Thursday, October 20, 1864

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 20, 1864.

Major-General THOMAS, Commanding Department of the Cumberland:
I think I have thought over the whole field of the future, and being now authorized to act, I want all things bent to the following general plan of action for the next three months. Out of the forces now here and at Atlanta I propose to organize an efficient army of from 60,000 to 65,000 men, with which I propose to destroy Macon, Augusta, and, it may be, Savannah and Charleston, but I will always keep open the alternatives of the mouth of Appalachicola and Mobile. By this I propose to demonstrate the vulnerability of the South, and make its inhabitants feel that war and individual ruin are synonymous terms. To pursue Hood is folly, for he can twist and turn like a fox and wear out any army in pursuit. To continue to occupy long lines of railroads simply exposes our small detachments to be picked up in detail and forces me to make countermarches to protect lines of communication. I know I am right in this and shall proceed to its maturity.

As to details, I propose to take General Howard and his army, General Schofield and his, and two of your corps, viz, Generals Davis and Slocum. I propose to remain along the Coosa watching Hood until all my preparations are made, viz, until I have repaired the railroad, sent back all surplus men and material, and stripped for the work. Then I will send General Stanley, with the Fourth Corps, across by Will’s Valley and Caperton’s to Stevenson to report to you. If you send me 5,000 or 6,000 new conscripts I may also send back one of General Slocum’s or Davis’ Divisions, but I prefer to maintain organization. I want you to retain command in Tennessee, and before starting I will give you delegated authority over Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, &c., whereby there will be unity of action behind me. I will want you to hold Chattanooga and Decatur in force.

On the occasion of my departure, I think Hood will follow me, at least with his cavalry. In that event, I want you to push south from Decatur and the head of the Tennessee for Columbus, Miss., and Selma, not absolutely to reach these points, but to divert or pursue according to the state of facts. If, however, Hood turns on you, you must act defensively on the line of the Tennessee. I will ask, and you may also urge, that at the same time Canby act vigorously up the Alabama River.

I do not fear that the Southern army will again make a lodgment of the Mississippi, for past events demonstrate how rapidly armies can be raised in the Northwest on that question and how easily handled and supplied. The only hope of a Southern success is in the remote regions difficult of access. We have now a good entering wedge and should drive it home. It will take some time to complete these details, and I hope to hear from you in the mean time. We must preserve a large amount of secrecy, and I may actually change the ultimate point of arrival, but not the main object.

I am, &c.,
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

SUMMERVILLE, GA., October 20, 1864. 11:30 a.m.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
I ruled out the sanitary agent of Indiana from Atlanta for the reason that I have excluded all citizens. Recent events demonstrate the wisdom of my action. I allow them two agents of the U. S. Sanitary Commission, who, with the assistance of our surgeons, can distribute fairly all the fruits of charity that reach Atlanta. Assure Governor Morton that my action has been fair and uniform, and applies to all State agencies. Convey to Jeff. Davis my personal and official thanks for abolishing cotton and substituting corn and sweet potatoes in the South. These facilitate our military plans much, for food and forage are abundant.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., Numbers 99. October 20, 1864

The orders for tomorrow are as follows:

I. Brigadier-General Cox will move and take position near the point on the Chattanooga where the road to Cedar Bluff crosses it, with a strong advance guard at Cedar Bluff.

II. Major-General Howard will advance and take position on the main Alabama road, some four or five miles toward Blue Pond, with a strong advance guard at the crossing of Little River.

III. Major-General Stanley will advance his rear corps to near the position now occupied by the Seventeenth Corps, and the other will remain as at present.

IV. Brigadier-General Elliott will establish a good courier-line from Gaylesville back to Rome, and will reconnoiter in force through Blue Pond, well toward Gadsden.

V. All the armies will get up their trains, and forage on the country liberally. General Cox will make a bridge across Chattanooga near his camp, and General Stanley will strengthen and improve the covered bridge on the upper Rome road.

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

HDQRS. MILIARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 20, 1864.
General SLOCUM, Atlanta, Ga.:
I have your dispatch of the 18th. Use all your energies to send to the rear everything not needed for the grand march. I will take your corps along. We will need 1,500,000 rations of bread, coffee, sugar, and salt, 500,000 rations of salt meat, and all else should be shipped away. All sick and wounded should be sent to Resaca and Chattanooga as soon as the road is open. General Thomas and staff will remain in Tennessee. I will take two of the corps of the Army of the Cumberland and send General Stanley’s back. I want to be near Atlanta, and ready by November 1. Keep out strong foraging parties and keep the bridges well secured. Have the lightest pontoon bridges and trains ready. All else will be sent to the rear or destroyed. The enemy has retreated rapidly before us down the Coosa toward Gadsden.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 20, 1864.
General J. E. SMITH, Cartersville:
The enemy has retreated before us toward Gadsden. I want all things put in readiness for our move south. Have all sick sent to the rear and clear your posts so we can make quick work. Instruct the commanding officer at Resaca to send back in wagons any sick or incumbrance that may be sent from the front. I will want your Division all ready with ten days’ rations and stripped for a long march by the 1st of November.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 20, 1864.
General CORSE, Rome:
The enemy has retreated down the Coosa toward Gadsden. I will not pursue any farther, but want you to begin for our move. Send all your wounded and sick back to Chattanooga as far as Resaca till the road is done. Keep as much rations as you can haul in your wagons, and will need about 500,000 rations to replenish in the course of a week. Send me all the intelligence of the condition of the road. I think General Kilpatrick can take care of the cavalry you mention as being below the Etowah.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Corse Reports:

Your note received. I have an extra pontoon bridge that can be floated down the Coosa but cannot be hauled. It is at your service. I have constant inquiries for the whereabouts of the different corps by officers and men wishing to join them. Hitherto I have told them to come here. Rations, enough for your command I have now accumulated here. A spy from Round Mountain last night said Hardee’s corps crossed near Hampton’s Ferry this morning. The force that captured Vining’s Station was composed of about 500 cavalry. Our telegraph communication is again all right with Atlanta and will be through to Chattanooga tonight. The railroad will be done to Chattanooga by Sunday.
Morton elected Governor by 20,000 majority. Congressmen from Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania almost all Union; very few Democrats elected. Kilpatrick reports three brigades of rebel cavalry moved south of Dallas and east yesterday. I am busy on fortifications and hauling in forage. Had the mail for the different armies better come to this point? Will your trains move this way soon? No disturbance on railroad reported today. Scouts from the south and West say that Hood is going to Blue Mountain to rest.

