, attempting to defend the crossing of Harpeth river
; but Johnson
's division, which had been sent down the Hillsboroa pike
, now came up from the south and struck the enemy's rear, forcing him to decamp; leaving 1,800 of his wounded and 200 of ours in hospital here to fall into Wilson
Four miles south of Franklin
, another stand was made by the enemy's rear-guard; but Wilson
ordered his body-guard (4th regular cavalry) to charge through their center, while Knipe
pressed their flanks; and again they were routed and scattered, losing more guns.
Night now closed in, and enabled most of the fugitives to escape.
The pursuit was kept up for several days; but rain fell almost incessantly; the country was flooded; the brooks were raging rivers; the fleeing enemy of course burned the bridges after crossing them; Thomas
's pontoon train was away with Sherman
; and the roads were hardly passable in the rear of the fleeing foe. Thus the Harpeth
's creek, and Duck river
, were crossed; the weather at length changing from dreary, pelting rain to bitter cold; Forrest
— who had been absent on a raid when our army pushed out from the defenses of Nashville-rejoining Hood
, and forming a rear-guard of 4,000 infantry under Walthall
, and all his cavalry that was still effective.
With this, after leaving Pulaski
he turned sharply on our leading brigade of cavalry (Harrison
's) and captured a gun, which was carried off, though the ground on which it was lost was almost instantly recovered.
The pursuit was continued to Lexington
Ala.; when, learning that Hood
had got across the Tennessee
ordered a halt; Gen. Steedman
having already been sent from Franklin
across to Murfreesboroa, and thence by rail to Stevenson
, where was Gen. Granger
, with the former garrisons of Huntsville
, Athens (Ala.)
, and Decatur
, with directions to reoccupy our former posts in north Alabama
, then cross the Tennessee
and threaten the enemy's railroad communications.
He reached Decatur
on the 27th; only to learn that Hood
was already so far advanced that operations south of the Tennessee
would be useless.
Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee
had been requested by Thomas
to send all the gunboats he could spare up the Tennessee
to head off Hood
; and had done so; but, though he reached Chickasaw, Miss.
, on the 24th, destroying there a Rebel battery, and capturing 2 guns at Florence
, he did not intercept Hood
, he sent 800 cavalry, with 2 guns, under Brig.-Gen. Lyon
, by our right across the Cumberland
to break up the Louisville railroad in Thomas
was manifestly too weak to effect any thing of importance.
He took Hopkinsville, Ky.
, and was soon afterward attacked, near Greensburg
, by Lagrange
's brigade, and worsted; losing one of his guns and some prisoners; hurrying thence, sharply pursued, by Elizabethtown
, where he recrossed the Cumberland
, and raced southward by McMinnville
and Winchester, Tenn.
, to Larkinsville, Alabama
; thence moving east and attacking3