Private Mattix was wounded in the left arm so badly that he could not use his gun. He then came to me, and said, "Colonel, I am too badly wounded to use my gun, but can carry the flag; may I do it?" I gave him the desired permission, and he carried it through the rest of the battle, keeping in front of the regiment. Three color-bearers had been shot previous to this.
Private Maret not only fought bravely himself, but compelled a private in his own company who wanted to run to fight by threatening to shoot him if he started to the rear.
In strong contrast to the conduct of these gallant men is that of the following-named individuals, who all left the field either before or after the fight commenced, without cause: Second Lieut. J. K. Pyburn, Company G; Privates R. Arnold and W. J. Dobson, Company A; Privates A. V. Rudder and E. W. Bott, Company B; Privates D. McNiel and W. A. Haywood, Company E; Private Joseph H. Leaptrot, Company F, and Privates S. Woods, J. Woods, D. N. Quails, and W. H. Vann, Company I. With the exceptions above mentioned, all fought well.
JOHN E. MURRAY,
Capt. G. A. WILLIAMS,
No. 260. Report of MajorWilliam F. Douglass, Sixth Arkansas Infantry, commanding Sixth and Seventh Regiments.
JANUARY 11, 1863.
SIR: In making a report of battles at Murfreesborough, Tenn., commencing December 30, 1862, as ordered, I labor under the necessity of making a very imperfect exhibit of the important part taken by those two combined regiments now under my command, since I was not in command during the first and second days of the engagement, and was, during a part of the 31st, absent from the field owing to a painful contusion on the right arm from the effects of a spent ball, but shall, from my own observation and information received from Captain [J. W.] Martin, now acting lieutenant-colonel, furnish the following:
As our previous movements were only preparatory, I need commence only with the morning of December 31, when McNair's brigade, moving off by their left flank, gave place for our forward movement into an open corn-field, through which we had moved about half way when a continuous line of the enemy was seen advancing from the woods beyond to gain the protection of a fence in our front, when, from the line of infantry and a rifled battery 200 yards immediately in front of my regiment, a most destructive fire was opened, and the action became general on the whole left. In the exposed position occupied by our men our loss just at this point was five times greater than during the rest of the day. About 20 rounds had been fired when the enemy gave way, our men rapidly following past two abandoned guns of the enemy's battery and scores of their dead across the field and into the woods beyond. I may mention here that the advance of McNair's brigade on our left and flanking the enemy was, perhaps, one cause of their giving way on their right, as they had a strong position, and our battery was rendered