War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0099 Chapter XXXV. ENGAGEMENT AT THOMPSON'S STATION, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

being no ground to park the train in safety, and then went to the battle-field on the right. Colonel Coburn had just come from the top of the hill, and asked Colonel Baird if he could take the battery on the right. Says he, "I'll try." Then Colonel Coburn says, "I will send the Thirty-third Indiana with you, and if you take the battery on the right, take the other close by on the left also." The regiments were ordered to file around, one on the right of the hill and the other on the left, and to go to the station, and under cover of the houses before making the charge. Colonel Coburn then said to me, "Now, let us watch them closely." When they arrived at the station, we beheld large numbers of the enemy revealing themselves from behind a stone wall in front of the enemy, and many more in the woods. Says he to me, "Tell them to fall back to their old position; there are too many of them." I immediately executed the order, and as they were coming back the enemy advanced and came shouting. Colonel Coburn then drew them up in line of battle, and ordered them to fire on the enemy. Captain Aleshire, who commanded the three pieces on the left, then came over, and Colonel Coburn asked him how much ammunition he had left. He answered, "I am nearly out." Colonel Coburn said that was no answer, and directed Adjutant Adams to go and see and ascertain the exact amount. Adjutant Adams reported some 230 rounds of shell and 70 rounds of canister. I then went over to the left, and found the three pieces on the left down the hill and on the pike. I asked the captain who ordered him to leave his post. He replied, "They have brought some heavy pieces to bear on my battery on the left," and said they would tear his battery to pieces. Adjutant Adams then came down and tried to get him to take a position, and I left them. I went over on the left and found the Twenty-second Wisconsin in line, facing to the left around the brow of the hill, and the Nineteenth Michigan some 60 paces down and nearly to the right. I was nearly up the hill when a tremendous fire of musketry from the enemy was poured into the Twenty-second Wisconsin, which returned the fire. Then quite a number broke ranks and fell back, but were immediately got back into line by the colonel on the right, I assisting in the center.

About one-half of the Nineteenth Michigan could not fire on the enemy on account of the hill, and I suggested to Colonel Gilbert to bring the left of his regiment up to support the Twenty-second Wisconsin, which he immediately put into execution, and I left them fighting with great coolness and bravery. I went down to the battery and found Adjutant Adams, one of Colonel Coburn's aides, still trying to get the captain to bring some of his pieces to bear on the enemy, and, in my judgment, could have done great execution with canister. While I was there, I received orders from Colonel Coburn to start the train back, which I immediately put into execution. In coming back, I saw the battery on the right come down the hill, and all, except some 150 of the Twenty-second Wisconsin, with the lieutenant-colonel and major of that regiment, fall in the rear of the battery, and, I suppose, without orders from Colonel Coburn.

The train moved off in good order, although I was fearful of a panic; but, with the aid of my wagon-master and the quartermasters of the different regiments, all went along in a fast walk and in good order, although there was some firing into the train on our left by the enemy's cavalry. Our cavalry, however, seemed to keep them at a distance.

About that time we had proceeded nearly half a mile from the field, when I received an order, said to have come from Colonel Coburn, to move the train on quickly, and get the battery on a hill close to a brick