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On the 11th, at 9.30 P. M., Thomas telegraphed to Halleck: ‘The position of the enemy appears the same to-day as yesterday. Weather continues very cold, and the hills are covered with ice. As soon as we have a thaw, I will attack Hood.’ In the same despatch he reported that a force of between two and three thousand rebels had crossed the Cumberland river, and were supposed to be moving northward, towards Bowling Green. Thomas had sent two brigades of cavalry after them. A rebel attack had also been made on Murfreesboroa, but repelled. Thus Hood had become bold enough to throw large detachments of infantry and cavalry both to the north and south of Nashville, and in spite of the storms and ice that held Thomas fast, the rebel troops were in constant motion.

At 10.30 P. M. this night, Thomas replied to Grant's order for an immediate attack: ‘Your despatch of four P. M.. this day is just received. Will obey the order as promptly as possible, however much I may regret it, as the attack will have to be made under every disadvantage. The whole country is covered with a perfect sheet of ice and sleet, and it is with difficulty the troops are able to move about on level ground. It was my intention to attack Hood as soon as the ice melted, and would have done so yesterday, had it not been for the storm.’ He nevertheless did not obey, but on the 12th, at 10.30 P. M., he still continued: ‘I have the troops ready to make an attack on the enemy, as soon as the sleet which now covers the ground has melted sufficiently to enable men to march; as the whole country is ’

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