War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0198 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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the corps from Missouri arrived a week sooner. As things occurred, Nashville was the threatened point, and he gave his attention to its defenses, using all his personal influence to get aid from every source possible. The plans submitted will show works devised by him for the defense of this depot and alterations in original works. He had to thank the railroad department for much assistance rendered, and especially the quartermaster's department for aid in laborers and material. These laborers were mostly organized as brigades, and turned out as such and guarded two miles of the interior line during the battles of the 15th and 16th of December, 1864, and in case of an attack on the city would doubtless be an efficient assistance to this garrison.

Captain Barlow understands this position well, and would doubtless do everything in his power to forward its defenses. Waiting for plans has delayed this synopsis of engineer operations at Nashville.

He was getting up a plan of the magnificent battles of December 15 and 16, gained by the U. S. army commanded by Major-General Thomas over the rebel forces under General Hood. (See plan Numbers 4.)

Having accompanies the commanding general during these fights, it was his special request that he should direct the survey and drawing of the plan illustrating them.

Captain Barlow, U. S. Engineers, in immediate charge of the defenses of Nashville since the middle of December, had much improved his department and heartily responded to his efforts to push forward the defensive line. Captain Jenney, aide-de-camp on General Sherman's staff, in charge of topographical office there, had voluntarily assisted and had done excellent service superintending at Forts Houston and Gillem, and in the construction of infantry line of intrenchments.

He has sent the map (see plan Numbers 4*) of the battles of Nashville, which shows the dispositions of troops before and during the battles, and which, with the exception of sections, seems clear and complete. By a little attention it will be perceived how admirably the battle was planned. Its execution was in accordance with the plan.

X was the turning point on which the army wheeled as on a pivot. From that point to the river on the left the lines were held by new troops under General Steedman, while the three infantry corps, commanded by Generals Wood, Smith, and Schofield, and the Cavalry Corps under General Wilson, were hurled upon the enemy's center and left. Our army, thus in position formed nearly a straight line, of which the left, far refused (made up of new troops), held lines supported by works and covered by a brilliant dash of General Steedman with a small force in advance toward the enemy's right. The right was the old fighting army, which, though requiring much time to swing into position (about 40,000 strong), necessarily broke the enemy's left and drove him from his main line.

The second day the rebel general had concentrated his forces; but the moral effect of his first day's fight, his losses, especially in artillery, together with our superiority of cavalry, which dismounted and attacked his left rear, all contributed to his defeat; and the left of his line was broken about 4 o"clock by a dash of General Smith's corps. The battle is worthy of study.


*Plate LXXII, Map 2, of the Atlas.