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[262] day, the advanced guard of the cavalry reached the Tennessee, just in time to see the rebel pontoons swing to the other side.1

The news of the first day's battle at Nashville reached Grant as he stepped from the steamer at Washington, and he telegraphed at once to Thomas: ‘11.30 P. M.: I was just on my way to Nashville, but receiving a despatch from Van Duzer, detailing your splendid success of to-day, I shall go no further. Push the enemy now, and give him no rest till he is entirely destroyed. Your army will cheerfully suffer many privations to break up Hood's army and render it unfit for future operations. Do not stop for trains or supplies, but take them from the country, as the enemy has done. Much is now expected.’ Half an hour later, Thomas himself reported: ‘Attacked enemy's left this morning. Drove it from the river very nearly to Franklin Pike. Distance, about eight miles.’ To this Grant replied at midnight: ‘Your despatch of this evening just received. I congratulate you and the army under your command for to-day's operations, and feel a conviction that to-morrow will add more fruits to your victory.’ Lincoln and Stanton also sent messages of congratulation and encouragement. The President declared: ‘You have made a magnificent beginning. A grand consummation is within your reach.’ He added: ‘Do not let it slip.’

No further news from Tennessee arrived till the 17th, when a long despatch from Thomas was

1 My authorities for this account of the battle of Nashville, are almost exclusively the reports of Thomas and Hood, and those of their subordinate commanders. There are no important discrepancies between the statements of rebel and national officers.

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