At 3 a.m. [31st] General Sill came down to the regiment and said we would be supported from the reserve brigade. The men were then awake and ready for action. At early dawn two regiments came into the woods and formed line at right angles with my left. They remained a few moments, and were marched away.
Soon after, firing began, and the pickets were driven in by the enemy's skirmishers directly in my front. Their column of attack me close on the rear of their skirmishers, and I ordered the men to fire. At the same time my attention was directed to a column coming out of the wood on my right flank. They were in line and advancing very rapidly. [I counted five battle-flags.] I immediately sent word to General Sill that the enemy were in force on my flank. About the same time the regiment on my right, formed at right angles, fell back; a battery, which had fired four rounds very effectively, followed them, leaving my flank entirely unprotected. I maintained my position, waiting for orders, until the enemy were in the woods in my rear, and had come on my flak and delivered a cross-fire, doing me considerable damage. No orders having been received, and thinking it improper to remain longer in this position, I ordered the regiment to break to the rear by companies. Some of the officers not hearing the order, the left with did not move with the right, and the regiment came off in some disorder, but was quickly reformed in the open field to the right of the log-house used for a hospital. No regiment could have formed line more rapidly than they did, after retreating, surrounded on all sides by confused masses of fugitives-the veterans of some of the hardest battles of the war. Where such troops flee, new recruits assuredly deserve praise for standing their ground.
I then received the first orders during the day from Colonel Greusel to move my regiment up to a fence and have them lie down. My left then formed on the right of the Fifteenth Missouri. An order given by Colonel Schaefer for that regiment to move, left me entirely alone, unless I advanced with them, which was done. Moving up to the second fence in my front, I again ordered the men to lie down.
Soon after, an aide from General Sheridan directed me to move my regiment up to the woods. The order was obeyed, when I joined the Eighty-eighth Illinois, and was thereafter under the immediate command of Colonel Greusel. By his direction, we marched through the cedar swamp, a terrific fire of artillery and infantry roaring all around us. I crossed the railroad and marched up the Murfreesborough pike, placed my men, as per orders from him, in a thicket, with directions to deploy skirmishers and watch for the enemy's cavalry, which was annoying our train. Remained in this position some time. Was ordered up still farther to the right, and placed behind a rail fence, which position I occupied for about one hour. Again moving up the pike, by Colonel Greusel's direction, I supported one gun of the First Ohio Battery. Night coming on, I was directed to post three companies as pickets, keeping the remainder in reserve.
On the morning of January 1, 1863, under direction of Colonel Greusel, I brought the regiment back to the pike, and, following the Eighty-eighth Illinois, marched down to the cedar swamp, a mile beyond Stone's River, with orders to erect temporary breastworks. In this position I remained until the evening of the 2nd, when, by directions of the colonel commanding, I move my regiment on to the grounds occupied by a regiment on my right, which had marched.
On the morning of the 3rd, I marched again, by directions of the brigade commander, to the left of Bush's battery, my right resting on the Thirty-sixth