The Battle of Stones River (or "Stone River" as it was called in 1863)

Cripple Creek

the battle of stones river

31 DECEMBER 1862  -  2 JANUARY 1863 

 

1  -  17   january   1863

PRELUDE TO CRIPPLE CREEK

   The Calendar accounts come primarily from letters, diaries, and  memoirs of the men who would call Camp Cripple Creek home from 18 January until 24 June 1863.  

 

 

 

 

    Cpl. Robert T. McKee          Pvt. Orlando P. Cutter               Pvt. Robert Walker             Pvt. John Chilcote         1 Sgt. William Busbey

     31st IN, Co. B,  Aged 28        1st OH LVA, Aged 38            90th OH, Co. H, Aged 22    90th OH, Co. H, Aged 22     1 KY, Co. C, Aged 23

      

  THUR. 1               Very cold

        Birthdays:           

                   19 --  Sgt. Charles Caddy  (90 OH C)

                          21 -- Cpl. Bradford Lott  (90 OH H)

                              23 -- John D. Marshall  (31 IN A)

                          23 -- George W. Miller (31 IN I)

                          28 -- Adicus C. Engle  (31 IN I)

                          29 -- RQM Jacob Orman  (90 OH F&S)

 

 

 

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    FRI. 2                Cold;  Misty rain begins after dark

 

          Birthdays:              

                 

 

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  SAT.  3              Rained furiously all day and night

 

                   33 -- William Beecher  (90 OH D)

 

  Busbey

  ...Remain stationary, the lines quiet till night.  The rebels making a

sortie are repelled by the East Tennesseans and a battery...Night

very disagreeable.  Troops moving all night from the left to the right.  

About 3 o'clock [Sunday morning] the clouds break away.  The moon

shines and we have the rare phenomenon--a rainbow at night.  A good omen.  

 

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  SUN.  4            Morning cold and rainy, but rain replaced by sunshine               FULL MOON    

 

          Birthdays:

  Busbey

  ...About noon tis found that the rebels have abandoned their advance lines.  Squads sent to bury the dead find all unburied but all the wounded removed.  The rebel dead collected but ours still as they were shot down.  Nine from our regiment buried...Our troops on the right find Murfreesboro evacuated.

 

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  MON.  5                Very pleasant
 

 

            Birthdays:

 

Busbey 

...[Cyrus] Black found near the rebel breast works dead.  [Samuel] Duff, [Asa] Wiatt & [William] Toy sent to bury him.  He had been carried from where he fell to this place.  Pockets were rifled, buttons cut from his coat, boots pulled off.  Our advance moves beyond Murfreesboro.  The town one grand hospital for wounded of both armies.  Rebels move toward Shelbyville.  Our division moves to the railroad camping near Davis...

 

 

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   TUE.  6               Rain overnight; Day clearing and pleasant; Night very cold

               

                  19 -- Samuel J. Price  (90 OH E)

                   26 -- Anton Simon Schweitzer  (2 KY E)

  Busbey

...Finish burying the dead...Rebel surgeons left in charge at Murfreesboro.

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   WED.  7             Pleasant throughout day
 

       

                                                  

             Birthdays:  

Busbey

...About 9 o'clock move from camp.  Cross the River on the Nolensville Pike.  

Equalized [?] the companies march in style through town and about 3 miles

out the McMinnville Road.  The town apparently deserted by citizens but nearly

every house filled with wounded.  Rebel surgeons in splendid uniforms of grey

move about with our own [?] in blue giving comfort.--Our regiment without

supplies sent on picket.  Meet Genl Rosecrans who talks to us as if we were

his children.  A remarkable meteor, very brilliant, passes through the sky.

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  THUR.  8             Day tolerably pleasant;  Evening stormy

            22 -- Samuel Crawford Scott  (31 IN E)

   Busbey

...Relieved about 4 o'clock by the 110th Ill[inois], having lost 137 men.  

Hurry to camp and have a vexacious time finding our knapsacks and

putting up tents.  Majority of the men find their things safe.  [Cyrus] Black's

knapsack cannot be found.  Sleep for the first time since leaving Nashville

in one tent and enjoy it hugely...

 

 

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  FRI.  9                Very pleasant

                  24 -- Jesse K. Kendall  (31 IN B)

  McKee

...Went in to camp 1 mile east of Murfreesboro [with] orders to move

to morrow morning at 4 o'clock 

  Busbey

...Ed Fee sent to town to nurse one of our wounded.  Our co. changed

to the right of the regt.  Afternoon our Division moves back about a mile

camping in a beautiful grove.  Receive orders for one brigade to move to

Readyville at Daylight in the morning.  Our wagons all being in Nashville

for provisions the order is countermanded, the 19th [Hazen's Brigade]

taking our place...

