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[70] lines in some disorder, but were soon rallied and presented a good front to the enemy. It was a fortunate circumstance that the enemy was too much crippled to pursue us on the Franklin pike. The only pursuit made at that time was by a small force coming from the Gracey White pike. Having been informed by an aide of the General Commanding, that the enemy were near Brentwood, and that it was necessary to get beyond that point at once, everything was hastened to the rear. When Brentwood was passed, the enemy was only half a mile from the Franklin pike, where Chalmer's cavalry was fighting them. Being charged with covering the retreat of the army, I remained in rear with Clayton's and part of Stevenson's divisions, and halted the rear guard about seven miles north of Franklin about 10 P. M. on the 16th. Early on the morning of the 17th our cavalry was driven in in confusion by the enemy, who at once commenced a most vigorous pursuit, his cavalry charging at every opportunity and in the most daring manner. It was apparant that they were determined to make the retreat a rout if possible. Their boldness was soon checked by many of them being killed and captured by Pettus' Alabama and Stovall's Georgia brigades and Bledsoe's battery under Major-General Clayton. Several guidons were captured in one of their charges. I was soon compelled to withdraw rapidly towards Franklin, as the enemy was throwing a force in my rear from both the right and left of the pike on roads coming into the pike near Franklin and five miles in my rear. This force was checked by Brigader-General Gibson, with his brigade and a regiment of Buford's cavalry under Colonel Shacklett. The resistance which the enemy had met with early in the morning, and which materially checked his movements, enabled us to reach Franklin with but little difficulty. Here the enemy appeared in considerable force and exhibited great boldness, but he was repulsed and the crossing of the Harpeth river effected. I found that there was in the town of Franklin a large number of our own and of the enemy's wounded, and not wishing to subject them and the town to the fire of the enemy's artillery, the town was yielded with but little resistance. Some four or five hours were gained by checking the enemy about 1 1/2 half miles south of Franklin and by the destruction of the trestle bridge over the Harpeth, which was effected by Captain Coleman, the engineer officer on my staff, and a party of pioneers, under a heavy fire of the enemy's sharpshooters. About 4 P. M., the enemy, having crossed a considerable force, commenced a bold and vigorous attack, charging


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