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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/162

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154 Southern Historical Society Papers.

An incident occurred in the march out of Kentucky which will serve to illustrate Cleburne's indomitable will and energy. On the road selected for the passage of ordnance and supply trains of the army was a very difficult hill, at which the trains, unable to pass over it, or to go around it, came to a dead halt. The enemy was pressing the rear, the trains were immovable, and nothing seemed left but to destroy them, to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy: orders had actually been given for their destruction, when Cleburne, who was disabled and off duty on account of his wound, came up. He asked and was given unlimited authority in the premises. He at once stationed guards on the road, arrested every straggler and passing officer and soldier, collected a large force, organized fatigue parties, and literally lifted the trains over the hills. The trains thus preserved contained munitions and sub- sistence of the utmost value and necessity to the Confederates. It is by no means certain even that the army could have made its sub- sequent long march through a sterile and wasted country without them.

In December, 1863, General Bragg concentrated his army at Murfreesboro, Tenn., to oppose the Federal forces assembled at Nashville under Rosecrans. At this time Major-General Buckner, then commanding the division of which Cleburne's Brigade formed a part, was transferred to other service, and the President of the Confederate States, who was on a visit to the army at that time, promoted Cleburne to the vacant division. Rosecrans' advance upon Bragg brought on the battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862. In the action of this day Cleburne's was one of two divisions under my command, which attacked the right wing of the Federal army under McCook.

This wing was beaten and driven three miles, until its extreme right was doubled back upon the center of the Federal army. Dur- ing the day, Cleburne's Division in single line of battle, without re-enforcements, rest or refreshment, encountered and drove before it five successive lines of battle, which the Federal Commander-in- Chief withdrew from his intact center and left to re-enforce his broken right. The general results of the day were not decisive in favor of the Southern arms; but this heightens the achievement of that por- tion of the army which was successful, and the merit of the officer whose skillful handling of his division contributed materially to that success.

From the battle of Murfreesboro to that of Chickamauga, in Sep-