Yes it seemed to be quite the raid. When the Union papers admit such defeat, it had to be bad.
NASHVILLE DISPATCH, July 15, 1862, p. 3, c. 2
Confederate Raid on Murfreesboro.
Capture of the Ninth Michigan and Third Minne-
sota Regiments and Hewitt's Artillery.
Mill and Railroad Depot Burned!
Confederate Loss over Five Hundred Killed and Wounded.
The city has been full of rumors in regard to the engagement which took place at Murfreesboro' Sunday, between the Federal troops stationed there and a brigade of Confederate cavalry. The Federal troops at Murfreesboro' consisted of the Third Minnesota and Ninth Michigan infantry, Hewitt's Artillery, of six pieces, and four companies of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, most of the latter being out on a scout at the time the Confederates made the attack. From the most reliable information we can get, it appears there were three regiments of Texas Rangers and two regiments of Georgia cavalry, under command of General Forrest, and that they made the attack about four o'clock, Sunday morning, first upon the camp of the Ninth Michigan. It appears that the Confederates had reached their camp entirely unawares, and poured a deadly volley into the tents where the men were sleeping, killing and wounding a large number. The Michiganders then, with all possible haste, formed themselves into line of battle; but it was soon discovered that they were menaced by an overwhelming force, who fired another volley into their ranks, and they immediately surrendered. This regiment numbered about seven hundred strong, and were armed with Enfield rifles. They were commanded by Col. Duffield, who was wounded.
The camp of the third Minnesota regiment was nearly two miles distant. Immediately on hearing the firing, Col. Lester formed his men into line of battle, and took position near Hewitt's battery, and in the meantime despatched an orderly to ascertain the cause of the firing, but before the orderly returned, the sutler of his regiment arrived from the direction of the firing, and informed Col. Lester of what had been going on. Scarcely had he imparted this information, before the Confederates came dashing in the direction of the battery, which repulsed them with heavy loss. The Confederates made a second charge on the battery in the course of an hour, and were again repulsed.
Shortly afterwards the large mill owned by Spence & Co., situated in the suburbs of Murfreesboro', was discovered to be on fire. Capt. Hewitt opened his battery in that direction, supposing the Confederates to be there, and threw one hundred and forty-seven shells in that vicinity, with what effect we have not learned.
Subsequently the railroad depot, and the residence of a Mr. Jordan, a prominent Union man of Murfreesboro', were discovered to be on fire. Capt. Hewitt opened his battery in the direction of these fires, throwing a dozen shells per hour for about eight hours, the object apparently being to drive the Confederates away, and thus prevent a further destruction of property by conflagration.
About an hour after Captain Hewitt stopped firing, the whole Confederate force made a dash upon the battery, driving the infantry supporting it back, with a loss of seven men killed, and capturing the battery. Whether ammunition had given out, or the movement was so unexpected and rapid as to prevent Captain Hewitt from firing, we have not learned, but it appears he was compelled to relinquish his whole six pieces without being able to spike his guns or injure the carriages.
The officers of the third Minnesota regiment, which had retired about a quarter of a mile, held a consultation as to the best course to pursue, and feeling that they were unable to make a successful defence against so large a cavalry force, determined to surrender, which they accordingly did about three o'clock in the afternoon. This regiment numbered about five hundred men. The privates stacked their guns, and the officers threw their side arms into a pile, and as they marched to the rear, the men struck up Yankee Doodle, and cheered lustily for the Union.
Up to the present writing we have heard of only two men belonging to Capt. Hewitt's battery, and about a dozen of the Minnesota regiment, including the sutler and a negro stewart [sic], who escaped. It is believed, however, that most of the Pennsylvania cavalry, who were out on scout duty, will escape, as they were advised by a courier of the state of affairs.
The Federal loss in killed and wounded is thought to be over two hundred, and about nineteen hundred prisoners, including Gen. T. T. Crittenden, of Indiana, who had but recently been appointed a Brigadier General, we believe, and assigned to command at Murfreesboro'.
It is said that in the charges on Capt. Hewitt's batter, the Confederates were terribly decimated, and their loss in killed and wounded is variously reported at from four to six hundred.
