War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0816 KY.,MID.AND E.TENN.,N.ALA.,AND SW.VA. Chapter XXXII.

of Preston's brigade in the battle of Murfreesborough by the Fourth Florida Regiment of Infantry:

On Saturday, December 27, 1862, the necessary preparations for battle were made, and at an early hour on Sunday, the 28th, we were moving to the front to take our position in line of battle. My command was assigned to the right center of the brigade, the right flank of which rested upon the Lebanon turnpike, about 1 mile from town. We occupied this position during the day. At night, by order of General Preston, who seemed ever mindful of the comfort of his men, we moved farther to the left and to the rear, in order to get a wood in which to bivouac for the night.

The following day we were ordered into line of battle again, and my command was shifted to the left center of the brigade, which change was permanent during the engagements. Several unimportant changes in lines and positions occurred, but up to the afternoon of Wednesday nothing occupied our immediate attention, and an apparent restlessness had sprung up among the men to mingle their fortunes with those who were sending back the echoes of their brilliant achievements from the left, and never were men more eager to test their valor for the first time on the battle-field than were the officers and men of my command; but such suspense was not long unrewarded, for early in the afternoon of Wednesday, the 31st, we were moved to the left across Stone's River, where the brigade was formed on an eminence, in a large, open field, so that the flank of my regiment rested upon the Nashville Railroad, and at an angle of about 70 with it. My regiment was at no little inconvenience in crossing the railroad embankments, but preserved the alignment. They, however, soon encountered more serious obstacles at a burnt residence, in the shape of out-buildings and strong picket fences, which so retarded our advance as to detach us from the line [only a portion of the Sixtieth North Carolina remained on our right] and throw our part of the line into some derangement. We advanced in this condition under a heavy cannonade from the enemy's batteries, and had not recovered from the derangement when we were ordered to halt and commence firing. Although we remained in this position but a very few minutes, yet the fire from the enemy's batteries with grape and canister, and the fire from his sharpshooters making a partial enfilade upon us, was so terrific that my loss amounted to 55 in killed and wounded. The men becoming a little confused under such a withering fire, General Preston rode forward, seized the colors, and dashed into a cedar glade just to the front and to the left. We, however, had had no command to move forward since halting. It was, nevertheless, a gallant feat in our intrepid brigadier, and met a gallant response by the men, for, with a gladdening shout, they rushed forward to grapple in a hand-to-hand fight with the enemy's sharpshooters, but they fled precipitately to an adjacent wood, leaving several wounded and the killed to fall into our hands. I sent 13 of their wounded off the field, and secured 250 stand of Enfield riffles. We found protection from the enemy's batteries in the glade and behind the rocks, until night put a quiet to the deafening din. We bivouacked in this wood the ensuing night and day, throwing out skirmishers and burying both our own and the enemy's dead.

On Friday, January 2, 1863, we were withdrawn from this position and recrossed the river. We were then formed on the extreme right, in front of our first position. My command in the second line covered the center of Pillow's brigade in the first line, and thus we were moved forward to carry a strong position held by the enemy in force. The front line soon became engaged, and drove the first line of the enemy before them with seeming alacrity. A little confusion ensued in parts of the