Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United States and Confederate States Armies

By J. B. Hood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII.

TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN--FRANKLIN--NASHVILLE--RETREAT--
TUPELO--RETURN TO RICHMOND--SURRENDER AT NATCHEZ,
MISSISSIPPI.

AT early dawn the troops were put in motion in the direction of Franklin, marching as rapidly as possible to overtake the enemy before he crossed the Big Harpeth, eighteen miles from Spring Hill. Lieutenant General Lee had crossed Duck river after dark the night previous, and, in order to reach Franklin, was obliged to march a distance of thirty miles. The head of his column arrived at Spring Hill at 9 a. m. on the 30th, and, after a short rest, followed in the wake of the main body.

A sudden change in sentiment here took place among officers and men: the Army became metamorphosed, as it were, in one night. A general feeling of mortification and disappointment pervaded its ranks. The troops appeared to recognize that a rare opportunity had been totally disregarded, and manifested, seemingly, a determination to retrieve, if possible, the fearful blunder of the previous afternoon and night. The feeling existed which sometimes induces men who have long been wedded to but one policy to look beyond the sphere of their own convictions, and, at least, be willing to make trial of another course of action.

Stewart's Corps was first in order of march; Cheatham followed immediately, and Lieutenant General Lee in rear.

-292-

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