Our cavalry gave us accurate information that the enemy was advancing on the 21st, when Cox
, with Wagner
in support, was ordered to interpose between the enemy's cavalry and Columbia
; while Stanley
, with two divisions of the Fourth Corps, marched from Pulaski
to that place, and our cavalry moved on the enemy's right to cover the turnpike and railroad.
The whole army was in position at Columbia
, November 24, and began to intrench.
's infantry did not appear in sight until the 26th.
had a brush with the enemy's cavalry, which had driven in one of our cavalry brigades.
That action was magnified at the time, and afterward, into evidence of a race between our troops and the enemy for the possession of Columbia
In fact, Ruger
's troops at Columbia
were quite capable of holding that place against Forrest
's infantry was not within a day's march of either Cox
until after both had reached Columbia
We held our intrenched position in front of Columbia
until the evening of November 27, inviting an attack, and hoping that Thomas
would arrive with, or send, reinforcements in time to assume the offensive from Columbia
; but reinforcements did not come, and the enemy did not attack.
It became evident that Hood
's intention was not to attack that position, but to turn it by crossing Duck River
above; hence the army was moved to the north bank of the river in the night of the 27th.
It was still hoped that the line of Duck River
might be held until reinforcements could arrive.
was very urgent that this should be done, if possible, as the arrival of General A. J. Smith
's corps from Missouri
had been expected daily for some time, when General Thomas
intended, as it was understood, to come to the front in person with that corps and all the other troops he could assemble in his department, take command, and move against the enemy.
About that time was disclosed one of those contrivances