Infantry, stationed in our rear, at Stewart's Creek. Another body of about 40 men started, but, I regret to say, were recaptured. Of the 79 sent to the rear, there was 1 captain and 2 lieutenants. I have no doubt there were other officers, but did not have an opportunity to examine them closely enough to find out.
Of the officers engaged it is almost impossible to particularize, they all did so well. Captain Eli Long led his company with the greatest gallantry, and was wounded by a ball through his left arm. Lieutenants Mauck, Kelly, Lee and Healy could not have done better. It was a matter of surprise to me, considering the ground passed over, to find Dr. Comfort so soon on the field with his ambulance, caring for the wounded. He was in time to capture a prisoner himself. First Sergt. Martin Murphy led Company G, and commanded it with great gallantry. He reports having counted 11 dead of the enemy on the ground over which his company charged. Sergt. Major John G. Webster behaved gallantly, taking 1 lieutenant, mounted on a fine mare. First Sergt. James McAlpin led Company K after Captain Long was wounded, and reports having killed 2 with two successive shots of his pistol. First Sergt. John Dolan, Company B, captured a captain and received his sword. No one could have acted more bravely than First Sergt. Charles McMasters, of Company I. First Sergt. Christian Haefling, in charge of courier line near headquarters, proceeded in the thickest of the fire and recovered the effects of Colonel Garesche, on his body, killed in this day's fight. Our loss in this charge was trifling. Captain Eli Long and 6 privates wounded.
Proceeding on the Nashville pike, I was ordered to escort a train to the rear. I afterward got orders to return, to report to General Rosecrans. I returned, and for two hours looked for the general, with my command, but was unable to find him, although I found several of his staff. I then proceeded to the right flank, and formed my regiment in front of some rebel cavalry, who showed themselves in the distance, in order to protect our train. I returned to General Rosecrans' headquarters that night, and bivouacked near him.
The next morning, January 1, I was ordered to make a reconnaissance on the right flank, which I did, making my reports frequently to Major Goddard, acting assistant adjutant-general, that night bivouacking near Overall's Creek, where my command remained watching the movements of the enemy as far as possible, and making reports thereon, until January 4, when my command was moved to Wilkinson's Cross-Roads.
On the 5th my command proceeded, under command of General Stanley, to engage the enemy's rear guard on the Manchester pike, driving them some 2 or 3 miles. Private Snow, of Company L, orderly to General Rosecrans, was ordered, on January 2, to pick up 15 stragglers, which he did, and was then ordered to take them to the front and turn them over to some commissioned officer. Failing to find one, he put them into line and fought them himself, telling them the first one who attempted to run he would shoot. Private Snow reports they fought bravely.*
Lieutenant Rendelbrook was exceedingly vigilant in guarding the train, and of great service in sending forward supplies.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Fourth U. S. Cavalry.
Major C. GODDARD,
A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of the Cumberland, in the Field.
*Nominal list of casualties omitted. See p. 214.