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[250] Hardin, Hillsboroa, Granny White, Franklin, Nolensville, and Murfreesboroa roads. Besides these, the three railroads to Johnsonville, Decatur, and Chattanooga, all meet at Nashville, but all were controlled by the rebels. The Cumberland river was also closed above and below the town, and Thomas's only avenue of communication was towards the north.

To the south, the hills are higher and steeper, as you advance, and at Brentwood, ten miles from Nashville, they become precipitous, and are only penetrated by narrow gaps, through which the Franklin and Granny White roads are carried. In case of a rebel disaster, these two roads would become of immense importance, for they would constitute Hood's only possible line of retreat; and even they soon unite, the Granny White entering the Franklin road, south of the Brentwood Hills. Hood drew abundance of food and forage from the country, but all of his ordnance came by the Decatur railroad, which was open from the rebel rear to Pulaski; at the latter point there was an interval unrepaired, but from Cherokee the road was unbroken, to the interior of Mississippi and Alabama.

On the 14th of December, Forrest was still in the neighborhood of Murfreesboroa, with two divisions of cavalry, and two brigades of infantry. The remainder of Hood's command lay in front of Nashville, the right wing under Cheatham, the left under Stewart, while S. D. Lee had the centre, across the Franklin road; the flanks extended to the river on either side, and a little west of the centre a salient projected to a point within six

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