Henry G. Stratton, of Company C, assisted as field officer. He was severely wounded about noon. First Lieutenant Daniel Donovan, commanding Company B, fell, dead, in front of his company while gallantly leading a charge. Orderly Sergt. Robert D. Wilson, commanding Company D, was killed about the same time.
The cool, manly daring of these gallant officers cannot be spoken of too highly. But the action of all of the Nineteenth Ohio was under the directing eve of the colonel commanding the brigade and the generals commanding, and to them I leave further comments.
CHARLES F. MANDERSON,
Major, Comdg. Nineteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Lieutenant W. H. H. SHEETS,
A. A. A. G., First Brig., Third Div., Left Wing,
Fourteenth Army Corps, Dept. of the Cumberland.
HDQRS. NINETEENTH REGIMENT OHIO VOL. INFANTRY,
Field, near Murfreesborough, Tenn. January 6, 1863
LIEUTENANT: On Friday, January 2, the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, U. S. Army, under my command, was formed, with the right resting near the high bank on Stone's River, being held with the Ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers, which joined us on the left, in reserve of the Second and Third Brigades, Third Division, which position we had assumed on Thursday, January 1, about noon.
Soon after 4 p.m. heavy firing on our front caused us to take arms and stand in line. The firing had continued about fifteen minutes, when Lieutenant Murdock, aide-de-camp to Colonel Beatty, commanding Third Division, rode up to the front and left of the regiment and ordered me to advance. Although the order, coming from that source, was contrary to rule and custom, presuming the occasion to be an emergency requiring such a deviation. I ordered the regiment forward in double-quick time. We advanced up a gradual slope for about 200 yards,the lines in front of us pouring through our ranks in confusion; but the men preserved an excellent front, and rushed upon the enemy. In some parts of the line our pieces crossed those of the foe. His front line received a check of some few minutes, and was thrown into disorder; but a strong flanking party poured over the bank of the river, and broke our right flank to the rear, file after file. Seeing this, and that brave officers and many men of our right wing had fallen, I ordered the left to fall back.
Colonel B. C. Grider, commanding First Brigade, here rode up to me from the left and front, and wished me to rally the men. I told him they were falling back by order; that the enemy had flanked me in force, and that I would form line at the foot of the hill. He said, "Do so;" and stated he would give the same order to the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, on our left. The regiment rallied and formed line twice before the overwhelming force of the enemy drove them across Stone's River. The storm of missiles was terrific,and for a few moments no men could have stood under it. The bank of the river presented a scene of indescribable confusion. The colors of our regiment were seized by Second Lieutenant Philip Reefy, of Company F, who gallantly dashed forward across the stream, followed by daring spirits of different regiments.