Saturday, March 30, 2013


[Excerpted from N. B. Forrest report, War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Vol. 25, Series I, Page 187]

Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
(Library of Congress)
Report of Brig. Gen.Nathan B. Forrest, C. S. Army, commanding First Division, First Cavalry Corps, April 1, 1863.

                Major: I respectfully submit the following report of expedition to Brentwood:
                On the 24th ultimo I ordered Colonel [J.W. Starnes], commanding Second Brigade, to proceed with his command in the direction of Brentwood, leaving Franklin on  the left and crossing Harpeth River at Half Acre Mill, 5  miles east of Franklin, and to pass through fields and by-roads thence to Brentwood, ordering him to throw out a squadron on the pike and railroad between Brentwood and Franklin, cutting the telegraph wires, and tearing up the track of the railroad, sending two regiments forward to attack the stockade, and posting the balance of the Third [Fourth] Tennessee Regiment so as to cut off any retreat of the enemy toward Nashville and Triune. He was ordered to bring on the attack at daylight on the 25th, at which time I was to join him with General Armstrong’s brigade, with the Tenth Tennessee Cavalry, temporarily attached to his brigade, which marched on Brentwood via Hilsborough and the Hillsborough pike. I failed to reach Brentwood with General Armstrong’s command at the appointed hour, owing to delay in getting the artillery across Harpeth River. I arrived there, however, at 7 o’clock in the morning, sending one squadron of the Tenth Regiment down the Hillsborough pike to protect my rear, and another to the left and rear of Brenthwood to prevent any retreat of the enemy toward Nashville, and give me timely information of any re-enforcements from Nashville. With the other six companies of the Tenth Tennessee and my escort, I moved to the right of the road running from Hillsborough pike to Brentwood, ordering General Armstrong, with his brigade and a section of Freeman’s artillery, to move to  the left of that, and attack the Federals at Brentwood.
Lt. Hiram L. Hendley, Co. 4, 9th Tenn. Cav. Bn.
(Liljenquist Family Collection, Library of Congress)
                After disposing of my troops as stated, I moved rapidly on with my escort to the Franklin pike, capturing a courier and a dispatch to the commander of the Federal forces at Franklin, asking for help. I found the enemy had thrown out his skirmishers on the pike and on the surrounding hills. A flag of truce was sent in, demanding an immediate and unconditional surrender. The colonel commanding replied that we must come and take him. By this time the other six companies of the Tenth Tennessee, commanded by Major [William E.] De Moss, had arrived at the pike. He was ordered to dismount his men and attack in front, while messengers were sent to General Armstrong to move up and open upon them with his artillery in the left and rear. Major De Moss promptly attacked them. As soon as this was done, with my escort I moved rapidly to the right of the pike, and, gaining a high position, found the enemy were preparing to make their escape toward Nashville. My escort was ordered to advance to the pike and engage them. By  this time the firing in front between the enemy and Major De Moss became general. The enemy hoisted a white flag and surrendered, with all their arms, wagons, baggage, and equipments. 
                . . . The enemy lost about 15 killed and 30 wounded and 800 prisoners. We captured and brought away 3 ambulances and harness, 9 six-horse wagons and harness, 2 two-horse wagons and harness, 60 mules, and 6 horses, which were placed in charge of Major [N. C.] Jones, assistant quartermaster First Brigade, who was ordered to turn them over to quartermaster at Columbia. Many of the men in the  command who were unarmed got guns on the field, and many who had inferior guns, muskets, shot-guns, &c., exchanged them on the field, placing 9or, at any rate, so ordered) their old guns in wagons in lieu of them. . . .

N. B. Forrest, Brigadier-General

 [Editor's note: 
Confederate units involved were: First Brigade -  4th Mississippi; Second Brigade: 9th [19th] Tennessee, 10th Tennesse, 11th Tennessee, Swingley’s squadron. Total Confederate casualties were 9 men killed, 16 wounded and 39 captured.
Union Commander of the Brentwood garrison was Lt. Col. Edward Bloodgood, 22nd Wisconsin Infantry. Other Union units involved were the 19th Michigan Infantry and the 2nd Michigan Cavalry.]

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