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In executiot. brigade, der Preston
charge, losing heavily, but rendering was repulsed; and the fight closed on admirable service.
this part of the field with our troops • The weight of the Rebel attack entirely successful. had by this time fallen wholly on Bragg had brought all his army Thomas, commanding our center; across the creek to overwhelm our Sheridan, entirely out of ammuni- right and center, save that Breckintion, falling still farther to the rear, ridge, with his division, remained opand the triumphant Rebels pressing posite our left. At 10 A. M., he, too, on until they had reached a position received an order to advance and atwhich gave them a concentric cross- tack; but he had only moved half a fire at short-range on Negley's and mile, when a new order came to deRousseau's divisions. This compelled tach one or two brigades to the supThomas to withdraw them from the port of Polk, in the center; and he cedar woods to more open and favor- sent two brigades accordingly. He able ground; his artillery holding a soon received a still further order to ridge on the right (south) of the advance and attack, and then one to Nashville turnpike. In executing report to Polk with all but Hanson's this movement, the regulars, Lt. Col. brigade. Moving his remaining brigShepherd, were brought under a mur- ades, under Preston and Palmer, by derous fire, by which they lost 530 the left flank, he crossed the creek men. But the ground now taken and reported to Polk and Bragg just was held; our batteries here concen- in season to see the brigades of Jacktrated, and the Rebels' progress finally son and Adams, which he had previarrested; their repeated attempts to ously sent, recoil from an assault on advance out of the cedar thicket on our lines; Adams being among the our right and front being defeated wounded. Breckinridge was now orwith great slaughter.
dered to charge with Preston's and Palmer's division, holding the right Palmer's brigades, and did so; gainof our left wing, had advanced, at 8 ing some ground, but losing considA. M., to support Negley's movement, erably, and finally desisting, as night covering his left; but had not pro- fell, because the position in his front ceeded far when Palmer found his was too strong to be carried by his safety compromised by a Rebel ad- fórce. During the night, he was orvance on his rear. Halting Cruft's dered back, with Palmer's brigade, brigade, and ordering Col. Grose to to his old position on the Rebel right. face to the rear, he opened fire on the Gen. Wood, who was in command Rebels, and quickly repulsed them; of our division thus assailed, was while Col. Hazen, falling back a short wounded in the foot at 10 A. M.; but distance, occupied the crest of a low, remained in the saddle till evening, wooded hill, between the Nashville when he turned over his command to turnpike and railroad, and held it Gen. M. S. Hascall. Though he had firmly until Grose, having driven the been obliged, early in the fight, to enemy from his rear, came up to his spare Hascall's and Harker's brigades assistance; as did two or three other to the relief of the center and right, regiments. Again and again was his he held his ground nobly through the position assailed; but each attack | day; his batteries replying forcibly
CLOSE OF THE FIRST DAY'S CONFLICT.
to those with which the enemy an- , advantageously on the creek, and noyed us from the heights south of welcoming and posting the brigades the river, and his infantry repelling of Starkweather and Walker, which every charge made by the enemy. had come up as night fell, he lay Before night, Estep's battery, which, down with his army to await such a with Cox's, had been splendidly served New Year's Day as it should please throughout, had lost so heavily that God to send them. Ammunition bea detail of infantry was required to ing rather scanty, and fresh supplies aid in working its guns. Bradley's expected, he proposed to keep the 6th Ohio battery at one time lost two holiday in quiet, unless Bragg should of its guns; but they were subse-decide otherwise. quently recaptured by the 13th Michi- ! On a calm review of this day's
desperate and doubtful carnage, there Night fell on our army successful can not be a doubt that the battle against every attempt which had for was saved after it had been lost; and some hours been made to drive it; that the man who saved it was but with little reason for exultation. William S. Rosecrans. Thousands It had lost, since daylight, including had done nobly-Thomas, Sheridan, stragglers, at least one-fourth of its Wood, Rousseau, Palmer, Van Cleve, numbers, with an equal proportion and others, eminently so—but the of its guns. It had lost half the day might have been saved without ground on which it was encamped any of them; while without Rosein the morning; and the Rebel cav- crans it must have been lost. It was alry were on its line of communica- he who, when apprised too late of tions, making free with its baggage the sudden and utter demolition of and supplies. Almost any General his right wing, instantly pushed up but Rosecrans would have supposed Rousseau from his center to its rethat there was but one point now to be lief, and hurried across Van Cleve's considered: how to get back to Nash- and other divisions from the left to ville with the least additional loss. stay the tide of Rebel success; it was But Rosecrans took stock of his am- he who-Van Cleve having just munition, and found that there was fallen-led the charge by a part of enough left for another battle; so he his division, which finally arrested resolved to stay. His guns were now the Rebels and repelled their adwell posted, and had the range of the vance on our right-Rousseau forthground in their front; and it had with emulating his example, charging been fairly proved that the enemy desperately the enemy in his front, could not take them, even with the and hurling them back into the help of the 28 we had lost. So, giv- cedars with fearful loss on both sides, ing orders for the issue of all the re- but with prisoners taken by ours maining ammunition, drawing in his only. And when, later in the day, left a few rods, so that it might rest the storm of battle rolled around to
12 Rousseau, in his official report, says: straight ahead for a while; but were finally
"As the enemy emerged from the woods in driven back with immense loss. In a little great force, shouting and cheering, the batteries while, they rallied again, and, as it seemed, with of Loomis and Guenther, double-shotted with fresh troops, again asgailed our position; and canister, opened upon them. They moved I were again, after a fierce struggle, driven back.
