As we approached Nolensville, my whole regiment was deployed as skirmishers, where we did efficient service in feeling for the enemy, and driving in his pickets, who took refuge in the houses on the outskirts of the town until they were finally driven out and repulsed. The regiment was then assembled, and formed the left of the line of battle of the First Brigade, as it moved upon the enemy's batteries and cavalry, south of the town, drawing him from his position with a loss of one or more of his guns. We lay on our arms that night and next day; moved forward and went into camp near Triune, where we remained all the day following. On the morning of the 29th took up our line of march toward Murfreesborough. The continued heavy firing in front gave evidence of the near proximity of the enemy. Bivouacked for the night, and next morning (30th), at an early hour, were on the march, moving by the front in line of battle. By noon it became evident that the enemy were in force in our front. At that time I was ordered, with my regiment, to support Captain Pinney's Fifth Wisconsin Battery. During the p.m. Captain Pinney opened on the enemy's battery, when my men were exposed to the shot and shell of the enemy's fire. After Captain Pinney had silenced or driven his battery from the field, we moved forward and bivouacked until morning. That night was very cold, and the men suffered very much from its effects. At daylight, on the morning of the 31st, we were in line of battle, in full view of the enemy, who appeared to be moving in strong force to our right. I was then ordered, together with Captain Pinney's battery, to hold ourselves as a reserve, and were moved a short distance to the rear; at the same time the line of battle was formed in our front, and the firing became heavy both on our right and left.
It soon became evident that the enemy was closely pressing our right, and our lines were rapidly extended in that direction. At the same time my regiment and Captain Pinney's battery were ordered to the front to engage the enemy across an open field. I immediately faced my command in the direction indicated, and moved forward good order. At the same time the long lines of the enemy appeared on the opposite side of the field, moving directly to our front. When we approached within short musket range, I gave the order to fire, and lie down and load, which order was promptly responded to; at the same instant the enemy's balls came whistling over us in awful proximity to our heads. I do not know how long we remained in that position, but my men poured a deadly and destructive fire upon the enemy, who had laid down the avoid its terrible effects, until regiment after regiment on our right gave way, when I, reluctantly, received the order to fall back. At the same instant Captain Pinney was severely wounded, and the horses from two of his guns were either disabled or killed, when my men gallantly took hold and assisted to haul the guns from the field by hand, exposed all the while to a deadly fire of the enemy's musketry and grape and canister shot. We continued to move to the rear in reasonably good order, forming twice and firing upon the pursuing enemy, until we were beyond the range of his fire, when we formed and awaited the orders of our brigade commander. When the brigade was formed, we took our position in line of battle in the front, where we remained during the remainder of the day and the succeeding night.
I cannot speak too highly in praise of the bravery displayed by the officers and men under my command. All nobly did their duty. To Capts. B. M. Veatch and James M. Stookey, acting field officers, I especially return my thanks for the efficient aid the they rendered me, and the promptness with which they executed my orders during the series of
18 R R-VOL XX, PT I