Reports of Col. Thomas E. Rose, Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations November 30 and December 15-16,
HDQRS. SEVENTY-SEVENTH Regt. PENNSYLVANIA INFTY., Camp Near Fort Andy Johnson, Tenn., December 4, 1864. LIEUT.: In compliance
with orders from the general commanding Third Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps, I submit the following report of
the part this regiment took in the battle of Franklin on the 30th of November, 1864:
On the morning of the 30th ultimo, at 11 a. m., I received orders from Brig. Gen. Grose to report forthwith with this regiment
for picket duty.
________ We had marched all night the night before, had a very slight skirmish with some rebel cavalry early in the morning,
and had just arrived in Franklin. We had stacked arms and made some arrangements for a temporary camp; the men were very tired,
and it was perhaps half an hour before I was able to comply with the order. We were posted and instructed by Gen. Grose himself
about a mile from Franklin, to the right of the turnpike leading from Franklin to Centerville, in the following order: One
company was posited about 60 yards from the turnpike; another company was posted 200 yards to the right of this on a line
running at an angle of twenty degrees with the turnpike, and to the right of this company on a line running nearly perpendicular
to the turnpike were posted two other companies, 100 yards apart; the other four companies were posted in reserve at about
200 yards from each extremity of the line, and about the same distance from the center of the line. On the left of my line
were the pickets of Gen. Ruger's command, and on my right were the pickets of the Second Brigade of this division. I had scarcely
finished giving instructions to my men when the enemy appeared in my front on the right of the turnpike, and the pickets commenced
firing. In a few minutes the enemy was seen extending his lines to our left in great force, at the same time rapidly encircling
our right, and the pickets became hotly engaged with their skirmishers. The enemy kept constantly re-enforcing his line of
skirmishers, but we easily kept them at bay until the pickets on our left, being fiercely assaulted, suddenly gave way. The
left of my line of pickets then gradually begun to fall back. The company on the extreme left had received instructions from
Gen. Grose, through me, to fall back to the main line in town, if they found they could not hold their position, but they
were so completely turned that they were compelled to fall [back] to the four companies held in reserve, which they did in
good order, fighting gallantly. They were commanded by Lieut. Ed. Morgan, who deserves compliment.
One by one the outpost companies from left to right now fell back to the reserve post and took their places in the regimental
line. As soon as the outposts had joined the reserve post I perceived the enemy close upon us, advancing in line of battle,
when I commenced firing by battalion and soon cleared my front of the enemy; but soon received a heavy fire directly upon
my right flank, killing two of my men and wounding several others. The enemy had already passed my left and I fell back about
the distance of my regimental front, faced about, delivered a volley, and quickly changed front forward to received the line
of the enemy that was coming down upon my right flank. I stopped the enemy in this direction instantly, but soon found the
enemy coming up yelling and firing upon my left flank, my original front. I then fell back almost to the ravine and changed
front so as to receive the rebels in this direction, and delivered a volley upon them, which, as they were on higher ground
than we were, and within fifty paces of us, produced most fearful carnage. They went back pell-mell. I now thought I could
hold them and ordered my men to take shelter behind the fence, which was very high and strong. Mounted on horseback myself,
and on the side of the fence next to the rebels, I rode down to the fence corner, thinking to find a place to get through.
I here found the enemy coming down the ravine in great force directly upon the right flank of my regiment, and myself completely
hemmed in. I ordered two of my men to knock down the fence to let me through to my regiment, but the fire was so hot and the
rebels so close that my line gave way, and I was obliged to dismount and knock down the fence myself. As the rebels were close
upon me yelling to me to surrender, my men thought I was gone up, and began to retreat rapidly. I soon extricated myself,
however, mounted my mare, overtook my regiment, restored order, and formed line. Our fire was now weak compared with that
of the enemy. My officers and men had been complaining for some time for want of ammunition; at last declared that they were
entirely out. I then ordered them to fall back to the breast-works and replenish their ammunition. As soon as this was done
I started forward again, but was ordered back in reserve by Gen. Grose, and my regiment took no further part in the action.
On the whole my regiment fought with great gallantry, and I am under many obligations, first, to Gen. Grose for the skillful
manner in which he posted my pickets, and to my officers for their valuable assistance.
I would respectfully call to your notice Capt. J. J. Lawson, my second in command; Capt. Stark, who commanded the third
outpost from the left; Lieut. James W. Johnston, who commanded the second outpost; Lieut. Vera, who commanded the fourth outpost;
Lieut. James A. Haus and Sergeants Gillmen, Murphy, and Martin, who commanded their companies at the reserve post, and last,
though not the least, Adjt. C. Snively. All seemed to vie with each other in exhibiting coolness and precision in the performance
of their duties in this most trying position that perhaps the regiment was ever placed.
I herewith append a list of casualties.*
Submitting the foregoing, I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS E. ROSE,
Col., Cmdg. Regt.
F. BINGHAM, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
----- HDQRS. SEVENTY-SEVENTH Regt. PENNSYLVANIA VOLS.,
January 2, 1865.
In compliance with orders received this morning, I have the honor to report the part taken by my regiment in the late battles
near Nashville, on the 15th and 16th of December, 1864:
On December 14 my regiment was on picket, and was not relieved until near noon on the 15th, when I at once marched to join
the brigade near the Hillsborough pike. The regiment was then placed in reserve, and took no part in the action of that day.
On December 16 my regiment was in the second line of the brigade, but was ordered to the left of the front line, and soon
after advanced to the assault of the enemy's works; the first line was taken, but we failed in the attack on their second
and main line. After sustaining a very severe fire for several minutes I fell back to the line of captured works, which was
soon converted into a means of defense. About 4 p. m. I was again ordered to charge, and this time met with complete success,
capturing one gun, many prisoners, and completely routing and demoralizing the enemy. The pursuit was continued until dark,
when we encamped for the night. First Lieut. Alexander T. Baldwin, a brave and efficient officer, was killed in the first
charge. The regiment lost in wounded 15 enlisted men.
Respectfully submitting the above I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Lieut. F. BINGHAM,
Aide-de-Camp and A. A. A. G., 3d Brig., 1st Div., 4th A. C.