on the thirty-first, I received an order from the General commanding, directing me to hasten to the right. I made all possible speed, leaving a strong detachment to protect the trains crossing the road at Stewartsboro, and to pick up stragglers. Upon arriving upon the right flank of the army, I found order restored, and took position on General McCook's right, my right extending toward Wilkinson's Cross-roads, occupying the woods about the meeting-house and Overall's Creek. In this position we were attacked, about four o'clock P. M., by a long line of foot.skirmishers. My first impression was that these were covered infantry, but I soon learned that they were dismounted cavalry. We successfully held them at bay for half an hour with the Fourth Michigan and Seventh Pennsylvania dismounted, when, being outflanked, I ordered our line to mount and fall back to the open field. The enemy followed here, and, being reinforced by detachments of the Anderson and Third Kentucky cavalry, and by the First Tennessee, we charged the enemy and put him to rout. The cavalry held the same position this night they had taken upon my arrival upon the field. About nine o'clock New Year's morning, the enemy showed a line of skirmishers in the woods to our front, and soon after brought a six-gun battery to bear upon my cavalry. As we could not reach the enemy's skirmishers nor reply to his artillery, I ordered my cavalry to fall back. A part of Zahn's brigade marched this day to Nashville, to protect our trains. Colonel Zahn's report is inclosed. The second and third of January the cavalry was engaged in watching the flanks of our position. On the fourth it became evident that the enemy had fled; the cavalry was collected and moved to the fords of Stone River. Upon the fifth we entered Murfreesboro. Zahn's brigade marched in pursuit of the enemy on the Shelbyville pike six miles, finding no opposition. With the remainder of the. cavalry, I marched on the Manchester pike, and encountered the enemy in heavy force at Lytle's Creek, three and a half miles from town. We fought with this force till near sundown, pushing them from one cedar-brake to another, when, being reinforced by General Spears' brigade of East Tennesseeans, we drove the enemy out of his last stand in disorder. We returned after dusk and encamped on Lytle's Creek. Our troops all behaved well. The skirmishing was of a very severe character. The Fourth United States cavalry, which was this day first under my control, behaved very handsomely. Captain Otis' command acted independently until the fifth instant, when they came under my command. The duty of the cavalry was very arduous. From the twenty-sixth of December till the fourth of January, the saddles were only taken off to groom, and were immediately replaced. Respectfully submitted,
D. S. Stanley Brigadier-General and Chief of Cavalry.
Report of Colonel John Kennett.
headquarters First cavalry division, camp Stanley, January 8, 1863.Sir: I have the honor to submit to you the reports of the part taken in the fighting of the two brigades composing the First cavalry division from December twenty-sixth, 1862, up to the night of January fifth, 1863, from Nashville to Murfreesboro, and six miles beyond Murfreesboro, on the Manchester and Shelbyville pikes. On leaving Nashville the Second brigade, under Colonel Zahn, took the road to Franklin; Brigadier-General D. S. Stanley, with the First and Second Tennessee cavalry and Anderson troop, taking the Nolensville pike. The First brigade, Colonel Minty commanding, under my charge, took the Murfreesboro pike. I reported my command to General Palmer, who placed us in advance. Our skirmishers drove the enemy some five miles. The afternoon was well spent when General Palmer relieved us with infantry skirmishers. The cavalry forming the reserve on the right and left flanks, the First brigade marched directly as a reserve to the advance skirmishers of the army composing the left wing, on their flanks, up to December thirtieth, 1862. On December thirty-first, 1862, we were posted as reserves on the flanks, throwing out our skirmishers and vedettes, watching the movements of the enemy. We performed a variety of duty as scouts on the different avenues leading to our camp and connecting with the roads centring upon Nashville, Tennessee--flankers, vedettes, couriers — engaging the enemy daily on the right flank. Some few incidents which could not have fallen under the eye of the brigade commanders, having occurred under my immediate notice, I beg leave to append. When the enemy charged upon our wing, scattering a few regiments, who stampeded to the rear, I received orders from General Rosecrans, in person, to collect all the cavalry at my command, and proceed to rally the right wing and drive the enemy away. I found Colonel Murray, of the Third Kentucky, in command of about a squadron of men. With that we made our way to the right. We found a complete stampede-infantry, cavalry, and artillery, rushing to the rear, and the rebel cavalry charging upon our retiring forces on the Murfreesboro pike. Colonel Murray, with great intrepidity, engaged the enemy toward the skirts of the wood, and drove them in three charges. His men behaved like old veterans. Between his command and the field, was filled with rushing rebel cavalry charging upon our retreating cavalry and infantry, holding many of our soldiers as prisoners. I rallied the Third Ohio, some two companies, who were falling back, and formed them in the rear of a fence, where volley after volley had the effect of driving back the rebels on the run, the Third Ohio charging upon them effectually, thereby relieving the pike of their presence,
Captain W. H. Sinclair:
Captain W. H. Sinclair: