Chronology AotC
Battles & Reports
Reports of the battle of Murfreesboro 30 Dec. 62, 2 Jan. 63

1. William S. Rosecrans
2. George H. Thomas
3. Joseph B. Dodge
4. Braxton Bragg
5. Patrick R. Cleburne
6. Leonidas Polk

1. William S. Rosecrans
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOL. XX/1 [S# 29] DEC. 26, 1862-JAN. 5, 1863.--The Stone's River or Murfreesborough, Tenn., Campaign. No. 2.--Reports of Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, U.S. Army, commanding Army of the Cumberland, with congratulatory resolutions, orders, &c.

LA VERGNE, TENN., December 28,
By messenger to Louisville, Ky., December 31, 1862--noon.
Our advance was delayed one day. The right wing, under McCook, drove Hardee's skirmishers 18 miles down the Nolensville pike, and advanced on Triune for battle. A heavy fog delayed this advance, and gave Hardee time to escape toward Murfreesborough. Our left wing drove the enemy on the main Murfreesborough turnpike with heavy skirmishing, and seized all the bridges over Stewart's Creek last night, by dark. Our total loss on both lines does not exceed 20 killed, 100 wounded, and 10 missing. We have some 50 prisoners. Our center crossed from Nolensville yesterday and to-day, and now occupy the north side of Stewart's Creek, 10 miles from Murfreesborough--the right at Triune. Pursuing division went 7 miles toward Shelbyville. We have report from Murfreesborough to 10 o'clock yesterday. All his right wing, closed in, came toward Stewart's Creek. If, under Kentucky and Tennessee influence or orders, they fight as they propose, I think we are in position, by God's help, to win, and McCook will cut off their retreat.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-general.
 Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, In front of Murfreesborough, December 31, 1862.
The general commanding desires to say to the soldiers of the Army of the Cumberland that he was well pleased with their conduct yesterday; it is all he could have wished for; he neither saw nor heard of any skulking; they behaved with the coolness and gallantry of veterans. He now feels perfectly confident, with God's grace and their help, of striking this day a blow for the country the most crushing, perhaps, which the rebellion has yet sustained.
Soldiers, the eyes of the whole nation are upon you; the very fate of the nation may be said to hang on the issue of this day's battle. Be true, then, to yourselves, true to your own manly character and soldierly reputation, true to the love of your dear ones at home, whose prayers ascend to God this day for your success.
Be cool? I need not ask you to be brave. Keep ranks. Do not throw away your fire. Fire slowly, deliberately; above all, fire low, and be always sure of your aim. Close steadily in upon the enemy, and, when you get within charging distance, rush on him with the bayonet. Do this, and the victory will certainly be yours. Recollect that there are hardly any troops in the world that will stand a bayonet charge, and that those who make it, therefore, are sure to win.
By cornmand of Maj. Gen. W. S. Rosecrans:
 J.P. GARESCHE, Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., January 3, 1863.
On December 26 we moved from Nashville in three columns. Me. Cook's corps by Nolensville pike; Thomas' from its encampment on Franklin pike, via Wilson pike; Crittenden's on main Murfreesborough pike. The left and center met with a strong resistance, such as the nature of the country permits--rolling or hilly routes, skirted by cedar thickets, farms, and intersected by small streams, with rocky bluff banks, forming serious obstacles. McCook drove Hardee's corps 1½ miles from Nolensville, and occupied the place. Crittenden reached within 1½ miles of LaVergne. Thomas reached the Wilson pike, meeting with no serious opposition. On the 27th, McCook drove Hardee from Nolensville, and pushed reconnoitering division 6 miles toward Shelbyville, and found Hardee had retreated toward Murfreesborough. Crittenden fought and drove the enemy before him, occupying the line of Stewart's Creek, capturing some prisoners, with slight loss. Thomas occupied the vicinity of Nolensville. On the 28th, McCook completed his reconnaissance on Hardee's movements. Crittenden remained, awaiting the result and bringing up trains. Thomas moved on to Stewart's Creek. On the 29th, McCook moved into Wilkinson's CrossRoads, 7 miles from Murfreesborough, the end of a short pike, the road rough, through rolling country, skirted by bluffs, covered with dense cedar thickets, tops open timber. Crittenden pushed the enemy rapidly, saved all the bridges, and reached a point within 3 miles of Mur-freesborough, his advance driving all their outposts to within sight of town. Thomas, with two divisions, closed up with Crittenden, and took position on the right. On the 30th, McCook advanced on Wilkinson pike, having to make his way through dense woods, meeting with a determined resistance. Got into position 3 miles from Murfreesborough, occupying the extreme right of our line. The left stood fast; the center advanced slightly, and were engaged in cutting roads through an almost impenetrable growth of cedars, which separated them from our right, rendering communication with them exceedingly difficult. The combat and the roughness of the country had brought forward McCook's right division, so as to face strongly to the southeast, instead of being refused to face south, with the reserve division, between the center and right, and sufficiently from the rear to support, and, if necessary, to extend it, the grave consequences of which were developed the next day. The 31st found our left crossing Murfreesborough pike and railroad., one division front, one forming crotchet on Stone's River, and one in reserve. Center, Negley between left and right; Rousseau in reserve. The plan of the battle was to open on the right and engage enemy sufficiently to hold him firmly, and to cross the river with our left, consisting of three divisions, to oppose which they had but two divisions, the country being favorable to an attack from that part of the town. But the enemy attacked the whole front of our right wing, massing his forces on its right flank, which was partially surprised, thrown into confusion, and driven back. Sheridan's division repulsed the enemy four times, protected the flanks of the center, which not only held its own, but advanced until this untoward event compelled me to retain the left wing to support the right, until it should be rallied and assume a new position. [January] 1, the rebels opened by an attack on us, and were again repulsed. On the 2d, skirmishing along the front, with warm threats of attack, until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Evening, advanced one small division thrown across Stone's River, to occupy commanding ground. While reconnoitering the ground occupied by this division, which had no artillery, I saw heavy forces emerging <ar29_185> from the woods and advancing in line of battle, three lines deep. They drove our little division before them, after a sharp contest, in which we lost 70 or 80 killed, and 375 wounded; but they were repulsed by Negley's division and the remaining troops of the left wing, headed by Morton's Pioneer Brigade, and fled far over the field and beyond their intrenchments, their officers rallying them with great difficulty. They lost heavily. We occupied the ground with the left wing last night. The lines were completed at 4 o'clock this morning. The 3d was spent in bringing up and distributing provisions and ammunition. It has been raining all day; ground very heavy. Tomorrow, being Sunday, we shall probably not fight, unless attacked. This whole country is a natural fortification, and worse than Corinth. No great battle can be fought without regular approaches. Our total loss in wounded, up to this date, is 4,500; killed, 700 or 800. Our communication with Nashville is open. We have provisions there to last to the 25th instant. Further report by letter as soon as I can get an opportunity.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General, Commanding.
 H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
January 4, [1863.]
Following my dispatch of last evening, I have to announce that the enemy is in full retreat. They left last night. Rain having raised the river, and the bridge across it, between the left wing and center, being incomplete, I deemed it prudent to withdraw that wing during the night. This occupied my time until 4 o'clock, and fatigued the troops. The commencement of the retreat was known to me at 7 o'clock this morning. Our ammunition train arrived during the night. To.day was occupied in distributing ammunition, bringing in the dead, and collecting arms from the field of battle. The pursuit was commenced by the center, the two leading brigades arriving at the west side of Stone's River this evening. The railroad bridge was saved, but in what condition is not known. We shall occupy the town and push the pursuit to-morrow with the center. Will not, probably, be prudent to advance the army very far until communication shall be open to Nashville. We labor under great disadvantages from the inferior number of our cavalry, necessitating large detachments of infantry to guard our trains. Our medical director estimates the wounded in hospital at short of 5,500 wounded, and our dead at 1,000. We have to deplore the loss of Lieutenant-Colonel Garesche, whose capacity and gentlemanly deportment had already endeared him to all the officers of this command, and whose gallantry on the field of battle excited their admiration.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.
 Maj. Gen. H. W. HALECK, General-in-Chief.
MURFREESBOROUGH, January 5, 1863--4.30 a.m.
God has crowned our arms with victory. The enemy are badly beaten, and in full retreat. We shall press them as rapidly as our means of <ar29_186> traveling and subsistence will permit. Will you please ask the President to have Captain Morton, engineer, made brigadier-general? He has distinguished himself in the fortification and defense of Nashville, after our army left for Kentucky. He has organized a Pioneer Corps of 1,700 picked men, which he now commands, with the rank of captain, and behaved like a hero during the whole battle of Stone's River. He not only deserves the promotion, but it is absolutely necessary to the interest of the service that he should have the rank to command his brigade.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.
 Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
We have fought one of the greatest battles of the war, and are victorious. Our entire success on the 31st was prevented by a surprise of the right flank; but have, nevertheless, beaten the enemy, after a three-days' battle. They fled with great precipitancy on Saturday night. The last of their columns of cavalry left this morning. Their loss has been very heavy. Generals Rains and Hanson killed. Chalmers, Adams, and Breckinridge are wounded.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.
 H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 5, 1863.
 Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, Murfreesborough, Tenn.:
Your dispatch announcing retreat of enemy has just reached here. God bless you, and all with you! Please tender to all, and accept for yourself, the nation's gratitude for your and their skill, endurance, and dauntless courage.
MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., January 8, [1863.]
Did not have up trains before close of battle. Bringing up subsistence rapidly. Will have railroad completed here in a few days. Rebels had eight divisions of infantry. Seven have gone by Manchester and one by Shelbyville. Their prisoners and doctors estimate their loss at from 13,000 to 15,000 men. The weight of testimony warrants these figures. Glad to hear of batteries coming. To secure our long lines of communication requires a large force. To fight and maneuver in these regions of roads, ravines, cedar thickets and mountains, against a determined defensive policy, with certainty of success, demand the same. The Cumberland River is now navigable.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.
 Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 9, 1863--1.05 p.m.
 Maj. Gen. W S. ROSECRANS, Commanding Army of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: Rebel accounts fully confirm your telegrams from the battle-field. The victory was well earned and one of the most brilliant of the war. You and your brave army have won the gratitude of your country and the admiration of the world. The field of Murfreesborough is made historical, and future generations will point out the places where so many heroes fell, gloriously, in defense of the Constitution and the Union. All honor to the Army of the Cumberland--thanks to the living and tears for the lamented dead.
 H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 31, 1863.
The following resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Ohio have been received, and, in accordance with the request contained therein, are published to this army:
Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That the thanks of this General Assembly are hereby tendered to Major-General Rosecrans, staff, officers, and the brave men under their command, for the glorious victory resulting in the capture of Murfreesborough and the defeat of the rebel forces at that place.
Resolved, That the sympathies of the General Assembly are extended to the families of the brave and noble patriots that have fallen in defense of freedom and constitutional liberty, and that their memories will ever be cherished by a grateful people.
Resolved, That the Governor be requested to forward a copy of the foregoing resolutions to General Rosecrans, with the request that they be read to his command.
 JAMES R. HUBBELL, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
 P. HITCHCOCK, Pro Tem. President of the Senate.
By command of Major-General Rosecrans:
 C. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., February 9, 1863.
We have now all the reports of the subordinate commanders and staff officers. Will have my report of the battle sent forward in a few days. Some facts in it are worth stating in advance. We have prisoners from one hundred and thirty-one regiments of infantry, twelve battalions of sharpshooters, twenty-three batteries of artillery, and fifty-three regiments of cavalry, giving their fighting force at what all our officers consider a low estimate, near 46,000 infantry, 1,200 sharpshooters, 1,800 artillery, and 13,200 cavalry. Total, 62,000 men. We fought them with 42,000. We hit 165 to their 100. Their loss was 23½, ours 21, per cent. of the fighting force. These figures are significant.
Yours, very respectfully,
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General, Commanding.
 Maj Gen. H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
 MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., February 11, 1863--11.30 p.m.
Capt. Elmer Otis, Fourth Cavalry, in the recent battle, with 400 men charged the enemy, recaptured 300 prisoners, and greatly distinguished himself. By their consent, and at their request, he is commanding a brigade of three regiments, each with a colonel. I earnestly urge his appointment as brigadier-general, in order that he may continue to command, as cavalry officers are greatly needed.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.
Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 15, 1863.
The following resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana having been received, are published to this army, in accordance with the request contained therein:
Resolved by the senate (the house concurring), That the thanks of this General Assembly are hereby tendered to Major-General Rosecrans, and the officers and soldiers under his command, for the well-earned victory of Murfreesborough, Tenn. That they, one and all, merit the lasting gratitude of the nation and the admiration of the world.
Resolved, That the patriotic earnestness, skill, sleepless vigilance, and pertinacity displayed by the commanding general in his advance upon the enemy, his plan of battle, and especially in promptly meeting the exigencies of its varying fortunes, prove that he was "the right man in the right place;" that the hearty and prompt co-operation, the gallantry and skill of his division and other commanders, the ready obedience, unyielding and hardy courage of the soldiers are worthy of the highest commendation.
Resolved, That the Army of the Cumberland, Murfreesborough, and the name of each fallen and surviving patriot soldier who took part in the perilous struggle, are forever linked together in historic renown, and Indiana will preserve, and gratefully cherish, their memory to the latest generation, as among the brightest jewels of an undivided republic.
Resolved, That the secretary of the senate be directed to forward a copy of these resolutions to Major-General Rosecrans, with the request that they be read at the head of each regiment taking part in the great battle, if consistent with the rules of military propriety and discipline.
We hereby certify that the accompanying resolutions unanimously passed both branches of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana.
PARIS C. DUNNING, President of Senate.
SAM. H. BUSKIRK, Speaker of House of Representatives.
JAMES H. VAWTER, Secretary of Senate.
A. T. WHITLESEY, Clerk of House of Representatives.
By command of Major-General Rosecrans:
 C. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 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 tables of the <ar29_189> battle of Stone's 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 October 27, it was found concentrated at Bowling Green and Glasgow, distant about 113 miles from Louisville, from whence, after replenishing with ammunition, supplies, and clothing, they moved on to Nashville, the advance corps reaching that place on the morning of November 7, a distance of 183 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 November 26, previous to which time our supplies had been brought by rail to Mitchellsville, 35 miles north of Nashville, and from 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 November 26 to December 26 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 clans 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 were connected but 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 this inconvenience, besides 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 Murfreesborough, 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 Murfreesborough, and Hardee's corps on the Shelbyville and Nolensville pike, between Triune and Eagleville, with an advance guard at Nolensville, while our troops lay in front of Nashville, on the Franklin, Nolensville, and Murfreesborough turnpikes.
The plan of the movement was as follows: McCook, with three divisions, to advance by Nolensville 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 Nolensville. Crittenden, with Wood's, Palmer's, and Van Cleve's divisions, to advance by the Murfreesborough pike to La Vergne. <ar29_190>
With Thomas' two divisions at Nolensville, McCook was to attack Hardee at Triune, and, if the enemy re-enforced Hardee, Thomas was to support McCook. If McCook beat Hardee, or Hardee retreated, and the enemy met us at Stewart's Creek, 5 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 26. McCook advanced on the Nolensville 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 Nolensville and the hills 1½ miles in front, capturing one gun by the One hundred and first Ohio and Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiments, his loss this day being about 75 killed and wounded. Thomas followed on the right, and closed Negley's division on Nolensville, 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 28th [27th] General McCook advanced on Triune, but his movement was retarded by a dense fog.
Crittenden had orders to delay his movements 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 11 a.m., driving before him a brigade of cavalry, supported by Maney'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 Nolensville.
On Sunday the troops rested, except Rousseau's division, which was ordered to move on to Stewartston, and Willich's brigade, which had pursued Hardee as far as Riggs' Cross.Roads, and had determined the fact that Hardee had gone to Murfreesborough, when they returned to Triune.
On Monday morning, McCook was ordered to move from Triune to Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, 6 miles from Murfreesborough, leaving a brigade at Triune. Crittenden crossed Stewart's Creek by the Smyrna Bridge and the main Murfreesborough pike, and Negley by the ford 2 miles above; their whole force to advance on Murfreesborough, distant about 11 miles. Rousseau was to remain at Stewart's Creek until his train came up, and prepare himself to follow. McCook reached Wilkinson's Cross-Roads by evening, with an advance brigade at Overall's Creek, saving and holding the bridge, meeting with but little resistance. Crittenden's corps advanced, Palmer leading, on the Murfreesborough pike, followed by Negley, of Thomas' corps, to within 3 miles of Murfreesborough, having had several brisk skirmishes, driving the enemy rapidly, saving two bridges on the route, and forcing the enemy back to his intrenchments.
About 3 p.m. a signal message coming from the front, from General Palmer, that he was in sight of Murfreesborough, and that the enemy  <ar29_191> were running, an order was sent to General Crittenden to send a division to occupy Murfreesborough.  This led General Crittenden, on reaching the enemy's front, to order Harker's brigade to cross the river at a ford on his left, where he surprised a regiment of Breckinridge's division and drove it back on its main line, not more than 500 yards distant, in considerable confusion; and he held this position until General Crittenden was advised, by prisoners captured by Harker's brigade, that Breckinridge was in force on his front, when, it being dark, he ordered the brigade back across the river, and reported the circumstances to the commanding general on his arrival, to whom he apologized for not having carried out the order to occupy Murfreesborough. The general approved of his action, of course, the order to occupy Murfreesborough having been based on the information received from General Crittenden's advance division that the enemy were retreating from Murfreesborough.
Crittenden's corps, with Negley's division, bivouacked in order of battle, distant 700 yards from the enemy's intrenchments, our left extending down the river some 500 yards. The Pioneer Brigade, bivouacking still lower down, prepared three fords, and covered one of them, while Wood's division covered the other two, Van Cleve's division being in reserve.
On the morning of the 30th, Rousseau, with two brigades, was ordered down early from Stewart's Creek, leaving one brigade there and sending another to Smyrna to cover our left and rear, and took his place in reserve, in rear of Palmer's right, while General Negley moved on through the cedar brakes until his right rested on the Wilkinson pike, as shown by the accompanying plan.(*) The Pioneer Corps cut roads through the cedars for his ambulances and ammunition wagons.
The commanding general remained with the left and center, examining the ground, while General McCook moved forward from Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, slowly and steadily, meeting with heavy resistance, fighting his way from Overall's Creek until he got into position, with a loss of some 135 killed and wounded.
Our small division of cavalry, say 3,000 men, had been divided into three parts, of which General Stanley took two and accompanied General McCook, fighting his way across from the Wilkinson to the Franklin pike, and below it, Colonel Zahm's brigade leading gallantly, and meeting with such heavy resistance that McCook sent two brigades from Johnson's division, who succeeded in fighting their way into the position shown on the accompanying plan, marked A,(*) while the third brigade, which had been left at Triune, moved forward from that place, and arrived at nightfall near General McCook's headquarters. Thus, on the close of the 30th, the troops had all get into the position, substantially., as shown in the accompanying drawing, the rebels occupying the position marked A.(*)
At 4 o'clock in the afternoon General McCook had reported his arrival on the Wilkinson pike, joining Thomas; the result of the combat in the afternoon near Griscom's house, and the fact that Sheridan was in position there; that his right was advancing to support the cavalry; also that Hardee's corps, with two divisions of Polk's, was on his front, extending down toward the Salem pike, without any map of the ground, which was to us terra incognita. When General McCook informed the general commanding that his corps was facing strongly toward the east, the general commanding told him that such a direction to his line did not appear to him a proper one, but; that it ought, with the exception <ar29_192> of his left, to face much more nearly south, with Johnson's division in reserve, but that this matter must be confided to him, who knew the ground over which he had fought.
A meeting of the corps commanders was called at the headquarters of the commanding general for this evening. General Thomas arrived early, received his instructions, and retired. General Crittenden, with whom the commanding general had talked freely during the afternoon, was sent for, but was excused at the request of his chief of staff, who sent word that he was very much fatigued and was asleep. Generals McCook and Stanley arrived about 9 o'clock, to whom was explained the following
McCook was to occupy the most advantageous position, refusing his right as much as practicable and necessary to secure it, to receive the attack of the enemy; or, if that did not come, to attack himself, sufficient to hold all the force on his front; Thomas and Palmer to open with skirmishing, and engage the enemy's center and left as far as the river; Crittenden to cross Van Cleve's division at the lower ford, covered and supported by the sappers and miners, and to advance on Breckinridge; Wood's division to follow by brigades, crossing at the upper ford and moving on Van Cleve's right, to carry everything before them into Murfreesborough. This would have given us two divisions against one, and, as soon as Breckinridge had been dislodged from his position, the batteries of Wood's division, taking position on the heights east of Stone's River, in advance, would see the enemy's works in reverse, would dislodge them, and enable Palmer's division to press them back, and drive them westward across the river or through the woods, while Thomas, sustaining the movement on the center, would advance on the right of Palmer, crushing their right, and Crittenden's corps, advancing, would take Murfreesborough, and then, moving westward on the Franklin road, get in their flank and rear and drive them into the country toward Salem, with the prospect of cutting off their retreat and probably destroying their army.
It was explained to them that this combination, insuring us a vast superiority on our left, required for its success that General McCook should be able to hold his position for three hours; that, if necessary to recede at all, he should recede, as he had advanced on the preceding day, slowly and steadily, refusing his right, thereby rendering our success certain.
Having thus explained the plan, the general commanding addressed General McCook as follows: "You know the ground; you have fought over it; you know its difficulties. Can you hold your present position for three hours? To which General McCook responded, "Yes, I think I can." The general commanding then said, 6, I don't like the facing so much to the east, but must confide that to you, who know the ground. If you don't think your present the best position, change it. It is only necessary for you to make things sure." And the officers then returned to their commands.
At daylight on the morning of the 31st the troops breakfasted and stood to their arms, and by 7 o'clock were preparing for the
The movement began on the left by Van Cleve, who crossed at the lower fords. Wood prepared to sustain and follow him. The enemy, meanwhile, had prepared to attack General McCook, and by 6.30 o'clock <ar29_193> advanced in heavy columns--regimental front--his left attacking Willich's and Kirk's brigades, of Johnson's division, which, being disposed, as shown in the map, thin and light, without support, were, after a sharp but fruitless contest, crumbled to pieces and driven back, leaving Edgarton's and part of Goodspeed's battery in the hands of the enemy.
The enemy following up, attacked Davis' division and speedily dislodged Post's brigade. Carlin's brigade was compelled to follow, as Woodruff's brigade, from the weight of testimony, had previously left its position on his left. Johnson's brigades, in retiring, inclined too far to the west, and were too much scattered to make a combined resistance, though they fought bravely at one or two points before reaching Wilkinson's pike. The reserve brigade of Johnson's division, advancing from its bivouac, near the Wilkinson pike, toward the right, took a good position, and made a gallant but ineffectual stand, as the whole rebel left was moving up on the ground abandoned by our troops.
Within an hour from the time of the opening of the battle, a staff officer from General McCook arrived, announcing to me that the right wing was heavily pressed and needed assistance; but I was not advised of the rout of Willich's and Kirk's brigades, nor of the rapid withdrawal of Davis' division, necessitated thereby--moreover, having supposed his wing posted more compactly, and his right more refused than it really was, the direction of the noise of battle did not indicate to me the true state of affairs. I consequently directed him to return and direct General McCook to dispose his troops to the best advantage, and to hold his ground obstinately. Soon after, a second officer from General McCook arrived, and stated that the right wing was being driven--a fact that was but too manifest by the rapid movement of the noise of battle toward the north.
General Thomas was immediately dispatched to order Rousseau, then in reserve, into the cedar brakes to the right and rear of Sheridan. General Crittenden was ordered to suspend Van Cleve's movement across the river, on the left, and to cover the crossing with one brigade, and move the other two brigades westward across the fields toward the railroad for a reserve. Wood was also directed to suspend his preparations for crossing, and to hold Hascall in reserve. At this moment fugitives and stragglers from McCook's corps began to make their appearance through the cedar-brakes in such numbers that I became satisfied that McCook's corps was routed. I, therefore, directed General Crittenden to send Van Cleve in to the right of Rousseau; Wood to send Colonel Harker's brigade farther down the Murfreesborough pike, to go in and attack the enemy on the right of Van Cleve's, the Pioneer Brigade meanwhile occupying the knoll of ground west of Murfreesborough pike, and about 400 or 500 yards in rear of Palmer's center, supporting Stokes' battery (see accompanying drawing). Sheridan, after sustaining four successive attacks, gradually swung his right from a southeasterly to a northwesterly direction, repulsing the enemy four times, losing the gallant General Sill, of his right, and Colonel Roberts, of his left brigade, when, having exhausted his ammunition, Negley's division being in the same predicament, and heavily pressed, after desperate fighting, they fell back from the position held at the commencement, through the cedar woods, in which Rousseau's division, with a portion of Negley's and Sheridan's, met the advancing enemy and checked his movements.
The ammunition train of the right wing, endangered by its sudden discomfiture, was taken charge of by Captain Thruston, of the First Ohio Regiment, ordnance officer, who, by his energy and gallantry, «13 R R--VOL XX, PT I»  <ar29_194> aided by a charge of cavalry and such troops as he could pick up, carried it through the woods to the Murfreesborough pike, around to the rear of the left wing, thus enabling the troops of Sheridan's division to replenish their empty cartridge-boxes. During all this time Palmer's front had likewise been in action, the enemy having made several attempts to advance upon it. At this stage it became necessary to readjust the line of battle to the new state of affairs. Rousseau and Van Cleve's advance having relieved Sheridan's division from the pressure, Negley's division and Cruft's brigade, from Palmer's division, withdrew from their original position in front of the cedars, and crossed the open field to the east of the Murfreesborough pike, about 400 yards in rear of our front line, where Negley was ordered to replenish his ammunition and form in close column in reserve.
The right and center of our line now extended from Hazen, on the Murfreesborough pike, in a northwesterly direction; Hascall supporting Hazen; Rousseau filling the interval to the Pioneer Brigade; Negley in reserve; Van Cleve west of the Pioneer Brigade; McCook's corps refused on his right, and slightly to the rear, on Murfreesborough pike; the cavalry being still farther to the rear, on Murfreesborough pike, at and beyond Overall's Creek.
The enemy's infantry and cavalry attack on our extreme right was repulsed by Van Cleve's division, with Harker's brigade and the cavalry. After several attempts of the enemy to advance on this new line, which were thoroughly repulsed, as were also their attempts on the left, the day closed, leaving us masters of the original ground on our left, and our new line advantageously posted, with open ground in front, swept at all points by our artillery.
We had lost heavily in killed and wounded, and a considerable number in stragglers and prisoners; also twenty-eight pieces of artillery, the horses having been slain, and our troops being unable to with draw them by hand over the rough ground; but the enemy had been thoroughly handled and badly damaged at all points, having had no success where we had open ground and our troops were properly posted: none which did not depend on the original crushing in of our right and the superior masses which were in consequence brought to bear upon the narrow front of Sheridan's and Negley's divisions, and a part of Palmer's, coupled with the scarcity of ammunition, caused by the circuitous road which the train had taken, and the inconvenience of getting it from a remote distance through the cedars. Orders were given for the issue of all the spare ammunition, and we found that we had enough for another battle, the only question being where that battle was to be fought.
It was decided, in order to complete our present lines, that the left should be retired some 250 yards to a more advantageous ground, the extreme left resting on Stone's River, above the lower ford, and extending to Stokes' battery. Starkweather's and Walker's brigades arriving near the close of the evening, the former bivouacked in close column, in reserve, in rear of McCook's left, and the latter was posted on the left of Sheridan, near the Murfreesborough pike, and next morning relieved Van Cleve, who returned to his position in the left wing.
After careful examination and free consultation with corps commanders, followed by a personal examination of the ground in rear as far as Overall's Creek, it was determined to await the enemy's attack <ar29_195> in that position; to send for the provision train, and order up fresh supplies of ammunition; on the arrival of which, should the enemy not attack, offensive operations were to be resumed.
No demonstration [being made] on the morning of January 1, Crittenden was ordered to occupy the point opposite the ford, on his left, with a brigade.
About 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the enemy, who had shown signs of movement and massing on our right, appeared at the extremity of a field 1½ miles from the Murfreesborough pike, but the presence of Gibson's brigade, with a battery, occupying the woods near Overall's Creek, and Negley's division, and a portion of Rousseau's, on the Murfreesborough pike, opposite the field, put an end to this demonstration, and the day closed with another demonstration by the enemy on Walker's brigade, which ended in the same manner.
On Friday morning the enemy opened four heavy batteries on our center, and made a strong demonstration of attack a little farther to the right, but a well-directed fire of artillery soon silenced his batteries, while the guns of Walker and Sheridan put an end to his efforts there.
About 3 p.m., while the commanding general was examining the position of Crittenden's left across the river, which was now held by Van Cleve's division, supported by a brigade from Palmer's, a double line of skirmishers was seen to emerge from the woods in a southeasterly direction, advancing across the fields, and they were soon followed by heavy columns of infantry, battalion front, with three batteries of artillery. Our only battery on that side of the river had been withdrawn from an eligible point, but the most available spot was pointed out, and it soon opened fire upon the enemy. The line, however, advanced steadily to within 100 yards of the front of Van Cleve's division, when a short and fierce contest ensued. Van Cleve's division, giving way, retired in considerable confusion across the river, followed closely by the enemy.
General Crittenden immediately directed his chief of artillery to dispose the batteries on the hill on the west side of the river so as to open on them, while two brigades of Negley's division, from the reserve, and the Pioneer Brigade, were ordered up to meet the onset. The firing was terrific and the havoc terrible. The enemy retreated more rapidly than they had advanced. In forty minutes they lost 2,000 men.
General Davis, seeing some stragglers from Van Cleve's division, took one of his brigades and crossed at a ford below, to attack the enemy on his left flank, and, by General McCook's order, the rest of his division was permitted to follow; but, when he arrived, two brigades of Negley's division and Hazen's brigade, of Palmer's division, had pursued the fleeing enemy well across the fields, capturing four pieces of artillery and a stand of colors.
It was now after dark, and raining, or we should have pursued the enemy into Murfreesborough. As it was, Crittenden's corps passed over, and, with Davis', occupied the crests, which were intrenched in a few hours.
Deeming it possible that the enemy might again attack our right and center, thus weakened, I thought it advisable to make a demonstration on our right by a heavy division of camp-fires, and by laying out a line of battle with torches, which answered the purpose.
Saturday, January 3. it rained heavily from 3 o'clock in the morning. The plowed ground over which our left would be obliged to advance was impassable for artillery. The ammunition trains did not arrive  <ar29_196> until 10 o'clock. It was, therefore, deemed unadvisable to advance; but batteries were put in position on the left, by which the ground could be swept, and even Murfreesborough reached by Parrott shells.
A heavy and constant picket firing had been kept up on our right and center, and extending to our left, which at last became so annoying that in the afternoon I directed the corps commanders to clear their fronts.
Occupying the wood to the left of Murfreesborough pike with sharpshooters, the enemy had annoyed Rousseau all day, and General Thomas and himself requested permission to dislodge them and their supports, which covered a ford. This was granted, and a sharp fire from four batteries was opened for ten or fifteen minutes, when Rousseau sent two of his regiments, which, with Spears' Tennesseans and the Eighty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, that had come out with the wagon-train, charged upon the enemy, and, after a sharp contest, cleared the woods and drove the enemy from his trenches, capturing from 70 to 80 prisoners.
Sunday morning, January 4, it was not deemed advisable to commence offensive movements, and news soon reached us that the enemy had fled from Murfreesborough. Burial parties were sent out to bury the dead, and the cavalry was sent to reconnoiter.
Early Monday morning General Thomas advanced, driving the rear guard of rebel cavalry before him 6 or 7 miles toward Manchester. McCook's and Crittenden's corps following, took position in front of the town, occupying Murfreesborough.
We learned that the enemy's infantry had reached Shelbyville by 12 m. on Sunday, but, owing to the impracticability of bringing up supplies, and the loss of 557 artillery horses, farther pursuit was deemed inadvisable.
It may be of use to give the following general summary of the operations and results of the series of skirmishes closing with the battle of Stoners River and occupation of Murfreesborough:
We moved on the enemy with the following forces: Infantry, 41,421; artillery, 2,223; cavalry, 3,296. Total, 46,940.
We fought the battle with the following forces: Infantry, 37,977; artillery, 2,223; cavalry, 3,200. Total, 43,400.
We lost in killed: Officers, 92; enlisted men, 1,441; total, 1,533. Wounded: Officers, 384; enlisted men, 6,861; total, 7,245. Total killed and wounded, 8,778, being 20.03 per cent. of the entire force in action?
Our loss in prisoners is not fully made out, but the provost-marshal-general says, from present information, they will fall short of 2,800.(*)
If there are many more bloody battles on record, considering the newness and inexperience of the troops, both officers and men, or if there has been more true fighting qualities displayed by any people, I should be pleased to know it.
As to the condition of the fight, we may say that we operated over an unknown country, against a position which was 15 per cent. better than our own, every foot of ground and approaches being well known to the enemy, and that these disadvantages were fatally enhanced by the faulty position of our right wing.
The force we fought is estimated as follows:
We have prisoners from one hundred and thirty-two regiments of infantry (consolidations counted as one), averaging from those in General Bushrod Johnson's <ar29_197> division 411 each, say, for certain, 350 men each, which will give--(*)

