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conflict at Franklin, on the thirtieth November, and having received a leave of absence on account of his wound, relinquished, and I assumed, command of the corps on the second of December. So soon as I had assumed command of the corps, I placed it in position as follows, in conformity with orders received from the commanding General of the forces in the field in person: The left of the corps rested on the Casino, and, extending westward across the Granny White and Hilsboro pike, the right rested on the left of the detachment of the Army of the Tennessee (Major-General A. S. Smith's command), midway between the Hilsboro and Harding pikes. As the condition of the forces was not such as to warrant the commencement of offensive operations immediately, the first duty to be provided for was the safety of Nashville against assault. For this purpose a line of strong intrenchments, strengthened with an abatis, slashes of timber, and pointed stakes planted firmly in the ground, was constructed along the entire front of the corps. The entire development of this work was something over two miles. It was completed by the morning of the fifth of December. But while the safety of Nashville was being provided for, preparations were also being made for offensive operations. The troops were rapidly re-equipped in every particular, the trains repaired and loaded with supplies, etc. As early as the seventh of December, the commanding General of the forces had begun to communicate to the corps commanders his plan of attack, and had intimated that the morning of the tenth would witness the inauguration of offensive operations. But the morning of the ninth dawned upon us, bringing a heavy sleetstorm, which soon covered the whole face of the earth with a perfect mer de glace, and rendered all movement of troops, so long as it remained, impossible. The weather and condition of the ground were not sufficiently ameliorated before midday of the fourteenth of December to permit the commencement of operations with any hope of success. The commanding General summoned a meeting of corps commanders at his headquarters at three P. M., on the fourteenth, and delivered to them written orders, from which the following are extracts:

"As soon as the weather will admit of offensive operations, the troops will move against the enemy's position in the following order:






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Orders of the day for the Fourth Army Corps, for to-morrow, December 15, 1864.

II. Reveille will be sounded at four A. M.; the

troops will get their breakfast, break up their camp, pack up everything, and be prepared to move at six A. M.

II. Brigadier-General Elliott, commanding Second division, will move out by his right, taking the small road that passes by the right of his present position, form in echelon with General A. J. Smith's left, slightly refusing his own left, and, maintaining this relative position to General Smith's troops, will advance with them. When he moves out he will leave a strong line of skirmishers in his solid works.

III. Brigadier-General Kimball, commanding First division, on being relieved by General Steedman, will move his divison to the Hilsboro pike inside of our lines, and by it through the lines, and form in echelon to General Elliott's left, slightly refusing his own left. He will maintain this position, and advance with General Elliott.

IV. As soon as General Kimball's division has passed out of the works by Hilsboro pike, General Beatty, commanding Third division, will take up the movement, drawing out by the left, and will form in echelon to General Kimball's left. He will maintain this position, and advance with General Kimball. He will also leave a strong line of skirmishers behind the solid works along his present position.

V. The pickets on post, being strengthened when in the judgment of division commanders it becomes necessary, will advance as a line of skirmishers to cover the movement.

The formations of the troops will be in two lines, the first line deployed, the second line in interval in the front line. Each division comclose column, by division, massed opposite the mander will, so far as possible, hold one brigade in reserve. Five wagon loads of ammuwith intrenching tools, will, as nearly as possinition, ten ambulances, and the wagons loaded ble, follow after each division. The remaining ammunition wagons, ambulances, and all other wagons, will remain inside of our present lines until further orders. One rifle battery will of light twelve-pounders will accompany each accompany the Second division, and one battery of the remaining divisions. The rest of the artillery of the corps will maintain its present position in the lines.

By order of Brigadier-General T. J. Wood.
Lieut. Col. and A. A. G.


Illinois veteran volunteers, was selected for the work. The necessary arrangements having been made at one P. M., I gave the order for the assault. At the command, as sweeps the stiff over the ocean, driving every object before it, so swept the brigade up the wooden slope, over the enemy's intrenchments, and the hill was won. The Second brigade was nobly supported in the assault by the First brigade (Colonel Streight's) of the Third division. Quite a number of prisoners and small arms were captured in the assault. Previous to the assault I had caused the enemy to be well pounded by the artillery from our lines. This was the first success of the day, and it greatly exalted the enthusiasm of the troops. Our casualties were small, compared with the success.

