War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0752 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records


range late in the evening, being beyond my range. I withdraw my battery from its position, and ascertained orders had already been sent for me to retire, which I had not received.

Respectfully submitted.


Captain, Commanding Light Battery.

Brigadier General PRESTON SMITH,

Comdg. Fourth Brigade, Cheatham's Division, Polk's Corps.

Numbers 218. Report of Lieutenant W. M. Polk, Scott's Tennessee battery.

In accordance with orders received, I make the following report of the part taken by Scott's battery in the battle of Stone's River, and of the effect of efficiency of the different kinds of projectiles used:

The battery crossed Stone's River Monday morning and took a position on the river, near the Triune road and in rear of our brigade. We remained with the brigade until Wednesday morning, not having done any firing up to that time. We were separated from the brigade on that morning, Captain Scott being ordered to hold the battery in reserve on the Triune road.

The battery remained on the Triune road until Thursday morning, when we received an order to take position at the breastworks between the Wilkinson and Nashville pikes, where we remained until Friday morning, not having fired a shot up to that time. The battery was then ordered to take a position about 400 or 500 yards in front of the breastworks between the railroad and Nashville pike, Captains Stanford's and Carnes' and Lieutenant Turner's batteries being on our right beyond the railroad, and Captain Robertson's battery being on our left beyond the pike. After being in that position about fifteen minutes, the enemy's infantry commenced an advance, when we opened on them with spherical case and shell at three seconds time. The enemy, after a little, fell back, upon which we increased our range and time, and continued the firing until they were beyond our range. Two of the enemy's batteries were advancing with their line of infantry, both of which returned our fire, but both ceased firing when their line of infantry retired. One of the batteries fell back with the line, the other remained in its position, having, as we afterward learned from our skirmishers, one of its pieces disabled. It however, fell back after we ceased firing. As soon as the enemy's line commenced falling back, they opened fire on us with two rifle batteries, which were beyond our range. Having received an order to cease firing, we did so, and fell back about 50 yards, under cover of a little rise in the ground. The batteries of the enemy ceased firing soon after we did. In this engagement we lost 1 man killed. About 2 o'clock we shelled the enemy's skirmishers out of a skirt of timber about 250 yards in our front, from which they had driven our skirmishers. Their batteries replied, but did us no harm. That evening we fired a few spherical case at the enemy's line, all of which burst short, they being beyond our range. We then retired to the breastworks for the night.

The next morning we took the position we had occupied the day previous, and shelled the enemy's skirmishers out of the skirt of woods I