Numbers 2. Reports of Major-General 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 for 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 H. W. HALLECK,
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 now 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; they 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, whole 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 command of Major-General W. S. Rosecrans:
J. P. GARESCHE,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.