Today in History:

34 Series I Volume XLV-I Serial 93 - Franklin - Nashville Part I

Page 34 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVII.

not attacked from the direction of Huey's Mills, General Schofield was busily occupied all day at Columbia resisting the enemy's attempts to cross Duck River, which he successfully accomplished, repulsing the enemy many times, with heavy loss. Giving directions for the withdrawal of the troops as soon as covered by the darkness, at a late hour inthe afternoon General Schofield, with Ruger's division, started to the relief of General Stanley, at Spring Hill and when near that place he came upon the enemy's cavalry, but they were easily driven off. At Spring Hill the enemy was found bivouacking within 800 yards of the road. Posting a brigade to hold the pike at this point, General Schofield with Ruger's division, pushed on to Thompson's Station, three miles beyond, where he found the enemy's camp-fires still burning a cavalry force having occupied the place at dark but had disappeared on the arrival of our troops. General Ruger then quietly took possession of the cross-roads.

The withdrawal of the main force from in front of Columbia was safely effected after dark on the 29th; Spring Hill was passed without molestation but midnight, and making a night march of twenty-five miles, the whole command got into position at Franklin at an nearly house on the morning of the 30th; the cavalry moved on the morning of the 30th, the cavalry moved on the Lewisburg pike, on the right or east of the infantry.

At Franklin General Schofield formed line of battle on the southern edge of the town to await the coming of the enemy, and in the meanwhile hastened the crossing of the trains to the north side of Harpeth River.

On the evacuation of Columbia orders were sent to Major-General Milroy, at Tullahoma, to abandon that post and retire to Murfreesborough, joining forces with General Rousseau at the latter place. General Milroy was instructed however, to maintain the garrison in the block-house at Elk River brigade. Nashville was placed in a state of defense and the fortifications manned by the garrison, re-enforced by a volunteer force, which had been previously organized into a division, under Bvt. Brigadier General J. L. Donaldson from the employes of the quartermaster's and commissary departments. This latter force, aided by railroad employs, the whole under the direction of Brigadier-General Tower, worked assiduously to construct additional defenses. Major-General Steedman with a command numbering 5,000 composed of detachments belonging to General Sherman's column, left behind at Chattanooga (of which mention has heretofore been made), and also a brigade of colored troops, started from Chattanooga by rail on the 29th of November, and reached Cowan on the morning of the 30th, where orders were sent him to proceed direct to Nashville. At an early hour on the morning of the 30th advance of Major General A. J. Smiths' command reached Nashville by transports Saint Louis. My infantry force was now nearly equal to that of the enemy, although the still outnumbered me very greatly in effective cavalry but as soon as a few thousand of the latter arm could be mounted I should be in a condition to take the field offensively and dispute the possession of Tennessee with Hood's army.

The enemy followed closely after General Schofield's rear guard in the retreat to Franklin, and upon up with the main force formed rapidly and advance to assault our works repeating attack after attack during the entire afternoon, and as late as 10 p. m. his efforts to break our line were continued. General Schofield's position was excellently chosen, with both flanks resting upon the river, and the men firmly held their ground against an overwhelming enemy, who was repulsed

Page 34 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVII.