Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 28, 1862 (Sunday): Moving on Murfreesboro

Stone's River (

Camp on Murfreesborough Pike, December 28,[1862]-11.45 a.m.
Major-General THOMAS,
Commanding Center:
    Your dispatch of this date, hour not given, is just received. Information just received, and considered perfectly reliable, shows a stubborn determination on the part of the enemy to fight this side of Murfreesborough. Bragg says, if we defeat him, our victory shall cost us 10,000 men. Kirby Smith has positively gone to Mississippi with 10,000 men, leaving behind McCown's division, 5,000 strong, and his cavalry under Pegram. We must, therefore, close in upon them as rapidly as possible. The general desires me to say to you that Rousseau must be on Stewart's Creek this night, and, as the road is so bad, you must lose no time in putting him in motion. Take forage enough only for the horses of the staff and artillery. Walker's brigade can cover your rear and right flank. Take care of your wagons, and bring them up afterward. McCook is ordered to push on toward Murfreesborough with all his available force. I am about to send a courier down to Nashville to order Rousseau's supply train, if not started, up the Murfreesborough pike, so as to avoid the bad cross-road from Nolensville over to Stewartsborough. To make assurance doubly sure, had you not better send a courier down to Nolensville pike to intercept the train, and, if not too far advanced, send it back and round? We shall move up in a few hours to La Vergne, where general headquarters will be established,and from which point we shall run a line of couriers out to Nolensville pike.
     I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

   Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 20, Part 2, Page 258.

Wheeler's cavalry slowed Rosecrans' advance southeast along the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga R.R. and to the right.  Bragg deployed his forces between Triune and Murfreesboro to confront the 45,000 man force advancing on him.  Rosecrans had nearly 80,000 men at his command, but had to leave large portions of his force along his route to defend his line of communication.

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