The New York Times headline, November 28, 1864

Nov 28,1864
THE WAR IN TENNESSEE.; Hood’s Army Concentrating at Columbia, Tenn.–Gen. Thomas’ Army Near Columbia, in Hood’s Front–A Battle Expected–Communication by Telegraph to Columbia Interrupted. Skirmishing Between Pulaski and Columbia Our Forces Behind Duke River. The Situation of Hood’s Army–Gen. Thomas’s Whereabouts–Something Likely to Happen–Gillem’s Defeat–A Massacre. THE REBEL SITUATION IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE.

NASHVILLLE, Tenn., Saturday, Nov. 23. HOOD’s army, numbering probably forth thousand men, have been for several days past concentrating south of Columbia, Tenn. Our forces In the meantime have evacuated Pulaski, Huntsville and Decatur, which places are now is the hands or the rebels. Our forces are near and about Columbia, in HOOD’s front. They are commanded toy Gen. THOMAS. On the 24th inst. some severe skirmishing occurred, resulting in a loss to the Federals of 44 killed and wounded. The rebel loss is estimated 264. Among the killed was one rebel Colonel. Large bodies of troops are here massed in HOOD’s front, and some heavy fighting may be expected in that direction in a few days. Communication by telegraph to Columbia has been interrupted since yesterday. There are rumors in circulation that there was heavy fighting yesterday between the opposing armies, but no official advices of an engagement have yet been received. NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sunday, Nov. 27 — 10:20 P.M. There has been smart skirmishing between Pulaski and Columbia for some days. We have fallen back behind Duck River. Fart of FORREST’s forces have also crossed the river, on our right flack, and are aiming to strike the road in our rear. HOOD’s main army is supposed to be moving on the pike road toward Shelbyville and Wartrace. NASHVILLE, Tenn., Monday, Nov. 21, 1864. Since my last, regarding the movements of BEAUREGARD’s army, some little changes have transpiered; and, possibly, the enemy may grow bold in this quarter, since any attempt on his part to even annoy the moving columns of “Tecumseh” would prove fruitless. The excess of folly was committed by BEAUREGARD, when he marched his army four hundred miles to the rear of the Federal front. “Like ships that sailed for sunny isles, But never came to shore.” I think we will be the fate of this foolish Frenchman, who reached the acme of his renown in Charleston harbor, in April, 1861. The last information I gave you concerning the whereabouts of the rebel Army of Tennessee found BEAUREGARD quietly located at the mansion of Dr. STOUT, of Corinth, with STEWART’s corps, consisting of about 10,000 men, there and thereabouts. I have reason to believe that just the same state of things exists to-day in that quarter of the Confederacy. Host of S.D. LEE’s corps at that time was at Jack son, the terminus of the railroad. FRANK CHEATHAM’s corps was at Florence, where also was HOOD, the General Commanding in the field. The following changes have taken place, it is believed. That STEPHEN D. LEE has removed his entire corns from Jackson to South Florence, and that FRANK CHEATHAM has crossed the river with his corns, and made headquarters at Waynesboro, a small town situated on or near Greene’s Creek, a branch of Duck River, and about half way between Columbia, Tennessee, and Florence, Alabama. FORREST is in command of all the cavalry, which is strong, and in good trim, and holds undisputed possession of the entire country within a radius of thirty miles of Florence. Supplies reach the rebel army daily, the railroad being in good running order from Corinth (the base) to South Florence. The latter place is bridged with Florence proper, which is directly opposite. A gentleman who has lately arrived from Tuscumbia, which is on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, between Iuka and Florence, reports that the rebel means of transportation are scanty, but that enough supplies reach Corinth daily to distribute liberally among the men. He says the animals suffer, and reports that, in consequence, at least one-third of the cavalry are located between Corinth and Booneville, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and adds that the corn-cribs of Tishamingo County and other portions of Northern Mississippi groan with the weight of grain. The rivers and creeks are all high, and the country through which BEAUREGARD is operating abounds with them. I can indorse this latter sentence, as I came near getting drowned one night in April, 1652, while fording the multiplicity of creeks which lie between Waynesboro and Savannah. I was in company with Mr. SHEPPARD, of the World, and, being anxious to reach Pittsburgh Landing, where a battle was raging, the thunders of which we had listened to forty miles off, we took the chances, and barely escaped with our