Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/232
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the flanks of our army, and on many occasions assaults were made with a view of turning our flanks, and the cavalry, both on foot and on horse, would contest with the enemy every inch of ground, and history fails to record an instance where the flank of our Army of the Tennessee were ever turned by reason of the cavalry giving away.
Do you recall the battle of New Hope Church ? I had the honor on that occasion, to carry the news to our gallant Kelley, and to the immortal Pat Cleburne, that Hooker's corps was then in the woods, advancing on the line then held by Wheeler's cavalry dismounted, with no entrenchments and breastworks whatever. On that occa- sion the fight was made principally by Cleburne's Division and Wheeler's Cavalry, and Hooker's Corps was driven in confusion from the field, and in this battle more men were left dead upon the field than were killed during the entire war between Spain and the United States.
During the battle of Murfreesboro, Wheeler's cavalry more than once, made a complete circuit of Rosecrans' entire army, destroying practically every wagon and team that he had, making it absolutely impossible for Rosecrans to make an attempt to follow Bragg for more than twenty-four hours after Bragg had retreated. I was in the city of Murfreesboro, Tenn., myself, with a squad of cavalry the night after Bragg had retreated therefrom.
I can truthfully say to you from my own observation and experi- ence, that Wheeler's cavalry fought every branch of the Federal army, including such armored vessels as they had upon the rivers and streams of the country in which this cavalry was located. For instance, only a short time after the battle of Murfreesooro, Colonel William B. Wade, that gallant and noble son of Mississippi, Col- onel of the 8th Confederate cavalry, to which I was attached, con- trary to orders, stole our little regiment away, together with two pieces of artillery from Wiggin's battery, while Wheeler was on a raid in the rear of Nashville, and stationed us upon the banks of the Cumberland, where the snow was not less than a foot deep. Very soon a transport came along, when only a few shots from the small arms were necessary to effect the capture of the vessel. In the course of half an hour another transport came which was captured in like manner. Then a third came, which, after an attempt to run by us, notwithstanding our fire, was also compelled to surrender. It is needless to say that after each boat was tied to the bank a visit was made by details specially made for that purpose to each one of the