No. 28. Report of Capt. Wesford Taggart, Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FIFTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLS., THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, RIGHT WING, Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of the operations of the Twenty-fifth Regiment Illinois Infantry during the late battle before Murfreesborough, Tenn.:
The regiment left camp, near Nashville, Tenn., at 6.30 a.m. December 26, 1862, under command of Major R. H. Nodine, and, after a march of 10 miles, in company with balance of brigade, encountered a force of the enemy near Nolensville.
About 3 p.m. were deployed on the right of the brigade; Companies A, I, and K were thrown out to the front as skirmishers. After sharp action, of about two hours' duration, the enemy were driven back, and we bivouacked for the night on the field, the rain falling in torrents. Took 1 prisoners of the Eighth Texas Cavalry.
At 7 a.m. on the 27th resumed the march at a distance of 10 miles, encamping near Triune, Col. Thomas D. Williams assuming command early in the morning, Major Nodine being detailed on the staff of
At 6 a.m. on the 29th resumed the march; encamped on Stone's River. Distance marched, 15 miles. Detailed five companies as advanced picket.
At 3 p.m. on the 30th fell into line. At 8 a.m. marched in close column, by division, in company with rest of brigade. After marching a distance of 1 1/2 miles, arrived at the front; deployed in line of battle, the men stripping knapsacks. Company A, under command of Lieut. T. H. West, was deployed to the front skirmishers, and immediately afterward joined by Companies I and K, under command of Capt. Samuel Houston and Lieut. M. B. Thomspon. The companies, in conjunction with others of the brigade, continued skirmishing until dark, driving the enemy's skirmishers into his main line, Company A losing 6 men wounded, Company I 2 killed and 3 wounded, and Company K 1 wounded.
The regiment advanced in line of battle into a strip of timber, and, covered under shelter of a rail fence, a corn-field of about 150 yards in width separating our forces from that of the enemy, Company A was thrown out to the front as skirmishers a distance of 60 yards. The regiment lay in this position until 3 a.m. of the 31st, at which time it was called into line, the Thirty-fifth Illinois on our right and the Eighty-first Indiana on our left, supporting the Eighth Wisconsin Battery. At daybreak a line of the enemy's skirmishers advancing, opened fire on our skirmishers, and were followed immediately afterward by their main body advancing in four consecutive lines of battle diagonally on our left. A change of front was ordered by Colonel Williams, which was executed under a heavy fire of musketry. Our regiment then opened a murderous fire on the enemy, completely checking him,and finally driving him back in confusion. The enemy immediately made another advance, and were received with a terrific fire of musketry. Our regiment was, however, forced back a short distance.
At this time, while bravely rallying his men, Colonel Williams fell mortally wounded by a musket-ball passing through his right breast. He as carried from the field immediately. I then assumed command of the regiment, which by this time had fallen back a distance of 150