Showing posts with label 14th USCT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 14th USCT. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 190. — Report of Col. Lewis Johnson, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Troops, of operations December 2-3, 1864.

No. 190.

Report of Col. Lewis Johnson, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Troops,
of operations December 2-3, 1864.

HDQRS. FORTY-FOURTH U.S. COLORED INFANTRY,         
Nashville, Tenn., December 4, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the affair which occurred on the 2d and 3d instant, at Stockade No. 2, on Mill Creek (Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad), between the troops temporarily under my command and the enemy under General Forrest:

At 8 a.m. the train containing the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry and Companies A and D of the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry left Murfreesborough and arrived at the bridge over Mill Creek, guarded by Block-house No. 2, at about 11 a.m., when suddenly a battery opened upon the train, nearly all of which was upon the trestle bridge. The locomotive and first car were struck and several of the men injured. I immediately got my command off the train and moved it up to the stockade, which I supposed was evacuated, but, on my arrival there, found it occupied by a detachment of the One hundred and fifteenth Ohio Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant Harter. As the block-house was full, and three batteries were shelling us terribly, and a heavy musketry fire commenced from all sides, I formed my men around the house and then pushed a portion up a hill on the east side of the fort, which entirely commanded it, and from where the heaviest fire was kept up. Unable to carry the crest of the hill I kept the men on the side of it, and had logs and stumps of trees converted into a breast-work. This position afforded them much shelter, and they held it against several assaults of the enemy. The batteries, which continued their fire, injured the block house constantly; they had to change position a dozen times, being silenced by our musketry. At about 5 p.m. the enemy managed to establish a battery on the hill of which I spoke above, and it was this battery which did more harm than all the rest. It knocked the lookout of the stockade to pieces, and also the roof, which caved in at several places. The shots fired by it struck the house every time, and a number penetrated it; one shell, exploding inside, killed the railroad conductor, who had sought shelter in the house, and wounded several of the garrison. It was now dark and the artillery fire ceased, but musketry was still kept up. I drew the command back to the block-house, and left a strong skirmish line at the position which we had occupied during the day. As my ammunition was nearly exhausted (the men who came off the train only had forty rounds), and I expected an assault, I stopped all firing in order to reserve the tour rounds I had left per man for the last effort. The firing was kept up until 3 a.m. of the 3d, but not answered by my men. My position was quite desperate, and when I took into consideration that my stock of ammunition was almost expended, the stockade so much used up that a few shots would have knocked it down, and having lost one-third of the men, I resolved to abandon the stockade and fight my way to Nashville. I knew that should the place be surrendered or taken by assault a butchery would follow, and I also knew that re-enforcements would have been sent to me if it had been possible to send them. I therefore left the block-house at 3.30 a.m., and, contrary to my expectations, got through the rebel lines without much trouble. I arrived at Nashville about daylight.

In addition to the above I have to state that I left Surg J. T. Strong, Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, and Chaplain Railsback, Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, in the block-house to take care of the wounded men.

The soldiers and officers of the different commands behaved well and steady during the entire fight, and especially during the retreat; every man did his duty; not a shot was fired, but silently they marched, determined to die rather than be taken prisoners.

The forces engaged numbered as follows: Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, 227 muskets; Companies A and D, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, 80 muskets; detachment One hundred and fifteenth Ohio Volunteers, 25 muskets; total, 332 muskets.

The losses are:
                       
Command.
Killed.
Wounded.
Missing.
Total.

 A
O
M
O
M
O
M
O
M
44th U.S. Colored Infantry
....
8
....
35
2
37
2
80
82
Companies A and D, 14th U.S. Infantry.
....
2
....
5
....
18
....
25
25
Detachment 115th Ohio Volunteers
....
2
....
6
....
....
....
8
8
Total
....
12
....
46
2
55
2
113
115

[O = Officers  M = Men  A = Aggregate]

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. JOHNSON,                       
Colonel, Commanding.
 Lieut. JOHN E. CLELAND,
            Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 540-1

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 188. — Report of Col. William R. Shafter, Seventeenth U. S. Colored Troops, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 188.

Report of Col. William R. Shafter, Seventeenth U. S. Colored Troops,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.

