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[245] rode to the rear to where General Thomas's headquarters were supposed to be, and there found that he had gone back to his house in Nashville, to which place I followed him. He appeared surprised at my suggestion that we would find Hood in line of battle ready to receive us in the morning, or even ready to strike our exposed right flank before we could renew the attack, instead of in full retreat, as he had assumed. I told him I knew Hood much better than he did, and I was sure he would not retreat. Finally, after considerable discussion I obtained a modification of the order so far as to direct the cavalry to remain where it was until Hood's action should be known, and an order for some of A. J. Smith's troops to support the right if necessary. But no orders whatever were given, to my knowledge, looking to a battle the next day—at least none for my troops or the cavalry.

The next morning revealed the enemy in his new position, his left remaining where it was the night before, in my immediate front, but the rest of his line far back from the ground on which the other portions of Thomas's army had passed the night. Some time was of course required for the other corps to come up and get in contact with the enemy, and the whole forenoon was passed by me in impatient anxiety and fruitless efforts to get from General Thomas some orders or authority that would enable us all to act together—that is, the cavalry and the two infantry corps on the right. At length the cavalry, without orders from General Thomas, had worked well round on the enemy's left so as to threaten his rear; I had ordered Cox, commanding my right division, to advance his right in conjunction with the movement of the cavalry, and at the proper time to attack the left of the enemy's intrenchments covering the Granny White pike, and that movement had commenced; while, having been informed by General Darius

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George H. Thomas (4)
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