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BATTLE OF MURFREESBORO'.

549

Meanwhile Rosecrans, adhering to his plan of turning Bragg's right, and taking Murfreesboro', had strengthened Van Cleve's division with one of Palmer's brigades. He was examining the position in person, when suddenly a double line of Bragg's skirmishers, followed by three beavy columns of infantry and three batteries, emerged from the woods and fell heavily upon Van Cleve's force. The assailants were Breckenridge's entire corps, with ten Napoleon 12-pounders, commanded by Captain Robertson, and two thousand cavalry under Wharton and Pegram, aided by a heavy enfilading fire from Bishop Polk’s artillery near the center. Beatty's (Van Cleve's) first line (Fifty-first Ohio, Eighth Kentucky, and Thirty-fifth and Seventyeighth Indiana) checked the assailants for a moment, but by the sheer pressure of superior force it was compelled to give way. The reserve (Nineteenth Ohio, and Ninth and Eleventh Kentucky) then went forward and fought gallantly, but was soon compelled to fall back to avoid the conse

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quences of a flank movement of the foe. The Nationals were speedily driven in confusion across the river, with heavy loss, closely followed by the increasing numbers of the Confederates—the entire right wing of Bragg's army-in three heavy lines of battle, who swept down the slopes to the edge of the stream.

In the mean time Crittenden's chief of artillery bad massed his batteries along the rising ground on the opposite side of the river, so as to sweep and enfilade the foe with fifty-eight guns, while the remainder of the left wing was well prepared for action. These guns opened with murderous effect on the pursuers, cutting broad lanes through their ranks. At the same time the divisions of Negley and J. C. Davis, with St. Clair Morton's engineers, pushed forward to retrieve the disaster. A fierce battle ensued.

1 This was the appearance of the locality when the writer sketched it, early in May, 1866, when fortifications thrown up by the Nationals were seen on both sides of the pike, on the Murfreesboro' side of the stream. The shores of the stream are rough with bowlders, and some have supposed that these gave the name to it, which is generally called Stone River. Its namno was derived from a man named Stone, and its proper orthography is that given in the text. In the above picture Redoubt Brannon, named in honor of General Brannon, whom we met at Key West (see page 361, volume I.), is seen on the right of the pike. It was one of a nuries of redoubts which, with lines of intrenchments, the whole seven miles in extent, were erected by the Nationals and named Fort Rosecrans.

550

VICTORY FOR THE NATIONALS.

CRITTENDEN

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NASHVILLE PIKE

CHATTANOOGA

UNION LINE

CONDICDERATE ATTACK

Both sides massed their batteries, and plied them with powerful effect. Both felt that the struggle would be decisive. And so it was. For a time it seemed as if mutual annihilation would be the result. Finally Stanley and Miller, with the Nineteenth Illinois, Eighteenth, Twenty-first, and Seventyfourth Ohio, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Eleventh Michigan, and Thirtyseventh Indiana, charged simultaneously, and drove the Confederates rapidly

before them, capturing a battery and the flag of the Twenty-sixth Tennessee. The latter was a trophy of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania. This charge decided the day. In twenty minutes the Confederates lost two thousand men. At sunset the entire line had fallen back, leaving about four hundred men captives.

So ended, in complete victory for the Nationals, THE BATTLE OF MURFREESBORO', one of the greater conflicts of the war. It shed great luster upon Rosecrans, who was seen in the last as well as in the first day's conflict, on various parts of the field, directing the fire of the batteries and the movements of the troops, and continually exposed to imminent personal danger. With forty-three thousand four hundred men, he had fought his foe, fully his equal in number,' on ground of the latter's choosing. He was highly commended for his persist

ence under the discouragements of early POSITION, JANUARY 2D.

disasters and severe losses, and the lips of the loyal were everywhere vocal with his praises

.. When the Confederates gave way Rosecrans would have chased, but darkness was coming on, and rain was falling copiously. Crittenden's entire corps was thrown across the river, and before morning it was sufficiently intrenched to defy the foe. Rain fell heavily the next day, but it did not repress the ardor of the victorious Nationals. At ten o'clock a long-expected ammunition train came up. Batteries were constructed-some at points in range of Murfreesboro'—and preparations were made for another struggle. Thomas and Rousseau drove the Confederates from the cedar woods without much opposition, and at midnight Bragg stealthily retreated

1. MURFREESB

STONES

RIVE

1 Reports of General Rosecrans and his subordinate commanders. Also the Reports of General Bragg and his subordinates. Rosecrans reported the number of his forces in battle at 43,400, and estimated those of Bragg at 62,720. To this he added, that the Confederates had at least Afteen per cent. the advantage in the choice of the ground and knowledge of the country. Brayg reported his force in the fight at the beginning at 35,000. He had 132 regiments of infantry, 20 regiments of cavalry, and 24 smaller organizations of horsemen. He also had 12 battalions of sharp-shooters and 23 batteries of artillery. Theso numbered over 60,000, at the lowest calculations of these regiments.

