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Rousseau’s Report on the Battle of the Cedars

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Report of Major-General LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU, on activities December 5-
8, 1864.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE, Murfreesborough, December 12,
1864.

Dispatches from Gen. Thomas of the 5th and 8th instant received last night.

Railroad train to Stevenson for supplies will take this dispatch to be forwarded.

Wires down between this and Stevenson. On the 8th instant I dispatched by
courier by way of Gallatin reporting operations her on the 4th instant. The
enemy attacked the block-house at Overall's Creek, fired seventy-four shots,
doing no damage. I sent three regiments, under Gen. Milroy, to its relief. The
enemy (Bates' division) were routed and driven off. We took some prisoners,
near thirty, but no guns. Loss of the enemy unknown, as night closed in before
the fight was over. Our troops, new and old, behaved admirably. We withdrew
at night. The next evening [6th] Bate returned, skirmished with and drove in
our pickets, and threatened the fortress; pretty heavy skirmishing till the 7th,
when the enemy moved around on the Wilkinson pike, northwest of the
fortress. He was re-enforced by Forrest with 2,500 cavalry and two division of
infantry. On the evening of the 6th he made a breast-work of logs and rails on
Wilkinson's pike, from which he was driven on the 7th by Gen. Milroy with
seven regiments of the garrison here; a pretty severe engagement, lasting
perhaps three-quarters of an hour. The rout was complete, infantry and cavalry
running in every direction. The fight was well conducted by Maj.-Gen. Milroy,
and the troops behaved most gallantly. We took 207 prisoners, including 18
commissioned officers, 2 pieces (12-pounder Napoleons) of artillery, which
were at once placed in position in the fortifications, and 1 stand of colors
belonging to the First and Third Florida. Our loss in the fight at Overall's Creek
was 5 killed and 49 wounded, and on Wilkinson's pike more fully in my
dispatch of the 8th, which may not have reached you. I am subsisting off the
country, which I think I can do. Before the fight on the Wilkinson pike,
Buford's division of cavalry took possession of about one-half of the town of
Murfreesborough, shelling it vigorously and destroying many of the houses.

With a section of artillery and a small force of infantry, I drove them,
wounding and killing 30 and taking 25 prisoners. A captain of artillery left his
boots, letters, sponges, staff buckets, on the ground. We lost one man wounded.

The enemy's cavalry all around, but I think in small bodies. We forage without
molestation. No enemy near here that I know of. Cheatham reported coming
this way through Triune. All right here, and will endeavor to keep it so.

LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 614-615.
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