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4 Series I Volume XX-I Serial 29 - Murfreesborough Part I

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Page 4 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

picket line, on the south, between the Franklin and Lebanon pikes. The picket line on the Murfreesborough road gradually withdrew, for the purpose of bringing the enemy under the guns of Fort Negley, two of which were opened upon the enemy and drove him speedily beyond the range.

Almost simultaneously with the attack on the south, John morgan's forces (2,500 strong, with one piece of artillery) made a dash on Colonel Smith's command, on the north side of the river, with the evident intention of destroying the railroad and pontoon bridges. After a sharp contest, in which several companies of Illinois troops behaved with great gallantry, Morgan was repulsed, leaving a stand of regimental colors in our hands, 5 killed, and 19 wounded. He then burned an old railroad building in Edgefield and retreated to Gallatin.

Finding the enemy on the taking a position beyond our picket lines, Colonel Roberts, with two regiments of infantry and one section of artillery, was ordered to advance on the Murfreesborough road, while I took the Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry, with a portion of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Fourteenth Michigan, and Colonels Stokes' and Wynkoop's cavalry, with two section of artillery, numbering, in all, about 1,400 men, and pursued that portion of the enemy on the Franklin pike. They were speedily driven from every position by our artillery until we reached a distance of 7 miles from the city. Colonel Stokes' cavalry was here directed to charge upon the enemy's rear and then retreat, with a view of bringing to a stand; but the main body of the enemy, with their artillery, had suddenly turned into a lane to the left, while our cavalry, in the excitement of the chase, pursued a small portion of the enemy within 5 miles of Franklin, capturing some prisoners,killing several, and taking a drove of cattle. Previous to the return of Stokes' cavalry, the enemy appeared in considerable force upon our left, front, and rear, with the evident intention of cutting off cavalry and our retreat. The infantry and artillery were immediately moved forward a mile, to the support of our cavalry, which was ordered to rejoin the column immediately.

Upon receiving intelligence from my vedettes that the enemy was in force a mile to our rear, masking a battery close to the road, the head of the column was immediately placed to the rear and hastened forward to the position occupied by the enemy, fortunately getting our artillery into position and action, forcing the enemy to retire, which he did in great confusion and with considerable loss, after he succeeded in getting his artillery into position, and a brisk firing ensued for about half an hour, during which time our forces had to be frequently shifted, to avoid their range.

Ascertaining that the enemy greatly outnum bered our force, and were aiming to make a charge on both of our flanks, the troops were slowly retired, upon favorable ground, toward the city. At the same time the cavalry was so disposed as to divert the coming charge of the enemy on our rear, and lead them upon the Fourteenth Infantry. The object succeeded admirably, an entire regiment of cavalry making the charge receiving a fire so destructive as to drive them back in great disorder. The enemy then planted several guns on the turnpike, which were driven off before they could charge their pieces. Our forces then retired in good order toward the city, the enemy making one more attempt to get in our rear, nearer the city, but were immediately driven off by a regiment of infantry and a section of artillery, which had been ordered forward as a reserve. The concerted plans of the enemy, who


Page 4 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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