respond to them), and seeing to oppose them further would only end in the slaughter of my men, I ordered the front line to fall back in order, which it did, as far as possible, and for the second or rear line, composed of the Twenty-first Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. C. Evans, and Ninety-ninth Ohio Regiment, commanded by Colonel P. T. Swaine, to fire on the enemy as they advanced. Their line being broken and confused by the front line retiring, also was compelled, after a few volleys, to fall back. The officers and men of these two regiments also deserve especial praise for their gallantry.
After crossing to the west side of the river, by the perseverance of the officers a great number of the men were rallied and again returned to the scene of action, and aided in the ultimate defeat of the enemy. All the line officers behaved with the greatest coolness and courage during the entire engagement.
I cannot omit to make honorable mention of a circumstance of the scenes of the last day's engagement, which reflects great credit for the daring bravery and coolness of the parties concerned. Corpl. E. C. Hockensmith, of the color-guard of the Twenty-first Kentucky Regiment, and who carried the colors that day, was confronted by a rebel in the retreat, and was ordered, while on the bank of the river, to surrender, to which he replied, "Myself I will surrender, but my colors never," at the same moment throwing them into the water. Sergt. J. T. Gunn, Company E, of the same regiment, seized them and carried them safely through the battle. Corporal Hockensmith escaped, and is safe.
I am indebted in the highest degree to the members of my staff, Lieutenants John Clark, actin assistant adjutant-general, Carter B. Harrison, acting assistant inspector-general, and Edward Noble, aide-de-camp, for their assistance, who at all times performed their duties with intelligence and zeal, and deserve especially the highest praise for valor and efficiency during the action of the 2nd instant.
The loss on both sides has been very heavy. My loss in killed is small in proportion to the number wounded. The enemy's loss, compared with ours, was at least four to one.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
S. W. PRICE,
Colonel, Comdg. 3rd Brig., 3rd Div., Left Wing, 14th Army Corps.
Captain E. A. OTIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division, Left Wing.
Numbers 160. Report of Colonel Bernard F. Mullen, Thirty-fifth Indiana Infantry.
HDQRS. (FIRST IRISH) THIRTY-FIFTH REGIMENT INDIANA VOLS., In the Field, near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 5, 1863.
COLONEL: In obedience to orders, I have the honor to report officially to brigade headquarters the part my regiment took in the battles since December 31, 1862.
On the morning of December 31 last, my regiment moved with our brigade (the Third) across Stone's River, and took position on the extreme left of the brigade, fronting east. We remained but a short time, when orders came to recross the river and establish my line, the right resting upon the Fifty-first Ohio. When the line was thus established, my left
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