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[266] severe storm of freezing rain poured down upon the waiting armies and held the country in its frigid grasp. The ground was covered with a glare of ice. Horses and men slid and sprawled on the slippery surface. It was impossible to move an army under such conditions. Still the bombardment of messages from the East continued.

On December 14th, the ice began to melt. That night Thomas called a council of his corps commanders and laid before them his well-matured plans for the morrow's battle. Then he telegraphed to Grant that the ice had melted and the attack would be made in the morning. Had the storm continued, the attack must have been postponed and Thomas probably would not have been the hero of Nashville. Even as it was, Logan was hurrying from the East toward that city to take command of the army. When he reached Louisville, in Kentucky, on the 17th, he heard that the battle was over and he came no farther.

At four on the morning of December 15th, reveille sounded through the Union Camp of fifty-five thousand soldiers. Two hours later, the men were standing in array of battle. The air was soft and even balmy. A heavy river-fog hung over the lowlands and across the city. In the dense pall, regiments of soldiers, like phantom warriors, moved across the country.

By nine o'clock the sun had pierced the mist and to the observers on the hilltops it was a brilliant spectacle. The battle-lines were rapidly forming. With the precision of a well-oiled machine, the battalions were moving to their places. Squadrons of cavalry were passing along the lowlands to take their position in the battle-line. Great guns glinted through embrasures ready to vomit forth their missiles of destruction.

The plan of the battle of Nashville as formed by Thomas was simple — a feint attack on the opposing army's right, the striking of a sudden and irresistible blow on his left, followed by successive attacks until the Southern army was battered into

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