Creek late in the afternoon of the 27th, and bivouacked there until the morning of the 29th.
During all the day (Sunday, 28th) the enemy's pickets were in sight across the creek, firing upon us occasionally at long range, but did us no harm.
On Monday morning, December 29, at 9 o'clock, I was ordered to deploy one regiment as skirmishers; to dispose my other troops so as to support it, and move forward at 10 o'clock precisely, and continue to advance until the enemy were found in position. This disposition was made. A few minutes before 10 o'clock, Parsons was ordered to shell the woods to our front, and at 10 o'clock Grose's brigade moved forward, skirmishing with the enemy, supported by the First Brigade, Hazen not having yet joined me.
The command advanced steadily, driving the light force of rebel skirmishers before it to the top of the hill, some 1 1/2 miles on this side of Stewart's Creek; and, being under the impression that the divisions of Wood and Negley were to advance with me, to my right and left, I halted for them to come up.
In a few minutes Wood's advance came up on the left of the pike, and the two divisions moved forward, constantly skirmishing (though much heavier on Wood's front than my own), to the ground occupied that night, afterward the theater of the battle of the 31st.
During the day the casualties were 10 wounded in Grose's brigade: none severely.
On the morning of the 30th, my division was formed as follows: The Third Brigade (Grose's) in two lines the left resting on the pike, First Brigade (Cruft's) to the right, extending across the point of woods, his extreme right retired to connect with General Negley's left, and Hazen's brigade in reserve. There was considerable skirmishing during the day the greater portion of which fell upon Cruft's brigade, which was in rather unpleasant proximity to a point of woods, to his front and right, held by the enemy in strong force.
About 4 o'clock, I was ordered to advance and open upon the enemy with all my artillery. This was not done, probably, as soon as the order contemplated. The ground occupied by the batteries at the time the order was received was low and confined. Upon pushing forward the skirmishers of the First Brigade to clear the way to a good artillery position, in the open field to the front, the rebels were found numerous and stubborn. Learning very soon that a mere demonstration was intended, all my batteries opened, and I am satisfied damaged the enemy considerably. The skirmish attending this movement was quite brisk, the troops engaged doing themselves great credit. This closed the operations of the day.
On the morning of the 31st, Cruft's brigade retained its position of the day before. Hazen's brigade had relieved Grose, who had fallen back to a point some 200 yards to the rear,and was formed in two lines nearly opposite the intervals between the First and Second Brigades Standart's battery on the extreme right, and Parson's near the center.
Early in the morning I rode to the right of my own command, and then the battle had commenced on the extreme right of the line. Soon afterward, near 8 o'clock, General Negley, through one of his staff, informed me he was about to advance.,and requested me to advance to cover his left . I gave notice of this to the general commanding,and a few minutes later received orders to move forward. I at once ordered General Cruft to advance, keeping closed up well toward Negley; Colonel Hazen to go forward, observing the movements of Wood's right, and