By late December, General Felix Zollicoffer had decided to winter his command at Beech Grove. "The time has come," he wrote, "when huts must be constructed to protect the forces of the Brigade against inclement weather. Commanding officer of regiments, battalions, or separate corps ... will advise with Captain Sheliha, Engineer officer, as to the cheapest and most readily constructed style of hut which is sufficient to protect against bad weather and will at once employ all the available force and implements that can be spared from the general defense in constructing their winter quarters.""
In front of you, marked by a low depression, stood one of the cabins that General Zollicoffer ordered to be built. Between 800 and 1000 cabins stood at Beech Grove, spread out along the ridge and around and behind the fortifications. Each housed four men. Well built and dug about three feet into the ground, they were made of logs with the crevices chinked and with stick chimneys plastered with clay. Some had glass windows and wood floors. Many were quite large.
Private William H. Isom, Company B, 17th Tennessee, wrote: "The 17th built log cabins for winter quarters ... and was living fat." Not only did the Confederates have comfortable quarters; they also had a good supply of food. Sugar, coffee, tea, eggs, butter, cabbages, chickens and pigs were plentiful. Colonel David Cummings, 19th Tennessee, wrote his wife, "We are well fixed in our mess for a while."
After the battle during the night of January 19, Confederate troops hurriedly abandoned Beech Grove. When Union troops arrived the next day. they found that the Confederates had left almost everything behind, including commissary stores, camp and garrison equipment, household goods and personal goods; "all of the comforts that accumulate about a soldier during a month in camp were here in profusion" wrote Captain Judson Bishop, 2nd Minnesota. A quantity of clothing — "boots, pants, coats and drawers" — was found on the river bank where hundreds of wagons filled with baggage waited to cross. On the far bank, a number of fleeing Rebel soldiers was visible.
The 19th Kentucky Infantry Regiment was detailed to destroy the Beech Grove encampment and the earthworks surrounding it. They spent a full month leveling the earthworks and burning the cabins.