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[483] shutting up the latter closer and closer within the limits of the capital of Tennessee. On the 20th of October a portion of his troops encountered a regiment of Union cavalry on the borders of the Cumberland, a little below the town. After losing a few men, the Confederates were obliged to recross the river. But Forrest returned to the charge on the 22d; assembling his forces and marching upon Nashville by the left bank, he drove the Federals back into their lines of defence. These entrenchments could not have sustained a long siege; their profile was slight, and they were not sufficiently extended for the garrison; the guns they mounted were not sufficiently numerous, and they only rested upon a small work closed at the gorge, Fort Negley, crowning a height near the Lavergne road. They were, however, sufficient to keep Forrest's troopers at a distance.

This general, therefore, before attempting a serious attack, waited for the arrival of Morgan, whose assistance he had requested, and some reinforcements of infantry, with which he expected to be able to carry that obstacle by storm. Finally, on the 4th of November, the day when McCook started for Nashville, everything was ready for the assault. Forrest, who was encamped south of the town, near Lavergne, on the Murfreesborough road, had been joined by the Kentucky brigade of Roger Hanson, and two regiments from Tennessee; Morgan was posted at a short distance north, on the right bank of the Cumberland. The Confederates took up their line of march in the evening, and in the middle of the night, toward two o'clock in the morning, the Federal outposts were driven back on both sides of the river. But the garrison was on its guard. A regiment was sent to meet Forrest in order to draw him within range of the guns of Fort Negley; and the fire of this work soon stopped the assailants, who tried in vain to dismount its guns without venturing a near approach. Meanwhile, Morgan, hoping to surprise the Federal post which guarded the large railroad bridge over the Cumberland, made a vigorous attack upon it with his cavalry and one field-piece, the only one he had brought along. But he was promptly repulsed, and fell back upon Gallatin, leaving a flag in the hands of his adversaries.

On his side, Forrest had retired in the direction of the Franklin

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