Today in History:

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


to the enemy's fire. In this assault my command captured-pieces of artillery, about 300 prisoners, and great numbers of small and side arms. The prisoners were sent to the rear, and the command pushed on in pursuit of the retreating enemy, leaving the artillery, small-arms, and other trophies in the works from which the enemy had been driven. The right of my line was here thrown forward and the direction of my front changed toward the left. The enemy was closely pursued until my command reached the Granny White pike, where darkness ended the day's work, and the command bivouacked for the night.

In obedience to your orders, at 7 o'clock the morning of the 16th, I formed my command in line of battle, with the Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Whitaker commanding, on the right, the Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Grose commanding, on the left, and the First Brigade, Colonel I. M. Kirby commanding, in reserve, each brigade in two lines. Throwing forward a strong line of skirmishers, and supporting them with my whole command, the enemy's position in my front was soon developed, and he was found strongly posted in earth-works along the base of a high ridge, his line extending toward the east across and covering the Franklin pike. At 10 o'clock I was in position in front of the enemy, my line parallel to his, my left resting upon the Franklin pike, and my right connecting with Garrard's division, of the Sixteenth Corps. Ziegler's battery was posted upon an eminence near my center and about 1,000 yards from the enemy's works. At 1 p. m. I advanced my lines to a ridge about 400 yards from the enemy's main works, and occupied it, under a most galling fire from his artillery immediately in my front. It was in this position, while using his battery with great effect upon the enemy, that Ziegler had two of his pieces disabled by solid shot. His battery was then withdrawn, and Battery F [M], Fourth U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant Can by commanding, reporting to me, was put in the position formerly occupied by Ziegler's battery, where it did excellent service, punishing the enemy severely. At 4 o'clock my command charged the enemy's works successfully, capturing-pieces of artillery, 900 prisoners, and a great number of small-arms and entrenching tools, which were left in works while the command pressed on after the enemy, who were fleeing down the Franklin pike. The Ninety-sixth Illinois Infantry, Major George Hicks commanding, was in the advance, and pressed the enemy so closely that a drove of cattle was abandoned by them. The pursuit ended soon after dark, and my command bivouacked seven miles from Nashville, on the Franklin pike, picketing the Brentwood Pass. Canby's battery pressed forward with the division during the pursuit of the enemy.

Early on the morning of the 17th the pursuit was continued, and my command bivouacked at night on the north bank of the Harpeth River near Franklin. During this day's march great numbers of stragglers and deserters from the enemy were picked up and sent to the rear. On the 18th my command crossed the Harpeth River, and marching through Franklin, bivouacked three miles south of Spring Hill. On the 19th I moved to near Rutherford's Creek, which, although usually easily forded, was then so swollen by the heavy rains which had continued to fall without cessation since the afternoon of the 16th, as to be impassable, all the bridges having been destroyed. The Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Grose commanding, was sent soon after noon to bridge the stream, and before dark the next day my whole command had crossed the creek, bivouacking near the Franklin pike, about three-quarters of a mile from Columbia. The division remained in bivouac at