A National account.
Maysville, Ala., October 19, 1863.General Crook, commanding Second cavalry division, after participating in the battle of Chickamauga, was ordered to take the Second brigade, Colonel Eli Long commanding, with five days rations, up the north side of Tennessee River, to guard the fords. There were no rations to be had, excepting three days of hard bread, and he started on this duty. September twenty-sixth arrived at his destination, and all was quiet till the morning of the thirtieth. The fords nearest to Chattanooga were guarded by Wilder's brigade, Colonel Miller commanding. After him the First brigade, Colonel Minty commanding, on same duty, and Colonel Long's brigade was posted above Minty, in the neighborhood of Washington, Tennessee. I desire to say nothing about why the rebels were permitted to cross, as the officer in command at the ford where the crossing was effected will have to answer for that hereafter, probably before a military tribunal. On the morning of the thirtieth, the enemy crossed in force of four divisions — Wharton's, Martin's, Davidson's, and Armstrong's — the whole under command of Wheeler. When General Crook learned they were across, notwithstanding his precautions, he immediately ordered the regiments on duty above to move down the river and rejoin him, which they did, finding the General four miles below Smith's cross-roads, and about twelve below Washington. Next morning, October first, a reconnoissance to the cross-roads, by the Fourth Michigan, discovered the enemy ascending Waldron's Ridge. At two o'clock P. M., the Second brigade was ordered upon the ridge, on a parallel road. The brigade then consisted of the First Ohio, Second Kentucky, and the Chicago Board of Trade battery. The brigade camped that night on the ridge. The following morning, October second, the  march was resumed, when the Second brigade was reenforced by the First, and Wilder's mounted infantry, as I said, commanded by Colonel Miller, and it was whispered that General Crook had received orders to “pursue, overtake, and annihilate,” which sounded very grand. In descending the ridge into Sequatchie Valley, the advance ran on a rebel picket, which fired a volley and disappeared. I learned from citizens in the valley that the rebel column had divided four miles above where we were, (Pitt's Cross-roads,) a portion going down the main valley road, and the main column through Piketown, and on the mountain toward McMinnville. While feeding our horses at the cross-roads, we heard what we thought was artillery, and hoped that General Mitchell with the First division had met and attacked the column below. Unfortunately, the First division arrived only in time to see the dying embers of a large supply and ammunition train, which the enemy had captured and burned. The explosion of shells in the burning train sounded like artillery. We camped that night on the mountain — a spur of the Cumberland — on a road running parallel with and between two roads, on which the divided column of the enemy was moving. Our advance camp, the Second brigade, was within two and a half miles of the main rebel, camp, yet there was no collision — even of pickets. A march of twenty miles next day, October third, without once halting, during which a battalion of the Fourth Ohio rejoined the brigade, brought the advance to the Gap in the western slope, where they met with stubborn resistance; but the First brigade forced a passage down the mountain. The rear of the column descended after night, and the fires of a large rebel camp were visible. Once down, Minty had to fight for forage and water. We were in a small space without either. This could not long remain so; the command must have water, and the animals forage. Wilder's invincible brigade went to Minty's assistance, and after half an hour's sharp musketry firing, we got what we wanted. I never heard the losses in this fight, but I saw, perhaps, half a dozen dead rebels in the road, and suppose their wounded were in proportion. Citizens reported that the two columns had concentrated that day; that. they were going to Murfreesboro with ten thousand men, and twenty-four pieces of artillery, occupy our fortifications, and effectually cut the communications of our army. Magnificent programme! On the morning of October fourth, Colonel Miller moved out in advance toward McMinnville, twelve miles distant. As we approached the town, citizens told us that the garrison had surrendered on demand, been paroled, and were free again. Ascending the hill near the town, the column started into a gallop, and we pursued through the town at that gait. The streets were alive with citizens, and the square full of men in the Federal uniform — officers and privates. Ladies waved their handkerchiefs as we passed, but I presume they were officers' wives from the North, as in our former occupation of that town no lady lived there but carried in her heart the festering canker of secession. Arrived at the far side of the town, on the Murfreesboro road, Lieutenant Patton, A. A. G., rode back to Colonel Long, with orders for him to move immediately to the front, passing Wilder's brigade. The Second Kentucky cavalry was the advance regiment of the brigade, and Long ordered Colonel Nicholas to follow. I heard General Crook give the order: “Colonel long,” said he, “I desire you to take a good regiment and charge with the sabre; there are only about forty of the rear-guard in front.” The regiment moved slowly forward. Long and Nicholas at the head, till having crossed a deep ravine they halted, permitting the regiment to close up in column