Today in History:

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


to Kentucky by way of Cumberland Gap. The country marched over was laid waste to prevent its being used again by the enemy-all mills, factories, bridges, &c., being destroyed. The command had everything to contend with as far the weather and roads were concerned, yet the troops bore up cheerfully throughout, and made each twenty-four hours an average march of forty-two miles and a half.

The pursuit of Hood's retreading army was discontinued by my main forces on the 23th of December, on reaching the Tennessee River; however, a force cavalry, numbering 600 men, made up from detachments of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania, Second Michigan, Tenth, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Indiana Regiments, under command of Colonel William J. Palmer, Fifteenth Pennsylvania, operating with Steedman's column, started from Decatur, ala., in the direction of Hood's line of retreat in Mississippi. The enemy's cavalry, under Roddye, met at Leighton, with whom Colonel Palmer skirmished and pressed back in small squads toward the mountains. Here it was ascertained that Hood's trains passed through Leighton on the 28th of December and moved off toward Columbus, Miss. Avoiding the enemy's cavalry, Colonel Palmer left Leighton on the 31st of December, moved rapidly via La Grange and Russellville and by the Cotton-gin road, and overtook the enemy's pontoon train, consisting of 200 wagons and 78 pontoon-boats, when ten miles out from Russellville. This he destroyed. Having learned of a large supply train on its way to Tuscaloosa, Colonel Palmer started on the 1st of January toward Aberdeen, Miss., with a view of cutting it off, and succeed it off, and succeeded in surprising it about 10 p. m. on the same evening just over the line in Mississippi. The train consisted of 110 wagons and 500 mules, the former of which wee burned and the latter sobered or shot. Returning via Toll-gate, Ala., and on the old military and Hacksburg roads, the enemy, under Roddye, Biffle, and Russellville and along Bear Creek, whilst another force, under Armstrong, was reported to be in pursuit of our forces. Evading the force in his front, by moving off to the right under cover of the darkness, Colonel pushed for Moulton, coming upon Russell when within twelve miles of Moulton, and near Thorn Hill attacked him unexpectedly, utterly routing him, and capturing some prisoners, besides burning five wagons. The proceeded to Decatur without molestation, and reached that place on the 6th of January, after a march of over 250 miles. One hundred and fifty prisoners were captured and nearly 1,000 stand of arms destroyed. Colonel Palmer's loss was 1 killed and 2 wounded.

General Hood while investing Nashville, had sent into Kentucky a force of cavalry numbering about 800 men and two guns, under the command of Brigadier-General Lyon, with instructions to operate against our railroad communications with Louisville. McCook's division of cavalry was detached on the 14th of December and sent to Bawling Green and Franklin to protect the road. After capturing Hopkinsville, Lyon was met by La Grange's brigade near Greensburg, and after a sharp fight was thrown into confusion, losing one gun,some prisoners, and wagons; the enemy succeeded, however, by making a wide detour via Elizabethtown and Glasgow, in reaching the Cumberland River and Crossing at Burkesville, from whence General Lyon proceeded, via McMinnville and Winchester, Tenn., to Larkinsville, Ala., on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and attacked the little garrison at Scottsborough on the 10th of January. Lyon was here against repulsed and his command scattered, our troops pursuing him toward the Tennessee River, which, however, he, with about 200 of his men and his remaining