Saturday, December 3, 2011

Activities of Major-General R. H. Milroy’s command prior to the Battle of the Cedars, December 7, 1864, excerpt from a letter to his wife in Rensselaer, Indiana

Fortress Rosecrans
Murfreesboro, Tenn Dec. 18 1864
My Dear Mary,
....I arrived here on the 2nd inst. without any fighting except a little skirmishing with bushwhackers -- of whom we killed and captured a number. On the afternoon of the 4th Inst. the Rebs attacked a Block house 4 1/2 miles North of this place. I was sent out with 3 Regts of Inf. and one Regt of Cav. and two pieces of artillery to drive them off. It was nearly dark when I got to where the Rebs were commanding our Block -house which guarded the R.R. bridge across that creek. I threw out my; skirmishers and opened on them with my artillery. At dark I crossed the Creek with two of my Regts and attacked the Rebs furiously, not knowing their strength. I found them hard to drive but finally drove them capturing 20 prisoners from whom I learned that I was fighting a whole Reb division under Gen Bates about 3000 strong. I had about 900 men in action and thought it best to stop the pursuit and fall back which I did safely with the loss of 6 killed and 62 wounded. We left the field strewed [sic] with killed and wounded Rebs. The next day [5th] Bates was reinforced by two brigades of Infantry and by Gen Forrest with 3000 Cavalry, and come [sic] around this Fortress and the town [of Murfreesboro] on all sides. We have near 70 pieces of artillery in the fortress and we opened on them with our heavy sige [sic] guns and soon made them get out of reach, but they could be seen around in sight constantly till the 7th....
Papers of General Milroy, pp. 399-400.


No comments: