Today in History:

36 Series I Volume XXIII-I Serial 34 - Tullahoma Campaign Part I

Page 36 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

that the ridge upon which the road runs extends down to my encampment. Soon after, Company C, under command of Lieutenant [J. C.] Gamble, of the Eighty-third, was sent as a support to this gun and the two companies.

I now ordered gun Numbers 1., of the battery, supported by Companies H (Captain [W. G.] Bond) and K (Captain [G. W.] Reynolds), of the Eighty-third, to take position at the east end of my rifle-pits. I then recalled my skirmishers, placed gun Numbers 4, of the battery, behind a little redoubt at the southwest corner of my base. by this time the enemy's lines could be seen drawn up around the whole extent of the heights overlooking my position. They soon put in position a battery of four guns on the ridge to the eastward, and commenced a vigorous shelling of my guns in position near the end of the rifle-pits, and at the same time the gun and companies at the graveyard, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel [A. A.] Smith, became hotly engaged. I had now deployed the remaining companies of the Eighty-third in the deep ravine west of my base, in which position they were entirely sheltered from the enemy's artillery.

You will remember that at the northwest corner of my base, near the site of the old court-house, I have in position a 32-pounder siege gun, which I brought from the enemy's old water battery at the fort last summer. This I had well entrenched, and the position is a splendid one, the gun, being on pivot, commanding every approach.

The enemy were now shelling us from three batteries (in all, probably nine guns), from the east, south, and southwest, occasionally changing their position, and raining storms of iron hail upon us, which it would have been very hard to withstand had we been in a less protected position. I now ordered the gun at the east end of the rifle-pits to move to the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, at the graveyard, as a very heavy force was pressing his position. I then ordered gun Numbers 4 to be moved from the redoubt to near my headquarters, and put in position near the siege gun, which was being finally maneuvered under the direction of Adjutant [W. B.] Casey. Here Numbers 4 fired a few shots, and at this time the enemy made demonstrations for a charge along the low ground near the river. To meet this, I ordered gun Numbers 4. to move down the street and toward the river, and, if possible, to drive them back. This was soon executed, when Numbers 4. again returned to its position near the siege gun, fired a few shots, and it was then sent to the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith. Gun Numbers 3 took the position of Numbers 4. at the redoubt near the headquarters, but as it was unable to accomplish much, it was also sent to the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith.

Gun Numbers 3, and all the guns at this position, did splendid execution, until friction primers and port-fires were exhausted, and two of the guns became choked in the vent. The battery suffered very severely in the loss of horses killed and wounded, and, in the confusion consequent, they became so entangled int eh harness that when Colonel Smith, ascertaining that the ammunition was exhausted, ordered the battery to the rear, it was with difficulty that any of the guns could be taken off the field. All except the wheel horses of Numbers 4 were killed, and it was given up as lost, unless our infantry could hold the enemy in check until the cannoneers could get the others off and return to remit it by hand.

Nos. 1, 2, and 3 were made safe, and the cannoneers, with a daring rarely exhibited, returned for Numbers 4. The driver mounted his wheel-horses, but the piece was cramped, and, before they could move it, the

Page 36 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.