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] out 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 1 1/2 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 Our only battery on that side of the river had been withdrawn from and eligible point, but the most available spot was pointed out, and it soon opened fire upon the enemy.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