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John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter VII (search)
f McPherson had not held the entire natural position as far east as the Connasauga River, Johnston could have passed round him in the night. It seems to me certain that McPherson's force was too small to have taken and held that position. Indeed it does not seem at all certain that, however large his force might have been, he could have put troops enough in position before night to accomplish the object of cutting off Johnston's retreat. The case was analogous to that of Hood's crossing Duck River in November of that year, and trying to cut off our retreat at Spring Hill. There was simply not time enough to do it in that one day, and if not done in one day it could not be done at all. So that it does not seem at all certain that this, which was Thomas's plan to throw the entire Army of the Cumberland on the road in Johnston's rear and thus cut off his retreat, would have succeeded any better than Sherman's, yet it gave greater promise of success, and therefore ought to have been
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter IX (search)
ive with, or send, reinforcements in time to assume the offensive from Columbia; but reinforcements did not come, and the enemy did not attack. It became evident that Hood's intention was not to attack that position, but to turn it by crossing Duck River above; hence the army was moved to the north bank of the river in the night of the 27th. It was still hoped that the line of Duck River might be held until reinforcements could arrive. General Thomas was very urgent that this should be done, Duck River might be held until reinforcements could arrive. General Thomas was very urgent that this should be done, if possible, as the arrival of General A. J. Smith's corps from Missouri had been expected daily for some time, when General Thomas intended, as it was understood, to come to the front in person with that corps and all the other troops he could assemble in his department, take command, and move against the enemy. About that time was disclosed one of those contrivances by which the non-military agencies of government interfere with the operations of armies. The War Department telegraph corps
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter X (search)
e enemy's cavalry had forced the crossing of Duck River above Columbia, and driven our cavalry back;ridges upon my position on the north bank of Duck River, to dislodge me from that position. That w. If Hood had turned down the north bank of Duck River, across the fields, which were no worse than Hill and would not attack me on the bank of Duck River, I took the head of my troops—Ruger's divisig Hill near midnight, I found my column from Duck River there in compact order. As the road was cle, Thomas knew the enemy was already crossing Duck River on my flank, and that I must speedily take uthe march of events if we had retreated from Duck River in the night of November 28, upon first learnvade Kentucky. In short, the day gained at Duck River and Spring Hill was indispensable to Thomas'9 had been carried out, by which the line of Duck River would have been abandoned in the middle of tve. The tenacity with which the crossing of Duck River at Columbia was held was well rewarded at Fr[3 more...]
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XI (search)
ield before the enemy forced the crossing of Duck River. The remaining 2900 were not available for been sufficiently overcome, and the line of Duck River at least, if not that of the Tennessee, as Sn case you have to move to the north bank of Duck River, I wish you to keep some cavalry on the soutction might be effected on the north bank of Duck River, opposite Columbia. Hence I telegraphed Gen. After withdrawing to the north bank of Duck River I telegraphed on the morning of November 28:ill hoping for reinforcements on the line of Duck River, and thought I could stop Hood's advance by an withdraw gradually and invite Hood across Duck River, and fall upon him with our whole force, or orcements? By holding on to the crossing of Duck River at Columbia until dark that night, and thus nemy either in the position then occupied on Duck River, or at some point on the road between that p at any point the enemy might select between Duck River and Spring Hill, as well as that of holding [20 more...]
