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[228] point in our rear, that was only what General Thomas had been apprehending all the time, and to meet which he had assembled eight thousand troops in Nashville, perhaps not informing the commander of his own cavalry of that fact quite as early as he might have done.1

In fact, the redoubtable Forrest had become famous, and his troopers were esteemed a very large factor in the problem then undergoing solution—greater in some respects, as I have pointed out, than the events justified. In my report of the battle of Franklin I gave all the information in my possession of the gallant action of our cavalry in driving that of the enemy back across the Harpeth at the very time when his infantry assault was decisively repulsed.

I have always regarded it as a very remarkable, and to me a very fortunate, circumstance that the movements of my infantry columns were at no time seriously interfered with by the enemy's more numerous cavalry—not even at Spring Hill, where Stanley was attacked by cavalry as well as infantry. Hence I have had no inclination to make any investigation respecting the details of the action of troops, only temporarily under my command, whose gallant conduct and untiring vigilance contributed all that was needed to the complete success of the military operations intrusted to my immediate direction by our common superior, the department commander. I have now, as always heretofore, only words of highest praise for the services of the cavalry corps under my command.

The Fourth Corps was under my own eye nearly all the time; and sometimes, in emergencies, I even gave orders directly to the subordinate commanders, without the formality of sending them through the corps commander. Hence I have spoken of that corps with the same freedom as of my own Twenty-third; and I hope I have not failed

1 See Thomas's despatch of 8 P. M., November 29, to Colonel H. C. Wharton, Wilson's staff officer: War Records, Vol. XLV, part i, p. 1146.

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