Report of Col. Phineas Pease, Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.
HDQRS. FORTY-NINTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS INFANTRY VOLS.,
In the Field, December 21, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders, on the morning of the 15th instant I moved my command outside the breast-works at Nashville, Tenn., and took position in line on the left of the Hardin pike. At 8 o'clock moved forward with right on the pike and on the right of the Fifty-second Indiana Volunteers. Advanced steadily, with slight skirmishing in front, and after passing through first skirt of timber moved in an oblique direction to the left. In the meantime had thrown out one company as skirmishers (Company A), which soon became engaged with the enemy's line of skirmishers. The regiment was then advanced to the open field to the right of the brick house, near which Battery G, Second Illinois Light Artillery, took position, where the regiment was ordered to lie down in a sheltered position. About 1 o'clock was ordered forward on right of brigade, and advancing through an open field to within 300 yards of one of the enemy's batteries were exposed to a raking artillery fire of grape and canister shot, also of musketry. At this point was ordered to halt, and in a few moments moved by the left flank under brow of the hill opposite rebel fort, which fort hi a short time was necessarily evacuated by the enemy. Moved from this point in right oblique direction across the Hillsborough pike, capturing one prisoner, of Trueheart's (Alabama) battery, and took position for the night a short distance on right of Granny White pike.
On morning of 16th moved at 8 o'clock across an open field to Granny White pike, where received orders to move in rear of and cover right of First Brigade, then advanced across a small creek to the foot of a hill, whence, in a short time, moved by the right flank, under cover of the hill, and joined on left of Second Brigade. Remained in this position several hours exposed to severe cannonading from the enemy. Soon after 3 o'clock received orders to advance, and together with the entire division charged the enemy's works, capturing Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson (General Johnson was captured by Private J. William Howell, Company B) and Major Trueheart, and sent to the rear, in charge of Lieutenant Spiro, thirty-five prisoners. Many other prisoners were turned back by the regiment and were picked up and credited to other brigades. It being now nearly dark took position in line for the night.
Inclosed is a list of casualties in my regiment during the action.*
I do not feel justified in particularizing where all did so well, for it would be giving the name of each and every officer in the regiment who participated in the engagement. It gives me pleasure to state that every officer performed his duty nobly and manifested great bravery. The enlisted men, with two or three exceptions, behaved well, with courage. To my field and staff officers — Lieut. Col. William P. Moore, Maj. Jacob E. Gauen, and Adjt. F. J. Burrows — I am particularly indebted for their untiring efforts, promptly obeying all orders given thereby rendering great assistance.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry Volunteers.
Lieut. J. D. COBINE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
* Embodied in table, p. 101.
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 493