HDQRS. SEVENTEENTH REGT. U.S. COLORED INFANTRY,                      
Nashville, Tenn., January 30, 1865.

COLONEL: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor to report the part taken by the Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry in the battle of Nashville, December 15, 1864, as follows:

On the morning of December 15 I reported to you for duty with my regiment, in pursuance of orders from Brigadier-General Miller, commanding post of Nashville, and was by you assigned to the First Provisional Brigade. At about 7 a.m. I marched out on the Murfreesborough pike about one mile from the city, and formed line of battle to the right of and parallel with the pike, the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry forming on my left, that regiment being our extreme left. Skirmishers from the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry reporting the enemy as too strong for them, my regiment, with the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, was ordered to advance and drive the enemy from his rifle-pits, which was at once done, the two regiments charging to the railroad, but were prevented from going farther by a deep cut, known as Rains' Cut. At that time we were at least 100 yards beyond and to the rear of the enemy's earth-works near Rains' house, and had we been well supported on our right I think the work could have been taken. As it was, we were soon obliged to fall back, which was done in rather a disorderly manner. As soon, however, as we were out of range of the enemy's canister we reformed and were soon afterward moved around to the right of the enemy's earth-work and took a second position near Rains' house, where we kept up a sharp skirmish with the enemy till night, when he withdrew from our immediate front.

The conduct of all my officers was all that I desire, and from the fact that it was the first time the men had ever been under fire I think they, too, did well I am satisfied that with practice they would make good fighters.

My loss was: Commissioned officers, killed, 2; mortally wounded, 1; badly wounded, 3. Enlisted men, killed, 14; wounded, 64; missing, none; many of the wounded have since died.

I inclose complete list of killed and wounded.*

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. SHAFTER,                  
Colonel Seventeenth U. S. Colored Infantry, Commanding.
Col. THOMAS J. MORGAN,
Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.
_______________

* Embodied in table, p. 103.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 538-9

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 187.—Report of Capt. Clarence W. Baker, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Troops, of operations December 2, 1864.

No. 187.

Report of Capt. Clarence W. Baker, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Troops,
of operations December 2, 1864.

CAMP FOURTEENTH U.S. COLORED INFANTRY,
Nashville, Tenn., November [December] —, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have herewith the honor to submit a report concerning the conduct and loss of Companies A and D, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, in action at Stockade No. 2, December 2, 1864.

The train was very unexpectedly fired upon by a rebel battery from a commanding position. The men left the cars hastily, were formed in line, and moved upon the hill in rear of the stockade, subsequently deployed as skirmishers, lying exposed to a heavy fire from artillery and musketry from 11 a.m. until about 6 p.m., when the larger part of the command was drawn in, leaving pickets posted upon the skirmish line held during the day, and throwing up a rude breast-work, with traverses, on two sides of the stockade. Upon a due consultation the evacuation of the place was determined upon, whereat the men were much pleased, expressing themselves as ready to cut through the rebel lines, or, failing, die in the attempt. Fortunately we succeeded in passing through the line of rebel pickets without losing a man in killed or wounded.

Our loss was as follows: Company A, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry—killed, 1 private; wounded, 1 corporal, 2 privates; missing, 1 corporal, 7 privates; total, 2 corporals, 10 privates. Company D, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry—killed, 1 private; wounded, 1 corporal, 1 private; missing, 10 privates; total, 1 corporal, 12 privates. One wounded man from A and 2 wounded from D Company were left in the stockade, unable to be moved.

It is no more than simple justice to say for the men and officers under my command that they behaved admirably and did credit to the regiment.

CLARENCE W. BAKER,                
Capt., 14th U. S. Colored Infty., Comdg. Companies A and D. Lieut.
 JOHN E. CLELAND,
Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infty., Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 538

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 186. — Report of Col. Thomas J. Morgan, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Troops, commanding First Colored Brigade, of operations November 29, 1864-January 12, 1865.

No. 186.

Report of Col. Thomas J. Morgan, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Troops, commanding
First Colored Brigade, of operations November 29, 1864-January 12, 1865.

