fierce contest continued, while the enemy on our right had advanced, so as to again endanger our rear.
As those in front rallied and charged upon the battery on the double- quick, the Fifty-ninth Illinois Regiment fixed bayonets to receive them, but, with the large force unopposed our right, the position was already untenable, even though that in front was repulsed, and I ordered the battery withdrawn.
Captain Pinney was dangerously, if not mortally, wounded. He fell, and was left on the spot where he executed his most gallant deeds. Lieutenant-Colonel Tanner, of the Twenty-second Indiana, and many others seriously wounded, were left upon the field.
Eighteen of the battery horses were disabled, and one gun, in consequence, could not be brought off. One Parrott gun had but two wounded horses before it. I ordered the Fifty-ninth Regiment to drag the guns to the rear. As the battery reached the Nashville pike, it was charged upon by cavalry, and partially captured, but they were quickly driven away by the Fourth Regiment Regular Cavalry, and, crossing Overall's Creek, it took a position, under the direction of Lieutenant Hall, on a hill to the right of the Nashville pike, from which it repeatedly shelled and drove back the enemy's cavalry, endeavoring to take possession of the road.
The Seventy-fourth and Seventy-fifth Illinois Regiments fell back across the cotton-field, and, under the direction of Lieutenant Jones, who also rallied a number of detachments from other regiments, made a determined resistance, again checking the foe. The fresh troops from the reserves here relieved the brigade, and I proceeded to the pike, reformed my shattered battalions, and supplied them with ammunition.
I was soon ordered by Brigadier-General Davis to move up the pike and take position on the right of the line, and here, exhausted, the men lay down for the night.
The next morning I was ordered to occupy the open field to the left of the pike, where I caused a breastworks to be thrown up, the battery being in position to enfilade the enemy's lines attempting an attack. A strong force of skirmishers was thrown out, covering our front and right. The enemy opened a battery upon us, but, after a few well-directed shells from Pinney's Parrott guns, they ceased firing.
During the following day the constant skirmishing was kept up on our front, and a number of prisoners were taken. Late in the afternoon were ordered to cross Stone's River. The stream was swollen from the heavy rains, but the entire brigade, hearing the volleys of musketry on the other side, plunged into it with cheers and debouched upon the field, which was still being contended for, and, rapidly forming, hurried to the front. All that stormy night, the enemy who had been previously soaked in fording the river, stood by their arms without fires, the Twenty-second Illinois and Seventy-fifth Illinois busily engaged in constructing a breastworks. During the night our pickets, under charge of Major Dutcher, of the Seventy-fourth Illinois, contested for the possession of the fields and woods in our front,and advanced a considerable distance.
Sustained breastworks were completed during January 3, under a constant fire of sharpshooters, and at night, in a pouring rain, the men again by upon their arms.
At 2 o'clock the next morning the battery was ordered to recross the river, and at 4 o'clock, in a torrent of rain, the brigade forded the swollen stream and took its former position on the right, where it remained until January 6, when passing through Murfreesborough, we encamped at this place.