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Doc. 12. fight at Woodbury, Tennessee.


Report of Colonel Grose.

headquarters Third brigade Second division, left wing, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, January 28, 1863.
Captain D. W. Norton, A. A. A. G.:
sir: I have the honor to report the part this brigade took in the engagement at Woodbury, in this State, on the twenty-fourth instant. According to orders, I left camp near Murfreesboro at four o'clock P. M., on the twenty-third, with the Sixth Ohio, Colonel Christopher; Twenty-third Kentucky, Major Hamrick; Eighty-fourth Illinois, Major Morton; Twenty-fourth Ohio, Captain Cockerill; and Parson's Battery, Lieutenants Cushing and Huntington (the Thirty-sixth Indiana absent at Nashville with supply train). We marched that night to Readyville, ten miles, and bivouacked until five o'clock next morning, when, according to the General's order, we crossed the river there and took position on the other side on the Woodbury pike, our skirmishers feeling their way into the woodland in front, before daylight, where the enemy was known to have been the evening before. The other forces that were to have cooperated with us not being up, we there rested until eight o'clock, when the General arrived, and we moved forward on the pike towards Woodbury, yet six miles distant, where the enemy was supposed to be in force, variously estimated from one to six thousand. The Second brigade, Colonel Hazen, under the command of Colonel Blake, came up and moved forward close in our rear; the Twenty-third Kentucky and Twenty-fourth Ohio, of my brigade, taking the advance, with two companies from each thrown forward as skirmishers on either side of the road.

After advancing about three miles we came to the enemy's out-post, and skirmishing commenced. We advanced, however, cautiously and steadily, driving the enemy within one mile of the town, where we found him posted in considerable numbers, behind a double stone fence, with a deep ravine in his rear, forming complete protection against our small arms. My two front regiments, with the skirmishers, gained the crest of some high ground on the road, which off to the left raised to a high hill; the Twenty-third Kentucky on the left, and the Twenty-fourth Ohio on the right, of the pike, in line, about five hundred and fifty yards distant from the enemy behind the stone fences; the Sixth Ohio and the Eighty-fourth Illinois in reserve in rear. Colonel Blake now came up and put in position the Forty-first Ohio and Sixth Kentucky to my left on the high hill, driving the enemy's skirmishers therefrom as he advanced. At this time a general heavy firing was kept up on both sides, all along the line, our men sheltered by the crest of the hill, the enemy by the stone fences, so but little injury was being sustained on either side. I then requested, [73] and the General sent me, two pieces of Captain Cockerill's battery, under command of Lieutenant Osborne, who soon paid his compliments to the stone fences and those behind them, causing the enemy to “retire” in confusion, double-quick. We pursued to the further side of the town. The enemy, being all cavalry, could easily move out of our way. He was, perhaps, about one thousand strong, with no artillery. My forces met no serious injury.

We found that the enemy had lost Lieutenant-Colonel Hutchison, one captain, and three men killed on the field (the former in command of the forces at the place), and heard of others being carried off, killed or wounded. One we saw mortally wounded left in the town. My men having had so much desperate fighting recently with the enemy, we might well have doubted a desire to again engage him; but I am proud to say every officer and man, with energy and alacrity, moved upon the discharge of his whole duty. Captain Boden, Twenty-third Kentucky, and Lieutenant Dryden, Twenty-fourth Ohio, I noticed as prompt and efficient commanders of the front skirmish lines, and perhaps to some one of their men belongs the credit of killing Colonel Hutchison, as he was killed by a Minie ball at an early stage of the skirmishing.

Allow me to call attention to the want of the cooperation of the cavalry that was to have acted with our forces, as the cause of our not capturing the enemy.

I am your obedient servant,

W. Grose, Colonel, commanding Third Brigade. Richard Southgate, Capt. and A. A. A G Third Brigade.
The foregoing is the official report of Colonel W. Grose, commanding Third brigade of Second (General Palmer's) division, of the battle of Woodbury. Colonel Grose has left no room for comment, nor will I attempt to make any, as he has mentioned facts, as he always does. I noticed a communication from some correspondent of the Sixth Kentucky to the Louisville Democrat, published February first, 1863, in which said correspondent ignores the presence of any other regiment than his own. While Colonel Grose is ever ready to give praise to his own command, he is equally prompt in giving other regiments that come under his notice their just due. It is remarked throughout the corps, that the official report of the Third brigade of the battle of Stone River is the most correct handed in or published. Colonel Grose shows modesty (a scarce article in the army) in all his reports — letting his actions and deeds tell the story for him.

I have the honor to remain

Your most obedient servant,

W. H. Mundy, Adjutant Twenty-third Kentucky Infantry.

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