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., January 16, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the forces under my command in the recent campaign:

On November 29, 1864, by order of Major-General Steedman I assumed command of the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Corbin, the Sixteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Col. William B. Gaw, and the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, Col. L. Johnson, at Chattanooga, Tenn., and proceeded by railroad to Cowan, Tenn., and thence by railroad to Nashville, Tenn., reaching there with the Sixteenth and the main portion of the Fourteenth Regiments U.S. Colored Infantry on the 1st day of December, 1864. Col. L. Johnson, with the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, and Capt. C. W. Baker, with Companies A and D of the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, occupied the rear section of the train which was transporting General Steedman's command to Nashville, Tenn. Seven miles north of Murfreesborough a train containing artillery and horses ran off the track and stopped the progress of the rear train, which, for some reason unexplained, was taken back to Murfreesborough with troops on board, a guard being left with the wrecked cars. During the night a construction train from Nashville removed the wreck and brought the remaining cars, horses, artillery, and guard, at an early hour on the 2d ultimo, to Nashville. At 8 a.m. 2d ultimo Colonel Johnson again started for Nashville, but when near Mill Creek he was attacked by a rebel cavalry command under General Forrest. The fight that ensued was quite creditable to the forces under Colonel Johnson. Colonel Johnson and Captain Baker are entitled to credit for the skill with which they fought and baffled the enemy and brought out their commands. I append the reports of those officers concerning this affair, marked A, B.1 During the 2d ultimo the portion of the brigade with me, conforming to the movements of General Cruft, occupied the extreme left of the first line of battle, formed near house of Robert Rains, and constructed in its front, hastily, a line of defense, a breast-work of rails and earth with a light palisade in front. On the 3d this line was abandoned and a new line established nearer the city, where the brigade, increased by the return of Colonel Johnson and Captain Baker and the addition of a battalion of the Eighteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, under Major L. D. Joy, took position near the residence of Maj. William B. Lewis. On December 5 and 7 reconnaissances were made by the brigade, in conjunction with other troops, and the enemy were found to occupy the first line of works built by General Steedman near Rains' house; each day the enemy was driven from the left of their works, with slight loss to us. On the 5th one lieutenant and seven enlisted men of the enemy were captured by this brigade. A citizen living near the Murfreesborough pike was killed by a member of Company B, Sixteenth U.S. Colored Infantry. The report of Colonel Gaw concerning this is inclosed, marked C.2 The conduct of officers and men on those occasions, save the misconduct of Colonel Gaw, which was reported at the time, was, so far as came under my observation, good. The coolness of the enlisted men under fire was especially gratifying to me.

