Journal of the Army of Tennessee
NOVEMBER 14, 1864-JANUARY 23, 1865
Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLV/1 [S# 93]
November 15, 1864.--Headquarters Army of Tennessee at Florence, Ala. Heavy rains in the last forty-eight hours.
November 16.--Headquarters Florence, Ala. In obedience to a general order from these headquarters, all military duties (except those that are absolutely necessary) will be suspended, this day having been set apart by the President as a day of fasting and prayer.
November 17.--Headquarters Army of Tennessee, Florence, Ala. Nothing of importance has transpired to-day.
November 18.--Headquarters Florence, Ala. General Beauregard moved his headquarters from Tuscumbia to Montgomery, Ala. General Stewart has been ordered to cross the Tennessee River with his corps tomorrow.
November 19.--Headquarters Florence, Ala. General Stewart's corps was unable to cross the river today in consequence of the bad weather and the slow progress made by the supply trains. General Lee's corps is ordered to take up line of march at 5 o'clock in the morning.
November 20.--Headquarters Florence, Ala. Stewart's corps crossed the river and moved out several miles on Lawrenceburg road. Lee's corps took up line of march at an early hour and bivouacked ten miles from this place, on road between Lawrenceburg and Waynesborough roads. The whole army will move at an early hour to-morrow.
November 21.--Cheatham's corps took up line of march at an early hour this a.m. and moved out on the Waynesborough road. Army headquarters moved at 10 a.m., and were established at 5 p.m. near Rawhide, on Waynesborough road, twelve miles north of Florence. Lee's corps, on the Chisem road, and Stewart's, on the Lawrenceburg road, resumed their march this morning.
November 22.--Cheatham's corps and army headquarters were in motion at sunrise, and after a march of eighteen miles, army headquarters were established near the intersection of the Natchez and Waynesborough roads. Cheatham's corps encamped one mile south of headquarters.
November 23.--Cheatham's corps and army headquarters took another early start this morning, and after a march of eighteen miles arrived and established headquarters at the Furnace No. 96, four miles north of Waynesborough, on the Mount Pleasant and Waynesborough road.
November 24.--Army headquarters nine miles south of Mount Pleasant, on the Waynesborough and Mount Pleasant road. Cheatham's corps continued the march on the Waynesborough and Mount Pleasant road, camping twelve miles south [of] Henryville, in the rear of Lee's corps, which came into Waynesborough and Mount Pleasant road from the Pinhook (a country road). Stewart's corps camped in rear of Cheat-ham's corps, having also come into Waynesborough and Mount Pleasant road from the Waterloo and Lawrenceburg road.
November 25.--Army headquarters at Mount Pleasant. Lee's corps camped just beyond town, on Columbia road; Cheatham's corps, five miles south of town, and Stewart's corps at Henryville.
November 26.--Army headquarters at Col. Andrew J. Polk's, five miles south of Columbia, on Mount Pleasant pike. Lee's corps continued the march on the Mount Pleasant and Columbia pike, going into position near Columbia, the right resting on the pike. Cheatham's corps followed Lee's, camping near army headquarters, between the Mount Pleasant and Columbia and the Pulaski pikes. Stewart's corps camped two miles beyond Mount Pleasant, on the Mount Pleasant and Columbia pike.
November 27.--Army headquarters moved from Polk's residence, on the Mount Pleasant and Columbia pike, to Mrs. Warfield's, on the Pulaski pike, three miles south of Columbia. Lee's corps remained in same position it occupied last night. Cheatham's corps crossed over from Mount Pleasant and Columbia pike across the Pulaski pike, going into position with its right resting on Duck River and the left on the Pulaski pike. Stewart's corps continued the march on the Mount Pleasant and Columbia pike, going into position with its right on the Pulaski and its left on the Mount Pleasant and Columbia pikes.
November 28.--Army headquarters continued during the day at Mrs. Warfield's residence, on the Pulaski pike, three miles south of Columbia. The army occupied the same position as designated yesterday. The enemy abandoned Columbia last night and our troops took possession at daylight this morning. General Orders, No. 37, issued to-day, prohibiting plundering by the army of both private and public property, it having been reported to General Hood that Columbia had been "wantonly and disgracefully plundered."
