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Chapter 15:

Notwithstanding the disappointment which the Kentucky infantry had experienced in not being permitted to take part in the campaign, and the cavalry had suffered in seeing the State abandoned to the enemy, there was no useless repining, but in common with the great body of the Confederate army, cheerfulness was soon restored; and with that remarkable spirit of recuperation which so often manifested itself in the Confederacy after disaster, it was not long before the army had resumed a hopeful and aggressive tone. Although the result of the summer campaign had not brought the fruition expected, the present condition, when contrasted with that which had existed during the spring and summer, was so much better, that there was prevalent more feeling of congratulation at the vantage gained than of repining over that which had not been secured.

The Kentucky cavalry had been increased, and on the [152] first of November, 1862, Morgan's cavalry brigade, then in east Tennessee, showed the following organization: Second Kentucky, Col. B. W. Duke; Seventh Kentucky, Col. R. M. Gano; Eighth Kentucky, Col. R. S. Cluke; Eleventh Kentucky, Col. D. W. Chenault; Ninth Kentucky battalion, Maj. W. C. P. Breckinridge; Howitzer battery, Captain Arnett. The Ninth battalion, united with Stoner's battalion, was later raised to a regiment, and its commander became a colonel.

The Seventh, Eighth and Ninth regiments had been recruited during the late campaign in Kentucky, and another, the First Kentucky regiment, recruited and reorganized by Col. J. Russell Butler, was temporarily assigned to Colonel Scott's brigade. A number of other inchoate regiments came out, which, if the occupation of Kentucky had lasted awhile longer, would have all been filled; but as it was, those under Col. D. Howard Smith, the Fifth; Col. J. Warren Grigsby, Sixth, and Col. Adam R. Johnson, Tenth, were soon available and made valuable accessions to the command a little later in middle Tennessee. With General Marshall also went out of Kentucky into Virginia a number of organizations, some of them regiments and others battalions, which did valuable service during the remainder of the war. Among these were the Fifth infantry, Gen. John S. Williams' original regiment, whose time had expired, but which was recruited and reorganized by Col. Hiram Hawkins; the Fourth Kentucky cavalry, Col. Henry L. Giltner; Eleventh Kentucky mounted infantry, known also as the Thirteenth regiment Kentucky cavalry, Col. Benjamin E. Caudill; Second battalion Kentucky cavalry, Maj. Clarence J. Prentice; Second Kentucky mounted rifles, Lieut.-Col. Thomas Johnson; and the Third battalion Kentucky mounted rifles, Lieut.-Col. Ezekiel F. Clay; together with several independent companies of scouts and partisan rangers.

While there was recruited no infantry, the various old [153] organizations received accessions from among the many who came out of Kentucky with the army in its retreat, or from proposed cavalry organizations which were disbanded. The Fort Donelson prisoners of the Second and Eighth regiments had been exchanged during the summer, the sick and absentees had rejoined their commands, and the regiments showed well-filled ranks, with a clean bill of health and fine morale. The Seventh, Col. Edward Crossland; the Third, Col. A. P. Thompson; and the Eighth, Col. H. B. Lyon, were in General Van Dorn's army, and had received special mention for gallantry in the late campaign in Mississippi. The Second, Fourth, Sixth and Ninth, constituting the Orphan brigade, were now with General Breckinridge at Murfreesboro.

General Bragg, after a brief visit to Richmond, proceeded to Tullahoma, Tenn., and pushed forward the reconstruction of railroad bridges and the transfer of his army to Middle Tennessee, and by the middle of November it was organized as follows: First corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Polk, consisting of Cheatham's, Withers' and Breckinridge's divisions; Second corps, commanded by Lieut.-Gen. W. J. Hardee, consisting of Buckner's and Patton Anderson's divisions.

