Columbia, Tennessee; November 24-28, 1864

Columbia, Tenn.
Nov. 24-28, 1864

U. S. Troops Under Gen. Schofield.

To check Hood’s advance on Nashville Gen. Thomas Sent Maj.-
Gen. John M. Schofield to the south of Duck river.

Schofield’s army consisted of the 4th army corps, commanded by
Maj.-Gen. D. S. Stanley; the 3d division of the 23d Corps,
Under Maj.-Gen. J. D. Cox; Hatch’s cavalry division and the
cavalry brigades of Gen. Croxton and Col. Capron, the entire
force amounting to 18,000 infantry and four brigades of
cavalry.

One brigade and two regiments of Ruger’s division of the 23d
corps joined Schofield at Columbia.

Opposed to this force was Hood’s army of about 40,000 infantry
and 10,000 cavalry.

The Confederates drove the Union cavalry from Lawrenceburg on
the 22nd and from that point advanced on Columbia. Schofield
Sent Cox Forward to that point and he arrived on the morning
of the 24th just in time to repulse a large force of the enemy
that was driving back Capron’s brigade on the Mount Pleasant
road.

By the evening of the 25th Hood had his entire army in front
of Schofield, who then decided to Cross to the north side of
the river as his line was already too extended to be effective
in case of an assault on his position, and besides there was
danger of the enemy crossing above Columbia and getting in the
rear of the Federals, thus cutting off communications with
Thomas at Nashville.

To guard against this flank movement Schofield Sent Cox, with
two brigades, to the north bank of the river, and ordered
Ruger to the railroad bridge, where he was to construct A
Bridge-Head and occupy it. At daylight on the morning of the
26th a pontoon bridge was laid near the railroad bridge, a
short distance below the town and everything made ready for a
crossing, though some troops were still kept on the south side
of the river in the hope that reinforcements would arrive in
time to keep Hood from crossing.

Not until the evening of the 27th was the south bank entirely
abandoned by the Federals, though all that Day the line had
been closely pressed at all points by the enemy.

Once on the north side of the River, Ruger was left to hold
the crossing at the railroad Bridge, Cox occupied a position
in front of Columbia and Stanley was moved to the rear on the
Franklin Pike, where he could act as a reserve and at the same
time guard against a flank movement in case the enemy should
effect a crossing anywhere near the Town.

Wilson’s Cavalry was guarding the fords above, and about 2 AM
on the 28th Gen. Wilson Sent Word that the Confederates were
crossing in force near Huey’s mill, the cavalry having crossed
near the Lewisburg pike to clear the way for the main Body.

Stanley was then sent to Spring Hill to cover the trains and
the army began to fall back to Franklin. Numerous skirmishes
occurred about Columbia During These operations, but no
casualties were reported.

Source: The Union Army, Vol.,5 p.,310

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