War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0726 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

[CHAP. XXXII.

tered near the thigh joint by a piece of shell or a grape-shot. The limb was amputated, and he was left in hospital in Murfreesborough, with little hope on the part of the surgeons of his recovery. He was one of the best and bravest officers in the entire army. Always prompt to obey or execute an order, indefatigable in drilling and disciplining his men, he was animated by a lofty courage and patriotism that bid defiance to danger. He distinguished himself by his cool and courageous bearing both at Perryville and Murfreesborough, and was indeed a "knight without fear and without reproach."

The force we engaged in this famous cedar brake was composed, at least in part, of regulars. Some of the prisoners and wounded men stated that they belonged to the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Regulars, and that their brigade was commanded by Colonel [George W.] Roberts, who fell while gallantly attempting to rally his men about opposite the center of my line. He was buried Saturday evening, and the spot marked by a stone having his name scratched upon it with the point of a bayonet.

During the three following days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) we held our position at the edge of the brake, the enemy occupying the ridge, but a few hundred yards in front, with a heavy force of infantry and artillery, frequently shelling us, and wounding a few men at almost every round. The command remained in line, enduring this trying ordeal with admirable patience and fortitude. At length, on Saturday night, our pickets were relieved by Colonel Carter's cavalry, and about 1 or 2 a.m. on Sunday, the 4th, we left the field for Shelbyville.

Throughout the week officers and men behaved in a manner that is beyond praise.

I desire especially to mention Colonel O. F. Strahl, commanding Fourth and Fifth Regiments; Colonel H. L. W. Bratton, of the Twenty-fourth; Colonel E. E. Tansil, commanding the Thirty-first and Thirty-third, and Colonel F. M. Walker, of the Nineteenth, who, with all their field officers, behaved most nobly.

The Nineteenth (Colonel Walker's) suffered more heavily than any other in the brigade. Colonel Walker, in his report, mentions the brave conduct of Orderly Sergt. Joseph Thompson, Company I, who, after the brigade had halted at the edge of the cedar bottom, advanced far into the field and captured 2 prisoners. Our loss was heavy-over one-fourth of those engaged. The list* of killed and wounded has already been sent in.

Besides those already mentioned, Lieutenant-Colonel [J. A..] Wilson and Adjt. H. W. Mott,# of the Twenty-fourth, were wounded, as were also Major [R. A.] Jarnigan, of the Nineteenth, and Captain [T. H.] Francis, of the Fourth. Several valuable officers were killed. Lieutenant-Colonel [Andrew J.] Kellar, of the Fourth, was really too ill for duty; nevertheless, he was at his post.

Many of the enemy's dead, and some of our own, were left on the field unburied. We procured a few spades on Saturday evening, and buried as many bodies as was possible under the circumstances. I would respectfully submit that at least all our own dead might have been buried during the three days we held the field. Attention is also respectfully called to the plundering and stripping of the dead, ever our own, and to the propriety of a general order prohibiting it.

I cannot close this imperfect sketch without expressing my obligations to the gentlemen who served on my staff, and who made themselves so

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

*See Numbers 191, p. 676.

#Register has W. H. Mott killed at Murfreesborough.

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