Cox Reports:

The head of the cavalry must be close upon Gaylesville. I hear of no skirmishing at the front. A deserter, apparently candid, says he knows the pontoon was ordered to Guntersville, on the Tennessee. The columns of the enemy are represented as passing by Blue Pond in that direction. This is corroborated by an escaped prisoner. A man who was engaged in our quartermaster department came in last night. He says it seemed generally understood among the rebel troops that they were making for Guntersville and he had no doubt they were. I am just in rear of the cavalry column, the advance being considerably in front.

C. C. WASHBURN Reports from Nashville:

I have no doubt that Forrest, with from 8,000 to 10,000 men, is in the vicinity of Corinth and Eastport. The railroad is intact from Mobile to Cherokee. If we except any quiet either in West or Middle Tennessee he must be whipped out and the railroad destroyed as low down as Macon, Miss. It will require 15,000 men to make a sure job of it. I leave General Hatch with 2,700 cavalry at Clifton to co-operate in any move that may be made. I return to Memphis in the morning. My force there is weak, and I have sent Colonel Hoge back there with the force that was to occupy Eastport, as it was inadequate for that purpose and is much needed at Memphis.

Shall I send my cavalry back to Memphis? I think there may be some hazard in crossing the country. The Tennessee is rapidly falling, and Forrest can return to Middle Tennessee whenever he likes, unless there is an adequate force to oppose him. My infantry here, under Colonel Hoge, I will send back to Memphis to insure the safety of that point, but my cavalry can be used to pursue Forrest if desired. It seems to me that he should not be allowed to remain where he is, and that the Mobile and Ohio Railroad should be destroyed. Forrest had two regiments watching us opposite Savannah. He may have swung off toward Georgia before now, but he will make great use of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and as long as that remains he will greatly annoy both Middle and West Tennessee.

M.L. SMITH Reports from Memphis:

Indications are that Forrest and Dick Taylor have gone, by the way of Tuscumbia, to Sherman’s rear. Nothing from Generals Washburn or Hatch since the 13th. I propose to make a reconnaissance tomorrow to find out where this force has gone. Only 800 cavalry effective here.

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Wednesday, October 19, 1864

SUMMERVILLE, GA., October 19, 1864. 12 noon.

Major General W. H. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
Hood has retreated rapidly by all roads leading south. Our advance columns are now at Alpine and Melville Post-Office. I shall pursue him as far as Gaylesville. The enemy will not venture toward Tennessee, except around by Decatur. I propose to send the Fourth Corps back to General Thomas, and leave him with that corps, the garrisons and new troops, to defend the line of the Tennessee, and, with the rest, push into the heart of Georgia, and come out at Savannah, destroying all the railroads of the State. The break at Big Shanty is repaired, and that about Dalton should be in ten days. We find abundance of forage in the country.

At some more leisure time I will record the facts relating to Hood’s attack on my communications. He has partially succeeded from the superior mobility of is columns, moving without food or wagons. I now have him turned back and am pursuing him till he will not dare turn up Will’s Valley without having me at his rear and the Tennessee at his front. My opinion is he will go to Blue Mountain, the terminus of the Selma and Talladega road, where he and Beauregard will concoct more mischief.

We must not be on the defensive, and I now consider myself authorized to execute my plan to destroy the railroad from Chattanooga to Atlanta, including the latter city, strike out into the heart of Georgia, and make for Charleston, Savannah, or the mouth of the Appalachicola. General Grant prefers the middle one, Savannah, and I understand you to prefer Selma and the Alabama. I must have alternates, else, being confined to one route, the enemy might so oppose that, delay me and want would trouble me. Having alternates, I can take so eccentric a course that no general can guess at my objective. Therefore, when you hear I am off have lookouts at Morris Island, S. C., Ossabaw Sound, Ga., Pensacola and Mobile Bays. I will turn up somewhere, and believe I can take Macon and Milledgeville, Augusta and Savannah, Ga., and wind up with closing the neck back of Charleston so that they will starve out.

