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[502] to join him. The enemy were finally repulsed and driven off with loss. Starkweather's loss was small. In this affair the whole brigade behaved handsomely.

The burden of the fight fell upon the Second Wisconsin, Lieutenant-Colonel Hobart commanding. This regiment, led by its efficient commander, behaved like veterans. From the evening of the thirty-first until Saturday night, no general battle occurred in front of my division, though firing of artillery and small arms was kept up during the day, and much of the small arms during the night. The rain on the night of the thirty-first, which continued at intervals until the Saturday night following, rendered the ground occupied by my command exceedingly sloppy and muddy, and during much of the time my men had neither shelter, food, nor fire. I procured corn, which they parched and ate, and some of them ate horse-steaks cut and broiled from horses on the battle-field. Day and night in the cold, wet and mud, my men suffered severely, but during the whole time I did not hear one single murmur at their hardships, but all were cheerful and ever ready to stand by their arms and fight. Such endurance I never saw. In these severe trials of their patience and their strength, they were much encouraged by the constant presence and solicitous anxiety of General Thomas for their welfare.

On the evening of Saturday, third inst., I asked permission of General Thomas to drive the enemy from a wood on our left front, to which he gave his consent. Just before, I directed the batteries of Guenther and Loomis to shell the woods with six rounds per gun, fired as rapidly as possible. This was very handsomely done, and ended just at dark, when the Third Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel O. H. Lawson, and Eighty-eighth Indiana, Colonel George Humphreys, both under command of the brigade commander, Colonel John Beatty, moved promptly up to the woods. When near the woods they received a heavy fire from the enemy, but returned it vigorously and gallantly and pressed forward. On reaching the woods a fresh body of the enemy, attracted by the fire, moved up on their left to support them. On that body of the enemy Loomis's battery opened with shell. The fusilade was very rapid, and continued for perhaps three-quarters of an hour, when Beatty's command drove the enemy at the point of the bayonet, and held the woods. It turned out that the enemy were posted behind a stone breastwork in the woods, and when ousted about thirty men were taken prisoners behind the woods. This ended the battle of Murfreesboro.

On the morning of the thirty-first, six companies of the Second Kentucky cavalry, Major Thomas P. Nicholas commanding, were ordered down to watch and defend the fords of Stone River to our left and rear. The cavalry of the enemy several times, in force, attempted to cross these fords, but Nicholas very gallantly repulsed them with loss, and they did not cross the river.

I should have mentioned that Friday evening late I was directed by General Thomas to place a regiment in the woods on our left front as an outpost, and with the view to hold the woods, as they were near our lines, and the enemy could greatly annoy us if allowed to hold them. Our skirmishers were then just leaving the woods. I ordered the Forty-second Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Shanklin commanding, to take that position; which he did. But early the next morning the enemy, in large force, attacked Colonel Shanklin, first furiously shelling the woods, and drove the regiment back to our lines, taking Shanklin prisoner. It was this wood that was retaken on Saturday night as before described.

The troops of the division behaved admirably. I could not wish them to behave more gallantly. The Ninth and Seventeenth brigades, under the lead of their gallant commanders, Scribner and Beatty, were, as well as the Twenty-eighth brigade, Colonel Starkweather, veterans; they were with me at Chaplin Hills, and could not act badly.

The Twenty-eighth brigade held a position in our front after the first day's fighting, and did it bravely, doing all that was required of them like true soldiers.

The brigade of United States infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel O. L. Shepard commanding, was on the extreme right. On that body of brave men the shock of battle fell heaviest, and its loss was most severe. Over one-third of the command fell killed or wounded; but it stood up to the work and bravely breasted the storm, and though Major King, commanding the Fifteenth, and Major Slemmer ( “Old Pickens” ), the Sixteenth, fell severely wounded, and Major Carpenter, commanding the Nineteenth, fell dead in the last charge, together with many other brave officers and men, the brigade did not falter for a moment. These three battalions were a part of my old Fourth brigade at the battle of Shiloh.

The Eighteenth infantry, Majors Townsend and Caldwell commanding, were new troops to me, but I am proud now to say we know each other. If I could I would promote every officer and non-commissioned officer and private of this brigade of regulars for gallantry and good service in this terrific battle. I make no distinction between these troops and my brave volunteer regiments, for in my judgment there were never better troops than these regiments in the world. But the troops of the line are soldiers by profession, and with a view to the future I feel it my duty to say what I have of them. The brigade was admirably and gallantly handled by Lieutenant Colonel Shepard.

I lost some of the bravest and best officers I had. Lieutenant Colonel Kell, commanding Second Ohio, was killed. After he fell his regiment was efficiently handled by Major Anson McCook, who ought to be made Colonel of that regiment for gallantry on the field. Colonel Forman, my brave boy Colonel of the Fifteenth Kentucky, also fell. Major Carpenter,

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