132 regiments of infantry, say 350 men each  46,200
12 battalions of sharpshooters, say 100 men each  1,200
23 batteries of artillery, say 80 men each  1,840
29 regiments of cavalry, say 400 men each, and
24 organizations of cavalry, say 70 men each   13,250
Their average loss, taken from the statistics of Cleburne's, Breckinridge's, and Withers' divisions, was about 2,080 each. This, for six divisions of infantry and one of cavalry, will amount to 14,560 men, or to ours nearly as 165 to 100.
Of 14,560 rebels struck by our missiles, it is estimated that 20,000 rounds of artillery hit 728 men; 2,000,000 rounds of musketry hit 13,832 men, averaging 27.4 cannon-shots to hit 1 man; 145 musket-shots to hit 1 man.
Our relative loss was as follows: Right wing, 15,933 musketry and artillery; loss, 20.72 per cent. Center, 10,866 musketry and artillery; loss, 18.4 per cent. Left wing, 13,288 musketry and artillery; loss, 24.6 per cent.
On the whole, it is evident that we fought superior numbers on unknown ground; inflicted much more injury than we suffered; were always superior on equal ground with equal numbers, and failed of a most crushing victory on Wednesday by the extension and direction of our right wing.
This closes the narrative of the movements and seven days' fighting which terminated with the occupation of Murfreesborough. For a detailed history of the parts taken in the battles by the different commands, their obstinate bravery and patient endurance, in which the new regiments vied with those of more experience, I must refer to the accompanying sub-reports of the corps, division, brigade, regimental, and artillery commanders.
Besides the mention which has been already made of the services of our artillery by the brigade, division, and corps commanders, I deem it a duty to say that such a marked evidence of skill in handling the batteries, and in firing low and with such good effect, appears in this battle to deserve special commendation.
Among the lesser commands which deserve special mention for distinguished services in the battle the Pioneer Corps, a body of 1,700 men, composed of details from the companies of each infantry regiment, organized and instructed by Capt. James St. Clair Morton, Corps of Engineers, chief engineer of this army, which marched as an infantry brigade with the left wing, making bridges at Stewart's Creek; prepared and guarded the ford at Stone's River on the night of the 29th and 30th; supported Stokes' battery, and fought with valor and determination on the 31st, holding its position till relieved on the morning of the 2d; advancing with the greatest promptitude and gallantry to support Van Cleve's division against the attack on our left on the evening of the same day, constructing a bridge and batteries between that time and Saturday evening. The efficiency and esprit du corps suddenly developed in this command, its gallant behavior in action, and the eminent services it is <ar29_198> continually rendering the army, entitle both officers and men to special public notice and thanks, while they reflect the highest credit on the distinguished ability and capacity of Captain Morton, who will do honor to his promotion to a brigadier-general, which the President has promised him.
The ability, order, and method exhibited in the management of the wounded elicited the warmest commendations from all our general officers, in which I most cordially join. Notwithstanding the numbers to be cared for, through the energy of Dr. Swift, medical director, ably assisted by Dr. Weeds and the senior surgeons of the various commands, there was less suffering from delay than I have ever before witnessed.
The Tenth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, at Stewart's Creek, Lieut. Col. J. W. Burke commanding, deserves especial praise for the ability and spirit with which they held that post, defended our trains, succored their guards, chased away Wheeler's rebel cavalry, saving a large wagon-train, and arrested and retained for service stragglers from the battlefield.
The First Regiment of Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, at La Vergne, under the command of Colonel Innes, fighting behind a slight protection of wagons and brush, gallantly repulsed a charge from more than ten times their number of Wheeler's cavalry.
For distinguished acts of individual zeal, heroism, gallantry, and good conduct, I refer to the accompanying lists of special mentions and recommendations for promotion, wherein are named some of the many noble men who have distinguished themselves and done honor to their country and the starry symbol of its unity. But those named there are by no means all whose names will be inscribed on the rolls of honor we are preparing, and hope to have held in grateful remembrance by our countrymen.
To say that such men as Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, true and prudent, distinguished in council and on many a battle-field for his courage, or Major-General McCook, a tried, faithful, and loyal soldier, who bravely breasted the battle at Shiloh and at Perryville, and as bravely on the bloody field of Stone's River, and Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, whose heart is that of a true soldier and patriot, and whose gallantry, often attested by his companions in arms on other fields, witnessed many times by this army long before I had the honor to command it, and never more conspicuously than in this combat, maintained their high character throughout this action, but feebly expresses my feeling of obligation to them for counsel and support from the time of my arrival to the present hour. I doubly thank them, as well as the gallant and ever-ready Major-General Rousseau, for their support in this battle.
Brig. Gen. D. S. Stanley, already distinguished in four successful battles--Island No. 10; May 27, before Corinth; Iuka, and the battle of Corinth--at this time in command of our ten regiments of cavalry, fought the enemy's forty regiments of cavalry, and held them at bay, or beat them wherever he could meet them. He ought to be made a major-general for his service, and also for the good of the service.
As for such brigadiers as Negley, Jefferson C. Davis, Johnson, Palmer, Hascall, Van Cleve, Wood, Mitchell, Cruft, and Sheridan, they ought to be major-generals in our service. In such brigade commanders as Colonels Carlin, Miller, Hazen, Samuel Beatty, of the Nineteenth Ohio; Gibson, Grose, Wagner, John Beatty, of the Third Ohio; Harker, Starkweather, Stanley, and others, whose names are mentioned in the  <ar29_199> accompanying reports, the Government may well confide. They are the men from whom our troops should at once be supplied with brigadier-generals; and justice to the brave men and officers of the regiments equally demand their promotion to give them and their regiments their proper leaders. Many captains and subalterns also showed great gallantry and capacity for superior commands. But, above all, the sturdy rank and file showed invincible fighting courage and stamina, worthy of a great and free nation, requiring only good officers, discipline, and instructions to make them equal, if not superior, to any troops in ancient or modern times. To them I offer my most heartfelt thanks and good wishes. Words of mine cannot add to the renown of our brave and patriotic officers and soldiers who fell on the field of honor, nor increase respect for their memory in the hearts of our countrymen.
The names of such men as Lieut. Col. J.P. Garesche, the pure and noble Christian gentleman and chivalric officer, who gave his life an early offering on the altar of his country's freedom; the gentle, true, and accomplished General Sill; the brave, ingenuous, and able Colonels Roberts, Milliken, Schaefer, McKee, Read, Forman, Fred. Jones, Hawkins, Kell, and the gallant and faithful Major Carpenter, of the Nineteenth Regulars, and many other field officers, will live in our country's history, as will those of many others of inferior rank, whose soldierly deeds on this memorable battle-field won for them the admiration of their companions, and will dwell in our memories in long future years, after God, in his mercy, shall have given us peace, and restored us to the bosom of our homes and families.
Simple justice to the gallant officers of my staff, the noble and lamented Lieutenant-Colonel Garesche, chief of staff; Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor, chief quartermaster; Lieutenant-Colonel Simmons, chief commissary; Maj. C. Goddard, senior aide.de-camp; Maj. Ralston Skinner,judge-advocate-general; Lieut. Frank S. Bond, aide-de-camp of General Tyler; Capt. Charles R. Thompson, my aide-de-camp; Lieut. Byron Kirby, Sixth U.S. Infantry, aide-de-camp, who was wounded on the 31st; R. S. Thorns, esq., a member of the Cincinnati bar, who acted as volunteer aide-de-camp, behaved with distinguished gallantry; Colonel Barnett, chief of artillery and ordnance; Capt. J. H. Gilman, Nineteenth U.S. Infantry, inspector of artillery; Capt. James Curtis, Fifteenth U.S. Infantry, assistant inspector-general; Captain Wiles, Twenty-second Indiana, provost-marshal-general; Captain Michler, chief of Topographical Engineers; Capt. Jesse Merrill, Signal Corps, whose corps behaved well; Capt. Elmer Otis, Fourth Regular Cavalry, who commanded the courier line connecting the various headquarters most successfully, and who made a most opportune and brilliant charge on Wheeler's cavalry, routing a brigade and recapturing 300 of our prisoners; Lieutenant Ed-son, United States ordnance officer, who, during the battle of Wednesday, distributed ammunition under the fire of the enemy's batteries, and behaved bravely; Captain Hubbard and Lieutenant Newberry, who joined my staff on the field and acted as aides, rendered valuable service in carrying orders on the field; Lieut. E.G. Roys, Fourth U.S. Cavalry, who commanded the escort of the headquarters train, and distinguished himself for gallantry and efficiency--all not only performed their appropriate duties to my entire satisfaction, but, accompanying me everywhere, carrying orders through the thickest of the fight, watching while others slept, and never weary when duty called, deserve my public thanks and the respect and gratitude of the army.
With all the facts of the battle fully before me, the relative numbers and positions of our troops and those of the rebels, the gallantry and <ar29_200> obstinacy of the contest and the final result, I say, from conviction, and as public acknowledgment due to Almighty God, in closing this report, "Non nobis Domine! non nobis sed nomini tuo da gloriam."
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General, Commanding.
 Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. S. Army.
Effective force of infantry and artillery, December 31, 1862.



Brigadier-General DAVIS

    Command. Strength. Killed and wounded. Percentage
1st.Brigade,.Colonel.Post 1,418 161 11.33
2d.Brigade,.Colonel.Carlin 1,781 619 34.75
3d.Brigade,.Colonel.Woodruff 1,445 226 15.64
Total.division  4,644 1,006 21.66


Brigadier-General JOHNSON.
1st.Brigade,.Colonel Gibson 1,650 472 28.66
2d.Brigade,.Colonel.Dodge 2,100 405 19.28
3d.Brigade,.Colonel.Baldwin  2,500 291 11.64
Total.division. 6,250 1,168 18.68


Brigadier-General SHERIDAN.
1st.Brigade,.Colonel.Greusel  1,839 479 26.05
2d.Brigade,.Colonel.Laiboldt  1,680 206 12.25
3d.Brigade,.Colonel.Bradley  1,520 443 29.14
Total.division  5,039 1,128 20.72
Total.right.wing  15,933 3,302 20.72



Major-General ROUSSEAU.
1st.Brigade,.Colonel.Scribner 1,588 208 13.10
2d.Brigade,.Colonel.Beatty 1,534 281 18.33
3d.Brigade,.Colonel.Starkweather 1,548 28 1.80
4th.Brigade,.Colonel.Shepherd 1,566 561 35.82
Total.division  6,236 1,078 17.28


Brigadier-General NEGLEY.
1st.Brigade,.Brigadier-General.Spears  812 16 2.00
2d.[29th].Brigade,.Colonel Stanley 1,822 500 27.44
3d.[7th].Brigade,.Colonel Miller  1,998 410 20.00
Total.division  4,632 926 20.00
Total.center.corps  10,868 2,004 18.44

Effective force of infantry and artillery, &c.--Continued.



Brigadier-General WOOD.

                Command. Strength. Killedandwounded. Percentage
1st.Brigade,.Brigadier-General.Hascall  1,701 343 20.17
2d.Brigade,.Colonel.Wagner  1,644 329 20.00
3d.Brigade,.Colonel.Harker  1,747 454 26.00
Total.division  5,092 1,126 22.11


Brigadier-General PALMER.
1st.Brigade,.Brigadier-General.Cruft  1,207 255 21.12
2d.Brigade,.Colonel.Hazen  1,385 336 24.25
3d.Brigade,.Colonel.Grose  1,768 516 29.18
Total.division  4,360 1,107 25.40


Brigadier-General VAN CLEVE.
1st.Brigade,.Col..S..Beatty  1,216 411 33.80
2d.Brigade,.Colonel.Fyffe  798 288 36.09
3d.Brigade,.Colonel.Matthews.[Price]  1,822 342 18.75
Total.division  3,836 1,041 27.14
Total.left.wing  13,288 3,274 24.64


Captain Morton  1,700 30 1.75


Cavalry  3,200 84 2.60

Right wing  15,944
Center corps  10,868
Left wing  13,288
Pioneer Brigade  1,700
Total infantry and artillery  41,800
Cavalry division  3,200
Total  45,000
Deducting wagon guard  1,600
Total  43,400
Combined loss, killed and wounded, 8,778, or 20.22 per cent. of the forces engaged.(*)
Names specially mentioned for important services and particular acts, &c., in official reports.
Name and rank. Regiment or detachment. Service performed.
R. W. Johnson, brigadier-general.P. H. Sheridan, brigadier-general.Jefferson C. Davis, brigadier-general. }}}Commanding divisions }in the right wing.}} For gallant conduct during the battle, and for prompt support and conscientious attention to duty during their services with the right wing.

Names specially mentioned for important services, &c.--Continued.
Name and rank. Regiment or detachment.  Service performed.
D. S. Stanley, brigadier-general. Chief of cavalry   Commanded advance of right wing during its advance from Nolensville; is specially mentioned for energy and skill.
Hascall, brigadier-general Commanding 1st Brigade.  Deserves commendation and gratitude of his country.
Cruft, brigadier- general  1st Brigade   For holding an important position, and for extricating his command from the mass of confusion around him.
T. J. Wood, brigadier-general.H. P. Van Cleve, brigadier-general.John M. Palmer, brigadier-general.J. S. Negley, brigadier-general. }}}} {{{{ Specially mentioned for distinguished gallantry and the skill with which they handled their commands. Generals Van Cleve and Wood were wounded, but remained with their commands until after the battle was over. Specially mentioned for the courage and skill displayed in handling his command.
C. McDermont, surgeon  Medical director, staff of Major-General McCook.  For gallant conduct in the field, and great care and consideration for the wounded.
G. D. Beebe, surgeon  Medical director, staff of Major-General Thomas.  For great zeal, energy, and efficiency.
A. J. Phelps, surgeon  Medical director, on staff of Major-General Crittenden.  For prompt attention to the wounded; great energy and efficiency in discharge of his duties.
Minty, colonel, commanding First Brigade. 4th Michigan Cavalry   Deserves credit for the management of his command on the march and in several engagements.
Murray, colonel  3d Kentucky Cavalry   Rendered important and distinguished service, gallantly charging and dispersing the enemy's cavalry in their attack on our train on Wednesday, 31st.
Zahm, colonel  3d Ohio Cavalry   Contributed greatly, by his personal example, to the restoration of order and confidence in that portion of the Second Brigade stampeded by the enemy's attack on Wednesday.
W. H. Gibson, colonel  49th Ohio Volunteers; commanded Willich's brigade.  Has been several times before recommended for promotion, and is again recommended by General Johnson, for meritorious conduct. Is also specially mentioned by Major-Generals McCook and Crittenden.
Charles Anderson, colonel. 93d Ohio Volunteers   Honorable mention for gallant conduct, by Major-General Rousseau.
Wallace, colonelDodge, colonelBaldwin, colonel  15th Ohio Volunteers30th Indiana Volunteers.6th Indiana Volunteers. }}} Recommended for promotion, for coolness and courage on the field of battle.
G. D. Wagner, colonel  15th Indiana, commanding brigade.  Has commanded a brigade for a year; is recommended for promotion for brave and skillful conduct during the late battles.
C.G. Harker, colonel  65th Ohio Volunteers   Has commanded a brigade for a year; is recommended for promotion for brave and skillful conduct. He is also specially mentioned by Major-General McCook, for valuable services with the right wing.
John W. Blake, colonel  40th Indiana Volunteers   Recommended to be dishonorably discharged for being so drunk as to be unfit for duty. Before going into action on the 31st, was ordered in arrest by his immediate commander, Colonel Wagner, and was next heard from in Nashville, claiming to be wounded and a paroled prisoner.
Hazen, colonel  41st Ohio Volunteers   Commanded a brigade; is specially mentioned for courage and skill in handling his troops, and for maintaining an important position.
W. Grose, colonel  36th Indiana Volunteers   Commanded brigade; is recommended for coolness and bravery in fighting his troops against a superior force.
Sedgewick, colonel  2d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.

