War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0424 KY.,MID. AND E.TENN.,N.ALA.,AND SW.VA. Chapter XXXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,

SECOND DIVISION, FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Murfreesborough, March --, 1863.

His Excellency Governor BLAIR,

Michigan:

SIR: I deem it but an act of simple justice to an efficient and brave officer to say to you, as the Governor of the State from which he comes, what I have said in my official report of Colonel William L. Stoughton, commanding the Eleventh Michigan, a part of my brigade. In the late battles of Stone's River, General Negley's division, of which my brigade was the right, on Wednesday, the 31st December, and Friday, the 2nd January, was placed in prominent and important positions, and nobly and heroically acted its part.

On Tuesday, the 30th, we had some severe skirmishing, first by the Nineteenth Illinois and Eighteenth Ohio, the last relieved by the Eleventh Michigan. Each regiment had men killed and wounded on that day, and well sustained its position. Tuesday night the Eleventh was detailed by me for most arduous and important duty-the care of the extreme front in face of the enemy. I gave the matter wholly into the hands of Colonel Stoughton, and during all that could, bitter night he watched, and, with his regiment, without fires, kept the front, and were not could they have been surprised. In the morning they were relieved, but only to be soon called again into more terrible conflicts. In that terrible carnage-death, bull-dog fighting-my brigade bore a conspicuous part, being uncovered on our right by our associates being driven to the rear, and falling back only when flanked-in fact surrounded-in that falling back, in good order, fighting every step of the way, repulsing the enemy at every available point. In all these the Eleventh was in the right place in the midst of danger, never for a moment flinching. Colonel Stoughton was in his place, handling his men with ease and to the purpose. After we had formed a new line at the rear, one of my regiments was called upon by a major-general from another command to make a desperate charge upon the enemy in the woods, and, seeing them in close quarters, I called to the Eleventh to follow me to their rescue, which they did most gallantly, led by their gallant commander, and fought until called off by myself. From that time until Friday we were ready, as at all times, for the foe, but it was not until Friday evening that we had an opportunity to show our teeth. Then our extreme left was being driven before the enemy; a whole division (three brigades) was falling back in disorder, followed by a superior force. Our gallant commander, General Rosecrans, saw it in person, and rode to me, ordering me forward with my brigade, which was responded to with cheers and immediate action. Colonel Stoughton, with his regiment, took the extreme right, charging and driving the foe in terrible confusion, and exactly at the right point, halting and rallying his own men and others in his vicinity,thus forming a new line at the right time and in the right place. I was at this moment in another part of the field, but quickly there, and found him holding his position, having routed the enemy out of his sight. This was a most gallant exploit, and reflects the highest credit on Colonel Stoughton and his command. I bespeak for him your influence at Washington to make him a brigadier-general, a position to which he is entitled, and which he would fill with credit to himself and the country. In addition to his gallantry and judicious management, his heart is in country's cause.

This is written wholly without any suggestion from Colonel Stoughton or any one for him, but on my own sense of justice to a deserving