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[461] Starting from Spring Hill, Tennessee, and moving with his extraordinary celerity, he crossed the Tennessee river on the 27th and on the 28th joined Roddy, who was holding the enemy in check at Town creek. Before him was General Dodge, with about eight thousand infantry; and just as Forrest opened an artillery fire on him, a scout reported Colonel Streight, with two thousand two hundred cavalry, moving through Newburg towards Moulton, and before him lay unprotected the iron works of Monte Vallo, the workshops at Selma, and all the railroads of Alabama and Georgia; where he would strike, no one could tell. Forrest saw at once that the movement of Dodge was a feint, to cover the operations of Streight; and leaving a few regiments to keep up a show of resistance, he fell back that night toward Courtland, to prepare for the pursuit of Streight, which he commenced early on the morning of the 29th March, 1863. The story of that celebrated pursuit, which lasted four days and nights, almost without cessation; the constant skirmishing, amounting often to heavy battles; the flanking of the bridge over Black creek, through the aid of Miss Emma Sanson, who, mounting behind him on his horse, piloted him to an old ford; the courage and simplicity of that same country girl, spreading out her skirts and telling him to get behind her when they dismounted at the ford under fire of the enemy; the fierce fighting at Sand mountain at dusk, where men fought by the flash of their guns, and where Forrest had one horse killed and two wounded under him; the weird midnight attack, when he rolled his guns silently by hand to within one hundred and fifty yards of his unconscious foe, and awoke the slumbering echoes of the mountain with the thunder of his artillery; the sharp crack of the rifle and the Rebel yell, before which the enemy fled; and the final stratagem by which seventeen hundred Federals were captured by six hundred Confederates--has been so often and so vividly told, that it needs no repetition, until some Southern Waverly shall perpetuate it in romance, or some Southern Homer shall embalm it in undying verse.


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Streight (3)
Nathan Bedford Forrest (3)
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