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Forrest fights at Parker’s Crossroads/Red Mound trying to break through a Federal line after successful raids on Grant’s supply lines and communications. As he begins to drive the Union troops back, he is attacked from behind by Gen. Jeremiah Sullivan. Surrounded, Forrest fights his way out and escapes, but loses nearly 300 men.
Battle of Murfreesboro (Stones River) begins. Bragg’s army pushes Federals back to the Nashville Turnpike. Skirmish at Overall’s Creek.
“This has been a most eventful day. At daylight this morning very heavy cannonading was heard in the direction of Murfreesboro…. About 1 P.M. it was less frequent and seemed fainter—could it be that our [gallant] fellows were driving the Vandal before them?… Darlin’ [her pet name for her husband John] went into town [McMinnville] and came home about 11 o’clock with glorious news…. [Our troops] had whipped the enemy—loss heavy on both sides…. I could scarcely keep from crying for joy when Darlin’ told me the news…. I could not sleep for thinking of the poor fellows who were lying on the battlefield— some cold in death —others shivering with cold and writhing in pain…. [But] who was there with a warm glance to cheer their last agonizing hours?… The surgeons are busy tonight—the little city of Murfreesboro is full of the wounded. God help them!” [Lucy Virginia French, journal]
Rosecrans moves toward Murfreesboro; C.S. General Joseph Wheeler makes a raid against Rosecrans at Nolensville, going completely around the Federal Army; skirmishes at Jefferson and Rock Spring; capture of Union, Tennessee; destruction of Watauga Bridge.
CSA captures 600 U.S. troops, 450-500 wagons, hundreds of mules near LaVergne.
Skirmishes at Stewart’s Creek Bridge on Murfreesboro Pike, and at Triune (65 U.S. killed); Forrest moves on McKenzie, learns of Federal pursuit.
Confederates evacuate Fort Pillow, which is occupied by Union forces.
Skirmish on the Manchester Pike near Murfreesboro.
U.S. Forces begin reconnaissance against Cumberland Gap; skirmish there.
Skirmish near Murfreesboro.
Parson Brownlow writes a letter to the Philadelphia Press, saying:
“We hope, in Tennessee, to have the rebel forces driven down into the Cotton States by late in the Spring or early in the Summer, so as to enable us to elect members of the Legislature and a Governor, all of loyal men. Then we shall redistrict the State and elect loyal Congressmen and Senators, so as to have them in Washington next Winter to back up the Administration and the army, and oppose the mad schemes of the Copperheads. We will also elect Judges, organize our Courts, and again put the machinery of civil government in motion.”
Supporters of Gov. Andrew Johnson predict that the Republican Convention will nominate him as Vice-President on the ticket with Lincoln. [NYT]
Skirmish near Franklin.
Coverage of action in Spring Hill, Tenn., in the March 7th, 1863 – New York Evening Post
Skirmish near Murfreesboro.
> Letter from 111th Ohio soldier writes from New Market, TN
On a rainy morning, the city streets almost impassable with mud, Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for a second term, with Tennessean Andrew Johnson as Vice President. Lincoln pledges “malice toward none and charity for all.”
Three days of heavy rains cause the Cumberland River to flood – the lower part of Nashville is “completely submerged,” and several bridges have been washed away. “It is believed the flood will be the greatest ever known.” [NYT]
Confederates attempt to break through Federal lines surrounding Fort Donelson; the attempt is initially successful, but commanders Floyd and Pillow Hesitate and re-entrench, and the opportunity to escape is lost.
“Saturday – Hard work all day to feed the big crowd. Tom Woods & Menifee very useful in dining room. [Marginal note in a different hand: “color men”] All of us perfectly worn out with the task of feeding some six hundred convalescents, & taking care of one hundred or more quite ill persons — Reports & rumors of the battles at Fort Donelson. Night speaking at the Capitol – Triumph over the repulse of the gunboats.” [Lindsley]
Tennessee Historical Marker, Dover in Stewart County, Tennessee, Buckner’s C.S.A. Division
On February 15, 1862, about 1 p.m. this division in compliance with General Floyd’s orders withdrew to its original position within the trenches covered by the 2d Kentucky and 41st Tennessee. Only a small portion of the division had reached its position when Smith’s division attacked the right flank of the Confederate line, fell upon Colonel Hanson’s regiment before it had reached the rifle pits and threw it back in confusion upon the 16th Tennessee.
Skirmishes near Auburn, Cainsville, and Nolensville.
Skirmishing at Nashville and Clarksville.
The Army of the Cumberland, now based in Murfreesboro, issues orders on how African Americans can be employed – as teamsters and laborers in Quartermasters’ departments; as cooks, nurses, and hospital attendants; as company cooks and officers’ servants.
The Confederate Constitution is adopted. President-elect Lincoln meanwhile is entertaining visitors, including Horace Greeley, at his home in Springfield. He has made no comment on the secessions or other issues. [NYT, p. 1]
Confederate forces burn three of their own steamers at the mouth of the Duck River to prevent their capture.
Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston orders a Confederate retreat from southwestern Kentucky.
“Great apprehension for the safety of Nashville.” [Lindsley]
Series of skirmishes near Murfreesboro. The Army of the Cumberland is still occupying Murfreesboro and the surrounding area, as its mechanics and engineers work to repair roads and bridges. They face constant attacks from Wheeler, Forrest, and Starns. “Contrabands – deserters from Forrest – say that he intends fortifying Columbia, and also to make a dash on Nashville during some of our nights of darkness.” [New York Times, Feb. 5]
James Wilson of the 36th Illinois Infantry, Company C.
Camp near Murfeesboro Tenn
16 February 1863,
I have for a long time looked for a letter from you in answer to one I wrote while on the march through KY…I did not know whether you had recd it or not a few days ago I recd a letter from home…your name signed to it so here goes…This part of the army at present…for the last three weeks…has been on Picket Guard nearly all the time and we have had one or two little scouts…We were sent to drive the stock into our lines and take the Secessh if we could but as usual they were ahead of us and all men gone even the NIGGERS which I think was the stock. We waded through mud up to our knees and cursed the whole time…we were foraging one day when the Rebels tried to cut us off but we managed to throw some shells among them and they took off….while on Picket they crawled up at night and took some shots at us but hurt no one…
A resident of Tompkins, Illinois, Wilson mustered into service as a Corporal on 23 September 1861 and mustered out as a Captain on 8 October 1865 at Washington, DC. The 36th Illinois suffered losses at Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Resaca, Dallas, Franklin, Nashville and many more.
Source eBay | Nate D. Sanders auction, January 2011