Article from the March 30th, 1863 edition
of The Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, page 2, column 3.
the 21st Regiment.
Tiresome Chase After the Enemy - The Regiment Paid off and in Good Health.
Corr. of the Advertiser and Tribune.
near Murfreesboro, Tennessee,
March 20, 1863
readers have, of course, heard of the battle of Franklin, Tenn., where,
unfortunately, our 19th Regiment was captured. The 21st although out in
the engagement, has still something to record of a long and tiresome chase
after Van Dorn's force.
the 3d inst. we received orders to prepare ourselves with five days' rations
and fifty rounds of ammunition apiece, and be ready to march at a moment's
notice. Next morning our whole Division took up their line of march; the
men having with them haversacks provided as aforesaid, canteens, blankets,
shelter-tents and arms and accoutrements. We marched rapidly during the
day, and at about 9 o'clock p. m., the troops encamped in a cedar wood
near Eagleville, where the 4th Michigan Cavalry had captured a rebel camp,
and a number of prisoners, who were confined in a large building. Our column
passed a little beyond this place, stacked arms in a piece of beech woods,
and remained till next day. While here we could distinctly hear the cannonading
of the battle of Franklin, but did not know what it meant. The pickets
thrown out here discovered nothing unusual.
day we marched along the pike toward Triune, about five miles, and again
stacked arms, and threw out pickets. This day was a very rainy one, and
our shelter tents didn't shelter us much. The night continued rainy, so
that in the morning we found ourselves in a soft bed of mud. We moved from
there about noon, marched through Triune, and then turned off on the Franklin
road. At night arms were stacked, and the 21st sent out as pickets. Next
day we marched nearly to Franklin, and stacked arms in a beautiful piece
of woods. Next morning all fired off their pieces, wiped them out and re-loaded,
then marched to Franklin, and after a short hat we pushed ahead to Spring
Hill. It rained again that night; and next day, at noon, we pushed on beyond
the last mentioned place about four miles, then drew up in line of battle,
and after a short examination of the ground, moved to a very high hill
near Duck river, level on the top and covered with woods. Here we stacked
arms and sheltered ourselves as well as we could from the rain. Van Dorn's
forces were between Duck river, which was very high at the time, and our
forces, and if he could not cross the river he must either fight or surrender.
Subsequent discoveries proved that he did cross with the loss of a few
men and horses drowned, and could hold the only fordable spot, against
great odds. He had artillery with him, from which our guns received replies.
It was deemed imprudent to attempt to cross, and the forces were accordingly
marched back the way they came, without any encounter. The regiment was
out eleven days, having marched about 10 miles. We have since been assisted
by the man who dealt out the greenbacks. On the 19th inst. we
moved our camp back to Murfreesboro. The regiment is in good health. Your
paper makes its appearance in camp, and is welcomed by all as a truly loyal
and honest sheet.