The morning of the fifteenth was dark and sombre. A heavy pall of fog and smoke rested on the face of the earth, and enveloped every object in thick darkness. At six A. M. the movement of the troops was entirely imprac-gale ticable, but between seven and eight A. M. the fog began to rise, and the troops silently and rapidly commenced to move into the positions assigned to them. This preliminary work being completed, nothing further remained for the Fourth corps to do until the cavalry and General Smith had made the long swing from our right which was necessary to bring them on the rear and left of the enemy's position. At 12:30 P. M., General Smith having swung up his right so that his command prolonged the front of the Fourth corps, the serried ranks of the corps began to advance towards the enemy's intrenched position. I should have remarked previously, that as soon as the troops began to debouch from our intrenched line, the skirmishers were pushed forward to cover the movement, and soon became sharply engaged with the enemy's skirmishers and readily drove them back.

During all the preliminary movements an occasional shot from the enemy's batteries showed he was keenly watching our movements. As the shells hurtled through the air, and burst over the troops, they added interest to the scene. When the splendid array of the troops began to move forward in unison the pageant was magnificently grand and imposing. Far as the eye could reach the lines and masses of blue, over which the nation's emblem flaunted proudly, moved forward in such perfect order that the heart of the patriot might easily draw from it the happy presage of the coming glorious victory. A few minutes after 12:30 P. M., I deemed the movement favorable to the attack on the left and rear of Montgomery's Hill. Montgomery's Hill is an irregular cone-shaped eminence, which rises four hundred and fifty feet above the general level of the surrounding country. The ascent to its summit, throughout most of its circumference, is quite abrupt, and its sides are covered with forest trees. The enemy had encircled the hill, just below its crest, with a strong line of intrenchments, and embarrassed the approach of an assaulting force with an abatis and rows of sharpened stakes firmly planted in the ground. This hill was the enemy's most advanced position, and was not more than eight hundred yards from our lines.

The ascent on the left and rear of the hill, taken in reference to the enemy's occupation, is more gradual than the portion which directly confronted our intrenchments. As our troops advanced and swung to the left, the left of the hill was brought directly in front of the third division of the corps. This disposition was favorable to the intended assault. I ordered Brigadier-General Beatty, commanding the Third division, to detail a brigade to make the attack. The Second brigade of the Third division, commanded by Colonel P. Sidney Post, Fifty-ninth

Up to this time, the Twenty-third corps, Major-General Schofield, commanding, had been held in reserve in rear of the Fourth corps and Major-General A. J. Smith's command; but shortly after the assault on Montgomery's Hill, I received a message from the commanding General of the forces, to the effect that he had ordered General Schofield to move his command to the right, to prolong General Smith's front, and directing me to move my reserves as much to the right as could be done compatibly with the safety of my own front. The order was at once obeyed by shifting the reserve brigade of each division to the right. The entire line of the corps was steadily pressed forward, and the enemy engaged throughout its whole front. The battery accompanying each division was brought to the front, and being placed in short and effective range of the enemy's main line, allowed him to rest. As the troops advanced, the skirmishers were constantly engaged, at times so sharply that the fusilade nearly equalled in fierceness the engagement of solid lines of battle. I pressed the corps as near the enemy's main line as possible, without making a direct assault on it; in doing so, at the same time swinging to the left, the right of the corps which had, during the previous part of the day, been in rear of General Smith's left to support it, passed in front of it. This movement brought the centre of the corps, General Kimball's division, directly opposite to a very strongly fortified hill near the centre of the enemy's main line. Impressed with the importance of carrying this hill, as the enemy's centre would be broken thereby, I ordered up two batteries, and had them so placed as to bring a converging fire on the crest of the hill.

I will here remark, that the enemy's artillery on this hill had been annoying us seriously all the day. After the two batteries had played on the enemy's line for half an hour, during which time the practice had been most accurate, I ordered General Kimball to assault the hill with his entire division. Most nobly did the division respond to the order. With the most exalted enthusiasm, and with loud cheers, it rushed forward, up the steep ascent, and over the intrenchments. The solid fruits of this

magnificent assault were several pieces of artillery and stands of colors, many stands of small arms, and numerous prisoners. The Second division of the corps, General Elliott's, followed the movement of General Kimball's division, and entered the enemy's works further to the right, shortly after the main assault had been successful. The division, in this movement, captured three pieces of artillery. Further to the left, the Third division, General Beatty commanding, had attacked and carried the enemy's intrenchments and captured several pieces of artillery and caissons, and a considerable number of prisoners.

Fortunately, this brilliant success along the entire front of the corps was achieved with comparatively slight loss. The onset was so fierce, the movement of the troops so rapid, | that a very brief interval elapsed between the first shout of the advancing lines and the planting of our colors on the enemy's works. But this rapid movement had somewhat disordered the ranks, as well as blown the men, and it was hence necessary to halt the corps a brief space to re-form and prepare for a further advance. The enemy, on being driven from his works, had retired in the direction (eastward) of the Franklin pike. His works, extending across this pike, were still.

Fortunately, casualties were unusually light, compared with success achieved, not more than three hundred and fifty killed and wounded in the corps. After having provided for the safety of the corps for the night, I repaired to the quarters of the commanding General to receive his orders for the operations of the morrow. These orders were to advance at daylight the following morning, the sixteenth, and if the enemy was still in front, to attack him, but if he had retreated, to pass to the eastward of the Franklin pike, to face southward, and to pursue him till found. At 11:30 P. M., of the fifteenth, instructions were distributed to the division commanders to advance at daylight, and attack the enemy if found in front of their commands, but if he should not be found, to cross to the eastward of Franklin pike and move southward, parallel to it-Elliott's division leading, followed by Kimball's, then Beatty's.

At six a. M., on the sixteenth instant, the corps commenced to move towards the Franklin pike. The movement at once developed the enemy in our front, and sharp skirmishing commenced immediately. The enemy was steadily driven back, and at eight A. M. we gained possession of the Franklin pike. The enemy's skirmishers, after being driven eastward of the pike, retreated southward. Elliott's division was de

While the troops were being re-formed I re-ployed across the road, facing southward. Beatceived an order from the commanding General to move towards the Franklin pike, some two and a half miles distant; to reach it, if possible, before dark, drive the enemy, and form the corps across it, facing southward. This order was received about five P. M., almost sunset. The re-formation of the troops was quickly completed, and the whole corps, formed in two lines and covered by a cloud of skirmishers, was pushed rapidly towards the Franklin pike. Soon our skirmishers became engaged with the enemy's, but only to drive them. But the rapidly approaching darkness too soon brought a period to this glorious work. After crossing the Granny White pike and arriving within about three-fourths of a mile of the Franklin pike, the darkness became so thick that it was necessary, in order to avoid confusion and to prevent our troops from firing into each other, to halt the corps for the night. The corps was formed parallel to the Granny White pike, its right resting on General Smith's left, and its left on the most northern line (then abandoned) of the enemy's works. In this position, at about seven P. M., of a bleak December night, the troops bivouacked after their arduous, but fortunately glorious, labors of the day. The result of the day's operations for the corps was the capture of ten pieces of artillery, five caissons, several stands of colors, a considerable | number of small arms, and some five hundred prisoners. The enemy's intrenched lines had been broken in two places by direct assault, and he driven more than two miles. Of his loss of killed and wounded I could form no estimate, but it must have been heavy.

ty's division was formed on the left of Elliott's, and Kimball's division massed near the pike, in rear of Elliott's. In this order the corps advanced nearly three-fourths of a mile, when it encountered a heavy skirmish line, stoutly barricaded. Some half mile in the rear of the enemy's skirmish line, his main line, strongly intrenched, could be seen. An effort was at once made to connect General Elliott's right with General Smith's left. The interval being too great to accomplish this, I ordered General Kimball to bring up his division and occupy the space between Generals Smith and Elliott's commands. This was promptly done, the troops moving handsomely into position under a sharp fire of musketry and artillery. Thus formed, the entire corps advanced in magnificent array, under a galling fire of small arms and artillery, and drove the enemy's skirmishers into his main line. Further advance was impossible without making a direct assault on the enemy's intrenched line, and the happy moment for this grand effort had not yet arrived. I hence ordered the division commanders to press their skirmishers as near to the enemy's intrenchments as possible, and to harass him with a constant fire. In a conflict of this nature I knew we would have greatly the advantage of him, as our supply of ammunition was inexhaustible, and his limited. All the batteries of the corps on the field were brought to the front, placed in eligible positions in short range of the enemy's works, and ordered to keep up a measured but steady fire on his artillery. The practice of the batteries was uncommonly fine. The ranges were accurately obtained, the elevations

