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[484] road, and Palmer had pursued him with his cavalry for a distance of more than twelve kilometres. Seeing this small body of troops venture so far, the Confederates determined to make them pay dear for their imprudence; concealing themselves behind a rise in the ground on the left, they allowed the Federals to pass, and then tried to cut off their retreat, but in vain. Palmer's infantry and artillery followed his cavalry close; and when Forrest presented himself to bar their passage, his soldiers, finding that they had too large a force to contend with, soon gave up the contest.

Palmer returned to Nashville, which he was henceforth certain of being able to defend; nor had he long to wait for the assistance which had been promised him, for the vanguard of McCook entered the works which Morgan had unsuccessfully attacked the day before, in the afternoon of the 6th. Forrest, on receiving these tidings, quickly fell back in a south-westerly direction.

After this combat a few weeks elapsed, during which no engagement took place between the two armies. The greater part of Rosecrans' forces was concentrated around Nashville; he only left two or three divisions north of this town, which were necessary to secure his communications. The others, sheltered under tents, or in improvised barracks among the hills by which the capital of Tennessee is bounded on the south, were reorganizing, drilling the recruits recently arrived from the North, and receiving arms and equipments, while the commissary department was collecting large supplies of provisions, materiel and ammunition in the depots of Nashville, in view of the winter campaign that Rosecrans had determined to undertake.

Bragg's army, on the other hand, had completed the long and painful march it had commenced after the battle of Perryville. It had left the territory of Kentucky on the 25th of October. Kirby Smith had again entered Tennessee by way of Cumberland Gap, and the rest of the Confederate troops by passes situated more to the west. His soldiers had scarcely reached East Tennessee, fatigued, badly off for shoes and discouraged by the unlucky issue of a campaign which had commenced under such flattering auspices, when they were obliged to start off again. They had no time to lose if they wished to retain some of the advantages

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