A. D. Streight commanding; the Thirteenth Regiment Michigan Volunteers, Colonel M. Shoemaker commanding; Seventy-third Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Colonel G. Hathaway commanding; Sixty-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel A. McIlvain commanding; Sixty-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Cassil commanding, and the Sixth Ohio Independent Battery, commanded by Captain Cullen Bradley, left Stewart's Creek about 10 a.m. on Monday, the 29th ultimo, marching most of the time in line of battle, with the right of the line a little in the rear of the left of the Second Brigade, Colonel Wagner commanding.
Our skirmishers soon came upon the enemy's cavalry, engaging them briskly and driving them slowly before them. We proceeded in this manner, cautiously feeling our way until our left arrived at the left bank of Stone's River, which was reached about 4 p.m.
Up to this time we had suffered no casualties from the enemy's skirmishers. We took up a position near Stone's River, about 400 yards to the left of the Nashville and Murfreesborough pike, the Second Brigade, Colonel Wagner commanding, being on the right, and the First Brigade, General Hascall commanding, being on the left, and somewhat to the rear, owing to the conformation of the ground.
We remained in this position until about dark, when we received orders to proceed to Murfreesborough. Stone's River being fordable in our front we at once commenced crossing the stream. Throwing a strong line of skirmishers over the stream, orders were given to the Fifty-first Indiana, Thirteenth Michigan, and Seventy-third Indiana, Thirteenth Michigan, and Seventy-third Indiana Volunteers to cross simultaneously, form on the opposite bank, press forward, and seize the commanding heights beyond, while the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Ohio, with Bradley's battery, were directed to follow as rapidly as possible.
The skirmishers had barely left the bank of the river before they were vigorously attacked by those of the enemy, concealed in a thicket and behind a fence in our front. Our skirmishers, in no way daunted by this fierce assault of the enemy, pressed gallantly forward, driving the foe until they came upon the enemy in force. The skirmishers were soon supported by the front line of the brigade. The enemy seemed to have been entirely disconcerted by this bold movement of our troops, and fell back in confusion. In this movement our loss was 2 men killed and 3 wounded. This slight loss must be attributed to the able manner in which the officers of the brigade conducted their commands. A prisoner taken reported an entire division of the enemy on my front; movements along my entire front and flanks indicated that a strong force was near me. I reported this to the general commanding the division, at the same time stating that I could hold the position until re-enforced.
I soon received orders to recross the stream, which I did, occupying nearly the same ground as before crossing. This movement was so quickly executed as not to excite the suspicion of the enemy.
Too much praise cannot be accorded to the brave officers and men of this brigade for their bravery and skill in driving a concealed enemy from a strong position after nightfall, and holding their ground in the face of an enemy three times their numbers. Though little was accomplished by this feat, it nevertheless made manifest the indomitable courage of the men under the most trying circumstances, and augured well for the more severe work which awaited them.
On December 30, the Sixty-fourth Ohio,being on picket and outpost duty, was somewhat annoyed by the enemy in the slight skirmishing in the front, losing 1 man killed.