Monday, October 31, 1864

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 31, 1864.
General EASTON, Atlanta, Ga.:
Make arrangements to move the Twenty-Third Corps, General Schofield’s, from Resaca to Nashville in cars empty.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I want to prepare to leave Atlanta as soon as possible.

ATLANTA, October 31, 1864.
Major-General SHERMAN:
Your dispatch received. It will take more than one-half the available cars between here and Chattanooga to move the Twenty- Third Corps. The removal of stores to the rear will have to stop in a great measures. The railroad has been open but two days. Much has been done, but there is still more to do than can be done in seven days, with the usual rate of accidents. If the Twenty-Third Corps move by cars it will take eleven days to complete everything. We still require some hundreds of cars of stores to complete your supplies and outfit. Under the circumstances, shall cars be sent at once to move the Twenty-Third Corps? Answer.
L. C. EASTON. A. BECKWITH.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 31, 1864.
General EASTON, Chief Quartermaster, Atlanta, Ga.:
Your telegram received. All must move in four of five days. What supplies can’t be got we must do without, and what material can’t be moved will be destroyed. Cars should be sent General Schofield from the north. Will draw clothing at Atlanta.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 31, 1864.
General EASTON, Atlanta, Ga.:
It is important that you give all force possible to the preparations for the move as directed, as it may be that we depart before you can complete them, even with the greatest haste. The general desires great activity both from you and Colonel Beckwith.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 31, 1864.
Colonel BECKWITH, Atlanta, Ga.:
Push the matters of preparations as much as possible; it may become necessary to move before they are completed.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 31, 1864.
General ROSECRANS, Warrensburg, Mo.:
General Thompson, in Tennessee, will want those troops as soon as possible. Winslow’s cavalry will be also needed at Memphis far more than in Missouri, where guerrillas should be looked after by the people themselves. We cannot afford to maintain armies to protect people against guerrillas. I want Winslow at Memphis as soon as possible, to operate against the flank of the enemy’s communications.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

WARRENSBURG, MO., October 31, 1864. 9:30 p.m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Rome, Ga.:
Smith’s troops will be forwarded as soon as possible, but in will take them five days to reach the Missouri River, and at least five more to reach the Mississippi. Winslow’s cavalry are in pursuit of Price, near the southwest corner of the State, and will be dismounted; horses worn out. Ask General Halleck to order the Cavalry Bureau to provide a remount at Saint Louis.

The reason why it takes so much time to go from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River is that the river is so low that the troops have to be disembarked at nearly every shoal and march around them. For example, a very light-draft boat, loaded with commissary stores, took two days and a half to come from Hermann to Jefferson City.
W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 31, 1864. 9:30 a.m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Rome, Ga.:
General Croxton reports that the enemy has crossed the Tennessee River four miles above Florence. He reports also that he was unable to prevent the enemy crossing, but will resist their farther progress as long as possible. I have ordered General Hatch to move to Lawrenceburg, between Hood and Columbia, and to co-operate with General Croxton in resisting the enemy’s progress. I have also ordered Stanley’s corps to Pulaski to hold that place. Can you send me Schofield to take post at Columbia at once? I make this application because the force at Chattanooga is not sufficiently large or well organized to do more than defend that place.
GEO. H. THOMAS, Major-General, Commanding

ROME, GA., October 31, 1864-1. 30 p. m.
Major-General THOMAS:
You must unite all your men into one army and abandon all minor points if you expect to defeat Hood. He will not attack posts, but will march around them. General Schofield is marching today from here to Resaca, where he will report to you for orders. His advance will be at Resaca tonight.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee
Have telegraphed General Rosecrans at Saint Louis, and also to commanding officer at Paducah, but can hear nothing from them. Now that Hood has undoubtedly crossed the river I think it important that General Schofield should be sent to Columbia as soon as possible, as I have no certainty of getting any other troops. There are still six regiments due from the North. If you approve this, please order General Schofield to proceed at once by rail to Columbia.

I am endeavoring to concentrate my troops as much as possible and trying to place them at Pulaski, Decatur being held by Granger’s forces, and shall therefore order Schofield to come with all his corps, except one brigade, by rail, as rapidly as possible. I am sure Stanley’s force will not be large enough to drive Hood’s whole army back, as he has a large cavalry force. I can hear nothing of the troops from Missouri, and cannot, therefore, rely upon their reaching me. Neither can I hear anything of the balance of the new regiments expected. I consider it absolutely necessary for General Schofield to come. There is no doubt but there is a larger force of the enemy in west Tennessee and now crossing the Tennessee near Florence.
I learn by telegraph from Johnsonville that one gun-boat and five transports were captured last night below Johnsonville, and the commanding officer at Johnsonville expects to be attacked daily, and I have no troops to re-enforce him unless the Missouri troops should accidentally get there in time to do so. The water in the Tennessee River having fallen very low the enemy was enabled to cross at three or four points in spite of Croxton’s efforts to prevent them. If General Hatch does not disregard my orders for him to halt at Pulaski he and Croxton, with Stanley, may be able to hold Hood at Pulaski until General Schofield can get up.
GEO. H. THOMAS, Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 31, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:
General Easton is ordered to send by cars General Schofield’s whole corps to you at any point you may indicate. General Schofield’s head of column should now be at Resaca. I have also ordered General Wilson, with 3,000 armed dismounted cavalry, to Resaca to proceed to Nashville for remount. They will join you as soon as possible. Bear in mind my instructions as to concentration and not let Hood catch you in detail.

If you expect Schofield you must order more activity of the trains.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE ETOWAH, Chattanooga, October 31, 1864.
Major-General SHERMAN:
The following just received from Decatur, 1145 a. m., this date:
Reliable information has been received that Wheeler, with his force, is between Somerville and this place; his advance is now within sight of our pickets.

General Granger telegraphs from Decatur at 4:30 this p.m. that couriers report enemy’s cavalry at 12 m. today on west side of Elk River at ford on Athens and Florence road; that enemy made his appearance opposite Brown’s Ferry at 9 this a.m. and attacked our pickets. General Croxton reports that the enemy has crossed at Bainbridge and captured small portion of Second Michigan and Eighth Iowa Cavalry. The cannonading last night was at that place. They are reported crossing in force at Shoal Creek and pressing General Croxton back.
JAS. B. STEEDMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 31, 1864.
General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
Allow nothing to come to the front but such supplies as General Easton orders transportation for. Tell Mr. Anderson he must work smart or he will lose all his trains south of Chattanooga; notify Mr. Taylor also.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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Sunday, October 30, 1864

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI., NO. 111.
In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864

I. Major General J. M. Schofield will move his corps to Resaca, and relieve all troops along the railroad belonging to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Corps, and order them to join their proper Divisions by Kingston. He will cover the railroad during the movement of the trains and report for further instructions to Major General George H. Thomas, at Nashville, both by telegraph and letter.

II. Bvt. Major General Jeff. C. Davis will move his corps to Kingston and there await further orders.

III. Major General O. O. Howard, with the cavalry, will move his army by easy marches to Dallas and Smyrna Camp-Ground, reporting his position as often as possible en route that orders may reach him via Allatoona and Martietta.

IV. All detachments and recruits will join their respective corps at once by the most direct route.

V. Brigadier General John E. Smith will assemble his Division at Cartersville and Allatoona, and Brigadier General John M. Corse will hold his at Rome until further orders.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

McCook Writes that his cavalry has burned houses of Sesech that have been firing at our trains and will leave the country east of the railroad barren if necessary.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome
Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
General Blair and General Smith are here, and with a lot of recruits and furloughed men, &c., will join you tomorrow. Blair will convey orders and dispatches. In the mean time be prepared to move leisurely by such road as you may think best in the direction of Dallas. Please notify General Garrard that the general commanding directs that he come toward this place as far as he may think best, and go into camp convenient for forage, and there await orders, the object being to make some changes in his mount. Hood has left Decatur and gone toward Tuscumbia and the Shoals, not having made anything there. He is short of supplies.
I am, general, yours, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

Thomas Writes from Nashville:

Your two dispatches of yesterday received. One Division of Stanley’s troops have already left Chattanooga for Athens, and Tindall promises to have them all off by tomorrow. I have a dispatch from Croxton at 9 p.m. last night. He says nothing further of the crossing of the enemy at Florence, but that he learns from a source that he cannot doubt that Hood’s whole army reached Town Creek last night and would cross there. I have already directed him to oppose Hood with his whole available force, reporting direct to Stanley at Athens and to me here, via Pulaski. I Ordered Hatch lat night to reenforce Croxton at once.

Granger believes Hood has gone toward Tuscumbia, but he thinks he will be compelled to wait a day or two to get provisions, as his troops were almost mutinous at not having food when he was before Decatur. If he delays two days he will have no chance to get across. I think Schofield had better remain at Resaca for a day or two, or until we get further information. I have already directed Steedman to push forward all the recruits and drafted men belonging to the regiments with you. I have repeated my application to Commodore Pennock for gun-boats to go up the Tennessee. Have telegraphed to Rosecrans, at Saint Louis, to send A. J. Smith’s and Mower’s DIVISION to Eastport and the cavalry to Memphis. I doubt if Rosecrans will send them.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:
Dispatch of today received. I agree with Granger that Hood must delay for provisions. He cannot ford the Tennessee, and must pass his artillery by a pontoon bridge, which can only be laid in the reach about Florence, between Colbert and Muscle Shoals. Schofield is here and moves tomorrow for Resaca to report to you. Jeff. Davis will move to Kingston, and Howard to Martietta, via Van Wert and Dallas. I will keep all the horses, and will send Wilson, with all the dismounted cavalry, back to Tennessee, where he can make up a very heavy cavalry force, subject to your orders in case I depart for the south.

Hood must have seen Stanley moving to you, and has heard the result of affairs in Missouri and the Shenandoah, and will hesitate to put his army in Middle Tennessee at this season of the year, with the Tennessee River at his back; but I want you to keep me advised up to the last moment. It may take five days yet to get everything back, and during that time he may turn toward me, thinking I have divided my forces. General Rosecrans telegraphs me that he has ordered Generals Mower’s and Smith’s Divisions to Teneessee, and I have asked him to embark them at Booneville or Lexington, and send them in boats to the Tennessee River, reporting to you from Paducah.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Granger Reports from Decatur:

A very smart colored boy, whom I know, belonging to the Ninth Ohio Cavalry, and who was made prisoner during Major-General Rousseau’s expedition, and has been employed at General Hood’s headquarters during this whole expedition, came into camp this morning, having made his escape, gives the following as what he heard General Hood and General Beauregard say: He said they had determined upon an attack on Decatur, before leaving Palmetto, Ga., and were to pass from here into Middle Tennessee, where they designed to winter. If they failed to take Decatur they would go to Corinth, where they could best supply their army through the winter. They wanted the pontoon bridge and this place as a base of supplies. It is a remarkable fact, that with eight pieces of artillery within easy range of the bridge, and our men crossing it continually they never once fired on it. Hood, he says, was in favor of continuing the siege and assaulting the works, but Beauregard determined upon Friday that it was not practicable.

The enemy, I am almost satisfied, has made no effort to cross this side the mouth of Elk River, and as my couriers communicate with General Croxton at that point I do not think Hood has made any serious attempt at crossing below here up to this time. This boy positively asserts that he heard Hood say they had lost 1,000 in killed and wounded alone at this place. All the prisoners state that wherever our shells and sharpshooters could reach they suffered very heavy loss. I know that our artillery practice was excellent.

I have this very moment received a communication from Major Swallow, Tenth Cavalry, dated October 30, 1. 30 a. m., Brown’s Ferry. He says all quiet at this point; no indications of the enemy. He proceeds immediately to the mouth of Elk River and Lamb’s Ferry. He has 150 cavalry. We made a few prisoners this morning, stragglers, who were trying to get through to their commands. I have out strong scouting parties and hope to pick up some more.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864.
Major-General DANA, or COMMANDING OFFICER, Memphis, via Cairo:

General Howard is on the march, and I telegraph you that General Beauregard is moving his army across to the head of the Tennessee to get me out of Georgia. He won’t succeed in his object. Don’t be concerned on the river. He cannot make a lodgment on the Mississippi, for we have troops in Missouri and Tennessee that can easily reach the river, and Beauregard won’t make the mistake of Pemberton and Frank Gardner. He may annoy you, but you can annoy him far more. He cannot afford to attack forts or men intrenched, for ammunition is scarce with him, and all supplies, except corn, which he gets in the country. He will be dependent on the Mobile and Ohio road, which should be threatened in its whole length. My old route to Meridian is one way; another by Brownsville, Canton, Kosciuskio, and Macon; also from Natchez out through South Mississippi. Expeditions on each of these lines will force him to keep a large part of his cavalry busy. If he move up to Jackson, Tenn., Trenton, &c., let him go, and send word to him if he behaves himself he may stay there. When he finds that I have not left Georgia, but on the contrary quite the reverse, he will doubtless draw to Selma. He will most likely cross into Middle Tennessee somewhere about Florence, but General Thomas is ready for him. In case of danger my orders are that the forts proper must be held to the death. He has not taken one from me here and taken only two block-houses.

All Georgia and Alabama are now open to me, as well as the Carolinas. Give these ideas to all your river posts. Don’t attempt to hold the interior further than as threatening to his lines of supply. I will furnish General Howard a copy of this that he may understand.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Rosecrans Writes:

WARRENSBURG, MO., October 30, 1864.10 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Rome, Ga.:
Your telegram of 29th, 12 p. m. (midnight), received. The river is so low that General Smith can reach the Mississippi sooner by marching. He leaves in the morning. It will require ten days to reach the Mississippi, where boats and complete supplies will await him. Whatever is possible will be done to enable you to make a sure thing against Beauregard. I hope you will be able to give that army a thorough defeat.

I have Winslow’s cavalry from Washburn, and also Moore’s brigade, of Seventeenth Army Corps. Though they belong to you, I should be glad, with your consent, to retain them until the country is rid of Price’s disbanded rebels and the guerrillas, who will be doubtless murdering our people and doing much mischief for some weeks to come. If you assent, please telegraph me and direct General Washburn to send company papers and property, so Winslow’s men can be clad and sheltered. The men came to me so naked I was obliged to issue extra clothing, and in justice to them, if they have to pay for it, and to the Government, if they do not, their clothing should be sent them from Memphis.
W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.

Beckwith Colonel and Chief Commissary of Subsistence Writes from Atlanta ATLANTA:
Your dispatch is received. The cars passed over the entire road both ways yesterday for the first time. Everything depends upon the ability of the road. It cannot be now worked to its full capacity, for the sidings and switches, water-tanks, &c., are not yet finished, nor is the road ballasted. Trains have to move slow. There is much freight to come forward, and much material to go back, and no calculation can be made as to time. I do not think we have too many cattle; any how, they are easily disposed of at the last moment.
A. BECKWITH, Colonel and Chief Commissary of Subsistence

I reply
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864.
Colonel A. BECKWITH, Atlanta, Ga.:
Discriminate as to the things sent north and ordered to Atlanta, as I may have to move earlier than it is possible to complete the arrangements; also, Thomas may have to use much of the rolling- stock above Chattanooga. Order things back to Resaca, if no farther, as I will send Schofield there to cover that point as long as possible.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

I do not want an excess of supplies at Atlanta to delay my move into Georgia.

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Saturday, October 29, 1864

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Georgia, October 29, 1864
Brigadier-General WATKINS, Calhoun, Ga.:
Cannot you send over about Fairmount and Adairsville and burn ten or twelve houses of known secessionists, kill a few at random, and let them know that it will be repeated every time a train is fired on from Resaca to Kingston!
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864
Major-General HALLECK:
Brigadier-General Ransom died today, of sickness incurred on the campaign. He was being carried on a litter from Gaylesville, and got within six miles of Rome, when it became necessary to carry him to a house, where he died. His body is here, and will be sent to Chicago in charge of his personal staff. In his death this army loses one of its best Division commanders.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864
Major-General ROSECRANS, Warrensburg, Mo.:
I have your dispatches today. I have pushed Beauregard to the west of Decatur, but I know he is pledged to invade Tennessee and Kentucky, having his base on the old Mobile and Ohio road. I have put Thomas in Tennessee and given him as many troops as he thinks necessary, but I don’t want to leave it to chance, and therefore would like to have Smith’s and Mower’s Divisions up the Tennessee River as soon as possible. Could you get them on board of boats at Booneville or higher up and let the boats run to Paducah where orders would meet them? I propose myself to push straight down into the heart of Georgia, smashing things generally.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Major-General SLOCUM, Atlanta, Ga.:
I have sent the Fourth Corps back to Chattanooga, and must also send Schofield with the Twenty-third. All recruits and conscripts for other four corps will come forward. Continue to prepare as before, and collect all the forage you can. Hood has gone clear across to Decatur and the Alabama road, and is threatening to enter Tennessee from that quarter. He has left the Blue Mountain and will depend on the Mobile and Ohio road.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Wilson continues reorganization of the cavalry:

SPECIAL ORDERS,
HDQRS. CAV. CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 3.
Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.

I. Brigadier-General Garrard will immediately organize his Division into two brigades, and after furnishing what horses General Kilpatrick requires, mount the Second Brigade of the new organization. As soon as this duty is accomplished he will proceed to Nashville with the Division, taking all horses unfit for field service, and gathering all dismounted men found along its route.
Upon his arrival at Nashville General Garrard will turn over the men and command of his Division to Brigadier General Eli Long.

II. Brigadier General Eli Long will relieve, at Nashville, Tenn., Brig. General, K. Garrard from the command of the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi.

