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[198] Franklin to Nashville, stopped Bate's division long enough to order him to see what he could do to disturb Rousseau, varying that operation by destroying railroads and burning railroad bridges. With Bate's division went Cobb's battalion of artillery, Capt. Rene T. Beauregard commanding the artillery. Slocomb's battery, Lieutenant Chalaron commanding, was directed to open upon a block-house on a creek guarding a railroad bridge. Twice or thrice the enemy appeared, each time being thrown back by the gunners. Later in the day he came again, this time reinforced by infantry and artillery. Chalaron, quick to answer, poured double charges into his lines, when not fifty yards distant, scattering them in all directions. Of this action, a spirited if hasty one, Bate says: ‘Slocomb's battery, under Lieutenant Chalaron, acted with conspicuous and most effective gallantry.’ Bate himself seemed genuinely solicitous about his New Orleans artillerists. ‘I have to regret the loss of two of the guns of that gallant battery, Slocomb's. The horses being killed, they could not be brought off.’ General Bate's regret would surely have turned to rage had he known that the Washington artillery's ‘2-pounder Napoleons’ lost in this fight were at once placed in position in the fortifications at Murfreesboro, traitor-like to turn in shells upon their old masters.

Winter opened early and forbidding in Tennessee. Bate soon found bad weather interfering with him, ugly rains with falling snow as early as December 5th; ground freezing; soldiers barefooted; feet bleeding. Once more on the road to Nashville, he reached the front of the town December 15th, catching, as he drew near, the mutterings of battle. The next day he ordered Captain Beauregard to place a section of howitzers upon a small plateau, whence they could command the front of his right. Beauregard did this with telling effect, clearing the front

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