Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/485

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The Monument at Munfordsville. 475

Mississippians to the railroad at Cave City, and Duncan's Louisiana brigade to the junction next south, with instructions to intercept and cut Buell's communications by rail with Louisville General Chalmers surprised and captured the telegraph operator and depot of supplies at Cave City, but, because information as to our move- ments had been, in some manner, communicated to the Federals, he did not succeed in capturing any train. Hearing that a force of the enemy, supposed to be raw recruits, but in reality numbering, as we afterward found, largely in excess of 3,000 trained and disciplined soldiers, were entrenched at Munfordsville. protecting the railroad bridge over Green river, General Chalmers, without orders from his superiors, as was currently believed, leaving parts of the Seventh and Twenty ninth regiments to guard Cave City, advanced with the rest of his brigade, numbering 1,200 or 1,300 strong, to Horse Cave, on the road to Munfordsville, and after resting until a late hour in the night again moved forward, and by dawn the next morning struck the Federal pickets about a mile in advance of their fortifications.

These were hastily driven in by the sharpshooters of the brigade, commanded by Major W. C. Richards of Columbus, Miss., who fell seriously wounded before our main line made the attack.

The brigade was then being rapidly placed in position for a general assault, in the following manner, as I remember : The Seventh Missis- sippi, under command of Colonel Bishop, on the extreme right and extending nearly to the river; next the Twenty-ninth, commanded by Colonel E. C. Walthall; next the Ninth, commanded by Colonel Thomas W. White — all three to be placed east of and parallel with the dirt road — and with a company of sharpshooters and a part of Garrity's battery, constituted the right attacking column. The Tenth Mississippi, tinder command of Colonel Robert A. Smith, was to be placed in position to the left, perpendicular to, but far removed from the dirt road, and constituted the left attacking column, with the Forty-fourth, commanded by Lieutentant- Colonel James Moore, in reserve and partially covering the interval between the Tenth and the road. With these dispositions made. General Chalmers would be prepared to advance on the enemy's works.

As the Tenth Mississippi marched by the left flank on the crest of yonder hill in order to be opposite the Federal right, which was a fortified eminence covering the bridge, the enemy beyond the dense fog that overhung the intervening valley could be plainly seen stand- ing in compact line behind their works with guns shimmering in the morning sun, and announced their readiness by discharging at occa-