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[232] he captured three stockades, as well as a train of cars on the Chattanooga railroad, and reported two hundred and sixty prisoners. So secure, indeed, did Hood now feel, that, on the 4th, he ordered Forrest to move with two divisions of cavalry, nearly his entire force,1 and a division of infantry, against Murfreesboroa, thirty miles away. Forrest started on the morning of the 5th, and Thomas's cavalry force was then far superior to that which remained with Hood.

On the 4th, the enemy extended his lines and threw up new works; at the nearest point the rebel skirmishers were now only four hundred yards from Thomas's main works. Citizens and negroes were impressed to complete the entrenchments. That night Thomas reported that the enemy had planted a battery on the river, and captured two steamboats, but the naval force drove the battery away, and recaptured the steamers. ‘I have heard,’ he said, ‘from Tullahoma, by Knoxville, to-day. The railroad is uninjured that far, and no signs of the enemy in that neighborhood. I have heard nothing in direction of Murfreesboroa, and therefore infer enemy has made no move in that direction yet, but is now turning his attention to crossing the river below. Any such attempt I am prepared to meet.’

1 ‘The enemy still holding Murfreesboroa with some 6,000 troops, Major-General Forrest, with the larger portion of the cavalry and Bates's division of infantry, was sent there to see if it was practicable to take the place.’—Hood to Beauregard, January 9, 1865.

‘On the morning of the 4th I received orders to move with Buford's and Jackson's divisions to Murfreesboro’—Forrest's Report, January 24, 1865.

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