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 metres in the direction of the road, and one thousand metres in width. The road runs through the wood, whilst the railway skirts its edge to the north-east. On the south side the open lands surrounding this wood rise gradually, and form a rolling plain, extending from east to west, from the borders of Stone River to those of Overall's Creek. The first of these watercourses, being made to change its direction by the obstacle which this undulation of the ground presents, runs away from the line traced by the railroad, to draw near it again lower down, and thus envelops the extremity of those slopes on three sides; at this point its waters, embanked between two steep acclivities, are of considerable depth and seldom fordable. In emerging from the wood the road ascends this sort of plateau, whilst the railroad, which is only separated from it by a space of one hundred to one hundred and twenty metres, traverses it in a deep cutting, forming an obstacle easy to defend. More to westward the slopes become less precipitous and the plateau widens. Its soil, bristling with rocks, is covered with thick copses of red cedar; this wood, extending to the east, descends upon the other slope of the plateau, terminating at a distance of two hundred metres from the causeway; at the south it extends as far as the Wilkinson road, from which it twice turns away to make room for two clearings; then it stretches westward as far as the margin of Overall's Creek. On a line with its eastern extremity, and at eight hundred metres beyond the railroad cut, the causeway and the railroad, which almost touch each other, traverse a small patch of woodland, lying isolated in the centre of the plain, called Round Forest. Five hundred metres farther, a little to the left, stands a dwelling which was burnt at the time we are speaking of, and was known by the name of the Cowan house. The railroad, which for a certain distance runs along the summit of the acclivity at the foot of which flow the waters of Stone River, strikes the causeway at last, intersects it, and turns away from the margin of the river. The field-works behind which Bragg had established the centre of his line were placed a little beyond this intersection, perpendicular to the road. They extended south over small barren hills as far as the Wilkinson road, which at this point was only seven hundred metres from the Nashville causeway.
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