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[513] of the enemy was speedily arrested. The right battalion was attacked soon after, the enemy obviously intending to penetrate the line under cover of the forest. The battalion changed front to obtain a flanking fire, and by a single volley repulsed the enemy, composed of the Eleventh and Fourteenth Texas regiment. The Seventy-ninth Indiana had rallied on the right of the battalion in the meantime, and assisted in the success. This was one of the most brilliant episodes of the battle. It followed quickly upon the charge made by the General in person, and was really the second act of the drama, which changed the tide of battle.

Toward sunset the enemy appeared on Morton's left. Two sections of Stokes' battery were brought to the left of the First battalion, and a brigade of the enemy which had attacked the battalion in the thicket, was bitterly repulsed. Their dead were left within fifty paces of Morton's lines. The troops behaved admirably.

The pioneers slept on their arms that night. Early New Years morning, the enemy again appeared on the left, apparently to advance through a gap between it and the Murfreesboro turnpike. Morton immediately changed front and occupied the gap. A hot engagement ensued, infantry and artillery being used so effectively that the enemy could not push beyond the edge of the wood, and they were finally driven back with severe loss. The position was held by the pioneers until after nightfall, when they were relieved and formed in reserve.

On the morning of Friday, the second part of the pioneers were engaged making road-crossings over the railroad, when the enemy opened a severe cannonade. Stokes' battery returned the fire, and the battalions advanced, supporting it under a fire of solid shot and shell, until the rebel battery was silenced, when the pioneers fell back to their position.

In the afternoon, when Breckinridge made his attack upon Van Cleve's small division, which had been thrown across the river on our left, General Rosecrans, in person, ordered the pioneers to the left as reinforcements. Morton marched his command at double-quick, and arrived on the line occupying a gap in it, under the firing of a rebel battery, which was soon silenced by Stokes' battery, which was worked with great skill and vigor.

General Negley's (Eighth) division was already tremendously engaged. The enemy had advanced in columns of brigades six deep without intervals, presenting a most formidable mass, and threatening to carry everything before them. Our batteries opened in magnificent concert, and the most obstinate combat of the whole series of engagements was culminating. General Negley now requested Morton to reinforce him, and the pioneers were at once moved up at a double-quick and formed, the Third battalion in second line behind the division under command of General Jeff. C. Davis, the First extending beyond it, and throwing out its own advance, occupying the space between it and the river; Stokes' battery was posted on a knoll between the First and Second battalions, the Second being in second line on the extreme right. The fighting, meantime, of the most violent description, was growing slack, and the enemy, finally defeated, were flying back to Murfreesboro, darkness preventing pursuit.

After nightfall, the pioneers recrossed the river, and again assumed position in the reserve, the Second battalion being detailed to dig riflepits in the front, near the pike, and on the extreme right. They labored all night in the rain. On January third, the Third battalion relieved the First, then on duty in the trenches; on the fourth, the Second and Third battalions began the construction of two lunettes on the north bank of the river, and the First battalion began a trestle bridge across it; on the fifth the work continued, and the Third battalion, with the advance of the army, went in pursuit of the enemy.

The loss of the brigade was as follows:
Second 459
Third 41014
Stokes' Battery13913

The force of the brigade actually engaged was sixteen hundred men--ninety-five in Stokes' battery.

Throughout the engagement the pioneers behaved nobly and upon requisition worked zealously night and day, although insufficiently subsisted, and under vicissitudes of inclement weather and rebel fire.

Captain Morton eulogized the conduct of the artillerymen in the highest manner. They fought under the eye of the General, and won high encomiums from him. Captain Morton, in his report, says: “As the commanding General was everywhere present on the field with his staff, he cannot but have remarked the good service done by Captain Stokes, who manifested the greatest zeal, and managed his battery with the utmost decision and success.”

Captain Morton most honorably mentions his Adjutant, Lieutenant Lambessen, of the Nine teenth Illinois; his Inspectors, Lieutenants Clark, of the Sixteenth United States infantry. and Murphy, of the Twenty-first Wisconsin; his Aids, Lieutenant Reeve, of the Thirty-seventh Indiana, and Assistant Engineer Pearsall; “all of ”

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