General Breckinridge's division was composed of five brigades: Hanson's, Preston's, Adams', Palmer's and Jackson's, the first three commanders being natives of Kentucky. Hanson's brigade was as follows: First brigade, Col. Roger W. Hanson:—Forty-first Alabama, Col. M. L. Stansil; Second Kentucky, Maj. J. W. Hewitt; Fourth Kentucky, Col. R. P. Trabue; Sixth Kentucky, Col. J. H. Lewis; Ninth Kentucky, Col. T. H. Hunt; Cobb's Kentucky battery, Capt. Robert Cobb, Graves' Kentucky battery, Capt J. J. Ingram; Kentucky cavalry company, Capt. R. E. Roberts.

General Buckner's division consisted of four brigades, commanded by Generals Liddell, Cleburne, Bushrod R. Johnson and Wood. Of the cavalry is given as among [154] independent organizations, ‘One brigade of 2,500 men, Col. John H. Morgan commanding, to act as partisans.’ One of General Bragg's first acts after reaching Tennessee was to recommend the promotion of Colonels Hanson, Hunt and Morgan to the rank of brigadier. In his letter of November 22d to Adjutant-General Cooper, he says: ‘Col. John H. Morgan is peculiarly suited for the special service in which I propose to employ him—partisan war on the enemy's lines in Kentucky. He has raised his command, and nearly armed and equipped it from the enemy's stores.’ Later a brigade of cavalry was organized under Gen. Abram Buford, of Kentucky, which operated about Murfreesboro until after the battle, when General Buford was transferred to the Mississippi department. General Buckner did not continue long in Tennessee, but was assigned to the command of Mobile, where he remained until the following spring, when he relieved Gen. Kirby Smith as commander of the department of East Tennessee, the latter being transferred to the Trans-Mississippi.

The army spent the month of December, 1862, before Murfreesboro, drilling and perfecting itself in organization in contemplation of an early attack by Rosecrans, who was collecting a formidable army at Nashville. General Wheeler's cavalry was in front, while Forrest covered the left flank in front of Columbia, where Van Dorn was in command of a force chiefly of cavalry.

In the early part of the month one of the most brilliant events of the year took place in the capture of Hartsville, Tenn. The expedition was planned and led by General Morgan and was composed entirely of Kentucky troops: 1,400 cavalry under Col. Basil W. Duke; the Second and Ninth Kentucky infantry, commanded by Col. Thomas H. Hunt; Captain Cobb's battery, and two howitzers and two Ellsworth guns of the cavalry. General Morgan had learned that Federal detachments were stationed at Gallatin, Castalian Springs and Hartsville, [155] his old stamping-ground, and he proposed to repeat some of his exploits of the past summer. Leaving Murfreesboro on the 5th, the command moved to Baird's Mills, half way to Hartsville, which was fifty miles distant from Murfreesboro. It was bitter cold and the ground covered with snow. Here they remained until 6 p. m. on the 6th, when, by a night march, they crossed the Cumberland river five miles below Hartsville by daylight, and shortly after sunrise were in position before that place. It had been expected to surprise the garrison, but this was frustrated by the difficulty of crossing the river, and General Morgan found the enemy fully prepared to meet him. A brisk fight ensued, in which the infantry and cavalry took part chiefly dismounted, while a part of the cavalry mounted was employed in guarding against surprise, as there was another Federal force of eight thousand within five miles. After a sharp engagement of an hour or more, in which the Federal troops behaved much better than in their previous affairs, and in which the Second Kentucky suffered a loss of sixty-two in killed and wounded, the Federal force, numbering about 2,000, surrendered at discretion. There were three regiments of infantry and one of cavalry, all of which, with their arms, wagons and stores, and two pieces of artillery, were carried off to Murfreesboro in safety. The total infantry loss was eighteen killed and seventy-one wounded. The casualties in the cavalry were limited to a few wounded. The event added to the prestige of the Kentucky troops, which was already high in discipline, drill and soldierly bearing.

The battle of Murfreesboro occurred on Wednesday, December 31, 1862. The army, cheered by the Hartsville victory, the good rations afforded by the rich country around Murfreesboro and the enthusiastic devotion of the citizens, was in fine spirits. President Davis had paid them a visit but a short time before, and in a review their splendid appearance had excited his admiration and [156] elicited his warmest praise. Rosecrans gave evidence of his purpose to move nearly a week before the battle, full reports of his force and the location of his several corps being received daily. On the 27th, General Bragg, having selected his line of defense and plan of battle, issued a private circular for general and staff officers, an original copy of which is in possession of the writer, and which is here given, as it has not been found among the published records:

Memoranda for General and staff officers:

1. The line of battle will be in front of Murfreesboro, half the army—left wing in front of one's river, right wing in rear of river.