It is reported that the Confederates captured about sixteen hundred stand of small arms, over five thousand pounds of ammunition, nearly one hundred tents, a battery of six brass pieces, and a large number of horses, mules, and wagons. A considerable amount of commissary and other stores was destroyed by the burning of the depot.
The sutler of the Third Minnesota regiment suffered to the extent of about five thousand dollars, having lost his whole stock.
Maj. Seibert, of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, is a prisoner and reported wounded. Capt. Easington, and Lieutenants Rhodes, Beachtel, Einstein, and Childs, of that corps, are also known to be among the missing.
The regular morning train from Nashville experienced a narrow escape from capture. It had passed Florence five miles this side of Murfreesboro', before anything was known of what was transpiring ahead. The engineer was hailed and informed of the fight that had been raging all morning. Just as the train ceased motion a shell whistled over it, and the conductor believed that he was surrounded, but an investigation satisfied him that it was a stray shot, and that he was in no danger as yet, when the engine was reversed and the train speedily brought back to Nashville.
By this raid the Confederates have possession of the railroad and telegraph beyond Murfreesboro', and we have no definite information as to their movements.
NASHVILLE DISPATCH, July 15, 1862, p. 3, c. 1
The neglect of local matters in this morning's Dispatch is wholly due to the absorbing nature of the news from the Murfreesboro' "scrimmage." Reporters, like the excited people, had their minds engrossed with the nameless canards and speculations which were afloat in every circle.
NASHVILLE DISPATCH, July 15, 1862, p. 3, c. 2
The news from Murfreesboro yesterday caused intense and universal excitement. People crowded the streets, moving restlessly from one corner to another, and using their conjectural faculties to the best advantage in the endeavor to comprehend the true "situation." Official quarters were besieged at all times, and whenever a word was dropped, concerning the fight at Murfreesboro, the listening populace would catch it up and retail it throughout the city, each one adding his own views to make it the more plausible. A thousand and one rumors and counter-rumors gained currency, and all had their believers and elaborators. Even the ladies were carried irresistibly along by the waves of excitement; many of them appeared upon the streets to witness the state of feeling as it "really was." Should nothing else grow out of the alarm everywhere evident yesterday, it will leave an amusing impress upon the history of Nashville. Our statement of the Murfreesboro affair is obtained from high authority, and it contains few, if any, inaccuracies.
About 2 o'clock, P. M., a chariot and band paraded the streets, with a banner bearing the inscription: "Union Men, Rally under Brigadier General Wm. B. Campbell!" The effect of such a display can better be imagined by our readers than described by us. At 5 o'clock, the music and a number of followers entered the Representatives Hall, at the Capitol, where Gen. Campbell was to have addressed the people. Hon. Wm. B. Stokes appeared upon the stand, and briefly addressed the crowd, telling them of the threatened attack on the city, and proposing the adjournment of the meeting until five o'clock this evening, at which time Union citizens were enjoined to report the names of all persons willing to enlist for the exigency. After this announcement the meeting dispersed.
NASHVILLE DISPATCH, July 16, 1862, p. 3, c. 1
Gentlemen who arrived in this city yesterday from Murfreesboro, having left there at ten o'clock the day previous, (Monday,) report that the number of killed and wounded in the engagement of Sunday will probably not exceed one hundred on both sides. They also report that the mill of Messrs. Spence & Co., was not burned, neither was the residence of Mr. Jordan. The railroad depot was burned, and a small building near by caught fire from the depot and was consumed.
The Confederates loaded all the wagons they captured with commissary and other stores, and burned what they could not take off, which, we learn, was considerable. They are reported to have taken the prisoners they captured off in the direction of McMinnville.
No houses or other property sustained any injury from the cannonading, which was kept up for some time.
At the time these gentlemen left Murfreesboro, Gen. Forrest and a portion of his command were still there. One of Forrest's men was captured by the Pennsylvania cavalry, and has been lodged in the Penitentiary here.
Later intelligence says Gen. Forrest paroled the privates among the captured, and sent off the officers. It is also reported that Forrest had left Murfreesboro.
All fears of an attack on Nashville have now subsided.