War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0058 Chapter LXIV. SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., & N. GA.

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notwithstanding the example set by troops of other divisions, they held their ground and remained cool and firm, retiring only when ordered, and then in perfect order.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,

W. H. SQUIRES,

Captain, Commanding Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Captain ELWOOD,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Fifteenth Brigade, Left Wing, Fourthenth Army Corps.

[20.]

JANUARY 13-15, 1863.- Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Nolensville and Versailles, Tenn.

Report of Colonel Benjamin F. Scribner, Thirty-eighth Indiana Infantry, commanding brigade.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,

January 16, 1863.

I have the honor to report that pursuant to orders I proceeded with two brigades of the First Division, center, and the Second Kentucky Cavalry, Major Nicholas commanding. The Second Brigade, Colonel John Beatty commanding, with two pieces of his artillery, took position at Salem, six miles from Murfreesborough, and the First Brigade, in charge of myself, with four pieces of Colonel Beatty's artillery, continued on the road to Versailles. Having disposed my force according to the ground, I ordered at once a reconnaissance of the roads leading to the place. A party of eight men were brought in, who proved to be fugitives from the enemy's conscript law, who, with many others, were thus forced to elude apprehension. From these men I learned much concerning the roads. One of them afterward communicated with a friend at Middleton and reported the enemy's cavalry near Old Fostervile, on the Shelbyville pike, with their outposts near Middleton. I was unable to learn their number. No one was permitted to pass out of their lines. I also sent one company of the Second Kentucky Cavalry down the road. They went in sight of the enemy's pickets, one mile and a half this side of Middelton, and brought back a prisoner. I also learned that a smaller party of their cavalry was encamped two or three miles farther down the road, some eight miles from Shelbyville. This information was given by a young man just from Chattanooga, who was sent to headquarters on my arrival in camp. I am of the opinion that my command would have been adequated to have overcome them by moving Colonel Beatty down the old Nashville road to near Middeton, while I would have met him from Versailles, and by the combined movements endeavored to take them in front and rear; but the rain which fell on the afternoon of the 14th and continued all night rendered the roads- at no time good-impassable. Being ordered to act in concert with Colonel Wagner on his arrival, and he having now arrived, it was, upon consultation, deemed best to return to Salem and await orders. From there by command we returned to camp. Middelton is about six miles from Versailes. Old Fortersville is three miles east of Middelton, on the pike, and New Forterville on mile farther on the railroad. Forage became veru scarce after leaving Salem. The people say it has been hauled off. Colonel Beatty reports that forage abounds near Salem;