War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0607 Chapter XXXVI. THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN.

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engaged here with the enemy's skirmishers. The artillery under Captain Darden then retied, under the impression that the instructions were to fire only a few rounds before doing so. As I rode back to look after the artillery, I was informed that the enemy was pressing down on my left, between the Twenty-fifth and Twentieth Tennessee Regiments, the latter of which had fallen back to my line. As the line of woods here bore off from the direction of the Fairfield road, and i reflected that to fall back through the wide fields in our rear, closely pursued by the enemy, might be attended by a heavy sacrifice of men, for which there seemed no necessity, I concluded to order my command back over the fields of the Matt Martin farm to a piece of woods on the south side, to which the enemy could only advance through open ground, exposed to the fire of our artillery. The enemy's artillery still continued to throw at my line both shot and shell, which were generally aimed too high. We, however, passed out of their line of fire when we entered the second woods. The two light pieces of Maney's battery fell back with Captain Darden and a section of [Thomas H.] Dawson's battery, under Lieutenant [R. W.] Anderson, now reported to me in the woods occupied by the brigade. I selected for it a position near a small cabin, and I directed Lieutenant Anderson, who commanded the section, to mask his pieces and only fire canister shot when the enemy should approach tot he proper distance. My infantry I placed on the right and left of the section of artillery, mostly under cover of large fallen timber, with instructions not to fire until the enemy should approach to within short range. The Twentieth Tennessee Regiment was here placed on the extreme left of my line. The skirmishers I threw out in front, with instructions not to show themselves, and to retire before the enemy without firing a gun. The [enemy] soon approached, and by some means ascertaining the position of my line threw into the Seventeenth and the battery some shells, which exploded with remarkable accuracy, while their skirmishers opened with small-arms and were responded to. My brigade fell back to gain a better cover, and the section of artillery returned to the rear of the strip of woods. I again pressed forward my line and rearranged its position, when Major-General Stewart ordered the section of artillery under Lieutenant Anderson to its former position. Major [Thomas K.] Porter, of the artillery, acting on General Stewart's staff, now took charge of the duty of posting this section of artillery, and during the subsequent shelling of our line by the enemy's artillery he was wounded on the head by a fragment of a shell. The enemy failed to advance to close range, and finally they ceased firing at about 3 p. m., without drawing from my command more than a few discharges from some of my skirmishers. The Seventeenth had here 11 men wounded, one mortally; the Twenty-third had 3 men wounded, and the Twenty-fifth 1 slightly wounded in the arm. Anderson's section lost 1 horse.

My brigade was thus engaged in maneuvering and skirmishing for a period of about four hours, during which the Seventeenth was perhaps most exposed, and suffered the greatest losses.

The conduct of the skirmishers and the officers commanding them in the Seventeenth and Twenty-fifth I have already reported.

On June 25, the skirmishers of the Forty-fourth Tennessee Regiment repulsed in a handsome manner three attacks of the enemy, made with a view to drive them from the skirt of woods which they occupied. Lieutenant [W. A.] Vernon, of the Twenty-third, is especially mentioned by his colonel for the manner in which he discharged his duties in command of the skirmishers of that regiment. He is also mentioned as an officer of merit, who has served in several battles and always with honor.