War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0449 Chapter XXXV. THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 16. Report of Colonel William Sirwell, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.


Bennett's Farm, July 8, 1863.

SIR: In compliance with your order of July 6, 1863, I have the honor of making the following report of the part taken by the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, in the late move from Murfreesborough:

On the 23rd of June, I received orders to have my command in readiness for marching.

On the morning of the 24th [June],marched from Murfreesborough down the Manchester pike to a given point, when we turned off on a country dirt road, and soon rejoined the balance of the division, where we encamped for the night, I having had charge of transportation.

On the morning of the 25th [June], resumed our march, soon arriving at the headquarters of the Fourteenth Army Corps, where we again encamped, nothing of importance transpiring on the road.

On the morning of the 26th of June the Thirty-seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers were detailed to escort train. Resumed our march, and arrived at Hoover's Gap, where the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania and Battery G, First Ohio Volunteer Artillery, were detached from my command, and ordered to report to Major-General Negley, encamped on south side of Hoover's Gap.

Marched again on the 27th of June with the entire brigade. Crossed the pike, and took a country dirt road more to the right. Deploying two companies of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania and two companies of the Twenty-first Ohio as skirmishers on the right and left of the road., marched to a creek, where we halted until a brigade of General Brannan's division passed; after which we again took up line of march. Arrived at a creek, where the four companies of skirmishers were withdrawn, and the Seventy-fourth Ohio deployed. The balance of the brigade took position in the following order: Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania on the left of the road, Twenty-first Ohio on the right of the road, closed in mass; the artillery and Thirty-seventh Indiana in the road. Changed direction to the left, and marched to Manchester, where we arrived at 8 p.m. Remained at Manchester all day (June 28, 1863.).

Received orders in the morning of June 29 to hold command in readiness for marching. Seventy-fourth Ohio detailed to escort train to Murfreesborough. Marched at 1 o'clock, and arrived within 5 miles of Tullahoma. One battalion of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania and the artillery ordered to encamp about 2 miles back, near the road, on account of the battery not being able to come up with the brigade.

On the morning of June 30, received orders to send two regiments on a reconnaissance. The Twenty-first Ohio and the Thirty-seventh Indiana were detailed. They marched out 5 miles on the Winchester road, but discovered no enemy.

Took up line of march, July 1 down, Winchester pike. The Eighty-seventh Indiana left behind to take position in case the enemy should attack our rear. During our march the enemy opened fire on us. I quickly placed battery in position, and detailed four companies of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers to support it, the enemy in