Ohio in the march from Nashville to Murfreesborough, and the engagements in which the Fifteenth participated.
We were first engaged with the enemy on the morning of December 31, 1862, about 7 o'clock, when I found the enemy approaching in our rear, and received the order from Colonel Gibson to move out and form line of battle. To do this I countermarched the regiment and took up a position about 10 rods in front of my camp. By the time this was accomplished the brigade in rear of the First Brigade had given way, and, with the balance of our brigade, was in full retreat. We held this position only long enough to cover the retreat of our forces, when I gave the order to fall back.
It was at this point that the brave and gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Askew fell, severely wounded in the thigh, and was taken prisoner, and the no less brave Captain Douglass and Lieutenant Hilles also fell- Captain Douglass wounded in the breast, and Lieutenant Hilles in the thigh; both fell into the enemy's hands. None of the above have been paroled, and are now within our lines. Major McClenahan was slightly wounded in the shoulder, but made his escape on foot with the regiment. Five men of the regiment were killed at this point. The retreat was through an open field, with a high fence to cross before we could get under cover of the wood. Most of my killed and wounded occurred at or near this fence.
Having placed this fence between us and the enemy, we fell back in good order, keeping up a brisk and deadly fire on the advancing foe. I rallied the regiment about one-half mile from my camp, being greatly assisted by Captain Dawson and Adjutant Dubois, both of whom showed themselves to be brave and gallant officers.
At this time I found myself in command of the brigade, and my report of the 15th for the balance of the day will be included in that of the brigade, which was rallied here, and, with one piece of artillery, under Lieutenant Belding, we checked the advance of the rebel column.
Lieutenant Belding is deserving of great praise for the admirable manner of handling his piece. From the effects of three shots not less than 100 of the enemy fell.
When in command of the brigade, Adjutant Norton, of the Forty-ninth Ohio, Captain Schmitt, Lieutenants Miles, Green, and McGrath, of General Willich's staff, rendered invaluable assistance in rallying the men, in charging the enemy, and conducting the retreat.
Captain Dawson took command of the Fifteenth Ohio, Major McClenahan not feeling able to do so, and once, when there was danger of the men breaking in wild confusion, he seized the colors of the Fifteenth, and by a united cheer, the brigade was again formed, and checked again the enemy's advance; the brigade fell back at last in rear of General Rousseau's lines, and formed again, and held the rebel advance in check, but were again compelled to fall back, by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, in rear of General Van Cleve's division, who put a stop to the further advance of the enemy.
On the evening of this day I learned with pleasure of the safety of Colonel Gibson, who took command of the brigade. Under his direction the Fifteenth took part in the maneuvering on the right the following day, and on the succeeding day was present in the charge made by the First Brigade upon the right of the enemy, and in which but one man of the Fifteenth was injured, Sergeant Malin, who was struck by a piece of shell in the thigh.
Major McClenahan rejoined the regiment on the 3rd, having been ordered to do so by the brigade commander. I am pleased to mention