New York Times’ headlines for December 5th, 1864 – coverage of the Battle of Franklin

THE BAR IN TENNESSEE.;
Heavy Skirmishing in Front of Nashville.
POSITION OF THE OPPOSING ARMIES.
A Reconnoitering Expedition No Rebels Across the River.
Surrender of a Blockhouse to the Rebels.
ANTICIPATIONS OF A GREAT BATTLE.
Rebel Views of Hood’s Movement.
FURTHER DETAILS.
Gen. Stanley’s Wound The Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad.


Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.
NASHVILLE, Saturday, Dec. 3. After two days of wet weather, the clouds disappeared this morning, and the day has been magnificent. I have been on our right all day. Our line of battle extends around the suburbs of the city, our right and left, respectively, resting on the Cumber land River. The enemy’s line of battle is just two miles from the city. Quite heavy skirmishing in front of Gens. A.J. SMITH and WOOD has been going on all the afternoon by sharpshooters on both sides. On the right of our centre, near Widow ACKLIN’s place, the enemy’s skirmishers became troublesome, taking refuge behind houses on Franklin, Granny White and Highborn pikes. Two houses were burned, several injured and ruined by our artillery. We used considerable artillery this afternoon on our right and right centre, but elicited no reply from the rebel artillery. The supposition is that they are short of this kind of ammunition. Several of our men were killed to-day by their sharpshooters, including two members of the Sixth Ohio Battery. The enemy’s line can be seen quite plainly with the naked eve. All railroading south of this city has ceased to exist. Murfreesboro, Bridgeport and Chattanooga are deemed safe. Events of some moment are anticipated to-morrow. It may be considered an impossibility for the rebels to cross the river either on our right or left, as Commodore FITCH is here with a fleet of gunboats. Johnsonville has been evacuated. Everything was removed from all the railroads in safety. Thirty-three locomotives and trains were sent North this morning. Nashville and the surrounding country for miles has been converted into a huge fortress. The destruction of rebel property in deface of the city will be almost incalculable. As almost all the rich property-owners hereabouts are rebel sympathizers, the rage manifested by this portion of the community at the approach of the rebel army, necessitating the destruction of their property, is unbounded. Gen. FRANK CHEATHAM, commanding one of the rebel corps, has his headquarters at the house of Mr. EDMONSON, on the Murfreesboro pike, four miles from the city. He told EDMONSON that HOOD had orders to go to Nashville or to hell. There is plenty of water in the river for boating purposes Vague rumors are afloat about FORREST crossing the river, and BEECKINRIDGE joining HOOD, all of which are untrue. The situation of our forces is considered perfectly satisfactory. BENJ. C. TRUMAN.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 4. No new developments have taken place to-day, except that our army still encircles the city on the southeast, its wings resting on the Cumberland River. The enemy’s lines are clearly to be seen from high points in the suburbs and from the capitol. They are in trenching themselves in a southwestern direction, about three miles from the city. During the day heavy skirmishing occurred on our left and progressed along the line to the centre. Many persons witnessed the cannonading. Along the right of our lines nothing of importance transpired to-day. The general opinion is that HOOD will attack the Federal forces in front of Nashville. A Federal cavalry force has patrolled the north bank of the river at the fords to prevent cavalry from crossing, as numerous unsuccessful attempts have been made by them to cross since the 1st inst. Johnsonville has been evacuated, and the road has been uninterrupted, and part of the trains from there are advancing to this point by land. It is rumored here to-day that FORREST has placed a pontoon bridge across the river above the city, and that MARMADUKE has occupied Johnsonville. Both are without foundation. The first block-house on the Chattanooga road, four miles from the city, defended by negroes, commanded by Col. JOHNSON, of the colored infantry, who surrendered Dalton, Ga., and was paroled, held out unit this afternoon, when they surrendered. Col. JOHNSON and a portion of his men escaping on a train. The remainder were captured. The train was fired into. Several jumped from the train into the river and escaped. Col. JOHNSON among them, who is in the city tonight. A reconnoitering party sent Thursday returned today, having gone eighty miles up the river. They report that no rebels were seen or heard of crossing the river, and none appeared upon the banks. A rebel deserter, who came in to-day, reports that Gen. S.D. LEE published an order to his men Friday morning, complimenting them on their bravery, devotion, & c, thanking them for the victory won at Franklin, and assuring them that if true to themselves now in front of Nashville, they would be soon enabled to enter and take possession of a vast amount of stores contained there. Two prisoners were brought in to-day, Lieut. HICKMAN, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, four miles from the city, and C.H. GARDY, of FORD’s Forty-eighth Georgia Infantry. The water on the shoals is nine feet deep, and still rising. REBEL VIEW OF HOOD’s CAMPAIGN. From the Sentinel. The news from Tennessee through United States papers, is of further retrograde without fight on the part of the Federal General This means, of course, further advance of the army of Gen. HOOD. By previous reports. Gen. FORREST was upon a flank movement. The next day tells the result. THOMAS fell back from Columbia to Franklin, twenty-five miles in twenty-four hours, a rapidity of movement which is a complement to his celerity, and evidence of the fright which hurried him. It was appropriately celebrated in New-York by a rise in gold. Franklin, at or near which point we are to suppose that HOOD had arrived. is only nineteen miles by rail from Nashville. Another flanker by FORREST, will send THOMAS behind the fortifications of the latter city. What may be HOOD’s further movements, we can only conjecture, so can the enemy. It would be a small thing for FORREST to do, to swing around Nashville and cut its Northern connections. HOOD has probably but to place the city in his rear to frighten THOMAS out of it. It would seem very clear that HOOD has already ccomplished enough to restore almost the whole of Tennessee to our side of the military lines. He has but to march upon East Tennessee to regain complete possession there without a blow. Lost by the treachery of the Commander at Cumberland Gap, it may soon be ours again. Isolated, cut off and unsupported, Chattanooga would then become utterly untenable by the enemy. This would restore to us our line of railway through Knoxville and Chattanooga to the Southwest. The campaign would indeed be glorious that should close with such an advantage to our cause; and yet it is a consummation which seems within our grasp. It may be that HOOD iS striving for still more. It may be that Nashville is to be regained, and that the feet of his soldiers will press the soil of Kentucky here halt is called. We cherish large hopes from his enterprise, but trust that what is now in our-grasp will not be too much imperiled in an effort at more. If it shall please Heaven to favor us with the success which it now seems reasonable to expect in Tennessee, it will be an overwhelming rebuke of the braggart SHERMAN, and hundredfold compensation for the pigs he may steal, and the corncribs he may burn, while running the gauntlet in Georgia. We watt with solicitude and yet with cheering anticipations, for further tidings. Gen. Stanley’s Wound — The Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad. LOUISVILLE, Dec. 3. Maj.-Gen. D.S. STANLEY left here by the mail-boat for his home at Yellow Springs, Ohio, this afternoon. His wound is rattier painful but not dangerous, and Col. SCOTT, the Surgeon-General of Kentucky, expresses the opinion that he will be able to reenter the service within fifteen or twenty days. Yesterday the rolling stock of the Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad, consisting of large numbers of trains, was ordered to Louisville. The order was countermanded to-day. The passenger train from Nashville has arrived three hours behind time.

December 3rd, 1864 NYT’s account of Battle of Franklin

FROM NASHVILLE

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The Position of the Opposing Armies.

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NO FIGHTING SINCE WEDNESDAY

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Hood Demonstrating Toward Murfreesboro

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Further Details of the Battle of Franklin

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THE REBEL GENERAL CLEBURNE KILLED

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The Rebel Loss Fully Six Thousand — Our Loss One Thousand

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GEN. THOMAS MASTER OF THE SITUATION

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Nashville, Friday, Dec. 2

I have received full accounts of the late battle at Franklin, and its antecedents, which was one of the the most brilliant in its general results of the war. For three days sharp skirmishing was kept up during the retirement of our army from Duck River to Franklin, during which time a multiplicity of exploits and successes resulted to the Federal arms.

