it could be determined which Thomas was to support. McCook arrived at Triune, and reported that Hardee had retreated, and that he had sent a division in pursuit. Crittenden began his advance about eleven o'clock A. M., driving before him a brigade of cavalry, supported by Maury's brigade of rebel infantry, and reached Stewart's Creek, the Third Kentucky gallantly charging the rear-guard of the enemy and saving the bridge, on which had been placed a pile of rails that had been set on fire. This was Saturday night. McCook having settled the fact of Hardee's retreat, Thomas moved Negley's division on to join Crittenden at Stewart's Creek, and moved Rousseau's to Nolinsville. On Sunday the troops rested, except Rousseau's division, which was ordered to move on to Stewardston, and Willich's brigade, which had pursued Hardee as far as Riggs's Cross-Roads, and had determined the fact that Hardee had gone to Murfreesboro, when they returned to Triune. On Monday morning McCook was ordered to move from Triune to Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, six miles from Murfreesboro, leaving a brigade at Triune. Crittenden crossed Stewart's Creek by the Smyrna bridge, on the main Murfreesboro pike, and Negley by the ford two miles above, their whole force to advance on Murfreesboro, distant about eleven miles. Rousseau was to remain at Stewart's Creek until his train came up, and prepare himself to follow. McCook reached Wilkinson's Cross-Roads by evening, with an advance brigade at Overall's Creek, saving and holding the bridge, meeting with but little resistance. Crittenden's corps advanced, Palmer leading, on the Murfreesboro pike, followed by Negley, of Thomas's corps, to within three miles of Murfreesboro, having had several brisk skirmishes, driving the enemy rapidly, saving two bridges on the route, and forcing the enemy back to his intrenchments. About three P. M., a signal message coming from the front, from Gen. Palmer, that he was in sight of Murfreesboro, and the enemy were running, an order was sent to Gen. Crittenden to send a division to occupy Murfreesboro. This led Gen. Crittenden, on reaching the enemy's front, to order Harker's brigade to cross the river at a ford on his left, where he surprised a regiment of Breckinridge's division, and drove it back on its main lines, not more than five hundred yards distant, in considerable confusion; and he held this position until Gen. Crittenden was advised, by prisoners captured by Harker's brigade, that Breckinridge was in force on his front, when, it being dark, he ordered the brigade back across the river, and reported the circumstances to the Commanding General on his arrival, to whom he apologized for not having carried out the order to occupy Murfreesboro. The General approved of his action, of course, the order to occupy Murfreesboro having been based on the information received from Gen. Crittenden's advance division, that the enemy were retreating from Murfreesboro. Crittenden's corps, with Negley's division, bivouacked in order of battle, distant seven hundred yards from the enemy's intrenchments, our left extending down the river some five hundred yards. The pioneer brigade bivouacking still lower down, prepared three fords, and covered one of them, while Wood's division covered the other two, Van Cleve's division being in reserve. On the morning of the thirtieth, Rousseau, with two brigades, was ordered down early from Stewart's Creek, leaving one brigade there, and sending another to Smyrna to cover our left and rear, and took his place in reserve, in rear of Palmer's right, while Gen. Negley moved on through the cedar brakes, until his right rested on the Wilkinson pike, as shown by the accompanying plan. The pioneer corps cut roads through the cedars for his ambulances and ammunition wagons. The Commanding General remained with the left and centre, examining the ground, while Gen. McCook moved forward from Wilkinson's Cross-Roads slowly and steadily, meeting with heavy resistance, fighting his way from Overall's Creek until he got into position, with a loss of some one hundred and thirty-five killed and wounded. Our small division of cavalry — say three thousand men — had been divided into three parts, of which Gen. Stanley took two, and accompanied Gen. McCook, fighting his way across from the Wilkinson to the Franklin pike and below it, Col. Zahn's brigade leading gallantly, and meeting with such heavy resistance that McCook sent two brigades from Johnson's division, which succeeded in fighting their way into the position shown on the accompanying plan, marked A, while the third brigade which had been left at Triune, moved forward from that place, and arrived at nightfall near Gen. McCook's headquarters. Thus, on the close of the thirtieth, the troops had all got into the position substantially as shown in the accompanying drawing, the rebels occupying the position marked A. At four o'clock in the afternoon, Gen. McCook had reported his arrival on the Wilkinson pike, joining Thomas; the result of the combat in the afternoon near Greison's home, and the fact that Sheridan was in position there, that his right was advancing to support the cavalry; also that Hardee's corps, with two divisions of Polk's, was on his front, extending down toward the Salem pike. Without any map of the ground, which was to us terra incognita, when Gen. McCook informed the General Commanding that his corps was facing strongly toward the east, the General Commanding told him that such a direction to his line did not appear to him a proper one, but that it ought, with the exception of his left, to face
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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