previous next

[368] position, at one P. M., which was most gallantly executed by the Third brigade, Second division, Colonel P. Sidney Post, Fifty-ninth Illinois, commanding, capturing a considerable number of prisoners. Connecting with the left of Smith's troops (Brigadier-General Garrard's division), the Fourth corps continued to advance, and carried the enemy's entire line in its front by assault, and captured several pieces of artillery, about five hundred prisoners, some stands of colors, and other material. The enemy was driven out of his original line of works and forced back to a new position along the base of Harpeth Hills, still holding his line of retreat to Franklin by the main pike through Brentwood and by the Granny White pike. Our line at nightfall was readjusted, running parallel to and east of the Hillsboroa pike-Schofield's command on the right, Smith's in the centre, and Wood's on the left, with the cavalry on the right of Schofield, Steedman holding the position he had gained early in the morning.

The total result of the day's operations was the capture of sixteen pieces of artillery and twelve hundred prisoners, besides several hundred stands of small-arms and about forty wagons. The enemy had been forced back at all points with heavy loss, and our casualties were unusually light. The behavior of the troops was unsurpassed for steadiness and alacrity in every movement, and the original plan of battle, with but few alterations, strictly adhered to.

The whole command bivouacked in line of battle during the night, on the ground occupied at dark, while preparations were made to renew the battle at an early hour on the morrow.

At six A. M. on the sixteenth Wood's corps pressed back the enemy's skirmishers across the Franklin pike to the eastward of it, and then swinging slightly to the right advanced due south from Nashville, driving the enemy before him, until he came upon his new main line of works, constructed during the night on what is called Overton's Hill, about five miles south of the city and east of the Franklin pike. General Steedman moved out from Nashville by the Nolensville pike, and formed his command on the left of General Wood, effectually securing the latter's left flank, and made preparations to cooperate in the operations of the day. General A. J. Smith's command moved on the right of the Fourth corps (Wood's) and establishing connection with General Wood's right, completed the new line of battle. General Schofield's troops remained in the position taken up by them at dark on the day previous, facing eastward and toward the enemy's left flank, the line of the corps running perpendicular to General Smith's troops. General Wilson's cavalry, which had rested for the night at the six-mile post on the Hillsboroa pike. was dismounted and formed on the right of Schofield's command, and by noon of the sixteenth had succeeded in gaining the enemy's rear, and stretched across the Granny White pike, one of his two outlets toward Franklin.

As soon as the above dispositions were completed, and having visited the different commands, I gave directions that the movement against the enemy's left flank should be continued. Our entire line approached to within six hundred yards of the enemy's at all points. His centre was weak as compared with either his right, at Overton's Hill, or his left, on the hills bordering the Granny White pike; still I had hopes of gaining his rear and cutting off his retreat from Franklin.

About three P. M., Post's brigade of Wood's corps, supported by Streight's brigade of the same command, was ordered by General Wood to assault Overton's Hill. This intention was communicated to General Steedman, who ordered the brigade of colored troops commanded by Colonel Morgan (Fourteenth United States colored troops) to cooperate in the movement. The ground on which the two assaulting columns formed being open and exposed to the enemy's view, he, readily perceiving our intention, drew reinforcements from his left and centre to the threatened point. This movement of troops on the part of the enemy was communicated along the line from left to right.

The assault was made, and received by the enemy with a tremendous fire of grape, canister, and musketry, our men moving steadily onward up the hill until near the crest, when the reserves of the enemy rose and poured into the assaulting column a most destructive fire, causing the men first to waver and then to fall back, leaving their dead and wounded-black and white indiscriminately mingled-lying amid the abattis, the gallant Colonel Post among the wounded. General Wood readily reformed his command in the position it had previously occupied, preparatory to a renewal of the assault.

Immediately following the effort of the Fourth corps, Generals Smith and Schofield's commands moved against the enemy's works in their respective fronts, carrying all before them, irreparably breaking his lines in a dozen places, and capturing all of his artillery and thousands of prisoners, among the latter four general officers. Our loss was remarkably small, scarcely mentionable. All of the enemy that did escape were pursued over the tops of Brentwood or Harpeth's Hills.

General Wilson's cavalry, dismounted, attacked the enemy simultaneously with Schofield and Smith, striking him in reverse, and, gaining firm possession of the Granny White pike, cut off his retreat by that route.

Wood's and Steedman's troops, hearing the shouts of victory coming from the right,rushed impetuously forward, renewing the assault on Overton's Hill, and although meeting a very heavy fire, the onset was irresistible, artillery and innumerable prisoners falling into our hands. The enemy, hopelessly broken, fled in confusion through the Brentwood pass, the Fourth corps in a close pursuit, which was continued for several miles, when darkness

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
T. J. Wood (9)
A. J. Smith (6)
J. M. Schofield (6)
J. B. Steedman (4)
J. H. Wilson (2)
P. Sidney Post (2)
Streight (1)
Thomas J. Morgan (1)
Garrard (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: