Hartsville, December 7, 1862

The 39th Brigade, XIV Army Corps, was guarding the Cumberland River crossing at Hartsville to prevent Confederate cavalry from raiding. Under the cover of darkness, Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan crossed the river in the early morning of December 7, 1862. Col. Absalom B. Moore, commander of the 39th Brigade, stated in his after action report, that Morgan’s advance had worn Union blue uniforms which got them through the videttes. Morgan approached the Union camp, the pickets sounded the alarm, and held the Rebels until the brigade was in battle line. The fighting commenced at 6:45 am and continued until about 8:30 am. One of Moore’s units ran, which caused confusion and helped to force the Federals to fall back. By 8:30 am, the Confederates had surrounded the Federals, convincing them to surrender. This action at Hartsville, located north of Murfreesboro, was a preliminary to the Confederate cavalry raids by Forrest into West Tennessee, December 1862–January 1863, and Morgan into Kentucky, December 1862–January 1863. – CWSAC summary

Confederate victory

Work on Fort Negley, the largest Union fort west of Washington, D.C., is completed. The Fort is constructed over a three-month period by Union soldiers and hundreds of black workers – free and slave – who have been conscripted into service [http://www.bonps.org/neg.htm] in what is probably the first large-scale use of contraband labor in Tennessee during the war. Most are never paid; with little food, shelter, or appropriate clothing, many of these workers will die. The construction of Fort Negley becomes a model for future projects as Union troops, lacking labor, impress black men into service and work them mercilessly. [Hunt]

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