Numbers 168. Report of Colonel Robert H. G. Minty, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, commanding First Brigade,
including skirmishes at La Vergne, December 26, between Stewart's Creek and La Vergne, December 30, at Overall's Creek, December 31, and on Manchester pike, January 5.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY BRIGADE, Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to hand you the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, First Division of the Cavalry Reserve, in the operations from the advance from Nashville to and including the battles before Murfreesborough:
I marched from Camp Rosecrans, near Nashville, on the morning of the 26th ultimo, with the Third Kentucky, Fourth Michigan, Seventh Pennsylvania, and one company of the Second Indiana, and reported to General Palmer, on the Murfreesborough road. In accordance with orders received from him through the colonel commanding the division, I placed the Third Kentucky on the left and the Seventh Pennsylvania on the right of the road, keeping the Fourth Michigan on the pike, with a strong advance guard out. Ten miles from Nashville I met the enemy's pickets, who, as they fell back before us, were continually re-enforced, until, arriving at La Vergne, they disputed our progress with a force of 2,500 cavalry and mounted infantry, supported by four pieces of artillery, under the command of General Wheeler. As the enemy had us most perfectly in range, after some sharp skirmishing, I moved, under cover of a slight eminence, on which Lieutenant Newell, of Battery D, First Ohio, had his section planted, leaving two companies of the Fourth Michigan, dismounted and in ambush, behind a fence to support the battery.
I must here mention that Lieutenant Newell did splendid service with his two 3-inch Rodmans. Every shot was well planted, and he nobly fought the four guns of the enemy for over half an hour, when a battery from General Palmer's division moved up to his assistance. One of the gunners was killed by a shell from the enemy while serving his gun.
Saturday, December 27, the Seventh Pennsylvania, under Major Wynkoop, made a reconnaissance in front of General Palmer's division, which occupied a position on the left of the line. On battalion of the Fourth Michigan, under command of Captain Mix, was sent out on the Jefferson pike, and did not rejoin the brigade until the following day. I beg to refer you to Captain Mix's report for particulars. The army advanced at about 11 a. m., the Third Kentucky and one company of the Second Indiana, under command of Colonel Murray, covering the left flank, and the Fourth Michigan, under my immediate direction, covering the right flank. Camped near Stewart's Creek this night.
Sunday, December 28, sent one battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania to relieve the battalion of the Fourth Michigan, on Jefferson pike. Monday, December 29, army again advanced; Seventh Pennsylvania, under Major Wynkoop, on the left flank; Third Kentucky on the right flank, under Colonel Murray; Fourth Michigan in reserve; Second Indiana on courier duty. Light skirmishing with the enemy all day. Found the enemy in position in front of Murfreesborough at about 3 p. m. Bivouacked for the night immediately in rear of our line of battle.
Tuesday, December 30, one battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania and one of the Third Kentucky formed a chain of vedettes in rear of