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Page 444 of Battles and leaders of the Civil War (vol. 4)... : being for the most part contributions by Union and Confederate officers : based upon "The Century War series" / edited by R.U. Johnson and C.C. Clough Buel.

REPELLING HOOD'S INVASION OF TENNESSEE. As fast as the Union troops arrived at Columbia, in their hurried retreat from Pulaski, works were thrown up, covering the approaches from the south, and the trains were sent across the river. But the line was found to be longer than the small force could hold; and the river could easily be crossed, above or below the town. Orders were given to withdraw to the north side on the night of the 26th, but a heavy storm prevented. The next night the crossing was made, the railroad bridge was burned, and the pontoon boats were scut- tled. This was an all-night job, the last of the pickets crossing at 5 in the morning. It was now the fifth day since the retreat from Pulaski began, and the little army had been exposed day and night to all sorts of weather except sunshine, and had been almost continually on the move. From deserters it was learned that Hood's infantry numbered 40,000, and his cavalry, under Forrest, 10,000 or 12,000. But the Union army was slowly increasing by con- centration and the arrival of recruits. It now numbered at Columbia about 23,000 infantry and some 5000 cavalry - of whom only 3500 were mounted. General James H. Wilson, who had been ordered by General Grant to report to General Sherman,- and of whom General Grant wrote, " I believe he will add fifty per cent. to the effectiveness of your cavalry,"- had taken command personally of all General Thomas's cavalry, which was trying to hold the fords east and west of Columbia. [See article by General Wilson, to follow.] In spite of every opposition, Forrest succeeded in placing one of his divi- sions on the north side of Duck River before noon of the 28th, and forced back the Union cavalry on roads leading toward Spring Hill and Franklin. At 1 o'clock on the morning of the 29th General Wilson became convinced that the enemy's infantry would begin crossing at daylight, and advised General Schofield to fall back to Franklin. At 3:30 the same morning General Thomas sent him similar orders. Daylight revealed the correctness of Wilson's infor- mation. Before sunrise Cheatham's corps, headed by Cleburne's division,- a division unsurpassed for courage, energy, and endurance by any in the Confederate army,- was making its way over Duck River at Davis's Ford, about five miles east of Columbia. The weather had cleared, and it was a bright autumn morning, the air full of invigorating life. General Hood in person accompanied the advance. When General Schofield was informed that the Confederate infantry were crossing, he sent a brigade, under Colonel P. Sidney Post, on a reconnoissance along the river-bank, to learn if the report was true. He also ordered General Stanley to march with two divisions, Wagner's and Kimball's, to Spring Hill, taking the trains and all the reserve artillery. In less than half an hour after receiving the order, Stanley was on the way. On reaching the point where Rutherford Creek crosses the Franklin Pike, Kimball's division was halted, by order of General Schofield, and faced to the east to cover the cross- ing against a possible attack from that quarter. In this position Kimball remained all day. Stanley, with the other division, pushed on to Spring Hill. Just before noon, as the head of his column was approaching that place, he met "a cavalry soldier who seemed to be badly scared," who reported that Buford's division of Forrest's cavalry was approaching from 444

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