Gen. Cox conducted the rear guard, and on the 29th ultimately achieved a splendid victory over the rebels at Spring Hill, while General Wilson’s cavalry gained a series of important successes over Forrest’s advance, under Roddy, on the pike between Turner’s and Spring Hill.

During the afternoon of the 30th ultimately the rebel army was sorely pressed under Hood, who had Cheatam’s and Stewart’s corps, and a portion of Dick Taylor’s command, numbering in all over 22,009 men. Owing to Cox’s gallant check at Spring Hill, and portion of the Fourth and Twenty-third Corps were enabled to gain Franklin early in the day, where they threw up a line of breastworks, extending from one end to the other of the curve in the river, behind which our entire infantry command took position.

At precisely four o’clock (afternoon) the entire rebel force made a charge, and succeeded in making a temporary break in our centre, commanded by Wagner. With characteristic impetuosity the soldiers composing Cheatham’s Corps dashed into the breastworks, and cooperating with the attacking party on their left, attempted to envelop and destroy our right. In the nick of time the troops ofWagner were rallied, and throwing their whole force on the rebel column, drove back the storming party in great disorder, capturing several hundred prisoner. Four hours after the rebels charged on these lines, but were repulsed as often with great slaughter.

The rebels numbered at least two to our one, as nearly half of the Fourth andTwenty-third Corps were in reserve. The rebels loss in killed is three times ours, while their wounded is at least six times as large as ours. The wounded of our men are mostly in the head, arms and body.

The artillery fire of the enemy was great precision, but their ammunition consisted chiefly of shot and shell, while for two hours immense quantities of more murderous missles were hurled with fearful fury into the rebel lines. All the attempt of the rebels to gain a permanent advantage were frustrated, and at dark the Federal position was uncharged, while the rebels retired, under cover of the woods, south of the Columbia pike.

The rebel loss, as before stated, is fully 6,000, including over 1,000 prisoners, an unsual number of whom were officers. Our loss reached a total of about 1,000.

An artillery duel was kept up till nearly midnight, when our troops commenced crossing Harpeth River, bringing all our trains and paraphernalia over in safety before daylight.

The army then retired to within four miles of this city, at which point our frontline confronts the enemy. The falling back of the army is in accordance with the programme, and the battle at Franklin, although of the most brilliant kind, was an impromptu affair, and brought about owing to the necessity of checking the rebel advance to secure a safe crossing of the river by our troops.

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LATER

Nashville, Friday, Dec. 2

Additional reports received increase the magnitude of the late victory at Franklin. Thirty stands of colors were captured by our forces. The Forty-ninth Indianacaptured five, the Eighty-eighth Illinois three, Reilly’s old brigade eight, and theTwenty-third Corps captured four.

Gen. Stanley, commanding the Fourth Corps, had a very narrow escape, having had a horse killed under him, and was shot in the right shoulder, the ball travelling the back and going out of the left shoulder. He is in the city, and though suffering considerably, is still attending to duty.

It is confirmed that Gen. Cleburne, of Tennessee, is killed.

Gen. Kimball, commanding the Second Division of General Stanley’s Corps, in the heat of the battle passed a rebel Major-General, who told him he was mortally wounded. His men succeeded in carrying off his body.

It is believed that Hood’s main army is threatening MurfreesboroForrest’srebel cavalry is demonstrating on our front and right flank.

Commander Fitch is here with a fleet of boats and Iron-clads. Sufficient forces have arrived to insure not only the safety of Nashville, but another Union victory, is case of a battle, under any circumstances.