This movement is not purely military or strategic, but it will illustrate the vulnerability of the South. They don’t know what war means, but when the rich planters of the Oconee and Savannah see their fences and corn and hogs and sheep vanish before their eyes they will have something more than a mean opinion of the “Yanks. ” Even now our poor mules laugh at the fine corn-fields, and our soldiers riot on chestnuts, sweet potatoes, pigs, chickens, &c. The poor people come to me and beg as for their lives, but my answer is, “Your friends have broken our railroads, which supplied us bountiful and you cannot suppose our soldiers will suffer when there is abundance within reach. “
It will take ten days to finish up our road, during which I will eat out this flank and along down the Coosa, and then will rapidly put into execution the plan. In the mean time I ask that you give to General Thomas all the troops you can spare of the new levies, that he may hold the line of the Tennessee during my absence of, say, ninety days.
I am, &c., W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I Write My New Cavalry Commander:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 19, 1864.
General WILSON, Nashville:
General Garrard has about 2,500 cavalry, General Kilpatrick 1,500, General McCook 600. There may be about 1,000 other cavalry with my army. These embrace all the cavalry ready for battle. I wish you would see Generals Johnson and Thomas, bring to me about 2,500 new cavalry, and then go to work to make up three Divisions, each of 2,500, for the hardest fighting of the war. I am going into the very bowels of the Confederacy, and propose to leave a trail that will be recognized fifty years hence.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 19, 1864.
Colonel A. BECKWITH, Atlanta, Ga.:
Hood will escape me. I want to prepare for my big raid. On the 1st of November I want nothing but what is necessary to war. Send all trash to the rear at once and have on hand thirty days’ food and but little forage. I propose to abandon Atlanta and the railroad back to Chattanooga, and sally forth to ruing Georgia and bring up on the seashore. Make all dispositions accordingly. I will go down the Coosa until sure that Hood has gone to Blue Mountain.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 19, 1864.
Colonel L. C. EASTON, Chief Quartermaster, Chattanooga:
Go in person to superintend the repairs of the railroad, and make all orders in my name that will expedite its completion. I want it finished to bring back to Chattanooga the sick, wounded, and surplus trash. On the 1st of November I want nothing in front of Chattanooga save what we can use as food and clothing and haul in our wagons. There is plenty of corn in the country, and we only want forage for the posts. I allow ten days to do all this, by which time I expect to be near Atlanta.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS.,In the Field, Summerville, Ga., Numbers 97. October 19, 1864.
The armies will move tomorrow on Gaylesville, as follows:

I. The Army of the Tennessee and General Schofield via Alpine, and the Armies of the Ohio and Cumberland by the direct road. All the columns will be well closed up and in good order, halting as the head of the leading column reaches Gaylesville, and selecting good ground for camps.

II. The cavalry will push on to Little River and beyond, securing the bridge, if any.

III. Headquarters will be near Gaylesville, and army commanders will make prompt reports of appearances of the enemy.

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

Howard Reports:
The head of column Seventeenth Corps has reached Alpine. The Seventeenth Corps will encamp one mile beyond Alpine, the Fifteenth Corps about half a mile to the rear. Colonel Watkins, who moved on, on my arrival here, reports indications of the enemy’s moving to the right, taking a road about one mile beyond this place. I think the enemy went down Shinbone. Valley. Colonel Watkins will reconnoiter and report as soon as possible. The inclosed sketch will indicate my position and this locality.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Summerville, October 19, 1864.
General HOWARD:
I have received your note of 3:30 by your brother. My orders are for all the armies to move on Gaylesville, on the supposition that the enemy has gone to Blue Pond. If the Blue Pond road does not carry you more than three miles west of Gaylesville, and if the enemy has not turned up the pass you lay down as Stanifer’s Pass you may follow it. Gaylesville will be the point of confluence for the different columns. Cox will be there early, and I hope Garrard is there now. It seems to me that it would be absurd for Hood to turn toward the Tennessee with us on his trail before he gets to Gadsden, which is twenty miles below Little River. That is the point where we will first find his infantry. Still, if I am mistaken, send me word across to Melville Post-Office, where I can turn my troops. Schofield has 10,000 men and is ordered to follow you, but I am not certain I can get my orders to him. The Coast Survey map makes the roads from Summerville and Alpine come together this side of Gaylesville. If you find this the case and reach the point common before Cox gets there you had better await his coming, and, if possible, work a way on his right to some good point near Gaylesville. If Watkins develops anything positive that I should know don’t fail to send it to me. I will ride tomorrow down the main road past Melville Post-Office to Gaylesville.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Howard Reports:

Every trail indicates that the enemy have gone toward Blue Pond. I had sent Colonel Watkins to follow the trail of Cheatham’s corps in the direction of Gaylesville before I received your order. I inclose his report.

Watkins Reports:

I am here all safe. Found no rebels except a few stragglers, whom I picked up. General Hood took the Broomtown Valley road and Cheatham and Cleburne the Gaylesville road, all moving toward Gaylesville. They were moving from before daylight till midday yesterday. None of them went up Henderson’s Gap. As soon as I feed I will move on and try to communicate with General Garrard.

Corse Reports:

A cavalry force attacked Vining’s Station, cut the wires, and, it is presumed, destroyed a part of the road, as we have no communication south of Marietta. A small force cut the wires near Big Shanty, but they have since been repaired. Another cavalry force fired into the construction train between Adairsville and Calhoun, killing and wounding a few. And still another force attacked train of Twenty-THIRD Army Corps near Cartersville, with what result I have not heard. Kilpatrick reports Armstrong, Ferguson, Gholson, and Ross, and Cedartown yesterday. Hood’s whereabouts we know nothing of here. Supplies are being received for your command. Trains have discontinued running south of Allatoona. I have everything busy here, and am getting on well. Please send by bearer any news or orders you may wish executed.

