This position we retained until 8 p.m. of the same day, when we again moved forward to the front, occupying the ground then held by the Pioneer Brigade, on the right of the division. Pickets were then thrown forward, so that the enemy's advance was within easy range of their guns, and the brigade lay on their arms during the night.
Early on the morning of the 2nd instant sharp skirmishing began between our advance posts and the enemy, followed shortly afterward by a most terrific shower of shell and shot in our midst, from guns having been massed and masked against us during the night, killing 3 and wounding 10 men of the brigade. During the day there was considerable skirmishing, and occasional shells fell among us.
Halfan hour before dark we formed line of battle, by order, and moved forward some 600 yards; but, finding no enemy, were ordered to cross Stone's River, where we lay during the night in reserve, under arms, in a drenching rain-storm.
On the morning of the 3rd instant we moved into the works thrown up during the night, taking position on the right of the division, relieving the Twentieth Brigade, where we remained quietly during the day and night, lying on our arms. But nothing worthy of note transpiring, and being ordered, we recrossed Stone's River at 2.30 o'clock on the morning of the 4th instant, taking up the position in the rear, which our brigade now occupies, as reserve.
The list of casualties from the night of December 31, 1862, in this brigade, to this date, is: Enlisted men killed, 3; wounded, 10. No commissioned officers killed or wounded.
It gives me great pleasure to state that all the officers of the brigade conducted themselves with true spirit and becoming bravery, and were keenly alive to the great dangers of their respective commands, each endeavoring to guard them from the fire of the enemy. Where all do nobly, no individual case of bravery need be cited.
For more minute details I would respectfully refer you to the individual reports of the regimental commanders, on file.
GEO. P. BUELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.
HDQRS. FIFTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT INDIANA VOLUNTEERS,
Near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 5, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the Fifty-eighth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, under my command, entered the late action near Murfreesborough, Tenn., at 11.30 a.m. December 31, 1862, with 386 men, exclusive of commissioned officers.
This regiment, in the battle, was posted on the right of the railroad, fronting toward town, forming a part of the left wing of the army engaged. Each man was, prior to the action, furnished with from 60 to 80 rounds of cartridges, and, after engaging the enemy under very severe fire for three hours and twenty minutes, the regiment was relieved by the Fortieth Indiana Volunteers.
It gives me great pleasure to state that during the action both officers and enlisted men showed no desire nor symptom to retire from the contest, but all stood firmly at their posts and fought nobly and bravely.
31 R R-VOL XX, PT I