About 8 a.m. the enemy's battery, stationed on an eminence near the right bank of Stone's River, opened a severe fire of shot and shell upon my camp. Bradley's battery was ordered into position to engage that of the enemy. After a severe engagement of fifteen minutes, Captain Bradley succeeded in silencing the enemy's battery. My command sustained no loss in this engagement. Aside from this, it was generally quiet on my front during the day.
About 8 a.m. December 31, I received orders from General Wood, commanding division, to cross the river with my command. The movement was commenced, in obedience to General Wood's order, but was suspended for a few moments by an order emanating from Major-General Crittenden, commanding the left wing. While awaiting further orders, Major-General Rosecrans passed my command, and gave me direct instructions to proceed immediately to the support of the right wing of our army, which was yielding to the overwhelming force of the enemy at that point.
We had hardly commenced moving toward the right, when a Confederate battery, located on the south bank of the river, opened upon us, killing 1 man and wounding 2. Not stopping to reply to this battery, we pressed steadily forward. On approaching the right, much confusion was visible; troops marching in every direction; stragglers to be seen in great numbers, and teamsters in great consternation endeavoring to drive their teams they knew not whither. My progress was impeded by the confusion, while the enemy was pouring shot and shell upon us from at least three different directions, wounding several men in my command. The brigade was, however, extricated, from this perilous position on the extreme right of our line, Colonel Fyffe's brigade, of General Van Cleve's division, being immediately upon our left.
After reaching this last position, my brigade marched in two lines, the Fifty-first Indiana on the right, the Sixty-fifth Ohio on the left, the battery a little retired and opposite the interval between the Sixty-fifth and Fifty-first, the Sixty-fourth Ohio on the right of the second line, the Seventy-third Indiana on the left, with the Thirteenth Michigan in rear of the caissons. We marched in this order about half a mile, when our skirmishers came up with those of the enemy, and the fire became brisk in front. About this time a battery from the enemy, situated in a cornfield, and nearly opposite my right flank, opened upon my command with canister. In order to get a commanding position for artillery, and at the same time guard well my right flank, which I was fearful the enemy would attempt to turn, I moved the command a little to the right.
While this movement was being executed, a staff officer from the command upon my left reported a strong force of the enemy in his front. I replied that my right was in danger, and that a strong force and battery was in front. No sooner had I taken a position on the crest of the hill than a most vigorous engagement commenced. The position selected for my brigade proved a most fortunate one. The enemy was completely baffled in his design to turn my right; not only were the batteries in my front silenced and the enemy there repulsed, but a most destructive fire from Bradley's battery played upon the heavy columns of the enemy then pressing the troops upon my left. This engagement had continued about twenty minutes, when it was reported to me that the troops on my left had given way, and that the enemy was already in rear of my left flank, and about 200 yards from it, pouring a destructive cross-fire upon my troops.
At this time my command was in a most precarious situation, with a