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Re: 10th SC Vols.
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XXVIII.

Headquarters 4th Brigde. P.C.A.T

Alisonia, Elk River, Jan.8th, 1863.

Since my last, a decisive, but I am afraid, fruitless, victory has been achieved by this Army. You remember that in that letter I hinted at such an event, but for fear of rendering you anxious, I did not tell you

of its approach. Thank God, I am safe, as well as all of our friends of the

Field and Staff. I have not time to give you a description of the battle, but suffice

it to say that all that you were interested in, did well. The Army gained a

complete victory, holding the filed for four days, but finding that the enemy

dared not attack us, and it was too fatiguing to keep our Army drawn up in line

of Battle, Bragg was compelled to fall back. We will however re-occupy much

of the ground we have lost. The enemy retreated as we have every reason to

believe, the same night we did, but unfortunately they discovered it first, and

occupied Murfreesboro.

The order of battle was the following - Cleburne's Div. on the right,

Withers' and McCown's on the left. Cleburne's supported by Breckenridge, and

Withers by Cheatham. The right wing did not do much
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N. B. This is no reflection upon Cleburne's and Breckenridge Divisions. A

part of Bragg's strategy kept Cleburne thus inactive, but after we drove the

Federals back to the Nashville Pike, Breckenridge's Division was brought up

and most valorously but without success, charged the enemy's position.
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but they held their ground. And the left wing drove every-
thing from before it, routing the whole force opposing it, and killing

the three Division Commanders opposed to us.

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N. B. This was common Army rumor, but I think it was mistaken.
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We took the enemy completely by surprise - they evidently intended to attack

us but Bragg forestalled them, and made an irresistible attack on their lines, which

completely routed them. We drove them two or three miles and were only

stopped by night. The next day the battle was not renewed, nor was it at all

renewed. Bragg not being strong enough to attack them, as they were posted

in a very strong position, and the enemy too badly whipped to venture an

attack on our lines.

The Col. commanded this Brigade, and I acted as A.A.G. The Col.

showed much ability and has gained great credit. I hear of no Brigade which

fought better than ours, nor any Regt. which acted more gallantly than the 10th

So. Ca. The loss in the Brigade was over 500 - out of about 2,000 carried in the

field. The 10th. S.C. lost 10 killed, and 100 wounded. The Battle Flag was

riddled, and your flag shot off the staff. The 10th S. C. brought it off the

battle field safely. Among the wounded was Capt. Nettles seriously, Capt.

Palmer, severely in the leg (flesh wound) Capt. C. T. Ford, Capt. Mc. White,

and Lt. Easterling (wound in the foot by a shell). Glennie Herlot is unhurt. Lt. White has acted most gallantly in a skirmish preceeding the

Battle, as did the whole of Company A. They, together with Comp. C.,

who did nearly as well, killed 2 Majors, and 14 Enlisted men of cavalry who

attacked them, besides taking three of them wounded, the rest of the wounded

being carried off by the enemy.
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N. B. This was a most conspicuously gallant little affair between two

squadrons of the 15th. Penna. Cavalry and Companies A. and C. 10th.

S.C. Regt. The details are more fully given in my letter of Jan. 15th, No. 29 of

the series. As soon as Genl. Bragg heard of the bravery and skill of Lieut. C. C.

White, he sent down a staff officer and promoted him to the rank of Captain.

The only instance I ever knew of such promotion on the actual field of battle

by the general commanding.
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Lt. Col. Pressley managed the Regt. most excellently, and behaved

most gallantly. Not one of our mess got a scratch, although we all were under

a most terrific fire.

I telegraphed, as soon as I could, to Father, and suppose he sent it

on to you. I will write again - when we get to Shelbyville. Hoping that the

same kind of Providence which has so far spared me may continue his

protection, I remain, with love to our friends

Your own **********

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78.

XXIX.

Hd. Qrs. 4th Brigde.
W.D.R.C.A.T

Near Shelbyville, Jan. 15th. 1863.

Yours of the 25th and 30th have been received since our arrival at this

place. I have been endeavoring to write you fully for some time, but have not

had an opportunity because 1st. of the movements incident to the recent battle

of Murfreesboro, and 2nd. that I have been extremely busy since we have been

stationary, collecting and writing the various reports of that engagement. All this

is in addition to regular duties and to the orders of two weeks standing which are

to be extended and what rendered my duties more arduous is that I was obliged

to dismiss my clerk * * * *

But I can steal a few moments to acknowledge the receipt of your two

precious letters and give you an account of the Battle. I am glad that your second

is written in a more pleasant and hopeful than the first. You speak of sad faces

and mourning. I am glad that you only see the result of, and not the sad

battle-field itself. The grief, the sadness, the mourning of relatives is nothing

as compared with the horrors of the battle ground the piteous cry for help of

the wounded and cold pallid faces of the unburied dead.

