brave man, my lamented predecessor, Col. Frederick Schaefer, fell. by order of General Sheridan, I assumed forthwith the command of the brigade, the Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Captain Olson, having been attached to it; and, after taking up another favorable position on the line of the railroad, I was enabled to hold the enemy in check, in spite of his desperate endeavors, until night broke in and the bloody drama of that day was ended.
On January 1, 1863, at 2 a.m., my brigade was ordered to take a position in front of an open field edged by heavy timber, and I had, as soon as daylight permitted, heavy breastworks erected along the whole front I was to protect; and, keeping a vigilant lookout, I held that position until January 6, when I wa ordered to advance to the present camp.
The officers and men of the brigade all behaved as would naturally be expected of veteran soldiers who have heretofore earned the highest praise for their bravery and gallantry, and to enumerate single ones would hardly be in justice to the balance.
Among those who laid down their lives for our holy cause, I particularly lament Captain Zimmerman and Lieutenants Kellner and Quintzius, of the Fifteenth Missouri Volunteers; Captain Alsop, of the Seventy-third Illinois Volunteers; Captain Hosmer, of the Forty-fourth Illinois Volunteers; Lieutenant Taliaferro, of the First Missouri Artillery. May their relatives find a consolation, as their comrades do, in the thought that the death on the battle-field for the righteous cause wins immortal laurels for the slain.
I cannot omit to mention Captain Hescock's battery, which, on December 31, as oftentimes before, did splendid execution. The skill and bravery of its officers is almost proverbial, and need not be further commented on by me than to express my heartiest gratification that they stood by me, as formerly, with a right good will and telling courage.
Inclosed I have the honor to transmit a list of the casualties in my brigade.*
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Second Missouri Volunteer Infantry,
Commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, Right Wing.
First Lieut. GEORGE LEE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.
No. 60. Report of Major Francis Ehrler, Second Missouri Infantry.
CAMP BRADLEY, AT STONE'S RIVER, South of Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to hereby most respectfully transmit to you a report, inasmuch as the Second Infantry Regiment of Missouri Volunteers was concerned in the battle in front of Murfreesborough, Tenn., on the 31st ultimo.
We receive marching orders on the 24th of December, when in camp near Mill Creek, 7 miles south of Nashville. All the wagons, with tents and other baggage, should, as soon as the troops commenced to move,
*Embodied in revised statement, p.209.