Cox Reports:

My command is encamped – one DIVISION a mile beyond Melville on the Gaylesville road, the other at Melville. I have informed General Garrard that I will press a brigade to the front in the morning unless orders from headquarters Military

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 19, 1864.
General G. H. THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:
Make a report to me as soon as possible of what troops you now have in Tennessee, what are expected and how disposed. I propose with the Army of the Tennessee, the Ohio, and two corps of yours, to sally forth and make a hole in Georgia and Alabama that will be hard to mend. Hood has little or no baggage, and will escape me. He cannot invade Tennessee except to the west of Huntsville. I want the gun-boats and what troops are on the Tennessee to be must active up at the head of navigation. I want General Wilson and General Mower with me, and would like General McCook’s Division made up to 2,500 men mounted. I will send back into Tennessee the Fourth Corps, all dismounted cavalry, all sick and wounded, and all incumbrance whatever, except what I haul in our wagons, and will probably, about November 1, break up the railroad and bridges, destroy Atlanta, and make a break for Mobile, Savannah, or Charleston. I want you to remain in Tennessee and take command of all my Divisions not actually present with me. Hood’s army may be set down at 40,000 of all arms fit for duty. He may follow me or turn against you. If you can defend the line of the Tennessee in my absence of three months, it is all I ask.
W. T. SHERMAN,Major-General, Commanding

Thomas Writes from Nashville:

General Washburn is here. He reports his force not large enough to undertake the capture of Eastport, as he represents Forrest has a larger force there, with considerable artillery. Have just heard from commanding officer gun-boat fleet, at Mound City, who says he will not be able to furnish an iron-clad for the expedition. Morgan’s and Wagner’s Divisions having been sent to you, I have no force to aid Washburn, but if you will send me one of my Divisions, one of General Howard’s, I will organize a force to operate against Eastport and destroy railroad. If my information of Forrest’s strength is correct, there should be from 5,000 to 6,000 reliable infantry added to the cavalry force that can be raised, to insure success. Major-General Mower is here, and if General Howard can send a Divisions of infantry the expedition might be placed under command of General Mower.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 19, 1864.
General MOWER, Nashville:
Join me by way of Rome. I can at this time only give you a Division, but I want you to give energy to the head of a column. I sent for you for another purpose, but will explain all when I see you.
W. T. SHERMAN,Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Summerville, October 19, 1864. noon.
Move by the most direct route to Alpine, and overtake me en route for Gaylesville. If you have not passed La Fayette take the road along the west of the valley, known as the Broomtown road. On reaching Alpine keep your command as it is till I see you, but, of course, as soon as possible I will send the two Divisions of the Army of the Cumberland to their proper corps, and the unassigned troops may go to your army. The Army of the Ohio tonight will be rear Melville Post-Office.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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Tuesday, October 18, 1864

The movements of the armies to-morrow will be as follows:

I. The Army of the Tennessee will pass to the right of Summerville and move toward Alpine in support of Colonel Watkins’ cavalry, which is ordered to ascertain what part, if any, of the enemy has passed up Henderson’s Gap.

II. The Army of the Ohio will move on the main Gaylesville road toward Melville Post-Office in support of General Garrard’s cavalry which is ordered to reconnoiter toward Gaylesville.

III. The Army of the Cumberland will mass near Summerville ready to move in any direction.

IV. Trains will be brought up to points convenient to the rear of each army near to the fords of the Chattanooga and near cornfields.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

Slocum Writes From Atlanta:

ATLANTA, October 18, 1864: 1:30 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN:
I have just received Montgomery papers of the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th, and paper of 13th says that Hood will evidently make Blue Mountain his base, as everything is now going in that direction. That of the 14th says:

We suspect Hood will make Blue Mountain his base for the fall and winter and hold himself in a position Sherman’s rear and keep his railroad communications disabled.

The paper of the 13th contains the following dispatch from Forrest:

CHEROKEE, ALA., October 10, 1864.
Generals Rousseau and Thomas are following me with about 12,000 men, and organizing to cross here. I have still 500 men on the north side of the river who have gone to the hills. I think them safe. Three gun-boats and four transports came up river today as far as Eastport and landed 2,000 emn and three pieces of artillery. Kelley drove them back and captured their artillery.
N. B. FORREST, Major-General.

If Hood goes to Blue Mountain I would like to take two Divisions and strike out for Macon and Milledgeville. One Divisions in our new works, with all our surplus artillery, can hold Atlanta, and I believe I can go through the State with two good Divisions. I can get a new outfit of horses and mules and damage the enemy seriously by destroying the railroad, &c., even if I fail in capturing either Macon or Milledgeville. I am positive they have no force in this section of the State except Iverson’s cavalry. Let me try it. I will return if I beocme satisfied I am hazarding too much.

Watkins Reports From His Cavalry at Summerville:

General Hood left here yesterday morning on the Alpine road with his army, leaving only a few regiments of cavalry as a rearguard. Part of his force took the Gaylesville road, and followed it for a mile, then crossed over to the Alpine road. I charged two regiments of rebel cavalry at Trion Factory, capturing 27 prisoners. I also had some work driving them out of Summerville. Cheatham’s corps passed down the Broontown Valley road the day before yesterday. A reliable citizen says that the rebels will cross Tennessee River at Guntersville.

General Howard Writes:

Union citizens report that Cheatham’s corps took the right fork at Hall’s house, six miles from La Fayette, going into Broomtown Valley. Soldiers report that they aim to cross the Tennessee at Guntersville. My column is just passing this point. Colonel Watkins is engaged with the enemy’s cavalry, between five and six miles ahead. Says he is holding on, and wants the infantry to come on. Has sent back about a dozen prisoners.

General Cox Writes:

My column reached the east side of the gap at 4:30 p.m. I have now one Division on the west side covering the Summerville and La Fayette roads, and one on the east side covering the Rome and Dirt Town roads. The advance of Garrard’s cavalry reached the gap shortly after we did. We met no resistance but some cavalry vedettes, which fled at our approach. My advanced Division has marched twenty-two miles today. I sent Major Wells, of my staff, with a regiment, over the mountain near Subligna to communicate with General Stanley’s column there. The rebels dug away part of the road in the gap where it runs on a shelf scarped in the steep mountain side. I hope to have it repaired before morning; the cavalry of the rebels retreated on the Rome road.