Upon assuming command General Long will remain in Nashville for the purpose of collecting, remounting, and equipping the dismounted men of his Division there.
By command of Brevet Major-General Wilson:
E. B. BEAUMONT, Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
General John E. SMITH, Cartersville, Ga.:
I will send general Schofield’s corps to Resaca from here tomorrow, and it will relieve all your men at Adairsville and above. you will then collect your Division at Kingston and Cartersville ready to move. I must here await for the development of Hood. I think Thomas will have enough men to handle him, even if he succeeds in crossing the Tennessee.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Corse Follows My Wishes for the March:

HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Brigadier General E. W. RICE, Commanding First Brigade:
You are hereby informed that this Division is soon to take the field for a long, arduous, and successful campaign. you will, therefore, at once set about preparing and properly equipping your command for the same, but in such a manner as not to attract attention or occasion rumor or speculation among the soldiers. All baggage, clothing, camp and garrison equipage not absolutely requisite in campaign for the warmth and subsistence of officers and men, and which is sufficiently good to be of service hereafter, will be got in readiness without delay to be shipped to the rear, probably to Chattanooga, in charge of an officer and a few men- those not able to endure a march, convalescents, &c. The greatest energy must be displayed in fitting up your transportation and carrying out the above instructions. All baggage, camp and garrison equipage which has became worn out, and of little or no utility at present and none in future, will be burned or destroyed.
By order of Brigadier General John M. Corse.

THOMAS sent the following dispatches:

DECATUR, ALA., October 29, 1864.
Our skirmishers have just driven the enemy on our front out of their rifle-pits into the woods, 1,800 yards from our works. Our men have possession of these pits, and will occupy them to-night. Am satisfied that they are gradually withdrawing, and that their main force will encamp at Courtland to-night. Have sent an additional patrol to Brown’s Ferry, and will send a regiment of infantry in that direction in the morning on gun-boat, if it returns from Whitesburg; if not, will send them on foot. Sent gun- boat up river, to patrol it more perfectly.
R. S. GRANGER, Brigadier-General.

Center Star, via Pulaski, 29th, 4 a. m.:
Major Root, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, reports the enemy crossing river at the mouth of Cypress Creek, two miles below Florence. I will move down at once with all the force that can be spared from guarding river, and try and drive them back.
JOHN T. CROXTON, Brigadier-General.

The Fourth Corps (Stanley’s) is at Rossville tonight. Have made arrangements to dispatch it by railroad to Athens and Pulaski as rapidly as possible. Have also referred General Hatch, at Clifton, to re-enforce General Croxton at Florence. With Croxton on the spot to oppose him I do not think the enemy can cross in very heavy force before Stanley can get into position and be prepared to meet him.

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864-9 a. m.
Major-General THOMAS:
Stanley should reach Wauhatchie today. Schofield will be here tonight, and I will push him right away for Resaca, to go to Chattanooga, if events call for it. Order all recruits and drafted men accordingly, viz, those for the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps, to come to the front. Appoint some good man to organize and arm the convalescents I sent back. I repeat, should the enemy cross the Tennessee River in force abandon all minor points and concentrate your forces at some point where you can cover the road from Murfreesborough to Stevenson. Engraft on Stanley and Schofield all the new troops. Give Schofield a Division of new troops. Give General Tower all the men you can to finish the forts at Nashville, and urge on the navy to pile up gun-boats in the Tennessee River.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Thomas Replies from Nashville:

Your dispatches of yesterday from Gaylesville and Rome received. I have already instructed the different garrisons that they must defend themselves against all odds. I have also ordered them to keep on hand ample supplies of provisions and ammunition, and they report themselves well supplied. Some of the gun-boats are ordered to remain at or near Decatur and the others patrolling the river between Bridgeport and Decatur. How far to the front of Chattanooga do you wish me to hold the country when you start south? I believe the most difficult part of my work will be to keep open the railroad to Knoxville, unless an advanced force is thrown out in the direction of Dalton, and such force will be in constant danger unless the railroad is entirely destroyed between that place and Cartersville and Rome. If you can let me know a few days before you are ready I will prepare Wright for operations on the railroad.

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS:
We have reconnoitered well down to Gadsden and Jacksonville. Hood took with him all his infantry, but left a good deal of cavalry. He started for Bridgeport and Guntersville, but my movements have thrown him clear across to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. If he does not attack Decatur today he will not at all, but he will go to Tuscumbia and depend on the Mobile road. Now, I want you to be all ready for him if he enters Tennessee. He will work as fast as possible, for winter is coming, but he cannot haul supplies and will be dependent on the country. I have sent Stanley back. Give him as many conscripts as possible and use him as the nucleus. I will also send Schofield back, who will relieve you of all that Knoxville branch, but if necessary break up all minor posts and get about Columbia as big an army as you can and go at him. You may hold all the cavalry and new troops except the men actually assigned to the corps with me.

I would like Dalton held, but leave that to you, Chattanooga, of course, and Decatur in connection with the boats. Get, if you can, A. J. Smith; ‘s and Mower’s DIVISIONS, belonging to my army, from Missouri and let them come to you via Clifton. Get the gun-boats to fill the Tennessee River, and that will bother him much. If you could make a good lodgment at Eastport Hood could not use the Corinth and Decatur road, for there are only seven miles of good road from Eastport to Iuka.

General Schofield has not got in yet, but I will push him right on to Resaca. I will give you notice when I start. All preparations are now progressing, but I want to know Hood’s movements, and how well you are prepared before I start.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864-12 m.
Major-General THOMAS:
I have your dispatch. Stanley has reached Chattanooga, and can, with the assistance of the cars, reach Athens in less than four days. I hear that the enemy has passed to the WEST of Decatur, and, therefore, will cross about Florence. I don’t see how Beauregard can support his army; but Jeff. Davis is desperate, and his men will undertake anything possible. If necessary, draw heavily on Chattanooga, depending on Schofield to replace them. Schofield is not yet up, but I will push him right along to Resaca. With Decatur held and a good gun-boat force up at the head of navigation, the enemy will be bold to enter Tennessee; but we must expect anything. If they wait to get supplies about Tuscumbia, you will get the Missouri troops. Have your orders to meet them at Paducah.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Thomas Replies:

Your dispatch of this 9 a.m. is received. If I can get Stanley to Athens in four days I shall have no fears of Hood crossing the Tennessee River. Granger has enough men already to defend Decatur; but I will keep your instructions in mind. I feel no apprehensions whatever about Chattanooga, and hope to be relieved from all uneasiness from the direction of Florence and Eastport as soon as I can get Stanley into position. I will engraft the troops into Stanley’s and Schofield’s corps as you direct, and will endeavor to arrange so as to garrison the block-houses and small garrisons along the railroad by Stanley’s old troops, and intermingle the new regiments with his Divisions, so as to render them as efficient as possible. All these changes can be made without mixing the troops of the three armies at all. I will have convalescents organized and posted at Chattanooga and Bridgeport to aid in defense of those two places.

General STEEDMAN:
Let me know the moment you hear of General Stanley, and to what point General Thomas orders him. I will also send Shofield’s Twenty-third corps to Resaca, and on to Chattanooga, if events demand it. I want every mite of news you have from the quarter of Decatur. You must organize and systematize the hospitals and men sent back to Chattanooga. You could use some of them for your forts. If there be any unfinished work at Chattanooga or on Lookout Mountain it should be finished at once.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

A telegram from Stanley received, and he is almost to Bridgeport. I am pleased at his rapid march. I want any news from Decatur!

Steedman Writes from CHATTANOOGA:

General Stanley has just arrived. His command will pass through Chattanooga, except one Division, which will cross Sand Mountain to Stevenson, as directed by General Thomas. There is nothing later from Decatur than the dispatch I sent you from General Granger last night.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Major-General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
I have your dispatch of today. Have you telegrahic communication with Decatur and Huntsville? If so, I want to know if Hood is still before Decatur, or, if he is gone, in what direction he went. Let me know tonight if possible.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Steedman Replies From CHATTANOOGA.

I have heard nothing from Decatur since 11:30 last night. The telegraphic communication is open, but I can get nothing from General Granger, although I have repeatedly asked him for information.
…..
The following has just been received from Decatur, dated October 29, 4:40 p.m.:

I told you we drove the rebs out of their rifle-pits yesterday, capturing 120. In the evening we made another sortie, spiking a couple of guns, and taking 14 more prisoners. In this skirmish we lost 40 killed and wounded. Our loss altogether up to this time amounts to 80. We blew up 4 caissons and dismounted 2 pieces of artillery. We killed and wounded a very large number of the enemy, full 500. About 4 o’clock this morning they began to leave in the direction of Courtland.

I have been probing them at different points all day, finding them in force, until 4 o’clock this evening, when our forces carried their last line of rifle-pits. Enemy evidently believed us to be in very strong force here, judging from what their prisoners have stated. I have endeavored to keep up this impression. I am picketing the river with all the cavalry in my possession, down to the mouth of Elk River. If gunboat returns, now some miles up river, I will send a regiment down the river to Brown’s Ferry. Negroes who escaped from them and prisoners say that Hood and Beauregard are both with them.

