16th Tennessee Volunteer
Infantry Regiment

1864

        It was during this winter that the Regiment suffered through the winter for warm clothing, and shoes, with many dying of pneumonia.  It wasn't until they were well into spring before the people from home could smuggle clothing past the Federal troops.  Also here at Dalton a religious revival swept the Army and 'there was divine service every day and night.  Soldiers became serious on the subject of their souls' salvation' , other interests were alcohol and prostitution.  It was also while here that everyone had the chance of a furlough where one in every twenty-five men could go home.  This was decided with each company putting their names into a hat and drawing to see who the lucky man would be.
        On the 18 January and Johnston decides to issue whiskey to the men in the Army but when he tried to secure the necessary licenses Georgia Governor Joe Brown informed him that
'the laws of Georgia will not tolerate any such consumption of grain by distillation as you propose.'
   
     The month of January was excessively cold and miserable for the men, they were also on short rations.  After four days without meat they had a barbecue on the 30th having 'fine time a good dinner and good speaking. Night has come and we are full and had plenty to eat.'
        While at Dalton a religious revival swept the Army and 'there was divine service every day and night.  Soldiers became serious on the subject of their souls' salvation.'  It was also while here that everyone had the chance of a furlough.
        On the 17 February Davis informs Johnston to reinforce General Polk in Mississippi and the Regiment are part of a force from Hardee's Corps that are organised as reinforcements. So on the 20 February they were ordered out of the entrenchment at 0400 and at daylight left for Dalton.
   
     The reinforcements started with the Regiment traveling 25 miles and then camping at Calhoun .  They now entrain for Atlanta, where they arrive on the 21st.  But upon them reaching Demopolis, Alabama, about the 25th, they were recalled.  By the 28th they had returned to the same cabins they had left only a week before.
   
     Little is recorded during early March but with a three inch snowfall the night of the 21 March saw 'this is a lively time with the boys what a time they have.'
       
On the 22-23rd snowball fights started which 'commenced in a small way but grew to be a big battle with at least a Brigade on each side with officers and colors. The snow was five or six inches deep. There was a small branch between the combatants and sometimes one side then the other would have possession of the field. Sometimes the Tennesseans would drive the Georgia men back, then they would rally and drive the other side. They used up all the snow on the field then each side had a detail to bring up big snowballs to be used as ammunition. Our Tennessee side finally charged the Georgia fellows and ran them back to their camp.'  And again 'While we were camped here in our winter huts, there fell a soft snow about four inches deep. Our men and General (W.H.T.) Walker's got to snowballing. The field officers mounted their horses and ordered our side to charge, which they did with a yell in fine style, and captured Walker's quarters. Everyone had a lot of fun and did not lose a man. All returned to their quarters well satisfied with the sport, as the victor, I suppose, always feels elated.'
        The 24th saw the Regiment, along with the 8th, attack the 28th and 51th but 'they got whip(ed)' and driven back to their lines.  Though by the 28th Cheatham's Division having Division drill.
        On the 30th some of the Regiment erected 'brush Harbors' for their preacher had to conduct services in the open air
at these their were several conversions and they '...went to a nearby branch and made a dam of brush, pieces of boards and pine straw and raised the water deep enough to baptise them by immersion...'
   
     On the 7 April they '...go to Dalton to fight a sham fight they have a greatest time of it. Our division fight General. Cleburne's.'
  The 8th saw most of the Regiment back out on picket.
   
