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Doc. 11. the battle of Stone river.

Report of Colonel Grose.

headquarters Third brigade, Second division, left wing, Army of the Cumberland, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., January 8, 1863.
Captain D. W. Norton, A. A. A. G., Second Division:
sir: In accordance with duty, I have the honor to submit the report of the part which this brigade, under my command, took in the recent battles before Murfreesboro. The five regiments--Thirty-sixth Indiana, Major Kinley; Twenty-fourth Ohio, Colonel Jones; Sixth Ohio, Colonel Anderson; Eighty-fourth Illinois, Colonel Waters; Twenty-third Kentucky, Major Hamrick; aggregate officers and men, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight--left our camp near Nashville December twenty-sixth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, with the division; bivouacked that night in front of Lavergne, twelve miles distant. Next day, the twenty-seventh, we moved to the west bank of Stewart's Creek, five miles, and my brigade was put in position in front, to the right of the pike, the pickets of the enemy separated from ours by the creek. With light skirmishing, we rested here until Monday morning, the twenty-ninth when we received orders and moved forward in double lines of battle on the right of the pike, the Thirty-sixth Indiana and the Eighty-fourth Illinois in the front line, wading Stewart's Creek — waist-deep to most of the men — to within two and a half miles of Murfreesboro, where we arrived near sunset, with skirmishing all the way, which was only ended by the close of the day. We there rested for the night. At early morn next day skirmishing again commenced, and continued during the day, with more severity than before, the artillery taking a heavy part. This ended again with the day. Up to this time the loss in my brigade was ten wounded. During the night the brigade was relieved from the front by the brigade of Colonel Hazen, and retired to the rear to rest, and to be held in reserve. Thus, on the bright morning of December thirty-one, the division, under command of its brave general, at early day, were in battle line, the brigade of General Cruft on the right, that of Colonel Hazen on the left, both in double lines, with my brigade in reserve in rear of the centre, in supporting distance, with the batteries of Cockerell and Parsons in position to support the lines. While we were perfecting our lines in the morning, the divisions of Generals Negley and Rousseau filed by my rear through a heavy cedar grove which lay in rear of General Cruft's brigade, and immediately up to the right of my brigade, the brigade of Colonel Hazen in an open cotton field, the pike dividing his left from the division of General Wood, the line of these two divisions resting nearly perpendicular to the pike. The engagement had been raging fiercely some distance to our right during the early morning, and at near eight o'clock the clash of arms to our right had so far changed position that I saw the rear of my brigade would soon be endangered; hence I set to work changing my. front to the rear, which was done in quick time, with the left, when changed, a little retired, to support the right of Colonel Hazen's brigade, then closely engaged with the enemy, our two brigades forming a V. My brigade was not more than thus formed to the rear before the enemy appeared in heavy lines, pressing the forces of ours that had been engaged to the right of our division, on our front, in fearful confusion. In this new formation the Sixth Ohio and Thirty-sixth Indiana were in the front line, the latter on the right, supported in the second line by the Eighty-fourth Illinois and Twenty-third Kentucky, with the Twenty-fourth Ohio, in an oblique form, a little to the right of the rear line. In this shape the Thirty-sixth Indiana and Sixth Ohio advanced into the woodland about two hundred and fifty yards, and there met the enemy in overwhelming numbers. Here Major Kinley and Captain Shutts, of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, fell, the former named badly wounded, the latter killed. Colonel Anderson, of the Sixth Ohio, was here wounded, and his Adjutant, A. G. Williams, and Lieutenant Foster, fell dead, with several of their comrades. These two regiments were forced from the woodland, and retired to the right, in the direction of the pike, while the other three regiments, aided by the eight-gun battery commanded by Lieutenant Parsons, with the efficient aid of Lieutenants Huntington and Cushing, poured a galling fire [70] into the ranks of the pursuing enemy, causing him to break in confusion, and retire back to the woods out of our reach, leaving the ground covered with their dead and dying, with the heavy loss of the Thirty-sixth Indiana and Sixth Ohio lying mingled with them on the bloody field. After some half hour or three quarters, the enemy renewed his attempt to advance, but was again repulsed, with heavy loss on both sides. After this, then between eleven and twelve o'clock, the enemy not appearing in our immediate front, the lines of our forces that had retired or been driven from the right, by this time were reformed parallel with the pike, so that the front of the brigade was again changed, so as to assist the brigade of Colonel Hazen in the direction as formed in the morning. The Twenty-fourth Ohio and Thirty-sixth Indiana were soon thrown forward near the pike, and had a terrible conflict with the enemy. Here Colonel Jones and Major Terry both fell and were carried off. the field in a dying condition. Each regiment of the brigade, from this until nightfall closed the awful scene, alternately took its part in holding the position we occupied in the morning.

The enemy having gained the heavy cedar woods to the right, where we took position in the morning, it became necessary to so change our position as not to be in reach of small arms from that woodland; hence, at nightfall, the centre of the front line of the brigade laid on the pike, and diagonally across the same, fronting to the south-east, our left resting at the right of the line of General Wood's division. We were then a little retired, and the centre of the brigade about two hundred and fifty yards to the left of where we commenced in the morning. We ceased fighting for the night in the front lines on the pike. During the day, each of the regiments having exhausted, had to replenish their ammunition, many of them having fired over one hundred rounds. When Major Kinley, of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, fell, nearly at the commencement in the morning, the command devolved upon Captain Woodward, and upon the fall of Colonel Jones and Major Terry, of the Twenty-fourth Ohio, Captain Weller was left in command. Although I was at Shiloh, and commanded in that battle, at the head of General Buell's army, and fought throughout that battle with that army, yet this battle, on the last day of the old year, was by far the most terrible and bloody (in my command) that I have ever witnessed. During the latter part of the battle of the night, or rather in the early morning, of the first day of January, 1863, our whole line was retired, for a more eligible position, six or seven hundred yards, and my brigade was retired from the front to ret.

During Thursday, January first, we wore ordered across to the north bank of Stone River, to support a division on the extreme left of our line, an attack being anticipated in that direction, but returned to our resting-place before night, no attack being made that day. On the next day, January second, in the forenoon, we were again ordered across the river to support the division there in position, with its right resting on the river bank, and its lines (double lines) formed at right angles to the river, extending therefrom about one-half mile. The river, below the right of the division line about eight hundred yards, changes its direction, running about one-half mile in the rear, and nearly parallel to the lines of the division formed as above. When my brigade arrived on the ground I was requested to put it in position so as to protect the left flank of the division referred to, and repel any attack that might be made in that direction. The Twenty-third Kentucky was posted to the left of the division spoken of, about two hundred yards retired; the Twenty-fourth, three hundred yards to its rear, fronting same way; the Thirty-sixth Indiana to the rear of the Twenty-fourth Ohio, fronting diagonally to the flank of the other two; the right of the Thirty-sixth Indiana distant from the left of the Twenty-fourth Ohio about one hundred and fifty yards, and within directions specially given to each of these regiments to change fronts as the exigencies of the occasion might require in case of an attack. The Eighty-fourth Illinois and Sixth Ohio were placed one hundred and fifty yards from the left of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, in one line fronting the same directions of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-third, as well as in the same direction of the division so posted as above, to our right and front; the right of the Eighty-fourth lllinois resting on the bluff at the river, with the Third Wisconsin battery near the left and front of the Eighty-fourth; the Sixth Ohio on the left of the Eighty-fourth Illinois. Thus in position, I took the precaution to have each regiment hurriedly throw before them barricades of such materials, as fences, buildings, etc., as were at command. About half past 3 P. M., in front and right (as above shown in position), in strong force, perhaps in three lines, and with three batteries distributed along the forest, a heavy contest ensued, which lasted from one-half to three-quarters of an hour, when the lines of the division gave way in considerable confusion, retiring towards the river; and many of them breaking through the lines of my brigade, I went to my front regiments and superintended the changing of their fronts, respectively, so as to meet the enemy the best we could, coming from an unexpected direction, which, to some extent, threw the Twenty-third Kentucky and the Twenty-fourth Ohio, my advanced front regiments, into confusion, and caused them to retire towards the left of the main line of the brigade; but they kept up a strong fire on the advancing enemy as they retired. The Thirty-sixth Indiana changed its front, and as the enemy's lines came near, opened on them a deadly fire; but on they came, until in reach of the Eighty-fourth Illinois and Sixth Ohio, behind their barricades, when both these regiments saluted them with a terrible fire; and by this [71] time all my regiments were engaged, and the masses of the enemy began to falter, and soon broke into disorder and commenced their flight back over the area they had so fiercely advanced upon, pursued by the Thirty-sixth Indiana, Twenty-third Kentucky, and Twenty-fourth Ohio, to the line occupied by the out-picket posts of the division before the battle commenced. Here night overtook us. The battle was over, and the enemy were gone beyond the reach of our guns. Colonel Hazen's brigade crossed the river to our rear, to support us, about the time of the enemy's retreat, and moved closely, with the Eighty-fourth Illinois, after my pursuing regiments, to give assistance, if needed. Some other forces collected or crossed the river to my right, and moved up the river bank in pursuit of the enemy, as my regiments advanced. What forces these were I have not learned. The battery posted near the brigade at the commencement of this day's fight, fired a few rounds, took a hasty leave from the field, and I have not made its acquaintance since. Artillery from the opposite side of the river rendered valuable aid, by playing upon the enemy in his advance and retreat. Our loss this day was not large, compared with that on the thirty-first. That of the enemy was very heavy. I can not too favorably notice the coolness and promptness of each and every field-officer of the brigade. They seemed to vie with each other which should most promptly execute every command, without regard to danger. And the line officers and men of the respective regiments appeared to fear or know no danger. New and old regiments alike acted tile heroic part and braved every peril. Captain Weller, in command of the Twenty-fourth Ohio, fell at his post on the last battle-field, and left Captain Cockerell in command, who bravely and skillfully filled his whole duty; and as much may be said of Captain Woodward, who succeeded to the command of the Thirty-sixth Indiana upon the fall of Major Kinley, at a critical and perilous moment in the first day's engagement.

