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enemy was apparently totally unaware of any intention on our part to attack his position, and more especially did he seem not to expect any movement against his left flank. To divert his attention still further from our real intentions, Steedman bad orders to demonstrate on the enemy's right. As soon as the enemy's attention was attracted in that direction, Smith and Wilson moved out on the Harding pike, and, wheeling to the left, advanced against his position across the Harding and Hillsboro' pikes. Johnson's Division of Cavalry at the same time was sent eight miles below Nashville to attack a battery of the enemy at Bell's Landing. The remainder of Wilson's command, Hatch's Division leading, and Knipe in reserve, moving on the right of A. J. Smith's troops, first struck the enemy along Richmond Creek, near Harding's house, and drove him back rapidly, capturing a number of prisoners, wagons, &c., and, continuing to advance, while slightly swinging to the left, came upon a redoubt containing four guns, which was splendidly carried by assault at 1 P. M. by a portion of Hatch's Division, dismounted, and the captured guns turned upon the enemy. A second redoubt, stronger than the first, was next assailed and carried by the same troops that captured the first position, taking four more guns and about three hundred prisoners.
General Thomas, finding that Smith had not taken sufficient distance to the right, directed Schofield to move his command (the Twentythird Corps) from the position in reserve to which it had been assigned over to the right of Smith, enabling the cavalry thereby to operate more freely in the enemy's rear. The Fourth Corps, Wood commanding, formed on the left of Smith's command, and as soon as the latter bad struck the enemy's flank, moved against Montgomery Hill, Hood's most advanced position, at 1 P. M. The attack was gallantly made, and, after a brief resistance, the rebels abandoned their works, leaving the crest of the hill in the hands of the Union troops.
Connecting with Garrard's Division, which formed the left of Smith's troops, the Fourth Corps continued to advance. The First and Second Brigades of Beatty's Division occupied the left, formed in single line, while Kimball's and Elliot's Divisions were formed into column by brigade. The advance of this long line of battle was very fine. In their front lay a long slope of open country bounded by belts of wood. An increasing slope ran to the woods now occupied by the rebels. Over this the line moved in one steady, imposing column. The crest of the hill in front partly sheltered it from the enemy's artillery. A dense volume of smoke rose from the valley, shrouding the hills and rebel lines in our front. The roar of the rebel artillery was becoming fainter, while the sound of our guns rang nearer and nearer. The Fourth Corps for a moment halted and lay down to enable Smith to connect, when suddenly the enemy could be seen breaking pell-mell from their works, while infantry, cavalry, and artillery were sweeping across the plain. A wild cheer rang from our lives, and the batteries redoubled their iron storm. Soon a column was seen emerging from the woods on the rebel flanks, the stars and stripes floating proudly in their front. This was our right, which had swung around their flank. The air resounded with cheers as the Fourth Corps jumped to their feet and
pressed forward after the flying enemy, until the shades of night put an end to the combat.
At the close of the day the enemy had been driven out of his original line of works, and forced back to a new position along the base of Harpeth Hills, still holding his line of retreat to Franklin by the main pike through Brentwood and by the Granny White pike. Our line at nightfall was readjusted, running parallel to and east of the Hillsboro' pike-Schofield s command on the right, Smith's in the centre, and Wood's on the left, with the cavalry on the right of Schofield; Steedman holding the position he had gaiňed early in the morning. The total result of the day's operations was the capture of sixteen pieces of artillery and twelve hundred prisoners, besides several hundred stands of small-arms, and about forty wagons. The enemy hart been forced back at all points with heavy loss, and our casualties were unusually light. The whole command bivouacked in line of battle during the night on the ground occupied at dark, while preparations were made to renew the battle at an early hour on the morrow,
Between the Granny White and Franklin pikes is a kind of plate:U, sloping towards the range of bluff's which seem to be bounded by Little Harper and Mill Creeks. Fine residences and well-cultivated plantations cover the landscape back to Nashvile. Here the city was shut out from view by the hills, crowned with forts and batteries, their sides dotted over with white tents, and the dark forms of citizens crowding to see the battle, or at least hear its din. Behind these roso the houses and steeples of the city. The cupola of the capitol was crowded with anxious spectators.
