previous next

(Another despatch from Thomas, dated November 28, 10 A. M., appears in the records, in which he said: ‘. . . General Smith will certainly be here in three days. . . .’ But when that despatch reached my headquarters in the field, the cipher-operator had left his post and gone to Franklin. Hence the despatch could not be read by me in time to be of any service. The records do not show when I received it.)

I was then confronted with the grave question, How long might it be possible to hold Hood back, and thus gain time for Thomas to get up his reinforcements? By holding on to the crossing of Duck River at Columbia until dark that night, and thus preventing Hood from using the turnpike for the movement of his artillery and trains until the next day, we would practically gain twenty-four hours; for he could not move them readily over his mud road from Huey's Mill. To do this, I must not only head Hood off at Spring Hill, but defeat any attempt he might make to dislodge me from the north bank of Duck River.

Early on November 29, I sent the following brief despatch in reply to both of those which had been received a few minutes before from General Thomas:

The enemy's cavalry has crossed in force on the Lewisburg pike, and General Wilson reports the infantry crossing above Huey's Mill, about five miles from this place. I have sent an infantry reconnoissance to learn the facts. If it proves true, I will act according to your instructions received this morning. Please send orders to General Cooper,1 via Johnsonville. It may be doubtful whether my messenger from here will reach him.

The appendix to General Thomas's report says that I sent this despatch at ‘8:30 A. M.’ The appendix to my report says ‘8:20 A. M.’ This despatch was evidently in

1 1 Cooper commanded the brigade guarding the river below Columbia.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George H. Thomas (4)
John B. Hood (3)
Cooper (2)
J. H. Wilson (1)
A. J. Smith (1)
Franklin (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 29th (1)
November 28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: