the crest and descending the slope toward the river, were in some measure protected, and suffered less at this period of the action than the artillery.
We lost three guns, nearly all the horses being killed, and not having the time or men to draw them off by hand. One was lost because there was but one boy left (Private Wright, of Wright's battery) to limber the piece, and his strength was unequal to it.
The command fell back in some disorder, but without the slightest appearance of panic, and reformed behind Robertson's battery in the narrow skirt of timber from which we emerged to the assault. The enemy did not advance beyond the position in which he received our attack. My skirmishers continued to occupy a part of the field over which we advanced until the army retired from Murfreesborough. The action lasted about one hour and twenty minutes. As our lines advanced to the attack, several rounds of artillery were heard from our center, apparently directed against the enemy on the west bank of the river.
About twilight Brigadier-General Anderson reported to me with his brigade, and remained in position with me until the army retired. I took up the line of battle for the night a little in near of the field over which we advanced to the assault, and Captain Robertson, at my request, disposed the artillery in the position indicated for it.
Many of the reports do not discriminate between the losses of Wednesday and Friday. The total loss in my division, exclusive of Jackson's command, is 2,140, of which I think 1,700 occurred on Friday. The loss of the enemy on this day was, I think, greater than our own, since he suffered immense slaughter between the ridge and the river.
I cannot forbear to express my admiration for the courage and constancy of the troops, exhibited even after it became apparent that the main object could not be accomplished. Beyond the general good conduct, a number of enlisted men displayed at different periods of the action the most heroic bravery. I respectfully suggest that authority be given to select a certain number of the most distinguished in each brigade, to be recommended to the President for promotion.
I cannot enumerate all the brave officers who fell, nor the living, who nobly did their duty; yet I may be permitted to lament, in common with the army, the premature death of Brigadier-General Hanson, who received a mortal wound at the moment the enemy began to give way. Endeared to his friends by his private virtues, and to his command by the vigilance with which he guarded its interest and hour, he was, by the universal testimony of his military associates, one of the finest officers that adorned the service of the Confederate States. Upon his fall the command devolved on Colonel [R. P.] Trabue, who in another organization had long and ably commanded most of the regiments composing the brigade.
I cannot close without expressing my obligations to the gentlemen of my staff. This is no formal acknowledgment. I can never forget that during all the operations they were ever prompt and cheerful by night and day in conveying orders, conducting to their positions regiments and brigades, rallying troops on the field, and, indeed, in the discharge of every duty.
It gives me pleasure to name Lieutenant-Colonel Buckner, assistant adjutant-general, who was absent on leave, but returned upon the first rumor of battle; Colonel O'Hara, acting adjutant-general; Lieutenant J. Cabell] Breckinridge, aide-de-camp; Major Graves, chief of artillery (twice wounded and his horse short under him); Major [James] Wilson, assistant inspector-general (horse shot); Captain [Charles] Semple,