commanding the Third Division, took up a position in front, with the Thirty-fifth Regiment Indiana Volunteers on the right and the Forty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteers on the left. A company of skirmishers was deployed in an open wood to cover the front of the regiment.
During the day several pieces of artillery were placed in position by the enemy on a rise of ground some 500 yards distant, throwing shell into our lines, severely wounding some of the men. The regiment was sheltered,as far as the nature of the ground would permit, by lying down.
About 4 p.m., the fire of the skirmishers increased, and a column of the enemy, four or five regiments deep, approached rapidly, supported by artillery, which was kept concealed (as it was dragged by men instead of horses) until it opened fire within 100 yards of our lines. The forces on the right, soon became engaged, but the regiment was kept lying on the ground until the enemy had approached within 50 yards, when it was ordered to rise up, and commenced firing with very destructive effect upon the enemy, volley after volley, until, the line having given way on the right and left, the regiment being left alone almost surrounded, the enemy in front and on both flanks, it was forced to fall back across Stone's River, where it rallied at the rendezvous of the Third Division.
The regiment went into action on December 31 with 341, rank and file, and lost during both engagements fully one-third of its available force, including more than half the commissioned officers in killed and wounded; but very few men are missing or taken prisoners.
Officers and soldiers themselves well, doing their duty, and there was no shirking or skulking from the field before or during action.
It would be injustice to many to mention a few, when all behaved well.
Lieutenant Eli F. Ritter, adjutant of the regiment, rendered me very valuable service, acting as a field officer in the absence of the lieutenant-colonel.
A report of casualties is submitted herewith.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Seventy-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers.
Captain E. A. OTIS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.
Numbers 151. Report of Lieutenant Colonel George H. Cram, Ninth Kentucky Infantry,
of engagement January 2.
JANUARY -, 1863.
I respectfully submit the following as my report of the part my regiment took in the engagement of January 2, 1863, on the left wing of our army, in front of Murfreesborough:
Early in the forenoon Colonel Grider ordered me to hold my regiment in reserve, with another regiment of his brigade (the Nineteenth Ohio), under cover of a hill about 200 yards from the upper ford of Stone's River, and told me that the enemy would probably attack us some time during the day, and ordered me to hold my regiment in readiness to re-enforce our line, if the enemy should attack us in too great force.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 213.