Page images

which my regiment (five companies) advanced about seventy-five yards to a second fence, mostly down, my right resting on some old buildings. While in this position my ammunition gave out, most of my men having fired forty to fifty rounds. I then ordered my command to fall back to the first fence to secure a new supply of ammunition, which was obtained, and we then again advanced to and beyond the position we had left. The enemy at this time maintained an eminence about four hundred yards distant, in a woodland upon an old Union camp ground. We now received orders from Gen-yet our men went bravely up, formed in line of eral Nelson to charge them with bayonets, which was commenced in quick time. As my regiment reached the summit of the eminence, the enemy was far out of our reach, moving off with their battery and infantry, their cavalry taking the Corinth road to the left, all in doublequick time. We now occupy the ground from which we drove the enemy, over which we found many of their dead. The, main struggle at the fences, as above stated, before we received orders to charge, lasted for two hours, from eleven to one o'clock.

My officers and men behaved well, stood the fire with great bravery, and even to daring, with out flinching. I know not in truth how to compliment any one of my command over the others, for I was well pleased with all. The casualties of my regiment during the engagement, including the first evening, were eight killed, one missing, and about fifty wounded, six of the latter probably mortally; a complete list of which will be forwarded as soon as the same can be obtained. Among my killed is Lieutenant A. M. Davis, of Company H, who commanded Company E in the engagements; he fell by my side, bravely discharging his whole duty. During most of the engagement I was on foot, my horse having been shot at an early part of the main fight.

I have the honor to be

Your obedient servant,

Colonel, Thirty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers. MADISON GROSE,

Lieutenant and Adjutant.


April 11, 1862.

DEAR FRIEND: I wrote you yesterday and sent you a copy of my official report, and now send you a complete list of our killed, eight; missing, two; wounded, thirty-seven; total loss, forty-seven. Yet all of the wounded but twenty-five remain with us and are on duty. The twenty-five we have sent down the river, and hope they may get to Indiana; we got them on boats as soon as it was possible, for there they are well cared for, and cannot be elsewhere. Lieutenant Chambers and Sergeant Fentriss are both able and on duty, and ready for another contest, which I think we will have in a few days.

I would like to give you many particulars if it were possible; taking my official report as the main basis, I will add, that as we landed our regiment on the south side of the river there were at least fifteen thousand of Grant's panicstricken troops who had thrown away their arms, and were pressing to get on board the boats to clear themselves from danger by running, and as my regiment marched up the hill we would hear the cowards say to my men, "You will get it!" "You will come back!" "You will see!" and many other such expressions; battle, Generals Buell and Nelson both with me. While forming, the heavy fire of the enemy was passing thick and fast over and around us. Poor White was struck by a canister shot and both his legs torn off, and about the same time, a staff officer, ten feet in front of the line, on horse, between General Nelson and myself, had his head torn off with a cannon ball and fell a ghastly sight before my regiment, at seeing which a few of our men nearest to the scene shrank back a few steps, but as soon as I commanded them to dress up their lines they did so promptly, and obeyed the command I gave them to "forward, march" in the line of battle, and moved off about one hundred yards to support one of our retreating batteries, and there we opened up a severe fire on the approaching enemy, which I think was the first evidence the rebels had that the advance of Buell's army was arriving. The firing of our regiment into the enemy's advancing forces, and thereby announcing the arrival of Buell's army, checked the enemy for the night, and everybody here says, turned the tide of battle, and saved Grant's forces from being driven pell mell into the river, cut to pieces, or taken prisoners by tens of thousands. It is admitted here, without contradiction, that if we had been one hour later, the enemy would have gained the river, and their victory would have been complete. None of Nelson's or Buell's forces took part that night, but my regiment. At the place to which we advanced at this place, is where the brave Duboese, of Company C, fell. The next morning we found that we had dealt out death to the enemy in fair proportions; in fact, while I was out establishing pickets that night, we passed over their dead bodies. I went with our pickets that night until the rebels fired on us. As we were ordered, we did not fire on them on that occasion, for our object was to find out their position for the work next morning, and not let them know ours. That night we lay on our arms, ready for action any moment, under a pelting rain most of the night. At half-past five next morning, wet and hungry, we moved off into the desperate renconter. I have often read of "death and carnage on the field of battle," but never had any just conception of it until now. We fought forward as my report shows (that I sent yesterday) for three miles, the particulars of which I am unable to give you more fully now. Suffice it to say now,

that the Thirty-sixth began the fight. and my tent is now reared (to-day) on the advance post where the last dead rebel fell. General Nelson thinks we buried the great Sidney Johnson, their commander, within two rods of where I am now writing. He lies silently "seeking his rights in the territories." The provisional rebel, Governor Johnson, of Kentucky, is also in our hands, wounded, God bless him. I hope he will die without delay. Our loss is heavier than I wrote you yesterday; it is now estimated at one thousand five hundred killed, two thousand taken prisoners on Sunday, and four thousand wounded; total seven thousand five hundred. That of the enemy is much larger, particularly in killed.

I will write you some of the particulars more definitely, of the latter part of the battle, in my next, if there is no move to interrupt. My horse is still alive, but I cannot see how he can live; I intend saving him if possible. It is due to Mat to say he commenced and helped me through to the end, in the thickest of the fight and danger, from beginning to the last. I hope you will keep securely the reports sent you.

Yours affectionately,

Doc. 11.



we arrived near sunset, with skirmishing all the way, which was only ended by the close of the day. We there rested for the night. At early morn next day skirmishing again commenced, and continued during the day, with more severity than before, the artillery taking a heavy part. This ended again with the day. Up to this time the loss in my brigade was ten wounded. During the night the brigade was relieved from the front by the brigade of Colonel Hazen, and retired to the rear to rest, and to be held in reserve. Thus, on the bright morning of December thirty-one, the division, under command of its brave general, at early day, were in battle line, the brigade of General Cruft on the right, that of Colonel Hazen on the left, both in double lines, with my brigade in reserve in rear of the centre, in supporting distance, with the batteries of Cockerell and Parsons in position to support the lines. While we were perfecting our lines in the morning, the divisions of Generals Negley and Rousseau filed by my rear through a heavy cedar grove which lay in rear of General Cruft's brigade, and immediately up to the right of my brigade, the brigade of Colonel Hazen in an open cotton field, the pike dividing his left from the division of General Wood, the line of these two divisions resting nearly perpendicular to the pike. The engagement had been raging fiercely some distance to our right during the early morning, and at near eight o'clock the clash of arms to our right had so far changed position that I saw the rear of my brigade would soon be endangered; hence I set to work changing my front to the rear, which was done in quick time, with the left, when changed, a little retired, to support the right of Colonel Hazen's brigade, then closely engaged with the enemy, our two brigades forming a V. My brigade was not more than thus SIR: In accordance with duty, I have the formed to the rear before the enemy appeared honor to submit the report of the part which in heavy lines, pressing the forces of ours that this brigade, under my command, took in the had been engaged to the right of our division, recent battles before Murfreesboro. The five on our front, in fearful confusion. In this new regiments-Thirty-sixth Indiana, Major Kinley; formation the Sixth Ohio and Thirty-sixth IndiTwenty-fourth Ohio, Colonel Jones; Sixth Ohio, ana were in the front line, the latter on the Colonel Anderson; Eighty-fourth Illinois, Colonel right, supported in the second line by the Waters; Twenty-third Kentucky, Major Ham- Eighty-fourth Illinois and Twenty-third Kenrick; aggregate officers and men, one thousand tucky, with the Twenty-fourth Ohio, in an seven hundred and eighty-eight-left our camp oblique form, a little to the right of the rear near Nashville December twenty-sixth, eighteen line. In this shape the Thirty-sixth Indiana hundred and sixty-two, with the division; bi- and Sixth Ohio advanced into the woodland vouacked that night in front of Lavergne, about two hundred and fifty yards, and there twelve miles distant. Next day, the twenty- met the enemy in overwhelming numbers. Here seventh, we moved to the west bank of Stew- Major Kinley and Captain Shutts, of the Thirtyart's Creek, five miles, and my brigade was put sixth Indiana, fell, the former named badly in position in front, to the right of the pike, the wounded, the latter killed. Colonel Anderson, pickets of the enemy separated from ours by of the Sixth Ohio, was here wounded, and his the creek. With light skirmishing, we rested Adjutant, A. G. Williams, and Lieutenant Foster, here until Monday morning, the twenty-ninth, fell dead, with several of their comrades. These when we received orders and moved forward two regiments were forced from the woodland, in double lines of battle on the right of the and retired to the right, in the direction of the pike, the Thirty-sixth Indiana and the Eighty-pike, while the other three regiments, aided by fourth Illinois in the front line, wading Stewart's the eight-gun battery commanded by Lieutenant Creek-waist-deep to most of the men-to with-Parsons, with the efficient aid of Lieutenants in two and a half miles of Murfreesboro, where Huntington and Cushing, poured a galling fire


