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[497] commander, Colonel Shaeffer, who was killed. The brigade, remaining in this position until after it had expended its ammunition, was withdrawn to the rear of this timber, when it was again supplied, and joined by the Thirty-sixth Illinois. I was here directed by General Rosecrans to form a close column of attack and charge the enemy should they again come down on the open ground.

The remaining portion of the evening this gallant brigade remained in close column of regiments, and under fire of the enemy's batteries, which killed about twenty of the men by round shot. In the meantime, Colonel Roberts' brigade, which had come out of the cedars unbroken, was put into action by General McCook at a point a short distance to the rear, where the enemy threatened our communications on the Murfreesboro pike.

The brigade, having but three or four rounds of ammunition, cheerfully went into action, gallantly charged the enemy, routing them, recapturing two pieces of artillery, and taking forty prisoners. The rout of the enemy at this point deserves special consideration, as they had nearly reached the Murfreesboro pike.

On the night of the thirty-first I was placed

in position on the Murfreesboro pike, facing south, and on the ground where Roberts' brigade had charged the enemy, General Davis being on my right. On the first of January heavy skirmish fighting, with occasional artillery shots on both sides, was kept up till about three o'clock P. M., when a charge was made by a brigade of the enemy on my position. This was handsomely repulsed, and one officer and eighty-five men of the enemy captured. Colonel Walker's brigade, of Thomas corps, was also placed under my command temporarily, having a position on my left, where the same character of fighting was kept up.

On the second of January Colonel Walker sustained two heavy attacks, which he gallantly repulsed. On the third skirmishing took place throughout the day. On the fourth all was quiet in front, the enemy having disappeared. On the fifth nothing of importance occurred, and on the sixth I moved my division to its present camp on Stone River, three miles south of Murfreesboro on the Shelbyville pike.

I trust that the General commanding is satisfied with my division. It fought bravely and well. The loss of Houghtaling's battery and one section of Bush's was unavoidable. All the horses were shot down or disabled, Captain Houghtaling wounded, and Lieutenant Taliaferro killed.

My division, alone and unbroken, made a gallant stand to protect the right flank of our army, being all that remained of the right wing. Had my ammunition held out I would not have fallen back, although such were my orders if hard pressed. As it was, this determined stand of my troops gave time for a re-arrangement of our lines.

The division mourns the loss of Sill, Shaeffer, and Roberts. They were all instantly killed, and at the moment when their gallant brigades were charging the enemy. They were true soldiers — prompt and brave.

On the death of these officers, respectively, Colonel Grensel, Thirty-sixth Illinois, took command of Sill's brigade; Lieutenant-Colonel Laibold, Second Missouri, of Shaeffer's, and Colonel Bradley, of Roberts' brigade. These officers behaved gallantly throughout the day.

It is also my sad duty to record the death of Colonel F. A. Harrington, of the Twenty-seventh Illinois, who fell heroically leading his regiment to the charge.

I refer with pride to the splendid conduct, bravery, and efficiency of the following regimental commanders, and the officers and men of their respective commands:

Colonel F. T. Sherman, Eighty-eighth Illinois.

Major F. Ehrler, Second Missouri.

Lieutenant-Colonel John Weber, Fifteenth Missouri.

Captain W. W. Barrett, Forty-fourth Illinois, (wounded).

Major W. A. Preston, Seventy-third Illinois (wounded).

Major Silas Miller, of the Thirty-sixth Illinois (wounded and a prisoner).

Captain P. C. Oleson, Thirty-sixth Illinois.

Major E. C. Hubbard, Twenty-fourth Wisconsin.

Lieutenant-Colonel McCreery, Twenty-first Michigan.

Lieutenant-Colonel N. H. Walworth, Forty-second Illinois.

Lieutenant-Colonel F. Swannick, Twenty-second Illinois (wounded and a prisoner).

Captain Samuel Johnson, Twenty-second Illinois.

Major W. A. Schmitt, Twenty-seventh Illinois.

Captain Wescott, Fifty-first Illinois.

I respectfully bring to the notice of the General commanding, the good conduct of Captain Hescock, Chief of Artillery, whose services were almost invaluable. Also, Captains Hough-tailing and Bush, and the officers and men of their batteries.

Surgeon D. J. Griffiths, Medical Director of my division, and Doctor McArthur, of the Board of Medical Examiners of Illinois, were most assiduous in their care of the wounded.

Major H. F. Dietz, Provost Marshal; Captain Morhardt, Topographical Engineer; Lieutenant George Lee, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieutenants A. M. Denning, Frank H. Allen, E. W. DeBruin, J. L. Forman, and Soward, Aids-de-Camp, officers of my staff, were of the greatest service to me, delivering my orders faithfully, and promptly discharging the duties of their respective positions.

The ammunition train above alluded to as captured, was retaken from the enemy by the good conduct of Captain Thurston, Ordnance Officer of the corps, and Lieutenant Douglas Ordnance Officer of my division, who, with Sergeant Cooper of my escort, rallied the stragglers and drove off the enemy's cavalry.

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