War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0617 Chapter XXXII. THE STONE'S RIVER CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 165. Reports of Brigadier General David S. Stanley, U. S. Army, Chief of Cavalry,

including skirmishes near La Vergne, December 27, at Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, December 29, Overall's Creek, December 31, and Lytle's Creek, January 5.


MAJOR: I have the honor to submit, for the information of the general commanding the army, the following statement of the part taken by the cavalry under my command in the advance upon and battle of Murfreesborough:

On December 26 I divided the cavalry into three columns, putting the First Brigade, commanded by Colonel Minty, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, upon the Murfreesborough pike, in advance of General Crittenden's corps. The Second Brigade, commanded by Colonel Zahm, Third Ohio Cavalry, was ordered to move on Franklin, dislodge the enemy's cavalry, and move parallel to General McCook's corps, protecting his right flank. The reserve cavalry, consisting of the new regiments, viz, Anderson Troop, or Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, First Middle Tennessee, Second East Tennessee Cavalry, and four companies of the Third Indiana, I commanded in person, and preceded General McCook's corps on the Nolensville pike. Colonel John Kennett, commanding cavalry division, commanded the cavalry on the Murfreesborough pike. For the operations of this column, and also the movements of Colonel Zahm up to December 31, I would refer you to the inclosed reports of Colonels Kennett, Zahm, and Minty.

On the morning of the 27th our cavalry first encountered the enemy on the Nolensville pike, 1 mile in advance of Bole Jack Pass. Their cavalry was in large force and accompanied by a battery of artillery. Fighting continued from 10 o'clock until evening, during which time we had driven the enemy 2 miles beyond La Vergne.

The Third Indiana and Anderson Troop behaved very gallantly, charging the enemy twice and bringing them to hand-to-hand encounters. The conduct of Majors Rosengarten and Ward, the former now deceased, was most heroic.

On the 28th we made a reconnaissance to College Grove, and found that Hardee's rebel corps had marched to Murfreesborough.

On the 29th Colonel Zahm's brigade, having joined, was directed to march upon Murfreesborough by the Franklin road, the reserve cavalry moving on the Bole Jack road, the columns communicating at the crossing of Stewart's Creek.

We encountered the enemy's cavalry, and found them in strong force at Wilkinson's Cross-Roads. Our cavalry drove them rapidly across Overall's Creek, and within one-half mile of the enemy's line of battle. The Anderson Cavalry behaved most gallantly this day, pushing at full charge upon the enemy for 6 miles. Unfortunately their advance proved too reckless. Having dispersed their cavalry, the Troop fell upon two regiments of rebel infantry in ambush, and after a gallant struggle were compelled to retire, with the loss of Major Rosengarten and 6 men killed, and the brave Major Ward and 5 men desperately wounded. With the loss of these two most gallant officers the spirit of the Anderson Troop, which gave such fine promise, seems to have died out, and I have not been able to get any duty out of them since.