of fours, commanded--“Draw sabre, forward, gallop!” On they went for a mile, when a single shot fired by a rebel vidette warned them that the enemy was near, and the command “Charge!” was given. The loud yelling of the troopers, rattling of scabbards, and tramp of charging horses together, give an insight into the unearthly sounds of Pandemonium. In a hundred yards or so, a rebel battalion, commanded by Captain White, Eighth Texas Rangers, is drawn up in line, fire a volley, and break in confusion. They would deserve credit never yet earned if they could stand. Once their backs are turned, it is impossible to rally them. One after another they are captured, excepting a few of them who rush excitably back to their regiment, a mile away, and communicate their panic as they go. The Second dash onward; the regiment of rangers are ready; but with the regiment, as with the battalion, they cannot withstand the approaching cloud of demons, yelling and flourishing their sabres. They fire, break, are terror-stricken, and think only of safety from the tornado, and that safety is in flight. For five miles the charge continued, and knowing that the main body of the enemy could be only a short distance away, a halt and the rally were ordered. Lieutenant Hosmer, company A, wounded in two places, and is thought fatally. His horse was shot in four places. Sergeant W. E. Harris, same company, had his thigh broken. Five or six others of the Second were slightly wounded. Colonel Long's horse was killed under him. This did not end the day's fighting, however. Colonel Miller again moved his command forward. A mile further on, Harrison's rebel brigade was in readiness in a woods, with a large field between Miller and him. Miller's brigade dismounted, formed in line in the field, his battery on a knoll in the centre, and moved forward to the wood. The battery opened, and when the line reached the wood heavy firing began. Long formed his brigade on Miller's left, but did not get under fire. The line steadily advanced, till the firing ceased two miles beyond. The enemy had retreated, and night set in. We went into camp along the road, and the wounded were brought back to town. Here, for the first time, our brave fellows got  rations since the three days rations of hard bread issued the day before leaving Chattanooga. No matter — this was sufficient. Minds in doubt and suspense as to the fate of Murfreesboro, and, perhaps, the army itself, prevented hunger among fasting men. Day dawned October fifth, and a spirit of hopeful cheerfulness pervaded every one. The march was resumed, and during that day's march of thirty-four miles, only one halt was ordered — that at Readyville, twelve miles from Murfreesboro. The enemy, undoubtedly, occupied the main road, and would, perhaps, delay our entrance into Murfreesboro — if we got there at all — so the General tried strategy, and succeeded. By taking an old road across the country, he struck the Liberty Pike, and approached Murfreesboro by that route. We listened for picket skirmishing with our advance, but were disappointed; the road was clear. The rebels had not even occupied the town, much less the forts. Just in the suburbs of the town a solitary vidette sat, watchful, with expectation on the qui vive, for the rebel advance, little thinking that succor was near. The rebels had driven in pickets, and burned the small railroad bridge near town; beyond this nothing was known. Even then they were within two miles, on the Shelbyville pike, threatening the town. A gallop to that pike, in order to be ready should they advance, and we took a breathing spell. Showing no intention of advancing, and night being close at hand, we went into camp. Never were men more welcome than was our column at this time. The greatest delight that could be manifested greeted us from every quarter. The ory, “We're saved,” came from many a loyal heart that evening. All the quarter-masters', commissaries', ordnance, and other departments had been hurriedly transferred to the forts; sutlers had packed and gone; citizens, men, women, and children had all gone to the same place. The small garrison were undaunted, and would have held out to the last; but still they cried with heartiness: “We're saved!” That night, rations, quartermaster's stores and horse-shoes were drawn, and next morning, October sixth, we were again in motion. We marched on the Shelbyville pike, and having started late, it was dark when we arrived at Guy's Gap and went into camp, without having come up with the enemy. Here we heard very indefinitely that the First division was coming up behind. It was small gratification if they could not, even for one day, give us relief and rest. Again en route next day, the seventh, and arriving at Shelbyville early, we halted a few moments. A portion of the rebel column had passed through there, and robbed and pillaged every store. Passing through town, we took the Lewisburgh pike, mounted infantry in advance, Long's brigade next, and the First brigade supposed to be following. Of the Second brigade, the Third Ohio, which had rejoined the brigade near McMinnville, had the advance; next the Second Kentucky, the Fourth Ohio, and the First Ohio in the rear. Three miles out from town, sharp skirmish firing opened in front and to the right. The Second brigade started in a gallop, and soon arrived where the column had turned to the right, through a very rough lane. A part of the mounted infantry were engaged with a brigade of rebels, and we were to charge them. We passed Miller's brigade as they advanced in line. A moment only allowed for observation, and