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[502] road, had the main body of his troops in the vicinity of Triune. Thomas had joined Crittenden's corps on the causeway from Nashville to Murfreesborough, not far from Stewart's Creek, and had taken position behind him. The entire army was put in motion on Monday morning, the 29th. On the right, McCook reached Wilkinson's Cross-roads, where he halted the greater part of his corps, but his advanced brigade, under Woodruff, having taken the Murfreesborough road, which the remainder of the troops were to follow the next day, arrived that very evening on the margin of Overall's Creek; it took possession of the bridge thrown across the stream, and thus secured a commodious outlet to the plateau we have just described, for the right wing of the army. The left wing, owing to the facilities afforded by the turnpike and the railroad, advanced still farther. Crittenden, after crossing Stewart's Creek, pushed on with all possible speed, followed by Negley's division of Thomas' corps, the other division of the same corps under Rousseau having remained near Stuart's Creek to wait for its wagon-train. Palmer's division, which was in advance, soon met the Confederate outposts, and, without allowing them time to burn the turnpike and railroad bridges on Overall's Creek, secured the means for easily crossing this stream, as McCook had already done on the right. Palmer, pushing his heads of column in the direction of Murfreesborough, threw himself at last, at a distance of five kilometres from this village, upon a line of breastworks which lay across the road, and behind which the Confederate skirmishers had been promptly rallied. The thick wood of red cedar which stretched out in front prevented him from forming a correct idea of the positions and strength of the enemy; but the officers of the signal corps, having ascended a neighboring height, whence they could see the buildings on the outskirts of Murfreesborough, notified their chief that the enemy seemed to be on the point of evacuating that place. Misled by this information, Crittenden took Harker's brigade of Wood's division to the left, and caused it to ford Stone River on a line with the positions before which Palmer had halted, in order to avoid the necessity of crossing this watercourse in sight of the enemy, and to reach Murfreesborough on the side which was easiest of approach. Harker had scarcely got

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