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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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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