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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 20: events West of the Mississippi and in Middle Tennessee. (search)
es of battle, who swept down the slopes to the edge of the stream. In the mean time Crittenden's chief of artillery had massed his batteries along the rising ground on the opposite side of the river, so as to sweep and enfilade the foe with fifty-eight guns, while the remainder of the left wing was well prepared for action. These guns opened with murderous effect on the pursuers, cutting broad lanes through their ranks. At the same time the divisions of Negley and J. C. Davis, with St. Clair Morton's engineers, pushed forward to retrieve the disaster. A fierce battle ensued. Both sides massed their batteries, and plied them with powerful effect. Both felt that the struggle would be decisive. And so it was. For a time it seemed as if mutual annihilation would be the result. Finally Stanley and Miller, with the Nineteehth Illinois, Eighteenth, Twenty-first, and Seventy-fourth Ohio, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Eleventh Michigan, and Thirty-seventh Indiana, charged simultaneousl
serve, consisting of the 19th Ohio, 9th and 11th Kentucky, was then sent up, and fought gallantly; but were far too weak, and, being threatened by a movement on their right flank, fell back, fighting, to the river and across it, losing heavily. But now the solid Rebel masses, formed six deep, eagerly pursuing, came within the range of Crittenden's carefully planted batteries across the stream, and were plowed through and through; while the divisions of Negley and Jeff. C. Davis, with St. Clair Morton's engineers, pressed forward to the rescue. The Rebels were in turn overmatched and hurled back in disorder; losing four of their guns, the flag of the 26th Tennessee, and a considerable body of prisoners. Had not darkness fallen directly, while a heavy rain had set in, Rosecrans would have pursued the fugitives right into Murfreesboroa. He says, in his report: The enemy retreated more rapidly than they had advanced. In twenty minutes, they had lost 2,000 men. As it was, Cr
ned early in the morning, the enemy taking the initiative. Sharp demonstrations were made along the whole line, but nothing decisive was attempted until three o'clock in the afternoon, when the rebels suddenly burst upon Battery Six (late Van Cleve's) in small divisions on the other side of Stone River, and drove it pell-mell with considerable loss to this side. The enemy, as usual, had massed its army and advanced in great strength. Negley's division, supported by that of Davis, and St. Clair Morton's pioneer battalion, were immediately sent forward to retrieve the disaster. A sanguinary conflict ensued, perhaps the most bitter of the whole battle. Davis also went up in gallant array. Both sides massed their batteries, and plied them with desperate energy. The infantry there of either side displayed great valor, but Negley's unconquerable Eighth division resolved to win. The fury of the conflict now threatened mutual annihilation, but Stanley and Miller, with the Nineteenth Ill