crossed the open field between the woods and railroad, the fire was terrible, and the men fell before it in great numbers, until the enemy were driven back by the fire from Battery H, Fifth Artillery, attached to the brigade. Arriving at the railroad, we again formed and remained with the rest of the brigade in support of the above battery. We continued in this position all the afternoon, continually exposed to artillery fire from the enemy's batteries.
About 4 o'clock next morning we were ordered to the rear about a mile, where we obtained some rest. About 8 a.m. we were again put in position on the right center. From this position we were ordered to the right. In the afternoon we were ordered to proceed to Stewart's Creek, and, on arriving within a mile of the creek, were ordered back at a double-quick, when we immediately faced about and retraced our steps in double-quick time.
About sundown we arrived near our original position, the men being very much exhausted by hardships they had undergone, and the rapidity of the march. We were moved into bivouac i a belt of woods near the center of the general position.
Next morning found us again near the front and center, supporting Battery H, Fifth Artillery. Here we remained in reserve, until about 2 p.m., when we moved back to our bivouac of the night before. Here we remained about half an hour, when we were again ordered to the position occupied by us during the morning, owing to an impetuous attack on the left, under General Crittenden, by the enemy. In this position we remained all the afternoon and that night.
Next morning a battery opened on us from the enemy, but was soon silenced by Battery H, Fifth Artillery. We then moved still farther to the front, where we threw up a line of earthworks, and the men slept on their arms in the trenches. That night, so completely were the men exhausted, from want of rest and food, that they slept in about 6 inches of water.
Next morning it was discovered that the enemy had abandoned their position and were in full retreat. The command remained guarding these trenches till the morning of January 5, when we marched to Murfreesborough.
During these five days the men suffered very much for the want of food, and were so much reduced that some of them ate roasted horseflesh. Fifteen officers and 293 enlisted men went into action.
The following is a list of the officers of the command who were engaged: Major A. J. Slemmer, Captains R. E. A. Crofton, R. P. Barry, James Biddle, N. L. Dykeman, and J. C. King; First Lieutenants A. W. Allyn, E. McConnell, W. H. Bartholomew, John Power (battalion adjutant), W. W. Arnold, J. C. Howland, and E. R. Kellogg; Second Lieutenants S. E. St. Onge and W. G. Wedemeyer.
All the officers and men behaved with great coolness and courage, and, notwithstanding the great sufferings it was necessary for them to endure, they performed their duties without a murmur.
Subjoined you will find a list of killed, wounded, and missing.* Of the latter number I am convinced that few, if any, are straggles, as some who were at first reported missing it has since been discovered are wounded and were unable to avoid being taken by the enemy.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. A. CROFTON,
Captain Sixteenth Infantry, Commanding.
Lieut. Colonel O. L. SHEPHERD,
Comdg. Brigade Regular Troops.
*Embodied in revised statement, p.210.