New York Times headlines, December 12, 1864

THE WAR IN TENNESSEE.; Reports from Nashville. The situation in Middle Tennessee–Relative Positions of the Two Armies–Further Particulars of the Franklin Fight.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times. WASHINGTON, Sunday, Dec. 11. Dispatches received by the Government from Gen. THOMAS represent the position of affairs at Nashville unchanged. Gen. THOMAS says that the recent storm has interfered with army movements on either side for several days at least.

NASHVILLE, Saturday, Dec. 10. The situation of affairs remains unchanged. In front of the Fourth Corps not a shot was fired up to 2 o’clock this afternoon. Since then some slight skirmishing has occurred. Owing to the slippery state of the ground, the men find it impossible to move about. The rebels can be plainly seen from the front of the Fourth Corps standing about their camp fires. Hostilities may be said to have ceased on account of the bad weather. Deserters who come in say that the rebels have strong intrenchments, with two rows of chevaux de friese, with wires stretched around to strengthen them. No report has yet been heard from the gunboats which went down the river yesterday morning. No cannonading has been heard here since their departure. The river is three feet deep on the shoals, and falling From Our Own Correspondent.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 4, 1864. THE SITUATION The most splendid military exhibition of the war in this section may be witnessed, as I write, from Capitol Hill. The entire Federal lines of battle, almost from right to left, may be plainly seen with the naked eye. Over fifty thousand troops occupy our lines, which is just five miles. A.J. SMITH’s corps is on the right, resting on the river, on low-ground, on what is known as the John Harding pike — a branch road of the Charlotte pike. What is known as the right wing extends east to within a hundred yards of the Franklin pike. Then comes the Fourth Corps, temporarily commanded by Gen. THOMAS J. WOOD, in place of Gen. STANLEY, who was wounded at Franklin. Gen. WOOD’s headquarters is at the Widow ACKLIN’s, on the Granny-white road. Our line of battle just escapes the exquisite grounds of this lady, although all of her “nigger huts,” walls and fences have been torn down for breastworks. The centre extends east to beyond the Murfreesboro pike; then comes the left — the Twenty-third Corps — under Gen. SCHOFIELD, which extends to the river, Gen. STEEDMAN, with his command from Chattanooga, filling in, and in reserve, upon a high bank of the river, a few hundred yards south of the reservoir. Our extreme left rests upon a bank 76 feet above high-water mark. The rebel line of battle is plainly visible, about two miles from town. It is believed that DICK TAYLOR’s forces, numbering nearly ten thousand strong, are in reserve. and it may be that this corps is operating near Murfreesboro. Gen. FRANK CHEATHAM is commanding the enemy’s right wing. He has three divisions — Gens. GEORGE MANEY’s, BATES’ and ANDERSON’s. It is a curious fact that these three General officers, commanding divisions, and the corps Commander, (CHEATHAM,) are citizens of Nashville. CHEATHAM was a “sporting man;” MANEY was a lawyer, rather a fast young man; BATES was Attorney-General of the State when the war broke out, and was not universally admired; ANDERSON was Postmaster of this city, and is not considered a man of extraordinary mind. STEPHEN D. LEE’s corps is in the centre, and STEWART commands a corps on the enemy’s left. STEPHEN D. LEE’s corps is composed of three divisions, and STEWART has four. In LEE’s corps, PATRICK CLEBURNE (if not killed) commands a division, and so does Gen. STEVENSON. In STEWART’s corps, QUARLES and WALKER command divisions. Gen. BATTLES, of this county, commands a brigade in GEO. MANEY’s division. PAT. CLEBURNE, of Arkansas, (a native of Ireland,) is one of the most earnest and intrepid commanders in the rebel army, and is generally found conducting the enemy’s rear upon all critical occasions. Teere are many rumors in regard to his death. Gen. GORDON, a prisoner, says that before he was captured, a report was rife that either CHEATHAM or CLEBURNE was killed. CHEATHAM has his headquarters at the residence of Mr. EDMUNDSON, on the Murireeshoro pike, four miles from town. He can’t very well be dead, of course. Mr. EDMUNDSON was in the city yesterday, and says that FRANK insists that HOOD’s destination is Nashville; that he has orders to take this city or go to hell. This is all rebel blow, at any rate, and may be the inventions of FRANK himself. But, many of the prisoners report CLEBURNE killed, and venture a description of his fall. The story which would seem to most earnestly urge his death is told by our General, KIMBALL, and reiterated by his staff officers. Gen. KIMBALL says that during the thickest part of the Franklin fight he saw a rebel General upon the ground, and that he gasped “I’m mortally wounded.” Before he could order his removal, WAGNER’s division gave way, the line was changed, and the wounded man removed by rebel soldiers. I give you this as I hear it from various sources, but will add that I did not hear Gen. KIMBALL tell the story. It seems pretty generally believed, by the way, that either CLEBURNE or some other general officer was killed in the battle of the 30th ult. FORREST has command of the entire rebel cavalry, and has two divisions upon each flank. Gen. WILSON, late of the Army of the Potomac, commands all our cavalry, and is one of the most pertinacious soldiers in the service. His military skill and his bravery are a match for FORREST’s cunning and intrepidity. Commodore FITCH commands upon the Cumberland, and assists in protecting our flanks to a considerable extent. He has one iron-clad up the river, above the position of our left wing, and another down the river near Hyde’s Ferry, watching the enemy upon our right. There are, also, several other gunboats, of various shapes and sizes, patrolling the river from Carthage up to Clarksville down. At the latter place is a turreted craft, not unlike the ocean monitors. From Carthage to Clarksville, then, it will be almost an utter impossibility for the rebels to cross the river. As fast as HOOD advanced, after leaving Pulaski, he destroyed the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad, running from this city to Decatur. This would urge the belief that it was his intention to either cross the river and strike for Kentucky, or fall back toward Bridgeport, along the line of the Chattanooga road, if he falls to attack this place. On our left, quite a large body of our cavalry are across the river, but the enemy are wholly upon the Nashville side.

