directly upon my regiment. I ordered the men to hold their fire until the enemy were within short musket range, when, the skirmishers having nearly all rallied on the battalion, I ordered them to rise up and fire, which they did with a coolness and daring worthy of veteran soldiers, and which checked the enemy in his advance and drove him back into the timber. We held our position until forced to retire by the enemy advancing in overwhelming numbers from the timber to our right.
Our retirement was made in good order, but with great loss of men. We reformed our line, when I was informed that General Sill was killed, and that you were in command of the brigade.
The enemy having broken our right, I retreated, under your directions, across the Wilkinson pike into the cedars, where we again made a stand and held our position, checking the enemy's advance, until ordered to retire.
About noon we went out on the Nashville and Murfreesborough pike, to support the cavalry in resisting the attacks of the enemy on our trains. We encamped at night on a hill just beyond Overall's Creek.
At 4 o'clock the next morning [January 1, 1863] we marched back to the battle-field, and took position on the right, where we lay in line of battle all this and the two following days, anticipating an attack from the enemy, but which was not made.
During the engagement I was ably assisted by all my officers present. Lieutenant-Colonel Chadbourne and Lieutenant Ballard, adjutant, being absent, sick, Major Chandler was the only field assistance I had, and I take special pleasure in mentioning Major Chandler, whose conduct throughout the conflict was characterized by calmness and the most determined bravery. His services were invaluable to the regiment, as his gallant example infused itself into the spirits of the men, making them cool and steady when obliged to retire in the face of the enemy. although wounded, and having his horse shot under him, he remained steadily at his post until the close of the battle.
It gratifies me to be able to make honorable mention of the officers commanding companies, viz: First Lieut. George Chandler, Company A; Captain W. A. Whiting, Company B: Captain George A. Sheridan, Company C; Capt. John A. Bross, Company D; Capt. Levi P. Holden, Company E; First Lieutenant James A. S. Hanford, Company F; Second Lieut. Dean R. Chester, Company G; First Lieutenant Charles T. Boal, Company H; Capt. J. J. Spalding, Company I, and Capt. D. E. Barnard, Company K, all of whom remained steady under fire, always at their posts urging their men on in repelling the enemy. The lieutenants assisting were cool and brave, and worthy of the offices they filled. The conduct of my sergeant-major, N. P. Jackson, was worthy of a soldier, being cool and brave, ever ready to carry out my orders, though bullets were flying thick around him.
During the engagement on the 31st, while at his post, Lieut.thomas F. W. Gullich, of Company C, fell, shot through the head. In his death his company and country have lost a faithful officer and a gallant soldier.
Herewith you will find a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of my regiment.*
Very respectfully, yours,
F. T. SHERMAN,
Colonel, Comdg. Eighty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Col. NICHOLAS GREUSEL,
Comdg. First Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.
*Embodied in revised statement, p.209.