No. 231. Report of Lieut. W. C. D. Vaught, Fifth Company, Washington Light Artillery.
ALLISONIA, TENN., January 8, 1863.
COLONEL: At Murfreesborough, on the 29th ultimo, while with this brigade in line of battle on the Lebanon pike, I detached two rifled guns of this battery, commanded by Lieutenant [J. A.] Chalaron, by order of major Graves, division chief of artillery, who placed them near the river in front of General Hanson's position. This important point Lieutenant Chalaron occupied, under the orders of Captain Cobb, during Tuesday and Wednesday, subjected to a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries and skirmishers and frequent assaults of his infantry.
On Wednesday, with our other four guns and a section of Captain Semple's battery, under command of Lieutenant [J.] Pollard, I crossed the river with the brigade at 12 o'clock, and was ordered by General Adams to remain near the river while the brigade advanced to the charge. When I saw the brigade retiring, I place the battery upon the hill to the left of the Nashville pike and the railroad, and as soon as the troops were from under our fire, I opened upon the enemy, soon silencing their battery and checking their pursuit. receiving no further orders, I took a position forward and to the left, continuing to fire upon the enemy wherever he appeared in range, forcing his battery to change position whenever it opened, and checking his movements in the field opposite our fortified point on the eastern side of the river.
When night fell I withdrew to near General Breckinridge's headquarters and reported to Major Graves, Lieutenant Pollard reporting to Captain Semple. Allow me to say here that Lieutenant Pollard's conduct proved him an accomplished officer and a cool and gallant man.
On Thursday morning I took position near General Hanson's right with four guns [having no rifle ammunition], and received a section of Captain Lumsden's battery. Later, three guns were placed in battery there and three on right of General Palmer's brigade.
On Friday morning Captain Lumsden's section was ordered to the left of the line and I to General Palmer's right with this battery.
About noon we were ordered to the position occupied by our skirmishers in front of General Palmer, to drive in their pickets. Here we remained a couple of hours, doing some fancy practice, them fell behind the infantry of this division, formed for the assault. Our lines moved forward and we followed close behind. Two lines of the enemy were met and dissipated. Our infantry passe over the hill. We galloped upon the crest and opened our fire upon the enemy's batteries upon the opposite hill. Their fire had nearly ceased when our ammunition gave out. I sent for a supply and waited there for it. In the meanwhile one of our detachments manned a piece of Moses' battery, near us, which had ceased its fire, the men lying down. Before the ammunition arrived our brave boys, who had done their utmost, were obliged to retire. I remained until the last regiment and last battery were from the field, the enemy swarming upon my front and flank and within 50 yards, pouring volley after volley into us. I retired in perfect line to the strip of timber behind, and took a position beside Robertson's battery. We again opened upon the enemy, who pursued no farther.
This battery suffered the following casualties* in the several engagements:
*Nominal list omitted.