Enyart, colonelRoss, colonel Osborn, colonel  1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.90th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.31st Indiana Volunteer Infantry. }}}} Displayed marked gallantry on the field, and handled their respective commands with skill and judgment.
Samuel Beatty, colonel 19th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  Commanding brigade; for coolness, intrepidity, and skill.
Names specially mentioned for important services, &c.--Continued.
Name and rank. Regiment or detachment.  Service performed.
Fyffe, colonel  59th Ohio Volunteer Infantry  Is recommended for coolness, intrepidity, and skill. Is also specially mentioned by Major-General McCook, for valuable services with the right wing.
Grider, colonel  9th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.  Commanded brigade, and is specially mentioned for gallantry and coolness under trying circumstances.
C. O. Loomis, colonel  1st Michigan Artillery   Rendered most important services throughout the battle.
John C. Starkweather, colonel 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  Commanding brigade: especially mentioned for coolness, skill, and courage.
William Sirwell, colonel 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. }
Granville Moody, colonel  74th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. } For the skill and ability with which they handled their respective commands.
Hull, colonel  37th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. }
Greusel, colonelBradley, colonel  36th Illinois Volunteers51st Illinois Volunteers }} Are specially commended for skill and courage.
Sherman, colonel  88th Illinois Volunteers  Honorably mentioned for distinguished service.
Hotchkiss, lieutenant -colonel. 89th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. } Recommended for promotion for meritorious conduct.
Jones, lieutenant-colonel 89th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. }
W. W. Berry, lieutenant-colonel. Commanding Louisville Legion.  Specially mentioned for gallant and meritorious conduct. Is also specially mentioned by Major-General Rousseau, for retreating in good order before an overwhelming force, and drawing off by hand a section of artillery he had been ordered to support.
Shepherd, lieutenant- colonel. 18th U.S. Infantry, commanding regular brigade.  Specially mentioned by Maj. Gen. L. H. Rousseau.
Neibling, lieutenant-colonel Commanding 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  For skill and ability during the battles.
Laiboldt, lieutenant colonel 2d Missouri Volunteer Infantry.  Specially commended for skill and courage.
McCreery, lieutenant-colonel. 21st Michigan Volunteer Infantry.  Honorably mentioned for distinguished services.
Klein, major  3d Indiana Cavalry  On the 27th engaged the enemy on the Nolensville pike and put them to flight.
Otis, captain  Commanding 4th U. S. Cavalry.  With his regiment rendered important and distinguished service, gallantly charging and dispersing the enemy's cavalry, in their attack upon our train on Wednesday, the 3lst.
Lyne Starling, major  Assistant adjutant-general.  Specially mentioned by Major-General Crittenden, for gallantry in the battle, general efficiency, and eighteen months' faithful service.
John H. King, majorCarpenter, major Slemmer, major Townsend, major Caldwell, major 15th U. S. Infantry 19th U.S. Infantry16th U. S. Infantry 18th U.S. Infantry 18th U.S. Infantry }}}}} Commanding their respective regiments;are specially mentioned for distinguished gallantry and ability. Major Carpenter was killed, and Majors King and Slemmer wounded.
Miller, major Chandler, majorHibbard, major  36th Illinois Volunteers88th Illinois Volunteers24th Wisconsin Vols }}} Honorably mentioned.
John Mendenhall, captain,chief of artillery, and topographical engineer, staff of Major-General Crittenden. 4th U. S. Artillery   Recommended for promotion, for general efficiency and personal bravery and good conduct in battle.
Chambers captain Gladwyn, captain  51st Indiana Volunteer Infantry73d Indiana Volunteer Infantry }}}} These brave officers, with 120 men, drove a large force of the enemy from a covered position and unmasked his battery.
Standart, captain  Company B, 1st Ohio Artillery.  For the gallant manner in which he handled his guns and brought them off the field.
Edgarton, captain Company E, 1st Ohio Artillery.  Was guilty of a grave error in taking even a part of his battery horses to water at an unseasonable hour, and thereby losing his guns.
G. P. Thruston, captain 1st Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  Is specially mentioned by Major-General McCook and others for particular acts of gallantry, skill, and good conduct. Mentioned by Generals Sheridan, Johnson, Davis and by. Colonel Carlin, commanding brigade.
Names specially mentioned for important services, &c.--Continued.
Name and rank. Regiment or detachment.  Service performed.
Hale, captain  75th Illinois Volunteers  Specially mentioned for gallant conduct
Litson, captain  22d Indiana Volunteers  in skirmishing.
Crofton, captain Fulmer, captain Mulligan, captain 16th U.S. Infantry15th U.S. Infantry 19th U. S. Infantry  {{{{{{ These three infantry captains commanded their respective battalions after their majors had been disabled, and behaved with great gallantry and skill, although opposed by an overwhelming number.
Guenther, captain  Company H. 5th Artillery  Deserves great credit and special mention.
Hescock, captain  1st Missouri Battery   Specially mentioned for bravery and skill in the battles and for general efficiency.
Bridges, captain  19th Illinois Volunteers   Continued in command of his regiment after receiving a painful wound.
Belding, lieutenant  Commanding Company A, 1st Ohio Artillery.  Recommended for promotion for saving three guns of his battery. (Goodspeed's.)
Richard Jervis, lieutenant 8th Indiana Battery   Behaved in a cowardly manner, by retiring his section at a critical moment without notifying his company commander. He is recommended for dismissal.
Lamberson, lieutenantWyman Murphy, lieutenant 19th Illinois Volunteers21st Wisconsin Volunteers  {{ Inspectors of Pioneer Brigade. Are specially mentioned in two reports for gallant conduct and energy.
W. S. Fish, assistant surgeon. 3d Indiana Cavalry   Fled during the battle to Nashville, and is recommended by Major-General McCook for dismissal. This man passed himself off as an assistant surgeon; proved to be a private. Case being attended to.
Enlisted men recommended for gallant conduct during the battle of Stone's River, Tenn.
Quartermaster-Sergeant Colburn, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers.
First Sergeant German, Eighth Wisconsin Battery.
Sergeant Ferguson, Company G, Fifty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Sergeant Holden, Company G, Sixty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Sergeant McKay, Company E, Forty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Sergeant McMahon, Company H, Forty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Sergt. R. B. Rhodes, First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.
Sergt. Jason Hurd, Nineteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Sergt. It. A. Mills, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Sergt. A. R. Weaver, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Sergt. F. Mechling, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Sergt. P. A. Weaver, Seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Corpl. James T. Slater, Second Indiana Volunteer Cavalry.
Corpl. J. P. Patterson, Company G, Forty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Corpl. W. Hughes, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Private R. J. Pindle, Company L, wagoner. (Especially recommended by Colonel Murray, colonel of Third Kentucky Cavalry.)
Private A. F. Freeman, orderly, with Brigadier-General Davis.
Private Abijah Lee, orderly, with Brigadier-General Davis.
Private James Gray, Company E, Thirty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
Private William Hayman, Second Indiana Volunteer Cavalry.
Private William Brown, Fifty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Private Nelson Shields, Thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Private S. T. Mitchell, Company B, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Special mention of gallantry, &c.
Lieutenant-Colonel Housum, Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Captain Brigham, Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Captain Cox, Tenth Indiana Battery.
Capt. James P. Mead, Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Lieut. John L. Dillon, Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Lieutenant Jones, Post's brigade.
1st. Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment captured a rebel flag from the Twenty sixth Regiment Tennessee, assisted by other regiments of General Negley's division. <ar29_205>
2d. Lieutenant Guenther's battery and the Second Ohio Volunteers captured the flag of the Thirtieth Arkansas Volunteers.
3d. Fifteenth Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Wood commanding, charged and captured 173 prisoners front Twentieth Louisiana Regiment.
4th. Thirteenth Michigan Volunteers gallantly recaptured two guns belonging to Captain Bradley's battery.
5th. Carlin's brigade lost half its field officers in killed and wounded.
6th. Fifth Kentucky Volunteers dragged front the field by hand a section of artillery, through deep mini and under heavy fire.
7th. Four color-bearers of the Twenty-first Illinois were shot down, yet the colors were borne safely through the light.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 27, 1863.
 Colonel KELTON, Staff of the General-in Chief, Washington:
COLONEL: I have the honor to forward to you the inclosed letter of Maj. Gen. W. S. Rosecrans, commanding department. The general desired me to make such verbal explanations as the General-in-Chief might require.
I also inclose a statement of our available force in and about Murfreesborough, which differs considerably from the "paper" army.
I shall remain in the city no longer than to-morrow, as my health will not permit me to put further off that care and treatment which I can only obtain at home.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 J. C. PETERSON, Captain Fifteenth Infantry, and Acting Assistant Inspector-General,
Department of the Cumberland. [Inclosures.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 20, 1863.
 Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C. :
GENERAL: Captain Peterson, acting assistant inspector-general, being obliged to change climate by medical direction, I avail myself of his zeal and intelligence to send you some details of this army, showing the percentage of absentees and the wear and tear of an army in battle:
1st. I find from careful examination that the average percentage of the present and absent, now present, is:

 Per cent.
For the Fourteenth Army Corps  56.01
For the Twentieth Army Corps  50.16
For the Twenty-first Army Corps  50.44
Presuming that each of these corps has fought but one great battle, in which they lost as follows, viz:
 Per cent.
Fourteenth Army Corps  18.44
Twentieth Army Corps  20.50
Twenty-first Army Corps  24.64
Average loss for the entire command  20.03
We have before the battle:
 Per cent.
Fourteenth Army Corps  63.42
Twentieth Army Corps  64.60
Twenty-first Army Corps  66.93
Hence, before the battle we have to pay 100 men for the above per cent., and we now have the preceding percentage for each hundred on the pay-roll. Although these are better results than I have expected, they are much worse than they ought to be. I am now endeavoring to bring the absentees to some rule, and reduce their numbers. The inspection system detects the illegal absentees, but it requires in addition the paymasters with the corps to know who ought not to be paid.
Captain Peterson comes to show what means we use to detect absentees, and what even then are our results.
He is also charged to carry on a form of return, which, if adopted in the Adjutant-General's office and throughout the army, will force the various commanders to give such data in their returns as will afford means of knowing the true condition and strength of ore: forces, which, with the present forms in use, is not the case.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General, Commanding Department.
Fourteenth Army Corps  27,725
Twentieth Army Corps  13,031
Twenty-first Army Corps  13,061
Cavalry not included  4,295
Total  58,112

Detached troops:
Nashville  7,495
Gallatin  3,550
Bowling Green  1,840
Clarksville  1,674
Total   14,559
Grand total present   72,671

Strength present and absent February 14, 1863  133,305
Discount   60,634
Detached troops   14,559
Number that cannot be led against the enemy   75,193
MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., March 1, 1863---12.23 p.m.
 Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
I see that by your permission the reports of the corps commanders of the battle of Stone's River are published. They are but a partial view of the operations, and an omission in General McCook's report to state the meeting of corps commanders at my headquarters, and his final instructions on Tuesday night, coupled with an erroneous statement in General Johnson's report, are calculated to mislead.(*) Mine should also be published, omitting such statistics as ought not to be made public.
 MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., March 23, 1863--10.38 p.m.
 Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, General-in- Chief:
Recent reports of the senior surgeon of General Bragg's army, left here in care of the wounded rebels, prepared to be sent to his superior, of the deaths in hospitals, carefully analyzed as to confirm the analytical report of our provost-marshal as to the number of regiments, show that Breckinridge had thirty-six infantry and five cavalry regiments, four batteries, and some minor organizations in his division.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General. 

2. George H. Thomas
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XX/1 [S# 29] DECEMBER 26, 1862-JANUARY 5, 1863.--The Stone's River or Murfreesborough, Tenn., Campaign.
No. 62.--Reports of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, U.S. Army, commanding Center.

[ar29_371 con't]
DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 15, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit to the major-general commanding the Department of the Cumberland the following report of the operations of that part of my command which was engaged in the battle of Stone's River, in front of Murfreesborough:
It is proper to state here that two brigades of Fry's division and Reynolds' entire division were detained near Gallatin and along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, to watch the movements of the rebel leader Morgan, who had been, for a long time, on the watch for an opportunity <ar29_372> to destroy the railroad. Rousseau s, Negley's, and Mitchell's divisions, and Walker's brigade, of Fry's division, were concentrated at Nashville, but Mitchell's division being required to garrison Nashville, my only available force was Rousseau's and Negley's divisions, and Walker's brigade, of Fry's division, about 13,395 effective men.
December 26, Negley's division, followed by Rousseau's division and Walker's brigade, marched by the Franklin pike to Brentwood, at that point taking the Wilson pike. Negley and Rousseau were to have encamped for the night at Owen's store.
On reaching the latter place, Negley, hearing heavy firing in the direction of Nolensville, left his train with a guard, to follow, and pushed forward with his troops to the support of Brig. Gen. J. C. Davis, commanding the advanced division of McCook's corps, Davis having become hotly engaged with the enemy posted in Nolensville, and in the pass through the hills south of that village. Rousseau encamped with his division at Owen's store; Walker with his brigade at Brentwood.
During the night a very heavy rain fell, making the cross-roads almost impassable, and it was not until night of the 27th that Rousseau reached Nolensville with his troops and train. Negley remained at Nolensville until 10 a.m. on the 27th, when, having brought his train across from Wilson's pike, he moved to the east, over an exceedingly rough by-road to the right of Crittenden at Stewartsborough, on the Murfreesborough pike. Walker, by my orders, retraced his steps from Brentwood, and crossed over to the Nolensville pike.
December 28, Negley remained in camp at Stewartsborough, bringing his train from the rear. Rousseau reached Stewartsborough on the night of the 28th. His train arrived early next day.
December 29, Negley's division crossed Stewart's Creek, 2 miles southwest and above the turnpike bridge, and marched in support of the head and right flank of Crittenden's corps, which moved by the Murfreesborough pike to a point within 2 miles of Murfreesborough. The enemy fell back before our advance, contesting the ground obstinately with their cavalry rear guard. Rousseau remained in camp at Stewartsborough, detaching Starkweather's brigade, with a section of artillery, to the Jefferson pike crossing of Stone's River, to observe the movements of the enemy in that direction. Walker reached Stewartsborough from the Nolensville pike about dark.
December 30, a cavalry force of the enemy, something over 400 strong, with two pieces of artillery, attacked Starkweather about 9 a.m., but was soon driven off. The enemy opened a brisk fire on Crittenden's advance, doing but little execution, however, about 7 a.m.
During the morning Negley's division was obliqued to the right, and took up a position on the right of Palmer's division, of Crittenden's corps, and was then advanced through a dense cedar thicket, several hundred yards in width, to the Wilkinson Cross-Roads, driving the enemy's skirmishers steadily and with considerable loss. Our loss comparatively small.
About noon Sheridan's division, of McCook's corps, approached by the Wilkinson Cross-Roads, joined Negley's right, McCook's two other divisions coming up on Sheridan's right, thus forming a continuous line, the left resting on Stone's River, the right stretching in a westerly direction, and resting on high, wooded ground, a short distance t the south of the Wilkinson Cross-Roads, and, as has since been ascertained, nearly parallel with the enemy's intrenchments thrown up on the sloping land bordering the northwest bank of Stone's River. Rousseau's division (with the exception of Starkweather's brigade), being ordered <ar29_373> up from Stewartsborough, reached the position occupied by the army about 4 p.m., and bivouacked on the Murfreesborough pike in rear of the center.
During the night of the 30th I sent orders to Walker to take up a strong position near the turnpike bridge over Stewart's Creek, and defend the position against any attempts of the enemy's cavalry to destroy it. Rousseau was ordered to move by 6 a.m. on the 31st to a position in rear of Negley. This position placed his division with its left on the Murfreesborough pike, and its right extending into the cedar thicket through which Negley had marched on the 30th. In front of Negley's position, bordering a large open field, reaching to the Murfreesborough pike, a heavy growth of timber extended in a southerly direction toward the river. Across the field, running in an easterly direction, the enemy had thrown up rifle-pits at intervals, from the timber to the river bank, to the east side of the turnpike. Along this line of intrenchments, on an eminence about 800 yards from Negley's position, and nearly in front of his left, some cannon had been placed, affording the enemy great advantage in covering an attack on our center. However, Palmer, Negley, and Sheridan held the position their troops had so manfully won the morning of the 30th against every attempt to drive them back, and remained in line of battle during the night.
December 31, between 6 and 7 a.m., the enemy, having massed a heavy force on McCook's right during the night of the 30th, attacked and drove it back, pushing his division in pursuit en échelon, and in supporting distance, until he had gained sufficient ground to our rear to wheel his masses to the right and throw them upon the right flank of the center, at the same moment attacking Negley and Palmer in front with a greatly superior force. To counteract this movement, I had ordered Rousseau to place two brigades, with a battery, to the right and rear of Sheridan's division, facing toward the west, so as to support Sheridan, should he be able to hold his ground, or to cover him, should he be compelled to fall back.
About 11 o'clock General Sheridan reported to me that his ammunition was entirely out, and he would be compelled to fall back to get more. As it became necessary for General Sheridan to fall back, the enemy pressed on still farther to our rear, and soon took up a position which gave them a concentrated cross-fire of musketry and cannon on Negley's and Rousseau's troops at short range. This compelled me to fall back out of the cedar woods, and take up a line along a depression in the open ground, within good musket-range of the edge of the woods, while the artillery was retired to the high ground to the right of the turnpike. From this last position we were enabled to drive back the enemy, cover the formation of our troops, and secure the center on the high ground. In the execution of this last movement, the regular brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, Eighteenth U.S. Infantry, came under a most murderous fire, losing 22 officers and 508 men in killed and wounded, but, with the co-operation of Scribner's and Beatty's brigades and Guenther's and Loomis' batteries, gallantly held its ground against overwhelming odds. The center having succeeded in driving back the enemy from its front, and our artillery concentrating its fire on the cedar thicket on our right, drove him back far under cover, from which, though repeatedly attempting it, he could not make any advance.
January 1, 1863, repeated attempts were made by the enemy to advance on my position during the morning, but they were driven back before emerging from the woods. Colonel Starkweather's brigade of Rousseau's division and Walker's brigade of Fry's division having re-enforced <ar29_374> us during the night.. took post on the right of Rousseau and left of Sheridan, and bore their share in repelling the attempts of the enemy on the morning of the 1st instant.
For the details of the most valuable service rendered by these two brigades on December 30 and 31, 1862, and January 1, 2. and 3, 1863, I refer you to their reports. In this connection I also refer you to the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Parkhurst, commanding Ninth Michigan Infantry (on provost duty at my headquarters), for the details of most valuable services rendered by his command on December 31 and January 1 and 2. Negley's division was ordered early in the day to the support of McCook's right, and in which position it remained during the night. January 2, about 7 a.m., the enemy opened a direct and cross fire from his batteries in our front, and from a position on the east bank of Stone's River to our left and front, at the same time making a strong demonstration with infantry, resulting, however, in no serious attack. Our artillery (Loomis', Guenther's, Stokes', and another battery, the commander's name I cannot now recall) soon drove back their infantry. Negley was withdrawn from the extreme right and placed in reserve behind Crittenden's right.
About 4 p.m. a division of Crittenden's corps, which had crossed Stone's River to reconnoiter, was attacked by an overwhelming force of the enemy, and, after a gallant resistance, compelled to fall back. The movements of the enemy having been observed and reported by some of my troops in the center, I sent orders to Negley to advance to the support of Crittenden's troops, should they want help. This order was obeyed in most gallant style, and resulted in the complete annihilation of the Twenty-sixth Tennessee (rebel) Regiment and the capture of their flag; also in the capture of a battery, which the enemy had been forced to abandon at the point of the bayonet. (See Negley's report.)
January 3, soon after daylight, the Forty-second Indiana, on picket in a clump of woods about 800 yards in front of our lines, was attacked by a brigade of the enemy, evidently by superior numbers, and driven in with considerable loss. Lieutenant-Colonel Shanklin, commanding the regiment, was surrounded and taken prisoner while gallantly endeavoring to draw off his men from under the fire of such superior numbers. From this woods the enemy's sharpshooters continued to fire occasionally during the day on our pickets.
About 6 p.m. two regiments from Col. John Beatty's brigade, Rousseau's division, co-operating with two regiments of Spears' brigade, of Negley's division, covered by the skillful and well-directed fire of Guenther's Fifth U.S. Artillery and Loomis' First Michigan Batteries, advanced on the woods and drove the enemy not only from their cover, but from their intrenchments, a short distance beyond.
For the details of this gallant night attack I refer you to the reports of Brigadier-General Spears, commanding Third Brigade of Negley's division, and Col. John Beatty, commanding Second Brigade of Rousseau's division. The enemy having retreated during the night of the 3d, our troops were occupied during the morning of the 4th in burying the dead left on the field. In the afternoon one brigade of Negley's division was advanced to the crossing of Stone's River, with a brigade of Rousseau's division in supporting distance, in reserve.
January 5, my entire command, preceded by Stanley's cavalry, marched into Murfreesborough and took up the position which we now hold. The enemy's rear guard of cavalry was overtaken on the Shelbyville and Manchester roads, about 5 miles from Murfreesborough, and, after sharp skirmishing for two or three hours, was driven from our immediate front. <ar29_375>
The conduct of my command from the time the army left Nashville, to its entry into Murfreesborough is deserving of the highest praise, both for their patient endurance of the fatigues and discomforts of a five days' battle, and for the manly spirit exhibited by them in the various phases in this memorable contest. I refer you to the detailed reports of the division and brigade commanders, forwarded herewith, for special mention of those officers and men of their commands whose conduct they thought worthy of particular notice.
All the members of my staff. Maj. G. E. Flynt, assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. Col. A. Von Schrader, Seventy-fourth Ohio, acting inspector-general; Capt. O. A. Mack, Thirteenth U.S. Infantry, acting chief commissary, and Capt. A. J. Mackay, chief quartermaster, were actively employed in carrying my orders to various parts of my command and in the execution of the appropriate duties of their office. Capt. O. A. Mack was dangerously wounded in the right hip and abdomen while conveying orders from me to Major-General Rousseau.
The officers of the signal corps attached to my headquarters did excellent service in their appropriate sphere, when possible, and as aides-de-camp, carrying orders. My escort, composed of a select detail from the First Ohio Cavalry, commanded by First Lieut. J. D. Barker, of the same regiment, who have been on duty with me for nearly a year, deserve commendation for the faithful performance of their appropriate duties. Private Guiteau was killed by a cannon shot on the morning of January 2. Surg. G. D. Beebe, medical director, deserves special mention for his efficient arrangements for moving the wounded from the field and giving them immediate attention.
Annexed hereto is a consolidated return of the casualties of my command. The details will be seen in the accompanying reports of division and brigade commanders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 GEO. H. THOMAS,  Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
 Maj. C. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
Consolidated report of casualties of the Center, Fourteenth Army Corps, in the five days' battle before Murfreesborough, Tenn., commencing December 31, 1862, and ending January 4, 1863.(*)
A Commissioned officers. G Killed
B Enlisted men. H Wounded
C Horses I Missing
D Gun (artillery) J Lost
E Commissioned K Disabled
F Enlisted.

  --------------------------Lost in action.-----------------------
  ---------In action.------ Killed. Wounded. Missing. --Horses.-- -Guns.-
. A B C D E F E F E F G H I J K
First.Division,.Major-General.Rousseau. 303 5,883 .... 18 8 171 43 903 3 324 8 5 .... ....  ....
Second.Division,.Brigadier-General.Negley. 237 4,632 257 13 11 167 47 704 1 308 62 24 9 6 1
First.Brigade,.Third.Division,.Col..M.B..Walker. 97 2,243 .... 6 .... .... 4 19 .... 1 .... .... .... .... ....
 Total 637 12,758 257 37 19 338 94 1,626 4 633 70 29 9 6 1

Murfreesborough, Tenn., May 16, 1863.
COLONEL: My attention having been called by Major-General Rousseau to the fact that Col. B. F. Scribner's brigade had not been mentioned by the major-general commanding the department, for the part it took in the battle of Stone's River, I cheerfully submit the following statement, premising that in my official report of the battle of Stone's River it was my earnest endeavor to do equal justice to the commands of Colonels Beatty, Scribner, and Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, as well as to all the other troops under my command, and thought the best way of so doing, without extending my report to too great a length, was to give a succinct narrative of the events of the battle, and then refer to the reports of the subordinate commanders for more detailed information. This I did, with the more confidence in the justice of that course, from the fact that, after a careful reading of the different reports, I perceived no discrepancy in the accounts given in these reports of the events of the battle in which different portions of my command acted together. In my official report is the following:
As it became necessary for General Sheridan to fall back, the enemy pressed on still farther to our rear, and soon took up a position which gave them a concentrated crossfire of musketry and cannon on Generals Negley's and Rousseau's troops at short range. This compelled me to fall back through the cedar woods and take up a line along a depression in the open ground, within good musket-range of the edge of the woods, while the artillery was retired to the high ground on the right of the turnpike. From this last position we were enabled to drive back the enemy, cover the formation of our troops, and secure the center on the high ground. In the execution of this last movement, the regular brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, Eighteenth U.S. Infantry, came under a most murderous fire, losing 22 officers and 508 men in killed and wounded, but, with the co-operation of Scribner's and Beatty's brigades and Guenther's and Loomis' batteries, gallantly held its ground against overwhelming odds---
thus connecting these three gallant brigades together in the honorable and distinguished work of covering the formation of the troops on the elevated ground in their rear, when the enemy was straining every nerve to gain possession of the same point.
I now quote Colonel Scribner's report of the part taken by his brigade at this period of the battle :(*)
*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *
Colonel Scribner's brigade was at this time to the right of the regular brigade, and advanced into the cedars.
It gives me much pleasure to be able to testify, further, that the efficiency of this brigade, so long commanded by Colonel Scribner, is second to none in this army.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 GEO. H. THOMAS, Major-general, U.S. Volunteers, Commanding.
 Lieut. Col. C. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Dept. of the Cumberland.
[ Indorsement. ]
I forward with pleasure General Thomas' special notice of the part taken by Colonel Scribner in the battle of Stone's River. It supplies an omission in the report of General Rousseau, which was the reason why a notice of it did not appear in my report.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.
DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, February 9, 1863.
 Col. C. GODDARD,  Chief of Staff:
The last semi-weekly return of effective force before the battle of Stone's River, dated December 24, shows as follows, to wit:

Rousseau's division  303 + 5,883 =  6,186
Negley's division  212 + 5,284 = 5,496
General Negley's report of the actual force engaged shows a deficiency of 664. This deficiency is in cavalry, which had been assigned to General Stanley between the 24th and 31st of December. I shall certainly hold my officers responsible for all reports differing from the above. The supposition was that the whole effective force was engaged. Please send me the reports showing the discrepancy.
Very respectfully,
 GEO. H. THOMAS,  Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

