War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0386 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA. Chapter

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XVII.

sight when dark came on. Saturday night our troops slept, flushed with victory, and confident they could drive the enemy back to the Tones River the next morning.

About 12 o'clock at night I was called in council with the generals, who had under discussion the surrender of the fort. They reported that the enemy had received 11,000 re-enforcements since the fight. They supposed the enemy had returned to the positions they had occupied the day before.

I returned to my quarters and sent out two men, who, going by a road up the bank of the river, returned without seeing any of the enemy, only fires, which I believed to be the old camp fires, and so stated to the generals; the wind, being very high, had fanned them into a blaze.

When I returned General Buckner declared that he could not hold his position. General Floyd and Pillow gave up the responsibility of the command to him, and I told them that I neither could nor would surrender my command. General Pillow then said I could cut my way out if I chose to do so, and he and General Floyd agreed to come out with me. I got my command ready and reported at headquarters. General Floyd informed me that General Pillow had left, and that he would go by boat.

I moved out by the road we had gone out the morning before. When about a mile out crossed a deep slough from the river, saddle-skirt deep, and filed into the road to Cumberland Iron Works. I ordered Major Kelly and Adjutant Schuyler to remain at the point where we entered this road with one company, where the enemy's cavalry would attack if they attempted to follow us. They remained until day was dawning. Over 500 cavalry had passed, a company of artillery horses had followed, and a number of men from different regiments, passing over hard-frozen ground. More than two hours had been occupied in passing. Not a gun had been fired at us. Not an enemy had been seen or heard.

The enemy could not have reinvested their former position without traveling a considerable distance and camped upon the dead and dying as there had been great slaughter upon that portion of the field, and I am clearly of the opinion that two-thirds of our army could have marched should have gained a glorious victory, as our troops were in fine spirits, believing we had whipped them, and the roads through which we came were open as late as 8 o'clock Sunday morning, as many of my men, who came out afterwards, report.

I made a slow march with my exhausted horses to Nashville, Tenn., where we arrived on Tuesday morning, and reported myself to General Floyd, who placed me in command of the city on Thursday, at the time of his leaving. I remained in the city until Sunday evening, during which time I was busily engaged with my regiment restoring order to the city and removing public property.

My loss at the battle in killed, wounded, and taken prisoners amounted to between 300 and 400 men. Among the number was Captain Charles May, who fell at the head of his company while leading a charge.

My regiment charged two batteries, taking nine pieces of artillery, which, with near 4,000 stands of arms, I had taken inside of our lines. I cannot speak too highly of the gallant manner in which my officers and men conducted themselves on that occasion, as well as others that came under my observation, with the exception of Lieutenant-Colonel Gantt, commanding a battalion of Tennessee Cavalry, who failed to fight