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XII (search)
's greeting a refreshing sleep services of the cavalry Corps and the Fourth army Corps Hood's mistake after crossing Duck River an incident of the Atlanta campaign bearing on Hood's character an embarrassing method of Transmitting Messages in ci those immense sacrifices and sufferings. Hood undoubtedly made a mistake in his plan of operations after he crossed Duck River above Columbia on the night of November 28-9. His march on Spring Hill would have been the best if it had succeeded. B had most to apprehend was not an attempt to get in my rear at Spring Hill, but one to dislodge me from my position on Duck River by defeating me in open battle. But I believed I could fight Hood, even where I was, from noon until dark, and then reould hold Hood in check until he could concentrate his reinforcements. It seems to me clear that Hood's best chance at Duck River was to force a general engagement as early in the day as possible, so as to occupy the attention of all my infantry whi
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XIII (search)
troops to advance from the first to the second position at Nashville and make the assault of December 16; and that the Fourth and Twenty-third corps on November 29 and 30 fought two battles—Spring Hill and Franklin—and marched forty miles, from Duck River to Nashville, in thirty-six hours. Time is an element in military problems the value of which cannot be too highly estimated, yet how seldom has it been duly appreciated! The remnant of Hood's army having made its escape across the Tennesseeicted, you have had the fun, and we the hard work. But altogether your plan has been a brilliant success. Hood did n't follow you, . . . but he did me. I held him at Columbia several days, and hurt him considerably. Finally he got across the Duck River above, and made for Franklin via Spring Hill. I headed him off at Spring Hill with a division, and concentrated at Franklin. There he made the heaviest assaults I have ever seen, but was fairly repulsed and terribly punished. In fact we pret
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XIV (search)
ngth after the battle of Franklin. The infantry strength of the Fourth and Twenty-third corps did not exceed 22,000 present for duty equipped, of which one brigade (Cooper's) of the Twenty-third was sent by General Thomas to guard the fords of Duck River below Columbia, and did not rejoin the corps until after the battle of Franklin. Hence Hood's infantry force at Columbia and Franklin was nearly one half greater than mine. The disparity in cavalry was still greater at first, but was reduced very considerably by the arrival of cavalry sent from Nashville by General Thomas, especially Hammond's brigade, which arrived in the field on the 29th, too late to assist in holding the line of Duck River. It follows that Hood had an opportunity to conduct operations against an adversary of, at the most, only two thirds his own strength in infantry and in cavalry—an opportunity such as had never before been presented to any Confederate general. That he thought his chance a very brilliant o
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XV (search)
the utmost delicacy in discussing the question with General Thomas, so as to avoid suggesting to him that he had made a mistake. Yet so evident was the mistake that I stopped the advance of the Twenty-third Corps some miles north of Pulaski, and no part of that corps actually went to that place. Cox was sent back to a point where he could interpose between Hood and Columbia, and Ruger was stopped at Columbia. The great tenacity with which I held on at Columbia and on the north bank of Duck River could not have been justified except by reference to the despatches showing Thomas's wishes and his assurance of reinforcements at those points. If I had been free to do so, nothing could have been plainer than my duty to have fallen back behind the Harpeth when I found that Thomas could not or would not reinforce me on the line of Duck River, and before Hood could endanger my retreat. Hence I was compelled to include in the history of that retreat the entire record of facts relating to
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Index (search)
198 Cooper, Maj.-Gen. Joseph A., guarding Duck River, 213, 258; battle of Franklin, 225 Coosa ts condition of Gen. Blunt's district, 93 Duck River, crossed by Hood, 129, 168, 170, 175, 192, 251, 260-262, 273, 317, 324, 341,343; crosses Duck River, 129, 168, 170, 175, 192, 206, 208-210, 212-sville, 211; Thomas plans to draw him across Duck River, 211; S.'s belief in the ultimate defeat of,ds, and engagements see Brentwood; Columbia; Duck River; Franklin; Harpeth River; Nashville; Pulaskiin, 177; at Columbia, 202; supporting Cox at Duck River, 207; despatch from X., Nov. 29, 1864, 214; at Columbia, 168; urges holding the line of Duck River, 168, 171, 207; approves S.'s actions, 169; boroa, 206; plans the drawing of Hood across Duck River, 211; advises S. to retreat to Franklin, 212v. 29, 1864, 212; reports Hood's crossing of Duck River, 213; to cover Franklin and Spring Hill, 214anklin, 176, 180; reports Hood's crossing of Duck River, 214; placed between Duck River and Rutherfo[9 more...]