War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0540 KY., MID., AND E. TENN., N.ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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Numbers 128. Report of Colonel Isaac N. Ross, Ninetieth Ohio Infantry.


January 8, 1863

SIR: I herewith furnish a report of the part taken by the Ninetieth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, First Brigade, Second Division, left wing of the Army of the Cumberland, in the series of movements beginning with the crossing of Stewart's Creek on Monday, December 29, 1862, and closing with the final repulse of the enemy on Saturday, January 3, 1863.

Monday forenoon the regiment moved across Stewart's Creek, on the Murfreesborough pike, deployed to the right of the pike,and formed in double columns, closed at half distance, in the rear of the Second Kentucky Regiment and on the left of the First Kentucky Regiment. It then moved parallel with the pike, and met no resistance during the day.

Monday night it bivouacked within 3 miles of Murfreesborough,still to the right of the pike and nothing worthy of notice occurred during the night.

Tuesday morning the regiment moved by the right flank into a cedar forest still farther to the right of the pike, and took position, the Thirty-first Indiana and Second Kentucky Regiments forming the first line, while the Ninetieth Ohio, with the First Kentucky, on the right, formed the second line, about 150 paces in the rear. The regiment maintained this position during the day, and was frequently under the fire of shells.

Tuesday night it bivouacked in the same position and in line of battle.

Wednesday morning, about 8 o'clock, the battle opened all along the right wing with both cannonading and musketry, with indications that our forces were being pressed back. About 10 o'clock the brigade moved forward in the order previously named; the Ninetieth Ohio being ordered to support the Second Kentucky, in case it needed assistance, and immediately the front line was engaged with the enemy. Firing continued to increase in rapidity and fierceness until the Second Kentucky sent back word that they needed support, when the Ninetieth Ohio was ordered forward on double-quick. It moved to the front, and was immediately engaged with the enemy, who appeared in great force, with two batteries planted within 150 yards of our position, which raked us with grape and canister.

In noticing the movements of the enemy, I observed him massing a heavy force behind a large house in our front and left, and preparing to plant a battery in the same position, and I also observed that our support on the left had given way. After consulting with Lieutenant-Colonel Rippey, I determined to report the situation of affairs to Brigadier-General Cruft, commanding the brigade, who was on the field, and asked support. Receiving no support, I immediately returned to the regiment and ordered it to fall back, we having maintained our position until the enemy, in overwhelming masses, were within at least 25 yards of us.

The regiment now fell back in considerable disorder through the cedar forest, in which it held position in the morning, to the railroad, where it rallied, and formed on the left of the brigade, supporting a battery. This position it maintained until dark, when the engagement closed. It then moved with the brigade to the right, toward the pike, and bivouacked for the night.