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 SAT.  10              Conflicting weather reports:  McKee says drizzling, Busbey says a beautiful day

 

                   20 -- Jeremiah Hatfield, Jr.  (31 IN H)

    

  McKee

...order to Move Countermanded...

 

  Busbey

...Our camp being arranged Col Hazen's Brigade moves to Reedyville [sic]...

[Cyrus] Black's Pocket Bible and his Poems found and treasured up...

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 SUN.  11             Another beautiful day

                  28 -- Frank Yeckley  (1 OH LA)

  Busbey

...Quarters policed and men dress for company inspection...At night a

large train arrives from Nashville bringing clothes, grub, and papers...

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 MON.  12            Warm and balmy as Spring

       

    

            27 -- Josiah J. Bragg  (90 OH G)

 

  Busbey

...Start about 10 o'clock [to] go through Murfreesboro and about 6 miles out the Nolinsville [sic] Pike to Wilkinsons Cross Roads after forage.  Every house along the road a hospital.  Have a good view of the battlefield.  Trace the line of McCook's advance and retreat for miles by marks of carnage[.]   Hundreds of soldiers['] graves, dead horses, &c. line the road for miles.

 

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 TUE.  13             Warm and pleasant

            Birthdays:

  Busbey

...Did not return from our trip yesterday till after dark, tired and hungry...

day made out a report for Dec...Gum blankets issued to our Brigade.  

Skirmish drill in forenoon.  Many persons visiting the battle field yesterday

searching for friends.  The forests splintered, houses burned, fences destroyed,

earth torn up make the scene repulsive.

 

 

 

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 WED.  14            Rainy and disagreeable

                 20 -- John S. Plymesser  (1 KY D)

                         22 -- Taffey Van  (1 KY I)

  Busbey

...Toward evening the rain increases to a storm.  Go on Picket

at 4 o'clock to the right of the Lebanon Pike.  On account of the

rain[, we] station our riders in an old stable.  Rains steadily,

drearily and dismally all night.  Horses, cows, and soldiers in

one stable--A good picture for Leslie['s Weekly Magazine].  Do

not sleep any till nearly morning then pile in among some corn

blades and have a good nap.  Have a big fire in the stable but

can't keep dry.

 

 

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 THUR.  15           Rain changes to snow in the afternoon

 

                 23 -- Albert E. Kernan  (1 KY H)

 

  Busbey

...Sleep nearly all the forenoon...Relieved at 4 o'clock by the

31st IN and return to camp to find it in part overflowed.  

The Lieut[enant]s['] stove in our tent.  They stay with us and

all are comfortable.

 

 

 

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 FRI.  16              One of the coldest days of the season

 

            Birthdays:

 

  Busbey

...In the evening Dress Parade in spite of the cold.  At night over to

see Daniel, sign the proper papers and receive of him $15.20 for

extra duty in the Commissary.  Buy a can of butter and have a

most-excellent supper.  Night very cold.  (The rebel ladies visit and

comfort the rebel wounded in town but not a smile or word for our

poor boys.)

 

 

 

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 SAT.  17            Clear and sunny but very cold

       

                20 -- Silas A. Gardner  (1 OH LA)

                     22 -- George Lane  (90 OH G)

                          30 -- William Meredith  (1 KY C)

                     34 -- Samuel Earl  (1 OH LA)

 

  

  Busbey

...About 3 o'clock receive orders to move but after getting

ready the order is countermanded till tomorrow morning...Stove

moved out to day and the tent not quite so comfortable.

 

 

 

Brig-Gen William B. Hazen

18  -  31  JANUARY

THE BRIGADE ARRIVES AT CRIPPLE CREEK

SUN. 18                 Morning quite cold (heavy snowstorm during night of the 17th), but clear and beautiful

 

               32 -- Osborne Monroe (31 IN A)   

         

 

Busbey

...Move at 9 o'clock from camp.  6 miles out the McMinnville Road

to Cripple Creek.  Camping on a beautiful cedar clad ridge.  Before

our wagons our regt sent on picket leaving men to pitch tents and

take care of knapsacks...

 

Cutter

...We pitched our tents on a hill overlooking the surrounding country,

and near the creek.  The place was very rocky, and covered with

young cedars.  The trees, rocks, and stumps were so thick that it

was almost impossible for a wagon to get through.  But the men

went to work, and soon had the ground sufficiently cleared to pitch

the tents.  This camp was on the McMinnville road, and eight miles

from Murfreesboro.  We had passed the place several times previously.