3. Col. Joseph B. Dodge, Thirtieth Indiana Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
December 26, 1862-January 5, 1863.--The Stone's River or Murfreesborough, Tenn., Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XX/1 [S# 29]
In Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 8, 1863.
Captain BARTLETT, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
    SIR: In compliance with your order of the 7th instant I have the honor to respectfully submit the following report of the operations of this command since the 26th of December last up to the evening of the 31st ultimo:
   On the morning of December 26, last, this brigade left camp, near Nashville, under command of Brig. Gen. E. N. Kirk, and marched out on the Nolensville pike about 12 miles, where we encamped during the night. Although there was heavy skirmishing in our front and on each flank, we were in nowise engaged with the enemy during that day, as there was a heavy three of Federal troops in front of this brigade and between it and the enemy.
    On the morning of the 27th we were ordered to resume the march, and on that day the brigade was in advance of our whole forces, with the exception of the cavalry, which was thrown out as skirmishers in advance.
    About 1 mile from where we hard bivouacked for the night the enemy made his appearance in considerable force, composed of cavalry and supported by artillery, all of which opened upon us, and he showed a disposition to contest the ground over which we wished to pass. The Thirty-fourth Regiment Illinois Volunteers and the Twenty-ninth Indiana were promptly deployed as skirmishers, each regiment retaining a good reserve, and thrown forward, with instructions to push on as rapidly as possible, which order was obeyed with alacrity and skill, and the other regiments of the brigade moved forward in line of battle, the Thirtieth Indiana supporting Edgarton's battery.
    Owing to a dense fog, which enveloped everything, so that we could not distinguish the troops of the enemy from our own, it was deemed prudent to halt until the fog partially disappeared, when we again moved forward, with continued skirmishing on our front, until we gained an elevated position overlooking the village of Triune. Here the enemy were in plain view, drawn up in line of battle, the center of their line being in the village. Edgarton's battery opened upon them immediately with splendid effect, soon throwing them into disorder, and disabling at least one piece of their artillery, as I have good reason to believe. While in this position a very heavy rain commenced, accompanied with fog, rendering an advance immediately hazardous.
    The fog disappeared again in the course of about an hour, when we again advanced; but, owing to the ground being very much softened by the rain, the men's clothes were so saturated with water that it was impossible to do so at the rate of speed desired. The enemy had destroyed a bridge across a stream that runs through the edge of the town, thus compelling the artillery to make a detour of nearly a mile to a ford, and by this means gained time to collect his scattered forces and withdraw. On that night we bivouacked about 1 mile south of Triune.
    During that day this brigade lost none in killed or wounded, but inflicted considerable loss upon the enemy. The officers and men engaged showed themselves to be cool, skillful, and courageous, and behaved splendidly.
    We staid at the above-mentioned place all of the 28th, and on the morning of the 29th took up our march for Murfreesborough. During this day nothing of importance occurred. We bivouacked that night in an open field, without fires, and in a cold, drenching rain.
    On the morning of the 30th we were ordered out to take position, preparatory to an expected attack upon the enemy. Heavy skirmishing and fighting was going on in front of us during the whole day, in which we took no active part until about 3 p.m., at about which time we arrived at the extreme right of the line of our army.
    At that time the enemy had a battery of artillery stationed directly in front of this brigade, which was pouring a destructive fire into some troops on our left, belonging to Brig. Gen. J. C. Davis' division. General Kirk immediately ordered Captain Edgarton's battery to open upon it, which order was complied with, with great execution, dismounting one of the enemy's pieces, and killing quite a number of men in a very few moments, and driving him from his position.
    There was no more firing, either from artillery or infantry, that evening or night. The brigade was formed in line of battle, the Thirty-fourth Illinois, Maj. A. P. Dysart commanding, on the extreme right; the Twenty-ninth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn commanding, next on the left: the Thirtieth Indiana, Col. J. B. Dodge, next, and the Seventy-seventh' Pennsylvania, Lieutenant-Colonel Honsum commanding, on the left; Edgarton's battery (E, First Ohio Artillery) in the rear and to the left of the Thirty-fourth Illinois, in a cedar grove, with a rather dense thicket immediately in front of the three left regiments. A strong picket line was thrown out from 150 to 200 yards in front, with a cornfield in front of their (the picket) line. Every precaution that was possible was taken to prevent surprise, and to give seasonable warning of the approach of the enemy.
    The brigade was up and under arms for nearly or quite an hour before daylight. Just after daylight a part of the horses of the battery were unhitched from the caissons and taken to water, which was close by. Just at this moment the enemy made his appearance on our front and right in immense force, and formed in close columns, with a front equal to the length of a battalion in line and ten or twelve ranks in depth. General Kirk immediately ordered the Thirty-fourth Illinois to advance to near where the picket was stationed, in order to check, at least, the advance of the enemy, and save the battery, if possible, which movement was promptly executed under an awful fire, which almost annihilated the picket line or line of skirmishers, which it really was, and killed or wounded a large number in the line, some 150 or 200 yards in the rear. The battery under command of Captain Edgarton immediately opened with canister upon the enemy, and only had time to fire eight rounds before the battery was taken. Nearly or quite one-half of the horses were killed or wounded, so as to be unmanageable, by the first fire from the enemy, and it was impossible to remove it from the ground.
    Captain Edgarton and his officers and men fought nobly, as the number of killed and wounded will testify, and did everything possible to maintain their ground against all overpowering force. The captain was taken prisoner while assisting to work his guns, and Lieutenant Berwick was bayoneted and taken prisoner while assisting him. General Kirk was seriously wounded at almost the first fire, and I then succeeded to the command of the brigade.
    The fire the enemy received from us, although well directed, and as effective as a fire from two ranks generally is, produced no visible effect upon him as he moved his heavy column forward upon a double-quick. General Rains, who commanded a part of their column, fell dead or mortally wounded at this point.
    The enemy then moved to the left oblique, or nearly, by his left flank, until his center was Opposite our extreme right, when he moved forward again, changing direction to his right as he did so, so as to bring his whole force upon our most exposed point. We held our ground until our ranks were not more than 20 yards from the enemy, when I was forced to retire, having no support and seeing that it was a needless waste of life to contend in that position with at least twenty times the number of men I their had left, which was done in the best order possible, across a corn-field in the rear and to the left of our first position, to a field one side of which was on rising ground and overlooking the ground over which the enemy must advance to attack.
    I here formed the Thirtieth Indiana at that time under command of Lieut. Col. O. D. Hurd, of that regiment, and the Seventy-ninth Illinois, Col. S. P. Read commanding, that had just reported to me (it having been detailed to guard a train the day before, and had just arrived upon the field), behind a fence on the rise of ground before spoken of. Before the Seventy-ninth Illinois reached the fence and while it was at least 200 yards distant from it, the enemy made his appearance and instantly poured a terrible fire into their ranks. Although a new regiment, they advanced with a firmness that would have done credit to veterans, and, after reaching the fence poured a terribly destructive fire into the enemy Here, assisted by Captain Simonson's (Fifth Indiana) battery, this brigade, unsupported, except by the Third Brigade, which was on our left, and almost alone, succeeded in checking the enemy, bringing his columns to a halt, and requiring the utmost exertions of his officers to keep his men from fleeing in disorder from the field, during all of which time a tremendous fire was kept up. The enemy finally succeeded in throwing his left wing forward across the fence, thus outflanking this brigade and dislodging us from that position; but the number of dead left by him on that ground for five days afterward shows conclusively that it was by far the dearest position to him that he gained that day.
    Colonel Read, of the Seventy-ninth Illinois, was killed instantly while bravely urging his men on. In his death the service has lost a fine officer, a brave soldier, and a true man. Adjutant Stribley, of the Thirtieth Indiana, was also killed here. The service contained no braver or cooler officer than he. The Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania, Lieutenant-Colonel Housum commanding, at the time of the occurrences above mentioned was some 600 yards on the left of the troops under my immediate command, acting with a brigade in General Davis' division. While hotly engaged with the enemy, Colonel Housum was wounded severely, from which he died shortly afterward. He was a cool, clear-headed, courageous officer and gentleman.
    After being driven from the fence, I retired my command to a piece of woods in the rear of my former position, the enemy closely following up with infantry on our rear and cavalry on our left flank. I halted my command twice, and formed a line and undertook to hold him in check, but it was impossible to do but little, owing to our weakened condition and the absence of all support.
    I finally fell back to near the Murfreesborough and Nashville turnpike, and made up my mind that the enemy must be stopped there. I had at that time t he Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania, Captain Rose commanding, Twenty-ninth Indiana, Major Collins commanding, and about 100 men belonging to the Thirtieth Indiana, Thirty-fourth Illinois, and Seventy-ninth Illinois; in all, about, at that time, 500 men. By command of Brigadier-General Johnson, I formed my little force on the right of Captain Simonson's battery, which was in action with one of the enemy's batteries, which was soon silenced, immediately after which it (Captain Simonson's battery) was placed in another position.
    I wish to be pardoned for testifying here to the skill, efficiency, and courage displayed by Captain Simonson and his officers and men during that day. I then moved my command some 150 yards to the right of where it had been while supporting the battery, into a piece of woods, and took a good position for defense.
    Some troops belonging to some other division moved in on my left just at that moment, and a moment after the remains of the column that made the first attack in the morning made its appearance, coming up on a doublequick. I immediately gave the command forward, and my command met them, poured in a deadly volley, and rushed forward. Their advance was stopped, their line wavered, and in a moment was in full retreat, and thus the brigade that received the first attack from this column in the morning had the satisfaction of giving it the first repulse it received during the day. I followed them but a short distance, when I got a regiment to relieve the command I had left, as they were entirely out of ammunition, and, by order of General Johnson, I took them back and formed along the railroad, and got a supply.
    I was then ordered back to the bank of the river, where I awaited further orders. While there, an officer rode up and informed me that the enemy's cavalry was attempting to cross the river some distance below, near a hospital, and that it was important that we should have a force there. There was no superior officer near, and I took the responsibility of at once moving to the point designated and forming in line. The enemy, seeing us approach, promptly fell back, but not until he had taken quite a number of prisoners, as I understand.
    I then returned to the turnpike, and at dark bivouacked in the woods near by, where we spent the night.
    On the morning of the I at instant I placed my command in line, under your directions, and we immediately threw up a line of breastworks, behind which we bivouacked until the evening of the 3d instant, without any movement of importance on our part, with the exception that on the 2d instant, at about 9 p.m., I was ordered to take four companies from my command and a like number from the Third Brigade of this division, and to advance to our front until I reached the Franklin turnpike or found the enemy in force.
    It was a very dark night, and I took my little Command according to your orders, deployed the whole as skirmishers, and started. I first crossed an open field or fields nearly to the woods in our front, where I could distinctly hear the enemy chopping and moving either artillery or heavy wagons. When we got about 20 yards from the edge of the woods, I distinctly heard officers giving commands to their men, and, fearful that I was going into a trap, I ordered my men to fire, which was promptly obeyed, and my suspicions confirmed, as the enemy returned a withering volley in reply. Found at least ten times the number I had with me. Having ascertained that the enemy were in heavy force near our lines, thereby accomplishing the purpose for which I was sent our, I ordered my men to retire, which they did in good order, losing but 4 wounded; none killed.
    The officers and men under my command, during this terrible battle, behaved with great coolness and courage under the most trying circumstances.
    I cannot help but bring to the notice of the commanding general the gallant conduct of Capt. T. E. Rose, of the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Regiment, who took command of his regiment after Lieutenant-Colonel Housum was wounded, and who, by his skill, perseverance, and energy, kept his regiment well together, and, by his example, urged on his men to attack the enemy when all around was disorder and confusion.
    Major Collins, of the Twenty-ninth Indiana, took command of that regiment about 9 a.m. on the 31st, after Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn had, by some means, become separated from his command, and fought nobly.
    Major Buckner, of the Seventy-ninth Illinois, took command of that regiment after the death of Colonel Read, and gallantly rallied his men, and showed himself worthy of a higher position than he now holds.
    Maj. A. P. Dysart, commanding the Thirty-fourth Illinois, distinguished himself in his efforts to arrest the enemy's progress, and his regiment stood by him until it was utterly impossible for the same number of men, without Support to do so longer.
    Lieutenant-Colonel Hurd, commanding, and Major Fitzsimmons (who was taken by the enemy), of the Thirtieth Indiana, showed that they were worthy of the positions they occupy. Both needlessly, almost, exposed themselves, and were untiring in their efforts to stop the progress of what seemed a victorious enemy.
    I can but express my heartfelt thanks to my staff for their conduct on the field--firm, cool, energetic, and fearless, their assistance was invaluable. Capt. D.C. Wagner, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. E. P. Edsall, acting assistant inspector-general; Lieut. I. C. McElfatric, topographical engineer, and Lieutenants Baldwin and Walker, aides, were untiring in their efforts to rally the troops, and to their exertions the whole right wing of the army is, in my opinion, indebted.
    Dr. George W. Hewitt, acting brigade surgeon, was untiring in his exertions in behalf of the wounded, and was captured while at his post by the enemy, as was also Dr. Hostetter, of the Thirty-fourth Illinois, Dr. Keen, of the Twenty-ninth Indiana, and Dr. McAllister, of the Seventy-ninth Illinois, were all taken where a surgeon should be in time of action, attending to the duties of their profession. While in the enemy's lines they were engaged night and day in taking care of our wounded-They have been released since, and their horses retained by the enemy, in pursuance, as they report, of order of General Wharton. Surgeon Downey, of the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania, was fortunately spared, and staid with the brigade. He was of invaluable service to those who were so unfortunate as to require the attention of a surgeon.
    The medical department of this brigade was in splendid condition, thanks to Dr. Hewitt and division medical director, Dr. Marks, and, notwithstanding' our loss in surgeons, the wounded were well cared for.
    Chaplain Bradshaw, Seventy-ninth Illinois, and Chaplain Decker, of the Thirty-fourth Illinois, exposed themselves in the most fearless manner in taking care of the wounded, taking them off the field, &c., and proved themselves to be well worthy, at least, of the positions they occupy.
    This brigade met with a serious loss, in the person of General Kirk, early in the engagement. He fell at the head of his brigade, trying manfully to resist and repel the overwhelming force thrown against it.
    Accompanying, please find a summary of killed, wounded, and missing of this command. The missing are, a large majority of them, I fear, wounded and in the hands of the enemy; also, please find reports of regimental commanders of this brigade and complete list, by name, of casualties.Respectfully submitted.
J. B. DODGE, Colonel Thirtieth Indiana, Commanding Second Brigade.
P. S.--Excuse me for calling the attention of the general commanding to a gallant charge made by the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania, while they were separated from this brigade, and were acting in concert with a brigade in Brig. Gen. J. C. Davis' division. A battery in possession of the enemy made its appearance directly in their front and opened upon them. Lieutenant-Colonel Housum immediately ordered a charge upon it, which was obeyed instantly by his command. The cannoneers were either killed or wounded, the horses disabled, so they could not move back. The Seventy-seventh had possession of Captain Edgarton's battery, which the enemy had brought along with them, for a few moments, but before they could do anything more than compel the enemy to strike the guns, a heavy force of infantry made its appearance in their front and flank, and they were compelled to retire, during which movement Lieutenant-Colonel Housum was mortally wounded.

4. Braxton Bragg
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XX/1 [S# 29] DECEMBER 26, 1862-JANUARY 5, 1863.--The Stone's River or Murfreesborough, Tenn., Campaign.
No. 190.--Reports of General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding Army of Tennessee, with congratulatory orders, &c.

