Murfreesborough, and was at that time about to march against the enemy, reported to be at Hartsville, Tenn. The weather was excessively cold, the snow having fallen the day before to some depth, and the road was very rough. Notwithstanding, the men marched steadily during the day and all night, and reached the immediate neighborhood of the enemy's camp near Hartsville at sunrise. The enemy occupied a strong position in front of his encampment, his line of battle stretching along the crest of a hill, which was separated from our forces by an intervening hollow or ravine. Our line of battle was formed, with Cobb's battery on the right, supported by the Ninth Kentucky Regiment directly in its rear. On our immediate left was the Second Kentucky Regiment, and still farther to the left a portion of two regiments of dismounted cavalry, under Colonel Duke. The enemy occupied with his sharpshooters the woods and ravine in front of the left wing of our line, and opened a brisk fire on us. Against them the dismounted cavalry deployed as skirmishers, and soon succeeded in dislodging and driving them back upon the main body of the enemy. The Second Kentucky Regiment was ordered forward, and the Ninth Kentucky left in support of the battery. In a few minutes after, I was ordered to advance, and moved the regiment in double-quick in the direction of the main body of the enemy, going over in our route very rough ground and through a deep ravine. Ascending the hill, the regiment advanced to the right of the Second Kentucky, halted, and immediately became engaged, at less than 50 paces, with the enemy. After fighting for a short time, I ordered a charge, which was made with such gallantry by the regiment that the left wing of the enemy's line gave way and commenced retreating in confusion. Pressed closely by the Ninth Kentucky, the passed through their camps, and took refuge under the brow of a hill on the bank of the river and in rear of their artillery. The regiment continued to move rapidly on, and captured the two pieces of artillery and a stand of colors, charged the line of the enemy, and drove them to the brink of the river, compelling their immediate surrender. Here we captured Colonel Moore, commanding brigade, who, in reply to a question from Captain [N. A.] Crouch [Company B], answered that he surrendered himself and all the men around him, meaning the whole force.
The battle was now fairly won. The firing had ceased, save a few scattering shots here and there. I immediately formed the regiment again in line of battle, had order restored, stragglers collected, and the men kept in their places.
I sent details from all the companies to look after the dead and wounded,and detailed Company H, Captain [Chris.] Bosche, to guard the One hundred and sixth Ohio Regiment, captured by us. The prisoners being collected, I was ordered to detail Companies A and C to guard them, and afterward Company G. The regiment recrossed the river, and began its march toward Lebanon, Tenn.
Too much praise cannot be given to the officers and men for their spirit and patient endurance under a march of almost unexampled hardship and rapidity, and for their gallantry and good conduct in action.
The regiment had in battle an aggregate of 320 men. The casualties were as follows, viz:*
All of which is respectfully submitted.
JAS. T. MOREHEAD,
Captain, Commanding Ninth Kentucky Regiment.
Colonel THOMAS H. HUNT,