Jan. 19th. I propose to give you a rather more minute account

of battle of Murfreesboro that I was unable to do in my last.

But before doing so let me tell you that I commenced
this letter of 15th. but since have been so busy that I have not had time

to write any since I left off above.

On Sunday Dec. 28th, 1862. The Army was placed in position as you

will see on the map accompanying this letter.

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N.B. The map is a rough map of the field, being practically and far more

accurately shown upon the official map. It was not preserved with the letters.
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Cleburn's Division on the right, Withers & McCown on the left, Breckenridge

and Cheatham forming 2nd line. Withers' right resting on Stone River. On the

afternoon of the 29th. the enemies Cavalry attacked our line of infantry pickets,

but were repulsed.

At this time occurred the very pretty little affair of Co.A. The pickets

on their right gave way, and before they were aware of it, they were completely

surrounded.
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N. B. In my "10th S.C. Sketch" this is stated rather differently, and I think

more correctly. In that is said: "The picket line on our right had been re-adjusted

leaving a gap and through this a squadron of Cavalry rode in. Lieut. C. C. White,

hearing of the gap had gone to right of his Company to arrange it, he (not his company) was surrounded and captured with

the two right groups of his pickets."

The prisoners were left in charge of a Lieut. and Squad of men, and the

rest of the Cavalry dashed on. So it left isolated, this Squad of Union Cavalry,

and their prisoners. Lieut. White, a prisoner, called out "Co. A, Rally on the

right", which they did, and Lieut. W. Secured his freedom, as narrated in

the letter.
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Lt. White and Sargt. Larahour were taken prisoners, and had given up

their arms, when the enemy fired on him, and White then called on his company

to rally and he had a hand to hand fight with his captor, and before the Yankee

had time to run he was knocked off his horse and White liberate.

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N.B. - On returning to his company Lieut. W. formed it at right angles to its

previous line, along a rail fence and Co. C. formed on its flank. The 15th. Penna

Cavalry acted with distinguished gallantry. Maj. Rosengarten dashed up to the

fence, and with his pistol shot down a man in Co. A. but the Company

concentrated their fire upon him and the brave fellow fell, riddled. The enemy

charged them several times, but only to be repulsed. Our loss was 1 killed and

1 wounded, - the enemy's 14 killed, 3 prisoners, wounded and got off the field,

except three which we brought in.

81.

White and his Company acted very gallantly. On the morning of the 30th, the

enemies infantry skirmishers appeared and gradually drove our back to the edge

of the woods in which our line was formed, this being accomplished about noon;

they made during the afternoon a desperate attempt to drive them in entirely and

find position of our line. They were aided by their Artillery, but though we were

under a pretty hot fire all day, yet they could not discover the exact position of our

line. This took place in immediate front of 3rd. and 4th. and 1st. Brigades of

Withers Div.

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I don't know how they succeeded in other parts of the field. On this

night they formed a line in our front, not over 500 yards off, and boldly built

their fires and made as much noise as

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N. B. - A very amusing little incident occurred during this effort of the enemy.

So poorly were we Confederates armed, that more than half of the Companies

of our Regiment were armed with old flint and steel smooth more muskets

altered to percussion. Their range was about 100 yards. At one time the entire

Picket line of our Regt. was armed thus, and consequently our friends,

the enemy,showed themselves openly and rather laughed at us.

Col. Manigault slipped up on the picket line, some Companies

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armed with Rifles, range 500 or 1,000 yards, and there was then a general

scamper of the enemy for cover, as they opened fire. This is but an example

of the kinds of arms the confederates were forced to use. Our Regiment was not

armed all alike, with the same caliber arms, until after the Battle of Franklin,

Nov. 1864, near the close of the ar. Then I found many arms scattered over the

field, and as the Springfield Rifle was the same caliber as our Enfield, I had

our Ordinance Sergt. gather up enough Arms of same caliber for the entire

Regt., previously we had three calibers in the Arms of the Regt.

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they choose. We could hear them talking. Meanwhile not a fire burned, not a

sound was heard along our lines. Tonight we prepare for the deadly conflict of

tomorrow.

During the night, orders were received for an advance to be made by

McCown's Div. and 1st and 4th. Brigade of Withers, they were to wheel round

and straighten the line which made a large angle on the right of our Brigade. The

movement to commence on the left at dawn of day next morning. Before

daylight on the 31st. ult. the army was under arm and ready for coming contest.