2 Rosecrans officially reported his loss at nearly 12,000, while Bragg estimated it at 24,000. Rosecrans had 1,533 killed, 7.245 wounded, and about 3,000 made prisoners. Bragg claimed to have taken 6,273 prisoners. He admitted a loss on his part of 10,000, of whom 9,000 were killed and wounded. Among his killed were General G. J. Rains (see page 642, volume I.) and Roger W. Hanson, of Kentucky. Generals Chalmers and Adains were among his wounded,

BRAGG'S RETREAT SOUTHWARD.

551

13

through Murfreesboro' in the direction of Chattanooga. He had telegraphed cheerily to Richmond on the first,“ saying in conclusion, “God

& Jan., 1863. has granted us a happy New Year.” On the 5th he telegraphed from Tullahoma, saying: “Unable to dislodge the enemy from his intrenchments, and hearing of re-enforcements to him, I withdrew from his front night before last. He has not followed. My cavalry are close on his front."

Bragg’s retreat was not known to Rosecrans until daylight, when he had too much the start to warrant a pursuit by the inferior cavalry force of the Nationals. He had fled so precipitately that he left about two thousand of his sick and wounded, with attendant surgeons, in his hospitals. The next day was Sunday, and all remained quiet. Early on Monday morning Thomas advanced into Murfreesboro', and drove the Confederate rear-guard of cavalry six or seven miles toward Manchester. Two divisions of the army followed and occupied the town that day, and Rosecrans made his head-quarters in the village, at the house of E. A. Keeble, a member of the Confederate “Congress."

While the movements of Rosecrans and Bragg were tending to the great

BOSECRANS'S HEAD-QUARTERS. battle just recorded, the superior cavalry forces of the latter were busy in the rear of the former, as we have observed, in endeavors to destroy his communications and his trains. Forrest had been detached, with three thousand five hundred cavalry, to operate in West Tennessee upon the communications between Grant and Rosecrans, and between both and Louisville; and for a fortnight before the battle of Murfreesboro' he had been raiding through that region, much of the time with impunity, destroying railway tracks and bridges, attacking small National forces, and threatening and capturing posts. He crossed the Tennessee at Clifton, in the upper part of Wayne County, on the 13th of December, and, moving rapidly toward Jackson, seriously menaced that post. Sweeping northward, destroying tracks and bridges, he captured Humbolt, Trenton, and Union City, and menaced Columbus, the head-quarters of General Sullivan.

At Trenton Forrest captured and paroled seven hundred troops, under Colonel Jacob Fry, making the number of his paroled prisoners since he crossed the river about one thousand. On his return he was struck at Parker's Cross Roads, between Huntington and Lexington, first by a force of sixteen hundred men, under Colonel C. L. Dunham, and then by General Sullivan, who came suddenly upon the raiders with two fresh brigades under General Haynie and Colonel Fuller, just as Dunham's train was captured, his little band

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Dec. 20,

1862,

e Dec. 81.

1 One Hundred and Sixth and One Hundred and Nineteenth Illinois, Thirty-ninth Iowa, and Iowa Union Brigade of 200 men. In all, a little more than 1,200 men.

2 Twenty-seventh, Thirty-ninth, and Sixty-third Ohio. : Fiftieth Indiana, Thirty-ninth lowa, One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois, and Seventh Tennessee.

552

IMPORTANT CAVALRY RAIDS.

1862,

Dec. 29.

surrounded, and a second demand for a surrender had been made by Forrest and refused. Sullivan made a fierce onslaught on Forrest, whose troops were utterly routed, with a loss of fifty killed, one hundred and fifty wounded, and four hundred prisoners, including the latter. The Union loss was two hundred and twenty, of whom twenty-three were killed, one hundred and thirty-nine wounded, and fifty-eight missing. Forrest himself came very near being captured. His Adjutant (Strange) was made prisoner. Forrest

Ilis fled eastward, recrossed the Tennessee at Clifton, and made his way to Bragg's army, below Murfreesboro'.

