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By the middle of the night before the battle, General Sheridan saw signs that the Confederates might attack near here. By four a.m., Sheridan had visited all three of his brigade commanders. He gave orders for his men to be fed an early breakfast and be made ready to fight. Other Federal divisions farther to the south did little to prepare themselves for the onslaught.
At dawn the Confederates struck. Whole regiments in blue dissolved. Thousands turned and ran. Sheridan kept his men under tight control as they pulled back, one regiment at a time. Here Sheridan’s men held the line for two hours battling until they had no more bullets. Sheridan’s skill and will to fight bought General Rosecrans enough time to put his rattled, retreating units into a strong new battle line near Nashville Pike.
There was no sign of faltering with the men, the only cry being for more ammunition, which unfortunately could not be supplied Phillip Sheridan, brigadier general, commanding 3rd Division, Right Wing
December 31st, 1862 mid-morning