I am under lasting obligations to my staff and orderlies, for their efficient assistance during these several days' fighting. Captain Peeden, Thirty-sixth Indiana, is entitled to great credit for his aid rendered me up to the time he fell wounded, on the thirty-first. Lieutenant J. P. Duke, of the Twenty-third Kentucky, also on my staff, deserves a high meed of praise for promptness and aid rendered me at all times during the whole of these engagements. Doctor Silas H. Kersey, Acting Brigade Surgeon, with unsurpassed industry and skill, rendered invaluable assistance to the wounded. My mounted orderlies, Frank Brough, Frank Webb, Albert Woods, William D. Smith, Martin Mann, and Lewis Miller, of the Second Indiana cavalry, and George Shirk and Isaac Bigelow, of the Thirty-sixth Indiana infantry, rendered me valuable services. But I am left to remember and lament, with friends, the fall, in this mighty struggle for human progress,of such brave spirits as Colonel Jones, Major Terry, Captain Weller, Captain Shults, Captain King, Adjutant Williams, Lieutenant Foster, Lieutenant Ball, Lieutenant Abercrombie, and others, whose earthly conflicts closed with these battles. I may truthfully add, that I mourn with those who mourn, over these irreparable losses. To the brave wounded, whose fate may or may not be uncertain — you have my earnest prayer for a speedy restoration to health and usefulness.

The casualties of the brigade, as near as can be ascertained, are as follows:<

  officers killed. officers wounded. men killed. men wounded. men missing. total.
Twenty-fourth Ohio 4 4 10 68 12 98
Twenty-third Kentucky 0 3 8 50 22 83
Eighty-fourth Illinois 2 5 33 119 8 167
Thirty-sixth Indiana 2 6 23 85 18 134
Sixth Ohio 2 4 23 134 14 177
Total 10 22 97 456 74 659

Lists of which, with the reports of the regimental commanders, for further details, are here — with respectfully forwarded.

I have the honor to remain

Your obedient servant,

W. Grose, Colonel, commanding Third Brigade (old Tenth). Richard Southgate, Captain and A. A. A. General

Colonel Anderson's report.

St. Cloud Hotel, Nashville, Jan. 7, 1863.
Colonel W. Grose, commanding Tenth Brigade:
Colonel: In accordance with orders from headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Sixth regiment Ohio volunteers in the late series of battles, beginning on the morning of December thirty-first: [72]

At about eight o'clock A. M. on that day, we were drawn up in line of battle, in the open field to the north of the Burnt Brick, and to the west of the Cedars, while Rousseau's division filed by us to get position. Scarcely had the rear of that column passed, when heavy firing was heard to our right, coming from the cedars, and approaching rapidly. I was ordered with my regiment, into the woods. I immediately changed front, and advanced some two hundred yards, when I saw our troops flying in wild disorder, and hotly pursued by the enemy. I formed my line, and waited the escape of our men, and the nearer advance of the enemy. In a few moments a terrible fire was opened on us, scarce a hundred yards distant from a rebel line apparently four deep. This fire we returned, and a dreadful carnage ensued on both sides. Finding myself badly pressed, I had determined on a charge, and the order was already given to fix bayonets,when I saw my regiment was flanked completely, on both sides, by two rebel regiments. I gave the order to fall back, firing. As soon as we reached the edge of the woods, Lieutenant Parsons, of the Fourth Kentucky artillery, opened on the enemy with terrible effect, and I reformed my line behind his guns, having held my position against tremendous odds, but with great sacrifice, for forty minutes. I then replenished my ammunition, and was soon after ordered to throw my regiment diagonally across the Murfreesboro pike, and hold that position. This we did, under destructive fire and much loss, during the rest of the day and until midnight, when I was relieved by the Twenty-fourth Ohio, and took my regiment a short distance to the rear.

During the first day of January my regiment was moved from one place to another, as the plan of the battle required, but did not get into any general action. On Friday, the second, my regiment was ordered with the brigade across the river, and placed in position on a slight eminence to the rear of, and as a support to, Van Cleve's division. All was quiet until about half-past 3 o'clock P. M. when a tremendous fire was heard along our front, and whole masses of the enemy were hurled against Van Cleve's division, which soon gave way The enemy came down boldly, when I brought my regiment into action simultaneously with the Eighty-fourth Illinois, and we opened a severe cross-fire on the enemy. For more than an hour we held our hill, and under our heavy fire, and that of a battery from the other side of the river, the enemy soon gave way, and when reinforcements poured in for us they were already in full retreat. We held our position without further molestation till Sunday morning, when we were ordered across the river into camp, the enemy having retired.

My regiment, both officers and men, I am proud to say, behaved throughout with bravery, courage and discipline during the entire battle. The loss of the regiment was one hundred and seventy-seven killed and wounded.

Yours respectfully,

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