victory have amply repaid, and will continue to repay in all time, for all those immense sacrifices and sufferings.
undoubtedly made a mistake in his plan of operations after he crossed Duck River
on the night of November 28-9.
His march on Spring Hill
would have been the best if it had succeeded
. But he failed to estimate accurately what he could accomplish in a short winter day over a very bad road.
In a long day of summer, with that road in the usual summer condition, he might have reached Spring Hill
early in the afternoon, with force enough to accomplish his purpose before night, if he had found a single division, or even two divisions, there.
But he failed simply because he tried to do what was not possible.
crossed the river he was not more than five miles (his own journal says three) from the left flank of my position on the north bank.
The intervening space was open fields, not much, if any, more difficult for the march of infantry than the dirt road he actually used.
If he had moved directly upon my flank, he could have brought on a general engagement about noon, with a force at least equal to mine.
In anticipation of such a movement, I sent a brigade toward Huey's Mill to watch Hood
's movements, and formed line of battle facing in that direction and covering the turnpike to Spring Hill
, for which purpose I detained one of the two divisions of Stanley
's corps which, at first, had been ordered to Spring Hill
I was willing to fight Hood
in that position, and expected to do so. But I felt relieved when I found he had undertaken the much more difficult task of marching to Spring Hill
, where I believed sufficient preparations had been made to oppose him until I could reach that place by a broad macadamized road over which I could march rapidly by day or by night.
I now believe my judgment at that time was correct: that what I had most to apprehend was not an attempt