16th Tennessee Volunteer
Infantry Regiment
1863

        Murfreesboro (Stone's River), December 1862-2 January 1863 continued.  During the 1 January the Regiment was kept in line of battle, suffering occasional shelling.
   
     On the 2nd the Brigade moved forward about 1/2 mile, parallel with the Wilkinson Pike, to relieve Maney’s Brigade, who were stationed on the front line.  While here they skirmished with the enemy’s pickets throughout the time until at 0100 4th they 'took up line of march to Shelbyville', with Cheatham's Division acting as rear guard as the army fell back.
        At the start of the battle the Regiment numbered 402 but during it they lost 205 with the Brigade capturing 11 pieces of artillery and 1000 prisoners.
   
     On the 5 January they moved to the South East Side of Duck River and set up camp. Here they stayed until 28 February when they set off for Tullahoma where they reached 1 March, camping 1/2 mile north of town and west of the railroad.
 
       During the period between 1 March to 23 April 'While we were around Tullahoma, our relatives and friends visited us and carried cakes, pies and other goodies..' 
   
     3 March and they down the railroad one mile from Tullahoma towards Normandee.  Here they set up camp 21 April.  While here they 'threw up breastworks....on the west and north of town', (this being Tullahoma.)  
        While at Tullahoma regulations were strict and when one of the Regiment 'who ran away three times only to be caught...(was again captured)... the entire brigade was forced to attend his shooting by a squad of six men.'
   
     Because of the ammunition restrictions the men weren't allowed to carry their arms as they 'wasted' ammunition with those violating this regulation spending time in the guardroom.  While here the men were allowed home to visit and ' families and friends that had made the trek with cakes and other food goods.'
   
     They leave Tullahoma on 21 April marching to within three miles of Shelbyville here they 'camped at Holt’s Camp Ground on the Fayetteville Pike.'  
        On 18 May they are ordered to Shelbyville on arrival they camped in the bent of the River South East of Town.  Here they stay until 8 June when they move 'three miles down on the Fair Field Pike, leading from Shelbyville to Fair Field.' 
   
     Some time about the 20th June the Army retired to Tullahoma taking positions in the fortifications positioned in the front of the town.
   
     The Army retired from Tullahoma on the night of 1 July starting south by 'crossing Elk River at Allisonia and on by Deckard' and on the morning of the 2nd the Regiment 'passed their original camp of rendezvous at Camp Harris, near Estell Springs,' leaving the railroad tracks 'crossed a spur of the mountain passing through some little village and on to Tennessee River ...' here they crossed the river near the mouth of Battle Creek. The road then ran on under a railroad bridge that crossed Running Water Creek and on to 'White Sides' a railway station 13 miles from Chattanooga.  Here they boarded a train to Chattanooga, arriving on the 7th.
   
     At Chattanooga they went into camp southeast of the town.  While here during July and August they once again began constructing earthworks 'each day digging, tiresome drill and another ration of saltless meat' also 'many men began deserting the ranks at Chattanooga, having had enough of it all.'  While here on 10 August the 22nd Infantry Battalion was added to the Brigade.
        1 September and Federal troops arrived across the river and by the 6th and started shelling the town.  Due to the proximity of Federal troops the Regiment were on picket in the front line during the night of the 7th.
        With the Federal pressure on the 8th the Army retreated, much to the annoyance of the men
, with the Regiment leaving camp at 0800 and proceeded very slowly camping at Lee and Gordon's Mill, on Chicamauga Creek, having marched 13 miles.  The 9th they were sent out on picket to Crawfish Spring.
   
     Leaving at 2100 on the 10th march all night arrived to LaFayette, GA, where they arrive at daylight  and camp having covered 15 mile.  On the 11th they moved just one mile from town and then again camped.
        Here they spent their time until the 12th when they returned in the direction of Rock Spring Church, camping late in the night on the roadside. Whilst they were sleeping a battery missed the road and careered through the sleeping men 'the drivers were hurrying and yelling at their horses, and the noise and clatter being so violent and sudden, the men from the Regiment began to arouse from their slumbers, and rushed pell-mell into the road, over the fences, and in a general stampede was the consequence.  Those who slept soundest were run over in the general stampede...'
       
The march was resumed early on the 13th when they reached Rock Spring Church. 
The 16th saw the Regiment move to another camp ground one mile away.
   
     18th the regiment crossed Chickamauga Creek at Lee and Gordon Mills and marched ten mile south of there to Lafayette, GA.  On reaching there they were ordered to march back to the vicinity of the Mill.
   
     Chickamauga, 19-20 September .  (Indian name meaning - River of Death.)  The
19th saw them cross the creek at the mill, march a short distance before halting. Nathan Forrest was formed on the right with Walker's Division on his left and the Division on their left.  The Army now engaged the Army of the Cumberland under William S. Rosecrans.
   
