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‘ [267] orders of Major-General Thomas, my command moved on the enemy's works.’ It is not stated whether these orders were oral or written. No copy of them appears in the records, nor any mention of a personal interview with General Thomas or any of his staff. (Steedman was the man who published a falsehood about an alleged telegram from me to Grant about Thomas. See page 296.)

General T. J. Wood's report, dated January 5, 1865, after describing the operations of the morning of December 16, says: ‘After the dispositions above recounted had been made, the commanding general joined me near our most advanced position on the Franklin pike, examined the positions of the troops, approved the same, and ordered that the enemy should be vigorously pressed and unceasingly harassed by our fire. He further directed that I should be constantly on the alert for any opening for a more decisive effort, but for the time to bide events. The general plan of the battle for the preceding day— namely, to outflank and turn his left—was still to be acted on. Before leaving me, the commanding general desired me to confer with Major-General Steedman, whose command had moved out that morning from Nashville by the Nolensville pike, and arrange a military connection between his right and my left.’ This appears from General Wood's report to have occurred a short time before noon, and seems to have been the first information given to any of the corps commanders of the general plan of operations for December 16. General Wood's report does not suggest that even he, who had visited the commanding general the night before, had been given any information about any such general plan; and that statement of Wood's, ‘the general plan of the battle for the preceding day—namely, to outflank and turn his left— was still to be acted on,’ was written many days after the battle, and then did not say that General Thomas had at any time so ordered.

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