War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0759 Chapter XXXII. THE STONE'S RIVER CAMPAIGN.

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was cleared upon which Semple's battery was to stand, it was at once pushed to its place. The infantry not being able to clear the crest of the hill, and the fire being very heavy on our right, I decided to alter the plan and send my battery to the right, but our line being cramped by unfavorable ground to the right, I only ordered a section up to fill a gap in our line of artillery. By the repulse becoming general, I determined to stop the remainder of my own battery in the field to check the enemy's advance. The artillery of my command was brought off with the loss of one piece of Semple's battery. This only occurred after the infantry supports had given way entirely.

The fighting of this battery (Semple's) was entirely creditable. The confusion was such that it was not to be wondered at that three pieces were left on the field, but that more were not lost. The artillery as it entered the woods was placed, and by rapid fire checked the enemy's advance. The batteries under my command were subjected to a hot infantry fire and the worst cross-fire I ever saw.

The loss of the two batteries I cannot know, as I have not seen Lieutenant E. J. Fitzpatrick, commanding two sections of Semple's battery. My own lost 6 horses and 6 men.

After dark the guns fell back, and Major R. E. Graves having been severely wounded, I at the request of General Breckinridge, placed the artillery upon the new line.

But for the artillery fire the enemy would surely have carried the position entirely, as our infantry was scattered.

The men of the artillery generally behaved splendidly, but individual exceptions were many to this rule, and I found it necessary to draw my revolver in order to make the drivers halt long enough to fix the piece to be limbered up and brought off.

Very respectfully,


Captain, &c.


SHELBYVILLE, TENN., February 18, 1863.

CAPTAIN: On the morning of January 2, I was ordered to accompany Colonel Brent, assistant adjutant-general, and endeavor to find a position from which the enemy's line might be enfiladed with artillery. Such a position having been found, a report of the fact was made to the general at once. The enemy's skirmisher being in possession of the point selected, it was determined to attack and carry it. I received orders from General Bragg to take Robertson's battery (six Napoleons), two sections Semple's battery (four Napoleons), two rifles and two 12-pounder howitzers belonging to Breckinridge's division, and to occupy and hold to the utmost extremity the desired position after the enemy had been dislodged by the infantry. The necessary preparations for the artillery were made at once. The batteries arrived on the ground and were soon in position.

Having to await the arrival of a still absent brigade, I took an opportunity to consult General Breckinridge. I found his ideas of the attack and my own differed materially. He supposed it was to be made by a combination of both arms, while I was positive the general's orders were that infantry alone should take the hill. General Breckinridge then desired me to form my batteries in the space between his two lines of infantry and advance. This I declined to do, stating as a reason the danger both of confusion and loss from such an arrangement. He then