2. Polk's corps will form left wing—Hardee's corps, right wing.

3. Withers' division will form first line in Polk's corps; Cheatham's the second line; Breckinridge's division will form first line Hardee's corps, Cleburne's division second line Hardee's corps.

4. McCown's division to form reserve opposite center on high ground in rear of Cheatham's present quarters.

5. Jackson's brigade, reserve to the right flank, to report to Lieutenant-General Hardee.

6. The two lines to be from 800 to 1,000 yards apart, according to the ground.

7. Chiefs of artillery to pay special attention to posting of batteries and to supervise their work, and see that they do not causelessly waste their ammunition.

8. Cavalry to fall back gradually before enemy, reporting by couriers every hour. When near our line, Wheeler will move to right and Wharton to the left to cover and protect our flanks and report movements of the enemy. Pegram to fall to the rear and report to the general commanding as reserve.

9. To-night if the enemy has gained his position in our front ready for action, Wheeler and Wharton with their whole commands will make a night march to the right and left, turn the enemy's flanks, gain his rear and vigorously assail his trains and rear guards, blocking the roads and impeding his movements in every way, holding themselves ready to assail his retreating forces. [157]

10. All quartermasters, commissaries and ordnance officers will remain at their proper posts discharging their appropriate duties. Supplies and baggage should be ready packed for a move forward or backward as the result of the day may require, and the trains should be in position out of danger, teamsters all present and quartermasters in charge.

11. Should we be compelled to retire, Polk's corps will move on the Shelbyville, and Hardee's on Manchester pike, trains in front, cavalry in rear.

(Signed) Braxton Bragg, General Commanding. Sunday morning
, Official, Geo. G. Garner, A. A. G.

General Rosecrans had moved out from Nashville on the 26th, but it was not until the afternoon of the 29th that Wheeler withdrew from his front and he arrived opposite our left wing. It was hoped and expected that he would attack, but he merely showed a disposition to extend his right beyond our left, causing McCown's division to be moved to Polk's left. The 30th was a cloudy, forbidding day, with rain at intervals, and a general engagement was expected, but the enemy refrained from attack and continued to extend his right, threatening to cut us off from the Shelbyville pike. As the troops had been in line three days and nights, General Bragg determined to attack on the morning of the 31st. With that view Cleburne's (late Buckner's) division was moved on the night of the 30th to the extreme left, General Hardee accompanying with instructions to open the fight at daylight, the action to be taken up by the troops on the right.

It was a clear, frosty morning, the last day of the year. Hardee moved into action as directed, and with the first light of the sun the heavy fire of musketry told that he was at work, while its decreasing sound indicated that he was driving the enemy. The movement was a counterpart of Cheatham's attack at Perryville, on the left instead of the right. Polk's corps had its right resting on Stone's [158] river1 with its left swung out in alternate fields and cedar brakes upon ground nearly level. Cleburne had struck Gen. A. D. McCook's corps, the same which suffered so from Cheatham's assault at Perryville, while the men were at breakfast, and driven them in confusion, capturing a number of prisoners, including Brigadier-General Willich, killing General Sill, and again capturing General McCook's headquarters with his official and private effects. The battle, taken up by the commands on the right, moved on a right wheel as the enemy fell back, with Polk's right as a pivot, until the line, like the minute hand of a clock, had described a fourth of a circle, halting when it was at somewhat more than right angles to its first position. This halt was caused by Rosecrans' routed line making a stand in a railroad cut, which happened conveniently in their line of retreat, sustained by reserves and heavy batteries in their rear. By noon the battlefield was comparatively silent. Jackson's and Adams', and later Gen. William Preston's and Palmer's brigades were brought over from Breckinridge's line and an attempt made to carry the cut, but the position was too strong, and they were compelled to desist after serious loss, Gen. D. W. Adams being severely wounded. General Breckinridge was in command of this attack, the losses in which were heavier than at Perryville. This in brief was the battle of Murfreesboro.

