War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0411 Chapter XXXII. THE STONE'S RIVER CAMPAIGN.

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No. 79. Report of Lieutenant Alban A. Ellsworth, Hewett's (Kentucky) battery.


Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 12, 1863.

SIR: In obedience to orders received from Headquarters Seventh Brigade, Eighth Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by Hewett's battery, Kentucky Volunteer Artillery, in the recent engagements before Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

On the evening of December 29, 1862, in obedience to orders from General Negley, I placed the battery in position near the old toll-gate, and on the right of Battery G, First Ohio Volunteer Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Marshall.

Early on the morning of the 30th, I received orders from Colonel Miler to move about three-fourths of a mile to the right and front, through a dense cedar thicket, and over a rough and newly made road. Here I remained partly under cover of the cedars until about 10 a.m., when I received orders from General Negley to move a short distance to the left and front, taking a position fronting an open field, where the enemy had a battery of four guns bearing on us. During the day fired about 50 rounds of shell and solid shot at this battery and intrenchments without receiving any reply. As night approached, withdrew the battery and placed it under cover of the wood, where we remained during the night.

Early in the morning of the 31st, received orders from Colonel Miller to bring my command in position on the left, and near an old log-house, supported on my right and front by the Twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, where I remained without further orders for about fifteen minutes, when, observing the enemy in large column marching on a battery and some infantry stationed about 300 yards to my left, I opened an oblique fire on him, and soon discovered him retiring to his intrenchments, where I kept up a brisk and well-directed fire, receiving, at the same time, a heavy fire from his artillery for about fifteen or twenty minutes, when a cessation occurred.

I soon after noticed a heavy mass of his infantry moving on our support to my right and front, accompanied by a section of artillery,which was brought into position about 500 yards to my right and front; also a section placed to my left and front, at about the same distance. Here we were subject to a heavy cross-fire of canister. I immediately ordered a return fire of canister, double-shot, firing as rapidly as possible for about twenty minutes, doing good execution. The enemy was soon seen retiring, and I ordered the use of shell to follow his retreat, briskly kept up for about fifteen minutes, when the enemy commenced a well-directed fire from his artillery direct upon my command. After shelling him rapidly for about three-fourths of an hour, one of my guns (a small rifled gun) was disabled. I continued shelling as rapidly as possible for some time after, and finding my horses were fast being crippled by the shells continually exploding in our midst, I ordered a change of position of the battery to the left, that I might break the range of his artillery, bearing heavily upon us.

While my order was being executed, I noticed that our infantry and artillery were retiring, at the same time that a heavy fire was being poured into out right, and almost into our rear. Receiving no orders to retire, made the change of position of the battery to the left, and opened fire on the enemy,now fast approaching; but I soon found it