This line of intrenchments was strengthened with an abatis and other embarrassments to an assault.

correctly given, and the ammunition being un- valley inclosed between the two branches is usually good, the fire was consequently most nearly bisected by the Franklin pike. The effective. It was really entertaining to witness average elevation of the Brentwood Hills above it. The enemy replied spiritedly with musketry the general level of the surrounding country, is and artillery, and his practice with both was about three hundred and fifty feet. The surgood. In the progress of the duel he disabled face of the Nashville basin is broken by detwo guns in Ziegler's battery. After the dispo- tached hills, some of which rise to an elevation sition above recounted had been made, the of a hundred and fifty feet, with abrupt sides, commanding General joined me near our most densely wooded. About five miles from Nashadvanced position, on the Franklin pike, exam- ville the Franklin pike passes along the base of ined the posting of the troops, approved the one of those isolated heights, which is known as same, and ordered that the enemy should be Overton Hill. When the heavy stress which.. vigorously pressed and unceasingly harassed had been put on the enemy during the forenoon by our fire. He further directed that I should of the sixteenth had forced him into his works, be constantly on the alert for any opening for he was found to occupy a strongly intrenched a more decisive effort, but, for the time, to abide line, running for some distance along the base events. The general plan of the battle for the of the western branch of the Brentwood Hills; preceding day, namely, to outflank and turn the thence across the valley, eastward, to and across enemy's left, was still to be acted on. Before the Franklin pike, around the northern slope of leaving me the commanding General desired me Overton Hill, about midway between its sumto confer with Major-General Steedman, whose mit and base, with a retired flank running nearly command had moved out that morning from Nash-southward, prolonged around its eastern slope. ville by the Nolensville pike, and arrange a military connection between his right and my left. The enemy had made some display of force between the Franklin and Nolensville pikes, but its extent could not be fixed, and it was hence necessary to take precaution in reference to it. Near twelve M. I rode towards the left and met Major-General Steedman; communicated to him the views of the commanding General, and submitted him some suggestions with regard to the disposition of his command to meet those views. General Steedman coincided in opinion with me, and promptly and handsomely, though exposed to a sharp fire from one of the enemy's batteries, placed his command, both infantry and artillery, in a position which effectually secured my left from being turned. I will here remark that General Steedman's command most gallantly and effectively co-operated with my command during the remainder of the day. For a proper understanding of the last, great, and decisive struggle in the battle of Nashville, a brief description of the scene of its occurrence, and of the topograhy of the adjacent country, is requisite. The basin in which the city of Nashville stands is enclosed on the south-west, south, and south-east, by the Brentwood Hills. The Franklin pike runs nearly due south from Nashville. The Brentwood Hills consist of two ranges or branches; the branch to the west of the Franklin pike runs from north-west to southeast, the branch to the east of the Franklin pike runs from north-east to south-west. The two branches unite in a depression or gap, about nine miles from Nashville. The Franklin pike passes through the gap, and in it is situated the little hamlet of Brentwood. The most northern point of each branch of hills is about five miles from Nashville. From this description it will be perceived that the general configuration of the Brentwood Hills is that of a rudely shaped V. Nashville is north of, and about opposite, the centre of the space included between the two branches. Brentwood is at the apex. The

The right of the enemy's main line rested on Overton Hill. A close examination of the position satisfied me that if Overton Hill could be carried, the enemy's right would be turned, his line from the Franklin pike, westward, would be taken in reverse, and his line of retreat along the pike and the valley leading to Brentwood, commanded effectually. The capture of half of the rebel army would almost certainly have been the guerdon of success. It was evident that the assault would be very difficult, and even if successful, would probably be attended with heavy loss; but the prize at stake was worth the hazard. Early in the afternoon I began to make preparations for assaulting the hill. Owing to the openness of the country, the preparatory movements could not be concealed from the enemy; in truth, from our extreme proximity to his intrenchments, they were necessarily made under the fire of his artillery. Knowing that the safety of his army depended on holding Overton Hill to the last moment, he reinforced the position heavily with troops drawn from his left and left-centre. I directed Colonel Post to reconnoitre the position closely, with the view of determining-first, the feasibility of an assault; and secondly, to determine the most practicable point on which to direct it. After a thorough and close reconnoisance, in which perhaps three-fourths of an hour were spent, Colonel Post reported that the position was truly formidable, that it would be very difficult to carry, but that he thought he could do it with his brigade. He further reported that an assault, in his opinion, on the northern slope of the hill, held out the greatest promise of success. I ordered him to prepare his brigade for the assault immediately, and to inform me when he was ready to move. I directed General Beatty, commanding Third division, to have the First brigade (Colonel Streight's) formed

