Numbers 115 Report of Colonel Michael Shoemaker, Thirteenth Michigan Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRTEENTH REGIMENT MICHIGAN VOLS.
In Camp, near Murfreesborough, Tenn. January 8, 1863
SIR: My report of the 5th, having been made in great haste, was necessarily very brief. I would, therefore, for the better understanding of the movements of this regiment during the several days of battle, commencing on the 29th ultimo and ending on the 3rd instant, submit the following:
On the evening of the 29th, when ordered to cross the river, we were on the Fifty-first Indiana in the center, and the Seventy-third Indiana on the right. My regiment commenced crossing as soon as our skirmishers were fairly on the other side. The skirmishers were Company A, commanded by Lieutenant Van Arsdale, and Company F, commanded by Lieutenant James R. Slayton. They drove the enemy rapidly, the regiment following quite closely upon them.
When in line in the corn-field, and receiving the third volley from the enemy, we were ordered to fix bayonets and prepare to receive a charge of cavalry. As my regiment was somewhat in advance of the Fifty-first Indiana, and my right covering their left, I moved my regiment to the left, and rear, so as to connect with the Fifty-first Indiana, but still leaving my left somewhat in advance, and in such a position as would have enabled us to enfilade any force which might charge the center. Our position was now a very strong one, being in the edge of the woods. Here we remained until ordered to recross the river.
On the 31st, being in reserve when our brigade was placed in position on the extreme right of the army, we occupied an open field just in rear of where the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Regiments Ohio Volunteers and Seventy-third Regiment Indiana Volunteers were engaged with the enemy. When the battery retired, we were ordered to fall back to the position we held when the enemy advanced upon us. When they opened fire upon us, the other regiments of the brigade had passed by our right to the rear, and we did not see them again until after the close of the engagement.
My regiment was in line during the battle, and delivered their fire with such precision and rapidity that the whole force of the enemy was brought to a stand at the fence in our front, and held there for at least twenty minutes, when their left, which extended considerably beyond soon turn my right flank I gave the order to retire, but again formed the regiment within 12 or 15 rods of the first line. The enemy advanced so as to occupy our first line, but broke and retreated precipitately when charged by us. The Fifty-first Illinois advanced only to within 3 rods of our first line, and then threw forward skirmishers.
My regiment charged past the first line, and to the right down to near the fence, and full 30 rods in advance of our first position, overtaking and capturing the enemy, from the place where the guns were recaptured, which was to the right and in front of our first line of battle, to the houses in our front and into a corn-field, on a line with the houses. The artillery ceased firing a short time before we opened upon the enemy, and fell back out of sight, with all but the guns which had had their horses killed, and were captured. The enemy broke up the guns of our dead on the first line of battle while they occupied it. A