on the front and flank in disorder, almost with the first volley. I then opened on the enemy with canister, firing from 16 to 20 rounds, with good effect, as I have cause to know, for I passed over the ground in our front a few moments afterward a prisoner.
The assault of the enemy was fierce and overwhelming. After the first fire, in which I had 1 man killed, a number wounded, and 12 horses killed, the enemy charged with an impetuosity which carried everything before him. The battery was taken.
It would have been impossible for me to have saved my battery, even if I had commenced a retreat on the first alarm. The enemy was very near us before discovered, and the fight commenced without any of the preliminary skirmishing before a general engagement. To the best of my judgment, it was not more than five minutes from the firing of the first shot to the catastrophe when my battery was taken and myself a prisoner. In the mean time some of my horses returned, were hitched in, and killed. The rest were driven back by the fierce fire from the front. I deemed it my duty to stay with my guns so long as a single shot could be fired, or a chance exist of their being supported and retaken. I did not realize the helplessness of the case until I was surrounded and retreat impossible.
In the brief time we were engaged I had 3 men killed, 25 wounded, and 22 taken prisoners.
I wish here to compliment my men for their determined bravery; they obeyed orders implicity, and stood by their guns to the last.
I would not be understood in this report as casting the slightest reflection on the discretion or vigilance of my brigade commander. I am not capable of criticising his orders, nor would I be permitted to do so had I the disposition. I had learned highly to respect General Kirk as a fine gentleman and accomplished soldier. I reverenced him for his heroic courage in the presence of an enemy. He was dangerously wounded in a desperate attempt to rally his broken regiments to support my battery, riding almost upon the bayonets of the enemy.
As I have been charged with grave errors on the occasion of the battle, I respectfully request that I may be ordered before a court of inquiry, that my conduct may be investigated.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. EDGARTON,
Captain Battery E, First Regiment Artillery, Ohio Vols.
Col. JAMES BARNETT,
Chief of Artillery.
No. 33. Report of Lieut. Albert G. Ransom, Battery E, First Ohio Light Artillery.
IN CAMP NEAR MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., January 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by Battery E, First Regiment Ohio Artillery, in the movement of the Federal army on Murfreesborough and the battles before that town.
Leaving camp near Nashville, December 26, 1862, but marching in rear of two other divisions, the Second was not that day engaged. We