No. 29. Report of Lieut. Col. William P. Chandler, Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTY-FIFTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS, Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 3, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the movements and battles occurring from the time of the evacuation of Murfreesborough by the enemy, on January 3, 1863:
December 26, the regiment was on picket duty, and, after the division passed outside the lines on the Nolensville pike, formed the rear guard. The roads being very bad, the train did not close up at night, and the command was placed in position to protect it.
December 27, moved forward at daylight and joined the brigade before marching. Moved forward on the road to Triune, about 6 miles, and halted for the night.
December 28, remained in camp.
December 29, marched at daylight on the road to Lane's Store. Brigade formed the advance at Stewart's Creek, and slept on our arms at night.
December 30, formed line of battle at 10 a.m. and advanced on the enemy's lines. Major McIlwain was placed in command of skirmishers of the brigade, and toward night was sharply engaged. Had 4 men wounded. Laid on our arms at night.
December 31, skirmishing commenced at daylight. About sunrise the enemy advanced obliquely in strong force, striking first the
Eighty-first Indiana and next the Twenty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, causing them to retire from their position. Soon coming within range of our rifled muskets, we opened a murderous fire on their flank, checking their advance, and enabling the Twenty-fifth and Eighty-first to regain the ground lost. Our loss in the first charge of the enemy was light, owing to a strong position we had on the cedar ridge. Soon, however, the enemy reformed his broken lines, appearing with fresh troops on our right, and made a second desperate charge on our lines, causing them to waver and fall back, but again they were repulsed with terrible slaughter and our original position regained, except on the right, from which I had been retiring, by orders of the brigade commander, and, in obedience to those orders, I retired to the point of timber in rear of the cotton-field, my right being hotly, pressed by the enemy, and the whole line under heavy fire of the enemy's batteries. On reaching the timber, the regiment was halted, and messengers sent for ammunition, but, owing to the confusion on our right, where the rain had been parked, none could be procured. Having received no orders from the brigade commander in relation to the point to which I should retire, I governed my movements by the left of Carlin's brigade, and so continued to do until nearly reaching the Nashville pike, when other troops and batteries crowding in, separated us. I directed Major McIlwain to report to Colonel Carlin and find out his position, with the intention of forming the brigade (then acting under my orders) on his left; but before his return was obliged to change my position, to give room to other troops then forming in line of battle. I moved the troops a short distance to the rear, procured and distributed ammunition, and, moving to the right and front, formed on the left of Carlin's brigade, and remained in that position until nearly night, when Colonel Woodruff, returning, assumed