     Stocks had been erected to punish wrongdoers but on the 16th some members attacked and destroyed them.
        On the 2 May a sermon they were at 'was wrapped up, and the men went quickly back to the Regiments to fall into line and were marched to the front at Rocky Face Ridge.'
        The 7th sees the Corps moving to take up positions on the ridge with the left on Mill Creek Gap and the line extending across Crow's Valley to the Cleveland Road, where the Division was posted, until they linked with Carter Stevenson's troops.  Here they now fashion crude breastworks along the summit.  Skirmishing began which increases in intensity.
        Rocky Face Ridge/Hill, 7-13 May. (Tunnel Hill 7th; Dug Gap 8th; Buzzards Roost 8th (Mill Creek Gap); Snake Creek Gap 9th.)  The Army was entrenched on Rocky Face Ridge which is a boulder-strewn 800ft high ridge running north to south for about 20 miles, just a few miles west of Dalton, that could only be crossed at a few places.  On the 7th Sherman was kept at bay with 'lively skirmishing', 'but no real fighting yet.' 
   
     The 8th they 'Left at dark traveled most all night.'  So that he 9th saw the Regiment '...on top of Stone Mountain....Heavy skirmishing all around the lines. Our Brigade have kept them back out of the gap all day.'  With Federal forces close '...Colonel Donelson ordered every man who had no gun to throw and roll rocks over the cliffs....' and '… when we had nothing to do we would carry large rocks up on the ridge and turn them loose.  The Yankee pickets were down on the side of the hill and the way those rocks would run and crash against trees was a caution.'
   
     On the 13th they left at daylight and marched seven miles to Resaca here 'our men formed line of battle comenst skirmishing at 3 oclock (1500).'  Here they 'took our position to the right of the forts....' they made ruff lines '....with chunks of old wood and rails.'  The Federals soon  '....got their artillery in position and began to shell us....'  'The Yankees made it hot for us that evening as we did not have time to throw up works.  When evening arrived the Regiment were issued tools and 'that night we worked nearly all night and by morning we were fixed for them'  they also dug forward rifle-pits for their skirmishers.
        Resaca
, 14-15 May.   Johnston directs the placement of the Army with the left of Polk's on the Oostenaula River, Hardee's, with the Brigade in the middle, and then the right of Hood's on the Connesauga River.  With an attack going in on the Confederate right the Regiment stood to in the trenches on the 14th but had 'commenced fighting at daylight (and) kept up a sharp shooting all day very little damage done to us.'
       
Cheatham had thrown out skirmishers and as the Federal forces advanced the Confederate skirmishers gradually withdrew.  The forces finally  finished a stones throw from each other with separated by a little ravine.  The skirmishing continued all evening with the heavier attacks going in on their right as was the counter attack which went in at 1800, which forced the Federal forces there back.
        At daylight on the 15th the skirmishing was resumed and finally became a general engagement when the Army slowly lost ground with the enemy 'gaining substantial advantage at all points' this being due to the Army having started to withdraw from the field from 1000.  Federal casualties were 3,500 and the Confederate 2,600.
        Calhoun, 16 May.  The Regiment withdrew that night to Calhoun where they arrived 'much worn out.'  Here 'the Corps skirmished successfully with them.' They left there about 0200 that night. Federal casualties about 60.
        Adairsville, 17 May.  On the 17th 'Cheatham, who brings up rear of the infantry on this road', the Brigade acting as rear guard when the Army retired, arrived at Adairsville before daylight. On arrival they 'threw down a fence & piled the rails in front.'  On the retreat near a large mansion, Robert Saxon's the Octagon House about two miles north of Adairsville, they were attacked.  About 1700 the 44th Illinois and the 24th Wisconsin attacked the Brigade and were beaten of with the lose of 200, with none to the Regiment.  Thomas was organizing a three Division attack when night fell.  Sherman stated that 'we overtook him at sundown…and skirmished heavily with his rear till dark.' 
        Before mornings light the Army was on the move again with the Corps sent on the road towards Kingston, 10 miles away, before bending back to camp at Cass Station on the 18th, 'Cheatham withdrew his division by the right of brigades to the rear.' 
        Cassville, 19-22 May.  On the morning of the 19th the Army was at Cassville, a few miles from the station.  With the Army in position Johnston pens a general order that was read to each regiment that morning.  'Your communications are secured. You will now turn and march to meet his advancing columns. Fully confiding in the conduct of the officers, the courage of the soldiers, I lead you to battle....' 
   
