James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

January 2

The Battle of Murfreesboro

By Kinahan Cornwallis (1883–1959)

  • A small town in Tennessee. A battle was gained here by the Federals under Rosecrans over the Confederates under Bragg. The battle lasted four days and was attended with great loss on the Confederate side.

  • ERE Murfreesboro’s thunders rent the air—

    With cannon booming ’mid the trumpet’s blare—

    Cane Hill and David Mills, stern battles, too,

    Had carried death to hosts in Gray and Blue.

    But here, more deadly, war’s wild torrent rushed,

    And victory, at first, the Rebels flushed.

    The “right wing” gone, and troops in panic, lo!

    The battle seemed already lost. But, No.

    Brave Rosecrans cried out—“Now stop retreat!

    We’ll turn to victory this sore defeat!

    We must and shall this battle—Soldiers!—win!

    Now silence yonder batt’ry, to begin!

    And all re-form and meet the yelling foe!

    Stand firm and fire a volley! Back he’ll go.

    If not, present your bayonets, and Charge!

    ’Tis needless on these orders to enlarge;

    But—Comrades!—here we conquer or we die!”

    And all that Rosecrans desired was done;

    And Murfreesboro’s battle thus was won.

    Hail! to that New Year’s Day in ’Sixty-three,

    And to that morrow which brought victory.

    Hail! to the courage of the Boys in Blue,

    Who fought so grandly, to their Country true.