The records of the Department of the Cumberland merely state that this despatch was sent in ‘cipher.’ The appendix to my report gives the hour ‘9:30 P. M.’ The appendix to General Thomas's report fixes it at ‘10:30 P. M.’ The despatch from General Thomas to General Halleck of 10 P. M., November 28, forwarding my despatch of ‘8:45 A. M.,’ indicates that at 10 P. M. Thomas had not received my report of ‘2:30 P. M.’ Hence ‘10:30 P. M.,’ as given by General Thomas, must be the correct hour of the above despatch. It was answered by me, together with the preceding telegram, at 8:30 A. M., November 29; and was probably received by me at the same time as the previous despatch,—very soon after 8 A. M.,—as indicated by my despatch to Wilson of 8:15 A. M. I thus learned, a short time after eight o'clock on the morning of the 29th, that A. J. Smith had not yet arrived at Nashville, and that the position behind the Harpeth River at Franklin was that to which I must retire when compelled to fall back.
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