The skirmishers were advancing cautiously, and the contest between the two lines was quite exciting.
As I supposed, our army is feeling its way into position.
To-morrow, doubtless, the grand battle will be fought, when I trust the good Lord will grant us a glorious victory, and one that will make glad the hearts of all loyal people on NewYear's Day.
I saw Lieutenant-Colonel Given, Eighteenth Ohio. Twelve of his men had been wounded.
Met Colonel Wagner, Fifteenth Indiana.
Starkweather's brigade lost its wagon train this forenoon.
Jeff C. Davis, I am told, was wounded this evening.
A shell exploded near a group, consisting of General Rosecrans and staff, killing two horses and wounding two men.
At six o'clock in the morning my brigade marches to the front and forms in line of battle.
The roar of musketry and artillery is incessant.
At nine o'clock we move into the cedar woods on the right to support McCook, who is reported to be
trifling incident, which no man can foresee or overrule, may disarrange and render futile the best-laid plans, and lead to defeat and disaster.
After a battle we can easily look back and see where mistakes have been made; but it is more difficult, if not impossible, to look forward and avoid them.
War is a blind and uncertain game at best, and whoever plays it successfully must not only hold good cards, but play them discreetly, and under the most favorable circumstances.
Starkweather informs me that he has been urged to return to Wisconsin and become a candidate for governor, and for fear he might accede to the wishes of.the people in this regard, the present governor was urging his promotion.
He is still undecided whether to accept a brigadier's commission or the nomination for this high civil office.
Two deserters came into our lines to-day.
They were members of a regiment in Cleburne's division, and left their command at Fosterville, ten or f
ad brigade drill in a large clover field, just outside the picket line.
The men were in fine condition, well dressed, and well equipped.
I kept them on the jump for two hours. Generals Thomas and Negley were present, and were well pleased.
I doubt if any brigade in the army can execute a greater variety of movements than mine, or go through them in better style.
My voice is excellent, I can make myself heard distinctly by a whole brigade, without becoming hoarse by hours of exertion.
Starkweather has the best voice in the army; he can be heard a mile away.
Our division and brigade flags have been changed from light to dark blue.
They look almost like a black no-quarter flag.
We have one solitary rooster: he crows early in the morning, all day, and through the night if it be moonlight.
He mounted a stump near my door this morning, stood between the tent and the sun, so that his shadow fell on the canvas, and crowed for half an hour at the top of his voice.
I think the sc
succeeded, however, in picking up a few stragglers and horses.
General Stanley has returned from Huntsville, bringing with him about one thousand North Alabama negroes.
This is a blow at the enemy in the right place.
Deprived of slave labor, the whites will be compelled to send home, or leave at home, white men enough to cultivate the land and keep their families from starving.
Adjutant Wilson visited Rousseau's division at Cowan, and reports the return of Starkweather from Wisconsin, with the stars.
This gentleman has been mourning over the ingratitude of Republics ever since the battle of Perryville; but henceforth he will, doubtless, feel better.
A court-martial has been called for the trial of Colonel A. B. Moore, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois.
Some ill-feeling in his regiment has led one of his officers to prefer charges against him.
General Thomas is an officer of the regular army; the field is his home; the tent his house,