 

Busbey

...Pleasant till night.  No fires are allowed and we suffer from cold.  

Sleep impossible.  Keep moving to keep warm.

 

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MON. 19                  Raining and drizzling                            NEW MOON

 

               23 -- Sgt John N. Arehart  (90 OH D)

               26 -- Elisha M. Baker (1 KY F)

               31 -- John North (90 OH B)

 

    

McKee

Raining and Drisling [sic] Commenced Building fortifications

Round Camp on Cripple Creek...

 

Cutter

...all hands went to work cleaning up the ground, felling trees,

and building breastworks and fortifications.  This occupied several

days.  The weather was cold, with frequent rains, which rendered

our condition rather unpleasant.

 

Busbey

...Awake long before daylight.  The boys tramping (?) around

furiously to keep warm.  Slept last night with [Sgt. Samuel] Duff

on outpost.  Go early to the reserve and send report to camp.  

Ordered to camp to make the bimonthly report.  Get to camp

about 9 o'clock, make the report, fix a bed of cedar boughs and

take a nap.  The boys relieved at 1 o'clock...

 

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TUE.  20                  Still raining; Damp, cold, disagreeable  

 

                 Birthday

         

 

McKee

...Regt on Picket

 

Busbey

...Our company go early as train guard to Div Commissary.  

The train in charge of [Sgt. Charles M.] Roberts [of Co. A].  

After loading the wagons return to the place where a part

of the 72nd Ind is on Patrol.  A part of the regt on guard.  

The other part is on duty as a patrol between our camp and

town.  Have a rough ride to camp arriving before dark.  The

road well patrolled by Cavalry... 

 

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WED. 21                            Damp and cloudy 

 

                   22 -- Henry B. Cord  (31 IN  I) 

   

 

McKee

James Pickard Started home before we came in of[f] Picket

this morning

 

Busbey

...Details from the companies building breastworks, a complete

line around the camp...A train of 30 wagons said to have been

captured by the rebels on the Liberty Pike.  Our regiment at last

supplied with oil blankets and socks.

 

 

**************************************************

 

THUR. 22                 A very pleasant day; Night cold and frosty

 

                    Birthday

         

McKee

All quiet Round camp

 

Busbey

...Reveille early and the regiment formed in line of battle.  

Busy all day, making out an annual report of Casualties.  

Our regiment on Picket at 2 o'clock.  Our company posted

to the right of where it was before; our reserve posted on

the creek--2 posts along the lane.  Night cold and frosty

and no fires allowed.  Not very comfortable but [Sgt. Samuel]

Duff and I pile down on some rails and manage to get some sleep.

 

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FRI.  23                  Cool and bright

 

                Birthday          

 

Busbey

Morning cool but the day becomes bright luxurious dream of lazy splendor.  The stream last night full and rolling is this morning almost dry.  The water running beneath the rocks.  Relieved at 2 o'clock by the 90th [OH]...The 10th Brigade passes camp in the evening toward Woodbury.  Rations drawn at midnight ready to move... 

 

McKee

Orders to march tomorrow morning at 5 o'clock

 

 

**************************************************

 

SAT.  24                     Rained nearly all day 

 

              28 -- Washington Miller (31 IN A)

          

Hooker takes command of the Army of the Potomac

 

McKee

Marched 6 1/2 hours o'clock [6:30 AM.]  Got to Reedyville [sic] 10 o'clock[.]  5 companeys [sic] Left to Gard Bridge at Reedsville [sic.]  Skirmishing before Woodbery [sic.]  Rebels routed

 

Cutter

...the entire brigade made a reconnaissance towards Woodbury.  On reaching Readyville, were joined by General Hazen's brigade [19th Brigade--41OH, 110 IL, 6 KY, and 9 IN--stationed at Readyville], and then proceeded as far as Woodbury, where a skirmish ensued with small Rebel force.  Our troops repulsed and drove them from the town.  Our brigade returned to camp the same night.

 

Busbey

Reveille very early but no definitive order to move.  About day-break the 1st [KY], 2nd [KY], and 31st [IN] with two sections of the battery [1st OH--Standart's Battery] move quickly 4 miles beyond Readyville as support to the 10th and 19th Brigades moving on Woodbury.  Our forces admirably disposed to resist attacks from the town.  Rain is nearly all day.  The expedition successful and we return to camp very tired.

 

********************************************************************************************************************************

 

SUN.  25                 Pleasant 

 

                Birthday 

         

McKee

Regt on Picket

 

Busbey

Tolerably pleasant.  Sleep till late.  Company inspection

at 10 o'clock...Rebel cavalry said likely been inside our

Picket line last night.  The two advance brigades yesterday

had quite a skirmish with the rebel cavalry under Wheeler.  

