Today in History:

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

Page 88 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

dismounted cavalry occupied a cedar-crowned knoll to the left of the Nineteenth Michigan. In its rear the main part of the cavalry were stationed. In the rear, a third of a mile, was the train, under guard of the One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio. Such being the disposition of the forces, a demonstration was made by our cavalry on our extreme left, and the Thirty-third and Eighty-fifth Indiana were advanced to the station, with directions to charge the battery on the right of the road, if practicable. The Twenty-second Wisconsin, the Nineteenth Michigan, the battery, and most of the cavalry were held in reserve. Our artillery, soon after being stationed, began firing, which was responded to by guns stationed at two points. The firing was kept up with great vigor during the advance to the depot, our column moving forward under a constant fire of shell and canister, as well as musketry, from a brigade posted behind a bank and stone fence beyond. The loss was slight, and the troops moved forward in separate columns regularly and steadily to the depot. As this force advanced, a large number of the enemy arose from their covert on their extreme left and rallied to the battery beyond the depot. At this moment I was informed that a force of 1,000 or more cavalry had been discovered advancing on our left, a mile distant, in the neighborhood of the Lewisburg road. I immediately ordered the regiment to withdraw from the depot, intending at once to retreat, being convinced that we were in the neighborhood of an overwhelming force. Lieutenant Bachman, my quartermaster, bore the order. They began to retire. The enemy with a cheer followed. Colonel Jordan was directed to bring two companies of his cavalry to support the regiments as they retired. He went off. I saw him no more. I saw them no more, although I sent for them. The fire of musketry and artillery on our retiring men was heavy and galling, but they rallied, on crossing the field, in good order, and repulsed [J. W.] Whitfield's and [George B.] Cosby's and one regiment of [F. C.] Armstrong's brigades, driving them back beyond the depot. They sustained and repelled here, successively, three charges.

To prevent an approach on our right, Captain Seaton, with two companies of the Thirty-third Indiana, were posted upon an eminence about an eighth of a mile in that direction; they kept back all approaches there.

During the advance to the depot, the battery did good firing; but, on being ordered to fire more slowly and carefully, ceased, and, as our men were falling back, began to leave its position. I directed them to resume firing and keep their place. On being told that ammunition might be exhausted, I directed Lieutenant Adams, my assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant Bachman, acting assistant quartermaster, to examine all the ammunition chests and report the quantity on hand. They informed me that there were about 70 rounds to the gun of shell, grape, and canister. Deeming this ample for our retreat, I directed very careful use of it. Lieutenant Bachman was directed to turn the train, preparatory to a retreat. This he did expeditiously.

In the mean time, while the enemy were pressing with great violence our right, they bore down with Forrest's division and Armstrong's brigade on our left. The dismounted cavalry on the hills to our left fell back, and the rebels planted two pieces of artillery in this position; its fire enfiladed the Nineteenth Michigan, which was directed to change front to the left. This was followed by a furious assault of dismounted men on our whole left. They were repulsed, and the attack was repeated. The Nineteenth Michigan fell back to the rear of the Twenty-second Wisconsin. The rebels were again repulsed. They then charged up the road

Page 88 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.