Morgan, the guerrilla, was raiding upon Rosecrans's left and rear, while Forrest was on his right. IIe suddenly appeared in the heart of Kentucky, where he was well known and feared by all parties. He dashed up toward Louisville along the line of the railway, and after skirmishing at Nolensville

and other places, he suddenly appeared before Elizabethtown," then garrisoned by five hundred men of the Ninety-first Illinois,

under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith. They were too few to combat successfully Morgan's three thousand. These surrounded the town, and,

without warning to the inhabitants, fired over a hundred shot

and shell into it. Smith had no artillery, and was compelled to surrender, when Morgan's men, as usual, commenced destroying property, stealing horses, and plundering the prisoners. They even robbed the sick soldiers in the hospital of blankets, provisions, and medicines. After destroying the railway for several miles, Morgan made a raid to Bardstown,

where he saw danger, and turning abruptly southward,' he made

his way into Tennessee by way of Springfield and Campbellsville. A counter-raid was made at about this time, by a National force under Brigadier-General S. P. Carter, the object being the destruction of important railway bridges on the East Tennessee and Virginia railway, which connected Bragg's army with the Confederate forces in Virginia. Carter started from Winchester, in Kentucky, on the 20th of December, and crossed the mountains to Blountsville, in East Tennessee, where he captured one hundred and fifty North Carolinians, under Major McDowell, with seven hundred small arms, and a considerable amount of stores. He destroyed the great bridge, seven hundred and twenty feet long, that spanned the IIolston there. He then pushed on toward Jonesboro', and destroyed a railway bridge over the Watauga, at Clinch’s Station, where, in a skirmish, he captured seventy-five men. Ile menaced Bristol, but went no farther east at that time. Then he recrossed the mountains and returned to Winchester, after a ride of seven hundred miles, having lost but twenty men, most of them made prisoners, and inflicted loss on the Confederates of five hundred men and much property. The writer visited the battle-ground of Murfreesboro' early in May, 1866.

Ile went down from Nashville by railway, on the morning of the May, 1866.

9th,' with Messrs. Dreer and Greble, and soon after their arrival they called at the house of the Post Chaplain, the Reverend Mr. Earnshaw, of the Methodist denomination, whom the writer had met in Washington City a few months before. He was actively engaged in the work of estab

. Dec. 30.

See Morgan and his Captors, by Rev. F. Senour, page 85.

A VISIT TO MURFREESBORO' BATTLE-GROUND.

553

lishing a National Cemetery on the Murfreesboro' battle-ground, and collecting therein the remains of the slain Union soldiers in that vicinity. He would be absent on that duty until noon, so we went to the quarters of Captain Whitman, the energetic quartermaster, then absent on duty, under the direction of General Thomas, in visiting the battle-fields of the West, and looking up the graves of Union soldiers, preparatory to their removal to National cemeteries at different places. His son, an earnest, patriotic young man, kindly furnished us with an ambulance and horses, and accompanied us to places of interest around and within Murfreesboro'. We were hospitably entertained at dinner by his mother and sister, after which we were joined by Chaplaini Earnshaw, and all rode out on the Nashville pike to the battle-field, passing on the way the heavy earth-works cast up in the vicinity of the village by the National troops. After crossing Stone's River we saw marks of the battle everywhere upon trees that had survived the storm. Especially prominent were these evidences around the monument on the spot where Hazen's brigade fought, and in the cedar woods few trees had escaped being wounded. The few surviving trees near the monument were terribly scarred, and one, seen in the picture on page 546, beyond the wall, had its top cut off by a passing shell.

The National Cemetery at Murfreesboro' is on the battle-ground between the railway and the Nashville pike. It was partly inclosed when we were there by a fine cut-stone wall, of material from limestone quarries near by. It is at nearly the center of the field of conflict, and covers the slope, on the crest of which Loomis's battery was planted during a part of the struggle there, supported by the Eighth Wisconsin. The cemetery includes sixteen acres of ground, well laid out, with a large square in the center, on which it is designed to rear a monument. Mr. Earnshaw was indefatigable in his labors in the holy work of collecting there, in consecrated ground, the remains of the defenders of their country, and erecting a suitable monument to their memory: Already he had gathered there the remains of six thousand of the patriots who died that the Republic might live.

Having completed our explorations and sketches during the day, we supped with Chaplain Earnshaw and his interesting family, and left for Chattanooga with the next morning's train. To that earnest patriot and zealous Christian minister, and to the equally earnest and patriotic Captain Whitman, the writer is indebted for many kind attentions and much valuable information, while at Murfreesboro' and since.

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