On the night of the 14th of December orders were received to move at daybreak to make a demonstration upon the left, to occupy our first line of works, near Rains' house, if practicable, and to strongly menace the enemy's right to prevent the moving of his troops to resist the advance of the right of [the] Federal army when the main attack was to be made. On the evening of the 14th Colonel Gaw, by unsoldierly process, succeeded in getting his regiment taken from the First Brigade and ordered to a safer place in the rear. An excellent regiment, the Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry, under a brave and gallant officer, Colonel Shafter, reported to me instead of the Sixteenth. Lieutenant-Colonel Grosvenor, commanding brigade of white troops, reported to me, and remained with me during the two days’ battle. I inclose Colonel Grosvenor's report of the part taken by his command.3 A section of artillery from Captain Osborne's (Twentieth Indiana) battery likewise was put under my charge. In company with my adjutant-general, during the night of the 14th ultimo, I visited the picket-line near the enemy's work, which it was designed to attack on morning of the 15th. The Murfreesborough pike at this point runs a little east of south, nearly parallel with Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. The line of works was built almost at right angles with these roads. We ascertained from the pickets that the rebels had been at work actively during the afternoon with the spade, and their line of fires extended well toward the south. I concluded that a curtain had been built to protect the flank of the work, and that a line of rifle-pits had been made on the ground marked by the fires, and that if these rifle-pits could be carried and a column pushed well to the rear, the works near Rains’ house would become untenable and the ground east of Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad be given up to us with little loss. Accordingly, on the morning of the 15th, when the fog, which lay like a winding sheet over the two armies, began to disappear, I moved my command out upon the Murfreesborough pike and disposed it as follows: The Fourteenth Colored Infantry was deployed in front as skirmishers; the Seventeenth and Forty-fourth Colored Infantry were formed in line of battle in rear of Fourteenth, and given in charge of Colonel Shafter, of the Seventeenth; the section of Captain Osborne's (Twentieth Indiana) battery was supported by the battalion Eighteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Maj. L. D. Joy; Colonel Grosvenor was directed to send one battalion of his command to guard the left flank and to hold the remainder of his command in rear of Colonel Shafter. The artillery then opened upon the enemy, and the lines moved forward. The Fourteenth advanced until they drew a severe fire, when Colonel Shafter was ordered to carry the rifle-pits, which he did handsomely, killing, wounding, capturing, or driving away the enemy from his front. He pushed forward until he reached the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, when he was met by a destructive fire at short range from a battery planted on the opposite side of a deep cut made by railroad. Seeing that Colonel Shafter had carried the line in his front, and that the enemy still held their position on his right, I ordered up to his support the reserve of Colonel Grosvenor. This command carried a portion of the line, but was quickly compelled to return, with severe loss, by reason of musketry fire on its right flank. What I had thought to be a mere curtain, proved to be a rude but strong lunette, with ditch in front and heavy head-logs on top of parapet, forming a very safe cover for Granbury's brigade, which occupied it. About the time of the repulse of Colonel Grosvenor Colonel Shafter was compelled to withdraw his line from the range of the artillery. The entire command was then withdrawn, by order of General Steedman, and moved to the north of Rains' house. A strong skirmish line, connecting on the right, at the railroad, with Colonel Thompson's command, advanced very close to the enemy's line. Sharpshooters loop-holed a dwelling-house and outbuildings and silenced the enemy. Thus the day wore away; the general's purpose, as communicated to me the night previous, had been accomplished; the enemy had been deceived, and, in expectation of a real advance upon his right, had detained his troops there, while his left was being disastrously driven back. The troops under my command have, as a whole, behaved well, and if they failed to accomplish all I expected it was my fault, not theirs; I was deceived as to the character of the work built by the enemy on the 14th. Could I have known the exact nature of the work, the troops would have carried it by a direct assault from the north side, with perhaps less loss than was sustained. During the night of the 15th the enemy retired from our front.

On the 16th my command, by order of General Steedman, crossed the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, the Nolensville pike, and the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad, skirmishing with and driving the enemy. At an early hour in the afternoon the command joined the left of Colonel Thompson and confronted Overton Hill. Colonel Grosvenor was ordered to join the left of Second Colored Brigade and conform to its movements.  He thus took part in the first assault upon Overton Hill. Colonel Shafter, with Seventeenth, was in echelon to rear of Grosvenor; Lieutenant-Colonel Corbin, with Fourteenth, was directed to support and protect the artillery; Colonel Johnson, Forty-fourth, was directed to guard the left. Captain Osborne's (Twentieth Indiana) battery and Captain Aleshire's (Eighteenth Ohio) battery kept up an incessant fire upon the enemy, and did excellent work. Subsequently the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry was deployed as skirmishers in front of the artillery and directly facing the enemy's works, where they kept and received a brisk fire. When the first assault upon the hill failed the assaulting column retired in disorder, passing through my skirmish line without shaking it. At one time I thought and so reported that the line was being forced back, but it was not true. The line remained; did its work amid the confusion that followed the repulse. When the Sixty-eighth Indiana struck this line they asked what regiment. Being answered, Fourteenth, they cried, “Bully for you; we'll stay with you,” and they did. I assisted Colonel Thompson in reforming his broken lines. When the final assault was being made upon Overton Hill the forces under me moved forward and joined in the pursuit of the enemy, which followed as far as Franklin, Tenn. Subsequently the First Colored Brigade, as part of Second Provisional Division, accompanied the expedition toward Tuscumbia, Ala., going as far as Leighton, Ala. On its return it joined General Cruft's forces in the fruitless chase after General Lyon's rebel cavalry. The brigade was disbanded January 12, 1865.

