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[203]

Schofield to Thomas.

Columbia, November 24, 1864, 8:30 P. M.
I have examined the ground and considered the situation carefully. My troops are in position on the outer line, covering the railroad depot and bridge, and pretty well intrenched. The line is too long; yet if Hood wishes to fight me on it to-morrow, I am willing. I think he will attack to-morrow, if at all. If he does not, I must prepare to meet any attempt to cross Duck River above or below. For this purpose I am preparing an interior line covering the railroad bridge, which can be held by about seven thousand men, which I propose to occupy, and put the rest of my troops and material on the north bank of the river, ready to move as may be necessary. With the fords guarded, as will then be practicable, I think Hood cannot get the start of me. I think it best not to risk much now; for a few days' delay, if we concentrate rapidly, will make us strong enough to drive Hood back. My theory is that he will operate against the Chattanooga Railroad, and I do not see how we can save it from some damage at least. But if we concentrate Granger's troops and those along the road promptly, so that they can join the main force, there can be no doubt of the final result. Please inform me whether my proposed arrangements meet with your approval.


Thomas to Schofield.

Nashville, November 24, 1864.
. . . Can you not cover the pontoon bridge with a bridgehead, and hold it so as to preserve the bridge for crossing whenever we get ready to advance? General Rousseau informed me that the blockhouses protecting the railroad bridge cannot be reached by the enemy's artillery; therefore the enemy could not get near enough to the bridge to destroy it if the blockhouses are held. . .


As stated in my official report, I did prepare and hold a bridge-head covering both the railroad and the pontoon bridges over Duck River at the same time, for which purpose I floated the pontoons down the river to a point near the railroad bridge, having found that the blockhouses

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John B. Hood (3)
George H. Thomas (2)
J. M. Schofield (2)
Laurence H. Rousseau (1)
R. S. Granger (1)
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November 24th, 1864 AD (2)
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