War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0811 Chapter XXXII. THE STONE'S RIVER CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

force [not a part of my own proper command], which was place under my orders, and which I did bring into the action at the proper time. I further said I had in conversation with General Breckinridge explained to him the serious embarrassment occasioned to my command by the advance of the supporting line, &c.; that his explanation was that the supporting line was ordered to keep the distance of its formation to the rear, but did not obey.

The above are the facts connected with the operations of that day, and my explanation of the work of that day was thus stated in response to inquiries of General Bragg. In my official report I did not deem it proper to state these facts in regard to the handling of the supporting force. That force was never placed under my orders, and I did not feel it my province to reflect upon my senior officer's conduct or disposition. Indeed, I was studious to avoid doing so, and only made the statement when called upon by General Bragg to do so.


Major-General, C. S. Army, &c.

Captain[JOHN] B. SALE,

Acting Judge Advocate-General, Army of Tennessee.

No. 234. Report of Brig. Gen. William Preston, C. S. Army, commanding Third Brigade.


COLONEL: In obedience to the orders of Major-General Breckinridge, I have the honor to transmit a report of the operations of the brigade under my command in the recent battles near Murfreesborough.

The Twentieth Tennessee, the Sixtieth North Carolina, the Fourth Florida, and the First and Third Florida Regiments, with Wright's battery of four pieces, constituted my command, numbering 1,640 effective men.

The enemy having advanced in force against Murfreesborough, dispositions for battle were made, and Breckinridge's division was posted on the extreme right in our front line, with its right near Spence's house, on the Lebanon turnpike, extending toward the ford, where the Nashville turnpike crosses Stone's River. Adams' brigade was on the right, mine next, and Palmer's and Hanson's extended westwardly toward the ford. This position was occupied from Sunday morning, December 28, with some few unimportant changes in our line of battle, until the succeeding Wednesday. On that day, not long afternoon, we were ordered to cross the river at the ford, and, under the supervision of Major-General Breckinridge, my brigade, on the right, and that of Palmer on my left, were formed in line of battle on the ground originally occupied by Lieutenant-General Polk's command. The right of my brigade rested near the intersection of the Nashville Railroad and turnpike, and extended nearly at right angles westwardly, about half a mile south of Cowan's, or the burnt house.

These dispositions made, the order was given to advance in the direction of the burnt house toward a cedar forest beyond. Wide and open fields intervened, through which the command passed with great animation, in fine order.