Thomas Writes From Nashville:

I have received your dispatch from Ship’s Gap of yesterday noon. Am ready to carry out your orders should Hood attempt to come into Tennessee. General Wilson will take a duplicate of this to you, and will explain my views on your plan of operations, telegraphed to General Grant, and his replies and suggestions to you. There is one thing, however, I don’t wish to be left in command of the defenses of Tennessee unless you and the authorities in Washington deem it absolutely necessary. Major-General Mower has arrived here, and has reported to you some days since for orders. I have advised him to remain here until he hears from you, not knowing but that you may still wish to place him at Eastport. I heard from Generals Granger and Croxton last night, who report nothing new of the movements of the enemy. Morgan’s and Wagner’s Divisions leave Chattanooga today to report to you, escorting about 8,000 beef-cattle for the army. The necessary orders have been given for the repair of the railroad, and it will be completed as rapidly as possible. I have arranged with Lieutenant Greer, commanding gun-boat fleet on lower Tennessee, to patrol the river as far up as Eastport. Lieutenant- Glass ford commanding between Bridgeport and Decatur patrols that portion of the river daily, and co-operates with me very cordially. I believe affairs north of the Tennessee River are getting into much better shape, and I hope to join you very soon.
Your dispatch of yesterday, 2 p. m., is just received. I have given the necessary directions for carrying out your orders for again attempting to drive the enemy from Easport. Troops will be forwarded to the front as rapidly as possible, after making the necessary dispositions, as directed by you, for the defense of the railroad.
The One hundred and eightieth Regiment Ohio Volunteers has not yet arrived here, but when it does come it will be put into camp here and held until you arrive so you can join here. All the information I have been able to obtain of Hood indicates that he is falling back with his force in the direction of Blue Mountain. Morgan’s and Wagner’s DIVISIONS have been ordered to join the army. You can say to General Sherman that if Hood should invade by way of south of Florence that I will send him word immediately, and so impede Hood’s progress as to enable General Sherman to get up troops in his rear.

SHIP’S GAP, I Reply To Thomas:
Order in my name the renewal of the attempt to get Eastport, and ask Admiral Porter, if necessary, to send up an iron-clad. We should command the Tennessee River up to Muscle Shoals perfectly.

Thomas Writes from Nashville:

I have applied by telegraph to Admiral Porter for the iron-clad, and I desire to know whether you can collect a sufficient force of infantry, to act in conjunction with your cavalry and the iron-clad and gun-boats, to lead you to hope for a successful attack upon and capture of Eastport. Answer by telegraph, letting me know what force you can collect, and how soon you can start upon the expedition. It should be done so soon as possible.

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Monday, October 17, 1864

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, Ship’s Gap, Ga., Numbers 93. October 17, 1864.

I. Army commanders will at once park their trains at points convenient to roads leading south. Each army will make up a train of the most indifferent wagons and worthless mules and horses, and prepare to send them to Chattanooga, together with the sick and wounded, prisoners of war, surplus servants, tents, chairs, cots, and the furniture that now fill our wagons and disgrace the army: in other words, each army will strip its trains to the best teams, loaded only with the essentials for a long march, depending on the country for forage and vegetables. Each army commander will report at what time of today or tonight he will be ready to send back such a train, and hold it at a point convenient to move toward Ringgold, but not dispatch it until further orders.

II. Major-General Howard will continue to reconnoiter well forward; also down along the ridge about as far south as La Fayette. General Stanley will examine roads toward Dirt Town, and General Cox will do the same, but the armies will not move until further orders based on more complete intelligence of the plans and designs of the enemy.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, Ship’s Gap, Ga., Numbers 94. October 17, 1864.
The armies will move tomorrow against the enemy, supposed to be at or near Summerville, as follows:

I. The Army of the Tennessee will move through La Fayette and by the direct road to Summerville, followed by its ammunition train and ambulances.

II. The Army of the Cumberland will cross Ship’s Gap and take the road to Summerville to the left and east of that followed by the Army of the Tennessee, keeping abreast of and in communication with it.

III. The Army of the Ohio will move from Villanow down the Rome road, across to Subligna, and thence by the best road to Summerville; it may take its whole train.

IV. General Garrard’s cavalry will press the rear of the enemy from the direction of
Dirt Town, and the brigade of Colonel Watkins’ cavalry will do the same from the direction of La Fayette, each bearing in mind where their infantry supports are. If possible the cavalry should reach and destroy the wagon transportation of the enemy.

V. The Armies of the Cumberland and Tennessee should have from three to five days’ rations in their haversacks, and beef on the hoof, and send their trains down by way of Subligna and Gover’s Pass.

VI. Rome will be our next point of supply.

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

Slocum Reports from ATLANTA:

I have a Montgomery paper of the 12th. The dispatches from Hood as well as the editorials state that Beauregard is with Hood and that the army is going to cross the Tennessee River.

I want General Garrard to leave his wagons to join the train of the army of the Cumberland, and with his command to at once move down the Oostenaula from the east of Snake Creek Gap to about the Armuchee and turn toward Dirt Town, making a bold reconnaissance toward Summerville. Report via the back track and Villanow, any movement of the enemy, and its direction and import, as far as possible. Also to strike the enemy, if possible, in flank.

Watkins Reports from his Cavalry:

The near of Cheatham’s corps left here at 6 o’clock this morning, moving in the direction of Summerville. A Union lady that I can depend upon says that they are going into Middle Tennessee by the way of Blue Mountain. A wagon train left here yesterday for Summerville, numbering 700 wagons. General Hood stopped eight miles from here Saturday night on the Summerville road, and had not left at 11 a. m. yesterday. Doctor Gordon says that Hood’s whole army is on this side of Taylor’s Ridge. The road to Chattanooga is clear of rebels. I will follow on until I come up with them.

