War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0624 KY.,MID. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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the line of battle, with orders to drive up all stragglers. Under orders from the colonel commanding the division, I took the Fourth Michigan and one battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania back on the Nashville pike, to operate against Wheeler's cavalry, who, a few hours before, had destroyed the train of the Twenty-eighth Brigade on the Jefferson pike. Between Stewart's Creek and La Vergne I met the enemy, about 100 strong, and dressed in our uniforms. The Seventh Pennsylvania drove them until after dark. I reported to Colonel Walker, Thirty-first Ohio, commanding a brigade, and encamped with him that night, 2 1/2 miles south of La Vergne.

Wednesday, December 31, under orders from Major-General Rosecrans, I reported to Brigadier-General Stanley, chief of cavalry, who came up the same morning with the First Middle Tennessee and part of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania. Under orders from General Stanley, we moved rapidly across the country toward the right of General McCook's position (leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Dickinson, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, with 120 men, to support Lieutenant Newell's section of artillery at the cross-roads northwest of Stewart's Creek), the enemy's cavalry falling back rapidly before us. When close to Overall's Creek our own artillery, in position to our left, opened on us with shell, and severely wounded 1 man of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania.

Crossing Overall's Creek, I took up position parallel to, and three-fourths of a mile distant from, the Nashville and Murfreesborough road. The Fourth Michigan dismounted, forming a line of skirmishers on the edge of the woods immediately in our front, out of which they had driven a large force of the rebel cavalry. They were supported by a part of the First Tennessee, also dismounted. Captain Jennings' battalion, Seventh Pennsylvania, and two companies Third Kentucky, under Captain Davis, were posted in the woods to the right and in rear of the Fourth Michigan, with the Fifteenth Pennsylvania in their rear. Our entire force at this time was 950 men.

The enemy advanced rapidly with 2,500 cavalry, mounted and dismounted, with three pieces of artillery, all under the command of General Wheeler. They drove back the Fourth Michigan to the line of the First Tennessee skirmishers, and then attacked the Seventh Pennsylvania with great fury, but met with determined resistance. I went forward to the dismounted skirmishers and endeavored to move them to the right, to strengthen the Seventh Pennsylvania, but the moment the right of the line showed itself from behind the fence where they were posted, the whole of the enemy's fire was directed on it, turning it completely around. At this moment the Fifteenth Pennsylvania gave way and retreated rapidly, leaving the battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania and the dismounted men almost entirely unsupported, and leaving them no alternative but retreat.

We fell back a couple of fields and reformed in rear of a rising ground, which protected us from the enemy's artillery.

The rebel cavalry had followed us up sharply into the open ground, and now menaced us with three strong lines, two directly in front of my position and one opposite our left flank, with its right thrown well forward, and a strong body of skirmishers in the woods to our right, and threatening that flank.

General Stanley gave the order to charge, and he himself led two companies (K and H) of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry and about 50 men of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania against the line in front of our left, routed the enemy, and captured one stand of colors, which was brought