Today in History:

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

Page 134 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVII.

colored, lay indiscriminately near the enemy's works at the outer edge of the abatis. But while the assault was not immediately successful, it paved the way for the grand and final success of the day. The re-enforcements for the Overton Hill, which the enemy had drawn from his left and center, had so much weakened that part of his line as to assure the success of General Smith's attack.

After withdrawing and reposing the troops that had been engaged in the assault I rode toward the right too look to the condition of the First and Second Divisions. Shortly after reaching the First Division, which was on the right of the corps, an electric shout, which announced that a grand advance was being made by our right and right center, was borne from the right toward the left. I at once ordered the whole corps to advance and assault the enemy's works, but the order was scarcely necessary. All had caught the inspiration, and officers of all grades and the men, each and every one, seemed to vie with each other in a generous rivalry and in the dash with which they assaulted the enemy's works. So general and so combined an attack on all parts of the enemy's line was resistless. It rushed forward like a mighty wave, driving everything before it. The sharp fire of musketry and artillery did not cause an instant's pause. I advanced with the First Division and witnessed, with the highest satisfaction, the gallant style in which it assaulted and carried the enemy's works. The division carried every point of the works in its front and captured five pieces of artillery, several hundred prisoners, and many hundred stand of small-arms. The Second Division gallantly carried the enemy's works in its front and captured many prisoners and small-arms. The Third Division resulted the Overton Hill, carried it, and captured four pieces of artillery, a large number of prisoners and small-arms, and two stand of colors. The enemy fled in the utmost confusion. The entire corps pushed rapidly forward, pressed the pursuit, and continued it several miles and till the fast approaching darkness made it necessary to halt for the night. In the pursuit the Third Division captured five pieces of artillery. The batteries of the corps advanced with the infantry in the pursuit, and by timely discharges increased the confusion and hastened the flight of the enemy. The corps bivouacked eight miles from Nashville, and within a mile of the Brentwood Pass, which was under our guns. By the day's operations the enemy had been driven from a strongly entrenched position by assault and forced into an indiscriminate rout. In his flight he had strewn the ground with small-arms, bayonets, cartridge-boxes, blankets, and other material, all attesting the completeness of the disorder to which he had abandoned himself. The captures of the day were 14 pieces of artillery, 980 prisoners, 2 stand of colors, and thousands of small-arms. It may be truthfully remarked that military history scarcely affords a parallel of a more complete victory.

At 12.30 a. m. of the 17th instructions were received from the commanding general of the forces to move to Fourth Corps as early as practicable down the Franklin pike in pursuit of the enemy. At 6 a. m. of the 17th I directed division commanders to advance as early as practicable, move rapidly, and if the enemy should be overtaken to press him vigorously. The night had been rainy and the morning broke dark and cloudy. It was, hence, nearly 8 a. m. before the column was well in motion, but it then advanced rapidly. The instructions of the commanding general, received during the night, informed me that the cavalry would move on my left during the day. It did not, however, get to my left before I moved, and at 10 a. m. I was detained a short

Page 134 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVII.