Commissary; and Captain A. J. Mackay, Chief Quartermaster, were actively employed in carrying orders to various parts of my command, and in the execution of the appropriate duties of their office. Captain O. A. Mack was dangerously wounded in the right hip and abdomen, while conveying orders from me to Major-General Rousseau. The officers of the Signal corps, attached to my headquarters, did excellent service in their appropriate sphere, when possible; and as Aids-de-Camp, carrying orders. My escort, composed of a select detail from the First Ohio cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Barker, of the same regiment, having been on duty with me for nearly a year, deserve commendation for the faithful performance of their appropriate duties. Private Gusteam was killed by a cannon shot, on the morning of January second. Surgeon C. D. Beebe deserves special mention for his efficient arrangements for moving the wounded from the field, and giving them immediate attention. The details will be seen in the accompanying reports of division commanders. Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
George H. Thomas, Major-General, United States Volunteers.
Major-General Crittenden's report.
headquarters left wing, Murfreesboro, January 20, 1863.Colonel: In obedience to orders, I left camp near Nashville on the twenty-sixth of December, and reached the point where the battle of Stone River was fought, before dusk on the morning of the twenty-ninth. The march from Nashville was accompanied by the skirmishing usual when an army moves toward an enemy, posted near by and in force. The gallant and handsome things done by several different portions of my command during this march, have been mentioned in detail by the immediate commanders conducting the advance and leading the skirmishers. The seizure of two bridges, one by General Hascall, and the other by Colonel Hazen; the gallant charge of the troops of Hascall's brigade at Lavergne; and the counter-charge and capture of twenty-five of the enemy by a company of the new regiment, One Hundredth Illinois, when charged by the enemy's cavalry, are worthy of special notice. It was about dusk, and just at the moment when Generals Wood and Palmer had halted to gather up their troops, that I reached the head of my command. These two Generals had their divisions in line of battle--General Wood on the left, and General Palmer on the right; the enemy in sight, and evidently in heavier force than we had yet encountered them, it was evident they intended to dispute the passage of the river and to fight a battle at or near Murfreesboro. At this moment I received an order to occupy Murfreesboro with one division, camping the other two outside. I immediately gave the order to advance, and the movement was commenced. General Wood was ordered to occupy the place, General Palmer being ordered, at General Wood's suggestion, to keep in line with Wood's division, and advance with him, until he had forced the passage of the river. At this time it was dark. General Wood had declared, when he received the order, that it was hazarding a great deal for very little, to move over unknown ground in the night, instead of awaiting for daylight, and that I ought to take the responsibility of disobeying the order. I thought the movement hazardous, but as the success of the whole army might depend on the prompt execution of orders by every officer, it was my duty to advance. After General Wood had issued the order to advance, and General Palmer had received his also, they both came to see me, and insisted that the order should not be carried out. I refused to rescind the order, but consented to suspend it for one hour, as General Rosecrans could be heard from in that time. During the interval the General himself came to the front, and approved of what I had done. In the meantime, Colonel Harker, after a sharp skirmish, gallantly crossed the river with his brigade and Bradley's battery, and Hascall was already in the river advancing, when the order to suspend the movement was received. As soon as possible I recalled Harker, and, to my great satisfaction, this able officer, with consummate address, withdrew from the actual presence of a vastly superior force his artillery and troops, and recrossed the river without any serious loss. During the night General McCook came over to see the commanding General, and reported that he was on the Wilkinson pike, about three miles in the rear of our line, and that he should advance in the morning. The next morning (the thirtieth) early, my line of battle was formed. Palmer's division occupied the ground to the right of the turn-pike, his right resting on Negley's left, Negley having advanced into the woods and taken a position in the centre, to take a position with General McCook when he should come into line. General Wood was to occupy that part of our front to the left of the turnpike, extending down the river. General Van Cleve was held in reserve to the rear and left. This position of our forces was, without material change, maintained all day, though the skirmishing during part of the day was very heavy, particularly on our extreme right, where McCook was coming up. Then, when it apparently assumed the proportion of a battle, I proposed to cross the river with my corps, and attack Murfreesboro from the left, by way of the Lebanon pike; but the General, though approving the plan of attack, would not consent that should move until McCook was more seriously engaged. On the morning of the thirty-first, when the
Lieutenant-Colonel C. Goddard, Chief of Staff:
Lieutenant-Colonel C. Goddard, Chief of Staff: