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[538] direction of my column to the left, and we reached the Lewisburg or Rally Hill pike, near the toll-gate, a distance of one and one-half miles from Spring Hill. This was within an hour or an hour and a half of sunset. I could distinctly see the enemy in force both of infantry and artillery, at Spring Hill, but I did not, and perhaps could not, at that point, see either troops or wagons moving on the Columbia pike. Forrest's cavalry were on higher ground, northeast of my position. I was ordered to form line of battle and “take” Spring Hill. Gist's brigade and the detachment from Strahl had not reported. I formed my line as speedily as worn troops could move, and, after throwing forward a skirmish line, advanced four hundred or five hundred yards, when I discovered a line of the enemy thrown out of Spring Hill, across and threatening my right flank, and I then discovered for the first time that General Forrest's cavalry, which I had been assured would protect my right, had been ordered to another part of the field, leaving me without any protection on my right flank or support in the rear. I had neither artillery nor cavalry, and was left in a position where I must meet with inevitable disaster if I advanced on Spring Hill. A hasty consultation with my brigade commanders resulted in a determination to suspend the advance and confer with the corps commander. I need not remind you that in a very few minutes you were upon the field and fully approved of what had been done, as also did General Hood a little later, when he directed that the attack should be delayed until the arrival of Generals Stewart and Gist, and in the meantime that the whole command should be held under orders to advance at a moment's notice.

General Gist's brigade reported a little after nightfall, and was immediately placed in position on my right. General Stewart's corps came up later and went into bivouac on the stream in rear of my right, where it remained until the following morning.

I received no further orders that evening or during the night to. advance or change my position. After daylight on the morning of the 30th November, I took up the line of march for Franklin, the enemy in the meantime having preceded us, under circumstances of which you are fully advised.

On the march to Franklin General Cleburne, with whom I had long enjoyed very close personal relations, sent a message to the head of my column requesting an interview. Allowing my column to pass on, I awaited his arrival. When he came up we rode apart from the column through the fields, and he told me with much feeling that he had heard that the Commanding General was endeavoring to place upon him the

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