Report of General Rosecrans.
headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Murfreesboro, Tenn, Feb. 12, 1863.General: As the sub-reports are now nearly all in, I have the honor to submit, for the information of the General-in-Chief, the subjoined report, with accompanying sub-reports, maps and statistical table of the battle of Stone River. To a proper understanding of this battle, it will be necessary to state the preliminary movements and preparations. Assuming command of the army at Louisville on the twenty-seventh day of October, it was found concentrated at Bowling Green and Glasgow, distant about one hundred and thirteen miles from Louisville, whence, after replenishing with ammunition, supplies and clothing, they moved on to Nashville, the advance corps reaching that place on the morning of the seventh of November, a distance of one hundred and eighty-three miles from Louisville. At this distance from my base of supplies, the first thing to be done was to provide for the subsistence of the troops, and open the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The cars commenced running through on the twenty-sixth of November, previous to which time our supplies had been brought by rail to Mitchelville, thirty-five miles north of Nashville, and thence, by constant labor, we had been able to haul enough to replenish the exhausted stores for the garrison at Nashville, and subsist the troops of the moving army. From the twenty-sixth of November to the twenty-sixth of December every effort was bent to complete the clothing of the army, to provide it with ammunition, and replenish the depot at Nashville with needful supplies to insure us against want from the largest possible detention likely to occur by the breaking of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad; and to insure this work the road was guarded by a heavy force posted at Gallatin. The enormous superiority in numbers of the rebel cavalry kept our little cavalry force almost within the infantry lines, and gave the enemy control of the entire country around us. It was obvious from the beginning that we should be confronted by Bragg's army, recruited by an inexorable conscription, and aided by clouds of mounted men, formed into a guerrilla-like cavalry, to avoid the hardships of conscription and infantry service. The evident difficulties and labors of an advance into this country, and against such a force, and at such distance from our base of operations, with which we connected by a single precarious thread, made it manifest that our policy was to induce the enemy to travel over as much as possible of the space that separated us — thus avoiding for us the wear and tear and diminution of our forces, and subjecting the enemy to all these inconveniences, beside increasing for him, and diminishing for us, the dangerous consequences of a defeat. The means taken to obtain this end were eminently successful; the enemy, expecting us to go into winter quarters at Nashville, had prepared his own winter quarters at Murfreesboro, with the hope of possibly making them at Nashville; and had sent a large cavalry force into West-Tennessee to annoy Grant, and another large force into Kentucky to break up the railroad. In the absence of these forces, and with adequate supplies in Nashville, the moment was judged opportune for an advance on the rebels. Polk's and Kirby Smith's forces were at Murfreesboro, and Hardee's corps on the Shelbyville and Nolinsville pike, between Triune and Eaglesville, with an advance-guard at Nolinsville, while no troops lay in front at Nashville, on the Franklin, Nolinsville and Murfreesboro turnpike. The plan of the movements was as follows: McCook, with three divisions, to advance by Nolinsville pike to Triune. Thomas, with two divisions, (Negley's and Rousseau's,) to advance on his right by the Franklin and Wilson pikes, threatening Hardee's right, and then to fall in by the cross-roads to Nolinsville. Crittenden, with Wood's, Palmer's, and Van Cleve's divisions, to advance by the Murfreesboro pike to La Vergne. With Thomas's two divisions at Nolinsville, McCook was to attack Hardee at Triune, and if the enemy reenforced Hardee, Thomas was to support McCook. If McCook beat Hardee, or Hardee retreated, and the enemy met us at Stewart's Creek, five miles south of La Vergne, Crittenden was to attack him. Thomas was to come in on his left flank, and McCook, after detaching a division to pursue or observe Hardee, if retreating south, was to move with the remainder of his force on their rear. The movement began on the morning of December twenty-sixth. McCook advanced on Nolinsville pike, skirmishing his way all day, meeting with stiff resistance from cavalry and artillery, and closing the day by a brisk fight, which gave him possession of Nolinsville and the hills one and a half miles in front, capturing one gun by the One Hundred and First Ohio and Fifteenth Wisconsin regiments, his loss this day being about seventy-five killed and wounded. Thomas followed, on the right, and closed Negley's division on Nolinsville, leaving the other (Rousseau's) division on the right flank. Crittenden advanced to La Vergne, skirmishing heavily on his front over a rough country, intersected by forests and cedar-brakes, with but slight loss. On the twenty-sixth, Gen. McCook advanced on Triune, but his movement was retarded by a dense fog. Crittenden had orders to delay his movement until McCook had reached Triune and developed the intentions of the enemy at that point, so that  it could be determined which Thomas was to support. McCook arrived at Triune, and reported that Hardee had retreated, and that he had sent a division in pursuit. Crittenden began his advance about eleven o'clock A. M., driving before him a brigade of cavalry, supported by Maury's brigade of rebel infantry, and reached Stewart's Creek, the Third Kentucky gallantly charging the rear-guard of the enemy and saving the bridge, on which had been placed a pile of rails that had been set on fire. This was Saturday night. McCook having settled the fact of Hardee's retreat, Thomas moved Negley's division on to join Crittenden at Stewart's Creek, and moved Rousseau's to Nolinsville. On Sunday the troops rested, except