No. 277. Report of Lieut. Col. R. Charlton, Forty-fifth Mississippi Infantry,
including skirmisher near Triune, December 27.
BIVOUAC NEAR MANCHESTER TENN., January 5, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I beg leave to submit the following as a report of the part my command took in the action at Triune, December 27, 1862, and at Murfreesborough on December 31, [1862,] and January 1, 1863:
On the 26th ultimo my command moved out on the road leading to Nashville. We moved in rear of Triune that night and bivouacked. A detail was sent to cook two days' rations and returned during the night. At 4 a.m. of the 27th, under direction of Captain Palmer, my command took position as follows: The four right companies, under command of Major [E. F.] Nunn, were deployed as skirmishers on the right of the pike, 1 mile north of Triune, the four remaining companies supporting a section of Darden's battery, under Lieutenant [F. W.] Coleman. About 9 o'clock the advance columns of the enemy came in sight. Our battery immediately opened fire on them, and, after firing some 90 or 100 rounds, the artillery withdrew. I immediately deployed the four remaining companies as skirmishers on the left of the pike. In a few minutes the enemy's skirmishers came in sight, and my command opened a heavy fire upon them, and continued until ordered to fall back by General Wharton to a fence some 300 yards in our rear, where we again opened fire on the enemy. General Wharton's cavalry behaved in the most gallant manner, protecting my flanks while retreating.
I then joined the brigade, leaving one company under Lieutenant [William] Fox to cut the bridge. Having arrived at my position, two of my companies were deployed as skirmishers on the right of the line of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, under Captain [E. J.] Marett and Lieutenant [H. P.] Haynes. In a short time the enemy came in sight. Our skirmishers engaged him while the reserve marched in retreat toward Murfreesborough. In a few moments the two companies deployed joined the regiment.
On the morning of December 31, I was placed on the right of the Thirty-third Alabama and moved forward in line of battle. About 8 o'clock we engaged the enemy and drove him back. Just as we were entering an open woods the enemy's artillery opened on our lines. The command was given to halt and repeated by some one as forward. The men became confused and our lines were again formed. At this point Major [J. F.] Cameron, of Third Confederate, aided me in forming my line and attached his command on my left. We next charged the enemy in an open and were driven back, the brigade on our left failing to moved forward, and thus leaving our flank exposed. Having exhausted our ammunition, we were ordered to a hospital of the enemy to fill our boxes. We again moved forward and engaged the enemy, strongly posted behind a stone pile and cedar glade, and drove him from his position to an open field, capturing some 60 or 70 prisoners. A brigade of Cheatham's division moved forward on my left this brigade and were cut off from the regiment for awhile. About 4 o'clock we were ordered by Capt. William Clare to join the brigade, some 400 yards in our rear. We did not engage the enemy any more during the day.
January 1, about 2 o'clock, the brigade was ordered forward. Advancing about half a mile, we were ordered to halt. Seeing the left of the