No. 246. Report of Col. Thomas H. Hunt, Ninth Kentucky Infantry.
MANCHESTER, TENN., January 11, 1863.
COLONEL: In pursuance of your orders, under date 10th instant, I have the honor to make this my report of the part taken by the Ninth Kentucky Regiment in late series of engagements on Stone's River, in front of Murfreesborough, Tenn.
On Sunday, the 28th ultimo, Hanson's brigade moved from camp at 8 a.m., and was placed in line of battle on the left of the right wing of the army, the Ninth Regiment being on the left of the brigade, with its left resting near the ford on Stone's River that has been in use since the turnpike bridge was burned.
Nothing further of interest occurred until Monday, the 29th, about 3 p.m., when, under General Hanson's orders, I moved forward the Ninth and Sixth Kentucky and the Forty-first Alabama Regiments, with Cobb's Kentucky battery, and established them in prolongation of our line of battle on the left bank of the river.
By this time our cavalry had been driven in and the enemy's skirmishers began to show themselves. Under orders to occupy with this force a commanding position some 400 yards in advance, I threw out skirmishers, who were soon briskly engaged with those of the enemy. I moved forward the entire force in support of the skirmishers, and succeeded in establishing the battery in the desired position; but this was not accomplished without the loss of the services of two valuable officers-Lieutenants [A. J.] Beale and [O.] Kennard, of Company D; the former severely and the latter slightly wounded.
By this time it was dark, and the enemy with a regiment of infantry made a spirited effort to retake the position, rapidly driving in our skirmishers and approaching within a few yards of the battery. This attempt was frustrated by promptly advancing the Forty-first Alabama Regiment, and the enemy were driven off in confusion, leaving two of their dead on the field.
Our loss here amounted to not less than 10 wounded, falling on the Sixth Kentucky Regiment and Cobb's battery.
Just after this affair I received orders to fall back to the position I had first been advanced to, but I kept out a strong line of skirmishers.
About 3 o'clock Tuesday morning orders came to me to reoccupy the hill and hold it at all hazard, and I again took possession of it, and without opposition.
On Tuesday, the 30th, I was left with this command in charge of the position, which I endeavored to strengthen by throwing up some riflepits, which were constructed under the fire of sharpshooters, while the entire command was subjected to heavy artillery fire. I also kept out a strong line of skirmishers, who were constantly engaged. That night we were relieved by the Second and Fourth Kentucky Regiments, and retired to a position where the men could cook rations.
Daylight Wednesday morning found us in our old position, with the brigade reunited and General Hanson in command. This day, with part of the regiment in the pits and the balance held as supports for our artillery, now increased to twelve pieces, we were subjected to a terrible cannonade from the enemy, as well as to an annoying fire from their sharpshooters. In the afternoon the regiment was put in motion to unite in a charge on the enemy's left center, but the order was subsequently countermanded, and we resumed our original position.