     By late morning with Federal forces arriving about a mile away, and clearly seen over the undulation ground the Army was ordered forwards but after moving a short distance it was ordered to entrench.  'In less than five minutes every rail and chunk of wood around was piled up along the line as breastworks...'
   
     Shortly after with Federal artillery started an enfilade fire on the center the retreat was ordered.  The army along a wooded ridge southeast of Cassville, with an open valley to its front, and prepares a new defensive position.  This position was soon under artillery fire from some enfilading heights.
   
     At midnight the Army started south following the railroad nine miles to Cartersville and on the 20th the moved through Ackworth to Big Shanty and then crossed the Etowah River with the Federal forces engaging the rear guard at the rivers bridges.  They now retired a few miles further and took up positions around Allatoona Pass.
        On the 23rd the Division left camp at 1100 and marched 7 (13?) miles on the Dallas road.
        On the 24th the Division left 'at sun up' marched 9 miles and moved into position near New Hope Church but as they day wore on they were sent marching to the south-east but were recalled to the New Hope Church area.  Here they arrived about 1800 with the right flank starting near the church and the left occupying a ridge line covering the road to Dallas.
        New Hope Church (Pumpkin Vine Creek)  25-28 May (New Hope Church 25th; Pickett's Mill/Settlement 27th; Dallas 28th.)  The 25th saw the Regiment acting 'as rear guard in a skirmish in and around an Octagon shaped house' as they were withdrawn along the Powder Springs road.
        The 26th sees them once again in the New Hope Church area with the Division connecting with Polk's left facing McPherson's Federals.
        At dawn on the 27th the Division make many costly attacks to retrieve Ellisberry Ridge which had been lost on the 26th.
        Over the next few days the Federal forces 'had many sharp, severe encounters, but nothing decisive'
  as where attacks aren't going in heavy skirmishing continued on all parts of the lines.
        Part of the Corps attacked at 1545 on the 28th at Dallas into John A. Logan's Army of the Tennessee and 'suffers a bloody repulse....' with estimated casualties of: Federal 2,400 and Confederate 3,000.
        On the 29th the Federal forces pushed their lines close to the Confederate entrenchments which covered the 'whole front with breast-works of timber and earth.
        On the 2nd June all is quite on the Regiments front, but with some fighting on their left.  There was no attack on the 3 June although one was expected.  The Army at this time was 'better fed (one-half pound bacon with meal or hard bread) than ever, whisky or coffee occasionally....'
        With the Federal forces slowly creeping around the Armies right flank on the night of the 4 June in heavy rain the Army was again on the march starting to retire, with the Regiment leaving camp at 1700 on the 5th marching to a new line intersecting the Western and Atlantic Railroad about eight miles below Ackworth with the Corps taking 'the roads from near Moulder's and Robinson's to Lost Mountain.'
   
     The 9th saw them move out, marching a small way, and then returning to the original position.  And on the 11th they were ordered to move 1 mile.  (From the 2nd of June until the 14th the weather had been hard and cold rains'  with the ground 'simply impassable to wheels.  Due to this little fighting was done.)
        On the 14th they moved out at 1400 to Pine Mountain ' formed in line of battle and built breastworks', but on the 15th, at 0200 they left their position their marched 1 mile 'and formed line of battle.'  So on the 16th there was heavy skirmishing with two men with several wounded.
        On the 17th those of forces of the Army occupying the  the area of Lost Mountain
executes another retreat abandoning 'Lost Mountain, and some six miles of as good field-works.'
        The 18th sees it 'raining in torrents all day' and 'is now it is raining as though it had no intention ever to stop.'
   
