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‘ [249] received. The ice having melted away to-day, the enemy will be attacked to-morrow morning. Much as I regret the apparent delay in attacking the enemy, it could not have been done before with any reasonable prospect of success.’

But before these two despatches were exchanged, Grant had given up all hope of inducing Thomas to move. Major-General Logan was at this time visiting the Headquarters of the army, and as Grant knew him to be a good fighter, an order was made out for him to proceed to Nashville. He was informed that he was to take command of the army of the Cumberland, provided that on his arrival, Thomas had still made no advance; but Grant intended to proceed himself to the West, and assume control in person of all the operations there. He started from City Point, for this purpose, on the night of the 14th of December; but on arriving at Washington, on the 15th, was met by the news that Thomas had attacked Hood and driven him on the Franklin road, a distance of nearly eight miles.

Nashville lies in one of the numerous bends of the Cumberland river, surrounded by steep and rugged hills, eminently suited for the operations of a siege. Thomas's entrenchments were on the southern side, extending across the bend, and along the crest of one of these ridges. Hood's lines were immediately opposite, on another range, somewhat lower than the national position, but otherwise equally well-situated. A combination of roads from the south centres within the town, converging, like the sticks of an open fan. The principal ones, beginning on the national right, are the Charlotte,

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