Received a dispatch from Athens which stated that two couriers from Florence reported that the enemy had crossed below Florence at Cypress Creek in large force. I think this information is to the same effect as that forwarded by General Croxton. It will hardly be necessary now to report, anyhow. I will send you, however, all the information I can obtain.
R. S. GRANGER, Brigadier-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Major-General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
I have your dispatch about Decatur. All right. I want to know the first moment Beauregard crosses to the north of the Tennessee. I think he must get supplies from the Mobile and Ohio road before he advances far into Tennessee.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Granger Reports From Decatur:

I have conversed with a number of deserters, prisoners, and escaped negroes, and from their information I am led to believe it is the impression among the officers and men of Hood’s army that they are bound to get into Middle Tennessee. The deserter who just left me says that their first aim was to take this place, and fully expected to do so. He thought now they would certainly attempt to cross above or below. I am convinced their infantry forces left in the direction of Courtland and they may send some cavalry to cross above. My guide, Harris, a sharp fellow, says from what he has heard above that they will try to cross above, near Whitesburg. I have sent him up there on the gun-boat Thomas. I have also ordered, in addition to force there already, five companies of One hundred and eighty-first Ohio, about 420 men. I have sent to Brown’s Ferry 150 of the Tenth Indiana, and will send to the Stone River down there with 100 men of the One hundred and eighty-first Ohio. I think Hood will, if he intends to cross, make the effort between Elk River and Eastport. Instructed Colonel Lyon to guard all passes from mouth of Flint River to Triana and scout river with cavalry.
……
In my last telegram I omitted to mention another reason why I think Hood will go to Tuscumbia before crossing. He was evidently out of supplies. His men were all grumbling. The first thing the prisoners asked for was something to eat. Hood could not get anything if he should cross this side of Rogersville.

Croxton Reports from CENTRE STAR, ALA.

It is reported that Hood’s entire army reached Town Creek today and expects to cross the river at Bainbridge tonight. I have this from such a source that I cannot doubt its truth. I will do what I can to prevent their crossing, keeping you fully advised.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Colonel BECKWITH, Atlanta, Ga.:
How are you getting on with the movement of things? There is an immense herd of cattle here. Won’t we have to send some back? General Stanley’s corps is in Chattanooga. I will send Schofield to Resaca and be ready to move down with the balance as soon as all things are ready. We will be ready to move from here in three days. How long do you want? I have heard nothing of Hood today.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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Friday, October 28, 1864

ROME, GA., October 28, 1864
The rebel army is now before Decatur, Alabama. I think the place strong and can hold out, and that it will delay Beauregard till General Thomas can make his preparations. I have sent Stanley’s corps to Chattanooga, and may also send Schofield’s; but I do not want to go back myself with the whole army, as that is what the enemy wants. If you can re-enforce Thomas and enable him to hold Tennessee I will soon make Hood let go, for when I get my sick and wounded to the rear I will start for Macon. The railroad is now done.

Hood has left the door into Georgia wide open. I am hurrying to prepare for my move.

ROME, GA., October 28, 1864
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
Colonel W. Warner telegraphs me that he is notified he will be dismissed for premature publication of news. Warner is one of my very best officers, and is just appointed Colonel of a new regiment. You know my views on the subject of these publications. Still I ask that he be not dismissed. I know him to be a very superior officer, and anything he has done has resulted from the universal misconception of duty by volunteer officers in regard to such matters. I will pledge myself for his future good behavior.

General Ransom is very ill of dysentery. I think he will die. He is being brought in on a litter.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Rosecrans Writes:

WARRENSBURG, MO., October 28, 1864. 10:15 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN:
Your dispatch received. General Halleck says, in a dispatch of today, General Grant thinks I can and ought to send you re- enforcements. I have looked upon General A. J. Smith’s command as a loan from you. They are now near Kansas border, and will march toward Saint Louis with all practicable speed, scouring the country. They will be provided with everything needful, and sent to you as soon as they can reach the Mississippi. I have no cavalry available. I would like very much to know your exact wants and situation.

Winslow’s cavalry, that came with General Mower, will be sent to Memphis as soon as it can be done. It is now on the Kansas border, has had a hard campaign, and must be re- mounted, which will be done as speedily as possible.
W. S ROSECRANS, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 28, 1864

Colonel BECKWITH, Atlanta, Ga.:
You may reduce your estimates to 50,000 men to go south. I will have to send the Army for the Ohio back also. Rush things. The enemy has made his appearance at Decatur, Alabama.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 108.
In the Field, near Gaylesville, Ala. October 28, 1864

The armies will move tomorrow on Rome, as follows, commencing the movement this evening, so as to reach their designated points tomorrow:

I. The Army of the Ohio will cross the Coosa at Cedartown and move by the most direct route to Rome.
The Army of the Tennessee will also cross the Coosa at Cedartown and move to Vann’s Valley. The cavalry of General Garrard will follow the Army of the Tennessee and act in concert with it.

III. The Fourteenth Corps, Brevet Major-General Davis commanding, will move via Gaylesville and the direct Rome road on the north of the Coosa, but will not leave Gaylesville until the morning of the 29th. The rear guard will completely destroy the pontoon bridge across the Coosa at Cedartown.
By order of Major General W. T . Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

General Wilson Writes form the CAVALRY CORPS:

Your dispatch is just received; prisoners from Ross’ and Morgan’s brigades, taken about the head of Terrapin Creek, indicate the correctness of my prisoners’ information in regard to the whereabouts of Jackson. The reconnaissance on the Jacksonville road met strong resistance at Goshen, drove FIFTY or sixty men out of one line of rail breast-works and into or back upon another, from which they couldn’t start them. The regiment toward Ladiga had a similar experience near that place. Jackson’s entire Division came to this neighborhood four days ago for the purpose of covering the Alabama railroad. I don’t think any part of it is toward Villa Rica; at all events prisoners say it’s all between Jacksonville and here.

General Garrard says nobody except a few scouts followed him in from Turkeytown, and that Osterhaus did not go far enough beyond to ascertain any additional facts to those previously reported. General G. was not responsible for that reconnaissance and made no report. The man who reports the removal of the stores from Blue Mountain helped load them, and is positive that there are none left at that place. We have heard of every brigade of Jackson’s Division except Ferguson’s by prisoners. I’ll go to Ladiga early in the morning to see if anything more can be learned.

GAYLESVILLE, ALA., October 28, 1864. 8 p.m.
Major-General THOMAS:
I have your dispatches of the 26th and 27th announcing that Hood’s force has appeared before Decatur. I have already sent the Fourth Corps, which should reach Wauhatchie tomorrow. Use it freely, and if I see that Hood crosses the Tennessee River, I will also send General Schofield. On these two corps you can engraft all the new troops. With the balance I will go south. Hood has but little ammunition and cannot afford to attack fortified places. Command all posts to defend themselves manfully and Hood will soon exhaust himself. The greatest danger is of garrisons being cut off. Instruct them and see that each has provisions to last till relief comes. If Hood crosses, it will be at Lam’s Ferry or Bainbridge. Wilson is now well down toward Jacksonville, and appearances are that Hood has shifted his stores over to the Mobile and Ohio road. I will go to Rome tomorrow. Keep me well advised.

Granger must hold Hood as long as he can. Hood wont’ assault. Both Allatoona and Resaca beat him off, and neither was as strong as Decatur. Granger don’t want too many men. They would be in his way. The gun-boats should be near him. Hood cannot spare ammunition to bombard. Stanley will be at Wauhatchie tomorrow and I may also send Schofield up from here. Notify all commanders of fortified places that numbers are nothing; they must hold their posts against a million. Let them get provisions and ammunition in now. If troops come from Missouri Eastport would be a good place, unless Hood succeeds in crossing the Tennessee.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 28, 1864.
General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
Telegraph to General Granger he must hold on the death. Hood has no ammunition to spare, and cannot afford to assault. Send Granger some ammunition, if you can safely do so, by a boat. The gun-boats ought all to be there. Movements will occur elsewhere that will make Hood quit Decatur. Tell Granger to delay Hood there as long as he can. Stanley’s corps will reach Wauhatchie tomorrow, and I will also send up Schofield’s corps. Let General Thomas re-enforce Granger if necessary, but he don’t want too many men.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

General STEEDMAN Reponds From CHATTANOOGA:

I have nothing from Decatur later than 11 this a.m. General Granger telegraphed me that Hood was there with his whole army preparing to attack him. The line is all right to Decatur.
JAS. B. STEEDMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 28, 1864.
General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tennessee:
Your telegram received. The general desires you to telegraph General Granger that he does not think Hood will assault works, but that he is there for the purpose of repairing the railroad from Corinth to Tuscumbia, with the object of making the latter his base. At present he has few supplies and can’t afford to waste his men on works, and before he can finish the road and cross the river we will be on him.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.
CHATTANOOGA, October 28, 1864-11. 30 p. m.
Major-General SHERMAN:

Steedman Reports: The following dispatch is just received:

DECATUR, October 28, 1864
Major-General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga:
There is a calm this evening with the pickets. They appear to be moving their artillery about considerably. We made 130 prisoners today. They all think we will have warm work tonight or tomorrow. have no news from Sherman. Where do you think he is!
R. S. GRANGER, Brigadier-General

I have sent General Granger 1,500 rounds of artillery ammunition.
JAS. B. STEEDMAN, Major-General

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Thursday, October 27, 1864

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Gaylesville Alabama

Dearest Ellen,
I have just received your letter of the 16th and as I have more leisure at this moment than I will likely again for a long time I will write at length. I have written not often but certainly as often as possible consistent with my manifold duties and the fear of my letters unless in cypher falling into wrong hands. Hood has swung over towards Decatur and may and probably will attempt to enter Tennessee about Huntsville. I think there are troops enough in Tennessee, but we are expected to defend so many points that our difficulties grow exactly in proportion to our advance and the Rebels gain proportionally! I expect very soon now to attempt another feat in which I think I will succeed but it is hazardous and you will not hear from me for months. The War Department will Know my whereabouts and the Rebels and you will be able to guess.