our column continued the gallop. It was the McMinnville charge repeated, with this difference — there a regiment charged, here a brigade. Heavy firing at the head of the column was now heard, and the furies again raised their yell. A continuous stream of prisoners was being guarded to the rear on the double-quick. The roads were strewn with dead and wounded men and horses, and other paraphernalia of the battle-field. The sabre is doing its work. We pass Colonel Long, who is slightly wounded, and his horse head on the road. He got a remount and was again at his post. Many of the prisoners are dressed in our uniform; some of them are killed on the spot, and the others forced to undress and go back sans culottes. The charge continued for six miles. First a regiment was put to flight, then a brigade destroyed — all of them killed, wounded, captured, or dispersed. The halt and rally sounded. The long charge through the cedar glade, over a rough road, had lengthened and almost disorganized the brigade. We were close upon Wharton's division, and when he saw that we had halted, he immediately began an advance on our broken regiments. A line hurriedly formed, was formed none too soon; their advance was in force enough to crush us, but, notwithstanding, our fellows opened fire. Just when he was needed more than any other man, Captain Stockes galloped up with his battery, opened fire rapidly, and drove the enemy again on retreat. A further charge now was impracticable; the nature of the road made it so; besides, it was impossible, the horses were worn and jaded to such an extent. Minty's brigade could have been used advantageously just then, but on sending back for him, the orderly reported him not to be found. Miller's command advanced with a strong line of skirmishers, which became warmly engaged, and, having gone two miles, during which we got again on the Lewisburgh pike, had every prospect of stubborn resistance on the part of the rebels, who opened with his artillery. Stokes once more in position, and after half an hour firing ceased, the enemy once more en retreat. Here great preparations had been made for battle; fences laid down over a wide extent of country, but Miller and Stokes had not given them time to complete arrangements. Half a mile from Farmington, which is about three miles from where the last stand had been made, the advance commenced firing on a rebel line of skirmishers. Long's brigade was ordered to the front, and halted on arriving there. Directly  before us, the pike formed a straight cut through a very dense cedar glade. On the right and left, cedars large and small filled every space, and it was impossible for a horse to go through. The enemy opened with his artillery, the battery being in position in the main street of the town, which was nothing more than the pike. To our right and rear there was an old field of four acres, the cedars forming an impervious hedge around it. Stokes's battery was placed in position on the pike at one corner of the field, and the Second brigade, in column of battalions, within the field. The Third Ohio had been ordered off to the right, to guard that flank. Meantime, Miller's command had dismounted, deployed in line on the right and left of the road, and advanced into the cedars. We were not long kept in suspense. A terrible fire opened all along the line; Miller had become engaged, and Stokes gave shot for shot with his battery. The enemy used grape and canister on our advancing line, and Stokes replied with shell and solid shot against the rebel battery. The crashing of grape through the cedars made a peculiar and terrible noise; but those same cedars saved the lives of many soldiers. The firing of volley after volley, together with all the noises of battle, continued — increased. A portion of the rebel battery turned on Stokes, and he soon had to send a piece to the rear, with a wheel shattered. While at its height, and the battle had a doubtful aspect, General Crook cast many an anxious look back on the road, hoping, evidently, to see Minty's brigade approaching, but no Minty came. Presently the firing began to recede, and from that time it steadily got further away. The General, with the peculiar light of victory in his eye, ordered the Second brigade to advance in column down the road, at a gallop. On entering the town a scene of indescribable confusion presented itself: dead and wounded lay thick together — women and children screaming at the highest pitch of their lungs, as usual, after all danger to themselves had passed. One woman flourished a navy pistol, and uttered loud screams of vengeance against the rebels, who two hours before had told her to wait and see the Yankees run. Three pieces of the enemy's artillery stood in the street, one with caisson exploded. The Board of Trade battery had disabled, and the Seventeenth Indiana and two companies of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois, had driven the rebels away from them. The victory was ours, but it must be made complete. Had the First brigade been there, two divisions of the enemy, which were disorganized and routed, might have been utterly destroyed. The Second brigade, with the Second Kentucky in advance, began a charge. They came upon the flying column, but an unexpected obstacle presented itself. The road was doubly barricaded, and in the check impossible to be prevented. Darkness following day-light, a halt was ordered, and our fatigued and hard-worked men went into camp. As near as I can learn, the result of the day's fighting was as follows:
|left on the field by the enemy.|
Colonel Miller's report.