There is no doubt but what General Hood is making for Alpine with all dispatch. I came up with his rear guard this morning five miles from here on the Summerville road, but not knowing your exact position, I concluded to return to La Fayette and await orders. I will camp tonight in the vicinity of Trion Factory and push on early in the morning and try and communicate with General Garrard.

SHIP’S GAP, October 17, 1864.
General John E. SMITH
We have headed the enemy off at La Fayette, and he has turned south through Alpine. We move on Summerville tomorrow. Send half a million rations of bread, coffee, and sugar to Rome from Allatoona. Notify Kilpatrick, who is out about Stilesborough, of our position and the movements of the enemy. Keep your men at the Allatoona Pass well employed in perfecting their fortifications.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

General Raum Reports:

I have information that after crossing their artillery and trains the enemy left a pontoon bridge across the Coosa at Edwards’ Ferry, thirty-two miles from Rome.

I Write General CORSE at Rome:
We occupy Ship’s Gap and La Fayette, and will move tomorrow on Summerville. General Garrard is sent to Dirt Town. I want you to show your cavalry and some infantry about Coosaville, and to keep up communication with General Garrard. If a chance offers your small force can hit some part of Hood’s army in flank. I think he will move, via Summerville and Alpine, on Gadsden. At Chattanooga they expect him at Caperton’s Ferry, which is absurd.

Corse Replies:

Your dispatch received. Will try and open communication with Garrard at Dirt Town. Will also send force toward Coosaville,, and hold my force in readiness to strike whenever I find a favorable opportunity. We get very little information, owing to the large number of cavalry surrounding us. Wagon trains and supplies are reported occasionally in and about Jacksonville. Have nothing of importance.

I Write Thomas:
The necessary orders have been given for the repair of the railroad. Deserters from Hood’s army report his force at about 30,000; the strength of his cavalry force not known. No additional news from the Tennessee River, except that Roddey’s force moved from Tuscumbia to Courtland yesterday.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Ship’s Gap, Ga., October 17, 1864: 12 m.
General THOMAS, Nashville:
Hood won’t dare go into Tennessee. I hope he will. We now occupy Ship’s Gap and La Fayette, and Hood is retreating toward Alpine and Gadsen. I am moving General Garrard today to Dirt Town, and will move General Corse out to Coosaville, and with the main army move on Summerville. If Hood wants to go into Tennessee west of Huntsville let him go, and then we can all turn on him and he cannot escape. The gun-boats can break any bridge he may attempt above Decatur. If he attempts to cross let him do so in part, and then let a gun-boat break through his bridge. I will follow him to Gadsden, and then want my whole army united for the grand move into Georgia.
Tomorrow I move on Summerville. Hood is not going to enter Tennessee. Keep enough force to watch the river below and at the Shoals, and let all the rest march toward me, or to re-enforce the railroad. Order in my name the renewal of the attempt to get Eastport, and ask Porter, if necessary, to send up an iron-clad. We should command the Tennessee up to Muscle Shoals perfectly. I will follow Hood to and below Gadsden. He cannot maintain an army north of the Tennessee, especially if we hold Eastport, and thereby control or threaten the railroad from Corinth to Decatur, which I am told has been partially restored by Forrest, who is not now with Hood.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Thomas Replies:

Your dispatch from Ship’s Gap, 5 p. m. 16th, just received, Schofield, whom I placed in command of the two Divisions, Wagner’s and Morgan’s, was to move up Lookout Valley this a. m. to intercept Hood should he be marching for Bridgeport. I will order him to join you with the two Divisions and reconstruct the road as soon as possible. Will also organize the guards for posts and block-houses. The latter is a difficult undertaking, as several of the regiments on that duty are clamorous to be sent home to be mustered out of service, and new regiments and recruits do not arrive rapidly enough to relieve them. I am accomplishing work, however, as fast as possible. Mower and Wilson have arrived and are on their way to join you. I hope you will adopt Grant’s idea of turning Wilson loose rather than undertake the plan of a march with the whole force through Georgia to the sea, inasmuch as General Grant cannot co-operate with you as at first arranged.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Ship’s Gap, Ga., October 17, 1864.
Your dispatch is received. Hood is not at Deer Head Cove. We occupy Ship’s Gap and La Fayette. Hood is moving south, via Summerville, Alpine, and Gadsden. If he enters Tennessee it will be to the left of Huntsville, but I think he has given up all such idea. I want the road repaired to Atlanta, the sick and wounded sent north of the Tennessee, my army recomposed, and I will make the interior of Georgia fell the weight of war. It is folly for me to be moving our armies on the reports of scouts and citizens. We must maintain the offensive. Your first move on Trenton and Valley Head was right; the move to defend Caperton’s Ferry is wrong. Notify General Thomas of these my views. We must follow Hood till he is beyond reach of mischief and then resume the offensive.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Schofield Replies:

Unless I receive further orders from you, or such information as renders it unwise, I will march tomorrow with Morgan’s and Wagner’s Divisions, via Rossville and Gordon’s Mills, and join you as soon as practicable. I will bring as many beef cattle as the troops can take care of. My scouts report no enemy west of Lookout Mountain today; they report Bird and Dug Gaps held by rebel cavalry. Colonel Warner is here. I have no later information from you than what he brought.

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Sunday, October 16, 1864

SHIP’S GAP, GEORGIA, October 16, 1864: 4:30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:
I got the dispatch in cipher about providing me a place to come out on salt water, but the cipher is imperfect and I cannot make out whether Savannah or Mobile be the point preferred, but I also want to know if you are willing that I should destroy Atlanta and the railroad. Hood broke eight miles of road at Big Shanty and about fifteen from Resaca to the tunnel. The break at Big Shanty is repaired, but the other will take some time. I have now taken position where I don’t care which way he moves. I think the rebels will now go back south.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General

The enemy left Dalton at daylight on the 14th. The Fourth and Fourteenth Corps, having encamped last evening at Tilton, pursued him on the road he took through Nickajack Gap, going west. This morning I moved with the Army of the Tennessee, west from Resaca, through Snake Creek Gap and Villanow. I have directed Schofield to move with Morgan’s and Wagner’s Division up Lookout Valley, for the purpose of intercepting Hood, should he be marching for the Tennessee, and to enable me to get in his rear. News from Decatur and Rogersville indicates that the enemy’s cavalry still occupy the south bank of the Tennessee, but no signs of a disposition on his part to cross.