     By the 19th the Army occupy entrenchments in a defensive line at Kennesaw Mountain but on that date the Federal forces are shelling the mountains.  The arc-shaped line at Kennesaw, to the north and west of Marietta, protected the Western and Atlantic Railroad, the supply link to Atlanta.
   
     On the 21st Sherman complains to Washington 'this is the nineteenth day of rain, and the prospect of clear weather as far off as ever. The roads are impassable, and fields and woods become quagmires after a few wagons have crossed.
   
     Kolb's Farm, 22nd June.  Hood's left rests on the Corps right and the Division is driven from a ridge in front of their main line and its repeated attempt to retake it fail, although there was heavy skirmishing all day.
   
     During the next few days the opposing armies picket lines were in speaking distance of one another and firing continued most of the day, with a lull when a truce could be organized, and at night it would die out.
          There was heavy skirmishing on the 24th when the Regiment had ' pickets stationed at the western foot of Kennesaw Mountain', they engaged enemy troops on the Marietta Road until forced to withdraw due to cannon fire.  Skirmishing grew in intensity on the 25th, and 26th a\nd they constructed entrenchments, with some so deep that the men could stand up in them.

        Kennesaw Mountain, 27 JuneEarly in the day a member of the Regiment is killed and several others wounded, or captured, while on the picket line.
        At 0800 200 Federal cannon opened fire and at 0830 13,000 infantry assaulted the Kennesaw line in two different assaults.  One of these was aimed at The Division and that comprised two Divisions, 'closed in mass', of the Army of the Cumberland, under Jefferson Davis and John Newton they attacked a salient called Dead Angle just on the right of the Brigade.  This assault contained about 8,000 men.
  With Davis's actually attacking right on the angle.
   
     The defending troops waited until they enemy were very close before opening fire with musketry and artillery.  They 'pressed on until their front had reached the works and a hand-to-hand fight ensued.  At one point the enemy succeeded in planting his colours upon the works.'  They were finally forced back to their own lines.  The Regiment had one killed and a few wounded and captured.  With the attack stalled they 'threw up works a few yards from and nearly parallel to those of the' defenders.  Davis's Division received 824 casualties.
        On the 29th a sharp engagement started with artillery joining in and both sides expected to be attacked.
        The Army again being out flanked it withdrew from the lines at Kennesaw, with the Corps moving off about 2300 on the night of the 2 July.  It withdrew a short distance and over the next day retired to previously prepared works astride the railroad at Smyrna, some four miles southeast of Marietta.
        The 4th saw the Division at Vining's Station, below Marietta constructing breastworks and awaiting attack but on quickly being outflanked the Army withdrew six miles to formidable fortifications on the north bank of the Chattahoochee River.  The lines were six miles long and one mile deep.
        (The period 9 June-3 July
due to the Army fighting in the Marietta area some sites/histories call this period the Battle of Marietta (Marietta Operations, Pine Hill, Pine Mountain, Brushy Mountain, Lost Mountain, Gilgal Creek, Noonday Creek, Ruff’s Mill) this timescale obviously covers the Battles of Kolb's Farm and Kennesaw Mountain.)
   
     Chattahoochee River, 5-18 July.  'Men of the Sixteenth that were on picket duty would call a truce with the Yankee pickets across the river. They would then move down to the shade of the trees on the banks to get relief from the hot rays of the sun, and escape the heat of the dug outs.' 
   