when an ché is
our center and left, falling heavily on to save his own. Says Rosecrans, in Palmer's and Wood's divisions, Rose- his official report: crans was there, directing, encourag “The day closed, leaving us masters of ing, steadying; though the head of the original ground on our left, and our line
| advantageously posted, with open ground his chief of staff, Garesché, was blown
in front, swept at all points by our artillery. to pieces by a shell while riding by We had lost heavily in killed and wounded, the General's side, and three or four
and a considerable number in stragglers and
prisoners; also, 28 pieces of artillery : the others of his staff or escort were horses having been slain, and our troops wounded one of them mortally being unable to withdraw them, by hand,
over the rough ground; but the enemy had and as many more lost their horses.
been roughly handled, and badly damaged To Garesché, he was deeply attached at all points, having had no success where ---they two being Roman Catholics,
we had open ground, and our troops prop
erly posted ; none, which did not depend as were none other of his military on the original crushing of our right and family--but he was too intent on his the superior masses which were, in conse
quence, brought to bear upon the narrow work to seem to heed the fall of his
front of Sheridan's and Negley's divisions, beloved friend; and when another and a part of Palmer's, coupled with the of the staff said to him. 6 Garesché is scarcity of ammunition, caused by the cir
cuitous road which the train had taken, dead," "I am very sorry," was the and the inconvenience of getting it from a quiet response, “but we can not help remote distance through the cedars.” it.” Soon word came (erroneously), 1 Both armies maintained their re“McCook is killed.” “We can not spective positions throughout the folhelp it," was the General's calm re- lowing day. There were artillery ply; “this battle must be won.” | duels at intervals, and considerable And it was won. Before sunset, the picket-firing, whereby some casualRebels had tried him on every side, ties were suffered, mainly on our and been beaten back-with fearful center and left; but nothing like a carnage, indeed, but no greater on serious attack: the lines of the two our side than on theirs—their ad- armies confronting each other at vantage being confined to our loss of close range, alert and vigilant; while guns and prisoners in the morning, brigades and regiments were silently consequent on McCook's sudden, moved from point to point, and rifleoverwhelming disaster. In the fight- pits and other hasty defenses were ing since 11 o'clock, the carnage had constructed on either side, in prepabeen greater on the side of the ration for the impending struggle. Rebels; and they had lost confidence, Meantime, some ammunition trainsif not ground. At 9 A. M., they had which the Rebel cavalry had driven supposed our army in their hands; from their proper positions in our at sunset, Bragg had enough to do rear, and compelled to make long Four deliberate and fiercely sustained assaults Lieutenant, who were within 130 yards of the were made upon our position, and repulsed. | batteries. This ended the fighting of that day: During the last assault, I was informed that our | the enemy in immense force hovering in the troops were advancing on our right, and saw woods during the night, while we slept on our troops, out of my division, led by Gen. Rose- / arms on the field of battle. We occupied this crans, moving in that direction. I informed position during the three following days and Gen. Thomas of the fact, and asked leave to ad- | nights of the fight. Under Gen. Thomas's yance my lines. He directed me to do so. We direction, I had it intrenched by rifle-pits, and made a charge upon the enemy, and drove him believe the enemy could not bave taken it at into the woods; my staff and orderlies captur- all." ing some 17 prisoners, including a Captain and !
13 Friday, Jan. 1, 1863.
BRECKINRIDGE'S CHARGE ON OUR LEFT.
circuits to rejoin their commands determined toward midday, showing were brought up and their contents that the enemy were gradually distributed. At night, our men lay creeping up. At noon, a battery down on their arms again, and all opened on our front, while other batwas quiet, Hitherto, the weather teries were seen moving to our left, had been bright and mild; so that as if to flank us in that quarter. At there was no suffering save on the 3 P. M., our skirmishers reported that part of the wounded.
the enemy were throwing down the The quiet remained unbroken till fences before them, as if making 8 next morning;" when the Rebels ready to charge; and, before any suddenly opened fire from many bat- dispositions could be made to receive teries which had meantime been them, Breckinridge's entire corps, stealthily planted in front of our cen- strengthened by 10 Napoleon 12ter and left. Hascall's division of pounders, forming three magnificent Crittenden's corps was exposed to the columns of assault, seemed to emerge heaviest of this fire, and suffered se- from the earth, and, aided by a heavy verely-Estep's battery being quickly enfilading fire of Bishop Polk's artildisabled, losing so many horses that lery, toward the center, swept on to its guns were necessarily drawn off the charge. by infantry. But Bradley's and Their strength was overwhelming; other batteries now opened on our and the fire of our first line, consistside; and, after half an hour's firing, ing of the 51st Ohio, 8th Kentucky, the Rebels ceased as suddenly as 35th and 78th Indiana, barely sufthey had begun. Our infantry, ficed to check their determined and though losing heavily, did not change confident advance. In a few minits position.
