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“‘ [529] aid him in every way you can, and do as he directs.’ Again, as a parting injunction to them, I added: ‘Go and do this at once. Stewart is near at hand, and I will have him doublequick his men to the front.’ ” --Advance and Retreat, pp. 284, 285.

There is not a bit of truth in this entire paragraph. At the hour named, 3 P. M., there was no movement of “wagons and men” in the vicinity of Spring Hill. Moreover, from the crossing at Duck river to the point referred to by General Hood the turnpike was never in view, nor could it be seen until I had moved up to within three-quarters of a mile of Spring Hill. Only a mirage would have made possible the vision which this remarkable statement professes to record.

“ They immediately sent staff officers to hurry the men forward, and moved off with the troops at a quick pace in the direction of the enemy. I dispatched several of my staff to the rear, with orders to Stewart and Johnson to make all possible haste. Meantime I rode to one side and looked on at Cleburne's division, followed by the remainder of Cheatham's corps, as it marched by seemingly ready for battle. Within about one-half hour from the time Cheatham left me skirmishing began with the enemy, when I rode forward to a point nearer the pike, and again sent a staff officer to Stewart and Johnson to push forward. At the same time I dispatched a messenger to General Cheatham to lose no time in gaining possession of the pike at Spring Hill. It was reported back that he was about to do so.” --Advance and Retreat, p. 285.

General Hood conveniently forgot to mention in his account of this affair the facts as to his orders to me at Rutherford's creek. And he also forgot that, at the very moment he claims to have sent staff officers to the rear, with orders to Stewart and Johnson to make all possible haste, Stewart was forming line of battle on the south side of Rutherlord's creek, in pursuance of orders from him; nor did he remember that Stewart's corps was not ordered forward until about dusk.

“I knew no large force of the enemy could be at Spring Hill, as couriers reported Schofield's main body still in front of Lee, at Columbia, up to a late hour in the day. I thought it probable that Cheatham had taken possession of Spring Hill without encountering material opsition, or had formed line across the pike, north of the town, and entrenched without coming into serious contact with the enemy, which would account for the little musketry heard in his direction. However, to ascertain the truth, I sent an officer to ask Cheatham if he held the pike, and to inform him of the arrival of Stewart, whose corps I intended to throw on his left, in order to assail the Federals in flank ”

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Alexander P. Stewart (7)
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