     The two armies remained in place with daily skirmishing and minor attacks over the period.  On 17 Johnston is relieved of command and is replaced by John Bell Hood.  On the 18th the Army attacks the Federal entrenchments and is repulsed. ('There was no comparison between the military abilities of the two men, (Johnston and Hood) and the Army knew and felt it.'  'The change never took well with us, and sorrow, gloom & discouragement ran high. ')  The Regiment had at least two killed and others wounded.
        The Army now fall back to Atlanta where they 'threw up breastworks.'
        Peachtree Creek, 20 July.
  The Army attacked George Thomas' Army of the Cumberland as it finished crossing at Peach Tree Creek.  The Corps struggled to get into their start positions.   It finally slammed into the four Divisions on Thomas's left.  The Division, fighting under Maney, proceeded into a 1/4 mile gap. They crossed Early's Creek and advanced towards Collier Road.   Newton's Division which had just repulsed the attack on his front now turned right to face the Division, and William J Ward's arrived in on the road which was on a ridge in front of the Division.  With this the Division was slowly forced to give ground until the gap was closed.
  They now withdraw into the line of works at Atlanta.  Heavy losses to the Regiment with an estimated 1,710 Federal casualties and 4,796 Confederate.
        On the 21st the Regiment were 'double quicked from place to place finally marched through Atlanta, and on Eastwardly, they 'marched the balance of the night and until the next afternoon' on a fifteen-mile night march to hit the unprotected Federal left and rear, east of the city.  This march wore out the men and many fell out as the day was oppressively hot.  By mid-afternoon the Division replaced a cavalry screen and began to dig entrenchments.
     
    22 July Atlanta.  Before they advanced they were addressed by a General and 'upon hearing this speech many of the men cheered and appeared to be eager for the fight.'  And when they attacked, about 1400, they broke through the enemies front at the Hurt House and 'took their works and a number of batteries.'   They now advanced and 'found them again, in their second line of works, but we drove them back to their third and last line.'
   
     To counter this Sherman massed twenty artillery pieces on a knoll near his headquarters to shell them while John A. Logan' s XV Corps led a counterattack that restored the lines.  The Division 'held the works that we captured until after night but just across a draw further up their line they held part of the works.'
        After the battle the 8th, 16th and 28th were consolidated into one under the command of  Colonel John H. Anderson.
       
Later that night the Regiment  moved back towards Atlanta, although they were obviously still in the area days later when some of them visited the battlefield.  While the Regiments loses were not severe the estimated casualties were Federal 3,641; Confederate 8,499.
        The Corps hold their positions in the trenches in the north and north-east of Atlanta but 'some men killed or wounded in our Brigade every day.'
   
     On the 25 August they leave Atlanta and march 4 miles and then camp at Poplar Springs.  On the 27th they build fortifications.  And the 29th they leave for Jonesboro, resting during the day on the 30th. 
        2nd Jonesboro, 31 August-1 September.  Detailed to act as reserve to Cleburne's and Bate's Divisions but immediately a gap appeared between them as they advanced and the Division moved into it.  Here the Corps was under the command of Cleburne and  attacked on 31 August due west of Jonesboro into two Federal Corps they 'form a Line of Battle and attack the enemy at 1400. It was a hard fight' but failed to take their objectives.  They fell back to their start positions about 2200 and started digging entrenchments.  That night Hood withdrew one Corps, of the two Corps at Jonesboro, and the Corps were on their own.  The next day their lines were broken but they held on.
   
     On the 1 September the Federal forces attacked at 1500 and while they held on their lines were flanked after 3 hours fighting so they moved back.  They marched off at 2100 for Lovejoy Station 7 miles away.  The estimated casualties Federal 1,600, Confederate 3,000.
       
They march all through the night and arrive at Lovejoy, some seven miles away, early in the morning. On the 2nd they rapidly fortify lines, and Federal forces arrive at 1500; the 3rd, and 4th, see heavy cannonades and skirmishing.
        1st
Lovejoy, 5-6 September.  Here the fighting became more general, although not as severe as other battles, although on the 5th  two were killed and others wounded in the Regiment.
        The 7th saw the Federal forces disappeared from their front.  With this on the 8th the Army marched back five miles in the direction of Atlanta.
   
     The 24th saw the 8th, 16th, and 28th consolidated due to the small numbers in the units:
                Companies A, D and E were consolidated under Captain Frank M. York.
                Companies C and H were consolidated under Captain John Lucas Thompson.
                Companies F, G, I and K were consolidated under Captain Ad Fisk.

