[M. V.] McDuffy, [R. J.] Pentecost, [G. R.] Scott, [T.] Wilson, [N. H.] Baird, [T.] Barron, [J.] Hicks, [J. T. or J. W.] Doughty, and [W. W.] Bland acted with great bravery and coolness. Adjt. R. L. Caruthers was severely wounded early in the engagement. He was nobly acting his part when the unerring missile struck him. Quartermaster-Sergt. Robert B. Koen deserves much praise for his brave and gallant conduct. The whole regiment fought well, and every member of it, with four or five exceptions, seemed animated with a determination to conquer or die.
I deeply regret the death of Captain B. H. Holland. He was shot through the brain, and died with the colors of his regiment in his hands. When he died the Confederacy lost one of its best citizens and bravest soldiers.
Color-Sergt. I. M. Rice was shot down. He still clung to the flag, and, crawling on his knees, carried it a short distance. Another bullet pierced his body, and death alone compelled him to yield his trust. A nobler soldier never lived, a braver never died. We return thanks to God for the victory won.
I am, respectfully,
JNumbers C. CARTER,
Major J. G. MARTIN,
Numbers 198. Report of Colonel John Chester, Fifty-first Tennessee Infantry.
NEAR SHELBYVILLE, TENN., January 13, 1863.
The following report of the part taken by the Fifty-first Regiment in the action before Murfreesborough on December 31, 1862, is respectfully submitted:
The order was received from General Donelson, through his aide (Captain [John] Bradford), to advance to the position then occupied by Chalmers' brigade, taking the guide to the right, and advance to the support of Chalmers. We advanced with the brigade under a heavy shelling, many shells striking very near my lines. When we had arrived within about 150 or 200 yards of Chalmers' position, a shell exploded so near my colors as to kill one of the guard (Private J. W. Scott, Company I), and wounded two others (Private S. Lemons and Goss), and knocked down the color-bearer (Sergt. W. M. Bland). We made a short halt at the position recently occupied by Chalmers, when we advanced to the Cowan house under a heavy fire of cannon and minie balls. My acting lieutenant-colonel (Lieutenant R. A. Burford, late of the Twenty-third Tennessee Regiment) was knocked from horse, and so severely concussed as to disable him for several days. I lost several men killed and wounded before we reached the Cowan house. We found the Cowan house and yard filled with men of Chalmers' brigade, in great confusion. Owing to this confusion, my regiment became somewhat scattered. The three right companies-A, F, and D, commanded, respectively, by Lieutenants [T. W.] McMurry, [J. B.] Tate, and [J. F.] Williamson-still kept dressed to the right, and reported to Colonel Savage, and fought with the Sixteenth Regiment through the remainder of the engagement. I refer you to Colonel Savage's report. I took the remaining seven companies and advanced through the field on the left of the Cowan house to the woods