In the Field, near Shirp’s Gap, Ga., October 16, 1864
General SLOCUM:
I have been forced to come here. We carried the gap this morning, and now can move in any direction. I think Hood will return south, and as soon as I get our trains up I shall follow him. I have ordered the road to be repaired, and shall move so as to prevent his swinging in about Atlanta. I think I will leave you in Atlanta and will swing round in the country for forage and adventure. Lookout for yourself and hold Atlanta. You have plenty of grub, and I will turn up somewhere.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

We Answered Slocum About the Railroad:
Hood went north from here to Tunnel Hill with two corps. Captured the garrisons at Tilton and Dalton, and destroyed railroad. Passed WEST thought Buzzard Roost, while Lee held Snake Creek Gap. Lee moved west through Ship’s Gap; left two brigades at Snake Creek Gap, which retreated before the deliberate preparations to dislodge them. Before General Stanley could reach their rear they crossed the mountain north along bridle paths. I am at Snake Creek Gap. Head of column near Villanow. General Schofield is at Chattanooga with 15,000 men. All goes well.

I want Watkins Cavalry to operate on the right of this army, harassing the rear of the enemy and obtaining such information as possible, and report as frequently as he can, keeping up communication. This is a modification of instructions as by Special Field Orders, Numbers 92, date 15th of October, 1864.

Kilpatrick’s cavalry with his Division, should occupy such a position, say Dallas, Burnt Hickory, or in that vicinity, as will protect the railroad from the Etowah to the Chattahoochee, communicating frequently by telegraph when practicable from time to time the state of affairs. The armies march from Resaca tonight and tomorrow.

HOWARD Writes:

Our skirmishers have encountered a skirmish line of the enemy on the summit of Taylor’s Ridge. General Osterhaus is feeling around to turn the enemy’s left. One of our negro soldiers, escaped prisoner, reports two corps at La Fayette. My impression is that two corps passed over this road and that one went down the valley toward Villanow. The negro came over the ridge beyond the enemy’s left. I do not think there is a large force on the ridge, probably a rear guard.

My signal officer reports the smoke and fires, apparently of a large force, from five to eight miles to the southwest of Ship’s Gap.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,In the Field, Ship‘s Gap, Ga., October 16, 1864.
General RAUM:
I occupied Ship’s Gap today. Two corps of the enemy are represented as at La Fayette and one has gone down toward Dirt Town. I want to get one train up, and as soon as I know where the enemy is I will follow. I want all hands to go to work now to repair damages on the road. That south is nearly if not quite done and that north will be pushed with the utmost vigor. We must finish the road to prepare for the future. I want to make a raid that will make the South feel the terrible character of our people.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

Corse Writes from ROME, GA:

Escaped prisoners just arrived from Blue Mountain say that there are about 400 wagons. They say that Beauregard is at Jacksonville, with a brigade of cavalry as a guard. the barefoot men of Hood’s army are there. Also say Hood has gone into Tennessee.

COX Writes:

Your dispatch of 10 a. m. received. I am closed up on the Fourth Corps in the gap where the timber blockade began, and will at once go to work on the double track as you direct.

The people on the Rome road report that once corps of Hood’s army went south by this road. As they say they have not been inquired of by any one in regard to the matter, I have thought best to report it, and to make some inquiries still farther south. My command is coming in good condition.

I write General THOMAS, Nashville:
Send me Davis’ and Newton’s old DIVISIONS. Re-establish the road and I will follow Hood wherever he may go. I think he will move to Blue Mountain. We can maintain our men and animals on the country.

I Write Major-General SCHOFIELD at Chattanooga:
Dispatches received. I am pushing straight for Hood wherever he may be; do the same with whatever force you have and let us run him down. I am now on his trail and will follow it. We pushed Lee’s corps through Snake Creek Gap today 15th, and at Villanow I will find out where he is going to and will follow him, no matter where. Get in communication with me as soon as possible. We hold Atlanta and the road up to Resaca. The break at Big Shanty must be nearly done.

We took Ship’s Gap today, capturing a part of the Twenty-fourth South Carolina. Two corps are represented at La Fayette and one went south from Villanow. They obstructed Snake Creek Pass to delay our trains, but by tomorrow I can move in any direction. I want the first positive fact that Hood contemplates an invasion of Tennessee; invite him to do so. Send him a free pass in. Re-occupy the railroad, and put the construction corps to work to repair the break from the tunnel to Resaca. I will get my trains up here and move according to the best information I can get.

Schofield Writes:

I have received your dispatch from Villanow and will march accordingly at daylight in morning with about 10,000 men unless I receive further information before starting. I will take the Lookout Valley road for Trenton and then strike for Hood wherever I can hear of him. I started my troops for Ringgold, but learning that the enemy had moved West from Dalton I turned this way to cover Bridgeport and the railroad this side.

Grant Writes:

CITY POINT, VA., October 16, 1864: 3:30 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Tilton, Ga.:
The moment I know you have started south stores will be shipped to Hilton Head, where there are transports ready to take them to meet you at Savannah. In case you go south I would not propose holding anything south of Chattanooga, certainly not south of Dalton. Destroy in such case all of military value in Atlanta.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General

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Saturday, October 15, 1864

Snake Creek Gap, Georgia

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 92. In the Field, October 15, 1864.
The movement tomorrow will be on La Fayette, the primary object being to secure possession of Ship’s Gap.

