On the night of Nov. 29 and early morning of Nov. 30, five Union divisions slipped past the Army of Tennessee camped astride the Columbia Turnpike at Spring Hill, Tenn.
"The rebels were in line of battle south of town, a quarter of a mile from the Pike along which we marched, and their long lines of campfires burnt brightly," 59th Illinois Lieutenant Chesley Mosman recalled. "Staff officers were stationed along the Pike to caution the men not to talk or let their canteens rattle so as to make a noise; that those were the fires of the enemy. So we passed time sub silentio if not 'with averted eye.' "
The next day, behind defenses at Franklin, the U.S. Army held off a five-hour asssault by the Confederates, who suffered horrendous casualties.