The attention of the general commanding is particularly called to Colonels Gibson and Dodge; also to Lieutenant-Colonel Jones' report, who commanded the pickets in front of Willich's brigade.
Captain Edgarton, commanding battery of Kirk's brigade, certainly was guilty of a grave error in taking even a part of his horses to water at such an hours. He is in the hands of the enemy; therefore no report can be had from him a present.
In strict compliance with my orders, and the knowledge I possessed of the position of the enemy, which was communicated to my superior, also to generals under my command, I could not have made a better disposition of my troops.
On subsequent examination of the field, I found the statements of the citizens, referred to in my report, correct, as the barricades extended fully three fourths of a mile beyond the Franklin road.
I am well satisfied that Hardee's corps, supported by McCown's division (late of Kirby Smith's corps), attacked Kirk's and Willich's brigades. About the same time Withers' division attacked Davis, and Cheatham's division attacked Sheridan. Cheatham's and Withers' divisions composed General Polk's corps. I was in the rear of the center of my line when this attack commenced; therefore I did not see all the column that attacked and turned my right; but it can be safely estimated that the rebel force outnumbered ours three to one. After having my line of battle, the ground in rear was, first, open fields; second, woods; then a dense cedar thicket; and over such ground it was almost impossible for troops to retire in good order, particularly when assailed by superior numbers.
My ammunition train, under the charge of my efficient ordnance officer, Capt. Gates P. Thurston, First Ohio Volunteers, was at an early hour ordered to take a position in rear of the center of my line. It was there attacked by the enemy's cavalry, which was handsomely repulsed by a detachments of cavalry, under the direction of Capt. H. Pease, of General Davis' staff, and Capt. G. P. Thurston, ordnance officer. The train was conducted safely to the Nashville pike, Captain Thruston cutting a road through the cedar wood for the passage of the train.
To Brig. Gens. R. W. Johnson, Philip H. Sheridan, and Jefferson C. Davis I return my thanks for their gallant conduct upon the days of the battles, and for their prompt support and conscientious attention to duty during their service in the right wing. I commend them to my superiors and my country.
To Brig. Gen. D. S. Stanley, chief of cavalry, my thanks are particularly due. He commended by advance from Nolensville and directed the cavalry on my right flank. A report of the valuable service of our cavalry will be furnished Stanley. I commend him to my superiors and my country.
For the particular instances of good conduct of individuals, I refer you to the reports of divisions commanders.
I cannot refrain from again calling the attention of my superiors to the conspicuous gallantry and untiring zeal of Col. W. H. Gibson, of the Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteers. He succeeded to the command of Willich's brigade, and was ever prompt to dash upon the enemy with his gallant brigade when opportunity permitted. I have repeatedly recommended him for promotion. He has again won additional claims to his reward.
Colonel Harker, commanding a brigade of Wood's division, performed gallant service, under my supervision, as also did Colonel Fyffe, of the Fifty-ninth Ohio. They are commended to my superiors.
17 R R-VOL XX, PT I