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Doc. 115.-the pursuit of Bragg.

Captain Church's official report.

headquarters Fourth Michigan battery, camp Winford, Tenn., July 15, 1863.
Lieutenant A. J. Davis, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General First Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps:
Lieutenant: In compliance with orders from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following report:

We marched from Triune, Tennessee, at twelve o'clock M., on the twenty-third of June, 1863; marched eight miles toward Salem, Tenn., and bivouacked by the side of the road.

June 24.--Commenced the march again at six o'clock A. M., and arrived at Salem at noon, where we remained one hour, when we were ordered forward. Crossed the Shelbyville Pike at seven P. M., and encamped one mile south of Christiana Station, which is on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

June 25.--Marched from camp at seven o'clock A. M., and arrived at Hoover's Gap at twelve o'clock, noon, where we encamped for the night.

June 26.--Ready to march at three o'clock A. M. Left camp at seven and marched to within one mile of Beech Grove. Were soon ordered to a position on the right, with the First brigade in front of the enemy. After ascertaining their position I opened with one piece upon a body of cavalry to our right and front, about eight hundred yards distant, and with the second piece on a battery about six hundred yards in our front. After dislodging them I opened with the section of Parrotts, commanded by Lieutenant Corbin, on a battery which was on a hill about one thousand two hundred yards to our front, and a little to our left. Lieutenant Corbin soon drove them from their position. I then received orders from General Brannan to remain at this point until further orders, which I soon received, to join the First brigade. I did so by crossing a low piece of ground and a creek, to my right, and went into battery on the top of a hill near an orchard, where we exchanged a few shots with the enemy and drove them from their position.

I was then ordered by Colonel Walker, commanding First brigade, to a wheat-field about two hundred yards to front and right, from which point I opened fire upon a body of cavalry and infantry in the edge of the woods, and. about some old buildings, to our front and right some nine hundred yards. The next that attracted our fire was a battery to our left and front about one thousand two hundred yards, in the edge of the woods and partially covered by some negro huts. This battery we soon silenced, when I noticed a signal flag of the enemy, some two miles distant, delivering a message. To this I ordered Lieutenant Corbin and Lieutenant Sawyer to pay their compliments, which they did, giving their pieces full elevation. The second round from their pieces drove the signal corps from their position. I then shelled the woods from front to right, entirely clearing it of the enemy. I then moved to the right of the field, into the edge of the woods, and then forward to the position which I had been shelling, where I formed the battery, but did no firing here.

I soon moved forward again and went into position in the opposite edge of the skirt of woods. Here we were warmly met by a force of infantry and a battery, the latter being across a field about eight hundred yards, and partially obscured by [394] the woods, the infantry occupying positions both in front and rear of their battery. Here we were hotly engaged, at intervals until dark. At one time a body of infantry was seen forming to charge upon our left. I immediately ordered Lieutenant Wheat, with his howitzers, to a position on our left, where he could get a more perfect range. He at once moved to his new position and opened on them with a deadly fire, firing low and directly into their ranks, which broke them up and forced them to retire. I then sent Lieutenant Fuller to the rear with one caisson from each section, for ammunition.

During the fight here, I lost one man killed, (Samuel Fowler,) a private, also two horses, all from the effect of the enemy's shell, which was all the loss I sustained during the day.

It becomes my duty, as well as a pleasure, to say that my men behaved, without an exception, like veterans, calm, and determined to conquer or die upon the field. I am also pleased to mention the handsome manner in which my battery was in every case supported, during this day's fighting, as well as on former occasions, by the First brigade, commanded by Colonel M. B. Walker.

June 27.--At daylight we were ready for another contest, with which, however, we were not favored. It was soon ascertained by our skirmishers that the enemy had retired from their position of last night, and at about eight A. M. I received orders to take a position on the right of the brigade, and to move to the front with them. When we arrived in the woods, which were occupied by the rebels the previous night, we came to a halt of about ten minutes, during which time I was able to learn, to some extent, the effect of our previous day's work. The ground was profusely covered with blood, mutilated clothing, and pieces of wheels and ammunition-chests. A short distance from here were nineteen dead rebels. I afterward learned from a prisoner that one of our shells burst, killing two and wounding eighteen of their infantry. He also stated that they had one piece and one caisson disabled. I then moved forward with the brigade, to Fairfield, Tenn., where we halted about an hour, and then moved forward about six miles in the direction of Manchester, Tenn., where we halted for supper. We had just fed our horses and got some coffee over the fire, when orders came to “get ready to move at once” --over went the kettles of coffee, and every man was at his post, and in ten minutes we were ready to march. Proceeding toward Manchester, we forded Duck River, and about two o'clock on the morning of the twenty-eighth, we encamped in the southern outskirts of the town.

June 28.--We marched about seven miles, toward Tullahoma, Tenn., and encamped for the night.

June 29.--Remained in camp all day. Lieutenant Corbin was sent to the front with one section of the battery for picket. Left camp at six P. M.

June 30.--Lieutenant Corbin returned to camp with the section at seven A. M.

July 1.--Marched to Tullahoma. The enemy were gone, evidently having left in great haste. We encamped one mile south of the town.

July 2.--Marched from Tullahoma in the direction of Decherd, Tennessee. Arrived at Stearns's Mill at ten o'clock A. M., where we halted to await orders. General Negley soon ordered me to the front on “double-quick.” Arriving at the front. I found that the position which I was to occupy was filled by two batteries from his own division. In compliance with General Beattey's order I remained in the road, directly in their rear, until General Thomas ordered me to rejoin the First brigade, which I did, and with it moved to the upper ford on Elk River, where we encamped for the night.

July 3.--Left camp at three o'clock P. M. Crossed the river and moved forward to Marsh's Ford, where we arrived at eight o'clock P. M., and went into camp.

July 8.--Moved from Marsh's Ford to “Camp Winford, Tennessee.”

I am, Lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. Church, Captain Commanding Fourth Michigan Battery. Lieutenant A. J. Davis, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.

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