War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0246 KY.,MID. AND E.TENN.,N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXXII.

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brigade and the battery opened with grape and canister a most deadly fire, which he returned as earnestly. The column reeled and fell back in disorder, their colors struck down and barely rescued. Lieutenant Ritchie, Company A, of Third Ohio Detachment, was here wounded while encouraging his men. The number of killed and wounded left on the fled tells how severe was his loss. Many of his wounded reached our lines during the day and night, all declaring that the 12 o'clock charge was an expensive one for them.

The enemy again rallied his forces at 5 p.m., advancing a brigade upon my left flank through a skirt of wood, attempting a surprise. My pickets being fired upon by the enemy, who took advantage of a train of ambulances being in the vicinity, firing upon ambulances and pickets indiscriminately, I ordered this battalion to change front and commence firing. Lieutenant Stevens, of Stokes' battery, opened fire upon him simultaneously with grape and canister. Our new line fortunately rested upon the crest of the hill. Each volley by us timed his ranks. He advanced, perhaps 40 paces, discharging repeated volleys of musketry, but his repulse was complete, and they fell back to the wood, 1,000 yards in the rear, cursing their fate. Dozens of their wounded men, found within our lines of skirmishers, all corroborated each other in stating that a brigade was repulsed in attempting to take our position. He left 60 of his men upon the field. Lieutenant Smith, of Company B, in charge of my skirmishers, with his company captured 1 major, 1 captain, and 30 men. I received a slight wound in my left leg, above the ankle, not so severe as to require me to leave the field. My command laid upon their arms during the night, holding the ground gained early in the morning.

Lieutenant Froelich, Twenty-second Illinois, at daybreak next morning, January 1, while in charge of the skirmishers of and in front of my command, reported a large force of the enemy assembling near to the left of the position to which he returned the previous evening. I rode to the front and left flank of my line of battle. The fog being very dense, the enemy could not be seen, but I could distinctly hear his commands, and being satisfied that he was advancing on my left, and there being no support between my left and the Murfreesborough pike, I informed you of my information and position. Receiving orders from you, I immediately changed front, my left resting upon the Murfreesborough pike. Captain Stokes moved his battery promptly upon my right. The sun had just risen, but the fog had not yet cleared. We took our position without accident. The enemy advanced within 500 yards and opened fire, as he supposed, upon our flank. A few moments' return fire convinced him that we were not unaware of his movements. In half an hour he fell back behind his intrenchment, remaining there during the day.

No demonstration was made upon our front during the day. At 10 p.m. Colonel Buell relieved my command, and I moved, by your orders, 1 mile to the left and rear, having held the one position upon the front thirty-six hours without relief.

At sunrise, January 2, the enemy charged upon our left center, capturing a section of a battery one-half mile in our immediate front, and were forcing our position. I moved my command, as ordered by you, to the left and front, my right resting on the Third Battalion of this brigade, and my left upon an open field near the river; remained an hour in line of battle; was then ordered to take a position at the bend of the river, 40 rods farther down; remained in position until 3 p.m., when, by your orders, I moved forward in good order to the support of