utes, our men gave way in disorder, Van Cleve's division, after losing sweeping the second line with them, its chief, had been moved back or constraining it to follow their extoward our left, Col. Sam. Beatty ample. The reserve, consisting of commanding; and, at daybreak this the 19th Ohio, 9th and 11th Kenmorning, had in good part been sent tucky, was then sent up, and fought across the stream, taking post on the gallantly; but were far too weak, bluff beyond, as if in pursuance of and, being threatened by a moveRosecrans's original purpose to take ment on their right flank, fell back, Murfreesboro? by a determined ad- fighting, to the river and across it, vance of his left. Throughout the losing heavily.. morning, the rest of Van Cleve's in- But now the solid Rebel masses, fantry, and two or three batteries, formed six deep, eagerly pursuing, followed. The Rebel army having came within the range of Crittenden's been nearly all moved farther to our carefully planted batteries across the right, in executing or in following up stream, and were plowed through and the original demonstration on that through; while the divisions of Negwing, this movement encountered no ley and Jeff. C. Davis, with St. Clair opposition; though skirmishing along Morton's engineers, pressed forward Beatty's front grew livelier and more to the rescue. The Rebels were in
14 Jan, 2.
r ton's engineers, Rebels were in ere short of a large amounock Spring
turn overmatched and hurled back | menced the movement, as stealthily in disorder; losing four of their guns, as possible, at 11 P. M.; gathering up the flag of the 26th Tennessee, and a his men and guns so cautiously that considerable body of prisoners. Had even our pickets were not aware of not darkness fallen directly, while a his Hegira till broad daylight," when heavy rain had set in, Rosecrans too late for effective pursuit; which, would have pursued the fugitives in fact, our inferiority in cavalry right into Murfreesboro'.16 As it must at any rate have rendered comwas, Crittenden's corps and Davis's paratively fruitless. We do not seem division both passed over, rëoccupied even to have advanced on his track the commanding ground, and, before till Monday.18 morning, were solidly intrenched there, ready for whatever emergency. 1 Wheeler's cavalry, after vigorously
Another night of anxious watchful- resisting our advance to Stone river, ness gave place to a morning 16 of had been dispatched" by Bragg to pouring rain, by which the ground the rear of our army; capturing Lawas so sodden as to impede the move- vergne,2o taking 700 prisoners, and ment of artillery. We were short of destroying heavy army trains, with ammunition till 10 A. M., when an a large amount of stores. Thence anxiously expected train was wel- hastening to Rock Spring and Nocomed. Batteries were now con- lensville, they made still further capstructed on the ground so handsome- tures at each ; and, having passed ly gained on our left, by which even around” our army, reached the left Murfreesboro' could be shelled; and flank of Bragg's, just as it commenced Gens. Thomas and Rousseau, who its great and successful charge on had for days been annoyed by Rebel McCook; guarding that flank, and sharp-shooters from the cedar thickets coming into action as it gained the in their front, obtained permission Nashville turnpike, just north of from Rosecrans to dislodge them by Overall's creek. Wheeler of course a charge, following a sharp fire of claims the advantage in this fight; artillery-four regiments entering but admits that he fell back at the and soon clearing the woods, captur- close, numbering Col. Allen and Lt.ing 70 or 80 prisoners. No coun- Col. Webb among his wounded. Next ter-inovement being attempted, the morning, he went up the turnpike to fourth day closed peacefully, and Lavergne; capturing another train was followed by a quiet night. and a gun; regaining, by order, the
Quiet on our side only. Bragg front during the night; and, being had concluded to leave, and com- again sent, at 9 P. M., to our rear; 16 He says, in his report:
Thomas, on Monday morning, drove the Rebel « The enemy retreated more rapidly than they rear-guard (cavalry) six or seven miles southhad advanced. In twenty minutes, they had ward, and that lost 2,000 men."
“We learned that the enemy's infantry had 16 Saturday, Jan. 3. 17 Sunday, Jan. 4. reached Shelbyville by 12 m. on Sunday; but,
18 Rosecrans, in his official report, says he re- owing to the impracticability of bringing up ceived news on Sunday morning that the enemy supplies, and the loss of 557 artillery horses, had fled from Murfreesboro'; when burial par
farther pursuit was deemed inadvisable." ties were sent out to inter the dead, and the 19 Night of Dec. 29-30. cavalry ordered to reconnoiter. He adds that 30 Dec. 30.
21 Dec. 31.