to the front and directed upon his infantry, advancing into the cedar woods formerly held by General Cruft's brigade. The enemy meanwhile directed one of his batteries upon us, but I did not think it proper to reply so long as our ammunition could be used with better effect upon his infantry. At about twelve M., just as I had nearly given out of ammunition, I received orders from Captain Mendenhall to retire. At about four o'clock I moved to the front by order of General Palmer, and from on either side of the railroad opened upon the enemy's infantry. His advance was effectually checked, and at sunset I was ordered to retire and rest. At daylight of January first we moved to a position on Gen. Rousseau's front, where I was ordered by Gen. Rosecrans. Except for the fire of the enemy's sharp-shooters, whom we dispersed at intervals by firing spherical case, we were not actually engaged during the day, and at night retired to a position near the pike, where our horses were fed and watered. During the night and the next morning I was ordered by different officers to resume my previous position. I was obliged to decline obeying these orders, owing to those I had received from Captain Mendenhall directing me to await his own. The position in which I was placed from this conflict of orders, was exceedingly painful, but I found myself justified by subsequent events. At about four o'clock in the afternoon of the second instant, after I had been placed in position by Capt. Mendenhall, on in elevation near Negley's division, two of the enemy's batteries opened upon us from our front, while a third gave signal for his last attack upon our left. I advanced the four rifles, holding my howitzers in reserve for the shortest range. The batteries around me were silenced far too soon, and when my rifle ammunition was exhausted, I found that some scoundrel had led off my caissons, and I was left with only the two howitzers to reply to the enemy's concentrated artillery-fire. Fortunately, Captain Swallow's battery came up beside us, and the crest of the hill was held until our reenforcements came up, when, with the assistance of the Board of Trade battery, the enemy's guns were silenced. We ceased firing when our last round was exhausted. We have not again been engaged or under fire. I have to remark in this connection that if, through five consecutive days, during which we were thus more or less engaged, we expended an unusual amount of ammunition, it must be recognized that we have been longer, and in general more closely engaged than perhaps any other batteries of the army, and that nearly all our ammunition was expended at close-range. The following are our list of casualties, etc.:
In place of the piece disabled, the Nineteenth Illinois gave me one captured by them from the enemy.
I do myself honor, sir, in asking your attention to the efficient and meritorious services of Lieut. Harry C. Cushing and Lieut. Henry A. Huntington, both of the Fourth United States artillery.
Disregarding all personal exposure, under all circumstances, and especially during the hottest fires of December thirty-first and second instant, the elevation the gallant officers discharged their duty with such coolness and fidelity that they deserve my most grateful mention.
My brave men look for their reward to the generous appreciation which has been freely offered them by the troops with whom they fought, and the General commanding the division in which they serve.
I am, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
|Number of men killed,||2|
|Number of men wounded,||14|
|Number of men missing,||6|
|Number of horses killed,||20|
|Number of pieces disabled,||1|
|Rounds of ammunition fired, 2299.|
Chas. C. Parsons, First Lieutenant Fourth United States Artillery, Commanding Artillery Battalion.
Report of Colonel marsh.
headquarters Seventy-Fourth Illinois volunteers, in camp near Murfreesboro, January 7, 1863.Colonel: I have the honor to report that the Seventy-fourth Illinois volunteers, under my command, left camp, near Nashville, on the twenty-sixth ult., early in the morning, for Murfreesboro in the advance brigade, coming up in the afternoon near Nolinsville with the enemy apparently in considerable force, mainly of cavalry and artillery. My command was immediately formed in line of battle and advanced; a brisk cannonading was opened on both sides, the enemy's shot and shell frequently reaching within our lines, occupying an exposed position within short-range; but no damage was done. The enemy soon falling back, a brisk pursuit was kept up till night, when we bivouacked without fires, keeping up constant and thorough watch against surprise, through the night. The next day, being exceedingly rainy, we marched but about five miles without special incident, and bivouacked for the night, my regiment meeting the inclemency of the weather and discomforts of the march with the fortitude and cheerfulness of veteran soldiers. Resting in camp over the Sabbath, I resumed the march early Monday morning by a cross-road leading from the Nolinsville to the Murfreesboro turnpipe, bivouacking at night in a drenching rain, on short rations, after an exceedingly toilsome day's march over an almost impassable road. The next morning I had my command in line at three o'clock, standing at their arms until day-light, when, resuming the march in the direction of Murfreesboro, we came up with the enemy about noon, and a slight fire was kept up be tween skirmishers during the day, our columns slowly and constantly advancing — the enemy retreating. treating. Just at night, near the edge of a cedar thicket, as our line was advancing, the enemy
Colonel P. Sidney Post, Commanding First Brigade:
Colonel P. Sidney Post, Commanding First Brigade: