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[277] to those with which the enemy annoyed us from the heights south of the river, and his infantry repelling every charge made by the enemy. Before night, Estep's battery, which, with Cox's, had been splendidly served throughout, had lost so heavily that a detail of infantry was required to aid in working its guns. Bradley's 6th Ohio battery at one time lost two of its guns; but they were subsequently recaptured by the 13th Michigan.

Night fell on our army successful against every attempt which had for some hours been made to drive it; but with little reason for exultation. It had lost, since daylight, including stragglers, at least one-fourth of its numbers, with an equal proportion of its guns. It had lost half the ground on which it was encamped in the morning ; and the Rebel cavalry were on its line of communications, making free with its baggage and supplies. Almost any General but Rosecrans would have supposed that there was but one point now to be considered: how to get back to Nashville with the least additional loss. But Rosecrans took stock of his ammunition, and found that there was enough left for another battle; so lie resolved to stay. His guns were now well posted, and had the range of the ground in their front; and it had been fairly proved that the enemy could not take them, even with the help of the 28 we had lost. So, giving orders for the issue of all the remaining ammunition, drawing in his left a few rods, so that it might rest advantageously on the creek, and welcoming and posting the brigades of Starkweather and Walker, which had come up as night fell, he lay down with his army to await such a New Year's Day as it should please God to send them. Ammunition being rather scanty, and fresh supplies expected, lie proposed to keep the holiday in quiet, unless Bragg should decide otherwise.

On a calm review of this day's desperate and doubtful carnage, there can not be a doubt that the battle was saved after it had been lost; and that the man who saved it was William S. Rosecrans. Thousands had done nobly — Thomas, Sheridan, Wood, Rousseau, Palmer, Van Cleve, and others, eminently so-but the day might have been saved without any of them ; while without Rosecrans it must have been lost. It was he who, when apprised too late of the sudden and utter demolition of his right wing, instantly pushed up Rousseau from his center to its relief, and hurried across Van Cleves' and other divisions from the left to stay the tide of Rebel success; it was he who-Van Cleve having just fallen-led the charge by a part of his division, which finally arrested the Rebels and repelled their advance on our right-Rousseau forth — with emulating his example, charging desperately the enemy in his front, and hurling them back into the cedars with fearful loss on both sides, but with prisoners taken by ours only.1 And when, later in the day, the storm of battle rolled around to

1 Rousseau, in his official report, says:

As the enemy emerged from the woods in great force, shouting and cheering, the batteries of Loomis and Guenther, double-shotted with canister, opened upon them. They moved straight ahead for a while; but were finally driven back with immense loss. In a little while, they rallied again, and, as it seemed, with fresh troops, again assailed our position: and were again, after a fierce struggle, driven back. Four deliberate and fiercely sustained assaults were made upon our position, and repulsed. During the last assault, I was informed that our troops were advancing on our right, and saw troops, out of my division, led by Gen. Rosecrans, moving in that direction. I informed Gen. Thomas of the fact, and asked leave to advance my lines. He directed me to do so. We made a charge upon the enemy, and drove him into the woods; my staff and orderlies capturing some 17 prisoners, including a Captain and Lieutenant, who were within 130 yards of the batteries. This ended the fighting of that day: the enemy in immense force hovering in the woods during the night, while we slept on our arms on the field of battle. We occupied this position during the three following days and nights of the fight. Under Gen. Thomas's direction. I had it intrenched by rifle-pits, and believe the enemy could not have taken it at all.

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