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December 16.
At six o'clock A. M., in obedience to the orders of Major-General Thomas, my command moved on the enemy's works, and found that he had evacuated the right of his line, in my front, during the night. Pushing out my troops on the Nolensville pike, rapidly driving his cavalry, I took up a position between the Nolensville pike and the left of the Fourth corps, commanded by Brigadier-General T. J. Wood, my right resting on the railroad, my left reposing near the Nolensville pike, and covering the entire left of our line, engaging and putting to flight a portion of the enemy's cavalry. General Cruft, as I advanced with the troops under my immediate command, uncovering the approaches to the city by way of the Murfreesboro and Nolensville turnpikes, promptly pushed forward a brigade of his troops under the command of Colonel John G. Mitchell, and occupied Riddle's Hill, protecting our rear against any attempt of the enemy to use his cavalry to annoy us, or interfere with our ammunition or ambulance trains.

At one o'clock P. M., in obedience to an order from Major-General Thomas, my command formed a junction with the command of General Wood, and my troops united with General Wood's in assaulting the enemy, who was strongly posted and fortified on Overton's Hill. In this assault, although unsuccessful, the troops engaged--two brigades of General Wood's, and Colonel Thompson's brigade of colored troops, and Lieutenant-Colonel Grosvenor's brigade from my command — exhibited courage and steadiness that challenged the admiration of all who witnessed the charge. The concentrated fire of musketry and canister from the enemy's works forced them back with severe loss. They were [88] immediately re-formed to renew the assault, which would have been promptly made ; but a division of General Wood's troops, as I was informed, on the right of the Franklin pike, taking advantage of the withdrawal by the enemy of a portion of his troops in their front, to reinforce Overtons Hill, made a charge, which caused the entire line of the enemy to give way, and retreat rapidly and in disorder. My troops, in conjunction with General Woods, immediately pursued rapidly, taking a number of prisoners. The pursuit was continued until after dark, when our exhausted troops bivouacked for the night near Brentwood.

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Brentwood, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (2)

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T. J. Wood (8)
George H. Thomas (4)
Robert C. Woods (2)
Thomas J. Wood (2)
C. K. Thompson (2)
John G. Mitchell (2)
D. A. Grosvenor (2)
Charles Cruft (2)
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December 16th (2)
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