headquarters First brigade, Fourth division, Fourteenth army corps, Department of Cumberland, Brownsborough, Fla., Oct. 21, 1863.In pursuance of orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the pursuit of the rebel forces under the command of Major-General Wheeler, in his recent raid through Tennessee and Northern Alabama. In compliance with orders received September twenty-ninth, I reported my command; the Seventy-second Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel S. C. Kirkpatrick commanding; the Seventeenth Indiana, Major Wm. Jones commanding; the Ninety-eighth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Kitchell commanding; the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois, Colonel James Monroe commanding; the Eighteenth Indiana battery, Captain Eli Lilly commanding; a battery of four mountain howitzers, Sergeant Edward commanding; and a detachment of pioneers, Captain Kilborn commanding, in the vicinity of Blythe's Ferry, on the Tennessee River, September thirtieth. Here I received orders to leave my train, lead horses, three pieces of the Eighteenth Indiana battery, and three howitzers, and proceed with the remainder of the command to cross Waldon's Ridge into the Sequatchee Valley, which I did, reaching the valley, crossing it, and encamped on the Cumberland range on the night of the second of October. On the third I crossed the Cumberland Mountains in rear of Colonel Minty's cavalry brigade, who skirmished with the enemy through the day. Late in the afternoon I was ordered to pass my command down the mountain to the front, and dislodge the enemy who were in possession of the main road from McMinnville to Chattanooga, and which they were stubbornly holding, skirmishing briskly with Colonel Minty's cavalry. On reaching the foot of the mountain, the command was dismounted, and the Ninety-eighth Illinois and Seventeenth Indiana formed in line of battle and ordered to advance, the Seventy-second Indiana and One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois being held in reserve. Soon a brisk engagement ensued, which resulted in our getting possession of the road. Night being now upon us, the Seventy-second Indiana and One Hundred and Twentythird Illinois were ordered up, when I advanced and took possession of the Gap through which the road passed leading to McMinnville. Being now in possession of the road, the Gap, and a good stream of water, orders were received from General Crook for the command to lay on arms in line of battle until morning. On the approach of day the enemy withdrew, leaving six dead on the field and a number of stand of arms. My loss was several wounded. The Seventeenth Indiana here captured a stand of national colors belonging to the Fourth Alabama cavalry. My brigade now having the advance, I skirmished with the enemy on the road to McMinnville, driving his rear through the town, which he had sacked, burning the government stores he could not carry away. A short distance from the town, on the Murfreesboro road, he made a stand, but was soon dislodged, when the Second Kentucky cavalry made a brilliant charge, killing some and bringing off a number of prisoners. Seven miles from McMinnville he again made a stand and offered battle. I at once dismounted my command, ordered the artillery into position, and advanced on him, across open fields on his position in the woods. Captain Lilly now opened on him with the artillery, at one time killing one man and four horses at one shot. Here again I dislodged him and drove him two miles, when night coming on I went into camp by order of General Crook. During the engagement the enemy came to me with a flag of truce, which I did not receive, but ordered the bearer back, and my men not to fire on him while between my lines and those of the enemy. The Seventeenth and Seventy-second Indiana lost several wounded — the former, one killed. On the fifth I proceeded to Murfreesboro and drew three days rations for my command. On the night of the sixth I encamped several miles from Shelbyville. On the fourth, my brigade having the advance, I moved through Shelbyville, and passed out on the Farmington pike; after advancing some distance I learned that a division of the enemy were encamped at or near the Widow Sims, to my right, some distance from the main road. In compliance with orders from General Crook, I at once left the main road and proceeded in the direction the enemy were said to be, and soon came upon his pickets, which I drove in and charged the division, in line of battle, the Fourteenth Indiana, four companies of the Ninetyeighth Illinois on horseback, going in with the pickets. The enemy opened on me, killing and wounding some of my men, and killing twentyfive horses. I now dismounted the men, formed a line of battle under heavy fire, and charged the enemy, across open fields, who for a while offered a determined resistance, but soon fled, betaking themselves to their horses, when they were thrown into the utmost confusion and completely routed, closely followed by the Seventeenth Indiana,  who, while they were mounting and pressing through a narrow lane, closely massed, poured into them a most deadly and destructive fire. The Seventy-second Indiana were arriving on that part of the field, participated in the work of death and slaughter. The enemy left the field thoroughly demoralized, and everywhere strewn with stolen goods, abandoned arms, and government clothing. The Ninety-eighth Illinois operating in another part of the field, captured an entire company. The enemy having left the field in my possession, I ordered the Ninety-eighth Illinois to mount their horses, and with the Seventeenth Indiana on one side and the Seventy-second Indiana on the other side of the road, I advanced in line of battle in the direction of Farmington, until coming to a point where the road on which I was moving intersected the Farmington