Killing several, among them a Rebel Colonel.  8 or 10 of

our men severly wounded.  The 19th Brigade camped on

the hill to the left of Readyville--camp well fortified.

 

**************************************************

 

MON.  26                      Sunny and pleasant

 

             20 -- Samuel Mack  (31 IN A)

             23 -- James M. Waldrip  (2 KY A)  

McKee

All quiet

 

Busbey

Pleasant--full of sunshine.  Reveille early--Roll call and to bed again.  About 9 o'clock start a foraging expedition going up the creek valley, riding in the wagons, going through dense Cedar forests and over the roughest roads I ever saw.  Wagons soon loaded at the different farms.  The boys stripping the farmers of chickens and geese in a manner extremely disgusting.  This morning a Brigade of cavalry passes coming from toward Readyville. 

 

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TUE.  27                     Rain changing to snow 

 

          18 -- Solomon Soliday  (90 OH D)       

          22 -- Pvt (soon-to-be Sgt!) James "Kim" Jones  (90 OH B)

          

 

Busbey

Waked early by Reveille to find a strom of rain and

snow making everything gloomy.  Line of Battle formed.  

Capt [James W.] Mitchell [of Co. G, 1 KY] commanding.  

On Picket at 2 o'clock with a steady driving snow.  Build

big fires but can't hardly keep comfortable.  Papers received

in camp giving full particulars of the Battle of Stone River. 

 

 

**************************************************

 

WED.  28              Cold and stormy

 

                     30 -- Adolph Mayer  (2 KY K)

         

 

Busbey

...Relieved at 2 o'clock.  Returned to camp and

find a mail awaiting us...Thos. Farrar, [Patrick] Carr,

and [Peter] Stone return from Conv[alescent] camp

at Nashville.  Reported that the brigade is to be

mounted on mules.

 

**************************************************

 

THUR.  29                  Clear, but cool

                   36 -- William Bateman  (90 OH A)

       

Busbey

...Read today the rebel accounts of the battle of Stone River.  Exaggerated but respectful in its tone...

**************************************************

FRI.  30                         Pleasant and sunshiny 

                 21 -- John Henry Hoelscher  (1 KY A)

      

Busbey

...In line of battle early.  Make the regular Monthly

Report.  The 2nd KY go foraging and we on Picket

in their place.  At our old Post.  Night beautiful moonlight.  

Signal lights discovered on "Pilot Knob" a high hill in front,

developing gradually into a brilliant display...

 

**************************************************

 

SAT.  31              Morning cloudy, afternoon rainy    

 

               Birthday

         

 

Busbey

...[Capt. Andrew] Hogan [of Co. I] acting Major.  [Cpl Jacob]

Miller receives a box of food from Charlseton.  Much spoiled

but we have -_____ cherries for supper on Picket.  Genl [John] 

Palmer leaves for home [on leave].  Genl [Charles] Cruft

commanding the Division, Col [Thomas D.] Sedgewick the

Brigade.  Companies A, K, and ___ to Pilot Knob as guard to

the Signal Corps.  The Knob a permanent station.  Relieved at

2 o'clock by the 2nd Kentucky...Received Republics [Springfield,

OH newspaper] of the 12th and 15[th] (yesterday).  At the Battle

of Stone River Dec 31 our division was over on the Left our Brigade

joining Negley on the right.  When the right wing swung back we

by remaining in position were exposed to double fire and almost

crushed by the onset--made by the Rebels.  Col [David] Enyart

behaved ______ and the regiment, through [though?] meeting with

"seven ______" (80 percent lost) was soon formed on the new left.  

[Cyrus] Black (Corpl and color guard) killed outright...  [Absalom]

Bishop has since died.  [Wesley] Quigley and [John] Manyan recovered

from their wounds.  [Cpl. Charles] Rice, [Cpl James W.] Crouse,

[Joseph] Croak, [Philip] Foreman and [Patrick] Flanagan still suffering.  

[Sgt Arnold] Pfister still a prisoner.  

 

 

 

Gen. Joseph Wheeler

Signal Corps Station in the

Rutherford County Courthouse

Signal Corps Station atop

Elk Mtn., MD--similar to the one on Pilot Knob

The Readyville Mill

 

Sgt. Samuel Duff

(Sgt. Busbey's Tent Mate)

 

          Men celebrating birthdays (while at Cripple Creek?) in January (exact date unknown):

                      

            21 -- Richard Steel  (90 OH B)           

            22 -- William T. Stafford  (1 KY C)