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[156] this wing, and the artillery occupied strong, commanding positions. On Friday, Van Cleve's division was thrown across the river to the left, and formed there on the prolongation of the general line, with its left considerably retired. One additional brigade was also sent as a support. At three o'clock, Friday afternoon, a furious attack was made by the enemy upon this division. Their assault had all the vigor and rapidity that characterized the grand operation of Wednesday upon McCook. Van Cleve's division (without artillery) was driven from its position, its fire scarcely lessening the speed of the enemy's advance. This success was insignificant in comparison with the extent of the enemy's preparations ; without further action, it was valueless. But when it was gained, his movements appeared without further plan. His impetuous charge was not sustained by troops to occupy the ground taken, or to press on across the river to the flank and rear of the left wing. A considerable force which advanced on the left of the assaulting lines failed to cooperate efficiently, and no advantage was taken of the diversion to attempt another part of the line. General Rosecrans, having his entire army well in hand for rapid movement in any direction, quickly reenforced his left, and reoccupied the ground from which Van Cleve had been driven. The approach of night prevented further operations.

During the interval between Wednesday's battle, and the retreat of the rebels, on Sunday, both parties were engaged in strengthening their positions by lines of rifle-pits, earthwork epaulements for batteries, etc. Both parties had failed in their tactical plans, but if the point was of strategic importance, that, and the moral advantage, would obviously rest with the one that longest maintained his position, whether there should be further fighting or not. This advantage was finally surrendered to Gen. Rosecrans by the withdrawal of the enemy.

The error that was fatal to Gen. Rosecrans's order of battle was in the right wing, the weakness of that portion of the line resulting in its rout, and the diversion of the other forces from the projected attack, by putting and holding them upon the defensive. The successful formation of a new line in presence of an enemy, and under his attacks, is a manoeuvre requiring high qualities of generalship. General Rosecrans did this, and the extraordinary exertions required to accomplish it, show him to be possessed of great power in handling troops, and of an undaunted spirit that will compel the enemy to wrest from him, inch by inch, each successive advantage, the last as firmly held as the first. For the grand result, he is not free from indebtedness to subordinates. The rapidity with which the right wing was driven back, and followed, and the evident fact that the first intelligence from it, or the absence of any, left Gen. Rosecrans ignorant of the disaster there, made every moment of infinite importance when he learned the truth and began the formation of his new line. Sheridan, by his desperate fighting and repeated changes of position under rebel attacks, gained for the General most valuable time, and finally brought off his division in good order for further service. These services were extraordinary under the circumstances, and no general would trust to their being rendered by any division; neither would the General have confided the defence of his left flank to so small a force as Hazen's brigade, had he foreseen what constant presence of mind, obstinacy, and rapid and difficult changes of position were required to enable its commander to hold his ground against four or five times his number, during the entire day.

The battle was like most engagements of the war — there was nothing decisive in the result, and the enemy carrying what he would, withdrew unmolested; but there is certainly much cause for congratulation in the fact that fortune has not allowed similar circumstances (the change of commanders) in the Eastern and Western armies to produce similar results, and that at the West we have a “Stone River,” not a “Fredericksburgh.”

Louisville Journal account.

battle-field of Stone River, January 5, 1863.
I propose to give the readers of the ,Journal an account of the events which have rendered this blood-stained field forever memorable ; and, as in the case of the battle of Shiloh, I shall describe only what passed under my own eyes, leaving others to narrate what they themselves witnessed.

On the morning of December twenty-sixth, Gen. Rousseau's division of Thomas's corps marched from its camp on the Franklin road, four miles from Nashville, it being the same spot whence we marched last spring to leave our share of blood and dead on the field of Shiloh. This time the hand of fate has brought the sacrifice to a different altar, but it has been offered to the god of battles with not less awful rites than rocked the hills of Shiloh to their base, and lighted its forests with lurid flames. On the night of the twenty-sixth we bivouacked on the Wilson pike, a branch from the Franklin, thirteen miles from Nashville. On the twenty-seventh we moved across by a country road to the Nolinsville pike. When the head of the column arrived at Nolinsville, we found that Gen. McCook's corps, which was just passing, was meeting with stubborn resistance from the enemy. As there was room to apprehend that the enemy intended to attempt a repetition of Chaplin Hills by falling on one of our wings in overwhelming force while on the march, Gen. Rousseau moved all of his division that had got up rapidly to the front, in a most terrible rainstorm, to support Gen. McCook in case of need; but the enemy retired, and the danger passed. At four o'clock on the afternoon of the twenty-eighth, Gen. Rousseau received notice from Gen. Rosecrans that it was of the utmost importance that his division should be at Stewart's Creek, on the Murfreesboro road, that night. Moving by a cross-road, the division reached the point designated by midnight. In all of these marches we had been preceded by the divisions of Davis and Negley, and perhaps by others belonging to Thomas's or the centre corps. The result was to transfer

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