At two o’clock a battle seemed certain but, with the exception of a stray cannon shot and an occasional skirmish with the infantry General Rosecranz's entire army got across Stewart's Creek in safety.
On Tuesday, the 30th, there was some skirmisking, and as the wind was blowing in the face of the enemy the advantage was in our favour. General Rosecranz was determined to purse the enemy, even should he evacuate Murfreesboro', anticipating a battle at Shellyville. General Crittendon reported the enemy drawn up in a line of battle on the east side of Stone's River, menacing our army. General Rosecranz ordered him to form in a lie of battle two divisions in front, one in reserve, and cover his flanks, and the Generals Negley and Roussean too close up.
General M'Cook also reported his corps to lie at Wilkinson's Creek, seven miles from Murfreesboro,' and the enemy, to be in line of battle from Murfreesboro' to Franklin turnpike. Tt became evident that a great battle was to be fought, and that the morrow would decide the fate of Murfreesboro.
The following, dated Nashville, January 2, is from - the immediate neighbourhood of the battlefield : The Federals, encountered the enemy on the 30th ultimo, near Stewarts Creek. After heavy skirmishing the enemy was driven back. We captured 100 prisoners, and killed and wounded a large number of the enemy. Our loss was 70 killed and wounded. At daybreak on the 3lst the fight was renewed with great fury. General M'Cook's corps was opposed to General Bardoe. After desperate fighting, with heavy losses on both sides, General M'Cook retreated two miles. He soon rallied, but was driven back, and at night was four miles this side of the ground occupied in the morning. The fight continued until ten p.m., at which time we had maintained our position. The Union loss is very heavy. Amongst the killed are Brigadier General Sill, Lieut.-Colonel Garsche (chief of Gen. Rosecranz's staff), Brigadier-General Willich, of Indiana, and many other officers. The total killed and wounded is estimated at 2,500. The enemy's loss exceeds ours. The Confederate General J.E. Rains was killed, and the Confederate General Cheatham was wounded and taken prisoner. We have captured 500 prisoners. The fight was renewed at three a.m., on January 1st. The cannonading was heard at Nashville. At ten am , General Nord's and General Van Cleves divisions were in Murfreesboro' driving the enemy over in full retreat. Three hundred prisoners reached Nashville at six p.m. on January 1st, including several commissioned officers. Many buildings have been taken for hospital purposes.