roads; hence we had ample time in which to make the necessary dispositions to oppose him.
Our cavalry gave us accurate information that the enemy was advancing on the 21st, when Cox, with Wagner in support, was ordered to interpose between the enemy's cavalry and Columbia; while Stanley, with two divisions of the Fourth Corps, marched from Pulaski to that place, and our cavalry moved on the enemy's right to cover the turnpike and railroad.
The whole army was in position at Columbia, November 24, and began to intrench.
Hood's infantry did not appear in sight until the 26th.
Cox had a brush with the enemy's cavalry, which had driven in one of our cavalry brigades.
That action was magnified at the time, and afterward, into evidence of a race between our troops and the enemy for the possession of Columbia.
In fact, Ruger's troops at Columbia were quite capable of holding that place against Forrest and Hood's infantry was not within a day's march of either Cox or Stanley until af
inforcements must be available from his own department, and felt a little impatient about the long delay in their arrival, and hence telegraphed General Thomas, November 24, suggesting the concentration of R. S. Granger's troops and those along the railroad.
The despatches to me at that time, to be found in the War Records,
Senquestionably to have been sent to Columbia, or at least moved up to Nashville or Franklin, where they could join the main force, as suggested in my despatch of November 24 to Thomas,
War Records, Vol.
XLV, part i, p. 1017. instead of being left at Chattanooga to threaten enemy in rear.
Thomas to Steedman, November 25: War Records, Vol.
XLV, part i, p.1050. As suggested in my despatch of November 24, R. S. Granger's force and others along the railroad south of Duck River, as well as Steedman's, might have joined the main force at Columbia, if orders had been given in time, thus increasing the army in the field by fully 10,000 men.
If R. S. Granger