[ar29_661 con't]
MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., December 30, 1862.
(Received at Richmond, Va., January 1, 1863.)
Artillery firing at intervals and heavy skirmishing of light troops all day. Enemy very cautious, and declining a general engagement. Armies are in line of battle within sight.
 General S. COOPER.
MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., December 31, 1862.
We assailed the enemy at 7 o'clock this morning, and after ten hours' hard fighting have driven him from every position except his extreme left, which [where] he has successfully resisted us. With the exception of this point, we occupy the whole field. We captured 4,000 prisoners, including 2 brigadier-generals, 31 pieces of artillery, and some 200 wagons and teams.(*) Our loss is heavy; that of the enemy much greater.
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 General S. COOPER.
MURFREESBOROUGH, January 3, 1863.
(Received January 4, 1863.) The enemy retired last night but a short distance to intrenchments in his rear. In a sharp and short contest this evening we drove his left flank from position, but our assaulting party again retired with considerable loss to both sides. Wheeler and Wharton were again in their rear yesterday; captured 200 prisoners, one piece of artillery, and destroyed 200 loaded wagons.
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
TULLAHOMA, January 5, 1863.
Unable to dislodge the enemy from his intrenched position, and learning of re-enforcements to him, I withdrew from his front night before last; he has not followed; my cavalry is still close in his front.
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 General S. COOPER,
Richmond, Va.
DECHERD, January 6, 1863.
Enemy have not yet followed us in force. My command is now concentrated on line of Elk Run. From papers captured on the field, their force was from 60,000 to 70,000; ours not over half that. We hope to check any advance; but to save East Tennessee, and enable us to advance again, re-enforcements are necessary. They are bringing forward every man from Kentucky.
 General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
DECHERD, January 7, 1863.
We shall hold line of Duck River, if possible. Our losses will reach 9,000; the enemy has not advanced from Murfreesborough.
 General S. COOPER.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, Tenn., February 23, 1863.
SIR: On December 26, last, the enemy advanced in force from Nashville to attack us at Murfreesborough. It had been well ascertained that his strength was over 60,000 effective men. Before night on that day the object of the movement was developed by our dispositions in front, and orders were given for the necessary concentration of our forces, then distributed as follows: Polk's corps and three brigades of Breckinridge's division, Hardee's corps, at Murfreesborough; the balance of Hardee's corps near Eagleville, about 20 miles west of Murfreesborough; McCown's division (which, with Stevenson's division removed, constituted Smith's corps) at Readyville, 12 miles east of Murfreesborough, the three cavalry brigades of Wheeler, Wharton, and Pegram occupying the entire front of our infantry, and covering all approaches to within 10 miles of Nashville; Buford's small cavalry brigade, of about 600, at McMinnville. The brigades of Forrest and Morgan (about 5,000 effective cavalry) were absent on special service in West Tennessee and Northern Kentucky, as will be more fully noticed hereafter. Jackson's small infantry brigade was in rear, guarding the railroad front Bridgeport, Ala., to the mountains.
On Sunday, the 28th, our main force of infantry and artillery was concentrated in front of Murfreesborough, while the cavalry, supported by three brigades of infantry and three batteries of artillery, impeded the advance of the enemy by constant skirmishing and sudden and unexpected attacks. To the skillful manner in which the cavalry, thus ably supported, was handled, and to the exceeding gallantry of its officers and men, must be attributed the four days' time consumed by the enemy in reaching the battle-field, a distance of only 20 miles from his encampments, over fine macadamized roads.
Fully aware of the greatly superior numbers of the enemy, as indicated in my early reports from this quarter, it was our policy to await attack. The position was selected and line developed with this intention. Owing to the convergence upon our depot at Murfreesborough of so many fine roads by which the enemy could approach, as will appear from the inclosed map, marked 1,(*) we were confined in our selection to a line near enough the point of juncture to enable us to successfully cover them all until the real point of attack should be developed.
On Monday, the 29th, it was reported that heavy columns moved on both the direct road from La Vergne and on the one leading into the Lebanon road by way of Jefferson, but on Tuesday, the 30th, it was ascertained that the Jefferson pike was abandoned by a countermarch, and the whole forces of the enemy were concentrated on and near the direct road on the west of Stone's River. The dispositions made for the unequal contest will appear from the inclosed map, marked 2,(*) and the copy of memoranda to general and staff officers, marked 3.(*) These arrangements were all completed before the enemy crossed Stewart's Creek, 9 miles out, and the infantry brigades were at once called in, and the cavalry was ordered to fall back more rapidly, having most gallantly discharged its duty and fully accomplished the object desired.
Late on Monday it became apparent the enemy was extending his right, so as to flank us on the left. McCown's division, in reserve, was promptly thrown to that flank and added to the command of Lieutenant-General Polk. The enemy not meeting our expectations of making an attack on Tuesday, which was consumed in artillery firing and heavy <ar29_664> skirmishing, with the exception of a dash late in the evening on the left of Withers' division, which was repulsed and severely punished, it was determined to assail him on Wednesday morning, the 31st. For this purpose, Cleburne's division, Hardee's corps, was moved from the second line on the right to the corresponding position on the left, and Lieuten-ant-General Hardee was ordered to that point and assigned to the command of that and McCown's division. This disposition, the result of necessity, left me no reserve, but Breckinridge's command on the right, now not threatened, was regarded as a source of supply for any re enforcements absolutely necessary to other parts of the field. Stone's River, at its then stage, was fordable at almost any point for infantry, and at short intervals perfectly practicable for artillery.
These dispositions completed, Lieutenant-General Hardee was ordered to assail the enemy at daylight on Wednesday, the 31st, the attack to be taken up by Lieutenant-General Polk's command in succession to the right flank, the move to be made by a constant wheel to the right, on Polk's right flank as a pivot, the object being to force the enemy back on Stone's River, and, if practicable, by the aid of the cavalry, cut him off from his base of operations and supplies by the Nashville pike. The lines were now bivouacked at a distance in places of not more than 500 yards, the camp-fires of the two being within distinct view. Wharton's cavalry brigade had been held on our left to watch and check the movements of the enemy in that direction, and to prevent his cavalry from gaining the railroad in our rear, the preservation of which was of vital importance. In this he was aided by Brig. Gen. A. Buford, who had a small command of about 600 new cavalry. The duty was most ably, gallantly, and successfully performed.
On Monday night Brigadier-General Wheeler proceeded with his cavalry brigade and one regiment from Pegram's, as ordered, to gain the enemy's rear. By Tuesday morning, moving on the Jefferson pike around the enemy's left flank, he had gained the rear of their whole army, and soon attacked the trains, their guards, and the numerous stragglers. He succeeded in capturing several hundred prisoners and destroying hundreds of wagons loaded with supplies and baggage. After clearing the road, he made his way entirely around and joined the cavalry on our left.
The failure of Major-General McCown to execute during the night an order for a slight change in the line of his division, and which had to be done the next morning, caused some delay in the general and vigorous assault by Lieutenant-General Hardee. But about 7 o'clock the rattle of musketry and roar of artillery announced the beginning of the conflict. The enemy was taken completely by surprise. General and staff officers were not mounted, artillery horses not hitched, and infantry not formed. A hot and inviting breakfast of coffee and other luxuries, to which our gallant and hardy men had long been strangers, was found upon the fire unserved, and was left while we pushed on to the enjoyment of a more inviting feast, that of captured artillery, fleeing battalions, and hosts of craven prisoners begging for the lives they had forfeited by their acts of brutality and atrocity.
While thus routing and pushing the enemy in his front, Lieutenant-General [W. J.] Hardee announced to me by a messenger that the movement was not being as promptly executed by Major-General Cheatham's command on his right (the left of Lieutenant-General Polk's corps) as he expected, and that his line was, consequently, exposed to an enfilade fire from the enemy's artillery in that front. The necessary instructions for prompt movement at that point were immediately dispatched, and in <ar29_665> a short time our whole line, except Breckinridge's command, was warmly engaged. From this time we continued to drive the enemy more or less rapidly until his line was thrown entirely back at right angles to his first position, and occupied the cut of the railroad? along which he had massed his reserves and posted very strong batteries. A reference to the map No. 2(*) will show this second and strong position.
The enemy's loss was very heavy in killed and wounded, tar exceeding our own, as appeared from a critical examination of the field, now almost entirely in our possession. Of artillery alone we had secured more than twenty-five pieces.
While the infantry and artillery were occupied in this successful work, Brigadier-General Wharton, with his cavalry command, was most actively and gallantly engaged on the enemy's right and rear, where he inflicted a heavy loss in killed and wounded, captured a full battery of artillery endeavoring to escape, and secured and sent in near 2,000 prisoners. These important successes and results had not been achieved without heavy sacrifices on our part, as the resistance of the enemy after the first surprise was most gallant and obstinate. Numbering at least two to our one, he was enabled to bring fresh troops at every point to resist our progress, and he did so with a skill and judgment which has ever characterized his aide commander. Finding Lieutenant-General Hardee so formidably opposed by the movement of the enemy to his front, re-enforcements for him were ordered from Major-General Breckinridge, but the orders were countermanded, as will hereafter appear, and Polk's corps was pressed forward with vigor, hoping to draw the enemy back or rout him on the right as he already had been on the left. We succeeded in driving him from every position except the strong one held by his extreme left flank, resting on Stone's River, and covered by a concentration of artillery of superior range and caliber, which seemed to bid us defiance. The difficulties of our general advance had been greatly enhanced by the topography of the country. All parts of our line had to pass in their progress over ground of the roughest character, covered with huge stones and studded with the densest growth of cedar, the branches reaching to the ground and forming an almost impassable brake. Our artillery could rarely be used, while the enemy, holding defensive lines, had selected formidable positions for his batteries and this dense cover for his infantry, from both of which he had to be dislodged by our infantry alone. The determined and unvarying gallantry of our troops, and the uninterrupted success which attended their repeated charges against these strongholds, defended by double their numbers, fully justified the unbounded confidence I had ever reposed in them and had so often expressed. To meet our successful advance and retrieve his losses in the front of our left, the enemy early transferred a portion of his reserve from his left to that flank and by 2 o'clock had succeeded in concentrating such a force in Lieutenant-General Hardee's front as to check his further progress. Our two lines had by this time become almost blended, so much weakened were they by losses, exhaustion, and extension to cover the enemy's whole front.
As early as 10 a.m. Major-General Breckinridge was called on for one brigade, and soon after for a second, to re-enforce, or act as a reserve to, Lieutenant-General Hardee. His reply to the first call represented the enemy crossing Stone's River in heavy force in his immediate front, and on receiving the second order he informed me they had already crossed in heavy force and were advancing on him in two lines. He was immediately ordered not to await attack, but to advance and meet <ar29_666> them. About this same time a report reached me that a heavy force of the enemy's infantry was advancing on the Lebanon road, about 5 miles in Breckinridge's front. Brigadier-General Pegram, who had been sent to that road to cover the flank of the infantry with his cavalry brigade (save two regiments detached with Wheeler and Wharton), was ordered forward immediately to develop any such movement. The orders for the two brigades from Breckinridge were countermanded, while dispositions were made, at his request, to re-enforce him. Before they could be carried out, the movements ordered disclosed the facts that no force had crossed Stone's River; that the only enemy in our immediate front there was a small body of sharpshooters, and that there was no advance on the Lebanon road. These unfortunate misapprehensions on that part of the field (which, with proper precaution, could not have existed) withheld from active operations three fine brigades until the enemy had succeeded in checking our progress, had re-established his lines, and had collected many of his broken battalions. Having now settled the question that no movement was being made against our right, and none even to be apprehended, Breckinridge was ordered to leave two brigades to support the battery at A, on his side of Stone's River, and with the balance of the force to cross to the left and report to Lieutenant-General Polk. By the time this could be accomplished it was too late to send this force to Lieutenant-General Hardee's support, who was unable to make further progress, and he was directed to maintain his position. Lieutenant-General Polk was directed with these re-enforcements to throw all the force he could collect upon the enemy's extreme left, and thereby either carry that strong point which had so far resisted us successfully, or, failing in that, at least to draw off from Hardee's front the formidable opposition there concentrated. The three brigades of Jackson, Preston, and Adams were successively reported for this work. How gallantly they moved to their task, and how much they suffered in the determined effort to accomplish it, will best appear from reports of subordinate commanders and the statement of losses, herewith. Upon this flank, their strongest defensive position, resting on the river bank, the enemy had concentrated not less than twenty pieces of his heaviest artillery, masked almost entirely from view, but covering an open space in front of several hundred yards. Supported right, left, and rear by heavy masses of infantry, this position proved impracticable, and after two unsuccessful efforts the attempt to carry it by infantry was abandoned. Our heaviest batteries of artillery and rifled guns of long range were now concentrated in front of, and their fire opened on, this position. After a cannonade of some time the enemy's fire slackened, and finally ceased near nightfall. Lieutenant-General Hardee had slightly retired his line from the farthest point he had attained for better position and cover without molestation from the enemy. Lieutenant-General Polk's infantry, including the three re-enforcing brigades, uniting their left with Hardee's right and extending to our extreme right flank, formed a continuous line very nearly perpendicular to the original line of battle, thus leaving nearly the whole field with all its trophies- the enemy's dead and many of his wounded, his hospitals and stores---in our full possession. The body of Brigadier-General Sill, one of their division commanders, was found where he had fallen, and was sent to town and decently interred, though he had forfeited all claim to such consideration by the acts of cruelly, barbarity, and atrocity but a few days before committed under his authority on the women, children, and old men living near the road on which he had made a reconnaissance. <ar29_667>
During the afternoon, Brigadier-General Pegram, discovering a hospital and large numbers of stragglers in rear of the enemy's line and across Stone's River, charged them with his cavalry and captured about 170 prisoners.
Both armies, exhausted by a conflict of full ten hours' duration, rarely surpassed for its continued intensity and the heavy losses sustained, sank to rest with the sun and perfect quiet prevailed for the night.
At dawn on Thursday morning, January 1, orders were sent to the several commanders to press forward their skirmishers, feel the enemy, and report any change in his position. Major-General Breckinridge had been transferred to the right of Stone's River, to resume the command of that position, now held by two of his brigades. It was soon reported that no change had occurred, except the withdrawal of the enemy from the advanced position occupied by his left flank. Finding, upon further examination, that this was the case, the right flank of Lieutenant-General Polk's corps was thrown forward to occupy the ground for which we had so obstinately contended the evening before. This shortened our line considerably, and gave us possession of the entire battle-field, from which we gleaned the spoils and trophies throughout the day and transferred them rapidly to the rear. A careful reconnaissance of the enemy's position was ordered, and the most of the cavalry was put in motion for the roads in his rear, to cut off his trains and develop any movement. It was soon ascertained that he was still in very heavy force all along our front, occupying a position strong by nature and improved by such work as could be done at night and by his reserves. In a short time reports from the cavalry informed me heavy trains were moving toward Nashville, some of the wagons loaded and all the ambulances filled with wounded. These were attacked at different places; many wagons were destroyed and hundreds of prisoners paroled. No doubt this induced the enemy to send large escorts of artillery, infantry, and cavalry with later trains, and thus the impression was made on our ablest cavalry commanders that a retrograde movement was going on. Our forces, greatly wearied and much reduced by heavy losses, were held ready to avail themselves of any change in the enemy's position, but it was deemed unadvisable to assail him as then established. The whole day, after these dispositions, was passed without an important movement on either side, and was consumed by us in gleaning the battlefield, burying the dead, and replenishing ammunition.
At daylight on Friday, the 2d, the orders to feel the enemy and ascertain his position were repeated with the same results. The cavalry brigades of Wheeler and Wharton had returned during the night greatly exhausted from long-continued service with but little rest or food to either men or horses. Both commanders reported the indications from the enemy's movements the same. Allowing them only a few hours to feed and rest, and sending the two detached regiments back to Pegram's brigade, Wharton was ordered to the right flank across Stone's River, to assume command in that quarter and keep me advised of any change. Wheeler with his brigade was ordered to gain the enemy's rear again, and remain until he could definitely report whether any retrograde movement was being made. Before Wharton had taken his position, observation excited my suspicions in regard to a movement having been made by the enemy across Stone's River immediately in Breckinridge's front. Reconnaissances by several staff officers soon developed the fact that a division had quietly crossed unopposed and established themselves on and under cover of an eminence, marked B on map No. 2,(*) from which <ar29_668> Lieutenant-General Polk's line was both commanded and enfiladed. The dislodgment of this force or the withdrawal of Polk's line was an evident necessity. The latter involved consequences not to be entertained. Orders were accordingly given for the concentration of the whole of Major-General Breckinridge's division in front of the position to be taken, the addition to his command of ten 12-pounder Napoleon guns, under Capt. F. H. Robertson, an able and accomplished artillery officer, and for the cavalry forces of Wharton and Pegram, about 2,000 men, to join in the attack on his right. Major-General Breckinridge was sent for and advised of the movement and its objects, the securing and holding of the position which protected Polk's flank and gave us command of the enemy's by which to enfilade him. He was informed of the forces placed at his disposal, and instructed with them to drive the enemy back, crown the his, intrench his artillery, and hold the position. To distract their attention from our real object, a heavy artillery fire was ordered to be opened from Polk's front at the exact hour at which the' movement was to begin. At other points throughout both lines all was quiet. General Breckinridge at 3.30 p.m. reported he would advance at 4 o'clock. Polk's batteries promptly opened fire and were soon answered by the enemy. A heavy cannonade of some fifteen minutes was succeeded by the fire of musketry, which soon became general. The contest was short and severe; the enemy was driven back and the eminence gained, but the movement as a whole was a failure, and the position was again yielded. Our forces were moved, unfortunately, so far to the left as to throw a portion of them into and over Stone's River, where they encountered heavy masses of the enemy, while those against whom they were intended to operate on our side of the river had a destructive enfilade on our whole line. Our second line was so close to the front as to receive the enemy's fire, and, returning it, took their friends in rear. The cavalry force was left entirely out of the action. Learning from my own staff officers, sent to the scene, of the disorderly retreat being made by General Breckinridge's division, Brigadier-General Patton Anderson's fine brigade of Mississippians (the nearest body of troops) was promptly ordered to his relief.
On reaching the field and moving forward, Anderson found himself in front of Breckinridge's infantry, and soon encountered the enemy's light troops close upon our artillery, which had been left without support. This noble brigade, under its cool and gallant chief, drove the enemy back and saved all the guns not captured before its arrival. Capt. F. H. Robertson, after the disabling wound received by Major [R. E.] Graves (General Breckinridge's gallant and efficient chief of artillery), took the entire charge of all the artillery of the division in addition to his own. To his gallantry, energy, and fearlessness is due the smallness of our loss sustained before the arrival of support-only three guns. His report, herewith, marked 4, will show the important part he played in this attack and repulse. Before the end of the whole movement it was quite dark. Anderson's command held a position next the enemy, corresponding nearly with our original line, while Breckinridge's brigade commanders collected their scattered men as far as practicable in the darkness, and took irregular positions on Anderson's left and rear. At daylight in the morning they were moved to the front and the whole line reestablished without opposition. During the night, Major-General Cleburne's division was retransferred to its original position on the right, and Lieutenant-General Hardee directed to resume his command there and restore our line.
On Saturday morning, the 3d, our forces had been in line of battle for  <ar29_669> five days and nights, with but little rest, having no reserves; their baggage and tents had been loaded and the wagons were 4 miles off; their provisions, if cooked at all, were most imperfectly prepared, with scanty means; the weather had been severe from cold and almost constant rain, and we had no change of clothing, and in many places could not have fires. The necessary consequence was great exhaustion of officers and men, many having to be sent to the hospitals in the rear, and more still were beginning to straggle from their commands, an evil from which we had so far suffered but little. During the whole of this day the rain continued to fall with little intermission, and the rapid rise in Stone's River indicated it would soon be unfordable. Late on Friday night I had received the captured papers of Major-General [A. McD.] McCook, commanding one corps d'armée of the enemy, showing their effective strength to have been very near, if not quite, 70,000 men. Before noon, reports from Brigadier-General Wheeler satisfied me the enemy, instead of retiring, was receiving re-enforcements. Common prudence and the safety of my army, upon which even the safety of our cause depended, left no doubt on my mind as to the necessity of my withdrawal from so unequal a contest. My orders were accordingly given about noon for the movement of the trains, and for the necessary preparation of the troops.
Under the efficient management of the different staff departments everything had been secured and transferred to the rear, including prisoners, captured artillery, small-arms, subsistence, means of transportation, and nearly all our wounded able to bear moving. No movement of any kind was made by the troops on either side during this most inclement day until just at night, when a sharp skirmish occurred between Polk's right and the enemy's left flank, resulting in nothing decisive. The only question with me was, whether the movement should be made at once or delayed for twenty-four hours, to save a few more of our wounded. As it was probable we should lose by exhaustion as many as we should remove of the wounded, my inclination to remain was yielded. The whole force, except the cavalry, was put in motion at 11 p.m., and the army retired in perfect order to its present position behind Duck River without receiving or giving a shot. Our cavalry held the position before Murfreesborough until Monday morning, the 5th, when it quietly retired, as ordered, to cover our front.
We left about 1,200 badly wounded, one-half of whom we learn have since died from the severity of their injuries; about 300 sick, too feeble to bear transportation, and about 200 well men and medical officers as their attendants. In addition to this, the enemy had captured about 800 prisoners from us. As the 1,200 wounded are counted once under that head among our losses, they should be excluded in the general total.
As an offset to this loss we had secured, as will appear from the report of my inspector-general, herewith, marked A, considerably over 6,000 prisoners; had captured over thirty pieces of artillery, 6,000 stand of small-arms, a number of wagons, ambulances, mules, and harness, with a large amount of other valuable property, all of which was secured and appropriated to proper uses. Besides all this secured, we had destroyed not less than 800 wagons, mostly loaded with various articles, such as arms, ammunition, provisions, baggage, clothing, medicines, and hospital stores. We had lost three pieces of artillery only--all in Breckinridge’s repulse.
A number of stand of colors (nine of which are forwarded with this report) were also captured on the field. Others known to have been taken have not been sent in. The list, marked B, is herewith transmitted. <ar29_670>
A tabular statement of our forces, marked C, is herewith submitted, showing the number of fighting men we had on the field on the morning of December 31 to have been less than 35,000, of which about 30,000 were infantry and artillery. Our losses are also reported in this same comprehensive table, so as to show how much each corps, division, and brigade suffered, and, in case of Breckinridge's division, the losses are reported separately for Wednesday and Friday. These reports are minute and suggestive, showing the severity of the conflict, as well as when, where, and by whom it was sustained.
Among the gallant dead the nation is called to mourn, none could have fallen more honored or regretted than Brig. Gens. James E. Rains and R. W. Hanson. They yielded their lives in the heroic discharge of duty and leave their honored names as a rich legacy to their descendants.
Brig. Gens. James R. Chalmers and D. W. Adams received disabling wounds on Wednesday; I am happy to say not serious, but which deprived us of their valuable services. Having been under my immediate command since the beginning of the war, I can bear evidence to their devotion, and to the conspicuous gallantry which has marked their services on every field.
For the sacred names of other heroes and patriots of lower grades who gave their lives, illustrating the character of the Confederate soldier on this bloody field, I must refer to the reports of subordinate commanders and to the lists which will be submitted.
Our losses, it will be seen, exceeded 10,000, over 9,000 of whom were killed and wounded. The enemy's loss we have no means of knowing with certainty. One corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, which was least exposed in the engagement, reports over 5,000 killed and wounded. As they had two other corps and a separate division (third of a corps) and their cavalry, it is safely estimated at 3,000 killed and 16,000 wounded; adding the 6,273 prisoners, and we have a total of 25,273.
Lieut. Gens. L. Polk and W. J. Hardee, commanding corps; Maj. Gens. J. M. Withers and P. R. Cleburne, commanding divisions, are specially commended to the Government for the valor, skill, and ability displayed by them throughout the engagement.
Brig. Gen. J. Patton Anderson, for the coolness, judgment, and courage with which he interposed his brigade between our retreating forces and the enemy, largely superior to him, on Friday evening, and saved our artillery, is justly entitled to special mention.
Brig. Gens. Joseph Wheeler and John A. Wharton, commanding cavalry brigades, were pre-eminently distinguished throughout the action, as they had been for a month previous in many successive conflicts with the enemy. Under their skillful and gallant lead the reputation of our cavalry has been justly enhanced. For the just commendation of other officers, many of whom were pro-eminently distinguished, I must refer to the reports of their more immediate commanders.
To the private soldier a fair meed of praise is due; and though it is so seldom given and so rarely expected that it may be considered out of place, I cannot, in justice to myself, withhold the opinion ever entertained and so often expressed during our struggle for independence. In the absence of the instruction and discipline of old armies, and of the confidence which long association produces between veterans, we have had in a great measure to trust to the individuality and self-reliance of the private soldier. Without the incentive or the motive which controls the officer, who hopes to live in history; without the hope of reward, and actuated only by a sense of duty and of patriotism, he has, in this great contest, justly judged that the cause was his own, and gone  <ar29_671> into it with a determination to conquer or die; to be free or not to be at all. No encomium is too high, no honor too great for such a soldiery, However much of credit and glory may be given, and probably justly given, the leaders in our struggle, history will yet award the main honor where it is due--to the private soldier, who, without hope of reward, and with no other incentive than a consciousness of rectitude, has en countered all the hardships and suffered all the privations. Well has it been said, "The first monument our Confederacy rears, when our independence shall have been won, should be a lofty shaft, pure and spotless, bearing this inscription, 'To the unknown and unrecorded dead.'"
The members of my staff, arduously engaged in their several duties, before, during, and since the prolonged engagement, are deserving a mention in this report. Lieut. Cols. George G. Garner and G. W. Brent and Capt. P. H. Thomson, adjutant and inspector general's department; First Lieuts. Towson Ellis and F. S. Parker [jr], regular aides-de-camp; Lieut. Col. W. K. Beard, inspector-general; Lieut. Col. A. J. Hays, Provisional Army; Majs. James Strawbridge, Louisiana infantry, and William Olare, late Seventh Alabama Volunteers, acting assistant inspectors-general; Lieut. Col. L.W. O'Bannon, chief quartermaster; Maj. M. B. McMicken, assistant quartermaster; Maj. J. J. Walker, chief commissary; Majs. F. Molloy and G. M. Hillyer, assistants; Lieut. Col. H. Oladowski, chief of ordnance; Capts. W. H. Warren and O. T. Gibbes, and Lieut. W. F. Johnson, assistants; Capt. S. W. Steele, acting chief engineer, and Lieuts. H. C. Force, A. H. Buchanan, and J. K. P. McFall [assistants]; Lieut. Col. J. H. Hallonquist, acting chief of artillery; First Lieut. R. H. S. Thompson, assistant; Surg. A. J. Foard, medical director; Surg. E. A. Flewellen, assistant medical director; Actg. Surg. T. G. Richardson, attendant on myself, staff, and escort; Cols. David Urquhart, of Louisiana, J. Stoddard Johnston, of Kentucky, and G. Saint Leger Grenfell, of England (the two former volunteer aides, long on my staff), served me most efficiently. Maj. E. W. Baylor, assistant quartermaster; Maj. B.C. Kennedy, assistant commissary of subsistence, and Lieut. William M. Bridges, aide-de-camp to the late Brigadier-General [J. K.]Duncan, reported just before the engagement and joined my staff, on which they served through the battle.
Col. M. L. Clark, of the artillery (Provisional Army), being in Murfreesborough on temporary service, did me the favor to join and serve on my staff during the engagement.
His Excellency Isham G. Harris, Governor of Tennessee, and the Hon. Andrew Ewing, member of military court, volunteered their services and rendered me efficient aid, especially with the Tennessee troops, largely in the ascendant in this army. It is but due to a zealous and efficient laborer in our cause that I here bear testimony to the cordial support given me at all times since meeting him a year ago in West Tennessee by His Excellency Governor Harris. From the field of Shiloh, where he received in his arms the dying form of the lamented Johnston, to the last struggle at Murfreesborough, he has been one of us, and has shared all our privations and dangers, while giving us his personal and political influence with all the power he possessed at the head of the State government.
To the medical department of the army, under the able administration of Surgeon Foard, great credit is due for the success which attended their labors. Sharing none of the excitement and glory of the field, these officers in their labor of love devote themselves silently and assiduously to alleviate the sufferings of their brother soldiers at hours when others are seeking rest and repose. <ar29_672>
The reports of subordinate commanders not yet received have been specially called for and are soon expected, when they will be promptly forwarded.
During the time the operations at Murfreesborough were being conducted, important expeditions, under Brigadier-Generals Forrest and Morgan, were absent in West Tennessee and Northern Kentucky. The reports already forwarded show the complete success which attended these gallant brigadiers, and commend them to the confidence of the Government and gratitude of the country.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 General S. COOPER, Adjutant [and Inspector] General, Richmond, Va.
[Indorsement ]
 MARCH 9, 1863.
Let this be copied at once for Congress, leaving out the clause of compliment to General Rosecrans.
 J. A. SEDDON, Secretary.
[Inclosure. ]
Memoranda for general and staff officers, December 28, 1862.
1st. The line of battle will be in front of Murfreesborough; half of the army, left wing, in front of Stone's River; right wing in rear of river.
2d. Polk's corps will form left wing; Hardee's corps, right wing.
3d. Withers' division will form first line in Polk's corps; Cheatham's, the second line. Breckinridge's division forms first line Hardee's corps; Cleburne's division, second line Hardee's corps.
4th. McCown's division to form reserve, opposite center, on high ground, in rear of Cheat ham's present quarters.
5th. Jackson's brigade reserve, to the right flank, to report to Lieutenant-General Hardee.
6th. Two lines to be formed from 800 to 1,000 yards apart, according to ground.
7th. Chiefs of artillery to pay special attention to posting of batteries, and supervise their work, seeing they do not causelessly waste their ammunition.
8th. Cavalry to fall back gradually before enemy, reporting by couriers every hour. When near our lines, Wheeler will move to the right and Wharton to the left, to cover and protect our flanks and report movements of enemy; Pegram to fall to the rear, and report to commanding general as a reserve.
9th. To-night, if the enemy has gained his position in our front ready for action, Wheeler and Wharton, with their whole commands, will make a night march to the right and left, turn the enemy's flank, gain his rear, and vigorously assail his trains and rear guard, blocking the roads and impeding his movements every way, holding themselves ready to assail his retreating forces.
10th. All quartermasters, commissaries, and ordnance officers will remain at their proper posts, discharging their appropriate duties. Supplies and baggage should be ready, packed for a move forward or backward as the results of the day may require, and the trains should be in position, out of danger, teamsters all present, and quartermasters in charge <ar29_673>
11th. Should we be compelled to retire, Polk's corps will move on Shelbyville and Hardee's on Manchester pike; trains in front; cavalry in rear.
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 Lieutenant-General POLK, Commanding Polk's Corps.
[Inclosure A.]
Tabular statement showing the number of prisoners captured by the Army of Tennessee, under General Braxton Bragg, while at Murfreesborough, Tenn.(*)
At Murfreesborough, during battle before that place  6,273
At Hartsville, December 6, 1862  1,762
By Morgan's expedition into Kentucky, between December 24, 1862, and January 7, 1863  1,873
By Forrest's expedition into West Tennessee, December 20, 1862  1,530
Total 11,438

 W. K. BEARD, lnspector-General.
[Inclosure B. ]
List and description of flags taken by General Bragg's army at Murfreesborough.
No. 1.--Bunting Stars and Stripes; regiment not known; date not known; name of captor not reported.
No. 2.--Large silk Stars and Stripes; Thirty-ninth Illinois [Indiana]; date not known; name of captor not reported.
No. 3.--Bunting Stars and Stripes; regiment not known; date not known; name of captor not reported.
No. 4.--Guidon (artillery); regiment not known; date not known; name of captor not reported.
No. 5.--Bunting Stars and Stripes; regiment not known; date not known; name of captor not reported.
No. 6.--Silk Stars and Stripes; regiment not known; December 31, 1862; captured by Private J. K. Leslie, Company C, Fifth Arkansas, Liddell's brigade.
No. 7.--Regimental standard (regulars);regiment not known; December 31, 1862; captured by Sergt. John F. Levin, Company B, Third Confederate, Wood's brigade.
No. 8.--Silk Stars and Stripes (faded); Thirty-fourth Illinois; December 31, 1862; captured by Colonel Locke's Tenth Texas, Ector's brigade, McCown's division.
No. 9.--Fragment of silk Stars and Stripes; regiment not known; date not known; name of captor not reported.
No. 10.--Battle-flag of a regiment of General Polk's corps, which was left on the field covered with its slain bearers, and recovered by General Adams' brigade, of Breckinridge's division, during his severe engagement December 31, 1862.
These comprise but a small portion of the number of flags actually taken. Nothing is more difficult than to make officers send up these trophies, which the men seem to regard as their own, and are disposed of accordingly. General Cleburne deserves mention for collecting and forwarding his.
 A. J. HAYS, Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General, Dept. No. 2.
«43 R R--VOL XX, PT I» <ar29_674>
[Inclosure C.]
Tabular statement showing the number present for duty on the morning of December 31, 1862; the number killed, wounded, and missing, and the percentage of loss in the battle of Murfreesborough.
O Officers. B Enlisted  men. M Men. C Percentage of loss A Aggregate

                                    ----Present for duty.--- --Killed.---  Wounded. Missing.
Command. O M A O B O B O B A C
Donelson's.brigade ....  .... .... 10 98 42 533 1 16 700 ....
Stewart's.brigade  .... .... .... 8 55 23 311 .... 2 399 ....
Maney's.brigade  .... .... .... 3 19 12 151 .... 8 193 ....
Smith's.brigade  .... .... .... 7 98 48 516 3 35 707 ....
Total  454 5,090 5,544 28 270 125 1,511 4 61 1,999 36

Withers' Division.
Deas'.brigade  .... .... .... 6 47 31 502 .... 5 591 ....
Chalmers'.brigade  .... .... .... 8 59 32 413 1 35 548 ....
Walthall's.brigade .... .... .... 12 118 42 578 .... 13 763 ....
Anderson's.brigade .... .... .... 3 70 34 394 .... 16 517 ....
Total  617 7,957 8,574 29 294 139 1,887 1 69 2,419 28¼
Total.Polk's.corps 1,071 13,047 14,118 57 564 264 3,398 5 130 4,41831 1/3


Breckinridge's Division.
Pillow's.brigade  .... .... .... 6 43 32 292 2 50 425 ....
Preston's.brigade .... .... .... 4 54 28 356 4 93 539 ....
Adams'.brigade  .... .... .... 8 104 24 421 1 145 703 ....
Hanson's.brigade  .... .... .... 10 37 32 241 3 78 401 ....
Total  513 6,540 7,053 28 238 116 1,310 10 366 2,068 291/3

Cleburne's Division.
Staff  .... .... .... .... .... 2 .... .... .... .... ....
Wood's.brigade  .... .... .... 7 45 20 319 5 108 2 ....
Johnson's.brigade  .... .... .... 5 56 46 442 9 48 606 ....
Liddell's.brigade  .... .... .... 6 80 32 471 .... 18 607 ....
Polk's.brigade  .... .... .... 4 26 42 256 .... 19 347 ....
Total.840 840 6,176 7,016 22 207 142 1,488 14 193 2,066 29½
Total.Hardee's.corps 1,353 12,716 14,069 50 445 258 2,798 24 559 4,134 29.2/5
McCown's.division  319 4,095 4,414 8 86 101 661 9 97 962 21.4/5
Jackson's.brigade  89 785 874 1 40 11 251 .... .... 303 34.2/3
Total infantry.and.artillery 2,832 30,643 33,475 116 1,135 634 7,108 38 786 9,817 29.1/3

Wheeler'e.brigade  124 1,045 1,169 5 17 12 49 3 81 167 14.1/2
Wharton's.brigade  158 1,792 1,950 2 18 11 120 4 109 264 13.1/2
Pegram's.brigade.(no.return) 30 450 480 .... .... .... .... .... .... .... ....
Buford's.brigade  52 586 638 1 1 2 9 1 5 18 2.7/8
Total.cavalry  364 3,873 4,237 7 36 25 178 8 195 449 11.7/8
Grand.total  3,196 34,516 37,712 123 1,171 659 7,286 46 981 10,266 27.4/7

In estimating the percentage of loss, the aggregate, 480, reported by General Pegram from whom the report of killed, wounded, and missing was received, is to be deducted fram 4,237, aggregate of cavalry, and from 37,712, grand aggregate.
TULLAHOMA, February 2, 1963.
[Inclosure C Continued. ]
Tabular statement of the number present for duty on December 31,1862; the number of killed, wounded, and missing, and the percentage of loss in the brigades of Breckinridge's division at the battle of Murfreesborough.
C Commissioned officers. W Wounded. E Enlisted  men. M Missing. A Aggregate T Total. K Killed. % Percentage of loss.

