near the ford. Cleburne's division was posted 800 yards in rear of, and parallel to, that of Breckinridge. Polk's corps extended beyond the river, with its right near the stream, and about 200 yards in advance of my left. Withers' division formed the front line of this corps, and Cheatham's the second, while McCown's division was held in reserve near the town.
No movement of importance occurred until Monday evening. It was deemed necessary to hold a hill situated about 600 yards in advance of Hanson's brigade, as it commanded the sloping hill-sides toward the river in front, and from it the right of General Polk's line could be enfiladed. In the evening the enemy attempted to take this position, but was vigorously repulsed by a portion of Hanson's brigade, and the hill was occupied by our batteries.
During Monday night the cavalry of Brigadier-General Wheeler, attached to my corps, was moved from our right by a circuitous route through Jefferson and La Vergne against the communications of the enemy. After making an entire circuit of the enemy's lines, this daring officer, having inflicted severe injury by the destruction of several hundred wagons and many small-arms, and by the capture of several hundred prisoners, returned through Nolensville and Triune to Murfreesborough.
The next day (Tuesday, the 30th) heavy skirmishing took place on our left between the right of the enemy and the command of Lieutenant-General Polk.
In the afternoon of that day I received instructions from the commanding general to proceed to the left, to take command of McCown's division, to place it in position, and to move Cleburne's division from our extreme right in the same direction. The order was communicated to Cleburne and I proceeded at once to the left. I found McCown's division, consisting of three brigades, in two lines-Ector's and Rains' brigades in the first, and McNair's in the second line, with Rains' brigade so situated as to be enfiladed by a battery from the enemy. Orders were given to rectify the position of Rains, and to place McNair on the first line. Cleburne's division was brought forward and placed 500 yards in rear of McCown, as a second line. During the night, the commanding general having determined to attack the enemy on our left, Brigadier-General Wharton was ordered to report to me, and I was instructed, with the two divisions mentioned and Wharton's cavalry, to commence the attack at dawn the next morning. The new position which my command now occupied is embraced in the angle between the Salem turnpike and the Triune road. About half a mile from Murfreesborough, on the Nashville road, the Wilkinson turnpike diverges to the left, passing nearly equidistant between it and the Triune road. Each of these roads crosses Stone's River about 1 1/2 miles west of the town. The river makes a bend in the shape of a horseshoe to the west, and the roads cross at the bases of the bend. The enemy's right was about three-quarters of a mile beyond the river, with their line south of the Triune road, and extending almost northwardly toward the Wilkinson pike and the Nashville road. The force under my immediate command Wednesday morning was 10,045 infantry and artillery, under McCown and Cleburne, and 2,000 cavalry, under Brigadier-General Wharton.
I ordered Wharton to make a detour of the enemy's right, and to fall upon their flank and rear, while the infantry and artillery moved upon them in front. He dashed forward at a gallop at daybreak, and soon reached the Wilkinson turnpike, 2 1/2 miles in the rear. With Colonel John T. Cox's command First Confederate Cavalry, he charged with