At six a. M., on the 16th, Wood's Corps pressed back the enemy's skirmishers across the Franklin pike to the eastward of it, and then, swinging slightly to the right, advanced due south from Nashville, driving the enemy before him until he came upon his new main line of works, constructed during the night, on what is called Overton's Hill, about five miles south of ihe city, and east of the Franklin pike. Steedman moved out from Nashville by the Nolensville pike, and formed his command on the left of Wood, effectually securing the latter's left flank, and made preparations to co-operate in the operations of the day. Smith's command moved on the right of the Fourth Corps (Wood's,) and establishing connection with Wood's right, completed the new line of battle. Schofield's troops remained in the position taken up by them at dark on the day previous, facing eastward and towards the evemy's left flank, the line of the corps running perpen. dicular to Smith's troops. Wilson's Cavalry, which had rested for the night at the six-mile post on the Hillsboro' pike, was dismounted and formed on the right of Schofield's command, and by noon of the 16th bad succeeded in gaining the enemy's rear, and stretched across the Granny White pike, one of his two outlets towards Franklin.
As soon as the above dispositions were completed, Thomas, having visited the different commands, gave directions that the movement against the enemy's left flank should be continued. Our entire line approached to within six hundred yards of the enemy's at all points. His centre was weak as compared with either his right, at Overton's
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his left, on the hills bordering the Granny White pike; still ere hopes of gaining his rear and cutting off his retreat from in. ront of the rebel lines, commanding the Franklin pike, was a fort, occupying the crest of the hill, with strongly intrenched all round, and slashed trees in front. This hill is the first im
one of the Overton range-the extreme western spur of the rland range of mountains, and is about one mile in front of son's house, where S. D. Lee had his head-quarters, and about les from Nashville. From this position the rebels not only 7 the advance of Beatty's Division, but also commanded a fire on our advancing columns. at three P. M., Post's Brigaile of Wood's Corps, supported by E's Brigade of the same command, was ordered by General to assault that position. This intention was communicated to 11), who ordered the brigade of colored troops, commanded by Morg:in, to co-operate in the movement. The ground on he two assaulting columns formed being open and exposed to uy's view, he, readily perceiving our intention, drew re-enits from his left and centre to the threatened point. This nt of troops on the part of the enemy was communicatel along from left to right. At this time a gentle rain was falling; not
was stirring, and the calm was ominous. As the troops = move, our batteries opened. As they rose the slope the eneved them with a tremendous fire of grape, canister, and muser men moving steadily onward up the hill until near the crest, 2 reserves of the enemy rose and poured into the assaulting most destructive fire. anately, at this moment the lines that were joined below lap
the negro troops became mingled with the left of lost's creating disorder. The slaughter of our troops here was Post, far ahead of the line, was waving his sword and calling
o follow, when a discharge of grape and canister from the ery mortally wounded him. Our live was at this time within ps of the works. The rebels rose from their works and poured
terrific volley that seriously staggered the line, causing the o waver and then to fall back, leaving their dead and wounded od white indiscriminately mingled-lying amid the abatis. Tood readily re-formed his command in the position it had occupied, preparatory to a renewal of the assault. i'e, at four p. M., Schofield and Smith scaled the bald hill -nt, where were captured eight guns, and the enemy's line 1. Schofield, who had kept Cox's Division of his corps up r rather in reserve, now swung him rapidly around at a wo batteries were encountered, but the enemy, finding his
to his right, only opened one to cover the retreat of the though the obstacle were one of no consequence at all, Cox brously forward, captured the battery playing on him, and pidly in pursuit of the other, captured it also, and with it Ired prisoners. Simultaneous with the advance of Cox,
Wilson's Cavalry dismounted and attacked the enemy, striking him in reverse, getting firm possession of the Granny White pike, and cutting off his retreat by that route. On the ridge he met with very stubborn resistance, but drove the enemy at every point. East of the ridge the enemy fought with little energy, but allowed their left to be enveloped with comparative ease.