December 31, 1862:                Present for duty. ------C------- --------E---------
Command C E A K W M K W M T A %
Pillow's.brigade  129 1,446 1,575 1 1 .... 1 19 1 21 23
Preston's.brigade 143 1,808 1,951 2 11 .... 14 129 7 150 163
Adams'.brigade  100 1,534 1,634 7 18 .... 75 326 118 519 544 33½
Hanson's.brigade(*) 141 1,752 1,893 .... .... .... .... .... .... ........ ....
Total  513 6,540 7,053 10 30 .... 90 474 126 690 730 10.2/5

 .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... ....
January 2, 1865:  .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... ....
Pillow's.brigade  .... .... .... 5 31 2 42 273 49 364 402 25½
Preston's.brigade .... .... .... 2 17 4 40 227 86 353 276 19½
Hanson's.brigade .... .... .... 1 6 1 29 95 27 151 159
Hanson's.brigade .... .... .... 10 32 3 37 241 78 356 401 21¼
Total  513 6,540 7,053 18 86 10 148 836 240 1,224 1,338 19

Total force engaged in the several battles  7,058
Total loss  2,068
Percentage of loss  29 ½
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Winchester, [Tenn.], January 8, 1863.
SOLDIERS OF THE ARMY OF TENNESSEE! Your gallant deeds have won the admiration of your general, your Government, and your country. For myself, I thank you, and am proud of you; for them, I tender you the gratitude and praise you have so nobly won.
In a campaign of less than one month, in the face of winter, your achievements have been unparalleled. You have captured more than 10,000 prisoners, taken and preserved 30 pieces of artillery and 7,000 small-arms, in addition to many thousands destroyed. You have, besides, captured 800 wagons, loaded chiefly with supplies, which have been destroyed or brought safely to your lines; and in pitched battles you have driven the enemy before you, inflicting a loss at least three to one greater than you have sustained.
In retiring to a stronger position, without molestation from a superior force, you have left him a barren field in which to bury his hosts of slain, and to rally and recuperate his shattered ranks. Cut off from his Government, both by rail and telegraph, and deprived of supplies by the interruption of his communications, we shall yet teach him a severe lesson for the rashness of penetrating a country so hostile to his cause. Whilst the infantry and artillery defy him in front, our invincible cavalry will assail him in flank and rear, until we goad him to another advance, only to meet another signal defeat. <ar29_676>
Your general deplores, in common with you, the loss of your gallant comrades, who have fallen in our recent conflicts. Let their memories be enshrined in your hearts, as they will ever be tenderly cherished by their countrymen. Let it be yours to avenge their fate, and proudly to emulate their deeds. Remember that your face is to the foe, and that on you rests the defense of all that is dear to freemen. Soldiers, the proudest reflection of your general's life is to be known as the commander of an army so brave and invincible as you have proven. He asks no higher boon than to lead such men to victory. To share their trials, and to stand or fall with them, will be the crown of his ambition.
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.

5. Patrick R. Cleburne
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XX/1 [S# 29] DECEMBER 26, 1862-JANUARY 5, 1863.--The Stone's River or Murfreesborough, Tenn., Campaign.
No. 253.--Report of Major General Patrick R. Cleburne,  C.S. Army, commanding division.

[ar29_843 con't]
HARDEE'S CORPSS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, Tenn., January 31, 1863.
On December 26, 1862 three brigades of my division were stationed at College Grove, near Eaglesville, about 20 miles west of Murfreesborough. The Fourth Brigade, under command of Brig. Gen. S. A.M. Wood, was stationed at Triune, 4 miles north of College Grove, on the Nashville and Shelbyville turnpike.
On the evening of the same day I had information that little enemy had driven back the cavalry and occupied Nolensville, in my front.
During the night I received orders from General Hardee, who had gone in person to the front, to have everything in readiness for a movement and to be prepared for any emergency. I also received instructions as to the roads to be taken by my train and fighting force, respectively, in case of a retreat on Murfreesborough.
Early on the morning of the 27th, I received orders from the same source to take up a position on the turnpike about 1 mile north of my encampment. While making this disposition, I received orders from General Hardee to move the three brigades with me to Murfreesborough by the routes previously decided upon; also that Wood's brigade would remain at Triune and assist General Wharton's cavalry to retard the farther advance of the enemy.
For the proceedings of Wood's brigade under this order, I respectfully refer you to the report of Brig. Gen. S. A.M. Wood, herewith transmitted.
I immediately moved as directed; marched all day, part of it over a miserable road and through a cold, drenching rain, and encamped after nightfall on the Salem turnpike, within 1 mile of Stone's River.
On the morning of the 28th, General Hardee ordered me to form line of battle north of Murfreesborough and east of Stone's River, my line to face north, its left resting on the river, its right near the Lebanon turnpike, 800 or 1,000 yards in rear of a line already occupied by Breckinridge’s division.
Wood's brigade, falling back slowly before General McCook's army corps, impeding his advance wherever opportunity offered, finally reached Stone's River and rejoined the division on the morning of the 29th. <ar29_844>
I lay, inactive, in line of battle until the evening of the 30th, when 1 received orders to move from the right to the left of the army. Arriving at the fording place on Stone's River, I received orders to remain there until General Hardee had examined the ground and determined my position. It was dark when staff officers were sent to order me forward and show me my position. The passage of the river in the night was attended with many difficulties, and my whole division was not in position before midnight. As well as I could judge from the camp-fires, my line was a prolongation to the left of Cheatham's line, and was 400 or 500 yards in rear of McCown's division.
Soon after midnight I received an order from General Hardee, on which I based and issued the following circular, viz:
Generals of brigades will have their respective commands in readiness to move upon the enemy at 4.30 o'clock this morning. The several commands will fall into line without signal of bugle or drum.
Before daylight I formed line, placing Polk's brigade, with Calvert's battery, on the right; Johnson's brigade, with Darden's battery, in the center, and Liddell's brigade, with the Warren Light Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant [H.] Shannon, on the left. Wood's brigade I placed a short distance in rear of Polk's. This brigade had no battery in the fight, its battery (Semple's, of six Napoleon guns) having been detached the day before to support Hanson's brigade, of Breckinridge's division, and having remained with that brigade on the right of the army.
On account of the absence on duty of my chief of artillery, I ordered my chief of ordnance (Captain [T. E.] Hotchkiss) to act as chief of artillery, and Robert [D.] Smith, ordnance officer of Polk's brigade, to act as division ordnance officer.
It was not yet clear day when I received orders from General Hardee to advance. Swinging to the right as I moved forward, I rapidly communicated these instructions to brigade commanders, caused my division to load, and moved forward, stepping short upon the right and full upon the left, so as to swing round my left as directed. General Cheatham's left did not move forward at the same moment as my right, and my division, inclining to the left as it advanced, a gap was soon left between us, which General Hardee directed General Wood's brigade to fill. My whole division (Semple's battery excepted) was now advancing in line of battle, gradually wheeling to the right as it advanced. My left had not moved half a mile when heavy firing commenced near its front, supposed to be McCown's division engaging the enemy. A few moments more, and the enemy's skirmishers opened fire along the right and left center of my division, indicating that instead of being a second line supporting McCown's division, I was, in reality, the foremost line on this part of the field, and that McCown's line had unaccountably disappeared from my front. Skirmishers were immediately thrown forward, and I pressed on, continuing the difficult wheel under fire, through a country cut up with numerous fences and thickets. There was a great deal of crowding and improper opening out in the center of my line. Polk's and Johnson's brigades had to be moved by the flank more than once to regain their true positions. Driving back the enemy's skirmishers in the face of a heavy fire of shot and shell, I encountered his first solid line of battle at an average distance of three-fourths of a mile from the scene of my bivouac of last night. The left of this line (opposite Wood's and Polk's brigades) stretched through a large cedar brake; the right (opposite Liddell's and Johnson's) through open ground. In many parts of <ar29_845> the brake the enemy found natural breastworks of limestone rock. In the open ground he covered most of his line behind a string of fence. Opposite my left, where the ground was open, a second line of the enemy, supported by artillery, could be seen a short distance in rear of his first. Here was my first important fight of the day. It extended along my whole line, and was participated in by McNair's brigade, of McCown's division, which had been placed on my left, and which a few moments before had surprised and driven the enemy from the ground over which my left had passed. The fight was short and bloody, lasting about twenty-five minutes, when the enemy gave way, both in the cedars and open ground, and fled back on his second line, which was immediately encountered in the woods, pastures, and open ground in rear of his former position. His second line soon gave way, and both went off together. My first fight may be said to have ended here. Its results were important.
The Eighth Arkansas, of Liddell's brigade, captured two stand of colors. They were handed to Colonel [John H.] Kelly on the field by Private James Riddle, of Company C, and Corpl. N. A. Horn, of Company E. In the rapid pursuit which followed, Colonel Kelly could not carry them; they were left on the field, and, I fear, approprited by some person who had no title to them.
The Second Arkansas [Infantry], of a brigade, again encountered and defeated the Twenty-second Indiana (the same regiment it had so severely handled at the battle of Perryville), wounding and capturing its lieutenant-colonel. This brigade also captured two rifled cannon, with suitable ammunition; these Lieutenant Shannon added to his battery, and used on the enemy at subsequent periods of the battle. In Johnson's brigade, the Seventeenth Tennessee charged and captured a battery of four guns. In Wood's brigade, the Sixteenth Alabama wounded and captured the colonel and killed the lieutenant-colonel and major of the One hundred and first Ohio. My losses were very severe, especially on my left wing, where Johnson's and Liddell's brigades suffered more than in all the subsequent fighting of the day. In Johnson's brigade, Colonel [A. S.] Marks, of the Seventeenth Tennessee (one of the best officers in the division), was severely wounded. Major [H. C.] Ewin, Forty-fourth Tennessee, was mortally wounded. Colonel [Moses] White and Lieutenant-Colonel [R. D.] Frayser, Thirty-seventh Tennessee, were wounded. Colonel [J. M.] Hughs, Twenty-fifth Tennessee, was wounded. In Polk's brigade, Majors [C. H.] Carlton and [R. A.] Duncan, Fifteenth and Thirteenth Arkansas, were wounded. In Wood's brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel [A. H.] Helvenston and Major [J. H.] McGaughy, Sixteenth Alabama, were wounded. In all, nine field officers, and a proportionate number of company officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates were killed or wounded in this fight.
My division was now engaged in a rapid, but not very orderly, pursuit of the enemy, which was continued until a fresh line of his infantry and artillery came in view. This line was drawn up on the south side of, and parallel to, the Wilkinson turnpike, its right resting in open woods, its left in open fields. It checked or pushed back portions of my command, which, in the ardor of pursuit, had advanced beyond the general line. My whole division (the right of Johnson's brigade, which had delayed to replenish its ammunition, excepted) again engaged the enemy. Advancing steadily in the face of a heavy fire of infantry and artillery, Liddell's brigade, and the Seventeenth Tennessee, of Johnson's brigade, drove back the enemy's right. Wood's and Polk's brigades encountered a more obstinate and protracted resistance to the open fields where they <ar29_846> fought; but here, too, success again rewarded the bravery of my men. The enemy were driven across the Wilkinson pike, and took refuge in the woods and heavy cedar brake on the north side. In this fight I captured 2 hospitals, nearly 1,000 prisoners, a train of ammunition wagons, 1 piece of artillery, 3 or 4 caissons, and 2 wagons loaded with medical stores. The Federal General [J. W.] Sill was killed near one of the hospitals. The Seventeenth Tennessee, of Johnson's brigade, and the Second  Arkansas, of Liddell's brigade, contend for the honor of having first captured the hospital and killed General Sill.
My line was now far advanced beyond that of Withers and Cheatham. I began to discover from the firing that I was getting in rear of the right flank of the enemy's center My right wing and left center were exposed to a heavy enfilading fire as they crossed the open ground near the turnpike from a powerful battery planted near the north side of the pike. Captain Hotchkiss, acting chief of artillery, placed Darden's and [J. H.] Calvert's batteries in position, and boldly attacked the Parrott and rifled artillery of the enemy. Wood's brigade having moved back to get a fresh supply of ammunition, Brigadier-General Polk moved forward, but was forced by the enfilading fire to change front forward on his first battalion, so as to place his line at right angles to the pike and facing eastwardly. This done, he advanced and attacked the supports of the battery, while Hotchkiss, though greatly overmatched in number and caliber of guns, continued to fire on them. The enemy abandoned the position, leaving several pieces of artillery, The Fifth Confederate and First Arkansas passed through and beyond these guns, and fairly deserve the honor of having captured them Colonel [P. B.] Hawkins, of the Eleventh Kentucky, commanding a Federal brigade, was killed by the First Arkansas [Infantry] during this fight. Relieved of the enfilading fire, Brigadier-General Polk again changed front and resumed his original line of advance.
In the mean time Wood's brigade had come up and been ordered by me to the left of Polk's brigade. Johnson's brigade had also come up, and, like Polk's, had been forced by the enfilading fire to change front. I had ordered Brigadier-General Johnson to throw forward a strong company of sharpshooters and advance on the battery to Polk's assistance; but just at this time the firing ceased, and I discovered the enemy had been driven back, as before stated. I then changed the direction of Johnson's advance to correspond with Polk's, and moved his brigade on the right of Polk's, whose guns were again heard in conflict with the enemy. On examination, I found the enemy had made another stand in a heavy cedar brake north of the Wilkinson pike, and in front of where my right crossed it. He had again found natural breastworks of limestone rock, and covered most of his line behind them. He made an obstinate and destructive resistance, during which Polk's brigade suffered a severe repulse; but he was finally dislodged and driven from the cedars. Toward the close of this fight, Smith's brigade, of Cheatham's division, under command of Colonel [A. J.] Vaughan, [jr.,] came up on my left and rendered us material assistance.
In this fight Sergeant Lovin, of the Third Confederate Regiment, of Wood's brigade, captured a stand of colors, which I herewith transmit. Lieut. Col. Don McGregor, of the First Arkansas, fell mortally wounded, and Major [J. T.] McReynolds, the last field officer of the Thirty-seventh Tennessee, was mortally wounded.
The commanding officers of Brigadier-General Wood's regiments again reported their ammunition expended; he moved the brigade in rear of the Wilkinson pike to procure a supply. While there information reached <ar29_847> General Hardee that the enemy was threatening our left flank, and he ordered Wood's brigade to remain in the rear and protect the trains. This was the smallest brigade I had, numbering on the morning of the fight not over 1,100 officers and men. It was without a battery, as before explained; was on the extreme right of my line (the most exposed position) up to the time of crossing the pike, and at this time did not number 500.
The enemy was now driven out of the cedars in our front, but to the right of my division he still remained undisturbed, and as I again attempted to advance I found myself flanked on the right and again exposed to an enfilading fire. I therefore determined to advance on a line farther to the left, and where my right flank would not be so fearfully exposed. With this view, I ordered General Johnson to move his brigade to the left, where Liddell's brigade would again connect with him.
But here it would be proper to give a statement of the doings of Lid-dell's brigade since last mentioned as having driven back a line of the enemy on the south side of the Wilkinson pike. While my other brigades inclined to the right, as stated, Brigadier-General Liddell moved diagonally to the left for a considerable distance through open woods. He met the enemy on the far edge of these woods and drove him over the crest of the high ground beyond. Throwing forward skirmishers, it was found he had made another stand in the valley of Overall's Creek, 400 or 500 yards beyond the crest. Liddell moved his battery to the crest and drove him back until he disappeared from view behind the embankment of the Nashville railroad. From the high point where his battery now was, Lid-dell was in full view of the Nashville turnpike and the enemy's trains. He opened with his artillery on one portion of the train, while General Wharton, with the cavalry, charged another. The trains disappeared in haste and confusion. At this time Liddell's brigade was the extreme left of the infantry of the army, and there was a gap of three-quarters of a mile between his right and the left of the other portion of the division. I determined to unite the division opposite this gap and advance. I ordered Johnson to move on the left of Polk's brigade, and at the same time sent orders to Brigadier-General Liddell to move his brigade by the right flank until he had reconnected with Johnson's brigade.
While these commands were being executed, I met a brigade of McCown's division retreating in great disorder. I think this brigade must have attempted to advance through the gap in my division and been repulsed.
By moving inward and uniting in the gap mentioned, my division again advanced on a line midway between the diverging lines which the two portions had before pursued. I advanced with four brigades, disposed as follows: Polk's brigade on the right, Liddell's on the left, Smith's brigade, of Cheatham's division, the right center, Johnson's the left center. I had not moved 100 yards when Liddell's brigade became hotly engaged with a line of the enemy drawn up across a neck of woods and prolonged into the fields on each side. This, I think, was a continuation to the left of the same line which my other brigades had defeated farther to the right, or it may have been the line which had caused the repulse of McCown's division (just mentioned) and which was pursuing. However this be, Liddell met the enemy here in force and engaged in the most obstinately contested and (to the enemy) most destructive fight which had yet occurred. Not until Liddell had closed within 25 paces of him would the portion of his line in the woods give way.
Colonel Kelly, of the Eighth Arkansas, and Colonel [S. G.] Smith, of the Sixth and Seventh Arkansas, were wounded here. <ar29_848>
Lieutenant-Colonel [John E.] Murray, of the Fifth Arkansas, bore the colors of his regiment through the hottest of the fight, and by his own bright example encouraged his men to despise danger.
J.K. Leslie, a brave and intelligent private of Company C, of this regiment, captured a beautiful stand of colors belonging to one of the enemy's regiments of regulars. This flag I also herewith transmit.
The enemy gave way and fled, leaving a large number of dead behind him. Johnson's, Smith's, and Polk's brigades moved rapidly in pursuit, obliquing to the left as they advanced. Liddell rapidly reformed his line and followed, en echelon, about 100 yards in rear of Johnson. My orders, frequently received from General Hardee during the day, being to push the enemy, and, if possible, give him no time to rally or select positions, I did not halt the division or lose any time in rectifying distances or alignments. The line had not advanced a quarter of a mile when a fresh line of the enemy was discovered in open fields. He was supported by numerous and well-served batteries. At this time I had but one battery (Liddell's). Polk's could not follow through the heavy woods and Johnson's had been ordered by General Hardee to remain in reserve near the Wilkinson pike. My line advanced steadily, pouring in a deadly fire, and drove the enemy across a small dirt road. That portion of his line opposite Johnson rallied behind a fence on the far side of the dirt road, but was driven from there also, when his whole line disappeared in the cedar woods, which here border the Nashville pike, and were close behind him. Still another line of the enemy showed itself on the edge of these cedars. A heavy fire of small-arms was immediately directed upon him. He fled back in the woods, leaving the ground in front of Johnson's brigade thickly covered with dead and wounded. Following up their success, our men gained the edge of the cedars--Johnson's brigade capturing a battery of Parrott guns--and were almost on the Nashville turnpike, in rear of the original center of Rosecrans' army, sweeping with their fire his only line of communication with Nashville; but it was now after 3 o'clock; my men had had little or no rest the night before; they hail been fighting since dawn, without relief, food, or water; they were comparatively without the support of artillery, for the advance had been too rapid to enable my single battery to get in position and answer the enemy; their ammunition was again nearly exhausted, and our ordnance trains could not follow.
At this critical moment the enemy met my thinned ranks with another fresh line of battle, supported by a heavier and closer artillery fire than I had yet encountered. A report also spread, which I believe was true, that we were flanked on the right. This was more than our men could stand. Smith's brigade was driven back in great confusion. Polk's and Johnson's followed.  As our broken ranks went back over the fields before the fire of this fresh line, the enemy opened fire on our right flank from several batteries which they had concentrated on an eminence near the railroad, inflicting a heavier loss on Polk's brigade than it had suffered in all the previous fighting of the day.  The division was rallied on the edge of the opposite woods, about 400 yards in rear of the scene of disaster, though some of the men could not be stopped until they reached the Wilkinson pike.  Liddell's brigade, en echelon on my extreme left, was not engaged in this last light and was moved back in good order to the line where the other brigades rallied.  Here I reformed my division as rapidly as possible, Polk's brigade on the right, Johnson's in the center, and Liddell's on the left.  A fresh supply of ammunition was served out, and I waited in momentary expectation for an advance of the enemy in overwhelming force. He never advanced a foot, and the question <ar29_849> presented itself, Ought I to again advance? I was now in possession of 3 miles of ground conquered from the enemy, large numbers of prisoners, cannon, and small-arms. Another repulse, and I might lose all these and cause the demoralization and destruction of my division. I immediately reported the situation to General Hardee, and was ordered by him to hold the ground I had won, rest, and reorganize my division and await further orders. Pushing my pickets well forward, I bivouacked in line of battle on the same line which the division rallied on after the repulse.
On the morning of January 1, there were rumors that the enemy was retreating. I was ordered by General Hardee to push forward, feel the enemy, and ascertain the true state of affairs in our front. Liddell's brigade was moved forward and to the left, and drove the enemy's skirmishers back at least a quarter of a mile, and beyond a white house used as a Federal hospital, and situated on the small dirt road near which our last fight of the day before occurred.
During this fight Lieutenant-Colonel [F. J.] Cameron, Sixth and Seventh Arkansas Regiment, was wounded.
Liddell again swept the Nashville turnpike with his artillery, and greatly disturbed the enemy's trains, which could be seen on and near it. Receiving another message from General Hardee to the effect that he had ordered me to feel the enemy, and could not hear my guns, and at the same time receiving information from General Liddell that he was in line of battle near the hospital just mentioned, and needed immediate support on his right, I ordered General Wood to move his brigade forward cautiously, and support Liddell on the right, but I also informed him that the object was merely to ascertain whether the enemy was still in force in our front, not to bring on a general battle. Wood's brigade moved forward, and I moved Johnson's skirmishers forward en echelon on Wood's right flank, so as to protect him as much as possible. Wood's brigade formed line close to the dirt road last mentioned, and immediately became hotly engaged with a very large force of the enemy, which advanced on him out of the cedars where our repulse of the day before occurred. He found that Liddell was not on his left, as expected, having previously fallen back; he also discovered that the enemy were flanking him on the left with another heavy force. At this time he received an order direct from General Hardee not to bring on a general battle. He ceased firing and fell back, leaving several killed and wounded on the ground. Some of the men of the Forty-fifth Mississippi Regiment had gone so far ahead that retreat was impossible; they remained where they were, and fell into the hands of the enemy. Wood must have lost nearly 100 in killed, wounded, and prisoners in this fight. It was now clear the enemy was still in force in my front, and I so reported it.
On Friday morning, January 2, I was satisfied that the enemy was fortifying his position. On consultation with my brigade commanders, I addressed a note to General Hardee, which I requested him to forward to General Bragg, stating this important fact, and that I feared, if my single, and now reduced, line was pushed on the enemy in his fortified position, the result would prove very disastrous, but that I believed I could hold a defensible position against any assault of the enemy.
Semple's battery rejoined me on the 1st On the 2d, Friday evening, I was ordered to send four of his guns to support an attack about to be made by Major-General Breckinridge's division. My acting chief of artillery, Captain Hotchkiss, having been twice wounded while gallantly discharging his duty, I ordered him to quit the field (which he reluctantly did) «54 R R--VOL XX, PT I» <ar29_850> and directed Captain Semple to act as chief of artillery. Cap-tail Semple sent four of his 12-pounders, under Lieutenant [E. J.] Fitzpatrick, to General Breckinridge's division. In the desperate conflict which took place on the right that evening, this battery bore a conspicuous part. Out of 45 men and officers, 20 were killed and wounded; among them Lieut. Joseph Pollard, who is represented as having fought most bravely, and only yielded when his leg and arm were both broken; 14 horses were killed and wounded, and one piece of artillery was lost. For details of the noble conduct of this battery in the fight, I refer you to the report of Captain Semple, herewith sent.
About 11 o'clock that night the enemy made a reconnaissance in force in front of my division; he was driven back by my skirmishers. Immediately afterward I received orders to withdraw my pickets and resume the position held by me on the morning of December 30, on the right of the army, in rear of Breckinridge's division. Here I remained, enduring the incessant cold rain of that night and next day, until 11 p.m. of the 3d, when I commenced retreating on Manchester.
After the battles of Wednesday, I collected a large number of guns and sent them to General Bragg's chief of ordnance. I also got several artillery horses, with which I replaced most of the disabled horses in my batteries; also a large quantity of artillery ammunition, harness, and other articles necessary in batteries.
To the courage and patriotism of the officers and men, the good discipline which existed among them, and the unexpected suddenness of the attack, are alone due the success which attended my advance upon the enemy's right. With the exception of the wheel of my division, directed by General Hardee, on the morning of the great battle, there was no strategic movement attempted. It was one determined charge, sometimes checked, and even repulsed, by the enemy; sometimes delayed to procure a fresh supply of ammunition, but ever renewed and successful, until McCook's Federal corps of 18,000 men, composing the right wing of Rosecrans' army, had been swept away, and two or three lines of his successors had shared the same fate.
To Brigadier-Generals Johnson, Wood, and Polk, and Colonel Vaughan, commanding Smith's brigade, of Cheatham's division, the country is indebted for their great exertions on this occasion. Brigadier-General Liddell led his brigade with a skill, courage, and devotion which, I believe, saved my left flank from being turned by the enemy.
I found the following officers of my staff very efficient in this battle; they were at their posts all the time, and discharged their difficult duties with a courage, promptness, and intelligence not often equaled, viz: Col. W. W. Kirkland, chief of staff; Maj. Calhoun Benham, assist ant inspector-general; Capt. Irving A. Buck, assistant adjutant-general: Lieuts. J. W. Jetton and J. K. Dixon (the latter was wounded); Capt. T. R. Hotchkiss (wounded); John M. Johnson, chief surgeon; Surg. J. H. Erskine, chief inspector. Dr. Johnson showed the same zeal, courage, and energy in this battle which has distinguished him on every other occasion, and made me feel that my division was very fortunate in having secured his services.
In addition to the officers and men already mentioned in my report, the following officers and men have been brought to my notice for distinguished services on the field. I hope it will be considered no disparagement of the services of other brave men of my division, some of whom laid down their lives or lost limbs on this field, if their gallant deeds have been overlooked in this report.
In Wood's brigade I must specially mention the following officers and <ar29_851> men of the Sixteenth Alabama, viz: Col. W. B. Wood and Adjt. B. A. Wilson (wounded); Captain [William] Hodges, Company F; Lieutenant [C.] Davis, Company B; Lieutenant [G. W. W.] Jones, Company G; Lieutenant [G.] Pride, Company A; Lieutenant [C. F.] Carson, Company C, who remained fighting after he was wounded; Lieutenant [D. O.] Warren, Company F; Lieutenant [Thomas J.] Salter, Company D, who was wounded, but returned to the field the moment his wound was dressed; Sergt. Maj. Robert H. Cherry and Private Harvey G. Sargent, of Company H; Privates William Boyce and James Peeden, of Company C; Sergeant Bowen, Company H; Sergt. H. W. Rutland, Company A; Privates Peter White, Company F; Robert Williams, Company B, and H. D. Smith, Company A; the latter, wounded in both legs, deserves promotion. In the Forty-fifth Mississippi: Lieutenant-Colonel [R.] Charlton, Major [E. F.] Nunn, Adjt. Frank Foster, jr., Sergeants Asberry, Doolittle, Morrison, Vaughan, Stewart, Lieut. G. W. Williams, Sergeant-Major Kern, Corporals Mallett, Hackler, and Read, and Private McChadin. Corporal Read volunteered to carry the colors after the color-bearer had been shot down. He is well qualified as an officer, and ought to be promoted. In the Thirty-third Alabama: Colonel [Samuel] Adams, Captains [W. E.] Dodson and Thomas Seay (severely wounded, in advance), Sergeant-Major Mizell (mortally wounded), Corpl. Isaac R. Smith, Company C; Sergeant Stewart, Company H; Privates Byrd, Company I; Foster, Company E, and Riley, Company D. In the Third Confederate: Major [J. F.] Cameron. Wood's Sharpshooters: Captain [A. T.] Hawkins.
Polk's Brigade.--In Fifth Confederate: Col. J. A. Smith and Adjt. F. T. Smith. In First Arkansas: Colonel [John W.] Colquitt, Lieut. Col. Don McGregor, Adjt. S. N. Greenwood, Captain [William A.] Alexander, Company B (wounded); Captain [W. H.] Scales, Company C (wounded); Captain [O. F.] Parrish, Company D (wounded); Lieut. John E. Letson (wounded); Corpls. Green M. McKenzie, Company A (killed); John S. T. Hemphill, Company B (wounded); Privates G. W. Sallee, Company C; J. C. Bogy, Company D; W. W. Chaney, Company E; Hardee J. Bullion, Company F, and A. P. Green, Company G (killed); James Beeson, Company H; John H. Curd, Company I (killed); Ocean C. Choat, Company K (killed). In Thirteenth and Fifteenth Arkansas: Capt. Thomas H. Osborne, Companies B and H, Fifteenth Arkansas; Lieut. John Dolan, Company A, Thirteenth Arkansas, ought to be promoted; Color-bearer Felix E. Lipe, Thirteenth Arkansas (wounded); First Sergt. J. M. Harkleroad, Company F, Fifteenth Arkansas; Private William Sandford, Company E, Thirteenth Arkansas (wounded), ought to be promoted; Lieut. William [H.] Pearce and Captain [W. H.] Kinsey, Fifteenth Arkansas. In Fifth Tennessee: Col. B. J. Hill, well worthy of promotion. Calvert's Battery: Joseph Lemon, color-bearer, deserves promotion.
Liddell's Brigade.--In Second Arkansas: Lieutenants [H. C.] Collier and [B. L.] Clegg, I fear killed; Lieutenant Colonel [Reuben F.] Harvey, Captain [J. K] Phillips, Company F, ought to be promoted; Lieutenants [C. S.] Emerson, Company A; [M. D.] Brown, Company K, and [R. E.] Smith, Company G. In Eighth Arkansas: Adjutant [H. J.] McCurdy, a brave young soldier (killed); Lieutenant [S. B.] Cole, Company I; Lieut. Calvin East, Company H; Lieut. T. H. Beard, Company F (killed); Lieutenant [W. M.] Bass, Company E; Captain [W. H.] Lankford, Company A; Lieutenant [B. A.] Terrett, Company E. In Fifth Arkansas: Captain [A. B.] Washington, Company K; Privates John Atkinson, Company C; B.W. Maret, Company I, and C. Mattix, <ar29_852> Company F. This soldier was too badly wounded to carry his gun. He asked to be allowed to carry the colors, and did so through the rest of the day. Three color-bearers had been shot down previously. In Sixth and Seventh Arkansas: Captain [J. W.] Martin, Lieutenant [J. A.] Reeves, and Captain [S.C.] Brown, ever foremost in leading their men; Captains [J. G.] Fletcher, [W. E.] Wilkerson, and [M. M.] Duffie (wounded); Sergeant-Major Eddins, Sergeant Bratton, Company H; Private Hulse, Company K; the color-bearer, whose name has not been furnished to me.
Johnson's Brigade.--In Twenty-fifth Tennessee: Capt. A. Green, Company G; Capt. G. H. Swope, Company H; First Lieut. D. S. Walker, Company D. In Forty-fourth Tennessee: Maj. H. C. Ewin and Capt. Samuel Stiles, Company A; Adjt. R. G. Cross, Lieutenants [F. M.] Kelso, Company B; [J. W.] Dickins, Company C; [W. H.] Gibbs, Company F; A. P. Forester, Company K (wounded); Color-Sergt. M. J. Turner and Corpl. I. S. Berry, Company I (wounded); Corpl. John W. Gill, Company F (killed); Privates J. D. Stone, Company B; S.G. Heflin, Company C (killed); B. P. Hargroves, Company E (wounded); James D. Crenshaw, Company H (wounded), and J. M. Sellers, Company K. In Twenty-third Tennessee: Capt. N. R. Allen, Company E; Capt. W. H. Harder, Company G; Privates Henry C. Haynes, Company E, and Stephen M. Foster, Company C. In Seventeenth Tennessee: Adjt. James [B.] Fitzpatrick.
I wish to call particular attention to the gallant conduct of Sergt. William N. Cameron, color-bearer of Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiment. In the last fight he advanced in front of his regiment so far that when it fell back he was unable to follow, and was captured. He tore the colors from the staff, concealed them upon his person, and made his escape from Bowling Green, bringing with him the flag of the Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiment.
In conclusion, I would state that I carried into the fight 6,045 men, out of which I lost 2,081 killed; wounded, and missing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 P. R. CLEBURNE, Major-General.
 Maj. T. B. Roy, Chief of Staff, Hardee's Corps.

