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[254] in the field; but in fact I do neither. I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. Schofield, Major-General.

(Unofficial.)

Columbia, Tenn., December 28, 1864.
my dear General: Accept my hearty congratulations on the happy termination of your ‘pleasure excursion’ through Georgia. You must have had a merry Christmas surely.

As was predicted, you have had the fun, and we the hard work. But altogether your plan has been a brilliant success. Hood did n't follow you, . . . but he did me. I held him at Columbia several days, and hurt him considerably. Finally he got across the Duck River above, and made for Franklin via Spring Hill. I headed him off at Spring Hill with a division, and concentrated at Franklin. There he made the heaviest assaults I have ever seen, but was fairly repulsed and terribly punished. In fact we pretty much knocked all the fight out of him on that occasion, and he has shown very little since. Now I reckon he has n't any left.

I barely succeeded in delaying Hood until Thomas could get A. J. Smith and Steedman to Nashville, when he became abundantly strong, and after getting Wilson's cavalry together moved out and gave Hood a most thorough beating with all ease. The fact is, Hood's army showed scarcely any fight at all. I have never seen anybody except Jeff Thompson so easily beaten.

Stoneman has cleaned out Breckinridge and destroyed the salt-works and everything else in southwest Virginia; so all together matters are in pretty good shape in this part of the military division.

Thomas has given me nine new regiments, and promises three more. These will make a pretty good division for new troops.

All this being true, I take it the objects for which I was left in this part of the country have been accomplished, and I would like very much to be with you again, to take part in the future operations of the Grand Army. Cannot this be brought about?

Of course I can only conjecture what your operations will now be, and can hardly judge of the practicability of my joining you,


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