War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0774 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records


great impetuosity and took prisoners the Seventy-fifth Illinois Regiment. Captain S. P. Christian, of the Texas Rangers Eighth Texas Cavalry, with four companies, at the same time charged and took a complete battery of the enemy, with all its guns, caissons, horses, and artillerists. By these dashes 1,500 prisoners fell into our hands. Wharton afterward swept around toward the Nashville turnpike, and found the enemy's cavalry in position to defend their menaced trains. Harrison, Ashby, and Hardy were ordered to charge. This was met by a counter-charge of the enemy, supposed to be the Fourth Regular Cavalry, who were routed in confusion. The entire cavalry force of the enemy was deployed beyond this point. Wharton's entire brigade was now ordered to charge; 2,000 horsemen dashed forward to the assault. The field was favorable, the charge irresistible, the conflict short. The enemy fled in wild dismay 2 miles beyond Overall's Creek, leaving in our hands several hundred wagons, 400 additional prisoners, and several pieces of artillery.

The conduct of Wharton and his brigade cannot be too highly commended. After a day of brilliant achievements, he covered the left of my infantry at night.

Major-General McCown having failed to get McNair's brigade on the line of battle Tuesday night, as directed by me the brigade was moved into position early the next morning, and McCown advanced with his division against the enemy, about 600 yards distant, with McNair on the right of Ector and with Rains' brigade on the left. The division of Major-General Cleburne was about 500 yards in rear of McCown, as a second line. The two divisions were posted on the left of Lieutenant-General Polk's command. The troops advanced with animation and soon became hotly engaged. The enemy were broken and driven through a cedar brake after a rapid and successful charge by McCown's command, in which Brigadier-General August Willich and many prisoners were taken.

A signal instance of courage was shown by Colonel J. C. Burks, of the Eleventh Texas. This brave officer, though mortally wounded, still led and cheered on his regiment until he fell exhausted at its head.

Another instance was shown by Sergt. A Sims, flag-bearer of the Tenth Texas, who, seeing a Federal flag-bearer endeavoring to rally his regiment, sprang forward, seized the standard, and in the struggle both were shot down, waving their flags with their breath. The Federal flag was captured.

I had ordered McCown and Cleburne, as they crushed the line of the enemy, to swing round by a continued change of direction to the right, with Polk's left as a pivot, while Wharton was to make a diversion on their flank and rear. This was done by Cleburne, but was not so promptly executed by McCown, on account of the position of the enemy in his front. McCown continued westwardly, fighting toward Overall's Creek, far to our left, while Cleburne, executing the maneuver, changed his direction northeastwardly toward the Wilkinson turnpike, which placed him on the right of McCown and filled the interval between McCown and Polk. The line, now single and without support, engaged and drove the enemy with great carnage through the fields and cedar brakes which lie between the Triune and Wilkinson roads. Before this gap in the line was filled by Cleburne, McCown's right flank was exposed. McNair halted his brigade, while Liddell advanced gallantly, filling the interval, covered McNair's unprotected right, and engaged a superior force of the enemy posted behind a rail fence. These two brigades charged the enemy with impetuosity, took their battery, and pursued their broken and fleeing regiments before Ector and Rains could be brought into action.