Parsons Batteries Heavily Engaged

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The Battle of Stone’s River, Murfreesboro: My instructions from General Palmer were to remain in the position.

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The 200 Regular Army gunners of Batteries H and M set up their eight cannon from here all the way to the Nashville Pike. For four solid hours at brutal, short range they fired many hundreds of rounds of munitions into the rebel ranks. Their steady, punishing barrages helped dishearten their foes and encourage their comrades.

My instructions from General Palmer were to remain in the position where I then was, in order to check the advance of the enemy, should he turn our right [flank]. At about 8 a.m. our infantry came falling back from the pine woods our batteries were swung around and brought at once into action. The approach of the enemy was parallel to our front, and when he arrived within about 300 yards we opened upon his first line [with] canister the enemy fell back beyond our view. He reappeared shortly afterward to our left, but again, receiving our fire, fell back beyond our view At about 12 [noon] just as I had nearly given out of ammunition, I received orders to retire.

Charles Parsons, 1st lieutenant, commanding battalion, 4th Regiment United States Artillery

December 31st 1862 noon

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