No. 50. Report of Brig. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division.
HDQRS. THIRD DIV., RIGHT WING, FOURTEENTH A. C., Camp on Stone's River, Tenn., January 9, 1863.
MAJOR: In obedience to instructions from headquarters right wing, I have the honor to report the following as the operations of my division from December 26, 1862, to January 6, 1863:
On December 26, I moved from camp, near Nashville, on the Nolensville pike, in the direction of Nolensville. At the crossing of Mill Creek the enemy's cavalry made some resistance, but were soon routed, 1 lieutenant and 1 private of the enemy being captured.
On approaching Nolensville, I received a message from General Davis, who had arrived at Nolensville, via the Edmondson pike, that the enemy were in considerable force in his front, and requesting me to support him. On the arrival of the head of my division at Nolensville, General Davis advanced upon the enemy's position, about 2 miles south of that place, supported by my division. The enemy had here made a stand in a gap of the mountains; but, after a sharp conflict with General Davis' command, were routed and one piece of artillery captured.
On the next day [27th], I supported General Johnson's division in its advance on Triune, where the enemy were supposed to be in considerable force. The town was taken possession of after a slight resistance, the main portion of their forces having evacuated the place.
On December 28, I encamped at Triune.
On the 29th, I supported General Davis' division, which had the advance from Triune on Murfreesborough, encamping that night at Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, from which point there is a good turnpike to Murfreesborough.
On the next day [30th], I took the advance of the right wing on this turnpike toward Murfreesborough, General Stanley, with a regiment of cavalry, having been thrown in advance.
After arriving at a point about 3 miles from Murfreesborough, the enemy's infantry pickets were encountered and driven back, their numbers constantly increasing until I had arrived within about 2 1/4 miles of Murfreesborough. At this point the resistance was so strong as to require two regiments to drive them. I was here directed by Major-General McCook to form my line of battle and place my artillery in position.
My line was formed on the right of the pike, and obliquely to it; four regiments to the front, with a second line of four regiments within short supporting distance in the rear, with a reserve of one brigade, in column of regiments, to the rear and opposite the center. General Davis was then ordered to close in and form on my right, the enemy all this time keeping up a heavy artillery and musketry fire upon my skirmishers.
The enemy continued to occupy, with their skirmishers, a heavy belt of timber to the right and front of my line, and across some open fields and near where the left of General Davis' division was intended to rest. General Davis was then directed by Major-General McCook to swing his division, and I was directed to swing my right brigade with it until our continuous line would front nearly due east. This would give us possession of the timber above alluded to, and which was occupied by the enemy's skirmishers in considerable force. This movement was successfully executed, after a stubborn resistance on the part of the