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[487] the right bank of the river. The village of Hartsville is situated about two kilometres north of the right bank; it is separated from it by a rather steep hill, the approaches of which are interspersed with woods, its summit bare, and which, terminating in a peak above the waters, commands the ford connecting with the Lebanon road; it is bounded on the east and west by two ravines. Colonel Moore occupied it with three regiments of infantry, the One Hundred and Sixth and One Hundred and Eighth Ohio, the One Hundred and Fourth Illinois and the Second Indiana cavalry. Forgetting that he was exposed to sudden attacks on the part of a shrewd and determined foe, or perhaps thinking that the inclemency of the season would render such attacks impossible, he had not cut down a single tree nor turned up a shovelful of earth to prepare the defenses of a post naturally very strong, and which it would have been easy to render impregnable. Morgan, always well informed regarding the position of his adversaries, resolved to take advantage of their negligence. In the afternoon of December 6th he left the neighborhood of Caneville at the head of thirteen or fourteen hundred men, his brigade of cavalry, composed of four small regiments, having been reinforced by a battery of artillery and some detachments from two regiments of infantry, the Second and Ninth Kentucky. This small band, braving the cold and the snow, made a nightmarch of more than forty kilometres, and reached the borders of the Cumberland before daylight. On nearing the river the force was divided; one detachment crossed it above and another below Hartsville. Notwithstanding the steepness of the banks and a swift current of deep, freezing water, the passage was promptly and secretly accomplished. The detachment which had crossed higher up, making a large circuit, so as to surround Hartsville, came up to join the rest of the band west of this village at eight o'clock in the morning. Morgan at once advanced upon the Federal camps. The surprise of the latter was complete, and they had barely time to form where they stood, while their grandguards were captured or driven into the ravine by which their position was bounded on the west. Finally, they succeeded in getting into line along the edge of this ravine in front of the Confederates, who occupied the opposite side. The sharpshooters

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John Morgan (1)
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