to support Colonel Post's. I further ordered Major Goodspeed, Chief of Artillery of the corps, to open a concentrated fire on the hill, for the purpose of silencing the enemy's batteries and demolishing his defences, and to continue the fire as long as it could be done with safety to our advancing troops. The order was effectively obeyed. I also conferred with MajorGeneral Steedman, and explained to him what I intended to do. He promptly agreed to move his command forward with the assaulting brigade, to cover its left; also to participate in the assault with a view to carrying whatever might be in his front. Everything being prepared for the attack, near three P. M., I gave the order for the assaulting brigade to advance. This it did steadily, followed by its support. MajorGeneral Steedman's command moved simultaneously. I will here remark, that General Steedman's artillery had kept up an effective fire on the enemy's works during the interval in which the preparations for the assault were being made. The front of the assaulting force was covered with a cloud of skirmishers, who had been ordered to advance rapidly, for the purpose of drawing the enemy's fire as far as possible, and to annoy his artillerists, and to prevent, as far as possible, the working of his guns. The assaulting force was instructed to move steadily forward to within a short distance of the enemy's works, and then, by a "bold burst," ascend the steep ascent, cross the abatis, dash over the rude but strong parapet, and secure the coveted goal. The troops were full of enthusiasm, and the splendid array in which the advance was made gave hopeful promise of success. Near the foot of the ascent the assaulting party dashed forward for the last great effort; it was welcomed with a most terrific fire of grape and canister and musketry. But its course was onward. When near, however, the enemy's works (a few of our men, stouter of limb and speedier of movement, had already entered his line), his reserves on the slope of the hill rose and poured in a fire before which no troops could live. Unfortunately, the casualties had been particularly heavy among the officers; and more unfortunate still, when he had arrived almost at the abatis, while gallantly leading his brigade, the chivalric Post was struck down by a grape shot, and his horse killed under him. The brigade, its battalions bleeding, torn, and broken, first halted, and then began to retire; but there was little disorder, and nothing of panic. The troops promptly halted and were readily re-formed by their officers. But for the unfortunate fall of Colonel Post, the commander of the assaulting brigade, I think the assault would have succeeded. I had watched the assault with a keen and anxious gaze. It was made by troops whom I had long commanded, and whom I had learned to love and admire for their noble deeds on many a hard-fought field. I had observed, with pride and exultation, the evident steady resolve with which they had prepared for the assault, the cheerfulness with

which they had received the announcement that they were les enfans perdu.

So soon as I perceived the troops begin to retire, apprehending that the enemy might attempt an offensive return, I despatched an order to all the batteries bearing on the hill to open the heaviest possible fire so soon as their fronts were sufficiently cleared by the retiring_troops to permit it. I also ordered Colonel Kuefter, commanding Third brigade, Third division, to hold his command well in hand, ready to charge the enemy, should he presume to follow our troops. Both orders were promptly obeyed, and if the enemy ever had the temerity to contemplate an offensive return, he never attempted to carry it into effect. Not a prisoner was captured from us—a fact almost unparalleled in an assault so fierce, so near to success, but unsuccessful. And no foot of ground previously won was lost. After the repulse, our soldiers, white and 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 reinforcements for Overton Hill, which the enemy had drawn from his left and left-centre, had so much weakened that part of his line as to insure the success of General Smith's attack.

After withdrawing and re-posting the troops that had been engaged in the assault, I rode towards the right to 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 centre, was borne from the right towards 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 intrenched lines. 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 stands of small arms.

The Second division gallantly carried the works in its front and captured many prisoners and small arms. The Third division re-assaulted Overton Hill, carried it, and captured four pieces of artillery, a large number of prisoners and small arms, and two stands 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

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