No. 14. Report of Capt. James H. Stokes, Stokes' Illinois Battery.
STOKES' BATTERY, IN CAMP NEAR MURFREESBOROUGH, January 5, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the battery under my command was called into action Wednesday morning, 31st ultimo, about 8 a.m., and at time when the left of our right army corps, completely demoralized, was under full retreat. The battery, by a terrific fire of canister, drove back the enemy, the infantry rallying under its fire. The battery then moved still farther to the front, and took a position commanding the approaches where our right had been dispersed. Under a fire, it is said, of three rebel batteries, well served, it held this key to our front during the entire day. About 4 p.m. a rebel brigade formed under cover of the woods to the right of the battery, and was only known by a foolish discharge of musketry on one of our ambulances, picking up their wounded as well as ours. The battery, being charged with canister, opened upon this brigade, and, it is said by one of the wounded, entirely annihilated it. The killed and wounded prove the accuracy of the fire. This position was held through the night, until next evening. About 10 p.m. it was ordered to the rear to rest, having been thirty-six hours to the front. In this engagement the battery, with a strength of 98, all told, lost 3 privates killed; 1 officer, 3 non-commissioned officers, and 5 privates wounded, being 12 killed and wounded, or about one-eighth.
On Friday, the 2nd instant, the battery was again called into action, about 4 p.m., by the retreat and threatened destruction of our left. The battery, under the direction of the commanding general, moved to the front through the retreating infantry and artillery, and did not halt to go into battery until it had moved far beyond the front. The infantry again rallied under its fire. The battery opened a destructive fire of shell on the rebel battery, so destructive to our troops, completely silencing and destroying it, so that several of its pieces were captured by our advancing infantry. The battery that night occupied the ground of this rebel battery.
The commanding general, who witnessed the bearing of this gallant little band, will do justice to its discipline and bravery. All were brave; all nobly did their duty to their country.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES H. STOKES,
Captain, Commanding Battery.
Commanding Pioneer Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
No. 15. Reports of Major-General Alexander McD. McCook, U. S. Army, commanding Right Wing.
HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING, One mile in advance of Nolensville, December 27, 1862.
COLONEL: I am here with my wing in camp. There is very strong ground in front of my main camp. I have all the crests heavily defended. The enemy resisted my advance all day with cavalry and artillery