Today in History:

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

Page 38 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

a happy suggestion was made by Adjutant Casey, which was, that we should charge toward our rifle-pits and ammunition and the three companies which had remained there, and, notwithstanding that the enemy from either flank had well-night cut us off from these, the brave boys started on the double-quick, and, with a yell that sent the rebels running in every direction, regained our rifle-pits in safety. It was now took dark for the enemy's artillery to injure us, and in a very few moments the men were disposed around the rifle-pits and ammunition distributed to them.

We could now distinctly see along the whole extent of ridge encircling our encampment long lines of rebels, mounted and dismounted, apparently preparing for some new method of attack, but we felt secure. Beyond an eminence near the graveyard we could see collected a large body of men, which I expected would be precipitated upon our weakest point, to wit, the Fort Henry road, the siege gun, like the others, having run short of friction primers and port-fires (this was about sun-down), imperfectly spiked and abandoned; but in one break of the rifle-pits some 30 men stopped inside of the redoubt, and I ordered a company to get behind a field-work which had eden thrown up between two houses and fronting the last-named position of the enemy, and sent another company of the southwest corner of the rifle-pits, which commanded their position. These three detachments kept up a continuous fire upon the enemy until 8 o'clock. they sent in a flag of truce, again demanding the surrender of the post, telling us that they had not brought into action more than half of their forces. We declined any such offers, and informed them that we would not surrender. They then left. The troops fought bravely and seemed fixed with the purpose of victory or death.

It is impossible to distinguish by mentioning some without injustice to others, and, indeed, all who struggled through our seven hours of battle. I will mention the cool and daring bravery of my staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, Major Brott, and Adjutant Casey; the latter, although wounded by a shot through the arm, kept the field, and suggested the last movement we made-the rally upon our trenches; Quartermaster Bissell, of the Eighty-third, and William Thayer, telegraph operator, through sheets of fire, bore my orders and brought me reports until Bissell fell by my side, mortally wounded (since dead); Lieutenants [E. V.] Moore and [A. H.] McIntyre, of the artillery (the former has since died of his wounds); Captains Reed and McClanahan, of the Eighty-third. Indeed, all of my officers covered themselves with glory.

Company C, of my regiment, led by Lieutenant Gamble (Captain Cutler being unfortunately absent), held with brave tensity, with the battery and other companies, the key to our position. This company lost in killed and wounded one-fourth of the whole number on our side.

I must also mention Private Sturgis, of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, who left the command in this battle, as in that of Waverly last summer (where 200 of my regiment fought the enemy under [T. A.] Napier), and performed in the ranks of my infantry daring deeds of valor. He should have a command.

Our loss in the whole command was 13 killed, 51 wounded, and some 20 prisoners. This is exclusive of Captain von Minden and his 26 men, who were captured the same day on a scout. The prisoners have all been paroled except Captain von Minden. The loss of the enemy, according to the best estimate we can make, is 150 killed; their wounded

Page 38 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.