Today in History:

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


retire, which they did in good order, keeping up a well-directed fire, regaining and holding the ground from which they started, and checking the advance of the enemy. At or about the time the two regiments were ordered to retire, still another battery opened on our left flank.

At the time the order was given for the regiments to retire from the charge, I heard Colonel Coburn order Colonel Jordan to bring up two companies of cavalry, and sent them to the right to support the retiring regiments. Colonel Jordan started off on foot, but did not return, ot was the order obeyed. Soon after the battery opened on our left flank, the commanding officer of the Eighteenth Ohio Battery came up, very much excited, and said he was out of ammunition, and that he could not stand the fire of the batteries. That portion of the battery on the left of the pike had already, by the captain's direction, moved down on to the pike without orders from Colonel Coburn or any other person. Colonel Coburn directed me to ascertain from the officers in charge of each ammunition box of the entire battery how much ammunition there was remaining. I did so, and reported to Colonel Coburn that there were 230 rounds of shell and 70 rounds of canister. I also gave orders to the officers not to move the battery or any portion without orders. I then went to the left, to ascertain about a flank movement that had been reported, and, on reaching the brow of the hill occupied by the Twenty-second Wisconsin and Nineteenth Michigan, saw the enemy advancing in line of battle. I at once reported the same to Colonel Coburn, but received no orders. Colonel Coburn was at this time at the head of the Thirty-third and Eighty-fifth Indiana, on the right, both regiments being hotly engaged. The section of artillery on the right up to this time had kept up a constant fire. After reporting the flank movement of the enemy on the left, I went to the top of the hill occupied by the Twenty-second Wisconsin and Nineteenth Michigan, and as I reached the left of the Twenty-second Wisconsin, that regiment opened fire upon the enemy, and held its position some minutes, and until the Nineteenth Michigan went to its support. The two regiments held that point nearly twenty minutes. At the time of the first fire upon the Twenty-second Wisconsin, that portion of the battery on the pike, and which had retired from the left of the road, started off in quick-time up the pike. I instantly went and stopped them, and made every effort to induce the captain to bring his guns to bear upon the enemy, then charging through a ravine and up the hill toward the Nineteenth and Twenty-second. At this point one gun could command the roads and the ravine farther to the left.

All my efforts were unavailing, however, and the battery started off in full retreat, the section on the right coming down at that moment, and, as I suppose, without orders. I very soon met Colonel Jordan, commanding the cavalry, and asked him if something could not be done to assist the infantry. He replied, "We are doing about all that can be done;" while at that very instant everything was moving off. At the time the Twenty-second Wisconsin received the first charge, Lieutenant-Colonel Bloodgood, of that regiment, with about 150 men from the left of the regiment, retired from the field and moved off, by the left flank, with the retreating party. I cannot believe that Lieutenant-Colonel Bloodgood had orders from Colonel Coburn or any other person to move; at least, if he did, no member of his (Colonel Coburn's) staff had any knowledge of it, and they were at that time on the ground. If there were any orders from any one for Lieutenant-Colonel Blodgood to move, they were not to retire, and there was nothing to prevent him from going to any part of the field for fifteen minutes after he left, as