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[511]

The parallelogram comprised between the Wilkinson road and the Franklin road formed the southern section of the field of battle; it was covered with scanty patches of woodland, intersected here and there by open spaces, some uncultivated and others lying fallow. The country adjoining the Franklin road was itself destitute of trees, with the exception of a narrow patch of woodland, prolonging the southern extremity of the large thicket of which we have just spoken, across the plain as far as this road. Here the two roads became separated by an interval of two thousand five hundred metres: a very narrow cross-road, known by the generic appellation of Dirt Road, which connected the former by winding along from clearing to clearing, presented the only wagon communication between the two wings of the Federal army.

Rosecrans' left was massed in the kind of peninsula formed by the angle of Stone River; Wood and Van Cleve were placed in the rear, to cross over to the other side; there was only in front of the enemy's works Palmer's division, drawn up across the railroad and resting against Round Forest. Negley, behind whom was Rousseau with two brigades, extended to the right of the road and along the eastern margin of the cedar wood. Two of Sheridan's brigades, under Roberts and Sill, formed a continuation of the Federal line along the margin of this wood as far as the Wilkinson road; they were supported by Schoeffer, with the third brigade of the same division. The large interval of two thousand five hundred metres, which separated this same road from the Franklin road, was only occupied by the other two divisions of McCook's corps. Davis' left and right, formed by Woodruff's and Post's brigades, were in the woods; Carlin's was between the two, a little in the rear, in a clearing where the artillery of the division had taken position. Johnson, as we have already said, occupied the extremity of the Federal line; Kirk's brigade was ranged in front of the strip of woodland extending to the Franklin road, while that of Willich was placed en potence parallel to this road, with one regiment entirely drawn back and facing the west; the third brigade of this division was posted upon the Dirt Road at a considerable distance in the rear. The front of

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