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[365] latter force, aided by railroad employes, the whole under the direction of Brigadier-General Tower, worked assiduously to construct additional defenses. Major-General Steedman, with a command numbering five thousand men, composed of detachments belonging to General Sherman's column, left behind at Chattanooga (of which mention has heretofore been made), and also a brigade of colored troops, started from Chattanooga by rail on the twenty-ninth of November, and reached Cowan on the morning of the thirtieth, where orders were sent him to proceed direct to Nashville. At an early hour on the morning of the thirtieth, the advance of Major-General A. J. Smith's command reached Nashville by transports from St. Louis. My infantry force was now nearly equal to that of the enemy, although he still outnumbered me very greatly in effective cavalry, but as soon as a few thousand of the latter arm could be mounted, I should be in a condition to take the field offensively, and dispute the possession of Tennessee with Hood's army.

The enemy followed closely after General Schofield's rear guard in the retreat to Franklin, and upon coming up with the main force formed rapidly, and advanced to assault our works, repeating attack after attack during the entire afternoon, and as late as ten P. M. his efforts to break our lines were continued. General Schofield's position was excellently chosen, with both flanks resting on the river, and his men firmly held their ground against an overwhelming enemy, who was repulsed in every assault along the whole line. Our loss, as given by General Schofield, in his report, transmitted herewith (and to which I respectfully refer), is one hundred and eighty-nine killed, one thousand and thirty-three wounded, and one thousand one hundred and four missing, making an aggregate of two thousand three hundred and twenty-six. We captured and sent to Nashville seven hundred and two prisoners, including one general officer and thirty-three stands of colors. Major-General D. S. Stanley, commanding Fourth corps, was severely wounded at Franklin while engaged in rallying a portion of his command, which had been temporarily overpowered by an overwhelming attack of the enemy. At the time of the battle the enemy's loss was known to be severe, and was estimated at five thousand. The exact figures were only obtained, however, on the reoccupation of Franklin by our forces, after the battles of December fifteen and sixteen, at Brentwood Hills. near Nashville, and are given as follows: Buried upon the field, one thousand seven hundred and fifty; disabled and placed in hospital at Franklin, three thousand eight hundred, which, with the seven hundred and two prisoners already reported, makes an aggregate loss to Hood's army of six thousand two hundred and fifty-two, among whom were six general officers killed, six wounded, and one captured. The important results of this signal victory cannot be too highly appreciated, for it not only seriously checked the enemy's advance, and gave General Schofield time to remove his troops and all his property to Nashville, but it also caused deep depression among the men of Hood's army, making them doubly cautious in their subsequent movements.

Not willing to risk a renewal of the battle on the morrow, and having accomplished the object of the day's operations — namely, to cover the withdrawal of his trains--General Schofield, by my advice and direction, fell back during the night to Nashville, in front of which city line of battle was formed by noon of the first December, on the heights immediately surrounding Nashville, with Major-General A. J. Smith's command occupying the right, his right resting on the Cumberland river, below the city; the Fourth corps (Brigadier-General Wood temporarily in command) in the centre; and General Schofield's troops (Twenty-third Army Corps) on the left, his left extending on the Nolensville pike. The cavalry under General Wilson was directed to take post on the left of General Schofield, which would make secure the interval between his left and the river above the city.

General Steedman's troops reached Nashville about dark on the evening of the first of December, taking up a position about a mile in advance of the left centre of the main line, and on the left of the Nolensville pike. This position being regarded as too much exposed, was changed on the third, when, the cavalry having been directed to take post on the north side of the river at Edgefield, General Steedman occupied the space on the left of the line vacated by its withdrawal.

During the afternoon of the second, the enemy's cavalry in small parties engaged our skirmishers, but it was only on the afternoon of the third that his infantry made its appearance, when, crowding in our skirmishers, he commenced to establish his main line, which, on the morning of the fourth, we found he had succeeded in doing, with his salient on the summit of Montgomery Hill, within six hundred yards of our centre, his main line occupying the high ground on the south-east side of Brown's creek, and extending from the Nolensville pike — his extreme right — across the Franklin and Granny White pikes in a westerly direction, to the hills south and south-west of Richland creek, and down that creek to the Hillsboroa pike, with cavalry extending from both his flanks to the river. Artillery was opened on him from several points on the line, without eliciting any response.

The block-house at the railroad crossing of Overall's creek, five miles north of Murfreesboroa, was attacked by Bate's division of Cheatham's corps, on the fourth, but held out until assistance reached it from the garrison at Murfreesboroa. The enemy used artillery to reduce the block-house, but although seventy-four shots were fired at it, no material injury was done. General Milroy coming up with three regiments


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