to follow immediately in proper order as then formed in line.
These orders were somehow misunderstood.
The order of march was reversed, and the troops, except Ruger
's, and Whitaker
's brigade of Kimball
's division, did not move at once.
But the delay did no harm, and I did not know of the mistake until several days afterward.
had only known of that mistake, he might have troubled me no little, perhaps, by pushing a column across from his camp, south of Whitaker
's right flank at Spring Hill
, until it reached the Columbia turnpike
But I had prepared even for that, as well as I could, by sending a company of infantry to occupy the only crossroad I could see near Spring Hill
as we approached that place.
I ordered the captain of that company to hold that road at all hazards until he was relieved by my orders!
Some of Hood
's troops ‘relieved’ him next morning!
We have to do cruel things sometimes in war. On arriving at Spring Hill
's brigade was put in line on the right of the troops then in position, so as to cover the turnpike on which we were marching.
This was about dark.
In a few minutes the Confederate
camp-fires were lighted a few hundred yards in front of that brigade.
It was a very interesting sight, but I don't think any of Whitaker
's men cared to give the Confederates
a similar view of them.
After stopping to see Stanley
a few minutes, and learning that some of Forrest
's troopers had been seen at Thompson's Station
, three miles farther north, about dusk, I went with Ruger
's division to drive them off and clear the way to Franklin
To my great surprise, I found only smoldering fires—no cavalry.
This was where our men passed so close to the ‘bivouac’ that they ‘lighted their pipes by the enemy's camp-fires’; and that is the way romance is woven into history!
But I took it for granted that the famous Forrest
must be on my road somewhere; for he was there in the afternoon, and I had