In retiring, our loss was considerable, 2 officers and nearly 20 men. A general retreat took place. We fell back through the field a considerable distance into the woods, where, with great difficulty, the command was reformed at 4 p.m. The brigade remained in line of battle without any more fighting, under the fire of the enemy's artillery of long range.
It affords me pleasure to state that the officers and men of my command behave with great gallantry, with the exception of a few persons who field the field under the fire of the enemy, and whose names shall be reported for the consideration of the general.
JNumbers S. FULTON,
Colonel, Commanding Forty-fourth Tennessee Volunteers.
R. B. SNOWDEN,
[P. S.]-A list of the killed and wounded is also herewith submitted.*
No. 272. Reports of Capt. Putnam Darden, Jefferson Artillery.
NEAR ESTILL SPRINGS, TENN., January 7, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to your orders, I have the honor to report the part taken by my battery in the battle of Murfreesborough.
On December 31, 1862, my battery was temporarily detached from your brigade, and ordered to report at Triune to Brigadier-General Wood, for duty.
On December 26, we were ordered into line of battle.
On the 27th, we had an affair with the enemy, and returned toward Murfreesborough, arriving there on the morning of the 30th, with men and horses very much fatigued by the march and exposure, having slept without tents and exposed to the rain most of the time since we left Triune. In this condition we arrived on the battle-field illy prepared to go into an engagement. We were posted on the right. Late in the evening of the 30th we were to the left.
On the morning of December 31, we were ordered by General Cleburne to report to you for duty. We found your lines just ready to move off. We formed in rear of the center of your brigade and followed on. We moved on for nearly a mile, when we came to a halt on the road. The brigade moved by the left flank for a short distance, then by the right through a small skirt of woods. Emerging from the woods we entered a corn-field, when the firing became general along the lines of your brigade. I moved the battery into the field, but could not engage the enemy without endangering our men, who were in front. I immediately moved by the left flank to an elevated position, and came into battery to the right under a murderous fire of canister from one of the enemy's batteries, posted about 400 yards distant. We opened fire with shell, shrapnel, and solid shot [we could not use canister without injuring our own men], and in about twenty minutes had the satisfaction of knowing that we had silenced their guns. Shortly after this a battery on the left opened on the brigade on our left [General Liddell's, I think]. We immediately
*Embodied in No. 191, p.680.