November 29.--General Hood, with Cheatham's and Stewart's corps and Johnson's division, of Lee's corps, flanked the enemy's force remaining opposite Columbia, crossing Duck River about three miles above the town, and moving by a country road to the Columbia and Franklin pike, struck the enemy (who, in the meantime, had begun to retire from Columbia) near Spring Hill, but without success. The command then went into camp near Spring Hill. Army headquarters for the night were at Doctor Thompson's, two and a half miles from Spring Hill and a little to the right of the Columbia and Franklin pike. General Lee, with Clayton's and Stevenson's divisions and the artillery and teams of the army, remained at Columbia.
November 30.--The march was resumed on the Columbia and Franklin pike, Lee coming up from Columbia with the remainder of his command and the artillery. Cheatham's and Stewart's corps went into position around the enemy's works at Franklin about 4.30 p.m., engaging the enemy almost immediately, Stewart on the right and Cheatham on the left. General Hood's headquarters were on the pike, about three-fourths of a mile in rear of the line of battle. The battle closed about 12 o'clock at night. Skirmishing was going on, however, till 3 a.m., when the enemy abandoned his position, and retired upon the Franklin and Nashville pike. Cheatham's and Stewart's corps and Johnson's division, of Lee's corps, were all engaged, Clayton's and Stevenson's divisions, of Lee's corps, and the artillery not having been brought into action.
December 1.--The army moved out from Franklin during the morning on the Franklin and Nashville pike, Lee in front, Stewart next, and Cheatham in the rear, all camping on the pike, a few miles from Franklin. Army headquarters for the night just across Harpeth River from Franklin.
December 2.--The army again in motion on Franklin and Nashville pike, marching in the same order as on yesterday. Late in the evening we took position in front of Nashville, Lee's corps in the center, with its center resting upon the Franklin pike, Stewart's forming on his left and Cheatham's on his right, Forrest's cavalry protecting either flank, our line extending, as near as possible, from the Cumberland, above the city, to the Cumberland, below the city, curving forward from General Lee's center. (See confidential circular of December 2, 1864.) Army headquarters at Mr. Overton's residence, five and a half miles from Nashville, and near the Franklin and Nashville pike.
December 3.--The army occupied the same position as yesterday, with slight alterations. Army headquarters remained at Mr. Overton's.
December 4.--The army occupies the same position around Nashville. The skirmish line was advanced on some portions of the line. The cavalry, under Chalmers, captured two transports seven miles below Nashville, on Cumberland River, and some 300 mules.
December 5.--Army headquarters at Mr. Overton's house. Our line remains pretty much the same. The enemy, in heavy line of battle, drove in General Cheatham's skirmishers across the Nashville and Murfreesborough railroad this morning, but retired without attacking our line. Sears' brigade, of French's division, and Brown's brigade, of Stevenson's division, with a battery each, were sent to the vicinity of Murfreesborough to report to General Forrest. General Bate, with the force under his command, was also directed to report to General Forrest. Circular issued to-day to corps commanders for information of the army announcing the capture of "the block-house and fort at La Vergne, with commissary stores, 100 prisoners, 2 pieces of artillery, 100 small-arms and ammunition, 20 wagons, and some teams by General Forrest, and that General Bate had burned three block-houses." General Hood made a proposition to officer commanding U.S. forces at Nashville for an exchange of the prisoners in his hands for an equal number of Confederate prisoners.
December 6.---General Thomas, commanding U.S. forces, Nashville, in reply to General Hood's proposition for an exchange of prisoners, states "that such an arrangement is impracticable, all Confederate prisoners having been sent North, and consequently placed beyond his control." General Hood asks by telegraph of both Generals Beauregard, commanding department, and Maury, commanding Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, to have the Memphis and Charleston Railroad repaired to Decatur, Ala., to which point he hopes to have the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad running in a day or two.
(See telegrams and letter book, office assistant adjutant-general.) Our lines around Nashville about the same, perhaps with slight alteration by corps commanders, under revision of General Hood. Slight demonstration on our (Cheatham's) right by the enemy. General Forrest's command invests Murfreesborough. The enemy reported very strongly fortified there, and with 6,000 or 8,000 troops in his forts. It is not yet determined whether an assault will be made by our forces.