Charley went to Nashville to have his teeth fixed. I told him he would be left behind but He knew he would get back in time. I think not and suppose I understand the chances better. He is always provoked when I after each letter tell him you say he does not write to you. He uses even strong language and seems offended. One thing is certain, he says he writes very often. I know he gets all your letters for I hand them to him. As to his being Brigadier General, he must first be Colonel of a Regiment &c. then must Command it in battle. This will take time and all chance of promotion was & is cut off by his accepting a Staff place. I told him so at the time & a hundred times since, and I am not going to commit the folly of recommending for a General one who has not demonstrated his fitness. Mr. Lincoln says he used to be very careless about such appointments but now it is very different. There are many colonels who have commanded Brigades for 3 years, and done it well who are not promoted. What would they say of me who would recommend a brother-in-Law, that had not even had a Regiment? As to Dayton, he has not resigned. I have no vacancies on my staff, and had I would be disposed to leave them, for every staff officer must have a wagon & tent. I can get along with a fly & blanket, but the moment there is a Staff, in spite of all I can do, tents & wagons multiply.

I am about to order the abolishment of all Head Quarters except that of the Doctors and Teamsters. Hood can march all round me and laugh, whilst I drag along with a wagon train. This wagon train in the end will defeat me. Soldiers get along well enough, but we are bowed down with Generals Head Quarters and staff. I have been making some sweeping reforms but yet there is wide Room for improvement. I might be a hundred miles further on my journey were it not for the excess of wagons and artillery, but I am sending it back. The break in our Railroad will be completely fixed tonight and if the Rebels let it alone for a few days I will get back the worthless & sick & baggage, and then cut loose. However I expect next to hear of Hood between this and Nashville.

You ask my opinion of McClellan. I have been much amused at similar inquiries of John & others in answer to a news paragraph that I pledged 99 votes of the hundred to McClellan. Of course this is the invention of some Rumor. I never said such thing. I will vote for nobody because I am not entitled to vote. Of the two, with the inferences to be drawn at home & abroad I would prefer Lincoln, though I Know that McClellan, Vallandigham or even Jeff Davis if President of the U.S. would prosecute the war, and no one with more vigor than the latter. But at the time the howl was raised against McClellan, I knew it was in a measure unjust, for he was charged with delinquencies that the American People are chargeable for.

How unjust to blame me for any misfortune now when all the Authorities & People are conspiring to break up the army till the Election is over. Our Armies vanish before our eyes and it is useless to complain because the Election is more important than war. Our armies are merely paper armies. I have 40,000 Cavalry on paper but less than 5000 in fact. A like measure runs through the whole, and So it was with McClellan. He had to fight partly with figures. Still I admit he never manifested the Simple courage & manliness of Grant, and he had too much Staff, too many toadies, and looked too much to No. 1. When I was in Kentucky he would not heed my counsels, and never wrote me once. Since I have gained some notoriety at Atlanta and the papers announced as usually falsely, that I was for him, he has written me twice and that has depreciated him more in my estimation than all else. He cannot be elected. Mr. Lincoln will be, but I hope it will be done quick that voters, may come to their Regiments and not give the Rebs the advantage they Know so well to take. I believe McClellan to be an honest man as to money, of good habits, discreet, and of far more than average inteligence and therefore I never have joined in the hue & cry against him. In Revolutions men fall & rise. Long before this war is over much as you hear me praised now you may hear me cursed & insulted. Read History, Read Coriolanus and you will see the true measure of popular applause. Grant Sheridan & I are now the popular favorites but neither of us will survive this war. Some other must rise greater than Either of us &c he has not yet manifested himself.

Some of my best officers are those whom I favored at Big Black. Corse, Mower, Wood, Warner &c. Corse saved us Allatoona and Mower saved Banks command up Red River. Still they are not great leaders but rather Soldiers in training. I hardly look for any real developments of military talents on our side for two years yet. Congress instead of providing an army has legislated it out of existence. In twelve months we will have no army and Jeff will walk on the track without an opponent, unless some one rises this winter. The old men have gone out, and the officers, disgusted at new ones coming in over their heads have retired. We are now getting one year men, who will be discharged before they Know how to post a guard, so that I see more trouble ahead than Ever. I am satisfied the People of the United States would rise to the occasion if they were only told the truth, but everybody tells them the Rebels are played out, starved out, tired of the War &c. when if they were just to think they would see Guerillas in Sight of Washington, Louisville and St. Louis today.

When we concentrate our energies to any one point as Vicksburg, Mobile or Atlanta we can take it, but the trouble is the country at large. We should as a People declare that we would have Peace and Submission to authority if we had to devastate every acre, and Should proceed to do it. A merciless Conscription should fill our Ranks, and we Should {mark} out our lines and go ahead leaving nothing behind, not one colum but six eight or ten. We can now live on the Corn of the South, some salt 8c beef on the hoof, but it discourages our men to be compelled to turn back to attend to what others in our Rear should. I would make every man north a Soldier till the War is over, and then he might go home & not before. I think at the rate we are now going it will take more than my 30 years, so you can begin to School even the younger Charley.

I am glad to hear such good accounts of the Children. I have not heard from Minnie or Lizzie for some time, but have no doubt they are progressing well. As to Tom he will need much of your attention for he is solitary and will need boys company. As to Elly & Rachel, the Pony team, they will gather shells 8c flowers for many years yet and still be children. Master Charley must now begin to assume the human form and to manifest some of his future self. I would like to See him as a curiosity but have not the remotest Chance this year.

I cannot tell much of things hereabout. Hill is not with me, his successor and a couple of black boys fill my household as well as I expect. My horses are all well groomed and come at my bidding. We have about the Same old mess out of doors, and I Sleep on the ground with a Comfort, pillow pair of blankets & spread. It has been Cold and I have no winter socks or flannels. Those you sent from Cincinnati have not come. I have telegraphed for some out of my trunk at Nashville, but have pretty much made up my mind to get along with what I have.

Our Railroad is broken so often and the difficulties of the trip so great that I think somebody else gets my consignments. I suppose I will have to appeal to the Sanitary or Christian Commission. Paymasters are afraid to come down, and the Army has not been paid for ten months. This is a long letter and not much in it, but there is not much here that can interest you.

The town of Gaylesville that was, is now among the Past, and is converted into Soldiers huts soon to be abandoned. We have foraged close, and Guerillas & Armies wont follow this Road. That was one object of my coming.
Yours Ever,
W. T. Sherman

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Thursday, October 27, 1864

GAYLESVILLE, ALABAMA, October 27, 1864. 10 a.m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
I have sent the Fourth Corps, General Stanley, back to Stevenson. This corps is about 15,000 strong. I will also send all the men not suited to our long march, but they will answer for defending posts. These, with what General Thomas has, will enable him to hold Tennessee, and in a few days I hope to be all ready to carry into effect my original plan. No doubt Hood has gone off toward the west, about Decatur, and may attempt and succeed in crossing the Tennessee, although that river is high and patrolled by gun-boats. If he attacks fortified places he will soon cripple his army, so that Thomas can dispose of him. I will await a few days to hear what head he makes about Decatur, and may yet turn to Tennessee. It would be a great pity to take a step backward. I think it would be better even to let him ravage the State of Tennessee, provided he does not gobble up too many of our troops. General Thomas is well alive to the occasion, and better suited to the emergency that any man I have. He should be strengthened as much as possible, as the successful defense of Tennessee should not be left to chance.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

GAYLESVILLE, ALABAMA, October 27, 1864. 4 p m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
General Canby telegraphs me from New Orleans, under date of October 18, that he had an intercepted dispatch from Jeff. Davis to Kirby Smith, ordering him to cross the Mississippi with his troops. General Canby says he has 8,000 troops afloat, and thinks he can prevent the crossing, which he thinks will be attempted about Gaines’ Landing. What reason have you to know that the Texas and Arkansas troops have rebelled against this order, as stated in your dispatch to General Thomas?

General Wilson is now well down toward Jacksonville with a Division of cavalry, but all indications are that Hood has gone over toward Decatur. I have sent the Fourth Corps to General Thomas in Tennessee, and think he will have troops enough to prevent Hood getting into Tennessee. I still adhere to my belief that the true way is to keep the offensive all the time, and am pushing my preparations for the march through Georgia.
W. T SHERMAN, Major-General.

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., Numbers 107. October 27, 1864.

I. Pursuant to instructions of the War Department by telegraph, under date of October 23, Major Chambliss is recognized as the inspector of cavalry for the Military Division of the Mississippi, and Brigadier General R. W. Johnson is relieved from that duty.

II. Brigadier-General Johnson will report to Major General George H. Thomas, commanding
Department of the Cumberland, for assignment to other duty.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

I have orders to move all headquarters from Atlanta to Chattanooga:
Make arrangements for the removal of the headquarters and offices to Chattanooga as soon as possible. Notify the different officers of the staff and direct them to have their packing done so as to move without any delay. Captain Kellogg will be in Atlanta Saturday evening to move the mess arrangements. He has full directions for this.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Alabama, October 27, 1864.
General JEFF. C. DAVIS, Commanding Fourteenth Corps:
GENERAL: Make all your dispositions to march toward Rome by the new bridge at the mill within the next there days.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

General WILSON From the CAVALRY CORPS, Terrapin creek,

A prisoner detached as a scout from one of Wheeler’s regiments near Gadsden says Hood marched from that place, the first corps at 4 a. m., the second at daylight, and third at noon last Saturday. They had speech making all the night before in which everybody was informed that they were going to Gunter’s Landing; ‘ clothing, &c., were issued. Citizens confirm this story. I have sent a regiment up the east bank of the creek with instructions to go to Ladiga and beyond. Another to go through Godhen and Cross Plains, and as far toward Jacksonville as possible, to bring in every man, horse, or mule they can find, and to ascertain positively what is at Blue Mountain. Wheeler was at Gadsden on Monday, and had two Divisions at Turkeytown when Garrard was there on Tuesday. Jackson seems to be yet between here and the railroad.

HDQRS. MILTIARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 27, 1864.
General O. O. HOWARD, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
Make all your dispositions to move within the next three days by Cedar Bluff to the vicinity of Rome, in the direction of Vann’s Valley.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Thomas Writes:

Your dispatch of 9 a. m. yesterday received. I dispatched you last night that the enemy had appeared in force before Decatur and drove in General Granger’s pickets. I have ordered him to defend Decatur to the last extremity, and have also ordered the gun-boats to patrol the river from Bridgeport to Decatur as well as they are able. I have also a small force at Whitesburg with artillery, and at Claysville. Have only been able to send Granger three new regiments, the others being necessary to replace guards for block- houses on the railroad to Chattanooga and Pulaski. I have urged forward the new regiments as rapidly as possible, but as yet there are eight regiments behind. Granger believes that Hood’s army is near Decatur for the purpose of crossing the Tennessee. I would like to get the Fourth Corps as soon as you can spare it.
Received your dispatch of 8 p. m. yesterday. have sent orders to meet Stanley, by courier. Granger reports enemy developing large force before Decatur but has made no attack as yet, nor had he approached the river either above or below Decatur as yet. Croxton reports no stir opposite him. I am constantly promised re- enforcements from Missouri and have requested they be sent to Eastport. If they reach there in four days Beauregard can hardly invade Tennessee.

GAYLESVILLE, ALABAMA, October 27, 1864. 7 a. m.
Major-General THOMAS:
Your dispatches of the 25th and 26th received. The Fourth Corps is already marching for Chattanooga. I have no doubt Hood has gone over abut Florence.
W. T . SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, October 27, 1864.
General SCHOFIELD: Commanding Army of the Ohio:
Make all your dispositions to move your army toward Rome within the next three days, to group about Vann’s Valley.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Schofield Writes from Cedar Bluff, Alabama:

I respectfully request that in the organization and assignment of the new troops this winter, a full Division may be assigned to the Twenty-Third Corps, although it may not be able to serve with the corps during the present campaign. As you are aware, I have but two Divisions in the field, the First Division having been broken up. These two Divisions comprise thirty-one regiments, fourth of which are to be sent to the rear now, as their term of service expires Early this winter, leaving twenty-seven regiments (about 8,000 men) with which to commence the winter campaign. Seventeen of these regiments are to be mustered out next spring and summer from February to September, which will leave only three veteran and seven new regiments (ten in all) in the field. The aggregate strength of these then regiments is now 3,500 men. The winter campaign will probably reduce it to 2,500, which will be the effective strength of the Army of the Ohio. of course, when this result is reached the Army of the Ohio and the Twenty-Third corps must disappear, what little is left of the latter being absorbed by some other corps. This is the result which I have so long foreseen, and of which I have spoken to you on several occasions, when you have been so kind as to assure me that you would prevent its accomplishment. I would not refer to this subject again but for the fact that this is manifestly the last opportunity that can probably occur for filling up the corps so as to preserve its identity. I desire to make no requests that can in any degree embarrass you in your operations, and shall cheerfully and cordially acquiesce in whatever arrangement you may deem for the best interests of the service. I desire simply that you be fully apprised of the facts, and my apology for saying this much is the natural feeling, which I cannot suppress, at seeing my command rapidly approaching what appears to be inevitable dissolution.

I take care of business before I leave:

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 27, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Captain Bachtell, chief of the signal corps, serving with this army, has asked my candid opinion of the services of that corps during the period of my command in this army. I have watched their operations closely, and willingly admit their zeal, and any expression that may have escaped me to the prejudice of that corps resulted from accidents of nature, such as fog, intervening forests, &c., that impeded them when I was over anxious for news. But in several instances this corps has transmitted orders and brought me information of the greatest importance that could not have reached me in any other way. I will instance one most remarkable case. When the enemy had cut our wires and actually made a lodgement on our railroad about Big Shanty, the signal officers on Vining’s Hill, Kenesaw, and Allatoona sent my orders to General Corse at Rome, whereby General Corse was enabled to reach Allatoona just in time to defend it. Had it not been for the services of this corps on that occasion I am satisfied we should have lost the garrison at Allatoona and a most valuable depository of provisions there, which was worth to us and the country more than the aggregate expense of the whole signal corps for one year. I am, therefore, willing to bear my testimony to the great utility of this corps, as well as the marked zeal which has always characterized their personal behavior. During this campaign several of their officers have lost their lives in the front rank.
I am, with respect,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 27, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Heretofore I have invariably, since the war has been in progress, refused to recommend officers to promotion as generals, unless each had filled the position in actual battle and demonstrated by an absolute test his fitness. This rule is probably over severe; exceptions do occur; officers hold positions of influence, importance, and of absolute necessity which might debar them from attaining what all honorable and good officers seek to attain, high rank, unless promotion be open to them as well as the officers in the actual command of troops. A case is now before me: Brigadier General W. F. Barry, an officer of rare merit, of high professional skill and experience, and of undoubted ability, has held and still holds near me the office of chief of artillery, which is wrongfully construed a staff position. He actually supervises all the artillery of this army, and were it concentrated it would make an actual of necessity the artillery is distributed to posts, armies, Divisions, and brigades, so that at no one time is such a thing possible as a Division of artillery; yet we must confess that it is a out important arm of service, absolutely necessary to an army, and its officers should have the incentives of promotion held out as far as possible. For these reasons I beg to make an exception to my general rule and hereby recommend that Brigadier General W. F. Barry be brevetted major-general for gallant and meritorious services in the campaign of Atlanta, to date September 1, 1864, the date of the fall of that city.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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Wednesday, October 26, 1864

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 26, 1864. Numbers 104.

Major-General Stanley will move his entire corps, wagons, artillery, sick, and everything to Chattanooga, and report for orders to Major-General Thomas. He will move his troops, via Alpine, Winston’s, &c., to Chattanooga or Bridgeport, according to the intelligence that reaches him of the enemy. He should send all wheels not absolutely necessary to Chattanooga, under small guard, via La Fayette. Any surplus provisions he may have on hand he will turn over to the Fourteenth Corps.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

Hood is moving west, leaving the door open for me to invade Georgia. I will leave General Thomas in command of the forces while I lead an army through Georgia.
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, Gaylesville, Alabama, October 26, 1864. Numbers 105.
In the event of military movements or the accidents of war separating the general in command from his military Division, Major General George H. Thomas, commanding the department of the Cumberland, will exercise command over all troops and garrisons not absolutely in the presence of the general-in-chief. The commanding generals of the Departments and Armies of the Ohio and Tennessee will forthwith send abstracts of their returns to General Thomas, at Nashville, in order that he may understand the position and distribution of the troops, and General Thomas may call for such further reports as he may require, disturbing the actual condition of affairs and mixing up the troops of separate departments as little as possible, consistent with the interests of the service.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

I approved the letter by Wilson, my new cavalry commander:

HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Gaylesville, Ala., October 26, 1864. Brigadier General J. A. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff:

I wish I could write you as fully as I wish, but there is some danger of letters falling into other hands than those intended. This is for you and General Grant, that you may be correctly informed of the condition of the cavalry question out west. I have been assigned to the command of all the cavalry forces of the Military Division of the Mississippi, and an order, subject to the President’s approval, has been issued by General Sherman, constituting the Cavalry Corps, &c., with instructions to mount, arm, and bring into the field the largest possible force that can be made available, leaving such police force as may be needed in Middle Tennessee. The last returns show a nominal cavalry force of nearly 60,000 men, but in reality there are not over 14,000 mounted, including all that are behind. There are three Divisions here in the field, formerly belonging to the Army of the Cumberland, and commanded by Kilpatrick, McCook, and Garrard, mounting about 1,500 men each, 4,500 in all. They have about twice as many dismounted, guarding railroads and block-houses. Colonel Garrard commands a Division formerly attached to the Army of the Ohio; five regiments are at the remount camp at Louisville preparing for the field, leaving only parts of two regiments in the field near Atlanta; there are, besides, Grierson’s and Hatch’s DIVISION in WEST Tennessee, and a part of Winslow’s. The majority of the last went with Mower to Missouri, and have not returned. In addition to this there are five new Indiana regiments, averaging 750 men, now at Nashville and below, never mounted. They are splendid material, in for three years, and should be brought out at once; and still further, in addition, two Divisions of Tennessee cavalry, not counted on the returns; they are to be left in Tennessee. From this you will see there are six Division actually organized -material enough to make another or fill up the old ones -besides Winslow’s Division average about ten regiments each, and ought to yield, under thorough organization, 500 men, or an aggregate of 30,000, under even tolerable organization 20,000, for the field.

