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day with the enemy, who were attempting with their force of eighteen thousand men to drive us from our position. In every instance they were repulsed, and finally driven back from the field; Gen. Hindman driving them to within eight miles of Fayetteville, when our forces fell back to their supply depot, between Cane Hill and Van Buren. We captured three.hundred prisoners and vast quantities of stores. The enemy's loss in killed and woukded was about one thousand; the Confederate loss in killed, wounded and missing, about three hundred. In one of the charges of the engagement, Gen. Stein, of the Missouri State Guard, was killed, a ball passing directly through his brain.
The close of the year 1862 leaves little to record of events of importance sufficient to affect the fortunes of the war, beyond what has been related in these pages with more or less particularity of detail. In that large expanse of country between the Mississippi and the tributaries of the Atlantic, events, since our last reference to these theatres of the wTar, were of little apparent importance, although they were preparing for a grand tragedy of arms upon which we shall find that the first page of the new year opens. There were daring forays, brilliant skirmishes and enterprises of our cavalry, to which a brief reference is only possible in these pages. Such were the exploits of Gens. Forrest and Morgan, our distinguished cavalry commanders in West Tennessee, in which they annoyed the enemy, destroyed railroad bridges and Federal property, and captured several towns in successful F&ids. On the 7th of December a single expedition, sent out under Morgan from Gen. Bragg's lines, attacked an outpost of the enemy at Hartsville on the Cumberland, killed and wounded two hundred, captured eighteen hundred prisoners, two pieces of artillery and two thousand small arms, and all other stores at the position. Nor in our slight record of indecisive but gallant incidents of the war, must we neglect to mention the brave enterprise of Col. Clarkson, another choice spirit of Southern chivalry, who, with a detachment of the Virginia State line, penetrated into Kentucky, captured the town of Piketon on the 8th of December, secured a large amount of stores, and nipped an important enterprise of the enemy in the bud.
In the meantime some important new assignments of military command had been made in preparation for the winter campaign, and happily inspired the country with renewed confidence in the fortunes of the war. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith, whose patriotism was as enthusiastic as his military genius was admirable, (for he had broken ties as well as restraints in escaping from the North to join the standard of his native South,) had taketo command in North Carolina. Gen. Beauregard had been assigned to the important care of the defences of Charleston and Savannah, threatened by the most formidable armadas that the warlike ingenuity and lavish expenditure of the enemy had yet produced. Gen. Pemberton had relieved Van Dora of the army of the Southwest at Holly Springs, which had been taken by surprise on the 20th of December, and was now in our possession; and that latter officer, illstarred by fortune, but whose gallantry and enterprise were freely acknowledged, was appropriately appointed to take command of the cavalry forces in the West. The command of all the forces between the Alleghany and the Mississippi was entrusted to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, whose matchless strategy had more than once enlightened the records of the war, and whose appointment to this large and important command was hailed wiih an outburst of joy and enthusiastic confidence in all part*r<jf the South.
The Eastern Portion of Tennessee...Its Military Importance..,Composition of Bragg's Army—The Battle Of MuB.FREESBOB.o'...The Right Wing of the Enemy Routed—Bragg's Exultations...The Assault of the 2d January...'* The Bloody Crossing of Stone River "...The Confederates Fall Back to Tullahoma... Review of the Battle Field of Murfreesboro'...Repulse of the Enemy at Vicksburg....THE Recapture Of Galveston....The Midnight March... Capture of "the Harriet Lane "...Arkansas Post Taken by the Yankees...Its Advantages...The Affair of the^ams in Charleston Harbour...Naval Structure of the Confederacy...Capture of the Yankee Gunboat " Queen of the West "... Heroism of George Wood...Capture of "the Indianola"...The War on the Water...The Confederate Cruisers...Prowess of "the Alabama."
