wherein a part of the garrison gained the rear of the rifle-pits on his left; clearing them and taking 120 prisoners. On that day, one of the batteries on his right was carried and spiked by Col. Morgan
's 14th U. S. colored, with some loss; and he drew off westward next evening.
The pressure on Decatur
was a feint to cover his crossing farther west; which was soon effected near Florence
, in spite of resistance by Gen. Croxton
's brigade of cavalry, there picketing the river.
, moving eastward from Corinth, Miss.
, through Paris, Tenn.
, with 17 regiments of cavalry and 9 guns, had struck the Tennessee
, an important depot connected by railroad with Nashville
, and a chief reliance of that city for supplies; defended by Col. C. R. Thompson
, 12th U. S. colored, with 1,000 men, aided by Lt. E. M. King
with three gunboats; and several days'2
sharp fighting ensued; the enemy ultimately drawing off, upon the approach by rail of Gen. Schofield
with his 23d corps from Nashville
; but not till — our mariners having been worsted in a fight with Forrest
's cavalry — our commanders had fired their gunboats and transports, lest they should fall into the enemy's hands; and the flames had extended to the stores on the levee and the commissary's and quartermaster's depots, involving a loss of $1,500,000 worth of provisions, &c., just when they could worst be spared.
reports this destruction needless and unjustifiable.
It being no longer doubtful that Hood
— who bad been reenforced by part of Dick Taylor
's army from below — was about to follow his vanguard across the Tennessee
directed a concentration of the 4th and 23d corps on Pulaski
, with intent to impede rather than seriously dispute the Rebel
advance on Nashville
's infantry, according to our best advices, now exceeded 40,000; his cavalry were 12,000, well equipped, in high spirits, under their boldest and most skillful leader; so that, including artillery, the entire Rebel force, well concentrated, was not far from 55,000 men. Many of these were Tennesseans and Kentuckians, long exiled, who had come home to stay, alive or dead.
To oppose these, Thomas
had in hand the 4th corps, Gen. Stanley
, 12,000; the 23d, Gen. Schofield
, 10,000; and 8,000 cavalry, under Hatcher
, and Capron
— in all 30,000 men. He may have had as many more, scattered over the wide region under his command; but, to concentrate these, he must abandon such posts as Chattanooga
, &c., and in effect relinquish more to the enemy than they could hope to win by a victory.
He knew that time was on his side — that, if he fell back to Nashville
, showing a firm front that would compel Hood
to keep his army together, our strength would be constantly augmenting, while the enemy must be steadily weakened.
There was a more brilliant alternative, but he chose to be safe.
remained near Kingston, Ga.
, menacing his flank and rear, Hood
seemed to linger on the Tennessee
; possibly deeming the odds against him too great; perhaps not yet fully provided and equipped