pieces of artillery, and after forming his column into line of battle, commenced shelling the woods upon both sides of the road, and advanced slowly up the pike, marching a regiment upon each side of the road, Col. Wood taking the left and advance. This was the last I saw of the doings in that direction, as General Negley ordered three regiments of infantry — the Sixty-ninth Ohio, Colonel Cassilly; Fourteenth Michigan, Col. Wood, and the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Col. Sirwell--Stokes's cavalry, Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry, Colonel Wynkoop, and portions of two batteries of artillery, under Capts. Houghtaling and Marshall, the General taking command in person. The whole force moved with alacrity upon the pike toward Franklin; the batteries shelling the woods upon both sides of the line of march, Col. Wynkoop's battalion acting as skirmishers.

After proceeding about two miles the General ordered two pieces of artillery to be placed upon a hill of fine command, and masked. As no enemy was seen, they were subsequently removed, and shortly afterward arrived with the column.

About five miles from the city is the residence of Mr. John Overton, a wealthy rebel, who, in a speech delivered in this city a year ago last June, said he was worth five millions of dollars, all of which should be sacrificed in the establishment of a Southern Confederacy. As the column approached the house of this rebel a large body of the enemy's cavalry were seen resting upon a hill a short distance off, who were charged by Stokes's cavalry. Col. Stokes was absent about an hour, during which time the main body moved slowly and rested at intervals, making a final halt about eight miles from the city, when they were soon joined by Stokes, who had captured eleven prisoners and ninety head of cattle.

Gen. Negley immediately gave orders to return, Stokes's cavalry taking the right, and Col. Cassilly the rear.

We had proceeded but a short distance when an orderly dashed among the General's staff-officers, informing Negley that a large force of the enemy were about a mile distant, on our right and front, resting in a ravine.

The whole body moved at double-quick, and in a moment the entire fence upon the right, for a quarter of a mile, came down with a crash, by the Fourteenth Michigan. Marshall's battery got a position first, but as the view was obstructed by a dense clump of trees, it was limbered up and moved to a better location. In the mean time Col. Sirwell skirmished to the right, and received a volley from the enemy, but not until Houghtaling's battery had thrown four shells, the first piece being discharged exactly seven minutes after the General received the news of the rebel situation. But a few moments elapsed before the


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