War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0725 Chapter XXXII. THE STONE'S RIVER CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

again to the front. It crossed the open ground intervening between the pike and the cedar forest beyond, and advanced to the relief of the front line, which was giving way, and by a rapid fire, commencing with Walker's regiment (the Nineteenth) on the left and gradually extending to the right, repulsed the enemy, who fled in confusion to the dense cedar woods, leaving many dead and wounded behind. Near the edge of the woods we came upon the battery (First Missouri) that had previously annoyed us so much, and which the enemy were now attempting to remove. Our advance was so rapid and fire so destructive that they were compelled to abandon two pieces and one or two caissons. We left them behind, and, pressing rapidly forward, drove the enemy before us. They attempted to make a stand at several points, but, unable to endure our fire, were driven through the forest and across the open field beyond to the high ground in the vicinity of the railroad. Here they took shelter under the guns of three or four batteries, leaving a number of prisoners in our hands and many dead and wounded scattered through the woods and covering the open field over which they fled in double-quick time. These batteries opened upon us, and for some time we were exposed to a terrific fire of shell, canister, and spherical case. Having no battery of our own, and being nearly out of ammunition, it was impossible to proceed farther. Staff officers were dispatched-one to bring up Stanford's battery, another for ammunition. The latter was soon supplied, but word came from Lieutenant-General Polk that Stanford was employed under his own immediate orders, and could not be spared. While moving through the cedar forest the command of Brigadier-General Jackson came up on the right. The Fifth Georgia, immediately on the right, with the Fourth and Fifth Tennessee, advanced beyond the general line and delivered a heavy and well-sustained fire upon the retreating ranks of the enemy, doing fine execution.

About this time Colonel [J. A.] Jaquess, of the First Louisiana (Regulars), rode rapidly up to Colonel [E. E.] Tansil and delivered some order, which I did not hear. Immediately Tansil's regiment began to fall back without waiting for a command, and was gradually followed by the rest of the brigade, and I learned from Tansil that Jaquess brought to him and order purporting to come from Major-General Cheatham to "move by the right of companies to the rear." The order not having been delivered to me, not, recognizing Colonel Jaquess as a member of General Cheatham's staff, and satisfied that the movements was demoralizing in a high degree, it was arrested as promptly as possible. The line was halted and reformed, and moved forward again to the edge of the woods, where we remained until dark, when, leaving a strong picket guard, the command was withdrawn a few hundred yards to the rear, to bivouac, taking along a large numbers of small-arms, ammunition, and equipments, which were removed next day by wagons brought out for the purpose.

Late in the afternoon, Lieutenant Colonel W. B. Ross, formerly of Colonel [J.] Knox Walker's (second) Tennessee regiment, was wounded by a minie bullet in the right side of the neck and throat. He was removed to the hospital, and subsequently to a private residence in Murfreesborough, where he died on Friday, January 2. He was serving as a volunteer on my staff. He was with his regiment at the battle of Belmont in November, 1861; resigned in January, 1862, and joined me as a volunteer aide at Corinth a few days before the battle of Shiloh, where he behaved well, and was very useful. He was a brave man and a good officer.

While attempting to stop the retrograde movement alluded to, Colonel H. L. W. Bratton, of the Twenty-fourth Regiment, had his left leg shat-