But what are the facts now? We cannot raise 6,000, and because horses, arms, and equipments have not been furnished. General Sherman estimates that Forrest (now commanding all the cavalry of Beauregard’s military Division) has 26,000 men mounted and menacing his communications, the bulk of it concentrated under himself and Wheeler somewhere between here and Decatur. Armstrong, Gholson, Ferguson, Jackson, and Roddey are on Beauregard’s right flank, south of the Coosa, menacing the railroad between Allatoona and the Chattahoochee. From this hasty sketch you may readily perceive how vastly superior the enemy is to us in the number of his mounted troops actually in the field and concentrated for service, and how necessary it will be to have activity on the part of the Cavalry Bureau and an inexorable policy of concentration on the part of General Sherman. If we can organize and get out of Tennessee our six DIVISIONS and assume the offensive against Beauregard’s communications and cavalry roving the rich region of Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas, we shall soon destroy their cavalry and establish the invincibility of our own.

General Grant’s telegram to General Sherman, on the 8th looks exactly to the adoption of this policy, and I hope he will repeat it in an order to General Sherman. The latter says he don’t expect anything from the cavalry, and that all I can do with it will be entirely to my credit, but if General Thomas is left in Tennessee, the infantry forces must necessarily be more or less divided between him and General Sherman; if the cavalry force is divided equally between them, we shall effect nothing. Cavalry is useless for defense; its only power is in a vigorous offensive; therefore I urge its concentration south of the Tennessee and hurling it into the bowels of the South drive back as it did Sooy Smith at Sturgis. We shall certainly be able to do this if the enemy doesn’t cross the Tennessee or assume such an offensive as to throw us on the defensive, neither of which is very probable.

My main effort are now directed to mounting McCook, Garrard, and Kilpatrick, and I am doing all in my power to urge that forward. Hatch, on the Tennessee, has been ordered to move his mounted force, via Nashville, to this place, and the send his dismounted men to Nashville for remount. Grierson is ordered to collect his Division and what remains of Winslow’s, thoroughly organize it, keep it well in hand and well fed till the order is given him to move, via Columbus, Selma, &c., to join us in the field. General Johnson has been directed to collect the loose regiments and temporarily organize them into a Division, under General Upton, if we can get him, so that the new organization will be: First Division, McCook; Second Division, Long (now Garrard); Third Division, Kilpatrick; Fourth Division, Grierson; Fifth Division, Hatch; Sixth Division, Upton (now Colonel Garrard’s, Army of the Ohio, and new Indiana regiments); Seventh Division, Winslow’s (if we can ever get it back from Missouri, but Winslow won’t do; therefore, I shall divide him between Grierson and Hatch); Eighth and Ninth Division, the two Tennessee Division, which, if ever got out of Tennessee, I will break up and distribute between others; and independent brigade in the District of Vicksburg, under some good officer, to be sent there hereafter.

If we get into the field finally and Beauregard on the defensive, so that the troops north of the Tennessee can also shove south, I anticipate but little difficulty in carrying out this policy, but should we be thrown on the defensive, you will allow, the difficulties will be greatly increased. From the above sketch you will also see the absolute necessity of my having good officers. At present I have but one brigade commander who is a general officer. Garrard, Elliott, and Knipe are to be assigned to infantry, for which they are better suited. We have abolished department chiefs of cavalry, so that I have the whole motion under my special and exclusive control. General R. W. Johnson is at Nashville, charged with the duty of mounting, remounting, and preparing for the field all cavalry on this line, and superintending it elsewhere.

The inspectors of the Cavalry Bureau at Memphis, Louisville, and Nashville are the officers whose duty it is to provide remounts and anticipate demands for the same. I have already asked General Grant twice by telegraph for General Upton and Colonel Mackenzie (to be promoted by brevet), Custer, Pennington, and ReNumbers Custer I don’t expect much to get, but Pennington, now colonel of the Third New Jersey, and Reno, now captain of regular cavalry, have been recommended, ought to be promoted. The cavalry of the Army of the Potomac has already achieved an acknowledged superiority over that of the enemy, and officers detached from it will not disable it, but will carry a prestige with them highly advantageous to us out west. I don’t think. either, it will discourage our own officer, for we shall have a large field for promotion.

Please lay these suggestions before the general and ask him to do what he can for me. All I wish is to get my tools in an efficient condition. I shall answer for the consequences. I have read this letter to General Sherman, and he concurs in what I have said. I would like, therefore, to have the officers sent to me whom I have designated, and horse equipments sufficient to put my troops in the field, and the policy of concentration adopted, so, finally, that I may be able to exceed Forrest in numbers and organization.

General Sherman sends his very kindest regards to you and the general. Doctor Kittoe is very well, and wishes to be most kindly remembered by all. He would be very much pleased with an order to report to the general as medical inspector, or to go North on a tour of duty. The old gentleman will not complain, or ask for anything, but he evidently looks with some trepidation upon the prospect of an campaign this winter, and, I think, is getting rather too old for such work. Remembered me kindly to Colonels Bowers, Babcock, Badeau, Parker, and Comstock.

Hoping to hear from you, I am always, very truly, your friend,
J. H. WILSON, Brevet Major-General

Howard Writes from LITTLE RIVER, ALABAMA. October 26, 1864. 10 p.m.

General Osterhaus reported under date of Turkeytown, 4 p. m. 25th, that he met a second line of the enemy, to which he had pursued them since his last note. They seemed to be in some force there, at least they showed quite a front formed across the valley. On his arriving within range they opened with two pieces of artillery. He brought up a section, and while demonstrating briskly on their front, he sent a brigade of General Hazen’s Division forward on the enemy’s left flank. After a brisk fire for a short time the rebels withdrew. General Wheeler is said to be in command. General Osterhaus, in accordance with your directions, has not proceeded any farther and has withdrawn to a creek three miles north of Turkeytown and will return today. He states that he engaged no rebel infantry and that none had been seen since last Wednesday.

My staff officers have just returned from Osterhaus. He is on his way back. All citizens unite in saying “the rebels have gone north. ” The pontoon bridge this side of Gadsden was taken up on this side of the river. The rebel cavalry gave way before our infantry, but showed much boldness and our cavalry don’t seem to have displayed much vigor in the pursuit. The rebels have filled the mountains with scouts, and the sources of information are pretty well barred up. I do not feel at all sure that the rebels have gone north.

GAYLESVILLE, ALA., October 26, 1864

Major-General STEEDMAN:
The Fourth Corps marches tomorrow for Chattanooga. Make arrangements to relieve John E. Smith’s men at Resaca, and prepare to receive at Resaca and Chattanooga all the wounded and sick of this army. Also be prepared when I give you notice, or when you know that I have started south, to burn the Resaca bridge, and take up all the iron back to Dalton or even to Chattanooga, according to General Thomas’ orders.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

GAYLESVILLE, October 26, 1864. 9 a.m.

Major-General THOMAS, Commanding, &c.:
I have your dispatch of the 22d. Beauregard assumed command on the 17th, and may go on to perfect Davis plan for invading Tennessee and Kentucky to make me let go of Atlanta, but I adhere to my former plan, provided always you can defend the line of the Tennessee. Decatur and Chattanooga must be held to the death. Minor points may be neglected, but the stronger places of Nashville, Murfreesborough, Pulaski, and Columbia, strengthened. Don’t make a move into WEST Tennessee or beyond the river unless you know that Beauregard follows me south. When you move it should be against Selma. I will give you command of all my troops not actually with me, and if any interruption should take place between us, keep in mind the programme laid down in my letter of the 20th, sent by Colonel Warner. Urge the coming of the Ohio and Indiana conscripts and new troops. Brigade them and put them in good order. I will send you the Fourth Corps the moment I hear Beauregard turns toward the Tennessee. I have strong reconnaissances in Will’s Valley, near Gadsden, and at Centre, and am now working to get my stock in good order, and getting the sick and surplus stores back to Chattanooga. If Beauregard attempts Tennessee it will be from the direction of Decatur. He will hardly attempt it by Guntersville, as he has universally promised his men, as I would be on his heels.
T. SHERMAN,Major-General

GAYLESVILLE, October 26, 1864. 8 p.m.
Major-General THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:
A reconnaissance pushed down to Gadsden today reveals the fact that the rebel army is not there, and the chances are it has moved west. If it turns up at Guntersville I will be after it, but if it goes, as I believe, to Decatur and beyond, I must leave it to you for the present and push for the heart of Georgia. All I want is to get all my sick and wounded back to a safe place.

