The two regiments went in very gallantly, driving the enemy from the cedar timber and some distance to the front. At the same time I put four pieces of Hescock's battery into action near by and on the same front. The other two regiments of Schaefer's brigade, and the Thirty-sixth Illinois, of Sill's brigade, were directed to cross the railroad, where they could obtain ammunition. I then, by direction of Major-General McCook, withdrew the two regiments that had been placed on the right of Palmer's division; also Captain Hescock's pieces, that point having been given up to the enemy in the rearrangement of our lines.
These regiments of Schaefer's brigade, having supplied themselves with ammunition, I put into action, by direction of Major-General Rosecrans, directly to the front and right of General Wood's division, on the left-hand side of the railroad.
The brigade advanced through a clump of timber and took position on the edge of a cotton-field, close upon the enemy's lines, relieving the division of General Wood, which was falling back under heavy pressure from the enemy.
At this point I lost my third and last brigade commander, Col. Frederick Schaefer, who was killed. The brigade, after remaining in this position until after it had expended its ammunition, was withdrawn to the rear of this timber, where it was again supplied and joined by the Thirty-sixth Illinois. I was here directed by General Rosecrans to form a close column of attack and charge the enemy, should they again come down on the open ground.
The remaining portion of the evening this gallant brigade remained in close column of regiments and under the fire of the enemy's batteries, which killed about 20 of the men by round shot. In the mean time Colonel Roberts' brigade, which had come out of the cedars distance to the rear, where the enemy threatened our communication on the Murfreesborough pike. The brigade, having but three or four rounds of ammunition, cheerfully went into action, gallantly charged the enemy, routing them, recapturing two pieces of artillery, and taking 40 prisoners. The rout of the enemy at this point deserves special consideration, as they had here nearly reached the Murfreesborough pike.
On the night of the 31st, I was placed in position on the Murfreesborough pike, facing south, and on the ground where Roberts' brigade had charged the enemy, General Davis being on my right.
On January 1, heavy skirmish fighting, with occasional artillery shots on both sides, was kept up till about 3 p.m., when a charge was made by a brigade of the enemy on my position. This was handsomely repulsed, and 1 officer and 85 men of the enemy captured.
Colonel Walker's brigade, of Thomas' corps, was also placed under my command, temporarily, having a position on my left, where the same character of fighting was kept up.
On January 2, Colonel Walker sustained two heavy attacks, which he gallantly repulsed.
On the 3rd, skirmishing took place throughout the day.
On the 4th, all was quiet in front, the enemy having disappeared.
On the 5th, nothing of importance occurred, and, on January 6, I moved my command to its present camp, on Stone's River, 3 miles south of Murfreesborough, on the Shelbyville pike.
I trust that the general commanding is satisfied with my division. It fought bravely and well. The loss of Houghtaling's battery and one section of Bush's battery was unavoidable. All the horses were shot