and all changed direction by the left flank, making for the woods. Immediately afterward a squad appeared, made a demonstration on the deployed line [Company A, Twenty-ninth Indiana], but failed to intimidate the men or force the line. With a shout, the skirmishers rushed forward, poured in a galling fire, unhorsed 4 or 5, took 1 prisoner, badly wounded, while Company F, Twenty-ninth Indiana, on reserve at the same time, forced another to surrender without a wound.
This cavalry force was the First Confederate Regulars, and I only regret that the fear that this might be Colonel Stokes' cavalry, which had all day supported our left, but of whose personal appearance I was ignorant, rendered their loss so slight. We advanced half a mile farther, when we bivouacked for the night.
After we had reached our final halting place, the Federal [Stokes'] cavalry emerged from the woods on our left, but at sufficient distance to leave a gap, through which the rebels escaped.
Until December 30 we were not again engaged in any movement or preparation for the attack on Murfreesborough. On this day we moved in reserve to the column of General Davis until 3 p.m., when the Second Brigade, Second Division, was ordered to the right of General Davis' division, which was threatened by rebel cavalry. The Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania and Thirty-eighth [Thirtieth] Indiana were thrown forward as skirmishers, to the first of which the Twenty-ninth acted as reserve. We moved forward until we reached the reserve of General Davis' right, where the rebel cavalry was distinctly visible in line of battle, but not within range. Captain Edgarton's battery having taken position, soon put them to flight. While in line at this point we were exposed to the fire of the rebel battery supporting their skirmishers, but it was immediately silenced by ours.
About dusk a line of battle was determined upon, and, by order, the Twenty-ninth Indiana took position on the left of the Thirty-fourth, which supported the battery on a lane leading to Murfreesborough and behind dense thicket of cedars. Steps were at once taken to guard against surprise. A large company [B] of our regiment was sent out as pickets, with instructions to act as skirmishers should the enemy appear, our line connecting that of the Thirty-fourth Illinois on the right and the Thirtieth Indiana on our left, both of which lines were established sufficiently in advance to command a wide range of vision, and enable the regiments to form in time to meet any attack. The night passed without alarm on our line until about 3 a.m., when a shot fired on the picket line, to our right, brought every man to his place in the ranks.
About daylight we were again alarmed by general firing on the picket line, and immediately afterward by shouting in front, but to our right. The men instantly grasped their loaded guns, while I, by Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn's order, rode to the front, along the lane, to ascertain the cause of the firing, and, the force coming down on us emerging from behind the thicket, I saw a heavy column moving rapidly down on the Thirty-fourth Illinois, firing as they advanced, and opposed bravely and vigorously by the pickets and skirmishers. Riding farther down the lane, to obtain a view of the open country beyond the thicket, I saw a column of like proportions moving down on the Twenty-ninth Indiana. I galloped back to the regiment with this information, and found that Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn, anticipating, had thrown forward another large company [C] to support the pickets and skirmish among the cedars. This company, ably and gallantly led by Lieut. S. O. Gregory, pushed forward through the entangled mass until within a few yards of the