War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0087 Chapter XXXV. ENGAGEMENT AT THOMPSON'S STATION, TENN.

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army, and that it was out this side of Spring Hill, and was coming on to take Franklin. I sent them at once, with some mounted men, to General Gilbert; I heard nothing from my messenger. Patrols were sent out on the roads which came into the Spring Hill road, right and left. Scouts were dispatched in all directions, with orders to scour the country, and we awaited reports from the flanking roads. At length, about 8 o'clock, no force having been discovered as yet, we moved on-the cavalry in advance-with a long line of skirmishers across the road, extending near a half mile in either direction. One piece of artillery was placed with the advanced guard, some three-fourths of a mile to the front of the main force. Advancing slowly, with frequent halts, the skirmishers of the enemy alone could be seen in the road, or in the fields, woods, or hills on either side, retiring as we advanced. After an hour's march, I was informed that a small party of the enemy, apparently an outpost, were seen on the Lewisburg pike. I directed a small force of Kentucky cavalry at once to drive them and thoroughly test the strength of the enemy there. Time was given to the cavalry to inspect the country thoroughly, which continued broken, and was, in many places, covered with woods, the farms being irregular in shape, and not very extensive, on account of hills and ravines. Quite a large outpost of the enemy was driven in about a mile from Thompson's Station, and 2 miles from our camp. They retired, skirmishing with our dismounted cavalry, who pushed them handsomely across the fields and over the hills to the station. Before reaching Thompson's Station, the road passes a wooded hill to the left, with a field in the valley on the right, and, still beyond it, is bounded by a range of hills. This field extends to the range of hills just north of Thompson's Station, and covers both sides of the road north of this range. The field becomes narrower on the east side of the road as it extends to the southeast, where it ends in a gap through the ridge. This ridge, or range of hills, traverses the road at nearly right angles, running east and west, and is broken into knobs, some of which, on the left, are covered with a thick growth of cedar. The turnpike and railroad pass through it by a gap, together. This ridge is also intersected by other gaps, right and left. Beyond it is an open field, a fourth of a mile wide, and on both sides of the road. On passing through the gap, the railroad turns from the general direction of the turnpike to the right and west. The station is situated about the middle of the field, and some 300 yards west of the turnpike; a small stream flows by it to the west. Beyond the station and field is an extensive wood on each side of the road. The ground ascends as you approach it, and continues to ascend as you enter it, broken into irregular knolls. Here the enemy lay. As our force approached the gap, the head of the column being in it, the enemy discharged a piece of artillery stationed in the wood on the west of the road, raking it along our line. It failed of effect. The enemy's skirmishers had occupied the ridge on either side, but had been dislodged by the dismounted cavalry, and driven across the field to the station, where, for a time, they rallied, but soon retired before the skirmishers of the Thirty-third Indiana, and under the shells of our bravery, which had been brought up and stationed-two pieces to the right of the road and three on the east on the ridge-there, about 50 feet above the valley and fields in front. Here they commanded the road, the fields, and the woods, to the front, right, and left, for a considerable distance. The Thirty-third and Eighty-fifth Indiana were stationed on the right, and the Twenty-second Wisconsin and Nineteenth Michigan on the left and upon the ridge, near the three guns of the battery. Some companies of