was commanding General Thomas
's army, operating in his department, wherein I had no control of anything in rear of the troops under my charge.
It was his duty to foresee and provide for all the necessities that might arise in the rear of the army in the field.
I telegraphed him again for a bridge at the Harpeth
on the 29th, when I found that retreat was inevitable, but he apparently did not get that despatch.
He nevertheless sent bridge material by rail to Franklin
, where it arrived on the morning of November 30, too late for the pontoons to be used, though the flooring was useful in covering the railroad bridge and the burned wagon-bridge.
I found also on the south side of the river a very large park of wagons belonging to the Department of the Cumberland, which, as well as my own trains and artillery, must be crossed over before I could withdraw my troops to the north side.
The troops were very much fatigued by their long night march, rendering considerable rest indispensable.
Hence there could not be much time in which to prepare defensive works with such obstructions as to insure successful defense against a very heavy assault.
But, much more serious, Hood
might cross the river above Franklin
with a considerable force of infantry, as well as with all his cavalry, before I could get my materials over and troops enough to meet him on the north side.
The situation at Franklin
had become vastly more serious than that at Columbia
or Spring Hill
, and solely because of the neglect of so simple a thing as to provide the bridge I had asked for across the Harpeth
If that had been done, my trains could have passed over at once, and the entire army could have crossed before Hood
To meet this greatest danger, Wood
's division of the Fourth Corps was crossed to the north side to support the cavalry in holding the fords above, if that should become necessary; while Wagner
's division, which had