The military men all unite in the opinion that Gen. Stanley and Schofieldconducted the retirement from Pulaski in the face of the enemy with admirable skill, and crowning all with a magnificent Union victory at Franklin.

New York Times Headlines, December 24, 1864

GEN. THOMAS’ ARMY.; Particulars of Hood’s Defeat and Flight. Eighteen General Officers and Seventeen Thousand Men Disabled. FIFTY-ONE CANNON CAPTURED. Hood’s Pontoons on the Tennesse Out of Reach of Our Gunboats. OUR ARMY STILL PURSUING. The Advance Across Duck River. HOOD’s ADVANCE AT PULASKI. THE VERY LATEST. THE BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. THURSDAY’S FIGHT. FRIDAY’S FIGHT.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times. FRANKLIN, TENN., Thursday, Dec, 22. The rebel retreat from Franklin to Duck River beggars all description. HOOD told his Corps Commanders to get off the best way they could with their commands. FRANK CHEATHAM told his aunt, Miss PAGE, that HOOD was ordered to Nashville against his own wishes, but he blames HOOD for not attacking SCHOFIELD at Spring Hill. HOOD ordered BATE to attack at Spring Hill, and he didn’t do it. The rebel army is now beyond Columbia. During the rebel tarry in front of Nashville they captured but two locomotives and ten cars. The railroad is but little injured, and trains are running up to Spring Hill, but two small bridges destroyed. Trains were run to Murfreesboro’ on Sunday. Telegraphic communication is all right with all points. But two small trestles are destroyed on the Johnsonville road. Johnsonville itself was not destroyed. The rebel lose, during the campaign, was 17,000 men, fifty-one cannon captured and eighteen general officers. The killed, at Franklin, numbered 1,400 the wounded 3,800 and 1,000 prisoners were taken. In the battles before Nashville and retreat to Columbia there were 3,000 killed [and wounded and 8,000 prisoners. The Federal loss in the battle at Franklin was 2,000, before Nashville not 4,000. The total Federal loss will not reach 7,000, with two generals slightly wounded. HOOD has a pontoon bridge above the shoals on the Tennessee River, where our gunboats can’t reach it. HOOD marched on Franklin with 40,000 men, including cavalry, and 65 pieces of artillery. He lost just half his general officers, and counting in deserters which are coining in and stragglers which are being captured, he will lose nearly half his men. The rout is complete, although his army is not quite annihilated. B.C. TRUMAN.

NASHVILLE. Friday, Dec. 23. The latest accounts from the front locate Gen. THOMAS headquarters at Rutherford Hill, yesterday morning, eight miles this side of Columbia. Since that time our forces have crossed Duck River, and have moved to a point south of Columbia. Our cavalry forces crossed at Hunter’s Ford, below Columbia, and dashed into the town, the enemy meanwhile retreating without firing a shot. We captured about fifty stragglers. The rebel force was, at last accounts, at Pulaski, yesterday morning. They are probably some distance south of that place to-day. They are closely followed by our cavalry. No particular damage was done to the town of Columbia by the passage through it of the two armies. At least one-third of HOOD’s armies are without arms and equipments, everything which impedes their flight having been thrown away. Rebel deserters and prisoners report the only effective corps of HOOD’s army to be S.D. LEE’S. FORREST effected a junction with HOOD at Columbia on Tuesday evening. The water on the Shoals is fifteen feet deep, and at a stand-still.

