Numbers 179. Report of Major James W. Paramore, Third Ohio Cavalry,
including skirmishes at Overall's Creek, December 31, and at La Vergne, January 1.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD OHIO CAVALRY, January 8, 1863.
SIR: There are a few incidents in the recent series of battles in which we were engaged which, not having fallen immediately under your observation or of the regimental commander, have escaped notice; and being under my immediate command, in justice to the brave officers and men engaged, I deem it my duty to make this special report.
In the severe fighting of Wednesday, the 31st ultimo, which fell so heavily upon your brigade, you will recollect, when we had been forced back as far as General McCook's ammunition train, and were drawn up in front of it for its protection, the furious charge of the enemy's cavalry, preceded by a shower of shells, caused a pretty general stampede of our cavalry, led off my the Second Tennessee on our right, and followed by the Fourth and First Ohio, and the First Battalion of the Third Ohio Cavalry. At that juncture an aide of General McCook came up to me, and informed me that "that was their entire ammunition train, and must be held at all hazards." I gave orders accordingly to the left wing of the Third Ohio Cavalry, under my command, and I am happy to report that they held their position and did not break their lines nor join in that stampede, but received the galling fire of the enemy with the firmness of heroes, and maintained their ground till all the wagons, except a few that were disabled or deserted by the teamsters, had safely reached the lines of our infantry.
The enemy, seeing our determination and bold resistance, turned and left us, and pursued the broken columns of our cavalry that had fled. We then wheeled, and charged upon their rear with terrible effect (scattering their columns in worse confusion, if possible, than they had just routed the balance of our brigade), killing a number of men and horses and taking some 10 or 12 prisoners, and releasing a large number of our brigade that they had captured. We pursued them over to the Murfreesborough pike, Captain McClelland, commanding Squadrons E and F, taking the right of the pike, and the balance of the command, with myself, taking the left.
When within a short distance of the hospital we again encountered a large force of the enemy coming back to take possession of the train. We at once engaged them, although at least double our numbers, and after a severe struggle put them to flight, with a loss of several killed, wounded, and prisoners. The bravery and daring of Captains Wood and Colver, and their respective commands on this occasion, challenged my admiration. I also learned that Captain McClelland, with his squadron, engaged the enemy farther up the pike, beyond the hospital, with Colonel Kennett and a portion of the Third Kentucky Cavalry, and, after a fierce contest, repulsed them. We then quietly formed in line and awaited the reassembling of the brigade. Then be it spoken to their praise, that the Second and Third Battalions of the Third Ohio Cavalry did not run nor break their lines during that day's severe fighting.
This result is greatly attributable to be coolness and bravery of Captains McClelland, Wood, and Colver, and their lieutenants. It was also this portion of the regiment that repulsed the attack of the enemy on the rear of our train the next day near La Vergne as we were proceeding to Nashville, and brought safely into Nashville two pieces of cannon,