War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0588 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

at Bellebuckle, some 5 miles farther in the advance, and on June 6 I received additional orders to place two regiments and a section of artillery at Liberty Gap, 3 miles still in advance. Verbal orders from Lieutenant-General Hardee required me to keep a small picket at the railroad gap, near New Fosterville. For the better understanding of these positions, with others relative thereto, I inclose herewith a sketch* of the places named. Liberty Gap in nearly north from Bellbuckle. Rangers of high and precipitous hills and knobs, dividing the waters of Stone's and Duck Rivers, extend eastwardly from New Fosterville to the northern entrance of Hoover's Gap, and from that point stretch away in the distance to the northeast. The view from the tops of these knobs exhibits a beautiful and slightly undulating plain of woodland and fields several hundred feet below, extending even beyond Murfreesborough, some 11 miles northward, and plainly visible from these elevated stand-points.

The road from Old Millersburg to Bellbuckle passes through Liberty Gap, which is a narrow defile about 300 yards in length, cutting the range of hills 2 miles east of New Fosterville. About 4 miles farther to the east the turnpike from Murfreesborough to Manchester passes through Hoover's Gap, which is an open gorge (or more properly the narrow valley of a small stream running northwestwardly into Stone's River) between ranges of high hills that skirt it on both sides for 4 miles nearly to the Garrison Fork of Duck River, where it begins.

About 1 p. m. on June 24, I received a communication from Colonel [L.] Featherston, in command of the two regiments at Liberty Gap, to the effect that our cavalry pickets were driven in and the enemy were advancing rapidly on that point. I hastened immediately to the gap to reconnoiter and find out the condition of affairs. On my way I received notice from a courier that Colonel Featherston's skirmishers were already engaged. It had been raining hard all the morning, and the roads were sloppy and muddy. On reaching the place, I found that the enemy had scaled the knobs, and were skirmishing hotly with Colonel [J. E.] Josey's regiment on the right of the gap, Colonel Featherston having temporarily repulsed them on the left. At this part of the engagement Captain [L. R.] Frisk, of the Fifth Arkansas Regiment, was killed-a noble officer and gentleman; a Swede who had embarked in our cause; a man greatly esteemed for his many virtues; a serious loss to his regiment, and deeply regretted by the whole brigade. His body was immediately removed, and buried on the subsequent day at Wartrace.

I soon found Colonel Josey hard pressed, and by this time Colonel Featherston's regiment becoming again engaged, there being no support at hand for either of them, the former was compelled to fall back before superior numbers. As the enemy's sharpshooters approached the section of artillery, I ordered it promptly removed for safety beyond the range of their rifles, and within the valley between the hills at the gap and those south of the Wartrace Creek, a small tributary of Duck River. Up to this time I could not make any use of the artillery, as the enemy kept under cover of the hills and woodlands out of view, using only his numerous skirmishers to press me. He still continued to advance steadily, and soon approaching close on the rear of Colonel Featherston's regiment, I ordered that officer to fall back to the next range of hills.

By this time (5 p. m.) the rest of the brigade came up through the rain and mud, everything soaked. I now placed one section o the battery

---------------

*Not found.

---------------