NASHVILLE, Friday, Dec, 16 — Midnight. The readers of newspapers do not know what correspondents suffer sometimes in mind. For Instance, imagine a poor fellow taking the chances of a battle all day, then riding several miles in the dark, with mud up to his horse’s belly, to find “the wires down east of Louisville,” This has been the case with the subscriber, and others, for the past two days. The fighting yesterday and to-day, as I have stated in a telegram which, may be, you have never received, has been grander and more magnificent in detail than anything I have ever witnessed upon a field of battle. Early in the morning the enemy’s line of battle was within musket shot of Nashville, with both flanks resting upon the river, with Gen. FRANK CHEATHAM’S corps on the rebel right, crossing the Lebanon, Murfreesboro and Nolensville Pikes; STEPHEN D. LEE’S corps in the centre, crossing the Franklin, Granny White and Hillsboro Pikes, and STEWART on their felt, crossing the Harding and Charlotte Pikes, and resting on the river a few miles south of the city, and commanded by HOOD in person. Our forces were commanded by Gen. THOMAS, and moved upon the enemy in the following order: A.J. Smith upon the right, STEEDMAN on the left, and WOOD in the centre, with SCHOFIELD in reserve, and most of our cavalry, under Gens. JOHNSON, HATOR and WILSON, on the right. Beside, we had gunboats assisting in the protection of our ranks, which rested on the river. A.J. Smith moved out the Sixteenth Corps about 8 o’clock, and skirmished with the enemy until a little before 1 o’clock, with little or no loss to either side, making about a mile in that time. WOOD moved out the celebrated Fourth Corps about the same time, and charged two lines of works and captured them before he took his dinner. Gens. BEATY’S and ??? divisions ??? with great ??? and enthusiasm, and were received in gallant manner by the rebels, who fought with their accustomed desperation. But two rebel batteries were brought to bear upon the two divisions, while six batteries of field artillery, and all the big guns on Fort Negley, and guns upon Casino and Confiscation, for more than an hour, were employed in hurling destruction into the rebel ranks. Immediately in front of Mrs. ACKLIN’s house the charge was made with unbounded spirit. POST’S brigade and a battery of artillery piled into the lines head over heels, and captured one hundred men and a section of artillery. Gen. STEEDMAN moved out his men, composed of a portion of his own division, detachments of troops belonging to the different corps with SHERMAN, and two brigades of colored troops, respectively commanded by Cols. THOMPSON and MORGAN. Gen. STEEDMAN’S orders were to make a vigorous attack, for two reasons: Gen. THOMAS desired to get possession of a nasty fort upon our extreme left, which commanded our line for two miles to the right, and further, to deceive HOOD, as SMITH and SCHOFIELD were to turn the enemy’s left, had any attempt to crush STEEDMAN taken place. But the rebels did not await the second charge of the two colored brigades, which went right up to the summit of the hill without much wavering, driving the enemy a Quarter of a mile, and capturing nearly a hundred prisoners. Up to noon STEEDMAN’S troops were pretty actively engaged, the white and the black men, shoulder to shoulder, pitching in like fury, regardless of all considerations of color. At noon STEEDMAN had moved nearly a mile and a half, and had commenced to swing his extreme left in a little from the river. On our extreme right, our cavalry had about all they could conveniently attend to during the forenoon, experiencing slight repulses, owing to the fine positions of the enemy. Our infantry and cavalry got some very rough handling just about this time, but were helped out of their dilemma by the gunboats, which came along in the nick of time. The Carondelet threw about fifty 64-pound shells into the rebel left, driving the troops resting on the river in great confusion, and silencing a battery of artillery. In the afternoon STEEDMAN was not so busily engaged as he had been during the early part of the day. His troops, however, were under fire all the while, and behaved with great gallantry. During all these charges, the colored troops hardly gave way. They were admirably handled by Cols. THOMPSON and MORGAN, both brave young men, and as they tugged up the hill the white soldiers upon either side rent the air with vociferations. The negroes, too, as they dashed inside of the works, shouted, screamed, yelled and threw up their hats, notwithstanding they had left nearly two hundred of their comrades behind, the bleeding