forming the advance of the left wing, my regiment, being the advance of the brigade, was deployed as skirmishers on each side of the road. This position was observed until we arrived within 1 mile of La Vergne, when meeting with an obstinate resistance from the enemy's artillery and infantry our cavalry and several regiments of infantry, our cavalry and several regiments of infantry were sent forward,who drove the enemy from his ground. Here we bivouacked for the night.
On the morning of the 27th,we took our position in the line of march, and in the evening bivouacked on Stewart's Creek, remaining in said position until the morning of the 29th, when I was placed in command of the Second Kentucky and Thirty-first Indiana Volunteers, acting as reserve to the Third Brigade, in the general advance, in line toward Murfreesborough.
Arriving within 3 miles of Murfreesborough, we halted for the night, and on the morning of the 30th the brigade moved to a position about half a mile to the right of the pike. The two regiments under my command were thrown forward in the extreme advance of the division,in a cedar wood, and fronting an extensive open field in which the enemy had thrown up upon commanding crests two rows of rifle-pits, and placed in position and embrasures two batteries.
Upon our right my front line skirmishers were supported by General Negley's division, and upon the left by Colonel Grose, commanding Third Brigade of our division.
Upon the crest of the first hill, immediately in front of and about 200 yards distant from my front line, the enemy had posted a number of sharpshooters,who annoyed us considerably during the day.
This position I determined to take, and with General Cruft's consent, I strengthened my skirmishers and advanced toward that point, driving the enemy from it. The skirmishers of General Negley kept up the alignment and support on the right, but, through some misunderstanding, or otherwise, we had no support on the left, and during the night the enemy, being re-enforced, advanced and drove my outposts (holding this commanding and important position) back some 25 yards. This position, which would have been of immense advantage to us on the succeeding day, could not have been held or regained by the First Brigade (without the support on the left) without bringing on a sharp and unwished-for engagement.
On the morning of the 31st, the entire line of General Negley, immediately upon our right, became seriously engaged, and at 8 a.m. I received the command from you to move forward. I pushed forward the skirmishers until they had driven the enemy from and gained the crest of the second hill in our front; the front line of the brigade moved forward to a fence at the edge of the woods and at the foot of the first hill. At this juncture I found that the skirmishers and front line of General Negley's division, had fallen back to a point in our rear, and that those on the left had come to a halt, and were engaged 200 yards in my rear.
By this time the enemy commenced emerging in heavy force from the woods in our front and on the right, and advanced in column, driving my skirmishers back to the front line. They moved forward in splendid style until they reached the crest of the first hill in our front there halted and delivered a well-directed volley full upon us. Captains Standart's battery immediately on my right and my two regiments in front, simultaneously opened upon them, and with such effect that their front line gave way and fled to the rear; another line was forced up to the same position only to share the same fate; again fresh troops were advanced