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 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.
DISPOSITION FOR JANUARY 1, 1863.
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