The day opened with heavy skirmishing and picket firing. We look anxiously

for movement on our left. Soon the Battle flags of Deas' (1st) Brigade were

seen advancing, Col. M. sends orders for 34th Ala. Regt. on left of

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our Brigade to rise and charge opposite hill, in a moment and with a shout this

gallant Regt. rushes to meet the foe. Hardly have they started when they are

followed by 28th Ala., 24th. Ala., 19th. So. Ca., in quick succession and the

10th S. C. wheels into its position. In a moment the quiet field is filled with

contending hosts. The rattle of musketry becomes incessant, and the hail of

canister, shot and shell and scrapnel is moving down the ranks of our advancing

line. the 34th. and 28th Ala. Regts. have gained the hill simultaneously with the

1st Brigade and driven the enemy form it, and the 24th. Ala. and 19th S. C.

continue to advance under a most terrific fire, but suddenly the enemy, (owing to

the bend in our lines) open an enfilade fire on our lines, and throw heavy

reinforcements to support their beaten Regts. (a brigade of Regulars) and ours,

& the 1st. Brigade gives way - our right flank is exposed to the enfilade fire

and our left exposed by the retreat of the 1st., and we were compelled to fall

back. But they were rallied and led again to the charge and were again terribly

repulsed and driven back to our first position before the men could be rallied.

I had gone to Genl. Mandy Comdg. our supporting Brigade in 2d. line,

to bring him up to our assistance, and arrived just at this time.

But before anotherattack was made by our Brigade, McCown's

Div. and 1st. Brigade W. D. has wheeled round, flanked the enemy ,

and driven them from our front. The 10th Being on

84.

the right were but little exposed. The ground was now clear and the left wing

wheeled round and occupied a line along the road marked on map "country

road" and at right angles to our former position, our right remaining stationary.

The battle now raged along our whole line from left to right, the booming of

heavy guns to be heard over the sharp rattle of musketry. While our line

was in the last mentioned position a Battery of Rifle guns and Napoleons

posted on the Nolensville Pike shelled our lines, making a great deal of

noise and doing very little damage. They had not the most remote idea

that we were so near them. Genl. Maney now brought up a battery near the

Gin House and opened on this Battery, this drawing its attention and ordered

Col. M to charge it.

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N. B. - Col. M was ordered to charge it with two Regiments and he most

naturally selected his two South Carolina Regts.

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The 10th S. C. Were brought to front and supported by the 19th. S. C. were

ordered to advance.
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N. B. - While this was going on, Genl. Maney, commanding a Tenn. Brigade,

moved and formed on the left of Manigaulr's Brigade. Col. Manigault

sent me to Gen. M. to request him to make a demonstration to aid his

attack, as he did not believe the Battery

85.

was unsupported, as was informed. As soon as I heard the rattle of musketry

from the charge, I galloped back and found the two South Carolina Regiments

had got into a hornet's nest, the Battery being supported by a heavy infantry force.

I immediately ordered up the Alabama Regts. of the Brigade, and they reached the

So. Ca. Regts. just as the movement of the 3rd. Brigade on our right had aided us,

and the whole Brigade swept victoriously over the Battery.

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These gallant Regts. move steadily forward and when they reached the enemies

line of skirmishers charged with a shout driving the Brigade of the enemies

infantry from their position and silenced every gun of the Battery but one, but

the 2nd line of the enemy appearing in front and a Regt. moving round on our left

flank to enfilade them they were brought to a stand. The rest of the Brigade was

ordered to their support, but this proved inefficient to withstand the numbers of

the enemy and as the Brigades on our right and left did not move up in time to

support our as had been promised, we were compelled to fall back. Just as we

gave way the 3rd. Brigade on our right came up, but too late to suuport us,

although they advanced, and drove back the enemy, compelling them to

leavetheir Battery and take flight. McCown's Div. was advancing

at this time, and they swept the enemy before them, our Brigade

following, until the enemy were driven across to the Nash-

86.

ville Pike, where they rallied behind a heavy artillery force planted along

Nashville Pike (see on map near Nashville Pike) and our forces having

already driven the enemy further than they were ordered and having in

their front an open field over which to advance against a tremendous

collection of Batteries, our line halted in woods to N. S. of Nolensville

Pike. So on the left we had swung completely round, driving the enemy more

than 2 miles and capturing several batteries of artillery. This had been achieved

however with heavy loss. In the charge on the Battery the 10th. S. C. Regt.

lost 85 men - nearly of the number on the field. Our battle flag was riddled,

and the Blue State (Mrs. Wilson's) flag was shot off the staff, but it was brought

off the field in safety. On the right the fighting was not so hard, we however

drove the enemy back and advanced to position shown on map as 2nd position.