        The 19 September saw them up at 0300 and on the march by 0400.  They traveled all day and at midnight had done 20 miles camping near Palmetto Station, on the West Point railroad, where they stay during the 20th.  But the 21st saw them set off, then form in Line of Battle, and then fortify.
   
     The 30th saw them set off at 0800 march 15 miles  and then camp near the Chattahoochee River.
   
     While here they start to cross and on the 1 October they have crossed and are on the other bank when they set off and march 14 miles before camping.  And the 2nd saw them off again at 0600.  The 3rd saw them camp late in the evening having covered 18 miles. During the march they they struck the Georgia Central Railroad near Marietta.  As this was Sherman's main supply route the railroad track was ripped up and 'huge fires of ties were built, rails laid across them, the center heated to red heat, when they were carried over to the trees and bent until the ends met.' 
   
     Allatoona, 5 October. In the morning of the 5th they reached the Federal defense lines at Allatoona formed line of battle and called on General Gorse to surrender the position.  With his refusal the assault went in and for a while they had 'a hot time' when they were supported by Ector's Brigade and swarmed over the parapet.
          When inside 'the bayonet was freely used by both sides....and many throwing sticks and stones.'  The fight was quickly over with most surrendering and a few managing to get into a large fort in the rear.  The attack was now called off.
        By the 8th the Army was 70 miles northwest of Atlanta and over the next few days the shifted to the Dalton area.
   
     3rd Dalton, 13 October.  The fortifications at Dalton were invested and upon opening fire the Negro garrison of 1,000 men surrendered.
        The Army now marched through the Buzzard Roost Gap of Taylor's Ridge and then proceeded to Cedar Town, across the Sand Mountains to Decatur.  On arrival they invested the place.  The march now continued to Gadsden, on the Coosa River, and on to Tuscumbia and where they arrived 30th.
   
     The march had been long and severe and the Army was exhausted and so they remained here, with a clothing issue to Regiments within the Army during this time.
   
     The 11 November saw them set off at daylight in the direction of the Tennessee River.  Here they wait while a pontoon bridge is finished.  Crossing on the 13th to the north side and arrive at Florence.  The 'winter was now setting in with its severest rigor, and many of the men were barefooted and destitute of many other articles of clothing.'|
        Those who were barefoot, or lacking adequate clothing, suffered most from the cold.  Cheatham ordered his shoeless men to sow shoes from beef hides with the hair inside.  One of the Armies surgeons noted the shoes 'did fine to walk in but did smell well after a day or two.'
       On the 21st (22nd?) the Army set off north 'The ground is frozen hard and sharp, a cold wind is blowing , but as my face is towards Tennessee, I heed none of these things.' 
   
     The Army march in three columns with the Corps furthest west, on the left, camping at Waynesboro on the 24th.  But on the 25th saw them marching rapidly with the Army rendezvousing at the village of Mount Pleasant.
   
     On the 26th they march about 12 miles eastwards and camp 1 1/2 miles from Columbia.  Here they found John Schofield occupying the town with his XXIII Corps and David Stanley's IV Corps.  Schofield withdraws on the 27th when the Army now enter the town.  With the 28th seeing a pontoon bridge laid across the river and later on that day Corps cross.
        Spring Hill, 29 November.  The 29th saw the set off at daylight  marching two mile up the Duck River before crossing.  After rapid marching for 17 miles they got ahead of the retiring Federal forces only four miles from Franklin at Spring Hill.
        They arrive at 1500 and find Stanley's Corps on the Franklin and Columbia Turnpike.  They deploy for battle with 'the old rugged veterans of Cheatam's Corps came marching upon our left with their battle flags waving in the mellow sunlight.'
   
