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[208] 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, Stanley 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 road. If the rebels could reach Spring Hill in advance of

Schofield, 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. Wilson was cut off, and no communication could be had with the cavalry. Stanley 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. Stewart and Cheatham'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. Cheatham had the advance, and the attack on Stanley was made at once. The engagement was serious

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