Colonel Hazen proved himself a brave and able soldier, by the courage and skill exhibited in forming and sheltering his troops, and in organizing and fighting all the materials around him for the maintenance of his important position.
Colonel Grose exhibited great coolness and bravery, and fought against great odds. He was under my eye during the whole, day, and I could see nothing to improve in his management of his command.
I shrink from the task of specially mentioning regiments or regimental officers. All did their duty, and from my imperfect acquaintance with regiments, I am apprehensive of injurious mistakes.
I recognized during the battle the Forty-first Ohio, which fought until it expended its last cartridge, and was then relieved by the noble Ninth Indiana, which came into line under a heavy fire with a shout which inspired all with confidence. The Eighty-fourth, One hundredth, and One hundred and tenth Illinois I knew-all new regiments, and all so fought that even the veterans of Shiloh and other bloody fields had no occasion to boast over them. The Eighty-fourth stood its ground until more than one-third its numbers were killed or wounded. The Sixth and Twenty-fourth Ohio, the Twenty-third Kentucky, and the Thirty-sixth Indiana were pointed out to me, and I recognized the brave Colonel Whitaker and his fighting men doing soldiers' duty. I only saw the regiments of Cruft's brigade fighting early in the day. I had no fears for them where valor could win. Indeed, the whole division fought like soldier trained under the rigid discipline of the lamented Nelson, and by their courage proved that they had caught a large portion of his heroic and unconquerable spirit.
During the whole day I regarded the battery, under the command of Lieutenant Parsons, assisted by his lieutenants, Cushing and Huntington,as my right arm, and well did the brilliant conduct of these courageous and skillful young officers justify my confidence. My orders to Parsons were simple: "Fight where you can do the most good." Never were orders better obeyed.
The reported conduct of the other batteries attached to the division is equally favorable. They were in other parts of the field.
My personal staff, Captain Norton, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenants Simmons and Child; Croxton, ordnance officer; Hayes, division topographical engineer, and Shaw, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, were with me all day on the field, and carried my orders everywhere, with the greatest courage. Lieutenant Simmons was severely injured by a fragment of a shell.
On January 1, this division was relieved and placed in reserve.
On Friday, the 2nd, Grose's brigade was ordered over the river to the left, to support the division of Colonel Beatty, and during the action the brigade of Colonel Hazen was also ordered over to co-operate with Grose; while the First Brigade (Cruft's) was posted to support a battery on the hill near the ford. For an account of the part the Second and Third Brigades took in the affair of Friday afternoon, reference is had to reports of the officers in command.
During the heavy cannonade the First Brigade maintained its positions with perfect coolness. While the engagement was going on across the river, a rebel force of what seemed to be three small regiments entered the clump of woods in front of the position of our batteries on the hill near the ford. These troops were in musket range of our right, across the creek, and I determined, at once to dislodge them.
Seeing two regiments, one of which was commanded by Colonel Given, and the other by Colonel Altemire, I ordered them to advance to the edge of the woods and deploy some companies as skirmishers. They