6. Leonidas Polk 

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XX/1 [S# 29] DECEMBER 26, 1862-JANUARY 5, 1863.--The Stone's River or Murfreesborough, Tenn., Campaign.
No. 192.--Report of Lieut. Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, commanding Army Corps, with resulting correspondence

Winchester, Tenn., March 24, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit the report by Lieut. Gen. L. Polk, with those of division and brigade commanders, of the operations of his corps at the battle of Murfreesborough. This report, though dated February 28, was only transmitted, as will be seen by its accompanying letter, on the 21st, and was received at this office on March 22. The accompanying map(*) has some inaccuracies in regard to troops and operations not under the general's command, but not to the extent of materially affecting its usefulness. The general requests leave of absence for an officer of his staff to carry this report to Richmond and transact other official business for his corps. I request the officer named be ordered to deliver the report to the Adjutant-General, but be confined to that specific duty. All other official business must be transacted through these headquarters.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
General, Commanding.
 Col. B. S. EWELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
Shelbyville, Tenn., March 21, 1863.
I have the honor herewith to transmit my official report of the battles before Murfreesborough, with accompanying statements and map.(*) I send also copies of the report of Major-General [B. F.] Cheatham, and of the brigade, regimental, and battery commanders of his division; also a list of its casualties. Major-General [J. M.] Withers, having been absent on sick leave since the battle, has not sent me his report. It will be forwarded in a few days. The report of brigade, regimental, and battery commanders of the division, with a list of casualties, have been already forwarded to you. As these papers are of importance, and as I have other matters of interest to my corps to be attended to, I have to respectfully request that I be permitted to send a staff officer with them to Richmond. Lieut. P. B. Spence, who is the bearer of this, is the officer I desire to send. To accomplish this, I ask for him fifteen days' leave of absence.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Inclosure No.. 2.]
Shelbyville, Tenn., February 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following as my official report of the operations of my corps in the battles on Stone's River, in front of Murfreesborough:
One of my brigades (that of General Maney) was on outpost duty in <ar29_686> front of Stewart's Creek, and, with a cavalry brigade under General Wheeler, was held in observation. The enemy made a general forward movement on the 26th in their immediate front, and they were ordered to retire slowly upon the line of battle which the general commanding had decided to adopt--on Stone's River, a short distance from Murfreesborough.
On the evening of the 28th, my brigades struck their tents and retired their baggage trains to the rear, and on the morning of the 29th they were placed in line of battle. As the brigades composing the division of Major-General Withers had not been engaged in any heavy battle since that of Shiloh, I placed them in the first line.(*) They extended from the river, near the intersection of the Nashville turnpike and railroad, southward across the Wilkinson pike to the Triune or Franklin road, in a line irregular, but adapted to the topography. The division of Major-General Cheatham was posted in the rear of that of Major-General Withers, as a supporting force. The division of Major-General McCown, of Lieut. Gen. Kirby Smith's army corps, was in prolongation of that of General Withers, on the left, having that of Major-General Cleburue, of Lieutenant-General Hardee's corps, as its supporting force. Major-General Breckinridge's division, of Lieutenant-General Hardee's corps, occupied the ground on the east side of the river, in the line of Major-General Withers, on the right. The enemy moved forward, and our outposts fell back slowly and took their place in the line of battle on the 29th.
On the 30th, in order to discover the position at which we proposed to offer battle, he moved up cautiously, shelling his front heavily as he advanced. The cannonading was responded to along our line, and the theater of impending conflict was speedily determined. On the left of my line the skirmishing became very active, and my left brigades, front and rear, became hotly engaged with the line which was being formed immediately before them. The enemy pressed forward very heavily with both artillery and infantry, and a sharp contest ensued, in which he attempted, with several regiments, to take one of my batteries by assault, but, was repulsed in the most decisive manner. In this preliminary onset many lives were lost on both sides. It was, from its severity, an appropriate introduction to the great battle of the ensuing day and prepared our troops for the work before them. Twilight following soon after, the enemy settled around his bivouac fires for the night.
Orders were issued by the general commanding to attack in the morning at daybreak. The attack was to be made by the extreme left, and the whole line was ordered to swing around from left to right upon my right brigade as a pivot. Major-General Breckinridge, on the extreme right and across the river, was to hold the enemy in observation on that flank.
At the appointed time the battle opened, evidently to the surprise of the opposing army. Major-General McCown, who was acting under the orders of Lieutenant-General Hardee, was upon them before they were prepared to receive him. He captured several batteries and one brigadier-general, wounded another, and drove three brigades--those composing the division of Brigadier-General [R. W.] Johnson--in confusion before him. He was followed quickly by Major-General Cleburne as a <ar29_687> supporting force, who occupied the space left vacant by the forward movement of McCown between the left of my front line and McCown's right. Opposing him in that space was the Second Division, of Major-General [A. McD.] McCook's corps, under the command of Brig. Gen. J. C. Davis, to confront which he had to wheel to the right, as the right of General McCook's corps was slightly refused. Cleburne's attack, following so soon on that of McCown, caught the force in his front also not altogether prepared, and the vigor of the assault was so intense that they, too, yielded and were driven.
Major-General Withers' left was opposed to the right of General Sheridan, commanding the Third and remaining division of General McCook's corps. The enemy's right was strongly posted on a ridge of rocks, with chasms intervening, and covered with a dense growth of rough cedars. Being advised of the attack he was to expect by the fierce contest which was being waged on his right, he was fully prepared for the onset, and this notice and the strength of his position enabled him to offer a strong resistance to Withers, whose duty it was to move next. Colonel [J. Q.] Loomis, who commanded the left brigade, moved up with energy and spirit to the attack. He was wounded and was succeeded by Colonel [J. G.] Coltart. The enemy met the advance with firmness, but was forced to yield. An accession of force aided him to recover his position, and its great strength enabled him to hold it. Coltart, after a gallant charge and a sharp contest, fell back, and was replaced by Colonel lA. J.] Vaughan, [jr.], of Major-General Cheatham's division, of the rear line. Vaughan, notwithstanding the difficulties of the ground, charged the position with great energy; but the enemy, intrenched behind stones and covered by the thick woods, could not be moved, and Vaughan also was repulsed. This caused a loss of time, and Cleburne's division, pressing Davis, reached a point where Sheridan's batteries, still unmoved, by wheeling to the right, enfiladed it. Colonel Vaughan was speedily reorganized and returned to the assault, and, in conjunction with Colonel Coltart, drove at the position with resistless courage and energy; and although their losses were very heavy, the enemy could not bear up against the onset. He was dislodged and driven with the rest of the fleeing battalions of McCook's corps.
In this charge the horses of every officer of the field and staff of Vaughan's brigade, except one, and the horses of all the officers of the field and staff of every regiment, except two, were killed. The brigade lost also one-third of all its force. It captured two of the enemy's field guns.
The brigade of Colonel [A.M.] Manigault, which was immediately on the right of that of Colonel Coltart, followed the movement of the latter, according to instructions; but as Coltart failed in the first onset to drive Sheridan's right, Manigault, after dashing forward and pressing the enemy's line in his front back upon his second line, was brought under a very heavy fire of artillery from two batteries on his right, supported by a very heavy infantry force. He was, therefore, compelled to fall back.
In this charge the brigade suffered severely, sustaining a very heavy loss in officers and men, but the gallant South Carolinians(*) returned to the charge a second and a third time, and, being aided by the brigade of General [G.]Maney, of the second line, which came to his relief with its heavy Napoleon guns and a deadly fire of musketry, the enemy gave way and joined his comrades on the right in their precipitate retreat <ar29_688> across the Wilkinson pike. This movement dislodged and drove the residue of Sheridan's division, and completed the forcing of the whole of McCook's corps out of its line of battle and placed it in full retreat. The enemy left one of his batteries of four guns on the field, which fell into the hands of Maney's brigade.
Here I think it proper to bring to the notice of the general commanding an instance of self-sacrificing devotion to the safety of their immediate commands and of our cause, which, for heroic courage and magnanimity, is without a parallel. A battery was pouring a murderous fire into the brigade of General Maney from a point which made it doubtful whether it was ours or the enemy's. Two unsuccessful efforts had been made by staff officers (one of whom was killed in the attempt) to determine its character. The doubt caused the brigade on which it was firing to hesitate in returning the fire, when Sergeant Oakley, color-bearer of the Fourth Tennessee Confederate Regiment, and Sergt. M. C. Hooks, color bearer of the Ninth Tennessee Regiment, gallantly advanced 8 or 10 paces to the front, displaying their colors and holding themselves and the flag of their country erect; remained ten minutes in a place so conspicuous as to be plainly seen, and fully to test from whom their brigade was suffering so severely. The murderous firing, instead of abating, was increased and intensified, and soon demonstrated that the battery and its support were not friends but enemies. The sergeants then returned deliberately to their proper positions in the line, unhurt, and the enemy's battery was silenced and his column put to flight. The front of Manigault and Maney being free, they swung round with our line on the left and joined in pressing the enemy and his re-enforcements into the cedar brake.
At 9 a.m. Brig. Gen. [J.] Patton Anderson, on Manigault's right, moved, in conjunction with its left brigade, forward upon the line in its front. That line rested with its right near the Wilkinson pike, and is understood to have been General [J. S.] Negley's division, of General [G. H.] Thomas' corps, which constituted the center of the enemy's line of battle. This division, with that of General [L. H.] Rousseau in reserve, was posted in the edge of a dense cedar brake, with an open space in front, and occupied a position of strength not inferior to that held by Sheridan's right. His batteries, which occupied commanding positions, and enabled him to sweep the open field in his front, were served with admirable skill and vigor, and were strongly supported. Anderson moved forward his brigade with firmness and decision. The fire of the enemy of both artillery and infantry was terrific, and his left for a moment wavered. Such evidences of destructive firing as were left on the forest from which this brigade emerged have rarely, if ever, been seen. The timber was torn and crushed. Nothing but a charge could meet the demands of the occasion. Orders were given to take the batteries at all hazards, and it was done. The batteries, two in number, were carried in gallant style. Artillerist's were captured at their pieces, a large number of whom and of their infantry support were killed upon the spot, and one company entire, with its officers and colors, were captured. The number of field guns captured in this movement was eight, which, together with four others, from which the gunners had been driven by the heavy firing from Maney's 1ong-range guns and Manigault's musketry on the left, made twelve taken on that part of the field. This was one of the points at which we encountered the most determined opposition, but the onward movement of the Mississippians and Alabamians was irresistible, and they swept the enemy before them, driving him into the dense cedar brake, to join the extending line of his fugitives. <ar29_689>
This work, however, was not done without a heavy 1oss of officers and men. The Thirtieth Mississippi, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [J. I.] Scales, in the act of charging, lost 62 officers and men killed and 139 wounded; others lost in proportion. Here the brave Lieut. Col. James L. Autry, of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi, fell while cheering and encouraging his troops.
The supporting brigade of General Anderson, commanded by Brig. Gen. A. P. Stewart, moved with that of Anderson. It was ordered by the division commander (Major-General Withers, who was in command of Major-General Cheatham's two right brigades as Major-General Cheat-ham was of his two left) to move to the support of the left regiments of Anderson, which were pressed. These regiments, which had suffered greatly, he replaced, and, moving forward, attacked the enemy and his re-enforcements on Anderson's left. After strong resistance they were driven back, shattered and in confusion, to join the host of their fleeing comrades in their retreat through the cedars. In their flight they left two of their field guns, which fell into the hands of Stewart's brigade.
Brigadier-General Chalmers' brigade (the remaining one of those constituting my front line), whose right flank rested on the river, was the last to move. This brigade, owing to its position in the line, was called on to encounter a measure of personal suffering from exposure beyond that of any other in my corps. The part of the line it occupied lay across an open field in full view of the enemy, and in range of his field guns. It had thrown up a slight rifle-pit, behind which it was placed, and to escape observation it was necessary for it to lie down and abstain from building fires. In this position it remained awaiting the opening of the battle for more than forty-eight hours, wet with rain and chilled with cold; added to this the enemy's shot and shell were constantly passing over it. Not a murmur of discontent was heard to escape those who composed it. They exhibited the highest capacity of endurance and firmness in the most discouraging circumstances. In its front lay the right of Brigadier-General [J. M.] Palmer's division, of Major-General [T. L.] Crittenden's corps, which constituted the left wing of the enemy's line of battle.
The general movement from the left having reached it at 10 o'clock, it was ordered to the attack, and its reserve, under Brigadier-General Donelson, was directed to move forward to its support. This charge was made in fine style, and was met by the enemy, who was strongly posted in the edge of the cedar brake, with a murderous fire of artillery and infantry. In that charge their brigade commander (General Chalmers)  was severely wounded by a shell, which disqualified him for further duty on the field. The regiments on the left recoiled and fell back. Those of the right were moved to the left to hold their place, and were pressed forward. The brigade of General Donelson having been ordered forward to Chalmers' support, moved with steady step upon the enemy's position and attacked it with great energy. The slaughter was terrific on both sides.
In this charge--which resulted in breaking the enemy's line at every point except the extreme left, and driving him, as every other part of his line attacked had been driven--Donelson reports the capture of 11 guns and about 1,000 prisoners.
The regiments of Chalmers' brigade, having been separated after he fell, moved forward and attached themselves to other commands, fighting with them with gallantry as opportunity offered.
There was no instance of more distinguished bravery exhibited during this battle than was shown by the command of General Donelson. In «44 R R-- Vol XX, PT I» <ar29_690> the charge which it made it was brought directly under the fire of several batteries, strongly posted and supported, which it assaulted with eager resolution. All the line in their front was carried except the extreme right. This point, which was the key to the enemy's position, and which was known as the Round Forest, was attacked by the right of the brigade. It was met by a fire from artillery and musketry which mowed down more than half its number. The Sixteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, under the command of Col. John H. Savage, lost 207 out of 402. It could not advance and would not retire. Their colonel, with characteristic bravery and tenacity, deployed what was left of his command as skirmishers and held his position for three hours. In the Eighth Tennessee, of the right wing, under the lamented Colonel [W. L.] Moore, who fell, mortally wounded, and who was succeeded by Lieut. Col. J. H. Anderson, the loss was 306 men and officers out of 425. The enemy was now driven from the field at all points occupied by him in the morning, along his whole line, from his right to the extreme left, and was pressed back until our line occupied a position at right angles to that which we held at the opening of the battle. After passing the Nashville and Murfreesborough turnpike, his flight was covered by large bodies of fresh troops and numerous batteries of artillery, and the advance of our exhausted columns was checked. His extreme left alone held its position. This occupied a piece of ground well chosen and defended, the river being on the one hand and a deep railroad cut on the other. It was held by a strong force of artillery and infantry, well supported by a reserve composed of Brigadier-General IT. J.] Wood's division.
My last reserve having been exhausted, the brigades of Major-General Breckinridge's division, and a small brigade of [Brigadier-]General J. K. Jackson, posted to guard our right flank, were the only troops left that had not been engaged. Four of these were ordered to report to me. They came in detachments of two brigades each, the first arriving nearly two hours after Donelson's attack, the other about an hour after the first. The commanders of these detachments, the first composed of the brigades of Generals [D. W.] Adams and Jackson, the second under General Breckinridge in person, consisting of the brigades of General [William] Preston and Colonel [J. B.] Palmer, had pointed out to them the particular object to be accomplished, to wit, to drive in the enemy's left, and, especially, to dislodge him from his position in the Round Forest. Unfortunately, the opportune moment for putting in these detachments had passed. Could they have been thrown upon the enemy's left immediately following Chalmers' and Donelson's assault in quick succession, the extraordinary strength of his position would have availed him nothing. That point would have been carried, and his left, driven back on his panic-stricken right, would have completed his confusion and insured an utter rout. It was, however, otherwise, and the time lost between Donelson's attack and the coming up of these detachments in succession enabled the enemy to recover his self-possession, to mass a number of heavy batteries, and concentrate a strong infantry force on the positions, and thus make a successful attack very difficult. Nevertheless, the brigades of Adams and Jackson assailed the enemy's line with energy, and, after a severe contest, were compelled to yield and fall back. They were promptly rallied by General Breckinridge, who, having preceded his other brigades, reached the ground at that moment, but as they were very much cut up, they were not required to renew the attack. The brigades of Preston and Palmer, on arriving, renewed the assault with the same <ar29_691> undaunted determination, but as another battery had been added since the previous attack, to a position already strong and difficult of access, this assault was alike ineffectual. The enemy, though not driven from his position, was severely punished, and, as the day was far spent, it was not deemed advisable to renew the attack that evening, and the troops held the line they occupied for the night.
The following morning, instead of finding him in position to receive a renewal of the attack, showed that, taking advantage of the night, he had abandoned this last position of his first line, and the opening of the new year found us masters of the field.
This battle of December 31 developed in all parts of the field which came under my observation the highest qualities of the soldier among our troops. The promptness with which they moved upon the enemy whenever they were called to attack him, the vigor and elan with which their movements were made, the energy with which they assaulted his strong positions, and the readiness with which they responded to the call to repeat their assaults, indicated a spirit of dauntless courage, which places them in the very front rank of the soldiers of the world. For the exhibition of these high traits they are not a little indebted to the example of their officers, whose courage and energy had won their confidence and admiration.
January 1 passed without any material movement of either side, beyond occasional skirmishing along the lines in our front. I ordered Chalmers' brigade, now commanded by Colonel [T. W.] White, [Ninth Mississippi,] to occupy the ground in rear of the Round Forest just abandoned by the enemy. This it did, first driving out his pickets.
On the 2d there was skirmishing daring the morning. In the afternoon, about 3 o'clock, General Bragg announced his intention to attack the enemy, who was supposed to be in force on the north side of the river, and ordered me to relieve two of General Breckinridge's brigades, which were still in my front, and send them over to that officer, who had returned to his post, as he proposed to make the attack with the troops of Breckinridge's division. I issued the necessary orders at once, and the troops were transferred as directed. The general commanding ordered me also to open fire with three batteries, which had been placed in Chalmers' line, to distract the enemy at the time of Breckinridge's attack, and to shell out of the woods which covered his line of movement any sharpshooters who might annoy him while approaching the river. The shelling ordered, which was to be the signal for Breckin-ridge's advance, was promptly executed and the woods were cleared. Of the particulars of this movement General Breckinridge will speak in his own report.
When the firing of my batteries was opened, as above, there was a forward movement of the enemy's infantry upon my pickets in the Round Forest, and a sharp conflict, which lasted for some time, and ended in the enemy's regaining possession of the forest. This position being of much value to us, I found it necessary to regain it, and gave the requisite orders.
On the following morning, at daybreak, I ordered a heavy fire of artillery from several batteries to open upon it, and, after it was thoroughly shelled, detachments from the brigades of Colonels White and Coltart charged it with the bayonet at a double-quick and put the enemy to flight, clearing it of his regiments and capturing a lieutenant-colonel and 13 men. The enemy, however, knew the importance of the position also, and was occupied during the day in throwing up earthworks for the protection of batteries within easy range. These being completed, <ar29_692> he opened fire from three points with batteries of heavy guns, and placed it under a concentrated fire for many minutes. It was a severe ordeal, and was followed by a charge of a heavy force of infantry; but our gallant troops met the advance with firmness, and, after a severely contested struggle, drove back the advancing column with slaughter and held possession of the coveted position.
In this battle we lost several men and officers, especially of the First Louisiana Regiment (Regulars). Among those who fell mortally wounded was Lieutenant-Colonel [F. H.] Farrar, [jr.] This young office,' was one of the most promising of the army, intelligent, chivalrous, and brave. His loss will be felt by his country and lamented by his many friends.
This battle closed the operations of my corps in the field in front of Murfreesborough. By orders from the general commanding, after being eight days under arms, and in actual battle or heavy skirmishing, in the rain and cold without tents and much of the time without fires, my troops were retired from the field and ordered to take up a position near Shelbyville. This they did at their leisure, and in perfectly good order. In all the operations in which they were engaged no troops ever displayed greater gallantry or higher powers of endurance. They captured 1,500 prisoners and 26 guns.
For the details connected with these operations I beg leave to refer to the reports of division, brigade, and regimental commanders. To the same reports, also, I respectfully refer for instances of distinguished gallantry in the case of corps and individuals. I beg leave to refer also to the accompanying statement, marked A, containing a list of the number of men and officers of my corps engaged in the battle; also to B, containing the number of killed, wounded, and missing. I refer also to the accompanying map of the field of battle, marked Bb.(*) This map was prepared with care by Lieutenant [W. J.] Morris, of the engineers of my corps, from actual survey, and from the reports of the corps commanders of the Federal Army. From these sources he has been enabled to fix the relative positions of the corps, divisions, and brigades of both armies at different periods during the battle with great accuracy. The statements D and B I submit as parts of this report; also the accompanying map marked Bb.(*)
To Major-Generals Cheatham and Withers, my division commanders, I am under obligations for their cordial support and active cooperation in conducting the operations of my command; also to the brigade commanders, who, without an exception, managed the parts assigned them in the general programme of the battle with great skill, energy, and judgment. Of the conduct of the regimental, battery, and subordinate commands their immediate commanders will speak in their reports, as they were more directly under their eyes. Our artillery also was well handled when it could be used, but the dense cedar brake into which the enemy was driven continuously prevented it from following our advancing columns. This made it necessary to have the work done chiefly with the musket and the bayonet.
To Maj. George Williamson, assistant adjutant-general, who was severely wounded in the shoulder; Maj. Thomas M. Jack, assistant adjutant-general Lieut. Col. T. F. Sevier, inspector-general; Lieut. P. B. Spence, of the same department; Lieut. John Rawle, acting chief of ordnance; Capt. Felix [H.] Robertson, acting chief of artillery; Capt. E. B. Sayers and Lieut. W. J. Morris, of engineers; Lieut. W. N. M. Otey, chief of the signal corps; Dr. [W. C.] Cavanaugh, medical director; <ar29_693> Majs. Thomas Peters and R. M. Mason, of the quartermaster's department, and Maj. J. J. Murphy, chief commissary, members of my general staff, I am indebted for their vigilance and activity in the execution of my orders, and the fearlessness with which they exposed themselves in the discharge of their duties.
To my aide-de-camp Lieut. W. B. Richmond)I am particularly indebted for the intelligence, decision, and energy with which on this, as on other fields, he gave me his support; also to Lieut. Col. Henry C. Yeatman, my volunteer aide, for services of a like character. And our thanks and praise are above all due to Almighty God, the Lord of Hosts, for the success of our arms and the preservation of our lives.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Inclosure A.]
Field return showing the aggregate of offiers and men belonging to Polk's corps d'armee actually engaged in the battles before Murfreesborough,from December 28, 1862, to January 4, 1863.
Command.    Killed.    Wounded.    Missing.    Total.
Cheatham's division(*)    496    5,863    6,359    Wharton's (commanding cavalry bri-
Withers' division     537    7,237    7,774    gade) reported effective total, 2,376,on December 27; weekly return.
Total     1,033    13,100    14,133   

