Today in History:

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

Page 166 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVII.

intolerably bad, and suggests that arrangements be made to feed us from some other point, &c. 2 p. m., reached Sugar Creek (the whole corps), having marched twelve miles over the worst road that, perhaps, an army every marched. Our trains are up with us and are now going into camp. The cavalry is on the other side of Sugar Creek in camp, and we cannot go farther until it moves. 7 p. m., Major Goodspeed, our chief of artillery, reports that after to-morrow morning our artillery horses will have no forage; that we were only supplied with ten days' forge, six pounds per day per animal, when operations commenced at Nashville (thirteen days ago), and that the quartermaster's department has furnished none since, though a little has been gathered from the country. These facts are sent to General Thomas in a dispatch per courier, who starts at this hour. He is also informed that we can get no forage from the country hereabouts (the cavalry having gathered all), and if we go on to the river it will have to be done without artillery or ammunition. 8.30 p .m., received note from General Wilson, from which the following is an extract:


Brigadier-General WOOD,
Commanding Fourth Corps:

I have just received a dispatch from Colonel Spalding, at Lexington, 2 p. m. He says the rebel rear guard left there at 10 a. m. A lady from Florence informed him that on the evening of the 25th the rebels had not finished their bridge at Bainbridge. They were fortified to cover the crossing. The gun-boats were shelling Florence this morning. Spalding pushed on at once. I have written to General Thomas that I would press on with all my force early in the morning. The woman's testimony is in some degree corroborated by a rebel prisoner just in. At all events we had better push on as far and as fast as possible. I shall move everything, beginning at 5 a. m., though Hatch has received no rations, and three days' of Croxton's were taken by A. J. Smith.

8.30 p. m., sent word to General Thomas that as General Wilson is going on in the morning we will push on in support as fast as the condition of the road will allow. His (General Thomas') attention is again called to our condition and the necessity of pushing forward rations and forage to this command, and full instructions for the guidance of our movements when we reach the Tennessee River, should we get so far, are requested.

The fact that the enemy had not finished laying his pontoon bridge on the evening of the 25th (as reported by Colonel Spalding to General Wilson) is no evidence that the enemy, or the bulk of his army, is not now over the river. There is no reason to change the opinion that General Wilson advanced, i. e., that the bulk of the enemy is over the river. Knowing when the enemy's pontoon train left Pulaski, we must conclude that the enemy has done well to get his pontoon train to Bainbridge as soon as the 25th instant . General Wilson's proposed movement for to-morrow is not at all judicious, as the rear of the enemy will have crossed the river some time before he can reach it, even if they do not commence to cross until to-day, December 27. His horses will be without forage and his men without rations, and he is going into a barren country. Under orders from General Thomas we are obliged to follow up the cavalry closely and support it, and we are obliged to follow wherever Wilson leads. As soon as the cavalry moves out of the way to-morrow we will march.

Page 166 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LVII.