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December 18.
My command moved across the river and proceeded about three miles beyond Franklin, on the road to Spring Hill, when, in obedience to orders, I returned with my troops to Franklin and marched to Murfreesboro, to proceed by rail to Decatur, moving General Cruft's troops from Nashville by the Murfreesboro pike. The whole command was concentrated at Murfreesboro, on the evening of the twentieth.

At Murfreesboro I received despatches from Colonel A. J. McKay, Chief Quartermaster of the Department, informing me that the transportation necessary to move my command by rail to Decatur, was on the way from Chattanooga, and transports conveying supplies would meet me at such point as I might designate. These orders and dispositions of Colonel McKay were all perfect, but the severe cold weather, the injuries to the road, and the criminal negligence, incompetency, and indifference of a portion of the railroad employs, occasioned serious delays.

On the morning of the twenty-second December, my command moved from Murfreesboro, reaching the mouth of Limestone River on the evening of the twenty-sixth, where I found Brigadier-General R. S. ranger, with his command, with four gunboats, one armed transport (the Stone River), and five transports, with rations and forage, forwarded from Chattanooga for my command.

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