     The Division moved up onto Cleburne's right to join in the assault but didn't attack as its right flank was threatened.  Here they awaited supports, or new orders.  Only vague orders came and the attack never went in and the Corps settled down for the night.
         Franklin, 30 November.  At daylight the Army was on the march
skirmishing at Thompson's Station and elsewhere delayed the advance.  The Army reached Winstead's Hills at Franklin about 1500 and formed Line of Battle.
        The Division was placed on the left of the Franklin and Columbia Turnpike.  With the Brigade placed behind that of States Rights Gist, in the second line, with Otho F. Stahl's on its right and that of Henry H. Jackson on its left.
        Before the attacking troops was was an open area of two miles before they would arrive at the towns defenses.  Half an hour before sunset the Regiments started their advance with the bands playing 'The Bonnie Blue Flag' and 'Dixie.'  'No more magnificent spectacle was ever witnessed.'  'Their red, tattered flags as numerous as though every Company bore them, flaring in the suns rays.'
        After marching a mile the Brigades paused and readjusted their lines.  Here some of the men ate their rations.  Now the skirmishers advanced  and behind then the lines of troops.  After overrunning two Brigades of George D Wagner's, who were posted in the front of the main works.  The Brigade had gone over the ground defended by that of John Q. Lane.
   
     The attacking Brigades pursued the fleeing troops closely.  The Division along with Cleburne's struck the Federal works before other forces, because of their more direct approach, and after a severe fight managed to gained the outer works.  And now near dark they assaulted the inner works where there was a 'pallisade fence....the officers of the charging line had to cut gaps in the tangled fence with their swords and knives before the men could pass,' also 'the Federals held their ground with a tenacity unknown in former conflicts.'
        The Brigade pushed forwards as far as a cotton gin owned by the Carter family, here the Brigade commander John C. Carter, no relation, was mortally wounded.  They were slowly pushed back  by a Federal counter attack after about one hour, and now darkness fell.  The Federal losses were heavy '
I never saw as many dead as were on the ground in front of the Yankee breastworks'  These weren't the only ones as 'our old Regiment lost 15 men killed', its believed seven more died of their wounds with at least 25 more wounded from about a hundred effectives at the start of the battle.
        The 1 December when men from the Regiment went over the battlefield they found 'the ground was covered with blue coats.'  But the Federal Army had retired to Nashville that morning so the time was spent caring for the wounded and gathering up the dead and burying them, with due care given to the casualties of both sides.
   
     The 2nd saw them leave Franklin at 0900 advancing in pursuit of the Federal forces and marching in the direction of Nashville, and in the afternoon the spires of the town could be seen.  The now halted and camped for the night occupying positions on a line of hills parallel to those of the Federal forces and began erecting fieldworks.
   
     On the 3rd the Corps took up positions with their right on the Murfreesboro Pike and across the Nolensville Pike, and they soon became the target of Federal artillery.  The 4th saw picket fighting and some very heavy shelling.  And the next few days saw them stay in this position but  on the 6th the 'wind blew very hard all day, also very cold', by the 7th rain turned to sleet and snow so that by the 8th the snow was 2 inches deep.  With no tentage, many without shoes, so they left bloody tracks when the ice cut their feet, their clothing scant and thin, and little food the Army suffered.  The 14th saw rain and fog with visibility of only 50 yards.  (The roster on the 13th for the consolidated 8th, 16th and 28th Tennessee Regiment was 258 effectives out of 359 men.)
        Nashville, 15-16 December.  The 15th saw them ordered into Line of Battle but there was only ' some heavy shelling and picket fighting' until they were ordered to the left wing of the Army which they reached after dark just in time to hold the Federal forces when night suspended operations.  Having checked the enemy they now fortified the position.
        Overnight, although battered, the Army retired to start a new line of resistance along the base of a ridge about two miles south of the former location with Shy's and Overton's hills on their flanks with the Corp ordered from the right wing to the left.
        Here the Division had Bates Division on its right and J.A. Smith's, Cleburne's, on its left.  On arrival they erected hasty defences 'some logs and trees rolled together.'
   
     The 16th saw the fighting quite heavy by daylight with the Division holding its position even though Federal cavalry would now and then get in their rear until driven off.  Late in the afternoon fresh Federal troops were sent in on the center the lines of  Bates Division who gave way, Shy's Hill on their left flank fell.
        The Army now disintegrated and the Corps who had been allocated the Granny White Pike to fall back was on in the event of a retreat
was cut off.  'The result was a hasty retreat...which partook much in the nature of a rout.'  They had to get through the enemies forces the Regiment moved to the east onto the Franklin Pike and escaped, with very few captured.  But 'it was a sad sight to see how few men formed on the colours of the different Regiments.'  Estimated casualties Federal 2,140; Confederate 4,462.
   
     Late in the day of the 17th the Army withdrew to Franklin, where rations were issued, and then continued south at 2200 before camping some 9 miles further on.
        (On the 13th Cheatam's Division totaled 1,151 effectives but on the 20th they only numbered 298, although those missing were mainly captured.  Sam Watkins wrote, of the Army of Tennessee after Nashville 'more than ten thousand had stopped and allowed themselves to be captured.')

        They are off at daylight on and are forced to stand and fight the advance guard of the Federals 19th Rutherford Creek.  They disengage in the afternoon and head for Duck River.
        They crossed the Duck River and continued to Columbia where they arrived on the night of the 19th. While here
several survivors chose to leave for home, some with passes some without.
        But on the morning of the 21st the remnants of men  from Carter's and Strahl's Brigades are formed into a rearguard, of about 300 men, under Nathan Bedford Forrest. and Edward G. Walthall.  (How many were members of the Regiment is unknown.)
        Over the next few days they were engaged with their pursuers, 1st Brigade, under Samuel Beatty, at
Duck River, 22nd; they held of elements of IV Corps, under Thomas J. Wood at Lynnville, 24th.  James H Wilsons cavalry Corps engaged them at Richland Creek, 25th.; and Pulaski, 25th.
        Anthony's Hill (
King's Hill or Devil's Gap), 25th, about 1500 three Regiments of dismounted Federal cavalry, from James H Wilsons cavalry Corps, entered into a heavily wooded gorge leading to the top of Anthony's Hill. Good progress was made until a rail barricade was encountered, the Brigade were in position some two hundred yards southward of the ford, across a narrow ravine.  Here the enemy were sent headlong in flight and were closely pursued across the creek into a further Brigade of Federal cavalry who were also soon in flight captured many prisoners and one piece of artillery.  Under cover of darkness they continued their retreat.
        retiring down the road they again made a stand at Sugar Creek, 26th.  At about 0830, due to a thick fog, they lured their opponents close to their temporary fortifications, which were on the south bank of the creek, before attacking and killing about 150 taking 'many prisoners and horses were captured and about 400 horses killed.'  They now retired through the dense fog.
       
They cross Shoal Creek, two miles from the Tennessee River and cross after great difficulty, on account of the high water and rough ford. A pontoon had been thrown across the Tennessee River at Bainbridge and the 28th saw the rearguard cross the river barely hours ahead of their pursuers.
        (
The action of the rear guard was complimented by the Federal Army Commander, George Henry Thomas, when he wrote, 'with the exception of the rear guard (Hood's) army had become a disheartened and disorganized rabble of half-armed and barefooted men. The rear guard was undaunted and firm, and did its work bravely to the last.')
        The Regiment continued on to rejoin the Corps moving on through Tuscumbia and then on to Cane Creek, ten miles from Tuscumbia.  They now continue through Barton Station to Bear Creek, a distance of sixteen miles.
        They now march
in the direction of Iuka, camping three miles beyond and five miles from Burnsville, a march of twelve miles. They now pass through Burnsville and made Corinth, MS, fourteen miles from Burnsville.