lives. This gentleman, while in conversation with one of the editors of the Union, of this city, says that he had the run of the rebel camps, and gives 40.000 men as his careful estimate of the number of BEAURECARD’s troops, 15,000 of whom are cavalry. The latter is not doubted by the authorities here, as it is known that FORREST has a very strong force of mounted men. All the cavalry connected with the rebel army of Tennessee, except IVERSON’s brigade, are with him, and it must he remembered that FORREST’s own independent command, with which he has ranged all over this section, never numbered less than six thousand brave men, and it is known that he has received heavy reinforcements lately from some point. There have been several slight skirmishes during the past week; between portions of the rebel cavalry, under Gen. RODDY, and portions of our own under Gen. CUXTON, neither party, as I have learned, sustaining much loss. At one lime last week, the rebel cavalry showed themselves between Waynesboro and Mount Pleasant, but were driven back by our cavalry under Col. SPAULDING. There is no other news of interest that I can learn regarding BEAURECARD, and I guess this is about all that is known at headquarters. What the Intentions of the rebel commander are is merely a matter of conjecture, us no movements of his have transpired of sufficient importance to develop his real object. I consider that BEAUREGARD feels in about the same humor the individual did who drew the elephant. Certainly, since establishing himself with a reliable base, he has had ample time to demonstrate in this vicinity to his heart’s content There was a time little attention to the movements or intentions of the lymphatic Creole, as though long ago he had ceased to exist. Situated so near the rebel army as we are now, gives rise to many opinions and conjectures, while patched about, and canard’s of the most absurd nature ‘ secure patronage. One of the liveliest of yesterday was to the effect that BEAUREGARD would attempt to recapture either memphis or Vicksburgh. Again, last evening, either. If he does not fight Gen. THOMAS in Middle Tennessee, he will run away. You will ask, “What for? Where will he go?” Well that’s just what I want to know. GEN. THOMAS’ ARMY. Gen. THOMAS’ forces are very properly located — so cleverly that Gen. BEAUREGARD cannot run the risk of playing too bold a game. Beside, we have been and are being heavily reinforced, and our entire cavalry arm is being overhauled and reorganized by Gen. WILSON, from the Army of the Potomac. The bulk of our army is at Pulaski, on the Decatur and Nashville Railroad, in splendid condition, the men being well fed and well clothed, with money in their pockets. The new troops are distributed judiciously, and put through a vigorous system of drill three times a day. Pulaski is a very pretty town, near the Alabama State line, between sixty and seventy miles south from Nashville. Gen. STANLEY commands the Fourth Corps and Gen. Cox the Twenty-third Corps. Both are excellent officers. The whole are under the command of Gen. SCHOFIELD in the field, whose headquarters are at Spring Hill, a small place between Franklin and Columbia. Gen. SCHOFIELD is greatly beloved as an officer and a man. His presence upon all critical occasions is fully appreciated, while his unadulterated patriotism fills the space in which he moves. His operations from Chattanooga to Atlanta Rave the most unbounded evidences of his great military sagacity. Beside, he is a superb fighter, and a clever gentleman. Gen. THOMAS is still in this city, with headquarters at the St. Cloud Hotel. I think there will something lively transpire in less than a month in this department, even if the movements of BEAUREGARD do not necessitate some such event before. As long as the latter-named officer remains at Corinth, with his army hovering about Florence, little notice will be taken of him. He is not doing us or the Government the least harm so long as he remains in statu quo. If he robs or molests the people down that way, loyalty does not receive a very painful wound, and the main sufferers will be those who contributed largely toward bringing about the present state of disorder. FROM KAST TENNESSEE. There are some extremely ugly rumors, and documents to match, being received from East Tennessee regarding the defeat sustained by GILLEM on the 13th lost. As I am very careful about language I employ in reference to United States officers and soldiers, I shall just briefly mention the fact that it is believed in certain official circles in this city, that GILLEM was the victim of jealousy on the part of some other general officers at Knoxville. According to Information received by Gen. THOMAS and Gov. JOHNSON, GILLEM, after ascertaining beyond a doubt, that he was being pressed by three brigades, commenced falling back with his little