NEAR MURFREESBORO, TENN., January 8, 1863.


Captain D. W. Norton, A. A. A. G., Second

into the ranks of the pursuing enemy, causing him to break in confusion, and retire back to the woods out of our reach, leaving the ground covered with their dead and dying, with the heavy loss of the Thirty-sixth Indiana and Sixth Ohio lying mingled with them on the bloody field. After some half hour or three quarters, the enemy renewed his attempt to advance, but was again repulsed, with heavy loss on both sides. After this, then between eleven and twelve o'clock, the enemy not appearing in our immediate front, the lines of our forces that had retired or been driven from the right, by this time were reformed parallel with the pike, so that the front of the brigade was again changed, so as to assist the brigade of Colonel Hazen in the direction as formed in the morning. The Twenty-fourth Ohio and Thirty-sixth Indiana were soon thrown forward near the pike, and had a terrible conflict with the enemy. Here Colonel Jones and Major Terry both fell and were carried off the field in a dying condition. Each regiment of the brigade, from this until nightfall closed the awful scene, alternately took its part in holding the position we occupied in the morning.

The enemy having gained the heavy cedar woods to the right, where we took position in the morning, it became necessary to so change our position as not to be in reach of small arms from that woodland; hence, at nightfall, the centre of the front line of the brigade laid on the pike, and diagonally across the same, fronting to the south-east, our left resting at the right of the line of General Wood's division. We were then a little retired, and the centre of the brigade about two hundred and fifty yards to the left of where we commenced in the morning. We ceased fighting for the night in the front lines on the pike. During the day, each of the regiments having exhausted, had to replenish their ammunition, many of them having fired over one hundred rounds. When Major Kinley, of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, fell, nearly at the commencement in the morning, the command devolved upon Captain Woodward, and upon the fall of Colonel Jones and Major Terry, of the Twenty-fourth Ohio, Captain Weller was left in command. Although I was at Shiloh, and commanded in that battle, at the head of General Buell's army, and fought throughout that battle with that army, yet this battle, on the last day of the old year, was by far the most terrible and bloody (in my command) that I have ever witnessed. During the latter part of the battle of the night, or rather in the early morning, of the first day of January, 1863, our whole line was retired, for a more eligible position, six or seven hundred yards, and my brigade was retired from the front to rest.

During Thursday, January first, we were ordered across to the north bank of Stone River, to support a division on the extreme left of our line, an attack being anticipated in that direction, but returned to our resting-place before night, no attack being made that day. On the