Colonel Shafter, Seventeenth, acquitted himself well, is cool and brave, and a good disciplinarian. Lieutenant-Colonel Corbin, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, does not possess sufficient courage to command brave men.4 Captain Baker in reality commanded the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry in the battle of the 15th and 16th, and acquitted himself with great credit. He is brave, cool, untiring, and deserves promotion. Lieutenant-Colonel Grosvenor obeyed every order with promptness, and is a good soldier. To each member of my staff, Lieutenants Cleland and Hall, Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, Wadsworth and Dickinson, Sixteenth U.S. Colored infantry, and Wyrill, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, I am indebted for the promptness with which they carried out my desires, exposing themselves cheerfully to necessary danger. The wounded of the First Colored Brigade were faithfully cared for by Surgeon Clemons, Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Surgeon Strong, Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, and Assistant Surgeon Oleson, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry.

I have as yet received no reports from battalion commanders and no lists of casualties; these will be forwarded as soon as received.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. J. MORGAN,            
Colonel Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.
 Maj. S. B. MOE,
            Asst. Adjt. Gen., District of the Etowah.
_______________

1 See pp. 540, 538.

2 Not found.

3 See p. 526.

4 Colonel Corbin was subsequently tried before a general court-martial on the charge of “cowardice” and “misbehavior before the enemy,” &c.; was found not guilty, and “most honorably” acquitted.  Vide General Orders, No. 6, headquarters First Separate Divion, Army of the Cumberland, March 14, 1865.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 534-8

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 182. Report of Lieut. Col. Charles H. Grosvenor, Eighteenth Ohio Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations December 15-20, 1864.

No. 182.

Report of Lieut. Col. Charles H. Grosvenor, Eighteenth Ohio Infantry,
commanding Third Brigade, of operations December 15-20, 1864.

HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, PROVISIONAL DIVISION,                     
ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND, 
Stevenson, Ala., December 23, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my brigade during the recent campaign in front of Nashville:

On the evening of December 14 I received your orders to report with my command “in trim for fighting” to Col. Thomas J. Morgan, on the Murfreesborough turnpike, the next morning at daylight. I at once communicated in writing with that officer, and by his direction met him at his headquarters and was advised of plans, and received definite orders at 5 a.m. December 15. My command was as follows: Sixty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, Lieut. Col. H. J. Espy commanding; Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers, Capt. Ebenezer Grosvenor commanding, and the Second Battalion, Fourteenth Army Corps, Capt. D, H, Henderson, One hundred and twenty-first Ohio Volunteers, commanding. I moved on the left of Colonel Morgan's brigade, and formed in rear of, and in support of, his line of battle, on the Murfreesborough road, left in front, resting at the picket-line. Shortly afterward I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Espy with the Sixty-eighth Indiana to protect the left flank and guard against a sudden movement of the enemy to turn Colonel Morgan's left, should any be attempted, and I pushed that regiment well out to the left of Rains' house to such a distance as to insure the safety of the skirmishers of the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Troops, then pressing rapidly forward. By order of Colonel Morgan I followed the movements of his line of battle, pushing my two remaining regiments well up to the enemy's works near Rains' house, and protected them under the slope of the hill. The skirmish line of Colonel Morgan's command now met with strong resistance, and his first line of battle being checked in its movements by the fire of the enemy posted behind his line of intrenchments, Colonel Morgan ordered me to assault with the Eighteenth Ohio and the Second Battalion the works in my front. He at the same time indicated, by pointing to certain trees in the woods, the earth-work I was to strike and carry if possible. I communicated the order to my command and went forward myself to assist in the execution. Before arriving at the works we had to pass over a corn-field completely covered and enfiladed by the enemy's work. Two picket fences also stood right in our path, and these we had to remove. This accomplished, Captain Grosvenor moved rapidly with his command, by the right flank, at double-quick across the field, striking the salient of the enemy's work. The regiment charged gallantly over the palisade defense in front of the angle of the work, and succeeded in gaining with near 100 men the interior of the work. The testimony of all the men and officers in sight shows that Captain Grosvenor led the head of his regiment full upon the enemy's work, discharged his pistol in the very face of the enemy, and while springing over the embankment he fell forward dead, shot by two balls. Lieut. Samuel W. Thomas fell instantly killed while removing the palisades so as to admit his men. His body lay within ten feet of the works. In the meantime I led the Second Battalion in person to the assault of the right and southern angle of the work. In this I was ably assisted by Captains Henderson, Brown, and other officers of the battalion, and all that could be was done to bring the line to an assault of the work. But the troops were mostly new conscripts, convalescents, and bounty jumpers, and on this occasion, with but few honorable exceptions, behaved in the most cowardly and disgraceful manner. The enemy, seeing the men hesitating and wavering, fired a heavy volley and stampeded the whole line. In vain the officers tried to rally the men; in vain the old soldiers rushed forward themselves; the line broke, and nearly all the men fled from the field. This great misfortune left the enemy free to converge his whole fire upon the Eighteenth Ohio, which he did, and finally drove it, stubbornly fighting its way, off the ground. Captain Benedict, second in rank in the Eighteenth, was wounded soon after the death of Captain Grosvenor, and, being temporarily disabled, was succeeded in command by Lieut. Charles Grant. Capt. D. H. Henderson, One hundred and twenty-first Ohio Volunteers, Second Battalion, while heroically endeavoring to rally his disordered men, was severely wounded, and after the retreat left the field.

