Today in History:

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

Page 232 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Major-General Stanley, commanding cavalry, to proceed with my regiment to the ford on Harpeth River, at the mills 3 miles from Franklin, effect a crossing, strike the Lewisburg pike, and march thence to Franklin on that road.

I immediately started with my regiment, and crossed at the ford, throwing forward Company C, under Lieutenant [B. L.] Fletcher, as an advance guard; Company A, under Lieutenant [N. J.] McCafferty, as left flankers, and Company E, under Lieutenant [E.] Fitzgerald, as right flankers. In this order I advanced until, reaching the woods, 100 yards from the turnpike, I discovered a rebel battery in position on the turnpike, with a strong cavalry support. I then ordered Lieutenant [W. H.] Ingerton, with Companies K and B, to charge the battery, which he did in gallant style, capturing the whole battery of six pieces and between 200 and 300 prisoners, killing a captain and second lieutenant, taking a captain and first lieutenant prisoners, and following up the charge some distance, putting the enemy to flight. During this charge, Lieutenant T. W. Simson was severely wounded. I then ordered Lieutenant [J.] Hedges, with Company G, to follow up the charge, and attack the enemy on the hill and on the right of the turnpike. This he did most successfully, forcing them to retreat in utter confusion. Meanwhile I ordered Lieutenant Fletcher, with Company C, to engage the enemy on our right and rear, where they appeared in force. I ordered the rear squadron, under Captain [T. H.] McCormick, to halt at the battery as a reserve, with Company M, under Lieutenant [E. G.] Roys, in the rear. Scarcely had I done this when he reported to me that the enemy were advancing to attack my rear; that he had dismounted Company M, and they were fighting on foot against a superior force, holding them in check, but needing support immediately. I then ordered Companies E, D, and I, under Lieutenant [T.] Healy, to their support, forming them on the right of Company M. It being then reported to me that the enemy were crossing the fields, on foot toward the woods, to support the force attacking my rear, leaving their horses at a brick church, about 1,000 yards from my rear, and if one squadron should charge down the road, they could be cut off from the woods and their horses, I ordered Lieutenant Healy, with Companies D and I, to charge down the road, which he did, but, being armed only with pistol and saber, with woods on his right and a fence on his left, and the lieutenant being severely wounded, they were forced to fall back. During this time I received orders from Major-General Stanley directing me to fall back immediately and recross the revere, as the enemy in strong force were moving round my right flank, with the intention of intercepting my retreat to the ford. At the same time I discovered the enemy advancing, in superior numbers, on my right, front, and rear, threatening to surround me. I immediately ordered Company B to support Company M, who were still holding in check the force attacking my rear, but their ammunition failing, I then ordered Company M to fall back on the regiment. I then had the rally sounded, and ordered a retreat to the ford, having only 150 yards of a plowed field open to retreat, between a cross-fire from my rear, right, and left. I reached the ford and recrossed the river with but little loss, bringing with me a captain, 1 second lieutenant, and 34 prisoners, but was obliged, by overwhelming numbers, to abandon the battery and between 400 and 500 prisoners, and after having inflicted upon the enemy a loss of at least 100 in killed and wounded. Before retreating, Company A spiked four of the guns, cut the spokes and tongues, and entirely destroyed the harness, thus dismantling the battery.

The officers and enlisted men deserve more praise than I am able to

Page 232 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.