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49tli Ohio and 89th Illinois. The latter retired to another locality, and Lieut.-Col. Hotchkiss placed in position the companies of Captains Comstock, Willett, and Whiting, and Lieut. Wells. The enemy advanced upon them and were received with a furious fire which momentarily checked the advance. But it was only for a moment. The enemy pressed on and the 89th was again compelled to fall back. Thus the tide of battle ebbed and flowed until night when the whole brigade bivouacked in rear of Gen. Davis' division. On the next day the 34th Illinois, Capt. Hostetter commanding, was consolidated with the 30th Indiana.
We have incidentally alluded to the 89th Illinois, Lieut.-Col. Hotchkiss, in connection with other regiments. Its movements in this battle are worthy a detailed account. It was in the 1st brigade, 2d division, on the right wing, and left Nashville with the brigade on the morning of December 26th, and arrived on the night of the 30th, at a point about three and a half miles west of Murfreesboro, where the brigade was put in position on the extreme right of the right wing, at right angles with General Kirk's brigade, the regiment being formed in double column in the rear of the 49th Ohio. At half past five on the morning of the 31st heavy firing commenced on Kirk's front. The front gave way and rushed indiscriminately through the ranks of the 89th, closely followed by the rebel column. The 89th could not deploy or change position and the fire was terrible. The gallant fellows laid down until their left was uncovered of fugitives and the rebel column was within fifty yards of their position, when they rose and delivered a well directed fire which lowered the colors of the rebel advance. The other regiments falling back, the order was given to retire, which was done to a lane we have mentioned before where four companies were placed in a good position. Again under their fire the colors of the leading rebel column went down.
The regiment, however, was too closely pressed to hold its position, and was ordered back to a point on a small creek five hundred yards distant, where Capts. Rowen and Blake's companies were placed under the partial cover of a thicket. Their fire checked the rebel advance and gave time for reorganization. Folio wing the creek, the regiment crossed an open field to a point in the woods, THE NINETEENTH ILLINOIS. 357
where its fire again thinned the rebel ranks and partially cheeked the advancing column. Under orders, the regiment was retired in line and in good order, making several stands in the woods, and took position in a thicket, but the troops on the right and left of the line having fallen back, and the 89th being exposed to a terrific artillery and musketry fire, retired by the flank to the rear, after having taken and delivered an unceasing fire for iive hours. On the night of Friday, the 2d, it held a very responsible position, guarding a ford and supporting Capt. Stoke's Chicago Board of Trade Battery, while Negley made the splendid charge upon the rebel right. The behavior of all the officers through the trying positions in which the regiment was placed and of the men themselves, received many commendations. From morning until night, of the first day's battle, they bore the weight of an overwhelming rebel column and were fighting in the very face of fate itself. No single regiment could have withstood such a force, and few regiments would have made a more determined opposition where success was an impossibility. The total loss in killed, wounded and missing was one hundred and forty-nine. Among the officers killed were Capt. Henry S. Willett and corporal Wra. H. Litsey, of company H.
But no regiment in that bloody fight vindicated its manhood more gloriously than the 19th Illinois. It had been pursued by all the hate and vindictiveness of secession, and stigmatized as thieves and plunderers by partisan malice at home. It had been put under ban, broken up into squads and officially disgraced. It had been marched and counter marched many an unnecessary and weary mile through swamp and forest. Its officers had been hooted at, and its men treated with every soldierly indignity. But at length the day and the hour came when its patriotism, its devotion, its bravery and its discipline were to silence foes at home and abroad, and to achieve for it a name which in history shall illuminate one of the brightest pages of Illinois bravery as developed in the present war.
On the 30th the regiment had but little to do and lost but nine men. The next morning it was up early and in line of battle, although they had scarcely eaten any thing and slept upon the ground without their blankets, which were in the trains, miles to the rear. Soon, by the sound of the musketry, it was evident the rebels had turned our right. Thomas had lost part of his artillery and the veteran troops were retreating. Further back, towards the rear, firing opened. Then the 19th prepared for the fight. They changed front, fixed bayonets, and charged, the foe retiring before their terrible onset. Heavy firing commenced, and a storm of bullets whistled through their ranks. At the first fire corporal Daggy fell mortally wounded. The enemy were repulsed, but the 27th Illinois wora hard pressed and needed aid. They faced to the right, and as coolly as if on drill, marched, with the lamented Scott at their head, through a terrific fire of shot and shell and took position by the side of the 18th Ohio. Edgarton's battery had been taken and was turned upon them, and other batteries opened a fearful fire. "Word came that they were surrounded and must cut their way out. They faced about again, fixed bayonets, rushed into a cedar swamp, and forced their way out and formed on the left of Sheridan, moved to the front and went into action. They had hardly got into position before portions of the division fell back and the rebels advanced. General Negley ordered the 19th to stand firm until the rest could form, and for half an hour, with the rebels on their front and flanks, they held back the advancing hosts until the 18th Ohio and 42d Illinois were formed, and then they retired to the center as reserves.