General Rosecrans' alignment was now somewhat the two sides of an isosceles triangle, with the railroad cut for one side, and Stone's river, with its rocky banks unfordable except at good intervals, for the other, and with its acute angle pointing to our center. He was thus unassailable on either flank, and the two armies lay in this [159] position the remainder of the day. At night Wheeler made a circuit to the rear of Rosecrans' army, destroying many wagons and harassing him in every possible manner. He was known to have been crippled, and on the morning of the 1st of January was reported to be retreating. A reconnoissance in force with infantry and artillery proved to the contrary, however, and the day wore away without other movement.

On Friday, the 2d, it was evident that Rosecrans was holding on with dogged persistence, and the tension upon the Confederate troops, who had to keep constant vigil in advanced lines where they could have little if any fire, and remote from their supplies, was telling visibly. Up to this time the enemy had made but little demonstration upon our right held by Breckinridge, where the ground was more undulatory than on the left, but the morning developed the fact that they had crossed some troops to the east bank, with evidence of an effort to extend their line beyond our right as had been tried on the left. This brought on the disastrous battle so fatal to the Kentuckians and the right wing. At two o'clock, after a conference of corps and some division commanders at the ford Which marked our center, General Bragg directed General Breckinridge in person to dislodge the enemy from the position he had taken on an eminence in his front. Much controversy and feeling ensued over this order afterwards, General Bragg contending that his directions were to dislodge the enemy but not to pursue him, or bring on an engagement. It was a fair, mild afternoon, about 4 o'clock, when the movement was made. As this was the first great battle in which the Kentucky brigade had been engaged since Shiloh, it is deemed best to give General Breckinridge's report of it, being part of his general report of the operations of his command covering the several preceding days:

On Friday, the 2nd of January, being desirous to ascertain if the enemy was establishing himself on the east [160] bank of the river, Lieut.-Col. John A. Buckner and Maj. Rice E. Graves, with Captain Byrne's battery and a portion of the Washington artillery, under Lieutenant Vaught, went forward to our line of skirmishers, to the right, and engaged those of the enemy, who had advanced perhaps a thousand yards from the east bank of the river. They soon revealed a strong line of skirmishers, which was driven back a considerable distance by our sharpshooters and artillery, the latter firing several houses in the fields in which the enemy had taken shelter. At the same time, accompanied by Maj. Wm. D. Pickett of Lieutenant-General Hardee's staff and by Maj. James Wilson, Col. Theodore O'Hara and Lieut. J. Cabell Breckinridge, of my own, I proceeded toward the left of our line of skirmishers, which passed through a thick wood about five hundred yards in front of Hanson's position and extended to the river. Directing Captain Bosche of the Ninth and Captain Steele of the Fourth Kentucky to drive back the enemy's skirmishers, we were enabled to see that he was occupying with infantry and artillery the crest of a gentle slope on the east bank of the river. The course of the crest formed a little less than a right angle with Hanson's line, from which the center of the position I was afterward ordered to attack was distant about sixteen hundred yards. It extended along ground part open and part woodlands.

While we were endeavoring to ascertain the force of the enemy and the relation of ground on the east bank to that on the west of the river, I received an order from the commanding general to report to him in person. I found him on the west bank near the ford below the bridge, and received from him an order to form my division in two lines and take the crest I have just described with the infantry. After doing this I was to bring up the artillery and establish it on the crest, so as to at once hold it and enfilade the enemy's lines on the other side of the river. Pegram and Wharton, who, with some cavalry and a battery [161] were beyond the point where my right would rest, when the new line of battle should be formed, were directed, as the general informed me, to protect my right and co-operate in the attack. Capt. Felix H. Robertson was ordered to report to me with his own and Capt. H. C. Semple's batteries of Napoleon guns. Captain Wright, who with his battery had been detached some days before, was ordered to join his brigade (Preston's). The brigades of Adams and Preston, which were left on the west side of the river Wednesday night, had been ordered to rejoin me. At the moment of my advance our artillery in the center and on the left was to open on the enemy. One gun from our center was the signal for the attack. The commanding general desired that the attack should be made with the least possible delay.

