General Davidson had driven in the enemy's pickets and were in possession of the rifle-pits. I rapidly dismounted my brigade, deployed it in line of battle on the left of Clay's battalion and placed my howitzers in position, when Brigadier-General Wharton arrived on the ground and ordered me to go in under a flag of truce and demand the surrender of the town from Major Patterson, commanding. I did so, and Major Patterson, first requesting to be permitted to count our force, which I, of course, refused, surrendered himself and command, some 600 in number, prisoners of was unconditionally, with several million dollars' worth of stores, provisions, and munitions.
I was then ordered to march my brigade through town, 4 miles out on the Woodbury road, which I did, remaining there the entire day and night of the 3rd, with my horses saddled and ready to move at a moment's notice.
The day of the 4th and the night was occupied in marching on Murfreesborough, when my brigade was placed in position to support the artillery occupied in shelling the stockades which guarded and defended the bridges.
On the evening of the 5th, I encamped 12 miles from Shelbyville, and was ordered to lead the advance in the morning into Shelbyville. During that night, however, some advance regiments took, sacked, and plundered the town, and on the 6th, I passed to
the right of it, encamping at 1 p. m. on the south bank of Duck River, 3 miles from Shelbyville, where I remained until 9 a. m. on the morning of the 7th. Orders then reached me to take the advance of the division and march on the Farmington road. When I reached the road, I found Scott's brigade of this division drawn out in marching order. I was in the act of passing it, when General Davidson rode up and informed me that the enemy were advancing on the Shelbyville road, which came in on my left, and ordered me to send out a regiment to stop them and drive them back. As Clay's battalion was the leading regiment in my column, I sent it out and passed with the rest of the brigade to the front of the column of division.
Within thirty minutes a courier reached me from Colonel Clay, asking for re-enforcements. Being ordered by General Davidson to lead them and to take command of the rear in person, I countermarched with my brigade and was proceeding at a gallop with my command back, when, ahead of me, I encountered the whole of Scott's brigade crowded in frightful and horrible confusion, wild and frantic with panic, choking the entire road and bearing down upon me at racing speed. It was too late to clear the way; they rode over my command like madmen, some of them stopping only, as I am informed, when they reached the Tennessee. I was ridden over and my horse knocked down, but succeeded in extricating myself and Captain Larmer's company, Twenty-seventh Virginia Battalion, which I threw into position behind a fence running at right angles with the road, and opened fire upon the enemy, who were fiercely charging the rear of the panic-stricken crowd. This company unhorsed and killed some 30 of the enemy, who were in the leading files of the charging column, but was itself badly cut up and its gallant captain sobered out of his saddle. The enemy were momentarily checked. I seized the opportunity to gallop ahead of the fugitives and extricate my own brigade from the disorderly mob; this I formed line with and in some order received the now advancing enemy. He came on in heavy force and with determined obstinacy.