conflict at Franklin, on the thirtieth November, and having received a leave of absence on account of his wound, relinquished, and I assumed, command of the corps on the second of December. So soon as I had assumed command of the corps, I placed it in position as follows, in conformity with orders received from the commanding General of the forces in the field in person: The left of the corps rested on the Casino, and, extending westward across the Granny White and Hilsboro pike, the right rested on the left of the detachment of the Army of the Tennessee (Major-General A. S. Smith's command), midway between the Hilsboro and Harding pikes. As the condition of the forces was not such as to warrant the commencement of offensive operations immediately, the first duty to be provided for was the safety of Nashville against assault. For this purpose a line of strong intrenchments, strengthened with an abatis, slashes of timber, and pointed stakes planted firmly in the ground, was constructed along the entire front of the corps. The entire development of this work was something over two miles. It was completed by the morning of the fifth of December. But while the safety of Nashville was being provided for, preparations were also being made for offensive operations. The troops were rapidly re-equipped in every particular, the trains repaired and loaded with supplies, etc. As early as the seventh of December, the commanding General of the forces had begun to communicate to the corps commanders his plan of attack, and had intimated that the morning of the tenth would witness the inauguration of offensive operations. But the morning of the ninth dawned upon us, bringing. a heavy sleet-storm, which soon covered the whole face of the earth with a perfect mer de glace, and rendered all movement of troops, so long as it remained, impossible. The weather and condition of the ground were not sufficiently ameliorated before midday of the fourteenth of December to permit the commencement of operations with any hope of success. The commanding General summoned a meeting of corps commanders at his headquarters at three P. M., on the fourteenth, and delivered to them written orders, from which the following are extracts:
As soon as the weather will admit of offensive operations, the troops will move against the enemy's position in the following order: * * * * * * III. Brigadier-General T. J. Wood, commanding the Fourth corps, after leaving a strong skirmish line in his works from Lauren's Hill to his extreme right, will form the remainder of the Fourth corps on the Hilsboro pike to support General Smith's left, and operate on the left and rear of the enemy's advanced position on Montgomery's Hill.* * * * * * “Should the weather permit, the troops will be formed in time to commence operations at six o'clock A. M., or as soon thereafter as practicable.” To carry out these brief but sententious and pointed instructions of the commanding General, I directed, so soon as I had returned to my headquarters, the division commanders to assemble there at seven P. M., and, after explaining to them fully the intended movements, delivered to them the following written orders:
headquarters Fourth Army corps, near Nashville, Tenn., December 14, 1864.II. Reveille will be sounded at four A. M.; the troops will get their breakfast, break up their camp, pack up everything, and be prepared to move at six A. M. II. Brigadier-General Elliott, commanding Second division, will move out by his right, taking the small road that passes by the right of his present position, form in echelon with General A. J. Smith's left, slightly refusing his own left, and, maintaining this relative position to General Smith's troops, will advance with them. When he moves out he will leave a strong line of skirmishers in his solid works. III. Brigadier-General Kimball, commanding First division, on being relieved by General Steedman, will move his division to the Hilsboro pike inside of our lines, and by it through the lines, and form in echelon to General Elliott's left, slightly refusing his own left. He will maintain this position, and advance with General Elliott. IV. As soon as General Kimball's division has passed out of the works by Hilsboro pike, General Beatty, commanding Third division, will take up the movement, drawing out by the left, and will form in echelon to General Kimball's left. He will maintain this position, and advance with General Kimball. He will also leave a strong line of skirmishers behind the solid works along his present position. V. The pickets on post, being strengthened when in the judgment of division commanders it becomes necessary, will advance as a line of skirmishers to cover the movement. The formations of the troops will be in two lines, the first line deployed, the second line in close column, by division, massed opposite the interval in the front line. Each division commander will, so far as possible hold one brigade in reserve. Five wagon loads of ammunition, ten ambulances, and the wagons loaded with intrenching tools, will, as nearly as possible, follow after each division. The remaining ammunition wagons, ambulances, and all other wagons, will remain inside of our present lines until further orders. One rifle battery will accompany the Second division, and one battery of light twelve-pounders will accompany each of the remaining divisions. The rest of the artillery of the corps will maintain its present position in the lines. By order of Brigadier-General T. J. Wood.
Orders of the day for the Fourth Army Corps, for to-morrow, December 15, 1864.J. S. Fullerton, Lieut.-Col. and A. A. G.