victims of rebel shot and shell. As I said above, of the grand charge which I have described, STEEDMAN moved with little opposition, as the rebels, in contracting their lines, necessarily abandoned some strong positions in his front. WOOD’S corps stood the brunt of the fight in the afternoon, and added new laurels to its well-known and well-earned fame. A little before 3 o’clock, the Second and Third Divisions made two glorious charges upon a long line of rude rifle-pits. An entire battery of brass guns were captured, but most of the troops ran away, and but few prisoners were captured. Before dark another line of works were taken, WOOD’S corps sustaining a loss of over one hundred men killed and wounded during the charge. He was above an hour from the commencement to the conclusion of this charge, during which time the enemy made very little use of his artillery. At dark the Fourth Corps was four miles from Nashville, having taken half a dozen lines of works, several cannon, and toward four hundred prisoners. Although WOOD’S corps did the hardest fighting in the afternoon, A.J. SMITH, in conjunction with the cavalry and a portion of SCHOFIELD’s corps, made a multiplicity of brilliant movements, resulting in the capture of two batteries of artillery, nearly a thousand prisoners, a wagon train, and Gens. LER’s and CHALMER’s headquarters’ trains. This was in a great measure owing to the sagacity and skill of Gen. A.J. SMITH, who seems as much at home upon a field of action as one might well imagine. Portions of SCHOFIELD’s corps were also eminently interested in the saking of the batteries, as were also HATCH’s and JOHNSON’s divisions of cavalry. The gunboats kept up their thundering all the latter part of the afternoon, and did considerable execution upon the enemy’s left. At dark firing ceased, with the exception that our artillerists threw an occasional shell into the rebel lines. The enemy had been pushed over three miles all round since daylight, although at times the fighting was of the most stubborn character. The victory was one of the superbest of the war. Our troops drove the enemy at all points, extending our territory three miles south of our position in the morning. Some five distinct lines of rebel works were taken on the left and centre, and the rebel left broken. We captured eighteen guns, with caissons, &c., all in complete order. We also captured 1,600 prisoners, a large amount of small arms, and a number of wagons. It is believed that our own and the enemy’s loss in killed and wounded, is about the same, each side losing between 1,200 and 1,500. The rebels used very little artillery, but used what they did to a purpose. The captured guns were all smooth bores but four, and of excellent workmanship. On account of the rolling condition of the country and the thinness of the forests, the movements of the troops upon both sides were witnessed to much advantage. At one time the entire front of STEEDMAN’s and WOOD’s troops and two corps of the enemy, could be seen distinctly from a safe position. Gens. Thomas, Smith, Schofield, Wood, Steedman, Wilson and other general officers, were upon the field all day. No general officer was injured, although WOOD like to have lost his head by a cannon ball twice. In point of splendor and magnincent results, today’s affair was even more glorious than yesterday’s. During the night, Gen. HOOD contracted his lines in a remarkable degree, resting his right a short distance east of the Franklin pike, and his left on the Harding pike, making his line of battle less than four miles from flank to flank, although it was double that number of miles in extreme length, owing to its zig-zag order upon and near the Franklin pike. He also retired his army from a naturally weak position and disposed his forces at the base of a range of detached spurs of the Cumberland. It was evident that he intended to make another stand, and it was also evident that the preservation of his rear and his line of retreat upon the Franklin pike, were objects of his particular attention. Gen. THOMAS evidently knew what HOOD’s programme was as well as HOOD himself, and at daylight moved STEEDMAN out rapidly upon the left, with orders to swing in and cross the Murfreesboro’ and Nolensville pikes. This was done with rapidity, but no captures were made owing to the rebel evacuation of their works on our left during the night. WOOD and A.J. SMITH moved up to within musket shot of the rebel lines, while SCHOFIELD was held partly in reserve on the right and partly in a position to make a rapid dash in conjunction with our cavalry, upon the enemy’s left, should the situation suggest