     The Brigade was positioned on the left of the Division with the Regiment on the left of the Brigade with the 8th Tennessee on their left and the 29th on their right. At the start of the battle, about 1400 the Brigade 'made a long, double quick march to get to our place in the line.'   They marched within, perhaps, 'three hundred yards of the enemy’s works, and swiftly drew into line of battle.'   Here they engaged  Cruft's Brigade for two hours pushing them back some distance, and were constantly exposed to a flanking fire, but were finally forced to retire and replenish their ammunition.
        Later that day, about dusk, the Division, supported by Cleburne's, attack George Thomas' Division 'with indescribable fury.'  Before achieving success darkness brought an end to the fighting.  That night the weather turned cold with a heavy frost on the ground next morning.
        The 20th saw the Regiment, along with the Brigade, being held in reserve during most of the day but suffering a little from shellfire.  In the evening they were formed on the far right to attack of Federal troops on Snodgrass Hill.  Some time after 1600 the Division attack hitting Absolom Baird's Regular Division situated on Snodgrass Hill just as they were about to withdraw
'we do not stop to look around to see who is killed or wounded, but press right up to their breastworks, and plant our battle flag upon it.  They waver and break and run in every direction.'  If fact they hold up the Confederate attack for about two hours in fierce confused fighting.
   
    
'Here we were ordered to stack arms, amid the dead and dying' and that night a member of the Sixteenth wrote 'The scene was sad indeed and pitiable... some were praying, some were dying! While the rough stern soldiers, with hands and faces black with powder, pitying, stood in groups about them.'  
The Regiment lost 68 men during the battle, this is out of the 242 present, a 28% casualty rate.
        At 1400, on the 21st, the Army advanced 'Cheatham, leading it on the right, bivouacked for the night at the 'Mission House', and moving early on the morning of the 22nd, reached Missionary Ridge at 1000.'  Here they 'took position at the western foot of the ridge, and were in sight of Chattanooga.'
    
     On the 3rd October the Regiment was relieved from picket duty on the front line, a duty they had performed since they arrived.
         The 15th saw the Regiment in two with some on one side of Chickamauga Creek and the remainder in the other as a bridge had been washed away after several days of heavy rain.
        The Brigade was sent to Charleston, East Tennessee, on 23 October, to rebuild the bridge over the Hiwassee River, also to guard communication lines between Chattanooga and Knoxville.  They went by way of Tyner Station.  During there time there all was quiet.
        By the 3rd November the Division was at Sweetwater, TN.

   
     On the 5th November a member of the Regiment was shot and killed by a Union sympathizer.
        With the Federals reinforcing Chattanooga the Brigade, all but the 38th who were left behind, returned to Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga.  On arrival they were assigned to Hardee's Corps.
        Later that month they were on detached duty at Charleston, TN.
Chattanooga (Missionary Ridge), 24-5 November.  On the 24th they were woken at 0200 and on the road at 0300 crossing a ridge and arrived at a crossroad on the main road from 'Clevelin (Cleveland), TN', to Ringold, GA, at daylight.  Here some of the baggage wagons got mired in the mud.  While they were trying to get them moving the few in the rearguard were attacked and made a hasty flight.  When they returned all they could salvage were cooking utensils from what were burned wagons.
   
     On arrival on the extreme right they marched along the north side of Chickamauga Creek, in column, when 'suddenly, a line of infantry and a masked battery opened fire from across the creek'.  The Regiment took cover behind a rail fence on their immediate right and returned fire.  'After firing a few rounds, we were ordered to fall back'.  This they did falling back onto a hill where then set up their lines but took no further place in the battle.
        While on Missionary Ridge "the soldiers were starved and almost naked, and covered all over with lice and camp itch and dirt.  The men looked sick, hollow-eyed, and heartbroken, living principally upon parched corn."  During the battle the Regiment had nine casualties.
        On the retreat, late on the 25th, the Regiment were part of the rearguard of the Army and marched south over Shallow Ford then through Chickamauga Station. They marched through Ringgold Gap and arrived at Dalton, GA, on the evening of the 27th.
  The 28th saw them allocated land for an encampment about three miles south-east of Dalton.
   
     From the 3rd December until the 11th they 'erected little cabins and daubed with mud and made chimneys of wood and clay' for the coming winter.  Some beds were 'composed of some chestnut that we have made we have raised it up off of the ground covered it over with sage grass.'  Remaining here until the early spring and 'had a very quite time.' 
        On the 25th some of the men had acquired some 'sugar, pies, eggs and plenty of other good things too numerous to mention' with these luxuries in houe they invited Company and Regimental officers for a meal.
   
     A field return, dated 20th December, listed the Regiment listed as having 157 out of 212 fit for duty.  Bragg was replaced as Army Commander by Joseph Eggleston Johnston in mid December.