I withdrew my command by order of Colonel Morgan and reformed my lines, my right resting at the orphan asylum, and again advanced, throwing forward a strong line of skirmishers. Later, the enemy opened heavily with a battery against Colonel Thompson, on the west of the railroad, and I deployed the Sixty-eighth Indiana, supported by the Eighteenth Ohio, and pressed back the enemy's skirmishers on the flank of his battery. My skirmishers of the Sixty-eighth Indiana advanced skillfully and rapidly, opened so effective a fire upon the enemy's flank as to totally silence the fire of his battery for the balance of the day.

Friday, December 16, I moved at 7 a.m., the Eighteenth U.S. Colored Troops, Major Joy commanding, being added to my command. We moved over the battle-field of the day before and found our dead all stripped of their clothing and left exposed upon the open field. After crossing the Nolensville road we came in sight of the enemy, strongly posted on the Overton Hill, near the Franklin road, and at about noon joined the left of the Fourth Army Corps, in line facing south in front of the position. Here we remained until about 4 p.m., the enemy annoying our position by a constant fire upon us. We then formed to assault Overton Hill. I formed my brigade on the left of that of Colonel Thompson, as follows: Eighteenth U.S. Colored Troops and Second Battalion, Captain Brown commanding, in the first line; Eighteenth Ohio and Sixty-eighth Indiana in the second line. We advanced through a small thicket and crossed rapidly over a wide, open cornfield under a sharp fire of grape and canister. While crossing this field the brigade of Colonel Thompson (or several regiments of it) moved by left oblique so rapidly as to throw a portion of my command into confusion, and finally crossed my front and came out on my left. The inexperience of the men of the Second Battalion, the wounding of the brave Captain Brown, commanding, as also the absence of the next officer in rank, Captain Riggs, Twenty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, threw that organization in such confusion that it could not be rallied, and I saw it no more during the campaign until I arrived at Murfreesborough. The remainder of the brigade pushed promptly forward, crossed the field, and pushed their skirmishers up to the base of the hill under the enemy's works. But the first assault of the Fourth Corps had failed, my line had become too weak to accomplish much without support, and none was at hand. I halted my line in the timber, and held my ground until ordered to retire. I reformed at nearly right angles and easterly from my original position, and on the right of Colonel Thompson. Here we threw up barricades. But we again moved forward, my right closing on the left of the Fourth Corps, and the enemy fled in great confusion from the hill, and the whole line pressed forward in pursuit and encamped for the night near Brentwood.

Saturday, 17th, we moved forward, generally deployed in line of battle, on the east of the Franklin road, reaching Franklin at dark. We did no fighting. Sunday, 18th, after marching three miles south of Franklin, the command was ordered to Murfreesborough, where it arrived Tuesday, the 20th instant.

I have the honor to forward lists of killed, wounded, and missing herewith.*

We captured about 60 prisoners, a portion of whom were turned over and receipted for, and others were informally transferred to the Fourth Corps and other commands.

