FRANKLIN, November 30, 1864–3 P.M.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville:
I have just received your despatch asking whether I can hold Hood here three days. I do not believe I can. I can doubtless hold him one day, but will hazard something in doing that. He now has a large force, probably two corps, in my front, and seems prepared to cross the river above and below. I think he can effect a crossing to-morrow in spite of all my efforts, and probably to-night, if he attempts it. A worse position than this for an inferior force could hardly be found. I will refer your question to General Wilson this evening. I think he can do very little. I have no doubt Forrest will be in my rear tomorrow, or doing some greater mischief. It appears to me that I ought to take position at Brentwood at once. If A. J. Smith’s division and the Murfreesboro garrison join me there, I ought to be able to hold Hood in check for Some time. I have just learned that the enemy’s cavalry is already crossing three miles below. I will have lively times with my trains again.