About A. J. Smith
I was in a like state of uncertainty.
Only one thing was clear, and that was that I must hold Hood
back, if possible, until informed that Thomas
had concentrated his troops; for if I failed in that, Hood
would not only force me back upon Nashville
was ready to meet him there, but would get possession of the Chattanooga Railroad, and thus cut off the troops coming to Nashville
from that direction.
After considering the matter some time in the night, I decided to hold on at least until morning.
Early in the morning a brigade of infantry was sent up the river to reconnoiter and watch the enemy's movements; at the same time Stanley
was ordered, with two divisions of his corps, back to Spring Hill
, to occupy and intrench a position there covering the roads and the trains, which were ordered to be parked at that place, and General Thomas H. Ruger
was ordered to join him.
About 8 A. M. on the 29th came a despatch from Thomas
, dated 8 P. M. of the day before, conveying the information that Smith
had not arrived, and saying nothing about any other reinforcements, but expressing the wish that the Duck River
position be held until Smith
arrived; and another despatch designating Franklin
, behind the Harpeth River
, as the place to which I would have to retire if it became necessary to fall back from Duck River
I then decided to hold on to the crossing of Duck River
until the night of the 29th, thus gaining twenty-four hours more for Thomas
to concentrate his troops.
I did not apprehend any serious danger at Spring Hill
; for Hood
's infantry could not reach that place over a wretched country road much before night, and Stanley
, with one division and our cavalry, could easily beat off Forrest
Hence I retained Ruger
's division and one of Stanley
's, and disposed all the troops to resist any attempt Hood
might make, by marching directly from his bridges upon my position on the north bank of Duck River
, to dislodge me