No. 89. Report of Lieut. Colonel William D. Ward, Thirty-seventh Indiana Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRTY-SEVENTH INDIANA VOLUNTEERS,
Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers in the engagement at Stone's River, near Murfreesborough, Tenn., commencing December 30, 1862, and ending January 3, 1863:
On the morning of the 30th the regiment, Colonel Hull commanding, moved through the cedar thicket to the right to bivouac, and there rested, only two companies (D and E) taking part in skirmishing.
On the morning of the 31st the regiment was moved to the open field to support Marshall's battery, where it remained until about 9 a.m., when we changed front, still supporting same battery. While there one piece was disabled by the horses all being killed and cannoneers leaving. The regiment then advanced to the woods on the front, which position was held until 12 m.
The troops on the right giving way, Colonel Hull called up three pieces of artillery while in that position, which did great execution in the center. He also ordered two pieces on the right, which were of great support to the maintaining of the position. We were assisted at one time by the Seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteers; also by the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, which passed over us. During the entire time we were in this position the cross-fire of the enemy from each flank, in addition to that we were meeting in front, wa exceedingly galling.
About 12 m. we were ordered to retire in support of Nell's battery. As we approached the thicket the fire from the enemy's batteries became extremely harassing-so much so that the battery which we supported was compelled to retire. We then moved by left flank to engage the enemy, who was approaching by brigade, at which time we were broken up by a regiment passing through our lines. We again collected our men, when the Eleventh Michigan Volunteers also passed through our lines, causing some confusion.
The regiment again formed near the center of the woods and moved in column of battle to the outer edge, where Colonel Hull was wounded by a musket ball passing through his left hip, entirely disabling him for duty, at which time the command was turned over to me. I moved the regiment to the pike, where I received ammunition, which we were entirely out of. The brigade then being again formed, we rested, not being placed in action again that day.
On the morning of January 1, 1863, we were moved to the right, where the enemy was expected to press. There we remained during the day and night following, resting on arms, but unengaged.
On the afternoon of the 2nd we were moved to the left center, where we were placed to support a battery or batteries. While there the forces across the river gave way. The Seventh Brigade then being that had approached the river; drove them back, and held the position under extremely heavy fire from cannon and musketry. I remained in that position until dark, when I was ordered back about 200 yards, where I remained in that position until after noon of the 4th, when the forces moved for Murfreesborough.
Colonel Hull's actions during the engagement of the 31st were such