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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 20, Part 1 (Murfreesborough)

formed our first line this a.m., 4 miles from Murfreesborough. The cavalry we kept back with the greatest ease, but finally they brought up several regiments of infantry in line of battle, colors flying, with cavalry on the flanks and artillery placed in a favorable position. By this means they succeeded in driving us 2 miles. The last attack was 5 miles from Murfreesborough, the shock of which was sufficiently great to prevent them from making any farther advance to-night. We must have killed and wounded a great many of them. Our loss, 6 or 7 wounded, including my aide, Lieutenant Wailes. My adjutant, Lieutenant Burford, was slightly wounded yesterday by a shell. I shall have no difficultly in keeping back the enemy from Bellbuckle for several days, if General Wharton succeeds in keeping them back on the Shelbyville pike. Of course, it will take more time to reach Wartrace and Shelbyville.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General and Chief of Cavalry.

Lieutenant-General POLK.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY, Near Fosterville, Tenn., January 26, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that my command-consisting of the First Alabama Cavalry, Colonel [William W.] Allen; Third Alabama, Major [F. Y.] Gaines; Fifty-first Alabama, Colonel [John T.] Morgan; Eighth Confederate, Colonel [W. B.] Wade, and two Tennessee battalions, under Majors [D. W.] Holman and DeWitt C. Douglass, together with [Capt. J. H.] Wiggin's battery - was, on the 26th ultimo, stationed at Stewart's Creek, on the Murfreesborough and Nashville pike, and about 10 miles northwest of Murfreesborough. My line of vedettes, forming a continuous line, extended from a point east of Stone's River, on my right, crossing the Nashville and Murfreesborough pike about 10 miles from Nashville, and extending to a point about half way from said pike to Brentwood, the posts of the pickets and grand guards being at favorable position on the avenues of approach and at points varying from 300 to 1,000 yards in rear of the line of vedettes. General Pegram's brigade was stationed on the right and General Wharton's brigade on the left of my line.

About 7 o'clock on the morning of December 26, [1862,] the enemy advanced in large force, driving in our vedettes. On arriving at the front and seeing the extent of the movement, I ordered up the entire command and deployed it in line of battle. We engaged the enemy during the entire day, falling back about 3 miles. We also engaged the enemy during the 28th and 29th ultimo, killing and wounding large numbers, meeting but very slight ourselves.

By the evening of the 29th we had reached the line of battle of our infantry and had placed my brigade on the extreme right of the line.

At midnight, pursuant to orders from General Bragg, I proceeded with my command, re-enforced by Colonel [James E.] Carter's regiment, to the enemy's rear.

By daylight on the 30th we had reached Jefferson, and soon after met a brigade train, with all the equipage of one brigade. We attacked vigorously, drove off the guards, and destroyed the train, baggage, equipage, &c., also capturing about 50 prisoners. We then proceeded toward La Vergne, and captured a party of Federals out stealing and gathering stock, and soon after overtook and captured a small foraging train.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 20, Part 1 (Murfreesborough)
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