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[208] which we can move offensively. Of course we cannot recross the river here. I could easily have held the bridge-head at the railroad, but it would have been useless, as we could not possibly advance from that point. Please give me your views and wishes.

This was answered by General Thomas at ‘8 P. M.,’ the answer being received by me next morning, November 29.

It is thus seen that up to the morning of November 28 I was still hoping for reinforcements on the line of Duck River, and thought I could stop Hood's advance by any line near the Columbia and Franklin pike, which I then held, as well as meet in good time any distant movement to turn my position. Accordingly, at 9:10 A. M. that day I telegraphed General Thomas:

I have all the fords above and below this place well watched and guarded as far as possible. Wilson is operating with his main force on my left. The enemy does not appear to have moved in that direction yet to any considerable distance. I will probably be able to give you pretty full information this evening. Do you not think the infantry at the distant crossings below here should now be withdrawn and cavalry substituted? I do not think we can prevent the crossing of even the enemy's cavalry, because the places are so numerous. I think the best we can do is to hold the crossings near us and watch the distant ones.

But I learned soon after noon of the same day that our cavalry found the fords so numerous that they could hardly watch them all, much less guard any of them securely; and a little later I learned that the enemy's cavalry had forced a crossing at some point only a few miles above, between Huey's Mill and the Lewisburg-Franklin pike. At 2:30 P. M. I telegraphed General Thomas:

The enemy was crossing in force a short distance this side of the Lewisburg pike at noon to-day, and had driven our cavalry

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