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[525] and put Bate's command in to support Cleburne; and that he would push Brown forward to join me.

As soon as the division of General Bate had crossed the creek, I rode forward, and, at a point on the road about one and a half miles from Spring Hill, I saw the left of Oleburne's command just disappearing over a hill to the left of the road. Halting here, I waited a few minutes for the arrival of Bate, and formed his command with his right upon the position of Cleburne's left, and ordered him forward to the support of Cleburne. Shortly after Bate's division had disappeared over the same range of hills, I heard firing toward Cleburne's right, and just then General Brown's division had come up. I thereupon ordered Brown to proceed to the right, turn the range of hills over which Cleburne and Bate had crossed, and to form line of battle, and attack to the right of Cleburne. The division of General Brown was in motion to execute this order, when I received a message from Cleburne that his right brigade had been struck in flank by the enemy, and had suffered severely, and that he had been compelled to fall back and reform his division with a change of front.

It so happened that the direction of Cleburne's advance was such as had exposed his right flank to the enemy's line. When his command was formed on the road by which he had marched from Rutherford's creek neither the village of Spring Hill nor the turnpike could be seen. Instead of advancing directly upon Spring Hill his forward movement was a little south of west and almost parallel with the turn-pike toward Columbia, instead of northwest upon the enemy's lines south and east of the village. A reference to the map will show Cleburne's line of advance.

General Cleburne was killed in the assault upon Franklin the next day, and I had no opportunity to learn from him how it was that the error of direction occurred.

Meanwhile General Bate, whom I had placed in position on the left of Cleburne's line of march, continued to move forward in the same direction until he had reached the farm of N. F. Cheairs, one and a half miles south of Spring Hill.

After Brown had reached the position indicated to him and had formed a line of battle he sent to inform me that it would be certain disaster for him to attack, as the enemy's line extended beyond his right several hundred yards. I sent word to him to throw back his right brigade and make the attack. I had already sent couriers after General Bate to bring him back and direct him to join Cleburne's left. Going to the right of my line, I found Generals Brown and Cleburne,

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