and cavalry, I determined to retire to the fortifications around Nashville
, until General Wilson
can get his cavalry equipped; he has now but about one-fourth the number of the enemy, and consequently is no match for him. I have two ironclads here with several gunboats, and Commander Fitch
assures me Hood
can neither cross Cumberland river
, nor blockade it. I therefore think it best to wait here until Wilson
equips all his cavalry.
attacks me here, he will be more seriously damaged than yesterday.
If he remains until Wilson
gets equipments, I can whip him, and will move against him at once.
I have Murfreesboroa strongly held, and therefore feel easy in regard to its safety.
, and Elk river
bridge have also been strongly garrisoned.’
This determination of Thomas
to remain on the defensive, after a victory, was in direct opposition to both the judgment and instincts of Grant
He preferred to take advantage of Schofield
's success, and to press the enemy at once with the reinforced army, before the influence of defeat was gone.
At eleven A. M. on the morning of the 2nd, he telegraphed: ‘If Hood
is permitted to remain quietly about Nashville
, you will lose all the road back to Chattanooga
, and possibly have to abandon the line of the Tennessee
Should he attack you, it is all well; but if he does not, you should attack him before he fortifies.
Arm, and put in the trenches, your quartermaster's employes, citizens, etc.’
The government shared very fully this anxiety of the general-in-chief
, and an hour after sending his own despatch to Thomas
received one from the Secretary of War
: ‘The President feels solicitous ’