War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0059 Chapter XXXII. ACTION AT HARTSVILLE, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

quickly surrounded by the then otherwise wholly disengaged aggregate force of the enemy. A part only made their escape across the road, and saved the regimental colors by tearing them off the staff and hiding them on their persons.

With one solitary exception, all the officers performed their duty unflinchingly; and the men also, with very few exceptions, fought like veterans. Out of a force of about 250 men, I had 22 killed, 42 wounded and 10 missing.*

The Second (rebel) Kentucky Infantry, with which we had to contend, according to their account, shows a loss of 75 killed and wounded.

The above is a true and correct statement of the fight from its beginning, and, as in this connection I cannot help noticing the scandalous and entirely unfounded reports which got into the papers, I would respectfully ask you to cause a strict investigation of the facts to be made.

GUSTAVUS TAFEL,

Lieut. Col., Comdg. One hundred and sixth Ohio Vol. Infty.

Colonel GARESCHE,

A. A. G., and Chief of Staff of Major-General Rosecrans,

Commanding Army of the Cumberland.

No. 11. Report of Captain Carlo Piepho, One hundred and eighth Ohio Infantry.

GENERAL: Allow me to state to you the part which the One hundred and eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry took in the battle at Hartsville, Tenn., on December 7, 1862.

The One hundred and eighth, which formed a part of the Thirty-ninth Brigade, was encamped on the west side of the brigade, forming the right flank of the battle-line. The camp of the brigade, which was situated on a rocky hill, about 1 miles from Hartsville, rested, to its left, on a very steep and rocky bank of the Cumberland, close to a ford, which ford was protected by two pieces of artillery; in front of the camp, a dense grove of beech wood; on the right, the turnpike leading from Hartsville to Lebanon. Another ford in the Cumberland, between the camp and town, was left without protection. The outposts were thrown out about a half mile from camp, and formed a line from the bank of the Cumberland about one-half mile above camp to another point of the river bank, about one-half mile below. There were no outposts or vedettes posted on the opposite side of the river, where several roads connected at the above-mentioned ford, between camp and town. The road leading from Hartsville to Gallatin was also left without protection.

Soon after reveille, on Sunday morning, December 7, a negro servant of one of the officers of the One hundred and eighth ran into camp, shouting at the top of his voice, "The rebels are coming." I ordered the long-roll to beat, formed my battalion in line, and went out in front with Companies A and B, which two companies I threw out as skirmishers. I found the enemy thrown up in line of battle on the summit of a low hill, ready to rush on us, in shooting range of our camp. The rest of the battalion (five companies) I left command of Adjutant

---------------

*But see revised statement, p.45.

---------------