Ohio; Horrall and Orr, Forty-second Indiana; Mr. James K. Patterson, Evansville, and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. James S. Wilson, deserve especial praise. Capt. C. O. Loomis and Lieutenants Van Pelt and Hale, of the First Michigan Battery, rendered most important service throughout the entire battle. No men could have conducted themselves with more courage and ability. There are other officers and men who should be mentioned favorably, but the reports of regimental commanders have failed to reach me, and it is impossible, therefore, to give them the credit they deserve.
My brigade had three separate encounters with the enemy on the first day. On the second and third days it was in front a portion of the time.
Skirmishing on the night of January 3, two regiments, led by myself, drove the enemy from their breastworks in the edge of the woods in our front.
I trust the conduct of the brigade throughout may be satisfactory.
I am, captain, very respectfully,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
Capt. M. C. TAYLOR,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.
No. 71. Reports of Col. John C. Starkweather, First Wisconsin Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-EIGHTH BRIGADE, Camp at Jefferson, near Stone's River, Tenn., December 31, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 30th* instant the train of the Twenty-eighth Brigade, consisting of 64 wagons, loaded with camp equipage, stores, officers' baggage, knapsacks, &c., was sent from Stewartsborough at 8.30 a.m. for this point, unprotected, save by the convalescents and a small guard left to the rear for protection, 10 wagons loaded with rations. The head of the train had just arrived in camp, and while in process of being parked, the rear and center of the same was attacked by a portion of General Wheeler's cavalry brigade; while the remainder of his brigade, he being in command, as also a part of a brigade under command of Colonel Allen, advanced on both sides of the highway for the purpose of attacking the brigade force and destroying the whole train. The outposts and pickets, however, being on the alert, met the enemy at the front and held them in check until the brigade was formed and ready for battle.
I immediately ordered the train at double-quick to be parked; sent the Twenty-first Wisconsin, under Colonel Hobart, to the front and rear of train; ordered the First Wisconsin, Colonel Bingham, to deployed right and left from the center as skirmishers, and to press forward; moved one regiment, the Twenty-fourth Illinois, under Colonel Mihalotzy, to the bridge crossing the river, together with one section of artillery, and then advanced to the front with the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania, Colonel Hambright, and two sections of artillery, First Kentucky, Captain Stone.
My advance, the Twenty-first Wisconsin, was soon hotly engaged, and, being pressed severely by the enemy in front and on the left, they
*See Wheeler's report, 301; Mauldin's report, 302.