such a demonstration. All this transpired before 9 A.M. I went out upon the Granny White pike, a little before night, and watched the movements of our right and the enemy’s left until noon. The enemy had a very fine position at the base of a range of hills, extending from the Granny White to to the Harding pike. He was protected by a line of works which had been hastily constructed near the edge of the woods. GARRARD’s and MCARTHUR’s divisions had to advance through an open field over a mile in length. After getting within four hundred yards of the rebels our column went down upon their bellies, and crawled up some fifty or sixty yards closer. Three batteries followed up these two divisions, and when they halted commenced shelling the woods back of the rebel line and some houses on the pike, from behind which about fifty sharpshooters were banging away. Up to near 11 o’clock this was the order of things in front of SMITH. About that time the rebels snowed their heads in great numbers above the works, and acted as though they intended to charge the three batteries. They came out of their works shortly after, and our batteries were retired temporarily to a safer position. Just before 12 SMITH’s whole corps from right to left made a desperate charge, but could not carry the works. About half past 12 the attempt was again made, and a portion of the works were carried. MCARTHUR ordered up two six-gun batteries upon his left, and one battery upon the right of his division, his own and GARRARD’s men made a charge, the three batteries being advanced so that an enfillading fire could be got in. The whole manoeuvre was grand in projection and execution. The artillery did frightful work along the rebel line, our infantry carrying the works during a temporary panic, which was caused by the vigorous hurling of grape and canister into the rebel ranks. In this charge over two hundred of the enemy were captured. SMITH’s whole line then advanced, his right swinging around a little from off the Hardin pike and a portion of the Twenty-third corps falling and making up the gap between the Sixteenth and HATCH’s division of cavalry. It was now quite 1 o’clock, and a most terrible cannonading had opened all along our left and centre. Knowing that WOOD and STEEDMAN had a certain amount of work to perform to bring up with SMITH. I went over upon the left and centre, where I spent the afternoon until dark, and witnessed, in an unsafe position, more thrilling sights than I have ever seen before. The rebel bullets were whizzing quite uncomfortably, but their artillery, which is the thing that generally produces the demoralization, remained comparatively quiet, and I, in company with two other correspondents, took the chances of the former. The Sixth Ohio, and a battery of the Fourth Regular Artillery, took a position upon an open field, about fifty feet in the rear of our infantry; to the right of BEATTY’s division a Michigan battery and two Ohio batteries, took up a position in an open field, near and upon WOOD’s extreme right, while two batteries got in on the left. From 1 till 2 o’clock these thirty-six guns shelled the rebel position, which was very strong in WOOD’s front, and particularly strong in front of STEEDMAN. At precisely 2 o’clock it commenced to rain, and rained hard during the balance of the day. A little after 2 the Third and First Divisions of WOOD’s corps made a desperate charge upon the rebel line which was located upon a slight elevation. The firing lasted fully twenty minutes, when the rebels retired in considerable disorder, leaving their dead and wounded and forty odd prisoners in our hands. The rebels had parallel works on this hill, and the two divisions, without orders, with the wildest enthusiasm, charged the other line of works in the face of a deadly volley of musketry and a shower of grape from four Napoleon guns. Really, I discovered no signs of wavering, and the whole drama was in full show. In ten minutes after they rushed into the works, captured three hundred men and the battery, which was ??? splendid one of four guns. Every member of the battery — the Second Louisiana — was either killed, wounded or captured. SMITH and WOOD were now on an even line, and a frowning-looking eminence, topped with strong works, three regiments of Tennessee infantry and STAMFORD’s Mississippi battery ??? before STEEDMAN, who, at this juncture, was in conversation with Wood. Capt. TRACY informed me that the two colored brigades would be ordered to storm the hill. I crossed the Franklin pike to see Col. THOMPSON, commanding one of the colored brigades, who is a particular friend of mine, when I heard the