For the second time we were out of ammunition, and Lieut. Col. B. Laiboldt, of the Second Missouri Volunteers, now in command of the Second Brigade, Third Division, ordered the Second Missouri Volunteers to fall back into a reserve and get ammunition. One of the rebel batteries on the railroad playing on ours, did do some damage to our very defective ranks, killing 2 and wounding several. At nightfall we were withdrawn to the provision train, and on the morning of New Year's day we had to take our position on the new-formed line, which we strengthened by a raveling made out of fence rails and rocks. Since that our skirmishers in front only were engaged with the enemy's outposts. The houses in front of our line have been burned, by order of the general commanding, and the enemy's sharpshooters lost every hold.
A special denomination of gallant conduct we do not make. All the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates have done their full duty, and the Second Infantry Regiment of Missouri Volunteers have preserved and strengthened the good reputation which it already had.
I have the honor to sign.
By order of Major Ehrler, commanding Second Missouri Volunteer Infantry:
First Lieutenant and Adjutant.
His Excellency HAMILTON R. GAMBLE.
Governor of the State of Missouri.
No. 61. Report of Col. Luther P. Bradley, Fifty-first Illinois infantry, commanding Third Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION, RIGHT WING, FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, January 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, the part taken by the Third Brigade in the operations before Murfreesborough, ending January 4.
On the morning of December 30, 1862, the brigade, under command of Col. G. W. Roberts, advanced on the Winchester pike, having the right of the column. About 9 o'clock we came on the enemy's skirmishers, engaged with a regiment of General Negley's division. The Twenty-second Illinois was thrown out on the left, and the Forty-second on the right of the pike as skirmishers, and soon forced the enemy back.
Houghtaling's battery was sent to the high ground, just in the edge of heavy timber on the right, and the Twenty-seventh and Fifty-first Illinois formed in line of battle to the rear of the reserves of the Twenty-second and Forty-second, and on the left of the battery. We had active work with the enemy's skirmishers all day, the battery occasionally shelling them, but they were generally out of range. At noon the Fifty-first Illinois relieved the Forty-second Illinois, and occupied the right of the brigade line of skirmishers for the balance of the day. About dark the skirmishers were withdrawn, and the brigade bivouacked on the field. The losses for the day were 7 killed and 35 wounded.
On the morning of the 31st, the brigade was under arms at daylight, and soon after formed line of battle. The enemy's columns opened out
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