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[519] portion of his army in Atlanta, and give Hood an opportunity of fighting him in detail. The movement was made, and in the main successful, except no opportunity was given for engaging Sherman's forces in detail. It was then resolved to move Hood's army into Tennessee and destroy Thomas and then take possession of Kentucky and threaten Ohio.

The conception was a bold one. Its execution involved leaving a large Federal army in Georgia, which could march unobstructed to the sea, cutting again in twain the Confederacy, or it would move back and join Thomas, securing the destruction of Hood. It was at first determined to cross the Tennessee river above Decatur, but Forrest was near Jackson, Tennessee, and unacquainted with the plan of campaign, and on account of the swollen condition of the Tennessee river could not cross below Florence.

So it was determined to cross the entire army at that point, and as soon as our commander (Forrest) received orders we hastened to Tuscumbia, where we joined Hood's army. Some delay was occasioned in repairing the Memphis and Charleston railroad so as to bring sufficient supplies for the expedition. The country is poor from Florence northward until you reach the neighborhood of Pulaski and Mount Pleasant, and we were required to take sufficient forage to last until we could reach the fertile country of Middle Tennessee.

Our division, commanded by General Chalmers, covered the left of the army, and about the 19th of November, 1864, the army was put in motion.

General Hood commanded the expedition, with three army corps of infantry commanded by Generals Stewart, S. D. Lee and Cheatham, with Forrest in command of the cavalry. The entire force numbered about thirty thousand. It was as gallant an army as ever any Captain commanded. The long march from Atlanta had caused the timid and sick to be left behind, and every man remaining was a veteran. Then the long and sad experience of retreating was now reversed, and we were going to redeem Tennessee and Kentucky, and the morale of the army was excellent.

We hoped to cut off a large body of Federals at Pulaski, but by a forced march they got into Columbia just in time to prevent capture. On the 27th of November we formed around Columbia, the two wings of the army resting on Duck river, Cheatham being to the right.

General Schofield retired to the north side of Duck river, and an artillery fire was kept up during the 28th. General Hood supposed Schofield would remain a day or two on the opposite side of the river,

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J. B. Hood (6)
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