be brought back inside of the fortifications of Nashville. This order was rescinded, when we were ready to march, so far as to remain in camp, to wait until further orders, and not to pitch any tents.
On the 25th of December, early in the morning, the regiment had to go on picket, and on the same evening our outposts repulsed an attack made by the enemy.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 26th, we received orders to fall in with our brigade as soon as it should reach the picket line, nd to march toward Nolensville. The whole army did move at daylight, and drove in the enemy's pickets from Mill Creek toward Nolensville, where a considerable force of the enemy made a stand, but his position was taken in the afternoon by Davis' excellent division.
On the 29th, at nightfall, we arrived about 6 miles below Murfreesborough. Our cavalry met the enemy, he being in heavy force.
On the 30th day of December the Second Missouri Volunteers was in reserve, and the whole army moving on to Murfreesborough, a distance of about 3 miles. Fast fighting in front, especially on the right wing. The Second Brigade, Third Division, of which we are a part, had to support Captain Hescock's battery [G], First Missouri Artillery, drawn up in line of battle on the right of the Nolensville and Murfreesborough turnpike. At nightfall we received an order to advance into an open wood, in a right-oblique direction, for bivouac.
On the morning of the 31st December the Second Missouri Volunteers had to proceed again [at early daybreak] for support to Captain Hescock's battery. About 8 a.m. the enemy advanced upon the extreme right wing of our army [Davis' and Johnson's divisions] with a number less force, and, overpowered, our troops turned about, and the whole extreme right wing created a very critical confusion. By this time the First Battalion of the Second Missouri Volunteer Infantry, under command of Major Ehrler, was deployed as skirmishers in front of a field, the enemy advancing upon our line with heavy force from the woods opposite. The Second Battalion deployed, and every man of the Second Missouri Volunteer Infantry was engaged. Several times the rebels were repulsed by our energetic fire, but finally came up so thick that the order was given to fall slowly back to the woods, which movement was executed, coolly and promptly, under a heavy flank fire of a rebel battery, the rebels following up, and the two right skirmish companies [H and B] of the Second Missouri Volunteers were cut off and scattered. The remainder of the regiment marched down to the pike, and at the same time advancing toward Murfreesborough, we were ordered to make a stand on the left of the pike, in an oblique line, on a rather rocky ground, which offered excellent natural breastworks for all our fighting men. They received the advancing rebels with a steady and murderous fire, accompanied by the batteries from the hill in the rear of our line. Here we remained, and kept the enemy in check until we were out of ammunition, when another regiment relieved us, and we retired to the cedar woods in our rear. For nearly two painful hours we remained in this dreadful position; then we were marched out into the open air across the other pike, to provide our men with ammunition. After a short rest, we received orders to proceed forward, and to take position behind the embankment of the Chattanooga Railroad, from where we poured a very effective and steady fire upon the desperate enemy.
In this position our worthy and gallant Col. Frederick Schaefer was killed in the execution of his duties as our brigade commander. He fell, a hero, and his fellow officers and his brave soldiers mourn about this heavy loss for the country as well as for ourselves.