being able to hold the line of Duck river
until reinforcements could arrive.
Two divisions of infantry were posted to hold all the crossings in the neighborhood of Columbia
was placed in reserve on the Franklin
road, to keep open communication in that direction, and the cavalry, under Wilson
, covered the crossings on the left or east of the command.
But on the 28th, the rebel cavalry succeeded in pressing Wilson
back, and effected a crossing at Hewey's Mills, five miles above Columbia
, and by daybreak on the 29th, Hood
's infantry was following in force.
From Hewey's Mills a road leads direct to Spring Hill
, fifteen miles in rear of the national army, and on the Franklin
If the rebels could reach Spring Hill
in advance of
, they would be able either to cut off his retreat, or strike him in flank as he moved.
Schofield at once sent Stanley
with two divisions of infantry to occupy Spring Hill
and cover the trains, directing Cox
to hold the crossings at Columbia
, while the remainder of the infantry was faced towards Hewey's Mills, where the rebel army was crossing.
was cut off, and no communication could be had with the cavalry.
reached Spring Hill
just in time to drive off a body of rebel cavalry, and save the trains; and about four o'clock Hood
came upon the ground in force.
's corps were with him, and one division of S. D. Lee
; the remainder of the rebel infantry was left at Columbia
, the only point where artillery could pass the river.
had the advance, and the attack on Stanley
was made at once.
The engagement was serious