next day, January second, in the forenoon, we were again ordered across the river to support the division there in position, with its right resting on the river bank, and its lines (double lines) formed at right angles to the river, extending therefrom about one-half mile. The river, below the right of the division line about eight hundred yards, changes its direction, running about one-half mile in the rear, and nearly parallel to the lines of the division formed as above. When my brigade arrived on the ground I was requested to put it in position so as to protect the left flank of the division referred to, and repel any attack that might be made in that direction. The Twenty-third Kentucky was posted to the left of the division spoken of, about two hundred yards retired; the Twentyfourth, three hundred yards to its rear, fronting same way; the Thirty-sixth Indiana to the rear of the Twenty-fourth Ohio, fronting diagonally to the flank of the other two; the right of the Thirty-sixth Indiana distant from the left of the Twenty-fourth Ohio about one hundred and fifty yards, and with directions specially given to each of these regiments to change fronts as the exigencies of the occasion might require in case of an attack. The Eighty-fourth Illinois and Sixth Ohio were placed one hundred and fifty yards from the left of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, in one line fronting the same direction of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-third, as well as in the same direction of the division so posted as above, to our right and front; the right of the Eighty-fourth Illinois resting on the bluff at the river, with the Third Wisconsin battery near the left and front of the Eighty-fourth; the Sixth Ohio on the left of the Eighty-fourth Illinois. Thus in position, I took the precaution to have each regiment hurriedly throw before them barricades of such materials, as fences, buildings, etc., as were at command. About half past three P. M., in front and right (as above shown in position), in strong force, perhaps in three lines, and with three batteries distributed along the forest, a heavy contest ensued, which lasted from one-half to threequarters of an hour, when the lines of the division gave way in considerable confusion, retiring towards the river; and many of them breaking through the lines of my brigade, I went to my front regiments and superintended the changing of their fronts, respectively, so as to meet the enemy the best we could, coming from an unexpected direction, which, to some extent, threw the Twenty-third Kentucky and the Twenty-fourth Ohio, my advanced front regiments, into confusion, and caused them to retire towards the left of the main line of the brigade; but they kept up a strong fire on the advancing enemy as they retired. The Thirtysixth Indiana changed its front, and as the enemy's lines came near, opened on them a deadly fire; but on they came, until in reach of the Eighty-fourth Illinois and Sixth Ohio, behind their barricades, when both these regiments saluted them with a terrible fire; and by this




time all my regiments were engaged, and the mand, who bravely and skillfully filled his whole
masses of the enemy began to falter, and soon duty; and as much may be said of Captain
broke into disorder and commenced their flight Woodward, who succeeded to the command of
back over the area they had so fiercely ad- the Thirty-sixth Indiana upon the fall of Major
vanced upon, pursued by the Thirty-sixth In-Kinley, at a critical and perilous moment in the
diana, Twenty-third Kentucky, and Twenty-first day's engagement.
I am under lasting obligations to my staff and
fourth Ohio, to the line occupied by the out-
picket posts of the division before the battle orderlies, for their efficient assistance during
The these several days' fighting. Captain Peeden,
commenced. Here night overtook us.
battle was over, and the enemy were gone be- Thirty-sixth Indiana, is entitled to great credit
yond the reach of our guns. Colonel Hazen's for his aid rendered me up to the time he fell
brigade crossed the river to our rear, to sup- wounded, on the thirty-first. Lieutenant J. P.
port us, about the time of the enemy's retreat, Duke, of the Twenty-third Kentucky, also on
and moved closely, with the Eighty-fourth Illi- my staff, deserves a high meed of praise for
nois, after my pursuing regiments, to give as- promptness and aid rendered me at all times
sistance, if needed. Some other forces col- during the whole of these engagements. Doc-
lected or crossed the river to my right, and tor Silas H. Kersey, Acting Brigade Surgeon,
moved up the river bank in pursuit of the ene- with unsurpassed industry and skill, rendered
my, as my regiments advanced. What forces invaluable assistance to the wounded. My
these were I have not learned. The battery mounted orderlies, Frank Brough, Frank Webb,
posted near the brigade at the commencement Albert Woods, William D. Smith, Martin Mann,
of this day's fight, fired a few rounds, took a and Lewis Miller, of the Second Indiana cavalry,
hasty leave from the field, and I have not made and George Shirk and Isaac Bigelow, of the
its acquaintance since. Artillery from the oppo- Thirty-sixth Indiana infantry, rendered me val-
site side of the river rendered valuable aid, by uable services. But I am left to remember and
playing upon the enemy in his advance and re-lament, with friends, the fall, in this mighty
treat. Our loss this day was not large, com-
pared with that on the thirty-first. That of the
enemy was very heavy. I can not too favor-
ably notice the coolness and promptness of each
and every field-officer of the brigade. They
seemed to vie with each other which should
most promptly execute every command, without
regard to danger. And the line officers and
men of the respective regiments appeared to
fear or know no danger. New and old regi-
ments alike acted the heroic part and braved
every peril. Captain Weller, in command of the
Twenty-fourth Ohio, fell at his post on the last
battle-field, and left Captain Cockerell in com-

struggle for human progress,of such brave spirits
as Colonel Jones, Major Terry, Captain Weller,
Captain Shults, Captain King, Adjutant Wil-
liams, Lieutenant Foster, Lieutenant Ball, Lieu-
I may
tenant Abercrombie, and others, whose earthly
conflicts closed with these battles.
truthfully add, that I mourn with those who
mourn, over these irreparable losses. To the
brave wounded, whose fate may or may not
be uncertain-you have my earnest prayer
for a speedy restoration to health and useful-

The casualties of the brigade, as near as can be ascertained, are as follows:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Doc. 12.




