In making this imperfect report I have been greatly assisted by Captain Martin for that part of the engagement when I was not on the field.
Of the gallantry of individual officers and men I would beg leave to defer special mention until the return of Colonel Smith, whose wound will detain him some weeks from the command.
W. F. DOUGLASS,
Captain [G. A.] WILLIAMS,
No. 261. Report of Col. John H. Kelly, Eighth Arkansas Infantry.
CHATTANOOGA, TENN., January 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report as to the action of my regiment in the late battles at Murfreesborough:
Early on the morning of December 31, [1862,] I received orders from the brigadier-general commanding to advance with my regiment and to conform to the movements of the regiments on my right, which was done by gradually wheeling to the right. A short time after advancing I was ordered to throw forward skirmishers to cover my front. Very soon after the deployment had been made, a brisk fire began, and skirmishers soon succeeded in driving back those of the enemy; the lines of battle confronted, and the contest began. My regiment was posted in an open field; the enemy was strongly posted behind a fence. After a continued and obstinate resistance, the order to charge was given [I should have mentioned that at this juncture Brigadier-General Rains' brigade came up on my left], which was obeyed with promptness and alacrity. The enemy fled in confusion; we pursued rapidly for several hundred yards, when he rallied to make another stand, but the impetuosity with which we followed him up soon hurled him again to the rear. As the second charge was ordered from this point, he was rapidly pursued for over half a mile, when it became necessary for us to halt, in order to refill our empty cartridge-boxes. This was soon accomplished, and again we moved forward. After proceeding several hundred yards, we marched by the flank for about one-quarter of a mile, and then forward to a position several hundred yards in advance in an open field; from this point we withdrew to a position in the wood, a little to the rear. The next position taken placed the left of my regiment on a large field, the remaining portion being in the wood. The lines of battle soon met again. The fire at this point was very heavy. The enemy outflanked my left, but the timely arrival of Swett's battery dispensed all apprehension of danger from that quarter. Another charge was made, and the enemy was falling back rapidly under heavy fire. At this juncture I was wounded and retired from the field. I think it was about 1.30 p.m. The action of the regiment after this will be reported by Lieutenant-Colonel [George F.] Baucum, to whom I turned over the command.
Lieutenant [S. B.] Cole, Company I, Lieut. Calvin East, Company H. and Lieut. T. H. Beard, Company F, fell while gallantly cheering and leading their men to victory. Adjt. H. J. McCurdy was also killed; faithful to the last. He was always at his post; no shock could discompose him. The coolness, bravery, and good judgment of this gallant