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

Page 120 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Numbers 19. Report of Brigadier General Nathan B. Forrest, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.


Near Spring Hill, March--,[1863.]

GENERAL: On the morning of the 5th instant, I was ordered to place my brigade in line of battle on the right of General Jackson's division, which I did, dismounting and placing Colonel [J. H.] Edmondson on the left of my line and Colonel [J. W.] Starnes on the right, parallel with the line of battle already formed by forces under General Jackson. I also caused the regiments of Colonels [J. B.] Biffle and [N. N.] Cox to form upon my extreme right near the Lewisburg pike, with ample pickets and vedettes upon that pike, to give timely notice of the approach of the enemy from that quarter. By the time this disposition of my force was made, the firing began from the enemy's artillery, and, finding I had no position bearing upon the enemy with my artillery, I ordered Captain [S. L.] Freeman forward with his battery to a high hill, which placed it advantageously for operating on the enemy's left flank. As it was full half a mile in advance of my first position, I ordered up al the regiments of my brigade on foot to a line parallel with that hill and nearly at right angles with the pike. I found two regiments of infantry and a regiment of the Federal cavalry posted behind a stone fence to the left of their artillery. A few shells from my guns drove them from their position to the right of their battery and into the pike. I then ordered a fire opened upon their battery, and, after about 20 rounds, drove it from its position, retreating by the pike toward Franklin. At this time I was ordered to move forward, and, if possible, get in the rear of the enemy. This was done with as little delay as possible, but the two regiments of Biffle and Cox (the latter commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [E. B.] Trezevant) were ordered up, but did not arrive as soon as desired, from the fact that they were 2 miles off, and dismounted, and a half a mile in advance of their horses. Pending this movement, Colonels Edmondson and Starnes were ordered to move forward, which they did in gallant style, driving the enemy from the cedar hill, and attacking them across the railroad in conjunction with Generals Armstrong's and Whitfield's brigades. The engagement their lasted for about an hour, which gave time for Biffle's and Cox's regiments to get up.l They attacked vigorously, and dispersed that portion of the enemy's force moving on the pike, and formed in the field beyond King's house, on the right of the pike. The main force of the enemy was posted on the hill in front of Thompson's Station and to the left of the pike, and had driven back several times the forces under Generals Armstrong and Whitfield and my two regiments under Colonels Starnes and Edmondson. I moved Biffle's and Cox's regiments rapidly across the pike in the rear of the enemy; found they had fallen back from the first hill on the left of the pike, where they had successfully resisted the advance of our forces, and had taken a strong position, and were ready to receive us. As soon as the two regiments were formed, I ordered a charge, which was gallantly lee by Colonel Biffle and Lieutenant-Colonel Trezevant, commanding Cox's regiment. The enemy opened a heavy fire upon us, the first volley mortally wounding Lieutenant-Colonel Trezevant and Captain Montgomery Little, who commanded my escort. The men seeing those officers fall, raised a shout, and continued the charge to within 20 feet of the Federal line of battle. The enemy then threw down their arms and surrendered.

Page 120 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.