December 7.--Nothing new on our line immediately around Nashville. Captain Reid, commanding at Corinth, Miss., reports, under date of December 1, the following, which was repeated by General Hood to General Beauregard, Macon, Ga., with the request that all men belonging to this army, and any re-enforcements that could be spared, be sent forward as soon as possible:
Scouts from the vicinity of Memphis report that Steele, with 15,000 men, landed at that point on last Thursday and passed up the river Saturday.
News of our forces in neighborhood of Murfreesborough being driven back by the enemy received to-night. Col. B. J. Hill, with his cavalry command, was ordered to-day to Bedford, Giles, and Marshall Counties, Tenn., 6, to break up and destroy the home guards, to conscribe men liable to military duty, and to protect the mills in the neighborhood of Shelbyville? (See dispatch to General Forrest, field dispatch book.)
December 8.--Lieutenant-General Lee made a demonstration on his extreme left to-day, driving in the enemy's pickets without any show of resistance, and establishing his own line in the pits from which he had driven the pickets of the enemy. General Forrest was ordered to drive the enemy back to Murfreesborough, and then give him an opportunity to leave the town in the direction of Lebanon, if he chose. He was also directed to return Bate's division and Sears' brigade to the army, keeping Palmer's (Brown's old) brigade and Mercer's, which was ordered to him to-day, and what artillery he might deem necessary, another division to be sent to him to supply the place of Bate's when the latter shall have joined the army.
December 9.--All quiet in front. General Forrest advised by General Hood that another division would not be sent him to supply the place of Bate's [division] and Sears' brigade, other dispositions being made to prevent the enemy from re-enforcing Murfreesborough, and in the event of evacuation to secure his defeat. Palmer's and Mercer's brigades ordered to strongly fortify themselves on Stewart's Creek, or at La Vergne, as General Forrest might deem best, "to constitute a force in observation of the enemy," and a brigade of cavalry to picket in the neighborhood of Lebanon.
December 10.--Generals Stewart's and Lee's corps retired their lines a short distance for the purpose of convenience to wood. No change otherwise. Reports received of the concentration of the enemy's cavalry at Edgefield, and General Forrest directed to meet and drive them back should the force attempt to cross the Cumberland River above. Circular issued to corps commanders directing the construction of self-supporting detached works--General Stewart to select all good points in rear of his left; General Cheatham, all good points in rear of his right; and General Lee, all good points in rear both of his right and left flanks, for the construction of these works.
December 11.--No change in the lines.
December 12.--No change to report. General Hood telegraphed to General Beauregard "for all available cavalry to be sent to this army as soon as Sherman completes his raid."
December 13 and 14.--No change in the line.
December 15.--The enemy attacked both of our flanks this morning about the same time, and was repulsed with heavy loss on our right, but toward evening he succeeded in driving in our infantry outposts on the left.
December 16.--A general attack was commenced early this morning on our entire line, and all the enemy's assaults repulsed with heavy loss, till 3.30 p.m., when our line suddenly gave way to the left of the center, causing in a few moments our lines to give way at all points, our troops retreating rapidly and in some 'confusion down the Franklin pike. The army camped all along the pike from Brentwood to and including Franklin. Army headquarters at Mrs. Maney's, near Franklin. General Forrest was advised through a staff officer (Captain Cooper) of the retreat of the army, and directed to make disposition of his troops for protecting it.
December 17.--The march was continued toward Columbia--Stewart in front, Cheatham next, and Lee in the rear, with Chalmers' and Buford's cavalry. General Lee's rear harassed considerably by the enemy's cavalry near Spring Hill. Lieutenant-General Lee slightly wounded. The army camped between Franklin and Spring Hill in the order of march. Army headquarters at Spring Hill.
December 18.--Stewart's corps marched in front to-day, camping in line of battle on Duck River. Cheatham camped on Rutherford's Creek, and General Lee between the creek and Franklin. Army headquarters at Mr. Vaught's, Columbia.
December 19.--Army headquarters still at Mr. Vaught's. The army, and such trains and artillery as were not crossed over yesterday, occupied the day in crossing Duck River--Lee first, Cheatham next, and then Stewart. The enemy's cavalry appeared on opposite side of Rutherford's Creek.
