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The Third Day at Stone's River   By:

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Military Order of the Loyal Legion Of the United States.



The Third Day at Stone's River.



The Third Day at Stone's River.

While the heroic commander of the Union Army, with fearless confidence in his remaining troops, was hurling the hard hitting brigades of the left and center upon Hardee's victorious advance during the first day of the fight at Stones River, kindling anew the dying embers of hope in the breasts of the retreating soldiers of the right, and by his exalted courage snatching victory from the jaws of defeat; while Thomas calm and brave, with perfect presence of mind, superintended every move in the desperate game of battle, watchful of every point, a tower of strength to his devoted men, and Crittenden, more cheerful than usual in the hell of carnage that raged along his front, brought regiment after regiment and battery after battery in support of the point where Hazen, and Hascall, and Grose, and Cruft were clinging tenaciously to their position, and beating back the desperate charges of Polk and Breckinridge, the cavalry were performing prodigies of valor in the rear and on the right. General Wheeler, on his return from his exploits at La Verne, to the rear of Hardee's line on the morning of the 31st, found that the battle had opened. He immediately joined in the pursuit of Johnson's retiring division, while Wharton, in command of ten regiments of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, moved over towards the Nashville pike and turned his attention to the immense supply train of the army. A portion of this train, six miles long when stretched out upon the road, was moving across the country from the Wilkinson to the Nashville pike. The scene was one of the most indescribable confusion. Urged by impending calamity the canvas covered wagons flew across the fields with the velocity of four mule power, each driver plying whip and spur; sutler wagons bounding over the rocks, distributed their precious contents along the way. Stanley's thin line of cavalry, stretching from the woods in the rear of Negley to the right and left, rested its right flank upon the Wilkinson pike, where Colonel Zahm, with the First, Third, and Fourth Ohio Cavalry was stationed in rear of Overall's Creek.

Colonel Minty, in command of 950 cavalry, crossed Overall's Creek early in the morning and took position parallel to and a mile distant from the Nashville pike. The Fourth Michigan and First Tennessee dismounted, formed a skirmish line with Jenning's Battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania and two companies of the Third Kentucky, under Captain Davis, supported by the Anderson Troop in their rear. Wharton advanced at full charge, after a few volleys from his artillery, but meeting with stubborn resistance drew off, but in a few minutes rallied and bore down, two thousand strong, upon Minty's little command. The Anderson Troop gave way and the Confederate troopers swept past the left. Hastily remounting, the remainder of the command fell back across an open field out of range of the artillery, leaving the train, with fully a thousand fugitives from the battle field, in possession of the enemy. At daybreak Zahm's brigade was drawn up in line of battle and two squadrons were sent to the right and front to reconnoitre. Soon the cannons' opening roar upon his left announced the beginning of battle. The rush of infantry to the rear gave token of disaster. Now came the exultant shout of victory and the sweeping charge of McCown's columns overlapping Johnson, and appearing on the right of the cavalry. Falling back, Zahm formed in line of battle a mile in rear, where the enemy opened upon him with artillery The first shell killed Major Moore, of the First Ohio... Continue reading book >>

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