War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0110 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Murfreesborough, March 5, 1863.

Brigadier-General SHERIDAN,

Third Division, Twentieth Corps:

GENERAL: A brigade of General Gilbert's division, while making a reconnaissance near Spring Hill, on the Franklin and Columbia pike, were driven back with some loss. He reports the enemy in his front with 10,000, mostly infantry, and five pieces of artillery. This is, no doubt, exaggerated. The enemy appeared to be en route to attack Franklin, and that part of his force which ours repulsed yesterday proved to be only the advance guard of the enemy. It may be necessary for you to send your forage train back and move across to Raleigh Spring [Hill], on the Lewisburg pike to come in behind the enemy should he move on Franklin. We have not hear from General Steedman yet, and fear he has not joined you. Communicate with him, if you can, and unite his force with yours. Send us the news.

J. A. GARFIELD,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Murfreesborough, March 5, 1863.

Brigadier-General SHERIDAN:

GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to say that he has a telegram from Franklin, saying that Coburn's brigade, which was sent down to Spring Hill, has been repulsed; lost no artillery, but some infantry. It will be necessary to look after Steedman, and cover him, as it may be advisable for him to return to his old position, or it may be best to keep him with you. If the enemy have nothing but cavalry, it will be all right. Will send you further news as soon as it is received.

Respectfully, &c.,

H. THRALL,

Aide-de-Camp.

CARTHAGE, TENN., March 5, 1863.

Colonel C. GODDARD,

Chief of Staff and Asst. Adjt. General, Army of the Cumberland:

I have the honor to inform you that I am encamped on the south side of the river, and directly opposite Carthage. My extreme advance position is about one-half a mile from the river, on an eminence which commands the country from the foot of the ridge, on my right, to the Caney Fork, on my left. This naturally strong position I am strengthening by earthworks for my battery. On my right there is a high rocky ridge of most impracticable ascension for artillery; besides, the top of this ridge is too high for artillery to fire into my camp, and the side toward me is rocky and steep. My rear is protected by the Cumberland River, and my left by the Caney so long as it is not fordable, and when it is fordable there is a very strong position on my left that can be occupied. With a force of 6,000 this will be a most impregnable position. The position selected for a depot is in my rear, and near the banks of the Cumberland River.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE CROOK,

Brigadier-General.