December 20.--Everything over the river this morning. The march was resumed on the Pulaski pike--Lee in front (Stevenson commanding), Cheatham next, and General Stewart in rear. General Forrest, with his cavalry and a division of infantry under command of Major-General Walthall (composed of Ector's, Strahl's, Maney's, Granbury's, and Palmr's brigades), directed to oppose the advance of the enemy's cavalry. General Stevenson's corps camped within two miles of Pulaski, and the other two corps in his rear, and in order of march. Army headquarters at Mr. Jones', Pulaski.
December 21.--Army headquarters still at Mr. Jones', Pulaski. Stevenson's corps marched across Richland Creek and went into camp; Cheatham's and Stewart's corps camped on this side.
December 22.--Army headquarters at Pulaski. Stevenson's corps was directed to move forward on the Lamb's Ferry road, in rear of the pontoon train, and camped about eight miles from Pulaski. General Stewart's corps camped in rear of Stevenson's about six miles from Pulaski, and General Cheatham's on Richland Creek, in the immediate vicinity of town. The wagon train ordered to move at daylight toward Bainbridge, by the Powell road.
December 23.--Army headquarters on Powell's Ferry road, six miles from Lexington, Ala. The army, after the day's march, camped as follows: Stevenson's corps at the intersection of the Lamb's Ferry road with the Powell road, four miles from Lexington; General Stewart in rear, on the Lamb's Ferry road; General Cheatham moved on the Lawrenceburg road.
December 24.--Army headquarters at Mr. Joiner's, eleven miles from Bainbridge, on the main Bainbridge road. Stevenson's corps reached and camped on Shoal Creek and Stewart's in his rear. General Cheat-ham not yet come into the main road from the Powell road.
December 25.--Army headquarters at Bainbridge, on the Tennessee River. The pontoon was being laid across the river as rapidly as the arrival of the boats would allow. General Cheatham came into the main road this morning, and in rear of Stevenson's corps moved to the river, where a line covering the bridge was formed, Cheatham occupying the right and Stevenson the left. General Stewart's corps, upon arriving at the point where Cheatham's corps came into the main road, was put into position so as to protect both roads.
December 26 to January 2, 1865, inclusive.--The pontoon was completed by daylight on the 26th instant, and the army was occupied two days in crossing--Lee's and Cheatham's corps on the 26th, and Stewart's and the cavalry on the 27th. On the 28th the pontoon was withdrawn. The march was resumed, upon striking the Memphis and Charleston railroad, immediately down the road, in the order of crossing the river, to Burnsville, Miss., where, on the 31st, a circular was issued to corps commanders, directing further movements, as follows: "Lee's corps to move to Rienzi, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, Cheatham's corps to move to Corinth, and Stewart's corps to remain at Burnsville until further orders." Cheatham's corps arrived and established camps at Corinth on January 1, and Lee's and Stewart's corps at their respective destinations on January 2, 1865. Army headquarters were at Tuscumbia from the 26th to the 28th of December, inclusive. On the 29th General Hood, with Colonel Mason and his personal staff, remained during the day at the terminus of the railroad near Tuscumbia, awaiting the train, which did not arrive until late at night. He reached Burnsville on the evening of the 30th, remained there until the morning of the 2d of January, and from thence came by cars to Corinth.
January 3.--Lee's and Stewart's corps ordered to continue the march to Tupelo, Miss., from their respective bivouacs, Rienzi and Burnsville, all wheels not necessary with the troops and artillery carriages to be sent to Columbus, to report upon arrival to Major-General Elzey.
January 4.--No further orders regulating movements of the troops.
January 5.--Army headquarters established at Tupelo, Miss.
January 6.--Generals Stewart and Stevenson (commanding Lee's corps) were ordered to work the road where it was bad on their march. January 7.--Lee's corps arrived at Tupelo and went into camp.
January 8.--No orders of importance issued with reference to further movements.
January 9.--Stewart's corps arrived at Tupelo and went into camp.
January 10.--Cheatham's corps ordered to move from Corinth to Tupelo.
January 11.--No orders of importance.
January 12.--Cheatham's corps arrived at Tupelo. All stores reported moved away from Corinth to Tupelo.
January 13.--No orders of importance.
January 14.--General Beauregard arrived at Tupelo, on visit to t, he army, late at night.
January 15.--A system for furloughing the troops established. (See General Orders, No. 1, 1865, and circular letter to corps commanders, field dispatches, N. 542.)
January 16.--The army still in same camp at and near Tupelo.
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