THE FIGHT AT FRANKLIN. I must put in a little word for The TIMES in this connection. It was the first newspaper in the country, of course, (in this case,) that had the news of this fight, and my dispatch was the first one and the only one sent anywhere over the wires Wednesday night, 30th ult. I had previously sent you a dispatch that Gen. THOMAS intended to draw the enemy to this point. Subsequently I went to a party, and was returning home about 12 o’clock Wednesday night. As I arrived at the St. Cloud I met Gen. MILLER, who informed me that Gen. THOMAS had just received intelligence of a great victory at Franklin. I went Into Gen. THOMAS’ rooms, and he permitted me to send the news North. Well, speaking about the fight at Franklin, I will reiterate that it was, beyond a doubt, one of the most gallantly-contested battles, and the cleanest victory (won in an open field) of the war. Had HOOD succeeded in whipping us, he would have captured our entire wagon trains, and routed a large portion of our army. The real fight lasted just one hour and forty minutes, in which time six thousand of the enemy were placed hors du combat, while our own loss falls a little below a thousand. This dreadful check may be the cause of the delay in rebel demonstrations in our front, if that, indeed, is the programme. The enemy really at Franklin, was at least one-third stronger than our own forces. They fought us with two whole corps and part of another, while less than half of both the Fourth and Twenty-third were engaged upon our side. They charged, as if every man was iron-clad, four times against our works, and, with the exception of the first charge, were driven back in great disorder. Our artillery, too, made prodigious havoc in their ranks, actually mowing the brave men down or scattering them in confusion. I have one or two quite interesting items in connection with this fight, which I have omitted to mention: We lost two battle-flags, which were captured from WAGNER’s division, during the panic which temporarily existed in that body, and we captured thirty-two stand of colors, the Twenty-third Corps getting the credit for twenty-two of them, and the Fourth Corps for ten. Many of these trophies are now to be seen at SCHOFIELD’s headquarters. Gen. GORDON was captured by a stalwart fellow of the Sixteenth Kentucky, who grabbed him by the coat-collar, actually “yanking,” or “Yankeeing” him, square off his feet. Gen. STANLEY, Commanding Fourth Corps, was evidently a target for both rebel artillery and infantry. He was actively engaged in rallying WAGNER’s division, and the enemy’s sharpshooters got a sight at him. He was twice (slightly) wounded in the neck, while two bullets passed through his clothes. A cannon-ball sent his horse to thunder, it going one way and its rider the other. Gen. BRADLEY was shot in the arm while upon the left of his brigade, leading his men back to a position from which they had wavered a little. I tell you what it is, it’s mighty queer work, sometimes, fighting these fellows, especially when they get right well warmed up. Their demonstrations upon certain occasions are fearfully demoralizing. At such times a gill of “fluid” is a quart of courage “every pop.” The ladies of Franklin, most of whom are rebels, and beautiful rebels too, some of them are, assisted en masse, in caring for our wounded. Mrs. CARTER and her daughters contributed in this holy work. Mrs. Dr. CLIFF, a Union lady of renown, and Mrs. WILLIAMS, an estimable woman, threw open their houses for the reception of sufferers. Miss FANNY COURTNEY, decidedly loyal from the commencement, although she has two brothers in CHEATHAM’s corps, made herself useful. Her sister, formerly Miss OCTAVIA COURTNEY, was some time ago married to Lieut. COCHNOWER, son of the merchant of that name in Cincinnati. She is an elegant lady, and waved a string of red, white and blue ribbons when Gen. NEGLEY entered Franklin nearly three years ago. When BUELL’s retrograde movement took place, a little over two years ago, Miss FANNY COURTNEY, upon the approach of the rebel columns, saddled a horse, forded Harpeth River, and came to this city alone during night. FANNY is all right — I know her; she is pretty, too. You may recollect that, in a letter of mine, within a couple of weeks ago, in which I gave your readers a brief description of several towns along the Tennessee and Alsbama Railroad, I stated that Franklin, of all other towns, had been most first in the hands of our forces and then in the possession of the enemy, and so on. Of course, just now, it is again in the Southern Contederacy. If the citizens of Franklin had been compelled to take the oath of allegiance to every Government that came along, they would have become frightfully profane by this time, and might practiceswearing for a living. It is rumored that ISHAM G. Harris, the nomandic Governor of Tennessee, is with the advance of Hood’s army. He is enjoying, at least, all the felicity that Moses did — he can look into Nashville. King ISHAM, as Governor JOHNSON calls him, has been a wanderer upon earth for a long time. Should he ever again visit the capital during the rebellion, he will no doubt bring with him the State archives, but it is rather hinted that he might forget that million-dollar school fund, which disappeared from Nashville just about the time ISHAM did. However, in all probability, HAREIS will not come, this trip. BENJAMIN C. TRUMAN.

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