orders given for the assault. Immediately the two brigades of colored men started up the hill. I crossed back to the right of the Franklin pike, where I could see the whole movement, without placing myself in too great danger. When within about a hundred yards of the crest of the hill the lour guns and the infantry poured a broadside into the negroes, when a frightful panic took place upon STEEDMAN’s right, resting on the pike. The movement ceased for a few moments, when a couple of our batteries commenced an enfilading fire, and the assaulting party, with an additional brigade of white troops, again attempted the ascent. The rebel infantry blazed away at a fearful rate, and the artillery discharged sixteen shots of cannister, which made the assaulting column reel, waver and almost fall back. This was the most exciting picture I had ever seen so close, as I stood, in company with Capt. BOYD, of Gen. MILLER’s Staff, about two hundred feet to the right of the assaulting party. After a manly struggle, with the loss of over two hundred men killed and wounded in the colored brigades, including eight officers; the party reached the top, and with a yell, went over the works, captured the entire battery and nearly three hundred prisoners. The guns were of the James pattern, were manufactured at Columbus, Ga., and were quite warm when I arrived. Every caisson had been smashed by our artillery, and most of the horses killed, although the guns were in good order. The men composing this battery stood like men to their post — 32 out of 70 being killed and wounded. Every officer was killed. As soon as the hill was taken, the colored troops pitched after the retreating rebels, chasing them through a valley nearly a mile. Firing wholly ceased upon the left, which had swung around nearly a mile and a half in two hours. WOOD’s corps carried another line of works, without much opposition, however, although POST’s and STRAIGHT’s brigades pitched in like good fellows. This was a little before 4 o’clock, and, when all was quiet upon the left and centre, a tremendous crash took place upon the right. It only lasted about ten minuses, but the firing was awful during that time. I started to go over to the right, but when half way over, met Capt. BURROUGHS, of Gen. THOMAS’ staff, who told me that SMITH had made a glorious charge, and with the assistance of SCHOFIELD, had taken twelve guns, two general officers, and fifteen hundred prisoners. As I told you in the start, SCHOFIELD had a certain plan to carry out if the opportunity presented itself. It did, While SMITH was making a charge, SCHOFIELD threw his whole corps away round to the right, and shut up toward A.J. SMITH’s corps in front, the two corps grabbing the number of guns and prisoners stated above in the operation. Darkness came abruptly on, and hostilities ceased. As near as I can judge our loss is about two thousand in Killed and wounded. The enemy’s loss in killed and wounded is smaller. We captured about four thousand prisoners and two general officers. Gens. SMITH and SCHOFIELD captured 12 guns, and I saw WOOD’s and STEEDMAN’s corps capture a like number, while HATCH captured a section of artillery on our extreme right. I started for the city a little before 7 o’clock, at which time all was quiet at the front, and all of our dead, and our own and the rebel wounded had been cared for. Our front occupied a position between eight and nine miles from the city. Rebel prisoners admit their defeat, and deplore their great loss in artillery and prisoners. Orders were issued last night for 5,000 rations for prisoners. Gen. JACKSON, captured by SMITH, is a Major-General, and is an old man. SMITH is a middle-aged man, and pays a high compliment to our troops, who, he says, are brave in a fight and magnanimous after victory. LOSSES. The following summing up of the relative losses of both armies during the two days’ fight may be considered quite accurate: Rebel killed and wounded, Thursday…. 1,500 Rebel killed and wounded, Friday……. 2,000 — 3,500 Rebel loss in prisoners, Thursday…… 1,600 Rebel loss in prisoners, Friday……….. 4,000 — 5,600 and two general officers. Rebel loss of cannon, Thursday…………… 18 Rebel loss of cannon, Friday……………… 26 — 44 The Federal loss in killed and wounded in the two days’ fight, I think, will exceed the enemy’s by a thousand. No prisoners are reported taken by the rebels. Total rebel loss………………………….. 8,100 Total Federal loss……………………….. 4,500 Allowing our loss in killed and wounded to be one thousand more than the enemy’s even, gives us the advantage of 3,600 men, 2 general officers, 44 cannon, 5,000 small arms, &c., &c. BENJAMIN C. TRUMAN.