Itinerary of Cheatham's Army Corps, October 31, 1864-January 17, 1865
NOVEMBER 14, 1864-JANUARY 23, 1865.--Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLV/1 [S# 93]
October 31.--Reached Tuscumbia from bivouac at Town Creek; found the pontoon unfinished and no supplies; waited here nine days, and on the 10th of November, orders having been issued to cross the river, we commenced the movement, but the river having risen so as to necessitate the removal of a portion of the pontoon, the order was revoked, [and] our headquarters changed from Tuscumbia to Mr. Jackson's, near the river, where we remained until Sunday morning, November 13, when our corps commenced crossing, the bridge having been repaired. The infantry passed through Florence, with music, &c., and encamped beyond. Trains did not finish crossing until late at night, owing to break in bridge. Our headquarters at Mrs. Lawrence's house, half a mile from Florence.
November 21.--We left Florence in a snowstorm and marched some miles on the Waynesborough road. Headquarters at Mrs. Westmoreland's. Weather very cold, with snow.
November 22.--Still snowing, cold increasing. Made eighteen miles to day. Headquarters at deserted house fourteen miles from Waynes-borough. Cold and clear at night.
Wednesday, November 23.--Made Waynesborough by 4 p.m.; town deserted. Our wagon broke down four miles back.
Thursday, November 24.--Left Waynesborough and marched fourteen miles to Mrs. Chambers' house, where we made our quarters.
Friday, November 25.--Marched eighteen miles to-day, quartering at Kennedy's house, two miles from the Columbia pike. Heard of the evacuation of Pulaski, and that General Thomas was concentrating at Columbia, nineteen or twenty miles distant; also, that a great fight had taken place in Virginia, in which Lee whipped the enemy badly.
Saturday, November 26.--Marched about same distance as yesterday, to within two and a half miles [of] Columbia. Rained all day. Thomas in Columbia, with two corps (15,000). Skirmishing going on between Forrest and enemy. Headquarters at Mrs. Wilson's.
Sunday, November 27.--The army took position around the town, Lee, extending to the river, on the left, and Cheatham to river above, on the right. Some little skirmishing; cavalry pickets relieved. Preparations made to cross the river above the town, but our pontoon trains did not come up. Headquarters changed to Mrs. Francis'.
Monday, November 28.--The enemy having evicted Columbia during the night, we took possession of the place at daylight. Some of the troops behaved most shamefully in pillaging the citizens.
Tuesday, November 29.--Crossed the river above town with Cheatham's and Stewart's corps and moved toward Spring Hill to cut the enemy off; came up with him late in the afternoon, but no attack was made. He slipped by in the night, but finding his flank threatened by Forrest, destroyed a wagon train and cars of supplies and stores.
Wednesday, November 30.--A memorable day. Pursuing briskly as soon as it was light, we passed through Spring Hill about 7 a.m., and at 1 or 2 p.m. had again struck his rear about two and a half miles from Franklin. Driving in his advanced skirmishers we developed his position around the town. Cheatham and Stewart were at once put in position and moved on his works, Lee being held in reserve; order of battle from right to left--Forrest, Stewart, Cheatham--Cleburne, Brown, and Bate being the order of the divisions in the latter corps.
Thursday, December 1.--To-day spent in burying the dead, caring for the wounded, and reorganizing the remains of our corps. Lee and Stewart moved forward in the direction of Nashville, Forrest occupying Brentwood Station after a little brush.
Friday, December 2.--Our corps moved forward this morning on the Nashville pike, and bivouacked within five miles of the city on Mr. Regan's place.
Saturday, December 3.--To-day was spent in locating our lines. Some little skirmishing, the enemy opening on us briskly with artillery from their forts.
Sunday, December 4.--Nothing of importance transpired. The army fortifying.
Monday, December 5.--The enemy advanced on our extreme right, driving our pickets from an abandoned line of works, but were in turn driven back and our former line re-established. News from Forrest and Bate; both captured block-houses between this and Murfrees-borough.
Tuesday, December 6.--Everything quiet.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.--Nothing worthy of mention occurring save a few very weak demonstrations on our right by a brigade of negroes. Bate withdrawn from Murfreesborough and arrived at Antioch, seven miles distant, on yesterday.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 12, 13, and 14.--Nothing of interest.
Thursday and Friday, December 15 and 16.--The battle of Nashville, followed by our retreat. On the night of the 16th we reached Franklin.
Saturday, December 17.--We continued our retreat and reached the vicinity of Spring Hill that night.
Sunday, December 18.--We started from Spring Hill, and our corps formed line of battle about two and a half miles from the town, where we skirmished with the Yankee cavalry an hour or so. Moving on we crossed Rutherford's Creek, and bivouacked on the south bank.
Monday, December 19.--Fought the enemy nearly all day on the creek, withdrawing in the afternoon and crossing Duck River, leaving Stewart on the north bank, who, however, also withdrew that night and crossed.
Tuesday, December 20.--Marched to Lynnville, twenty-three miles south of Columbia.
Wednesday, December 21.--Made Pulaski.
Thursday, December 22.--Left Pulaski and moved out five miles.
Friday, December 23.--Marched about twenty miles on the Lewisburg road.
Saturday, December 24.--Marched fourteen miles to-day, leaving ten miles to make to the river.
Sunday, December 25.--Moving at daylight we soon reached Shoal Creek, two miles from the river. After great difficulty, on account of the high water and rough ford, we succeeded in crossing, and bivouacked between the creek and river. This corps was at once put in position, and built works that night to protect the bridge in case the enemy should move on us from below, which was thought not improbable. Heard the gun-boats all day in the direction of Florence.
Monday, December 26.--The pontoon across the river was completed this morning after working on it all night, General Cheatham supervising in person, and about sunrise the trains began to cross. By night most of our wagons and artillery had crossed. Leaving orders for his troops to move across at 3 o'clock the next morning, General C[heat-ham]came over about 7 o'clock at night and slept some two miles from Bainbridge. Two gun-boats came up the river in the afternoon to within two or three miles of the bridge, but were driven back by our batteries.
Tuesday December 27.--The army having nearly all crossed, we moved on through Tuscumbia, and bivouacked in the mud that night in the vicinity of Cane Creek, ten miles from Tuscumbia.
Wednesday, December 28.--Marched from Cane Creek, through Barton Station, to Bear Creek, a distance of sixteen miles; our quarters two miles this side of the bridge, at Henri's. Bear Creek swimming; have to pontoon it.
Thursday, December 29.--Spent in preparing timbers for the pontoon. Crossed some wagons on the railroad bridge.
Friday, December 30.--Left Head's at daylight and went to railroad bridge to see the corps across the creek. It being impossible to procure the boats, General C[heatham] determined to cross on the railroad; accomplished it by 2 p.m., and marched in the direction of Iuka, through which town we passed and bivouacked three miles beyond and five miles from Burnsville, making a march of twelve miles.
Saturday, December 31.--Passed through Burnsville and made Corinth, fourteen miles from Burnsville, that night.
January 1 to 9, 1865.--Spent in Corinth.
Tuesday, January 10.--We started from Corinth at daylight, the troops moving down the railroad, and made our quarters at Rienzi, fifteen miles distant, that night.
January 11 to 13.--Spent on the road to Tupelo. Owing to the impassable condition of the roads we were compelled to take a very circuitous route with the wagons and horses. At Saltillo, on the 13th, we parted with the wagons, they going around by Verona and we coming through the swamp around Tupelo, reaching that place about 3 p.m.
January 14 to 17.--Remained at Tupelo.
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