Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/96

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86
Southern Historical Society Papers.

Report of the Operations of Clayton's Division North of the Tennessee River in the Campaign of the Winter of 1864.

[From the original MS.]

Headquarters Clayton's Division,
In the Field
, 28th February, 1865.

Major—I have the honor to submit the following, being a report of the operations of this division in the campaign north of the Tennessee river, embracing a period from the 20th November to the 27th December.

On the 20th November the line of march was taken up from Florence, Alabama, in the direction of Nashville. The division reached Columbia on the 27th without incident worthy of mention except the usual bad roads and bad weather incident to the season of the year. Here the enemy, having massed his forces from Pulaski and other neighboring points, was found strongly entrenched. On the 29th, the enemy having withdrawn across Duck river, the balance of the army was moved to the right, leaving Stevenson's division and my own to confront him at this point. Preparations were made for crossing the river, which was accomplished on the evening of the 29th and the morning of the 30th November. Moving rapidly up the road to Franklin, we came up with the balance of the army at Spring Hill, and all soon moved on to Franklin, which was reached late in the afternoon of that day. We found that bloody and disastrous engagement begun, and were put in position to attack, but night mercifully interposed to save us from the terrible scourge which our brave companions had suffered. On the following morning this division, being in front, resumed the march to Nashville, where it arrived in front of the enemy's works on the 1st December, and, driving in his videttes, took position, which was established as line of battle of the whole army. From this time until the morning of the 15th was spent in almost incessant work upon lines of entrenchments, of which four were constructed by this division.

Upon the morning of the 15th the engagement was begun by the enemy, who attacked the extreme right and left of the army and demonstrated along my front. It becoming necessary to send reinforcements to the left, my line was extended in that direction, until Stovall's and Holtzclaw's brigades were deployed to cover the whole front occupied by the corps in the morning, and Gibson's brigade,