duties cannot be too highly applauded. The other field-officers and company-officers, and also Lieuts. Marshall and Ellsworth, of the artillery, displayed that high courage and determined bravery which makes the veteran soldier. Too much cannot be said in praise of both officers and men. The losses in my brigade, killed and wounded in the action, amounted to over five hundred men. In the evening of the thirty-first I was ordered by Gen. Negley to take position on the centre front, across the Nashville road, for support to the batteries in position at that place. My command remained in this position until the next morning, when I was ordered to take position as a reserve for Gen. Hascall's division, to the left of the railroad. In the afternoon of the first of January, I received orders to march my command to the support of the right of General McCook's corps. I took position as directed, and remained there all night in the open field, and until about one o'clock P. M. on the second, when I was ordered to the support of Gen. Crittenden's corps, on the left. I took position, as ordered by Gen. Negley, in an open field in rear of the battery on the left of the railroad, and near the bank of Stone River. About four o'clock P. M., a furious attack was made by the enemy on Gen. Beatty's (or Van Cleve's) division, then across Stone River. The fire of the enemy was returned with spirit for a time, when that division retired across the river and retreated through my lines, which were then formed near the bank of the river, my men lying down, partly concealed behind the crest of a small hill in an open field. As soon as the men of Beatty's division had retired from our front, I ordered my command forward — the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania on the right, the Twenty-first Ohio on the left, to advance under cover of the hill along the river-bank, the Thirty-seventh Indiana and Seventy-fourth Ohio in the centre. The Twenty-ninth brigade moved forward in the same direction — the Eighteenth Ohio on the right, and formed partly in the intervals between the regiments of my right wing. The enemy advanced rapidly, following Van Cleve's (Beatty's) division, and gained the riverbank, all the time firing rapidly across at my line. My troops opened fire from the crest of the hill. The enemy halted and began to waver. I then ordered the men forward to a rail-fence on the bank of the river. Here a heavy fire was directed upon the enemy with fine effect; and, although in strong force, and supported by the fire of two batteries in their rear, they began to retreat. Deeming this an opportune moment for crossing the stream, I ordered the troops to cross rapidly, which they did with great gallantry, under fire from front and right flank. Here the Eighteenth Ohio, part of the Thirty-seventh Indiana, and part of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania volunteers were ordered by some one to proceed up the right bank, in a field, to repel an attack from a force there firing upon my right flank. The colors of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, and I think the Nineteenth Illinois, were the first to cross the river. The men followed in as good order as possible. While my troops were crossing, a staff-officer informed me that it was Gen. Palmer's or der that the troops should not cross. The enemy was then retreating, and many of my men were over the stream. I crossed in person, and saw the enemy retiring. Taking cover behind a rail-fence, on the left bank, the men poured a heavy fire into the retreating force. The Twenty-first Ohio had crossed the river on the left, and was ascending the bank, and was just going into the wood. When in this position, I received another order, purporting to come front Gen. Palmer, to recross the river and support the line on the hill. The force on the right of the river was then advancing in the corn-field and driving the enemy, thus protecting my right flank; and having no inclination to turn back, I ordered the troops forward. Colonel Stoughton, of the Eleventh Michigan, formed his regiment and moved along the bank of the river, while the other troops moved forward to his left. The Twenty-first Ohio carne in on the extreme left and advanced in splendid style. In crossing the river the men of the different regiments had, to some extent, become mixed together. Yet a tolerable line was kept on the colors of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Nineteenth Illinois, Sixty-ninth Ohio, and Seventy-fourth Ohio, and the men moved forward with spirit and determination. The enemy's batteries were posted on an eminence, in the woods near a corn-field, in our front, and all this time kept up a brisk fire, but without much effect. His infantry retreated in great disorder, leaving the ground covered with his (lead and wounded. When within about one hundred and fifty yards of the first battery, I ordered the Seventy-eighth regiment Pennsylvania volunteers to charge the battery, which was immediately done by the men of that regiment, and Nineteenth Illinois, Sixty-ninth Ohio, and perhaps others. The Twenty-first Ohio coming in opportunely on the left, the battery, consisting of four guns, was taken and hauled off by the men. The colors of the Twenty-sixth Tennessee (rebel) at the time of the charge were in the rear of the battery, and were taken by the men of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, and brought to the rear. Another battery, further to the front, all this time kept up a heavy fire of grape and canister upon our forces, but without much effect. Seeing my troops in the disorder which follows such successes, and being nearly out of ammunition, I sent staff-officers back to Gen. Negley for reenforcements with which to pursue the enemy. I ordered the troops to halt and re-form, so as to hold the ground until relieved by other troops. This being done, a large body of troops were soon brought to our lines, when I withdrew my command to re-form and obtain ammunition. At this time Col. Stanley crossed the river and took command of the regiments of his brigade on
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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