During the rest of the day, on the left, we made no advance, the enemy keeping

up an extremely heavy shelling on our position - they were so near that they

did but little harm, although I was not under a heavier fire of artillery all

day then at this time. Night, however, soon closed this, the longest day of

my existence. We confidently expected the fight to be renewed the next day,

but our army was too small to make the attack, and the Yankees too badly

whipped to move out of the intrenchments they had thrown up during the night.

Thursday, New Year day was spent in this position,

87.

we momentarily expecting either an order to advance, or an advance of the

enemy, but the day passed and neither came. Friday we remained quiet.

Breckenridge made an attack on the enemy but was repulsed. Saturday our

Brigade changed its position to that first occupied by the Brigade. W. D.

between Nolensville and Nashville Pikes and Chalmers, Deas and Anderson

(2nd. 1st. and 3rd. Brigades of our Division) were moved to their right, in front

of Stone River. The day was a rainy one, and we suffered very much. Our troops

were now become quite exhausted, we had been in line of Battle one week. That

night came the orders to retire and with a heavy heart and tired steps our brave

but crippled and exhausted Army retreated towards Shelbyville. We marched all

night and next afternoon arrived at Shelbyville, (25 miles). One days rest here

and we pushed on to Alisonia, 26 miles, which place we only reached to be

ordered back to Shelbyville so we had four days marching thrown away. I don't

complain of this - I was glad that we could go back to Shelbyville.

Thus I have told the story of the Battle of Murfreesboro. It was a

complete, though unfortunately, not a decisive victory. Bragg deserves every

praise for doing what he has done - with an army of barely 30,000 he defeated,

or say checked, Rosencrans with over 65,000 more than two to one.

Our Brigade, though every time repulsed, acted most

88.

gallantly and has been highly complimented by our commander. But the two

S. C. Regts. have had the highest honor paid them. Genl Bragg "for brilliant

deeds on Battlefield of Murfreesboro" presented them with the Battery we

silenced on the Nolensville Pike, left it to them to inscribe the names on the

pieces, to be presented by them to their favorite Genl. Beauregard as a trophy

of the late Battle. Capt. White as "the most gallant officer of the two So. Ca.

Regts." is one of the escort in charge. Neddy Howard was specially mentioned

by Genl. Bragg to go to So. Ca. with the Battery. So you see the reputation of

So. Ca. was ably sustained by her sons in the West. I can speak for this, for

I acted as Asst. Ajt. Genl to Col. M. Comdg. Brigde. and was not Adjt of the

10th., so I can tell its honors without the imputation of egotism.

Now for our friends. Col M. managed the Brigade not only ably, but

with telling effe=ct on the enemy, - he has been highly complimented by

Genl. Bragg. * * *, acting as Aide to Col. M. and * * * as Brigade Inspector,

were fearless in the discharge of their duties, displaying not only intrepidity

but much bravery. The latter once rallied and led to the front one of our

broken Regts. You spoke too severely of Lt. Col. P. in the Battle he proved

himself a man. He was Officer of the Day when White's skirmish took place, and

managed his skirmishers admirably. When in command of the Regt. he handled

it well, and acted most gallantly. Maj. Porcher was cool and

89.

collected, and was as little excited when under the terrific fire which the

Regt. encountered in the charge on the Battery on the Nolensville Pike, as if

he was on parade. Willie Huger was most gallant. Corpl. Duggan carrying Battle

flag was shot down, and Shaw took his flag and Willie the Blue flag and brought

it off the field in safety. Capt. Nettles was peculiarly marked for gallantry and

coolness and his name is inscribed on one of the Guns presented to Beauregard.

But poor fellow, he was shot down in three places while leading his company to

the charge. Capt. Palmer did well, but was slightly wounded in leg. LeGrande

Shaw distinguished himself. But Lt. C. C. White's single handed and unarmed

fight on the 29th. and his noble bearing through whole fight has made him the

hero of the regt. col. Lythgoe 19th. S. C. Regt. was mortally wounded in thigh,

and died under subsequent operation. Do you remember old Corpl. (late

Sergeant), Cockfield. The poor fellow was shot as he led his company in

the charge. He died immediately.

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N. B. - As I passed over the ground where the 10 and 19 S. C. Regts had been

fighting I saw Sergt. Cockfield and his son both lying dead side by side,

as they fell.
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Our success was owing entirely to our impetuous charges and

unanticipated attack, a thing never thought of by the enemy.

90.

It was our battery (Capt. D. D. Waters) who shot off the head of

Rosencran's Chief of Staff - you have no doubt heard of it through the

papers.

The Providence of God, alone saved me. The shot, shell and ball

seemed to strike everywhere but just where I was. I thank Him for it.

The days of the battle were the most exciting of my life. I never

passed so long days. I have seen one battle, and am satisfied - have no

relish for another.

I send you a copy of Bragg's Order to troops after Battle.

* * *

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