Timeline of Hood’s retreat based on the ORs

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLV: pp.

December 17

No time-stamp

  • HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Near Franklin, to Brigadier General R. S. GRANGER, Stevenson, from Whipple. Orders to reoccupy the railroad as far as to Decatur, details of Hood’s retreat, capturing of Ned Johnson’s division.
  • HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, Seven Miles from Franklin, to Brigadier-General CROXTON, Commanding Brigade: orders from Wilson via Beaumont to Croxton. Hatch and Knipe are in Franklin, Croxton is push along. Told to cross the Harpeth and strike the flank on Lewisburg pike.
  • SPECIAL HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, FIELD ORDERS, MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 4. Johnson’s House. By order of Wilson. Orders for commanding officers for the next day, troop placements and logistics.

Time-stamp

  • 3 a.m. – HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Granny White Pike, Eight Miles from Nashville, by Brvt-Maj Gen. Wilson to BG Whipple. Says he is going to continue pursuing Hood on the road he is on, ordered Johnson to pursue via Hillsborough pike, sending Croxton and Knipe directly to Franklin pike, Hatch will strike at Brentwood. Rucker captured. Intercepts a Hood telegraph. Detail of pursuit of Hood.

  • 3:30 a.m. – CIRCULAR. HDQRS. CAV. CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Granny White Pike, Eight Miles from Nashville, from Gen Wilson. Instructions for Cavalry corps detailed: instructions for Croxton, Knipe, Hatch, and Johnson.
  • 7:30 a.m. HEADQUARTERS DETACHMENT ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Granny White Pike. To Brigadier General J. McARTHUR, Commanding First Division: from Gen Smith. Orders to move out along the Granny White pike at 8 a.m. Rest of army will follow. Details on how Union army will proceed in the pursuit.
  • 8 a.m. – HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, DETACH. ARMY OF THE TENN., In the Field, near Nashville, Tenn., by Brig.Gen McArthur. An order to Col Hubbard to move his men at 8 a.m. on the Granny White pike in Brentwood, after the whole army unites they will march toward Franklin.
  • 9:30 a.m. MRS. OWEN’S HOUSE, Wilson Pike, Four Miles and a Half South of Brentwood, Croxton Wilson. Details his position two miles farther, scouting Nolensville pike, captured 50 prisoners, Forrest on left, 2 1/2 miles from Franklin pike. Awaits orders.
  • 1 p.m. – HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Franklin, Tenn. To Whipple from Wilson. Says Rebels are on a “great skedaddle”. The last rebels passed through “two and a half hours ago”. Discloses placement of division. Says Rebel prisoners claim a complete rout and Tennesseans are deserting. The rebel rear guard is in position on the hills just south of here.
  • 1:30 p.m. – HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Franklin,. To Whipple from Wilson. Says Rebels passed through yesterday morning. Mentions a surgeons view of a demoralized army (CSA). Forrest may have withdrawn to Murfreesboro.
  • 4 p.m. – HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Near Franklin, General JOHNSON,
    Commanding Sixth Division: from Alexander. Order for General Johnson to continue on his road, mentions movement of Knipe and Hatch too.
  • 6 p.m.HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Three Miles North of Thompson’s Station, on West Harpeth. To Whipple from Wilson. Talks of destruction of Stevenson’s division and capture of three guns. Charges by 4th Cav., Knipe and Hatch. Great deal of night firing. Hatch is a brick.
  • 7 p.m. – HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS, Douglas Church, Major BEAUMONT, from Croxton. Details his position on Lewisburg pike, taken 130 prisoners today, swam the Harpeth, awaiting orders.
  • 7:10 p.m. – HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Johnson’s House, Six Miles from Franklin. To Whipple from Wilson. Praises Knipe’s division for action ‘tonight’. Guns will be sent in. Army needs forage.
  • 8 p.m. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Near Franklin, Tenn. To Gen Grant from Gen. Thomas. Talks about pressing Hood’s army beyond Franklin, capturing hospitals, 1,500 wounded rebs, 250 prisoners, 5 flags, little damage to railroads, cavalry is pressing, much more detail.
  • 9 p.m. – HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Franklin, Tenn., To Brevet Major-General WILSON, from Wood
    Commanding Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi. Talks about river so swift that he could not make a bridge. Requests pontoons.
  • 10 p.m. – NASHVILLE, TENN. Tp Major T. T. ECKERT: from Duzer. Talks about Hood just able to get his transportation away. Thomas capturing 1,000 prisoners, driving Hood across Harpeth. Fields impassable for artillery.
  • 10:50 p.m. – HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND. To Major General J. H. WILSON, Commanding Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi; from Whipple. Approves of Wilson’s course of action, mentions capturing Johnson’s division, and pushing on early in the morning.

December 18

No time-stamp

  • 18 Dec (Nashville) Chief Engineer of railroads – railroad from Nashville to Franklin is open but “back-end of the break on the Nashville & Chattanooga” was not open.
  • 18 Dec (Nashville) Quartermaster report – Cumberland river is open, captured 450 prisoners (on 17th), have taken 5,000 prisoners in all. Hood has lost most of his artillery, at least 40 pieces.

Time-stamped for 18 December 1864

  • 5 p.m. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Near Franklin, Tenn. To Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.: from Gen Thomas. Says Wilson reports he attacked Rebels at 6 p.m. (the 17th). Details action. Attack made six miles beyond Franklin.
  • 7:30 p.m. – HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Near Spring Hill, Tenn., from Maj-Gen. Breckinridge. Talks about continuing pursuit of Hood, 200-300 prisoners today but success in past few days.
  • 11:00 p.m. – HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, In the Field, by Maj-Gen. George H. Thomas. Talks about strategy for Decatur, Tuscumbia, sending gunboats up the Tennessee river, actions of CSA army from Murfreesboro to Columbia, mentions capture of Savannah.

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