MURFREESBORO, TENNEEE, January 28, 1863.
Captain D. W. Norton, A. A. A. G.:

At about eight o'clock A. M. on that day, we were drawn up in line of battle, in the open field to the north of the Burnt Brick, and to the west of the Cedars, while Rousseau's division filed by us to get position. Scarcely had the rear of that column passed, when heavy firing was heard to our right, coming from the cedars, and approaching rapidly. I was ordered with my regiment, into the woods. I immediately changed front, and advanced some two hundred SIR: I have the honor to report the part this yards, when I saw our troops flying in wild brigade took in the engagement at Woodbury, disorder, and hotly pursued by the enemy. I in this State, on the twenty-fourth instant. Acformed my line, and waited the escape of our cording to orders, I left camp near Murfreesboro men, and the nearer advance of the enemy. In at four o'clock P. M., on the twenty-third, with a few moments a terrible fire was opened on the Sixth Ohio, Colonel Christopher; Twentyus, scarce a hundred yards distant from a rebel third Kentucky, Major Hamrick; Eighty-fourth line apparently four deep. This fire we re- Illinois, Major Morton; Twenty-fourth Ohio, turned, and a dreadful carnage ensued on both Captain Cockerill; and Parson's Battery, Lieusides. Finding myself badly pressed, I had de- tenants Cushing and Huntington (the Thirtytermined on a charge, and the order was already sixth Indiana absent at Nashville with supply given to fix bayonets,when I saw my regiment was train). We marched that night to Readyville, flanked completely, on both sides, by two rebel ten miles, and bivouacked until five o'clock regiments. I gave the order to fall back, firing. next morning, when, according to the General's As soon as we reached the edge of the woods, order, we crossed the river there and took Lieutenant Parsons, of the Fourth Kentucky position on the other side on the Woodbury artillery, opened on the enemy with terrible pike, our skirmishers feeling their way into the effect, and I reformed my line behind his guns, woodland in front, before daylight, where the having held my position against tremendous enemy was known to have been the evening odds, but with great sacrifice, for forty minutes. before. The other forces that were to have I then replenished my ammunition, and was coöperated with us not being up, we there soon after ordered to throw my regiment diag-rested until eight o'clock, when the General onally across the Murfreesboro pike, and hold that position. This we did, under destructive fire and much loss, during the rest of the day and until midnight, when I was relieved by the Twenty-fourth Ohio, and took my regiment a short distance to the rear.

During the first day of January my regiment was moved from one place to another, as the plan of the battle required, but did not get into any general action. On Friday, the second, my regiment was ordered with the brigade across the river, and placed in. position on a slight eminence to the rear of, and as a support to, Van Cleve's division. All was quiet until about half-past three o'clock P. M., when a tremendous fire was heard along our front, and whole masses of the enemy were hurled against Van Cleve's division, which soon gave way The enemy came down boldly, when I brought my regiment into action simultaneously with the Eighty-fourth Illinois, and we opened a severe cross-fire on the enemy. For more than an hour we held our hill, and under our heavy fire, and that of a battery from the other side of the river, the enemy soon gave way, and when reinforcements poured in for us they were already in full retreat. We held our position without further molestation till Sunday morning, when we were ordered across the river into camp, the enemy having retired.

arrived, and we moved forward on the pike
towards Woodbury, yet six miles distant, where
the enemy was supposed to be in force, vari-
ously estimated from one to six thousand. The
Second brigade, Colonel Hazen, under the com-
mand of Colonel Blake, came up and moved
forward close in our rear; the Twenty-third
Kentucky and Twenty-fourth Ohio, of my bri-
gade, 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 Yours respectfully, N. L. ANDERSON. i being sustained on either side. I then requested,

My regiment, both officers and men, I am proud to say, behaved throughout with bravery, courage and discipline during the entire battle. The loss of the regiment was one hundred and seventy-seven killed and wounded.



« PreviousContinue »