From Col. Toler's Regiment.
DEPARTMENT OF CUMBERLAND, NASHVILLE,
TENN. Jan. 6, 1863.
As some of our friends may be solicitous as to our whereabouts and condition after the great New Year's battle, I hope you will not consider it too great a burthen to give the following hastily penned lines a place in your columns.
You have no doubt learned before this that we have had a severe battle, attended with fearful loss on both sides. But, in a military point of view, the result amply compensates for all. We have whipped a largely superior force, driven them from their strongholds and occupied their positions. And to accomplish all this against a sharp, well-disciplined foe we must lose men.
Bragg was formerly a student of Rosecrans', at West Point, who has given him another lesson, at Murfreesboro, and if Bragg, and the other Generals with him, will heed this last lesson of his severe old teacher, Tennessee is freed from rebellion. I am confident this lesson will be heeded, and this beautiful State — the resting place of Jackson, Polk and many other noted patriots — will be no longer disturbed by the ravages of war.
I left the battle-field on last Sunday evening, having passed over nearly every part of it. The dead were just being buried. I could not, however, even venture an opinion as to the number of killed and wounded. But I am satisfied from personal observation that the rebel dead left on the field far exceeded in number that of ours.
They have abandoned their position and fled in confusion — starting at night during a rain storm. Our cavalry and several pieces of artillery are in hot pursuit, press them closely and capturing a number of prisoners. But at present writing I know of no further particulars.
I am happy to state that both officers and men in my command are in superb health, and able to take full rations when they can get them. We have, present for duty to-day, five hundred and thirty four men, with an aggregate of six hundred and thirty-seven — all well-clothed, thoroughly disciplined and magnificently armed.
Appended please note official report of an engagement which took place between some forces under my command, and two rebel brigades, on the 4th inst. I only report the part my immediate command took in the action — the other regiment and detachments, not having had time to report to me. The force with me in addition to my own regiment and two companies already reported, consisted of one battalion, 52d Ohio and one battalion 6th Tennessee Infantry, commanded by Col. Dan. McCook, and two regiments of Cavalry, commanded by Cols. Yahms and Murry — whole force not exceeding two thousand. — The enemy numbered over three thousand of the best rebel cavalry, and two pieces of artillery.
Yours, S. C. TOLER,
Col. 60th Ills. Vols. Inf'ty.