It was now 2:30p. m. Two of the brigades had to march two miles and the other one mile. BrigadierGen-eral Pillow, having reported for duty, was assigned by the commanding general to Col. Joseph B. Palmer's brigade, and that fine officer resumed command of his regiment and was three times wounded during the ensuing engagement. The Ninth Kentucky and Cobb's battery, under the command of Colonel Hunt, were left to hold the hill so often referred to.

The division, after deducting the losses of Wednesday, the troops left on the hill and companies in special service, consisted of some 4,500 men. It was drawn up in two lines, the first in a narrow skirt of woods, the second two hundred yards in rear. Pillow and Hanson formed the first line, Pillow on the right. Preston supported Pillow, and Adams' brigade (commanded by Col. R. L. Gibson) supported Hanson. The artillery was placed in rear of the second line, under orders to move with it and occupy the summit of the slope as soon as the infantry should rout the enemy. Feeling anxious about my right, I sent two staff officers in succession to communicate with Pegram and Wharton, but received no intelligence [162] up to the moment of assault. The interval between my left and the troops on the hill was already too great, but I had a battery to watch it and a small infantry support. There was nothing to prevent the enemy from observing nearly all our movements and preparations. To reach him it was necessary to cross an open space 600 or 700 yards in width, with a gentle ascent.

I had informed the commanding general that we would be ready to advance at 4 o'clock, and precisely at that hour the signal gun was heard from our center. Instantly the troops moved forward at a quickstep and in admirable order. The front line had bayonets fixed, with orders to deliver one volley and then use the bayonet.

The fire of the enemy's artillery on both sides the river commenced as soon as the troops entered the open ground. When less than half the distance across the field, the quick eye of O'Hara discovered a force extending considerably beyond our right. I immediately directed Major Graves to move a battery to our right and open on them. He at once advanced Wright's battery and effectually checked their movements. Before our line reached the enemy's position, his artillery fire became heavy, accurate and destructive. Many officers and men fell before we closed with their infantry, yet our brave fellows pushed forward with the utmost determination and after a brief but bloody conflict routed both opposing lines, took four hundred prisoners and several flags, and drove their artillery and the great body of their infantry across the river. Many were killed at the water's edge. Their artillery took time by the forelock in crossing the stream. A few of our men in their ardor actually crossed over before they could be prevented, most of whom subsequently moving up the west bank recrossed at a ford threequar-ters of a mile above. The second line had halted when the first engaged the enemy's infantry, and laid down under orders; but very soon the casualties in the first line, the fact that the artillery on the opposite line was [163] more fatal to the second line than the first, and the eagerness of the troops, impelled them forward, and at the decisive moment when the opposing infantry was routed, the two lines had mingled into one, the only practical inconvenience of which was that at several points the ranks were deeper than is allowed by proper military formation.

A strong force of the enemy beyond our extreme right yet remained on the east side of the river. Presently a new line of battle appeared on the west bank, directly opposite our troops, and opened fire, while at the same time large masses crossed in front of our right and advanced to the attack. We were compelled to fall back. As soon as our infantry had won the ridge, Major Graves advanced the artillery of the division and opened fire. At the same time Captain Robertson threw forward Semple's battery toward our right, which did excellent service. He did not advance his own battery (which was to have taken position on the left), supposing that that part of the field had not been cleared of the enemy's infantry. Although mistaken in this, since the enemy had been driven across the river, yet I regard it as fortunate that the battery was not brought forward. It would have been a vain contest.

It now appeared that the ground we had won was com manded by the enemy's batteries within easy range on better ground on the other side of the river. I know not how many guns he had.2 He had enough to sweep the whole position from the front, the left and the right, and to render it wholly untenable by our force present of artillery and infantry. The infantry, after passing the crest and descending the slope toward the river, were in some measure protected, and suffered less at this period of the action than the artillery.

