Our casualties in killed and wounded did not all short of 4,000 men, including about 1,500 of the right wing, 1,200 of whom, wounded, fell into the hands of the enemy.
The ambulance corps, though temporarily organized, worked admirably. As soon as the fire of the enemy slacked at any point along our lines and became only desultory, the ambulances dashed in at a brisk trot, and snatched our wounded from their picket lines. In justice, I should add, the enemy did not fire on these brave men when they knew their humane mission, friend and foe, no longer combatants, being equally the objects of their care.
In the early part of the day, Dr. Weeds, assistant medical director, went to the rear to take charge of the property pertaining to the field hospitals, and placed it in proper position. About 10 o'clock Surgeon McDermont, medical director of the right wing, reported to me that his hospitals and wounded, hospitals supplies and medical officers, had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and asked for instructions. I directed him to a cedar brake on the left of the road, half a mile to the rear, where I instructed him to make a temporary field hospital, constructing the shed, roof, and beds for the wounded from cedar boughs, to make his requisition on Dr. Weeds for supplies, and report to me when he could receive the wounded. Visiting his place an hour later, I found it untenable, or, at least, unsafe, on account of round shot and shell from the enemy occasionally falling upon it. I then directed Surgeon McDermont to find suitable buildings on the pike to the rear.
It became necessary, in order to accommodate so many wounded, to make use of tents, and my field hospitals having arrived, I was enabled to afford comfortable shelter for all. In the mean time my attention was drawn to a large number of wagons, ambulances, caissons,&c., moving from different points to the river, more to the left. I soon learned they had come in disorder the right, and were looking for safety, over an uneven rocky ford, on the opposite river bank. This Babel-like confusion was somewhat augmented by the approach of the enemy, who now charged upon this flank. They were however, driven back before much property had been destroyed. I had succeeded in drawing out many of the ambulances before crossing the ford. Three were reported to me as having been taken by the enemy and burned. The remainder subsequently did good service.
During the day the enemy's cavalry made a descent upon our hospitals, on the Nashville pike; but, beyond some confusion and embarrassment, they did little harm. Our own cavalry, commanded by Captain Otis, speedily drove them away, and recaptured all we had lost.
During the night I visited the hospitals within our lines along the pike and off of it, to the rear, and was gratified to find the wounded well provided and attended. At daylight, surgeons, nurses, and attendants were busily engaged in the labor they had begun the morning before.
As the fighting on January 1 was confined to brisk skirmishing, and but few casualties resulted therefrom, we were able to complete our organization, and finish the heavy work so suddenly thrown upon our hands the day before. Many of the slightly wounded, and those who were able to ride in empty wagons and walk, I ordered to Nashville, 25 miles to the rear.
After a brisk engagement the following morning, without any marked results, the day passed much as the preceding, till 5 o'clock, when the enemy came down with an overwhelming force upon our left flank, driving, for a while, everything before him; but, emerging from the