The eastern portion of Tennessee abounds in hills, rocks, poverty and ignorance. But its military situation was one of great importance to the Confederacy. The enemy already held West and Middle Tennessee. It required but to occupy East Tennessee to have entire possession of one of the most valuable States of the Confederacy. They also felt bound in honour and duty to render the long promised assistance to the Unionists of East Tennessee. Tennessee would be more thoroughly theirs than Kentucky, when once they filled this eastern portion of it with their armies. The essential geographical importance of this country to the Confederacy was too obvious to be dwelt upon. It covered Georgia and involved the defences of the cotton region of the South. Through it ran a great continental line of railroad, of which the South could not be deprived without unspeakable detriment. The importance of this road to the supply of our armies was no less considerable than to the supply of our general population.
The gallant and heroic army of the Confederacy, commanded by General Braxton Bragg, composed of Floridians, Louisianians, South Carolinians, Georgians and Kentuckians, numbering between thirty and forty thousand men, had occupied Murfreesboro' for over a month, in confidence and security, never dreaming of the advance of the enemy. President Davis had visited and reviewed the brave veterans of Fishing Creek, Pensacola, Donelson, Shiloh, Perryville and Hartsville, and, satisfied of their ability to resist any foe who should have the temerity to attack them, he withdrew from our forces Stevenson's division, of Kirby Smith's corps, numbering about eight thousand men, leaving scarcely thirty thousand men to defend what wTas left to us of Tennessee.
Balls, parties and brilliant festivities relieved the ennui of the camp of the Confederates. On Christmas eve scenes of revelry enlivened Murfreesboro', and officers and men alike gave themselves up to the enjoyment of the hour, with an abandonment of all military cares, indulging in fancied security.
The enemy's force at Nashville, under command of Rosecranz, was not believed to have been over forty thousand, and the opinion was confidently entertained that he would not attempt to advance until the Cumberland should rise, to afford him the aid of his gunboats. Indeed, Morgan kad been sent to Kentucky to destroy the Nashville road and cut off his supplies, so that he might force the enemy to come out and. meet us. Yet, that very night, when festivity prevailed, the enemy was marching upon us!
THE BATTLE OF MURFREESBORO'.
The grounds in front of Murfreesboro' had been surveyed and examined a month before, in order to select a position for battle in case of surprise, and our troops were thrown forward to prevent such a misfortune. Polk's corps, with Cheatham's division, occupied our centre, Maney's brigade being thrown forward towards Lavergne, where Wheeler's cavalry wTas annoying the enemy. A portion of Kirby Smith's corps, McCown's division, occupied Readyville, on our right, and Hardee's corps occupied Triune, on our left, with Wharton's cavalry thrown out in the vicinity of Franklin.
Festival and mirth continued on Christmas day, but the day following, Friday, the 26th, was a most gloomy one. The rain fell in torrents. That same evening couriers arrived and reported a general advance of the enemy. All was excitement and commotion, and the greatest activity prevailed. The enemy had already driven in our advance front. Hardee's corps fell back from Triune. Major-Gen. McCown's division was ordered to march to Murfreesboro' at or^ce, having received the order at midnight. Heavy skirmishing by Wheeler and Wharton's cavalry had continued since the 25th. Qn the 27th the ground for our line of battle was selected in front of the town, about a mile and a half distant on Stone's River. The enemy had now advanced beyond Triune, his main body occupying Stuart's Creek, ten miles from town. On the 28th our troops took up their position in line of battle. Polk's corps, consisting of Withers' and Cheatham's divisions, formed our left wing, and was posted about a mile and a half on the west side of Stone's River, its right resting on the Nashville road, and its left extending as far as the Salem pike, a distance' of nearly six miles. Hardee's corps, consisting of Breckinridge's and Cleburne's divisions, was formed on the east bank of .the river, its left resting near the Nashville road, and its right extending towards the Lebanon pike, about three miles in length, making our line of battle about nine miles in length, in the shape of an obtuse angle. McCown's division formed the reserve, opposite our centre, and Jackson's brigade was held in reserve on the right flank of Hardee. Stone's River crosses the Salem pike about a mile and a half on the south side of the town, making a curve below the pike about a mile further south, and then runs nearly north and south in front of Murfreesboro', crossing the Nashville pike and extending towards the Labanon pike, some half a mile, when it makes another turn or bend and runs nearly east and wrest, emptying into the Cumberland River. The river, at the shoals, where it crosses the Nashville pike, was fordable and not over ankle deep. The banks above and below were rather steep, being