We lost three guns, nearly all the horses being killed, and not having the time or men to draw them off by hand. [164] One was lost because there was but one boy left (Private Wright, of Wright's battery) to limber the piece, and his strength was unequal to it.

The command fell back in some disorder, but without the slightest appearance of panic, and reformed behind Robertson's battery in the narrow skirt of timber from which we emerged to the assault. The enemy did not advance beyond the position in which he received our attack. My skirmishers continued to occupy a part of the field over which we had advanced until the army retired from Murfreesboro. The action lasted about one hour and twenty minutes. As our lines advanced to the attack several rounds of artillery were heard from our center, apparently directed against the enemy on the west bank of the river.

At twilight Brig.-Gen. Patton Anderson reported to me with his brigade, and remained in position with me until the army retired. I took up line of battle for the night a little in rear of the field over which we advanced to the assault, and Captain Robertson at my request disposed the artillery in the positions indicated for it. Many of the reports do not discriminate between the losses of Wednesday and Friday. The total loss of my division, exclusive of Jackson's command, is 2,140, of which I think 1,700 occurred on Friday. The loss of the enemy on this day was, I think, greater than our own, since he suffered immense slaughter between the ridge and the river.

I cannot forbear to express my admiration for the courage and constancy of the troops, exhibited even after it became apparent that the main object could not be accomplished. Beyond the general good conduct, a number of enlisted men displayed at different times of the action the most heroic bravery. I respectfully suggest that authority be given to select a certain number of the most distinguished in each brigade to be recommended to the President for promotion. [165]

I cannot enumerate all the brave officers who fell, nor the living who did their duty; yet I may be permitted to lament, in common with the army, the premature death of Brigadier-General Hanson, who received a mortal wound at the moment the enemy began to give way. Endeared to his friends by his private virtues, and to his command by the vigilance with which he guarded its interest and honor, he was by the universal testimony of his military associates one of the finest officers that adorned the service of the Confederate States. Upon his fall the command devolved upon Colonel Trabue, who in another organization had long and ably commanded most of the regiments composing the brigade.

I cannot close without expressing my obligations to the gentlemen of my staff. This is no formal acknowledgment. I can never forget that during all the operations they were ever prompt and cheerful, by night and day, in conveying orders, conducting to their positions regiments and brigades, rallying troops in the field, and, indeed, in the discharge of every duty. It gives me pleasure to name Lieutenant-Colonel Buckner, assistant adjutant-general, who was absent on leave, but returned upon the first rumor of battle; Colonel O'Hara, acting adjutant-general, Lieutenant Breckinridge, aide-de-camp; Major Graves, chief of artillery (twice wounded and his horse shot under him); Maj. James Wilson, assistant inspector-general (horse shot); Capt. Charles Semple, ordnance officer; Lieutenant Darragh, severely wounded. Captains Martin and Coleman, of my volunteer staff, were active and efficient. The former had his horse killed under him.

Drs. J. F. Heustis and J. E. Pendleton, chief surgeon and medical inspector, were unremitting in their attention to the wounded. Dr. Stanhope Breckinridge, assistant surgeon, accompanied my headquarters and pursued his duties through the fire of Wednesday. Mr. Buckner, and Mr. Zantzinger, of Kentucky, attached themselves to [166] me for the occasion and were active. Capt. E. M. Blackburn, commanding my escort, ever cool and vigilant, rendered essential service and made several bold reconnoissances. Charles Chotard, of the escort, acting as my orderly on Wednesday, displayed much gallantry and intelligence.

The army retired before daybreak on the morning of the 4th. My division, moving on the Manchester road, was the rear of Hardee's corps. The Ninth Kentucky, Forty-first Alabama, and Cobb's battery, all under the command of Colonel Hunt, formed a special rear guard. The enemy did not follow us.

My acknowledgments are due to Col. J. Stoddard Johnston, Lieutenant-Colonel Brent, and Lieutenant-Colonel Garner, of General Bragg's staff, and to Major Pickett of Lieutenant-General Hardee's staff, for services on Friday, January 22nd.

Many a home in Kentucky was filled with mourning by this battle, and the Orphan brigade long lamented the death of its beloved commander. Gen. Roger Weightman Hanson had served as lieutenant in the Mexican war, and to great gallantry as a soldier and the accomplishments of an able lawyer united the rare qualities which made him respected as a commander and endeared to all as a comrade. As colonel of the Second Kentucky, whose fate he shared at Donelson, he had brought it up to the highest standard of discipline, and had already, in the brief interval since his promotion, given to his brigade a reputation of the first prominence. He was struck in the left thigh with the leaden strap of a rifle shell, causing a wound, which, though serious, was not regarded as mortal. As he was being borne in an ambulance to Murfreesboro, he passed near the center where were General Polk and other officers who expressed their sympathy. He was cheerful and to the hope expressed by the bishop-general that he would soon recover, replied that it was a serious wound, but added that it was glorious to die for [167] one's country. His devoted wife received his shattered form, but the shock to his system was too great for the skill of the surgeon, and he died on the morning of the 4th. Another wife, Mrs. Breckinridge, had shared the anxiety of this Spartan woman, and with heroic fortitude cheered her with her sympathy. She had for two days listened to the thunder of artillery, while her husband and two sons were exposed to its fire, and was not only sustained through this ordeal and in her ministrations to her less fortunate friend, but, when the army retreated, she left at midnight in an ambulance, having in charge Maj. Rice E. Graves, chief of artillery on General Breckinridge's staff, who had been severely wounded, bore him safely to Chattanooga, a distance of nearly a hundred miles over the mountains, and then nursed him until he was able to return to duty. Such were the trials which the women of the South had to meet, and they did it with the same heroism shown by their husbands, sons and brothers in the field.

Saturday which followed the battle was a cold, drizzly day, marked by no military operations on either side. The Confederate troops, having been for a week in the front line of battle, crippled by its casualties and outnumbered by the enemy, were evidently unfit for further aggression or resistance. It was accordingly decided by a council of war to fall back, and at nightfall the retreat began in the order named in General Bragg's memoranda before the battle of the first day, General Polk's corps moving to Shelbyville and General Hardee's to Manchester. The movement was in perfect order and apparently without the knowledge of the enemy, from whom there was no molestation. General Bragg established his headquarters at Tullahoma, and the army remained in that vicinity, not more than forty miles from Murfreesboro, and in possession of the country to within ten or twelve miles of it, for more than five months.

About ten days before the battle of Murfreesboro Gen. John H. Morgan started on one of his celebrated raids [168] against Rosecrans' communications in Kentucky, which, had General Braggwon a decisive battle, would have been very disastrous in its results. He moved by his well-beaten path to Glasgow, Ky., encountering opposition there and at Cave City, but crossing Green river did great damage along the railroad from Bacon Creek bridge to Elizabethtown, where he captured six hundred prisoners, and made a circuit by way of Springfield and Columbia to Burkesville, where he crossed the Cumberland on the 2nd. Notwithstanding the severe weather, hard marching and fighting, his loss was but two killed, twenty-four wounded and sixty-four missing, while he captured 1,877 prisoners, with a large amount of stores and arms, and diverted the attention of a large force of the enemy, whose cavalry showed great improvement in efficiency. His absence was keenly felt by General Bragg, who during the critical week at Murfreesboro sought to bring him to his aid, but he was too remote for communication in time. The Confederate Congress, in recognition of the service, tendered thanks to ‘Gen. John H.. Morgan and his men for their varied, heroic and invaluable services in Tennessee and Kentucky on this expedition—services which have conferred upon them fame as enduring as the records of the struggle which they have so brilliantly illustrated.’ Shortly after his return General Bragg recommended his promotion to a major-general. [169]

1 This river, which is erroneously called by the Federals Stone river, was named from Uriah Stone, who, in company with James Smith, Joshua Horton and William Baker, explored that region in 1766. ‘An account of the remarkable occurrences in the life and travels of Col. James Smith, etc., written by himself, Lexington, Ky., printed by John Bradford, Main street, 1799.’

2 It is said there were fifty-five guns.

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M. L. Stansil (1)
Kirby Smith (1)
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Sill (1)
Charles Semple (1)
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R. E. Roberts (1)
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