The Tennessee in the Civil War Message Board

Re:Yankee payroll train coming out of Alabama

Notes from the 61st Illinois Regimental History include the following ( received from Michael Elliott in Texas)
On December 12, the Regiment, numbering then about 175, with a
small squad of dismounted cavalry, and one company of the 1st
Michigan Engineers, was sent as escort of a train of cars destined
to Stephenson, Alabama, and returned with rations for the troops
at Murfreesboro.
A torrential downpour of rain effected the movements of both the union and Confederacy during the first two weeks of December.
On the return, about 2 o'clock in the morning of December
15, about 8 miles out of Murfreesboro, the Regiment was attacked
by an overwhelming force of rebels, under the command of "Forrest".
General Jackson commanding the confederates during the attack,
states that the battle occurred on the 13th , not the 15th as the
Regimental History states. The confusion of dates is probably to
protect Forrest, who was to be in support of Hood's invasion of
Tennessee (The battle of Franklin was lost by Hood because "he
had no eyes (the cavalry) to see which was also Nov. 15).
The rebel force aggregated fully 1,500 infantry and cavalry, and was also provided with a battery of artillery. They surrounded the
train and tore up the track in front and rear to prevent escape,
and opened up a galling fire of musketry and artillery. The train
guard, including John Romines, numbering all told about 225 muskets, held the train until about 8 A.M., in the hope of reinforcements reaching them from Murfreesboro, but at that hour there being no sign of help, and their cartridges nearly exhausted, they abandoned the train, and cut their way out. Lt. Col. Grass (who had persuaded
the regiment to re-enlist as a veteran unit and vote for Lincoln),
commanding the Regiment, was captured, and over half the Regiment
was killed, wounded and taken prisoners.
Among others killed was Lt. Lorenzo J. Miner, of Co. B., a most admirable young officer. John Romines was also captured.

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