after a short halt, proceeded through a dense grove of cedars to take a position. Finding it impossible to operate with the battery in so dense a wood, I reported to General Rousseau, who, after seeing the impossibility of taking up a proper position, ordered the battery into action in the open field, which it had previously left. The battery was formed in time to check the advance of the enemy from the cedars, and was then moved to a position on a rise of ground on the opposite side of the pike. A heavy column of the enemy advanced from the cedars, but was finally driven back in disorder by the fire of canister from the battery.
On the afternoon of the 31st the enemy again moved forward in heavy force from a position to our left and front, but were unable to advance under the fire of the different batteries which was concentrated upon them. Though the battery changed positions several times, in order to follow up the movements of the troops, its main position was on the rise of ground already spoken of, and on which it camped at night.
On the morning of January 1, 1863, the battery was moved some distance to the rear, and after several changes of position was ordered back with the brigade of regulars toward a point on the Murfreesborough pike beyond Stewart's Creek. After proceeding some miles, the order being countermanded, the brigade and battery returned, and bout nightfall camped in the woods near the old position.
On the morning of January 2, the battery moved forward and took position, remaining in position during the day, and camping on the same ground at night. On the 3rd, the brigade and battery were moved forward and occupied rifle-pits and epaulements which had been constructed for them. At dusk the battery opened fire with shell and spherical-case shot on the enemy concealed in the woods, in buildings, and behind breastwork, &c., and the attack being followed up by the infantry, the enemy were driven from the position and the grounds occupied by our troops, who were subsequently withdrawn. The battery remained in position during the following day, and on the morning of January 5 took up the line of march toward Murfreesborough, encamping some distance beyond the town in the evening.
To Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, Eighteenth Infantry, commanding brigade, and to Majors Carpenter, Nineteenth Infantry; King, Fifteenth Infantry; Caldwell and Townsend, Eighteenth Infantry, and Slemmer, Sixteenth Infantry, commanding battalions, and to their officers and men, I am indebted for the gallant support afforded me during the series of engagements. My officers, Second Lieutenants Israel Ludlow and J. A. Fessenden, deserve honorable mention for their display of coolness, gallantry, and judgment.
Sergeants Egan, Reed, Metcalf, Brode, Bickel, Ervin, and Manbeck behaved with conspicuous courage, and to the other non-commissioned officers and privates of the battery, without exception, I am indebted for faithful services.
I have the honor to append the following list of casualties in my command: Wounded: Corpl. Charles Allitzon and Privates Thomas Burns, James F. Mohr, Michael McGrath, and Benjamin F. Burgess; total wounded, 5; total of horses killed, 10; total of horses wounded, 5; rounds of ammunition expended, 558.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. L. GUENTHER,
First Lieutenant, Commanding Battery H, Fifth Artillery.
First Lieut. ROBERT SUTHERLAND,
Eighteenth Infantry, A. A. A. G., Brigade of Regulars.