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Hood's Tennessee campaign.

An "intelligent officer," whose prominent position in the Confederate army gives him peculiar means of obtaining correct information, and who was personally cognizant of all the events of the recent campaign of General Hood, has afforded the Augusta Constitutionalist a very clear insight into the movement of our forces beyond the Tennessee river. The statements of the gentleman are so wholly impartial, and so eminently satisfactory, that the Constitutionalist thinks the campaign was not so "ill-starred" and "fruitless" as has been generally imagined:

"From the moment General Hood entered the noble old 'Volunteer State,' he drove the Federal forces before him until, beleaguered within the strong defences of Nashville, they at last stood at bay.--At Columbia, Thomas evidently intended giving battle, for he planted his army in a fine position, behind formidable earthworks. Our commander, who, though impetuous and dashing, is not by any means reckless, instantly saw the needlessness of sacrificing so many valuable lives as would be necessary in making a direct assault. Accordingly he quietly evaded the Federal, and, by crossing Duck river at a point seven miles distant, successfully flanked the enemy. This necessitated the retreat of Thomas, our forces rapidly pursuing until reaching Franklin, where occurred the very short yet obstinate and bloody battle of which our readers have already been advised. Unfortunately, the coming on of night prevented us reaping all the advantages of that dearly bought victory, and the next morning developed the flight of the Federal, after a heavy loss in killed and wounded, prisoners, artillery and munitions of war.

"Hence, to the very gates of Nashville, the path was plain and unembarrassed; and our gallant boys trod it with lightness of step and buoyancy of heart.--About the capital, General Hood established his lines, throwing up works and disposing his forces with the skill of an old master of the art of war. Until the 15th of December he maintained his position, annoying the enemy by daily reconnaissances and expeditions against his lines of communication, exterior posts and garrisons.

"On the 15th of December, Thomas, forced to do something by the pertinacious demands of his master at Washington, advanced upon Hood, and was thoroughly worsted. The succeeding day (the 16th) he sallied forth anew, and attacked us with vehemence. Beaten completely upon each wing, he would have been completely overthrown had not an unfortunate contretemps occurred, which immediately and disastrously changed the whole tide of battle. Our centre, though not severely pressed, gave way suddenly — our works were abandoned, and a flight ensued. The wings, unable to contend longer, yielded, and what should have been a victory, with Nashville as a prize, resulted in a sad defeat. This was one of those inexplicable affairs that so mystify and darken the pages of history — especially in this war. It was wholly unaccountable, and, we fear, must ever remain so. We lost by this unluckily accident heavily in artillery, from the fact that our pieces were all placed in a battery behind the works, and the horses were in safety some distance in the rear. Our losses in men and other material were insignificant, while those of the enemy must have reached fully ten thousand.

"That Thomas was very badly damaged is evident from the fact that he did not follow up his singularly obtained advantage. In truth, he was quite as much surprised at the issue of the contest as our own commander. Six days thereafter our army was only forty miles from the battle-field, and without molestation withdrew to the south of the Tennessee river, bringing with it, among other supplies, one thousand beef cattle and ten thousand hogs.

"The retreat was marked by no precipitancy, the abandonment of no trains, nor the desertion of any troops. At Columbia the Tennessee soldiers flocked about their favorite leader, General Cheatham, and, though reluctant to leave their native State, expressed the noble and heroic determination to follow him wherever the good of the cause demanded. The spirit of the people, as evinced both upon the advance and withdrawal of our army, is mentioned as in the highest degree patriotic. They were liberal to the troops, as they have always been, and exultant at the prospect of redemption from the blighting tyranny of Lincoln and Andy Johnson. Tyrannized over as they have been, they are still loyal and devoted to the interests of the Confederacy. From them there is heard no whisper of reconstruction or further intercourse with the detested Yankees. Total and absolute independence is what they alone want — it is that for which they have already suffered untold wrongs — and for which they are ready to suffer a still greater accumulation of insult and oppression. The spirit of such a people cannot be broken, no matter what disasters may, for a time, obscure our hopes.

"General Hood returned from his campaign with a loss of not exceeding four thousand men — while that of the enemy was four fold. He completely outgeneraled Thomas in every movement; to such an extent, indeed, that the favorite commander has been relieved by the Washington War Department. He succeeded in raising a large number of recruits in South and Western Kentucky, who, under General Lyon, still occupy that State.

"With the spirit of his noble army unbroken, with artillery sufficient for a force of fifty thousand men, with subordinate commanders who repose the greatest confidence in him, General Hood awaits an opportune moment to recover the prestige of the Army of Tennessee. "

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