On Friday, those who knew the position of VanCleve's division, felt certain that when the assault did come it would come upon the extreme left. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon the fierce cannonading which had prevailed for some time on the left was accompanied by a deafening crash of musketry, and it was evident the battle was renewed in earnest. The enemy massed three of his divisions, Rain's, Anderson's and Breckinridge's, the whole under command of the latter, and hurled them against VanCleve. His men bravely withstood the onset, but were literally overwhelmed by superior numbers and two of the brigades were broken to pieces. The other held its ground manfully, but to save being surrounded had to retreat, and the whole were pushed back in disorder into and acioss the river. The rebels were preparing to follow when ISTegley suddenly appeared in compact line of battle. His practised eye at once saw the danger unless an almost superhuman effort was made. CHARGE OF THE NINETEENTH ILLINOIS. 359
He rode rapidly to their front, and, in his clear voice, shouted: "Who will save the left?" In an instant came back the reply from the gallant Scott: "The 19th Illinois!" "The 19th it is then! By the left flank, march," was the command. Scott put his cap on his sword and shouted, "Forward." The men lay down and fired one volley, then rose, fixed bayonets, and started upon that grand charge which saved the day, immortal as the charge of Balaklava. Into the river they plunged waist deep, although a whole rebel division was disputing the passage, up the precipitous bank, bristling with bayonets, baring their heads to the leaden pitiless rain, against bayonet and shot and shell, careless of the storm that was tearing through their ranks, unmindful of the brave fellows falling in the bloody track they made, they swept on, resistless as a Nemesis. At the top of the hill the rebels try to make a stand but they are shivered like a glass as the 19th strikes them. They hesitate, they stand as if dumb with amazement at this terrible charge Their ranks waver, they break and flee, the 19th, closely followed by the 11th Michigan and 78th Pennsylvania, pouring destruction through their fugitive ranks. Across the open fields they rush to the protection of their batteries beyond, but the march of the 19th is like the march of fate. Regardless of the fact that the field is swept by the battery, they still roll back the rebel foe, vainly trying to seize upon every ridge and clump as a means of defense. Over the corn-fields, up to the very muzzles of the guns in spite of their belching fury and sheeted flame, over the parapet, and the battery belongs to the 19th. The left is saved. The day is ours—the victory is won. Thus the 19th vindicated its good name and made one of the grandest and most glorious charges of the war. Thus the 19th revenged the malice and hatred of secession which had pursued them.
The regiment lost in killed and wounded one hundred and twentyfour out of three hundred and forty men. Col. Scott was seriously wounded in the passage of the river, and died some months after from the effects of the wound. Among the killed were corporal Ira A. Pease, corporal Win. Leason, corporal W. Ryerson, corporal Robert McCracken, sergeant James Goldsmith, Captain Knowlton, Lieutenant Wellington Wood, and sergeant Daniel Griffin.
On Thursday, the 88th and 36th Illinois regiments made a splendid charge, most important in its developments and destructive to the rebels. They were drawn up in line of battle behind a fence, and in front, over an open field, a heavy column of rebels, three regiments deep, advanced. The 88th lay close to the ground until the enemy were within forty yards of them, when they rose, took deliberate aim and poured a terrible volley into them. The rebels rallied and again advanced, but the 88th had quickly reloaded, and as the enemy came closely up, another volley was fired into them, creating fearful havoc. A charge was ordered, bayonets were fixed, and the 88th and 36th, with a shout, made a furious onset that quickly cleared the field. Major Chandler, of the former regiment, had two horses shot under him, and in every stage of the battle displayed the highest skill and bravery. Among the killed in the 88th were Lieut. Gulick and orderly sergeant Lyford. Several officers were wounded, among them Capt. Geo. W. Smith, Lieut. McDonald, Lieut. Chester, orderly sergeant Griffin and corporal Palmer.
The 35th Illinois, Lieut. Col. Chandler, and 25th Illinois, Col. T. D. Williams, commanding, were in the 14th corps on the right. On the 30th, two companies of these regiments acted as skirmishers, under the command of Major Mcllvain, of the 35th, covering the front of General Woodruff. They remained in position until three o'clock p. M., when Major Mcllvain sent for another company, and commenced pressing back the enemy's skirmishers to a belt of timber. The rebel advance, however, rapidly caused our skirmishers to fall back. Col. Williams of the 25th, detached another company from his command, and it went forward, deploying as skirmishers while the brigade moved up to their support. The brigade remained in position, receiving a heavy fire for some time, when the batteries came up and did their work so well that the rebel batteries soon were silenced. In the fighting of the succeeding days these regiments bore themselves with determined bravery and heroism. General Woodruff, in his report, says: "I desire to call the attention of the commanding officer to the gallant conduct of Lieut.-Col. Chandler, commanding the 35th Illinois, whose cool, steady courage, admirable deportment and skillful management evinced the soldier true and tried, and who at all times proved himself worthy of the trust he holds. Major Mcllvain, of the same regiment, who had the