Numbers 178. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Douglas A. Murray, Third Ohio Cavalry,
including skirmishes at Franklin, December 26-27, and Overall's Creek, December 31.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD OHIO CAVALRY, In Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 6, 1863.
COLONEL: In compliance with instructions received from your headquarters, I have the honor to report, for your information, the part taken by the Third Ohio Cavalry in the several engagements in which the regiment was engaged since leaving Nashville, Tenn., on December 26 last, on which day we proceeded to Franklin, driving the enemy therefrom and taking possession of the town; took some 10 prisoners. Remaining in town some time, we recrossed the river, and marched across the country to Wilson Creek pike, about 14 miles from Nashville, and encamped, arriving in camp at about 10 p. m.
On the 27th, the Third Battalion of the regiment moved toward Franklin, and found that the enemy had in strong force again taken possession of the town; the battalion drove in their pickets under a heavy fire, killing 3 of them. Seeing that the enemy were in such force, the commander deemed it prudent to retire, and rejoined the regiment, which picketed the roads, &c., in the vicinity of its camp.
On the 28th ultimo, proceeded to Triune and encamped, leaving early next morning across the country toward Murfreesborough, proceeding about 5 miles in that direction, when attacked by the enemy's pickets in force, which we drove, skirmishing, they frequently making a stand, which we each time broke, and still drove them about 5 miles.
The 30th ultimo, ordered to proceed to Stone's River; proceeded but a short distance when attacked by the enemy's pickets; the enemy were in force in our front with artillery. We therefore retired, forming on the high ground in our rear to receive them, their pickets, or patrol, advancing, which we repulsed. In the evening our brigade was re-enforced by one battery of artillery and three regiments of infantry, and proceeded in reconnaissance to the left of the enemy's lines, where we found General Hardee's corps d'armee ready, in line of battle, to receive us. We retired, and encamped in the woods, about 2 miles in front of the enemy's lines.
On the morning of the 31st we formed; shortly after the enemy appeared in large force, both on our left, center, and right, evidently endeavoring to cut us off. The brigade of infantry to our left gave way, retreating in confusion through our lines, letting the whole force of the enemy's artillery, cavalry, and infantry fall upon us, which compelled us gradually to retire toward the main body of our army. The regiment covering the entire rear of the brigade, supporting one infantry regiment on our right, drove back, with heavy loss, a large force of cavalry which charged upon us, under cover of a piece of artillery, firing well-directed shells, which passed over us. The enemy being in such force, we had to retire about three-fourths of a mile, when an aide-de-camp of General McCook rode up, informing us that the train close by was General McCook's entire ammunition train, which must be saved at all hazards; on intimation of which the regiment was immediately formed for its protection, holding the enemy in check until the entire train, with the exception of a few disabled wagons that could not be
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