War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0107 Chapter XXXV. ENGAGEMENT AT THOMPSON'S STATION, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

also to avoid another visitor from the rebel battery, which we had reason to believe would soon follow the first; but, luckily for us, in our position at that time, no shots were fired until we took our position in line of battle, about one-half mile in advance of where the brigade was then halted. The battery was soon ordered forward into position. A portion (three pieces) was placed upon a hill on the left of the pike. The Twenty-second Wisconsin was ordered forward to support that portion of the battery on the left of the pike. The Nineteenth Michigan was also ordered to the left of the pike. The Twenty-second Wisconsin took a position in front and a little to the left of the battery, under cover of a small hill, covered with cedar bushes; the Nineteenth Michigan on the left of the Twenty-second Wisconsin. A squad of cavalry was posted to the left and in rear of the Twenty-second Wisconsin and Nineteenth Michigan. By the time we had fairly got into position, our battery opened upon the enemy. The contest was kept up for some time without any particular result on either side. We had been in our position something like half an hour, when the roll of musketry and the infernal screeching of the rebels admonished us that our comrades of the Thirty-third and Eighty-fifth Indiana Infantry, which had been posted on the right of the pike (to support the section of battery upon that side), were desperately engaged with the enemy. About this time we discovered on a hill to our left in suspense, for they soon opened upon us; the first shell bursting directly over the heads of the Nineteenth Michigan; the next, a little short, sent its fragments hissing around our heads in every direction. The colonel of the chance of retaliating, fell back, and took a position directly in the rear of the Twenty-second Wisconsin. The cavalry (heretofore mentioned) posted in the rear, broke and left the field on the very first discharge of the battery on our left. I saw nothing more of them.

Our battery turned one of its guns upon the rebel battery on the hill to our left, and fired a few shots, and then broke from the hill and left; that was the last I saw of them during the engagement. I cannot say at this time whether the Nineteenth Michigan had moved to the right of the battery before it left or not; they took that position about that time. A short time after that, I saw on the pike, homeward bound, what I supposed to be that section of the battery that was posted on the eight of the pike. That was the last I saw of the battery that day. About that time it was reported to me that the enemy was approaching my line in great numbers, just over the cedar bluff in front of us. I was aware at the time that the most favorable place for us to engage the enemy was from the top of the cedar hill in front, but I also saw that the battery on our left would be able to rake us from end to end. I therefore determined to fall back upon the hill in our rear, and take the position recently occupied by the battery. When I saw the battery leave, I supposed it was by your order, and that we were to have a regular Bull Run affair, and had been waiting to see the Thirty-third and Eighty-fifth Indiana break and follow the battery, but I soon saw that they were going to break. I then ordered the lieutenant-colonel (Bloodgood), who was then on the extreme right, to lead the regiment by the right flank to the brow of the hill before mentioned. We had not long been in position when the enemy appeared on Cedar Hill. I gave Private Moley, of Company B, permission to open the fifth, who very coolly delivered his fire. We received a terrific volley in return. The action became general. The position of the hill upon which the opposing forces were engaged did not exactly lie parallel; consequently,