I start the Fourth Corps back tomorrow, via Winston’s and Valley Head, ordering it to Bridgeport or Chattanooga, according to what orders Stanley may have from you. Stanley will have about 15,000 men. Beauregard may attempt Tennessee from the direction of Muscle Shoals; but when he finds me pushing for Macon, Milledgeville, &c., he will turn back. I send you copy of my orders giving you supreme command in my absence.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Thomas Writes From Nashville:

General Granger reports that Hood’s army is threatening to cross the Tennessee River at various places between Guntersville and Decatur. The enemy appeared in force in front of Decatur today about 3 p. m. His pickets were driven in, but no serious attack was made on him by the enemy. Have sent him all the re-enforcements I can get. From this report it would seem that Hood intends to attempt the crossing of the Tennessee River.

Schofield Writes From Cedar Bluff, Alabama:

I have made a reconnaissance as far as Centre. We met a small scouting party near our pickets, and drove them before us with a few mounted men some distance beyond Centre. They evidently had no supports near. I could learn nothing of Hood’s movements beyond the current rumor that he has gone toward Guntersville. His wagon train which passed through Centre several days ago went toward Jacksonville. No troops passed center on the retreat, except the train guards. My troops have started back toward this place. I took a DIVISION within two miles of Centre, and a brigade to that place.

Johnson informs me of the problems equipping the cavalry:

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, OFFICE CHIEF OF CAVALRY,
Nashville, Tenn., October 26, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,Commanding Military DIVISION of the Mississippi:

That you may be informed of what I am doing here toward remounting the cavalry, and the difficulties which stand in my way, I beg leave to submit the following report of what has been accomplished and what is in progress:

On my arrival here I took the earliest opportunity to ascertain the condition of things here, the number of cavalry dismounted, and the means of equipping them again for the field. The result of my examination was by no means encouraging. I found at the cavalry camp organized by General Smith, near this place, near 2,000 dismounted men, detachments from many different regiments; on the line of the Tennessee and Alabama road where some 2,500 of Garrard’s cavalry Division dismounted; five new regiments Indiana cavalry – Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth -never mounted, and nearly all of the Fourth Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland, mostly dismounted, and as nearly as I could learn in perfectly armed. On the whole, I computed there were 10,000 of the cavalry in Middle Tennessee, at the least which to fit them for duty in the field would require remounts, and wholly or in part a new equipment. Besides which there was, as you know, a considerable force dismounted on the railroads below Chattanooga, of which I could not learn with any degree of precision the number or condition, and General Croxton’s brigade at this place nearly ready to march. I must say here that the information afforded by the records found in this office on my arrival here was very imperfect and unsatisfactory; there was no report or returns from the cavalry of the Army of the Ohio later than March 30, and none from the Army of the Cumberland later than May 30. Though I have made application for them, they have not been able to bring them up in General Thomas’ command to a letter date than June 20. I never received any from the Army of the Ohio.

To equip this vast cavalry, I found absolutely no serviceable cavalry horses, a very meager supply of horse equipments, and no saddle blankets, some 100 sabers, and no reliable cavalry fire-arms; altogether there was not enough of everything to equip, indifferently, one full cavalry regiment. I immediately addressed myself to urging upon the officials of the ordnance and quartermaster’s departments such measures as seemed to be likely to remedy this condition of things in the hope that time would be afforded me to so arrange affairs that I should be enabled to send out from the start complete organizations, thoroughly mounted, armed, and equipped.

The presence of the enemy under General Wheeler, however, who appeared within sight of Nashville on the 1st of September, interfered with my plans, and made it necessary to send out every man for whom a horse, a saddle, and a gun could be provided; accordingly, I organized a battalion of near 1,000 men, composed of detachments from different regiments, and mounted mostly on unserviceable horses and many of them on mules saddles and armed with infantry arms, and sent them out under General Croxton, whose brigade, as I have mentioned, was then here nearly ready to go to the front.

Immediately upon the return of these troops, which was not until the 15th, I dispatched the Ninth Ohio Cavalry to Louisville to draw 500 horse equipments which I had provided there, enough to equip the regiment, and to bring down 1,00 horses. In the mean time I got off 400 horses in charge of 247 men of his brigade, for Colonel Watkins at Calhoun, Ga. ; remounted and armed the Sixth Indiana, and a good number of detachments along the line of the Tennessee and Alabama road, which it seemed desirable to keep in serviceable condition, in order that we might have early notice, or that, at least, the officer commanding that district might have the means of keeping himself notified of any movement of the enemy’s cavalry in that direction, which then seemed probable. Croxton was also at Franklin waiting for horse equipments, to supply some men whom he had compelled to leave behind on the Wheeler raid, and horses in place of those which had given out. I had hardly gotten a and some other detachments into shape to send off, about 2,000 in all, and Croxton was ready to march, when Forrest’s raid compelled the retention of all these troops in Middle Tennessee. I was able to bring into the field to co-operate with General Rousseau against Forrest near 5,000 cavalry. But all of these, except the Sixth Indiana and Ninth Ohio, were so indifferently organized and officered, being composed of detachments from nearly all the regiments in the army, raw recruits, stragglers, hospital rangers, &c., that they broke down their horses, short as the campaign was, and I had to bring them back here to recuperate. Major-General Thomas gave orders to General Croxton, who, I believe, is now still at Pulaski. I, however, sent off the Ninth Ohio from Athens, to report to Major-General Schofield at Chattanooga. In addition to the force of cavalry mentioned in default of armed cavalry, I had furnished horses to General Rousseau to mount five small regiments of infantry, equipping them with citizen’s saddles impressed here in this city. These horses I left at Athens to mount some dismounted cavalry of Major-General Thomas’ command at and near that place.

During my absence with Major-General Rousseau in the pursuit after Forrest, there were
sent to the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland, 300 horses to mount recruits, and since my return here I have mounted, equipped, and armed, as well as the facilities afforded by the ordnance depot here permitted, detachments of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry Ninth Ohio Cavalry, First Wisconsin Cavalry, Eighth Indiana Cavalry, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, and some others, over 1,000 in all.

There is now at the cavalry camp here a detachment of the Second Kentucky, mostly non-veterans whose term of service has expired, detachment Fourth Indiana, which I have permitted to await here the receipt of an invoice of cavalry arms on the way to them from Washington, and what is known as the First Battalion Detached Men, composed of odds and ends from all regiments, organized by General Sooy Smith during his administration, and which, on account of its character in this respect, I have retained here until I should get off those detachments which have officers and a semblance of organization. I send 400 of the Fifth Iowa to Louisville to-morrow for horses; this regiment will number near 700, and, with General Thomas’ approval, I have determined to keep it here for the present. Thee are three regiments of the new cavalry belonging to Army of the Cumberland, Ninth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Indiana, or rather detachments from these, about 1,200 men in all, now at Louisville; one of them starts to-morrow, one of them on the 28th, and the THIRD as soon as saddle blankets can be procured. The saddles which they have drawn there are, I am informed by telegraph, very poor.
The ordnance department is the great difficulty in my way now; to- day they report to me on hand at the depot here 5,460 blankets and only 381 saddles; less than ten days ago they had 1,200 saddles and no blankets. In both the depot here and that at Louisville there are not enough serviceable carbines of any one kind to arm one squadron. There is not enough of all kinds here to arm more than 300 men. However, I have assurances from the Cavalry Bureau that this shall be remedied. They telegraph me there are 5,000 horse equipments now on the way to this depot and Louisville. I hope I shall within a week be able to equip a brigade, if one is sent up, and I particular recommend that hereafter brigades, or at least regiments complete, be sent up. The practice of sending detachments is a bad one. I respectfully inclose copies of orders issued by me, or at my suggestion, to which I invite attention, particularly that dismounting the Sixth Indiana Cavalry; I satisfied myself before recommending this order, of the justice of this course, and being unable to communicate with you submitted my purpose to Major- General Thomas, who approved it. I earnestly request that for the sake of the example upon the cavalry generally, this order may be adhered to. There are, I omitted to mention, in Kentucky seven regiments of cavalry refitting, under the direction of an officer of Major-General Schofield’s staff, to whose command they belong. In answer to an inquiry of mine I was informed, under date of September 23, that they would be ready to move in four weeks. I have telegraphed to-day to hurry them up.

In conclusion, permit me to say that while so much has not been accomplished as I desired, or as perhaps you may have expected, I trust the difficulties to which I have alluded and the frequent interruption to the communications with the army will seem a sufficient excuse.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. W. Johnson, Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Chief of Cavalry

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