At 5 AM December 30th my brigade was posted east to west astride the Lebanon
Turnpike just north of Murfeesboro. We were ordered by General Cleburne to move
north along the turnpike then take the road along Sinking Creek turning north
along the road to Sulphur Springs moving in the direction of the Major Ross
Due to the heavy traffic on this road we did not reach the turn off until
after 8 AM when I began to move toward Sulphur Springs. Around 9 AM we heard
the sounds of firing to our west and I received word from General Cleburne that
General Breckenridge had run into the yankees on this side of the river and was
ordered to move to the west and form line of battle near the Ross Farm. By
11 AM we had come up in support of General Jackson who had driven back the yankee
pickets and was moving to secure McFadden's Ford and the ford northwest of it.
Shortly before noon General Wood had come up on my right and secured the upper
ford while my brigade was attacking the yankees in our effort to capture
McFadden's Ford. At 1 PM the yankees committed dismounted cavalry in a desperate
attempt to hold the ford. However our men would not be denied and they continued
to press them back until sometime around 3 PM we reached the banks of Stone's
River at McFadden's Ford and cut off the yankees escape. Within the next hour
the last of the enemy on our side of the river had surrendered, including General
Crittenden and General Wood. At 4 PM we were ordered by General Cleburne to pull
back into the woods to avoid the yankee artillery fire from across the river and
told to make camp for the night. We rested there till morning, having lost nearly
a third of our strength.
On December 31st the brigade spent most of the morning in the woods resting
and resupplying and allowing the men to recover from the events of the previous
day. At 11 AM General Cleburne passed along General Hardee's orders for an
attack across the river. We would provide support to Wood's and Liddel's brigades
firing from the banks of the river. At approximately noon General Woods began
crossing at the upper ford, followed by General Liddell, while General Preston
of Breckenridge's division forced a crossing at McFadden's Ford. We provided fire
support to both brigades then followed General Liddell across the river.
Upon crossing the river I was ordered to move to the right of Wood's brigade
and along with him press on to the RR line. We did as ordered, the yankees
offering little resistance and by 3 PM I had reached the RR line my left resting
on it while my right held onto the riverbank. By 4 PM we had driven the yankees
back and secured the Nashville Turnpike at which time I was ordered to pull back
to the high ground this side of the RR Line and establish a defensive line there.
This is where the brigade was when night fell on the second day.
Army of the Tennessee