brigade of three regiments, and at the same time called upon two Brigadiers at Knoxville for not only reinforcements, but food for his brave men, who had been three days without rations of any kind, except fresh meat. He kept falling back in good order, all the while crying for help, but no assistance came to him until his routed army arrived at Strawberry Plains. Here he was met by three hundred men of the Ninth Michigan Cavalry, who bad left Knoxville on the morning of the 14th, six days after they had been called for. According to all accounts, and I have seen several letters addressed to Gov. JOHNSON and Gen. MILLIGAN, the deportment of GILLEM during the dreadful confusion of his troops, was grand in the extreme. Parson BROWNLOW writes that the disaster might have been averted, but that a lack of harmony prevailed among the officers in command at Knoxville. Parson BROWNLOW’s son says that GILLEM, regardless of danger, acted as few general officers could act under the circumstances. His gallant endeavors to stay the rout, he says, was unexampled. On Thursday last, Gens. AMMEN, TILLSON and GILLEM, were acting in concert, and after a little skirmishing, drove the enemy from Strawberry Plains, with no loss on either side. NOTHING FROM SHERMAN. Of course, nothing from SHERMAN since my last, giving you a full account of his start, and connecting incidents, I have met several officers who assisted in making good the wreck of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and they assert that the work of destruction was made complete. In several places along the road this side of Kingston, the parties detached for the purpose of tearing up the track were shot at by guerrillas, who hovered in our rear. In one place, near Calhoun, some fellows were captured who were recognized by the soldiers and citizens as guerrillas and marauders of the worst class. There were four of them in all. They were bad men, and it was deemed judicious to send them to their account, like Hamlet’s father, with all their imperfections on their heads. This was accordingly done. They were blindfolded and shot to death. Cassville, near the railroad, a dangerous place for honest men, was burned. This was a very pretty little town. I took breakfast there one time last Summer. Two elegant-looking ladles sat with me at the table. While myself and a friend were enjoying our repast, we were astonished to hear one of these elegant ladies ejaculate,”I wish the G — d, d — d Yankees were all in h — ???!” It so happened that myself and friend about that time had eaten enough. I settled the bill, and we left. I guess it’s a good thing that Cassville is among the things that were. It was a Babylon in a small way. A multitude of such incidents as these occurred along the road. The bridge at Resaca is not yet destroyed, but it will be if the guerrillas get too numerous. Everything but small private buildings and cottage houses was destroyed at Atlanta and Rome. Rome! — that’s the grandest monosyllable in the English language. AN UNPARALLELED SLAUGHTER — ONE HUNDRED UNION MEN BUTCHERED IN GEORGIA. The bloodiest tragedy of modern times was enacted on Thursday last in Northern Georgia, at a small place called Elijah, sixty miles northeast of Dalton. A short time after the occupation of Northern Georgia by our forces last Spring, 125 men, deserters from the rebel array and others, formed themselves into a company, to be known as the Walker County Home Guards, and selected a crave fellow, named ASHWORTH, as their leader Upon many occasions have these hardy men done the cause some service. Three hundred rebels, under TOM. POLE EDWARDS, on the day above-mentioned, came across ASHWORTH’s party, and took them all prisoners, including Col. ASHWORTH himself. A man named MARKHAM. who was an eye-witness of subsequent events, says that the prisoners, after their surrender, were marched into a patch of woods hard by, when just one hundred out of the hundred and twenty-five wore selected, declared to be deserters from the Confederate army and sentenced, part of them to be shot and part of them to be hung. Preparations were immediately made to carry the order into execution, and two hours later the hundred poor fellows were launched into eternity, nineteen of whom were hung. The twenty-five that escaped death were released, after being compelled to witness the execution of their companions, upon the promise that they would join the rebel army. Col. ASHWORTH was taken away. As he was once a rebel soldier, there is no telling what unheard-of cruelties are in store for him. This TOM POLK EDWARDS is a citizen of Tennessee, and is respectably connected. Gen. S???MAN, I learn, will make an attempt to have this Rang of murderers captured. If he is successful, there will be more bloody work. BENJAMIN C. TRUMAN.

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