pike, I found the enemy in line of battle, with artillery in position, and who opened fire on me as soon as I came in range. At this moment, Captain Stokes was ordered into position; and replied with great effect to the enemy's guns. Meanwhile my two regiments steadily advancing, the enemy soon fell back and offered no further resistance until I came to Farmington. Here the enemy made a bolder and more determined stand than ever. His position was well chosen, being covered on the front and both flanks by a dense growth of cedar, which, together with the natural inequalities and rocky surface of the country just at that place, strengthened by a temporary breastwork of rails and logs, gave him a secure position where he could await my advance. In this position, with all the natural advantages in his favor, he had three divisions dismounted and drawn up in four successive lines of battle, with a battery in position commanding the only road by which I could advance. I was now ordered by General Crook to move forward, which I did, sending the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois in on the left of the road and the Ninety-eighth Illinois on the right. They had not advanced far, however, when the heavy volleys of the enemy and the deadly fire of his artillery disclosed the hitherto unknown fact that the enemy greatly outnumbered me, and that support must be given to the two regiments engaged, as the enemy's lines extended far beyond both my right and left. I accordingly sent the Seventeenth and Seventy-second Indiana to advance, the former on the left and the latter on the right of the road, to support the Ninety-eighth and One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois. Soon they were in position, and the whole line advancing, the engagement became general. Here the gallant officer and soldier, Colonel Monroe, of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois, fell mortally wounded, and many were sent wounded and bleeding to the rear, the enemy raking my lines with grape and canister at a range not exceeding three hundred yards, the shell exploding in all directions in the thick cedar above our heads and at our feet. While thus closely engaged, the enemy with terrible energy and loud hurras charged my lines, but without effect. At this time Captain Stokes opened fire, which particularly drew the attention of the enemy's artillery, and seeing the critical condition of affairs, and believing victory could only be obtained by a successful charge, I at once ordered it, which was promptly executed, the whole line impetuously advancing with a shout, driving back the successive lines of the enemy and resulting in his complete route, the captures of three pieces of artillery, and the occupancy of the town, where orders were received from General Crook to halt and await the arrival of the cavalry. The cavalry arriving, were sent in pursuit of the retreating enemy. After remaining some time in position, orders were received to go into camp. The severity of this day's operations on the enemy will be better understood when we remember that eighty-six of his men lay dead on the field, and two hundred and seventy were taken prisoners. Of the number of his wounded I cannot speak, not being advised. My loss in killed and wounded was near one hundred. The part taken by my command in the two days further pursuit of the enemy was unimportant. I can only say that I joined in the general pursuit, and occasionally picked up prisoners here and there on our passage over the country. To the members of my staff--Captain Rice, A. A. G., Captain Newell, Topographical Engineer, Captain Hunt, A. D. C., Lieutenant C. I. Ward, Acting Inspector, Lieutenant Harding, Provost-Marshal, and Lieutenant Mayer, Acting Orderly, and the gallant officers and men of my command, who, marching over four hundred miles, through a country where subsistence was not furnished by the wayside, as was the case in the pursuit of the notorious Morgan —— subsisting twenty-two days on five days rations, and such supplies as could be gathered on our rapid march, fighting the enemy by day and by night, whenever and wherever he could be found, and bearing all without a murmur or complaint — my heartfelt thanks and the country's gratitude are due. In closing this report, I refer with grief to the loss sustained by the brigade in the death of Colonel James Monroe, of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois, the brave soldier, the true man, and the gallant officer. At the head of his regiment, in the thickest of the fight, where the death-storm raged the fiercest, he fell, as the soldier covets to die, in the defence of his country's honor and nation's life. His death devolved the command of the regiment upon Lieutenant-Colonel Biggs, who is deserving of all praise for his courage, promptness, and efficiency in the new position he occupies. Lieutenant-Colonel S. D. Kirkpatrick, commanding the Seventy-second Indiana, is deserving of special mention for his gallant conduct, his energy and promptness in the execution of all orders. Lieutenant-Colonel Kitchell, commanding the Ninety-eighth Illinois, challenges admiration for his gallant conduct and soldierly bearing on all occasions.  Major Jones, commanding the Seventeenth Indiana, the oldest regiment in the volunteer service, won laurels whenever and wherever sent. Captain Lilly, commanding Eighteenth Indiana battery, for his energy in keeping up with the command at all times, and for the handsome manner in which he paid his respects to the enemy whenever called on, deserves especial mention here. The total loss in killed and wounded in my command is ninety-six. I am, Lieutenant, very respectfully,
Lieutenant Moore, A. D. C. and A. A. A. G.:
Lieutenant Moore, A. D. C. and A. A. A. G.:
A. O. Miller, Colonel Seventy-Second Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Commanding Mounted Infantry.