Permit me to speak briefly of the great gallantry and high qualities of Captain Grosvenor, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, who died so gallantly at the head of his command. He was a true, efficient, and chivalrous soldier. Always prompt in the discharge of duty, courteous, truthful, and honest in his official associations, pure in heart, simple and unostentatious in life, brave and dashing in action, the service and the country have sustained an irreparable loss.

Lieutenant Thomas, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers, also killed, was a brave, gallant, and faithful soldier, and gave promise for the future.

The Sixty-eighth Indiana Volunteers behaved with great gallantry and true soldierly endurance throughout. Its men are well drilled, its officers brave and efficient. Lieutenant-Colonel Espy rendered me most invaluable services, both as regimental commander, staff officer, and brigade commander during my illness from the 19th till the 23d of December. I recommend Lieutenant-Colonel Espy as a first-rate soldier and worthy man.

Captain Benedict, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was wounded in each battle, and finally disabled and carried from the field. He is a most thoroughly reliable and efficient officer, and long ago deserved promotion.

Captains Henderson and Brown, of the Second Battalion, behaved well, as did also without exception all the officers of that unfortunate command on the two fields. It was not from want of gallantry on their part that their battalion failed.

The Eighteenth Ohio gives promise to sustain fully the good names of the organizations from which it was formed.

My thanks are due to Lieut. E. P. Johnson, Sixty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general on my staff, for his courage, perseverance, and faithfulness in the discharge of his duty in camp and field, as also Lieut. Joseph E. Chapman, acting commissary of subsistence and aide-de-camp, for his efficient aid on the field.

Lieut. T. A. Beaton, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, reported to me on the field each day, and, although not on duty within this department, volunteered his efficient assistance in many ways.

Surgeon Jenner, Fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, brigade surgeon, although without proper supplies or facilities, distinguished himself by his devotion to the sick and the wounded during the whole of the arduous campaign. I owe him especial thanks for his care and skillful attention to myself.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. H. GROSVENOR,                       
Lieut. Col. Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Comdg. Brigade.
Capt. JOHN A. WRIGHT,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division.
_______________

* Embodied in table, p. 102.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 526-9

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Edward Munk

Sergeant, Company D, 105th Illinois Infantry
Captain, Company C, 14th U.S. Colored Infantry


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Frank R. Milton Letter: Jany 6th 1865



Head-Quarters Post of Nashville,
Nashville, Tenn. Jany 6th, 1865

Dear Father,

Your welcome letter of Jany 1st was received last night and I was pleased to hear from you No, I am not homesick, but of course I would like to be home a few days to see you all. I have no reason to be homesick for I am a great deal more comfortably situated than most soldiers and am very thankful of it. I am so much obliged to receive a box from home and thank you heartily for sending it. I met Mr. Caffat last night he is Sutler of the 12th. Iowa, and was very glad to see him or anybody from Dubuque.

I am very sorry indeed to hear of your being unwell and sincerely hope that you will be better. I don’t see why you should not succeed in your business. You have the best trade of any of them in Dubuque, and I am confident that you will prosper. So you have gone in to “mining” again. That is the most uncertain business of them all and it is my earnest wish that you will make a big strike. I wrote to you a few days ago and requested you to send me a few things. I would not have asked you but we do not get paid untill March and perhaps not then and I am entirely out of the things I asked for. The 5th were in a fight and Henry Saulsbury my old “partner”was wounded, but not dangerously. Capt. Moreing acted very disgracefully he got the boys in a tight place and then left them. Charley Weigel (Sergt, and a braver soldier never rode a horse) led them out. Willie Andrew is all right, but is not here he is “front” with Gene Thomas Army Moving is not thought much of in fact very few of the officers in the regiment have a good standing. I am so glad I am not with the regiment. I think my getting a commission is not very favorable just now. But if I could get an appointment in some regiment from the state that will be raised under this new call 300.00 I would take it. I will send recommends from the Staff and if you could get some influential man with the Governor to put this thing through I would be greatly obliged, one of the clerks has just received our appointment in the 14th U.S.C.T. I would never accept a commission in a nigger regiment. You know a great deal more of the news than we do only what goes on the Past command Kiss the girls and Mother and Fred. with love to all and many wishes for your speedy recovery I remain

Your Affectionate Son
Frank R. Milton