 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
SHELBYVILLE, TENN., March 22,1863.
[Inclosure B.]
List of killed, wounded, and missing in Polk's corps in the battles before Murfreesborough, from December 28, 1862, to January 4, 1863.
Command    Killed.    Wounded.    Missing.    Total
Cheatham's division:               
Donelson's brigade     102    570    19    691
Stewart's brigade    50    301    2    353
Maney's brigade     20    164    6    190
Vaughan's brigade    105    562    38    705
Total     277    1,597    65    1,939
Withers' division:               
Deas' brigade     68    600    27    695
Chalmers' brigade    67    445    36    548
Walthall's brigade.     130    620    13    763
Anderson's brigade.    73    428    16    517
Total     338    2,093    92    2,523
Aggregate     615    3,690    157    4,462

Aide-de. Camp.
Shebyville March  21,1863.
Shelbyville, Tenn., April 6, 1863.
In my report of the battles before Murfreesborough there occurs the following passage:
My last reserve having been exhausted, the brigades of Major-General Breckin-ridge's division, and a small brigade of General J. K. Jackson, posted to guard our right flank, were the only troops left that had not been engaged. Four of these were ordered to report to me. They came in detachment of two brigades each, the first arriving nearly two hours after Donelson attack, the other about an hour after the first.
I then expressed the opinion that if these brigades could have followed the attack of Chalmers and Donelson in quick succession the result of our operations would have been a complete victory. I have been informed that certain friends of General Breckinridge, who have seen my report, apprehend that the manner in which these statements are made will produce the impression that these brigades were ordered to my support at the time I first desired them, and that they failed to comply with the order, one detachment arriving two hours after it was ordered, and the other an hour later. I desire to say that it was not my intention to produce such an impression. I did not know at what time they were ordered to my support. I perceived that they would be needed, and asked for them before the attack by Chalmers and Donelson was ordered; but whether they would be sent me or not I did not know until just before they reported to me on the field.
With the request that this may accompany and be made a part of my report, I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
 General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
Tullahoma, Tenn., May 2, 1863.
I transmit this explanatory report of Lieutenant-General Polk. In the language of his original report I see no suggestion that the brigades of Breckinridge did not reach the field of action in due time after being ordered. Had I done so I would have corrected it. They moved as soon as ordered, and I ordered them as soon as I ascertained that the fears of an attack on the right were groundless.
General, Commanding.
Near Shelbyville, June 10, 1863.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Polk's Corps, Army of Tennessee:
MAJOR: 1 have to-day, for the first time, seen the official report of the battle of Murfreesborough, by the lieutenant-general commanding the corps. As I know of no one who would be further from doing the slightest injustice, even by implication, than General Polk, I would respectfully call his attention, through you, to a paragraph in that report <ar29_695> which might be construed prejudicially to the well-earned fame of a portion of the troops under my command.
The paragraph to which I allude is as follows:
As the brigades composing the division of Major-General Withers had not been engaged in any heavy battle since Shiloh, I placed them in the first line.
The brigade which I had the honor to command on that occasion (now Walthall's), and a part of Withers' division, composed entirely of Mississippians, except one regiment of Alabamians (Forty-fifth), had been in every important engagement in which any part of General Bragg's army had participated since the battle of Shiloh. They are justly proud of the laurels they won at Perryville.
The brigade 1 now command (then Chalmers'), also Mississippians, and a portion of General Withers' command at Murfreesborough, had singly and alone made the bloody assault upon the enemy's works at Mun-fordville, which, although unsuccessful at the time, was essayed with such intrepidity and courage as to reflect the highest credit upon the survivors, as well as the slain.
One regiment of this brigade (the Forty-first) was also in the battle of Perryville.
Both of the brigades thus composing half of General Withers' division at Murfreesborough had been engaged in heavy battles since Shiloh, and will, doubtless, be excepted by General Polk from the class to which he assigns them when the fact is brought to his notice.
I feel confident the lieutenant-general will pardon me for bringing this matter to his attention, since my course has been actuated by a desire that he should do himself, as well as the troops, no injustice by an immaterial paragraph in his report, inserted, perhaps, inadvertently, certainly without design of doing any injustice.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Respectfully forwarded.
The error to which attention is called was not considered by me of sufficient importance to require correction, as it was not in reference to any fact deemed material to the subject-matter of the report. As, however, the ten Mississippi and one Alabama regiments who were engaged either at Perryville or Munfordville composed more than the half of my command participating in the engagement in front of Murfreesborough now seem sensitive under what they consider a reflection in the remark referred to, I have deemed it proper to forward this communication with approval.
Shelbyville, June 17, 1863.
1 am much obliged to General Anderson for bringing to my notice the paragraph in my report to which he calls attention. It was, of course, an inadvertence, and is easily accounted for. In placing my troops in line of battle, the question in my mind was as to which of the divisions I should give the post of honor--the front rank. General Cheatham, <ar29_696> as the senior officer, was entitled to it, but remembering that General Withers' division was not at Perryville (the only general battle fought by this army since Shiloh), I thought it due to him that he should have it, and to satisfy all parties I thought proper to assign the reason for that arrangement.
It will be remembered that Walthall's brigade was only recently transferred to Withers' division. It belonged to Hardee's corps at Perryville, and in thinking of Withers' division in its past history and action, it did not occur to me that there had been any changes in its composition, or that any troops that were at Perryville now belonged to it. The same is true in regard to the gallant brigade of General Chalmers, now commanded by General Anderson. I, of course, know of the distinguished intrepidity with which it assailed the works at Munfordville, and the heavy losses it sustained, but as I was thinking of the brigades as part of a division of which I was speaking, and not as separate brigades, it did not occur to me to make it an exception.
General Anderson does me no more than justice in saying that he regards me as incapable of doing injustice, even by implication, to any one, and, I will add, especially to troops the whole history of whose connection with me has won my highest admiration, and around whose brow I would rather weave garlands of well-earned fame than to be the occasion, even by inadvertence, of the loss of a single leaf from the chaplets with which they deserve to be crowned.
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
NEAR SHELBYVILLE, June 16, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Polk's Corps:
MAJOR: In his recently published official report of the battle of Mur-freesborough, Lieutenant-General Polk, referring to the part taken in the action by the Fourth Brigade of Withers' division, uses this language:
The brigade of Colonel Manigault, which was immediately on the right of that of Colonel Coltart, followed the movement of the latter, according to instructions; but as Coltart failed in the first onset to drive Sheridan's right, Manigault, after dashing forward and pressing the enemy's line in his front back upon his second line, was brought under a very heavy fire of artillery from two batteries on his right, supported by a very heavy infantry force. He was, therefore, compelled to fall back.
In this charge the brigade suffered severely, sustaining a very heavy loss in officers and men, but the gallant South Carolinians returned to the charge a second and a third time.
We respectfully suggest that this language is susceptible of a construction which may cause the reader to award to a part of the brigade honors which, to say the least, are merited as well by another part of it. Such was not the intention of the writer. A soldier himself, he would not willingly withhold from a soldier that which is most highly prized by him-- credit for gallantry on the battle-field. We, then, do justice alike to Lieutenant-General Polk and to our own respective commands by directing attention to the inaccuracy in the above recited extract.
The brigade of Colonel Manigault is not composed entirely of South Carolinians, as would be reasonably inferred from the report. In it are five regiments, two from South Carolina (Tenth and Nineteenth) and three from Alabama (Twenty-fourth, Twenty-eighth, and Thirty-fourth), and Waters' (Alabama) battery. <ar29_697>
The first charge spoken of in the report was led by the three Alabama regiments. The report does not mention them.
All the Alabama regiments were in the second charge, and led in it. They wet,. also in the third charge. The report states that "the gallant South Carolinians returned to the charge the second and third time."
Respectfully submitting this statement of facts, we ask for it that consideration it may seem to merit, feeling satisfied, as we do, that the lieutenant-general commanding will acquit us of any intention to captiously controvert his report, and that he will do what is proper in the premises.
With much respect, your obedient servants,
 Colonel Thirty fourth Alabama.
Colonel Twenty-eighth Alabama.
Lieutenant-Colonel Twenty-fourth Alabama.
Captain Waters' Battery.
[Indoresement No. 1. ]
Respectfully forwarded.
The matter to which the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding is called in this communication is reasonable, and is, in justice to the command herein represented, approved by me. The inference drawn from that portion of the report of the battle of Murfreesborough, as cited, is that the brigade which I commanded was composed either entirely of South Carolinians or that only the South Carolinians of the brigade are credited for gallantry, renewing the attacks after being repulsed.
The Alabama regiments partook in all the attacks, as my report will show, and I again take this opportunity of bearing testimony to the heroic courage and fortitude displayed by them on that bloody field.
The general conduct of all the regiments on that occasion was such that I can draw no distinction between them.
 Colonel, Comdg. Fourth Brigade, Withers' Division.
[Indorsement No. 2.]
June 22, 1862.
In reply to the within, I have to say to the officers commanding the Alabama regiments, that the ground of their complaint does not exist in my report as written and sent to War Department. It was said by the printer in a misprint. It was written, "the gallant South Carolinian," meaning their brigade commander, Colonel Manigault, not "South Carolinians." Although the troops from the Palmetto State acted with distinguished gallantry, yet they were in no degree more distinguished for gallantry than their comrades from Alabama, who, side by side, shared with them the difficulties and all the triumphs of that bloody field. My object was to compliment their brigade commander, and through him his whole command, for the tenacity of purpose and unflinching bravery with which they returned time and again to the charge, until they' carried the position which had so often resisted them.
Respectfully, &c.,
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
February 4, 1863.
 His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States of America:
MY DEAR SIR: I know that you have been apprised of a correspondence which has taken place between General Bragg and the corps and division commanders of Hardee's corps, of this army, following upon the retreat from Murfreesborough. As the same circular which was answered by the officers of Hardee's corps was received by those of mine, I think it proper to send you a copy of the correspondence which passed between General Bragg and myself. You will find it inclosed with this, as follows:
No. 1. General Bragg's circular.
No. 2. Generals Cheatham's and Withers' note.
No. 3. My indorsement on same.
No. 4. My reply of 30th, asking an explanation of his circular.
No. 5. His letter in reply.
No. 6. My answer to the question he proposed.
This correspondence has been very unfortunate, and its inauguration ill-judged; but it is now a part of the history of the times, and I feel it to be my duty to transmit to you copies of the letters which have passed between the general and myself. That correspondence speaks for itself. I thought, with the officers of Hardee's corps, that he desired an opinion on two points. Some of my subordinate commanders had thought, and others then thought, that he desired us to reply to but one. As he de sired us to consult our subordinates before answering, the difference o! opinion as to the construction of his note made it plainly proper to ask him which was the proper construction. To have this was necessary to an intelligible and satisfactory reply. It will be seen what the reply was, which made my final answer plain and easy. I think it would not be difficult from the form of my note for him to have inferred what my answer would have been if he had asked. It was waived and declined. Under the circumstances it would seem to have been natural for him to desire to know the opinions of all, as he had been forced to know those of half of his subordinates of the highest grade, but, as I have said, it was declined. I feel it a duty to say to you that had I and my division commanders been asked to answer, our replies would have coincided with those of the officers of the other corps. You have known my opinions on this subject since my visit to Richmond.
I have only to add, if he were Napoleon or the great Frederick he could serve our cause at some other points better than here. My opinion is he had better be transferred. 1 remember you having said, speak ing of his being transferred from this command, "I can make good use of him here in Richmond." I have thought that the best disposition for him and for the service of the army that could be made. His capacity for organization and discipline which has not been equaled among us, could be used by you at headquarters with infinite advantage to the whole army.
I think, too, that the best thing to be done in supplying his place would be to give his command to General Joseph E. Johnston. He will cure all discontent and inspire the army with new life and confidence. He is here on the spot, and I am sure will be content to take it. If General Lee can command the principal army in his department in person there is no reason why General Johnston should not. I have, therefore, as a general officer of this army, speaking in behalf of my associates, to ask, respectfully, that this appointment be made, and I beg to be permitted <ar29_699> to do this urgently. The state of this army demands immediate attention, and its position before the enemy, as well as the mind of its troops and commanders, could find relief in no way so readily as by the appointment of General Joseph E. Johnston.
I send this by mail, and will send copies by my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Richmond, whom I send to Richmond on business with the department, and by whom I also send my report of the battle of Shiloh. In it I have taken care that the presence of our valued friend on that field shall not be ignored.
I remain, faithfully, your friend,
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
Tulllahoma, Tenn., January 11, 1863.
 Lieutenant-General POLK,
Commanding Polk's Corps, Asheville, N. C.:
GENERAL: Finding myself assailed in private and public by the press, in private circles by officers and citizens, for the movement from Murfreesborough, which was resisted by me for some time after advised by my corps and division commanders, and only adopted after hearing of the enemy's re-enforcements by large numbers from Kentucky, it becomes necessary for me to save my fair name, if I cannot stop the deluge of abuse, which will destroy my usefulness and demoralize this army.
It has come to my knowledge that many of these accusations and insinuations are from staff officers of my generals, who persistently assert that the movement was made against the opinion and advice of their chiefs, and while the enemy was in full retreat. False or true, the soldiers have no means of judging me rightly or getting the facts, and the effect on them will be the same--a loss of confidence, and a consequent demoralization of the whole army. It is only through my generals that I can establish the facts as they exist. Unanimous as you were in council in verbally advising a retrograde movement, I cannot doubt that you will cheerfully attest the same in writing. I desire that you will consult your subordinate commanders and be candid with me, I have always endeavored to prove myself with you. If I have misunderstood your advice, and acted against your opinions, let me know it, in justice to yourself. If, on the contrary, I am the victim of unjust accusations, say so, and unite with me in staying the malignant slanders being propagated by men who have felt the sting of discipline.
General [E. K.] Smith has been called to Richmond, it is supposed, with a view to supersede me. I shall retire without a regret if I find I have lost the good opinion of my generals, upon whom I have ever relied as upon a foundation of rock.
Your early attention is most desirable, and is urgently solicited.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,(*)
General, C. S. Army.
P. S.--I inclose copies of a joint note, received about 2 a.m., from Major-Generals Cheatham and Withers, on the night before we retired from Murfreesborough [No. 2], with Lieutenant-General Polk's indorsement [No. 3], and my own verbal reply to Lieutenant [W. B.] Richmond, General Polk's aide.de-camp.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 3, 1863--12.15 a.m.
 General BRAGG,  Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: We deem it our duty to say to you frankly that, in our judgment, this army should be promptly put in retreat. You have but three brigades [divisions (*)] that are at all reliable, and even some of these are more or less demoralized from having some brigade commanders who do not possess the confidence of their commands. Such is our opinion, and we deem it a solemn duty to express it to you. We do fear great disaster from the condition of things now existing, and think it should be averted if possible.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
 Major-General, C. S. Army.
[Indorsement No. 1]
 JANUARY 3, 1863--1.30 a.m.
MY DEAR GENERAL: I send you the inclosed paper, as requested, and I am compelled to add that after seeing the effect of the operations of today, added to that produced upon the troops by the battle of the 31st, I very greatly fear the consequences of another engagement at this place in the ensuing day. We could now, perhaps, get off with some safety and some credit, if the affair is well managed. Should we fail in the meditated attack, the consequences might be very disastrous.
Hoping you may be guided aright in whatever determination you may reach, I am, very truly, yours,
 Lieutenant. Genial.
[Indorsement No. 2. l
I gave the inclosed note, with the above indorsement on it, to General Bragg in his bed at 2 a.m. After reading one-half of it, he said, "Say to the general we shall maintain our position at every hazard"
Aide-de. Camp.
[Inclosure No. 3.]
Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 3, 1863---3 a.m.
 Lieutenant-General HARDEE,
Commanding Hardee's Corps:
MY DEAR GENERAL: After due reflection, I deemed it my duty to make the following indorsement [No. 1] upon the accompanying note, signed jointly by two division commanders, Major-Generals Cheatham and Withers, and addressed to General Bragg. I have sent the note and indorsement to General Bragg by a staff officer, whom I instructed to await any reply the general might be pleased to make. After reading them, his reply was, "The position will be maintained at all hazards." I think the decision of the general unwise, and, am compelled to add, in a high degree. I shall, of course, obey his orders and endeavor to do my duty. I think it due to you to let you know the views of myself and <ar29_701> my two division commanders, especially as we all believe the conflict will be renewed in the morning. To insure its safe conduct, I send this by a staff officer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
[Inclosure No. 4.]
TULLAHOMA, TENN., January 30, 1863.
Commanding Army of Tennessee:
GENERAL: Your circular of the 11th instant was received by me at Asheville, N. C., on the 17th instant. I dispatched you immediately, saying I would leave for your headquarters in two days thereafter, and would furnish you the reply you desired on my arrival. There seemed to be two points of inquiry embraced in your note: First, whether the corps and division commanders to whom it is addressed were willing to give you a statement in writing of the opinions and counsel which they gave you verbally as to the retreat from Murfreesborough; second, whether you had lost the confidence of your general officers as a military commander. From the structure of your note the first of the inquiries appears to be its leading object; the second, though not so clearly and separately stated, nevertheless is, to my mind, plainly indicated. Upon inquiry, I find this indication seems not to have been so clear to the mind of General Cheatham and such other of my subordinate officers as responded when they penned their replies, and since in your note you appeal to our official relations, and to our candor for a frank expression of our opinion, I feel, to avoid being placed in a false position, that it is due to my subordinate officers and to myself, as well as to you, to ask whether the construction I put upon your note is that you design.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
[Inclosure No. 5.]
TULLAHOMA, TENN., January 30, 1863.
 Lieutenant-General POLK,  &c.:
GENERAL: I hasten to reply to your note of this morning, so as to place you beyond all doubt in regard to the construction of mine of the 11th instant. To my mind that circular contained but one point of inquiry, and it certainly was intended to contain but one, and that was to ask of my corps and division commanders to commit to writing what had transpired between us in regard to the retreat from Murfreesborough. I believed it had been grossly and intentionally misrepresented (not by any one of them) for my injury. It was never intended by me that this should go farther than the parties to whom it was addressed, and its only object was to relieve my mind of all doubt, while I secured in a form to be preserved the means of defense in the future when discussion might be proper. The paragraph relating to my supersedure was only an expression of the feeling with which I should receive your replies should they prove I had been misled in my construction of your opinion and advice.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
General. Commanding.
[Inclosure No. 6.]
TULLAHOMA, TENN., January 31, 1863.
 General BRAGG:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of yours of the 30th, in reply to mine of the same date. In it you say you designed your circular should contain but one point of inquiry, and that was whether your corps and division commanders would give you for future reference a statement of what transpired between us in regard to the retreat from Murfreesborough. I have, therefore, now to say that the opinions and counsel which I gave you on that subject prior to the retreat are those that are embodied in my in dorsement of the note of my division commanders (Generals Cheatham and Withers) of January 3,(*) which are in your possession, and I have to add that they were deliberately considered, and are such as I would give again under the same circumstances.
Respectfully, your servant,
 Lieutenant-General Commanding.
[ Addenda. ]
SHELBYVILLE, TENN., March 21, 1863.
 [Lieutenant-General POLK,
Commanding Corps, Army of Tennessee:
GENERAL: To-day for the first we feel assured of a verbal mistake having been committed in the note addressed by us through you to the general commanding, bearing date "Headquarters in the Field, Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 3, 1863--12.1b a.m."(+) The second sentence, beginning "You have but three brigades," should have been You have but three divisions, &c. We make this correction simply to place ourselves right, not that we consider the mistake of writing brigades when we purposed and believed we had written divisions either did or should have altered the determination at last arrived [reached?].
Will you, general, do us the justice to transmit this explanation to the general commanding, and oblige, very respectfully, &c.,
 Major-General, C. S. Army.
TULLAHOMA, TENN., April 2, 1863.
Shelbyville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I have your letter of the 31st ultimo, and thank you for the explanations you give me. I never supposed that you intended the construction to be placed on that part of your report which I feared might be.
Still, I apprehend that many persons, not reading critically, may infer that I was responsible for the failure to gain a complete victory, since it is stated that four of my brigades were ordered to report to you; that they came in detachments of two each, at long intervals, and too late to accomplish the result, which would have been the utter rout of the enemy if they had arrived in time.
Many may say, since I was ordered to report four brigades to you, how did it happen that they came in two detachments, the first two <ar29_703> hours after the time, and the other still an hour later, when their timely arrival would have changed the face of affairs?
It occurs to me that the inference will be unfavorable to my conduct, although not conclusive against me. Of course, you could not know when I received the orders, nor with what alacrity I obeyed them, except from my own report. All I could request would be the exclusion of an inference that, in obeying an order to report to you with four brigades, I had delayed two hours with half the force, and three hours with the remainder. The question, as it affects me personally, is not, did the brigade arrive too late for the opportune moment, but, is it inferable from the report that I was responsible for it. If an erroneous construction is placed on your report, it may work me great injury, since it will be read by many thousands through the Confederacy.
With the kindness and frankness which has always marked your intercourse with me, you say that if it had occurred to you that this construction might be put upon your language, you would have so shaped it as to make such an interpretation impossible, and that, if I think it of any importance to me, you will endeavor to have the correction made before your report is printed.
Under the circumstances that surround me, it will be grateful to my feelings if you can, in the way you deem best, exclude the construction to which I have referred.
Very truly, your friend,
June 15, 1863.
 Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,  Secretary of War:
SIR: The reports of General Polk, of the battle of Shiloh, General Bragg, of Perryville, and Bragg and Breckinridge, of Murfreesborough, have appeared in the public papers, and, it was understood, by permission of the War Department.
The large body of Tennessee troops serving under General Polk were anxious to see his report of the battles of Murfreesborough and Perryville, and as there was no reason to suppose the Government would object to granting permission for the publication of these reports, which has been accorded in the case of those of other general officers, and as many errors appeared in the copy of General Polk's report of Shiloh, I sent to the gentleman through whom these reports were being published in the Knoxville Register, its Richmond correspondent, "S. L.," a corrected copy of General Polk's report of the battle of Murfreesborough, and wrote him, under date of May 5, as follows:
I send you a carefully revised copy of General Polk's report of the battle of Murfreesborough. ***  This report is sent you predicated on the supposition that its publication has been authorized, and that the Secretary of War will give you access to the originals in the Department. Should he, however, refuse, you will not, of course, use the report.
The publication not appearing, I asked Mr. B. B. Minor to call at the War Office and see if there was any objection to its publication. This he did, and I am this morning in receipt of a note from him saying:
I find objections are entertained to the publication of the reports of the battles of Perryville and Murfreesborough. It is now under advisement whether to publish them prior to and outside of the usual mode. No access will be allowed to them at present.
In the mean time, since Mr. Minor left, these headquarters for Richmond, the Knoxville Register, of the 6th, announced that it would, the <ar29_704> next day, publish General Polk's report of the battle of Murfreesborough, which had been forwarded by its Richmond correspondent, "S. L," the party to whom the corrected copy had been sent, and the report was accordingly published, as inclosed. I have thought it due to myself and to General Polk to make these statements to the Department, in explanation of the appearance of the report.
Since writing the foregoing, I have, in answer to all inquiry, received the following dispatch from the editor of the Register:
I had no express authority of the Government for publishing General Polk's report, but as my correspondent at Richmond had been allowed access to official copies of the other reports, and it expressed no disapproval of their publication, I inferred its consent.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.--Mr. Minor, in his communication, informs me that no supplementary report of the battle of Murfreesborough had been received at the War Department. Such a report was made and forwarded to your office, and this postscript is added in explanation of its publication with the main report.
The explanation of this publication is little satisfactory. Express authority of the Department should be obtained before the copy of any official paper is intrusted to the agents of the press, who are under a strong temptation to publish as news whatever may be interesting to their readers.
 J. A. S.,

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