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[221] from me, as follows, I having arrived at Franklin between 4 and 5 A. M.:

Franklin, November 30, 1864, 5 A. M.
Have just seen your despatch to Captain Twining of 4 A. M. If Smith is not needed for the immediate defense of Nashville, I think he had better march for Franklin at once. He could at least cover my wagon-train if I have to fall back from here.

Franklin, November 30, 1864, 5:30 A. M.
I hope to get my troops and material safely across the Harpeth this morning. We have suffered no material loss so far. I shall try and get Wilson on my flank this morning. Forrest was all around us yesterday, but we brushed him away in the evening and came through. Hood attacked in the front and flank, but did not hurt us.

This last despatch was written before daylight, on my arrival at Franklin, before I learned that there were no bridges across the river. If pontoons had been laid or the wagon and railroad bridges improved on the 29th, as was done by me after my arrival, all could have crossed by noon of the 30th.

General Thomas's reply of 10:25 A. M. was as follows:

Your despatches of 5:30 and 5:50, and Wilson's despatches, forwarded to you, have been received. It will take Smith quite all day to disembark; but if I find there is no immediate necessity to retain him here, will send him to Franklin or Brentwood, according to circumstances. If you can prevent Hood from turning your position at Franklin, it should be held; but I do not wish you to risk too much. I send you a map of the environs of Franklin.

Again I telegraphed at 9:50 A. M.:

My trains are coming in all right, and half of the troops are here and the other half about five miles out, coming on in good order, with light skirmishing. I will have all across the river

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