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headquarters, Department of the Cumberland, Nashville, Tenn., December 15, 1864.
Major-General J. H. Wilson, Commanding Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi.
General: I am directed by the major general commanding to say to you that you will remain in your present position until it is satisfactorily known whether the enemy will fight or retreat. In case he retreats, you will move your command on the Hillsborough pike across the Harpeth, and then take the most direct road or roads to the Franklin pike, and endeavor to capture or destroy the enemy's trains in their rear.

I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully your obedient servant,

Robt. H. Ramsey, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Both of these orders indicate a not unnatural state of doubt as to whether the enemy would ‘fight or retreat.’ The former directs what is to be done by the Fourth Corps in either case, while the latter directs what shall be done in case the enemy retreats, but says nothing about what shall be done if he does not retreat.

Hdqrs. Cavalry Corps, Mil. Div. Of the Mississippi, in the field, December 16, 1864, 10:10 A. M.
Major-General Schofield, Commanding Twenty-third Army Corps.
General: The regiment sent to the Granny White pike reports it strongly picketed toward us, with troops moving to our left. This is probably Chalmers's division. I have heard nothing from Johnson this morning; but, from what General Croxton reports, there is no doubt that Chalmers crossed the Hardin pike, moving toward Brentwood. The country on the left of the Hillsboroa pike, toward the enemy's left, is too difficult for cavalry operations. It seems to me if I was on the other flank of the Army I might do more to annoy the enemy, unless it is intended that I shall push out as directed last night.

Very respectfully,

J. H. Wilson, Brevet Major-General.

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