Today in History:

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


Numbers 15. Report of Captain Charles C. Aleshire, Eighteenth Ohio Battery.

Franklin, Tenn., March 8, 1863.

SIR: In obedience to instructions from you, I have the honor to make the following report of the part my command took in the action of the 4th and 5th instant:On the morning of the 4th, Colonel Coburn's brigade, consisting of the Thirty-third and Eighty-fifth Indiana, the Twenty-second Wisconsin, and the Nineteenth Michigan Regiments of Infantry, and my battery, together with the Ninth Pennsylvania and parts of the Second Michigan and Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Thomas J. Jordan, of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, proceeded on the turnpike leading toward Spring Hill and Columbia. My battery was divided, one section being in the rear of the wagon train, commanded by Lieutenant [W. R.] Morgan.

When about 3 miles from Franklin, the enemy's cavalry was discovered in line of battle on the right of the pike, about half a mile distant. Colonel Coburn immediately ordered me to take position, with the four guns in advance, on the high ground on the left of the pike, which I did. He then ordered me to open upon them. I opened upon their line, and, after a few rounds, they moved off to the left of the pike, where a battery of four guns began to play upon my battery, but I could not discover its position until I rode down next to the pike. I then asked Colonel Coburn's permission to move two of my guns down next to the pike, as I thought it the better position to play upon their battery. He told me to do so, which I did, and with a few rounds from these guns disabled one of their pieces, and their battery retired. Lieutenant Morgan then came up with section, and Colonel Coburn ordered me to put it into position on an elevation on the right of the pike, which I did, and ordered him to commence firing upon the enemy's cavalry as it retired.

Colonel Coburn then ordered me to advance, with my four guns, on the left of the pike. I advanced these guns about 600 yards, and came into position, and also shelled the retiring enemy with them.

From the direction which a part of the enemy's cavalry took, Colonel Coburn thought it possible we might be flanked on the left, and ordered me to move Lieutenant Morgan's section so as to protect our left flank.

While moving these guns, the axle-tree of one of the guns broke down, and I sent Sergeant Roseburgh to Franklin, with orders to repair it immediately and join me with it again, if possible. Colonel Coburn then ordered me to move all of my battery, so at to protect our left which I had done, and occasionally fired a shell into the enemy as they appeared in squads in the woods. We then advanced about a mile and encamped for the night.

I reported to Colonel Coburn on the evening of the first day that I had about 120 rounds of ammunition, inclusive, to the piece. I reported the same to him on the morning of the 5th also.

Early on the morning of the 5th, we advanced toward Spring Hill, the position which my battery occupied in the column being different from that of the preceding day. Lieutenant Morgan was in the advance, with the cavalry, with one piece, while I was preceded by one