War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0151 Chapter XXXV. SKIRMISH AT LIBERTY, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

meet the command of Colonel [L. D.] Watkins that had been sent out on the Carter Creek road. About 4 miles from Franklin I captured 2 prisoners, who informed me that there was division of cavalry (rebel) at Spring Hill.

After sending the prisoners under a guard, with a dispatch to yourself, to headquarters, I moved on carefully to Thompson's Station, and, finding no enemy, I proceeded forward to Spring Hill. My whole command, with the exception of 70 men of the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, was deployed as skirmishers and flankers.

Immediately on passing the town, I came in contact with the enemy, about 800 or 900 strong, drawn up on the wooded hill to the right of the road, and a most galling fire was opened by them upon Company A, Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, killing 1 man and very seriously wounding another. I ordered my men to dismount and advance carefully, taking advantage of the fences and irregularities of the ground to shelter them, and, if possible, drive the enemy from their position.

After a sharp conflict the enemy withdrew, and I followed them about 1 mile, when I halted my command till Colonel Watkins came up, as I had information that he was near. We then joined our forces and drove the enemy over Rutherford Creek. By this time, as night was approaching, I ordered the horses to be fed, and as a great part of the command had run out of rations, marched back to camp at Franklin, at which place I arrived at 12 m.

The moment the enemy began to retire, I at once sent a dispatch to General Smith, notifying him of the fact.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

MARCH 19, 1863.-Skirmish at Liberty, Tenn.

Report of Brigadier General John H. Morgan, C. S. Army.


McMinnville, March 21, 1863-1 p. m.

GENERAL: A dispatch just received from General Morgan, dated Liberty, March 19, says:

Upon reaching Liberty, I found that Colonel [W. C. P.] Breckinridge was draw up in line of battle near Liberty. The enemy advanced in force in our front, and also upon our left flank, and attacked our forage train, which is nearly in our rear. Those in our rear are cavalry; those in front, infantry and cavalry. Those in front I shall attack, and hope to capture to-morrow. Send a dispatch to General Wheeler or General Bragg that, from all the information I can get, the Federals are not falling back. The last news from Gallatin is that the trains to Louisville had soldiers to meet Morgan's command, who were reported to have crossed the Cumberland at Gainsborough, but, finding the real condition of things, returned by rail to Nashville. I am pretty certain that there is no probability, or I may say possibility, of their retreat.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.


P. S.-As I am not advised of General Wheeler's whereabouts, I have not been able to send this information to him.