Wood's and Steedman's troops, hearing the shouts of victory coming from the right, now renewed the assault upon Overton Hill with great impetuosity, and in face of a terrible fire carried the position, capturing nine pieces of artillery and many prisoners. The enemy retired through the Brentwood Pass. The cavalry and a portion of the Fourth Corps overtook the rebel rear-guard posted across the road behind barricades near Chalmers. This was defeated, and the rebel General Rucker captured. The captures during the two days embraced four thousand four hundred and sixty-two prisoners, including two hundred and eightyseven officers, fifty-three pieces of artillery, and many small-arms, and the enemy also lost three thousand killed and wounded. The total Union loss did not exceed three thousand,
At daylight on the 17th, the Fourth Corps continued the pursuit towards Franklin by the directoroute, while the cavalry moved on the Granny White pike and its intersection with the Franklin pike, and took the lead. The enemy fell back to the Harpeth River. His rearguard posted at Hollow Tree Gap, four miles north of Franklin, was defeated with the loss of four hundred and twenty prisoners. An attempt of the eneny to defend the crossing of the Harpeth River at Franklin was defented by Johnson's Division, which had been sent by Wilson on the Hillsboro' pike direct to Harpeth River. Wilson now pressed the pursuit to Colunibia, the enemy retiring before him slowly to a point five miles south of Franklin. There an attempt to make a stand was defeated, and the retreat was continued. On the night of the 19th, the enemy crossed the Duck River and removed the bridge. The swollen stream caused a delay of a day. General Thomas in his report states: “The pontoon train coming up to Rutherford's Creek about noon of the 21st, a bridge was laid during the afternoon, and General Smith's troops were enabled to cross. The weather had changed from dismal rain to bitter cold, very materially retarding the work in laying the bridge, as the regiment of colored troops, to whom the duty was intrusted, seemed unmanned by the cold, and totally unequal to the occasion.” Wilson's Cavalry and Wood's Infantry pressed the pursuit. Forrest's Cavalry, which Hood had so foolishly detached from his main army while he was besieging Nashville, rejoined him at Columbia, and a strong rear-guard was formed, which did good service in covering the retreat. On the 24th, Wilson overtook the enemy at Buford Station, inflicting some punishment; and on the 25th the enemy evacuated Pulaski. At Lamb's Ferry he made a stand, and as the pursuing force under Colonel Harrison came up, charged, drove him back, and captured a gun. The Fourth Corps was within six miles of Pulaski, De cember 26th, and reached Lexington on the 28th. The enemy being now across the Tennessee, General Thomas ceased the pursuit
On the 30th December, the end of the campaign was announced to
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the army, and the following disposition was made of the command: Smith's Corps to take post at Eastport, Mississippi; Wood's Corps to be concentrated at Huntsville and Athens, Alabama; Schofield's Corps to proceed to Dalton, Georgia; and Wilson's Cavalry, after sending one division to Eastport, Mississippi, to concentrate the balance at or near Huntsville. On reaching the several positions assigned to them, the different commands were to go into winter-quarters and recuperate for the spring campaign. These dispositions not meeting the views of the general-in-chief, orders were issued on the 31st of December for Generals Schofield, Smith, and Wilson to concentrate their commands at Eastport, Mississippi, and that of General Wood at Huntsville, Alabama, preparatory to a renewal of the campaign against the enemy in Mississippi and Alabama.
A number of minor operations by cavalry occurred in the pursuit of Hood's army. The results of the operations under Thomas were: thirteen thousand one hundred and eighty-nine prisoners of war, including general officers and nearly one thousand other officers of all grades, and seventy-two pieces of serviceable artillery. During the same period over two thousand deserters from the enemy were received, and to whom the oath was administered. Our own losses did not exceed ten thousand in killed, wounded, and missing.
Thus ended the career of Hood as an active commander in the field. Receiving from Johnston a compact and unbroken army, which had made a good fight against the superior forces, of Sherman, he wasted its numbers in three foolbardy attempts to defeat his wary opponent in a pitched battle, and finally, in consequence of sending away his cavalry, the only arm in which he was superior to Sherman, he enabled the latter to completely flank him and drive him out of Atlanta. Dispatched by Davis on à hazardous attempt to drive Sherman out of Georgia and regain Tennessee, he permitted himself to be enticed by Thomas into the neighborhood of Nashville, when that general, abundantly re-enforced and supplied, sallied forth at his leisure and dealt the rebel army such a blow as drove it, a beaten and demoralized mass of fugitives, into Northern Alabama, and rendered it powerless for further offensive purposes.
Sheridan in Command of the Middle Military Division.-Manæuvring in the Valley.
Object of the Movements.-Battles of Opequan Creek and Fisher's Hill. - Rout and Retreat of the Rebels.—Their new Position at Brown's Gap.—Movements of Sheridan.
On August 7th, General Sheridan assumed command of the Middle Military Division, comprising the Middle Department, and the Departments of Washington, the Susquehanna, and West Virginia. On the same day he fixed his head-quarters at Harper's Ferry, and at once commenced to concentrate his troops along the Potomac in the vicinity of the Shenandoah Valley. Sheridan's troops consisted now chiefly of the Sixth, Eighth, and Nineteenth Corps of Infantry, and the infantry