HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, February 9, 1863.
Col. C. GODDARD,
Chief of Staff:
The last semi-weekly return of effective force before the battle of Stone's River, dated December 24, shows as follows, to wit:
Rousseau's division....................303 + 5,883 = 6,186
Negley's division......................212 + 5,284 = 5,496
General Negley's report of the actual force engaged shows a deficiency of 664. This deficiency is in cavalry, which had been assigned to General Stanley between the 24th and 31st of December. I shall certainly hold my officers responsible for all reports differing from the above. The supposition was that the whole effective force was engaged. Please send me the reports showing the discrepancy.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
No. 63. Report of Major-General Lovell H. Rousseau, U. S. Army, commanding First Division.
NASHVILLE, TENN., January 11, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by my command, the Third Division of the army, in the battle of Murfreesborough, begun on the 31st ultimo and ended on the 3rd instant.
Early on the morning of the 30th ultimo, in obedience to the order of General Thomas, my division moved forward toward Murfreesborough from Stewartsborough, on the Nashville and Murfreesborough turnpike, about 9 miles from the latter place. On the march forward, several dispatches from General Rosecrans reached me, asking exactly where my command was and the hour and minute of the day. In consequence, we moved rapidly forward, halting but once, and that for only five minutes. About 10.30 a.m. we reached a point 3 miles from Murfreesborough, where Generals Rosecrans and Thomas were, on the Nashville and Murfreesborough turnpike, and remained during the day and bivouacked at night.
At about 9 a.m. on the 31st, the report of artillery and heavy firing of small-arms on our right announced that the battle had begun, by an attack on the right wing, commanded by Major-General McCook. It was not long before the direction from which the firing came indicated that General McCook's command had given way and was yielding ground to the enemy. His forces seemed to swing around toward our right and rear. At this time General Thomas ordered me to advance my division quickly to the front, to the assistance of General McCook.
On reaching the right of General Negley's line of battle, General Thomas there directed me to let my left rest on his right, and deploy my division off toward the right as far as I could, so as to resist the pressure on General McCook. We consulted and agreed as to where the line should be formed. This was in a dense cedar brake, through which my troops marched in double-quick time, to get into position