In Battle, Good Men Die
—William S. Rosecrans, major general commanding the Army of the Cumberland, speaking about his friend Colonel Garesche.
As fierce fighting raged nearby along the Nashville Pike, General Rosecrans and his staff moved here to the high ground just below the railroad to get a better view. Riding at the commander's side was his West Point classmate and chief of staff, Lieutenant Colonel Julius P. Garasche, an able soldier much respected by the other officers of the Army of the Cumberland. Private Reuben Jones, 19th U.S. Infantry, wrote to his sister about what happened next:
"Rosecrans came dashing up, cold seat oozing from his forehead. Just at that moment a cannonball took off Gareshe's...head and the blood splashed into Rosecrans [sic] face. He glanced at his favorite aid's mangled body a moment, then pointed to a dark line of cedar woods... but a minute more and the 'butternuts' came, six deep double-quick on us..."
Rosecrans could take no time to mourn his close friend in this hour of crisis for his army. he kept riding up and down his lines, encouraging his men to hold. Grief had to wait until darkness ended the carnage.
Rosecrans was deeply moved by this loss. Some time after the battle, the general cut off the brass buttons
of his coat and saved them in an envelope on which he wrote, "Buttons I wore the day Garesche was killed."
This battlefield sketch by artist Henry Lovie shows eyewitness details of the death of Garesche.