I. General Howard will move rapidly on Villanow and Ship’s Gap, Secure the summit, and mass to the right.

II. General Stanley will follow and mass to the left of the gap.

III. General Cox will halt for orders at Villanow, guarding roads north and south.

IV. General Garrard’s cavalry will come through Snake Creek Gap and guard the trains. General Elliott will dispatch Colonel Watkins’ cavalry and scouts to open communication with Chattanooga, to let them know that this army is in pursuit of Hood and to inform me of the state of facts along the road and at Chattanooga.

V. The ordnance and ambulance trains will pass with the troops, as also herds of cattle, but supply trains will follow in the order of the troops, viz, those of the Army of the Tennessee first, those of the Cumberland second, and those of the Ohio last.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

RESACA, October 15, 1864: 3:30 a.m.
General STANLEY:
Make the park on the Rome road whenever you can move, either on Dalton or across the mountain (with infantry) – a park where you can assemble your main force. Put a brigade on the top of the hill early, and after guarding the flanks let them skirmish down into the valley. Get a good lookout. As soon as the enemy discovers a force above him he will let go the gap.

Please send an officer to direct your troops south of the bridge to use the pontoon bridge and leave the new bridge to the Army of the Tennessee, that I have ordered to approach around the left of your men. At 3 o’clock last night a brigade found the enemy still in Snake Creek Gap. Still it may be if they have seen our force they are off. If the enemy leaves us Snake Creek Gap it will not be necessary for you to pass the hill, but let us make it certain. Leave orders for your wagons to park in a convenient place, your ammunition where it can come forward on notice; move as quiet as possible for the Rome road, around by the head of Camp Creek, and let Davis close on you.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I will try to cut off the force in Snake creek Gap.

I send orders by Stanley’s aide, Sinclair:

I got through all right. The rebs still occupy Snake Creek Gap. General Sherman wishes you to push on toward Villanow – not work down this way along the back of the mountain. Keep troops crossing toward Villanow, both Fourth and Fourteenth Corps, closing down toward the WEST end of the gap, which is about two miles from Villanow. On the map of the campaign a road is laid down from Tilton to Villanow in the very direction in which General Sherman wishes the movement made.
Respectfully, yours,
WM. H. SINCLAIR, Assistant Adjutant-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Snake Creek Gap, October 15, 1864: 12 m.
General ELLIOTT:
The enemy holds this gap, but I see no evidence of a large force. Howard is now skirmishing and Stanley is crossing the mountain. I expect to get to Villanow by night. I would rather have Garrard come into Resaca, and as soon as I hear of Colonel Watkins I can better know what directions to give to Garrard. I will send orders for him either from here or after I know we have the gap.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

WATKINS Reports His Cavalry Scouting From Tunnel Hill:

The road from here to Chattanooga is uninjured. The tunnel is safe. The whole rebel force have gone to Villanow and La Fayette. Cleveland is evacuated. There are 15,000 troops in Chattanooga. General Schofield was commanding last night. All our forces between here and Chattanooga have gone to the latter place. I shall proceed from here to Nickajack Gap, having already sent a scout there.

One hundred and eighty-seven wagons and five batteries took the left-hand road at La Fayette to Falling Water (Whiteside’s) and Bridgeport. Will endeavor to destroy bridge at Whiteside’s, and then make through Alabama to Atlanta. The rebels are living on parched corn. This information is obtained from James G. Brown, General Thomas’ chief of scouts, who was with them, dressed in rebel clothing.

Hood’s army left Villanow at daylight this morning in the direction of La Fayette. He has very little cavalry but plenty of artillery. He has some cavalry on Rocky Face Mountain. There are no troops between Nickajack Gap and Villanow. Inclosed I send a copy of the dispatch I sent General Schofield. I left in Nickajack Gap 100 men and the remainder of my command at Dalton. I will await further orders at this place. As I am familiar with the country around La Fayette and Summerville I can perhaps be of service to you.

CORSE Reports from Rome:

I sent two brigades, one section of artillery, and one regiment of cavalry toward Summerville as directed. Struck the enemy three miles above there, where they showed artillery and strong line. Captured General Allen’s inspector-general, who says there are three brigades of cavalry at the bridge and Wheeler’s command near Dirt Town. Citizens report Hood is now coming back and that there is infantry near Summerville.

All back safe. Drove Allen’s DIVISION to Dirt Town and developed five brigades of cavalry guarding a train that is passing north through Dirt Town gap. No infantry could be seen or heard of. The impression among the prisoners is that the army is going to Tennessee. Our cavalry went twelve miles, leaving the infantry at Kinney’s Creek, eight miles from here. Heard cannonading in direction of Snake Creek Gap. Wheeler was at Dirt Town this morning.

General Cox Writes from CALHOUN, GA.

Have come ten miles this morning from the camp where the trains stopped us last night. Am pushing forward, though somewhat delayed by portions of trains we find in the road, and which we have to get rid of. I am impatient at not being nearer up, but am hurrying as much as possible.

The head of my column is now nearly at the bridge. As it has been somewhat broken by wagon trains, I purpose halting in the river flat before crossing, and will let the men bivouac there till I hear from you. It will, of course, take some time, perhaps two hours, for the rear to come up.

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Friday, October 14, 1864

Resaca, Georgia
Hood has attacked Dalton and is destroying the road moving north. I will force Snake Creek Gap and cut his line of retreat.

In the Field, Resaca, Ga., October 14, 1864.
The first movement will be to force the Snake Creek Gap.

I. General Howard will bring up all the men of this command he can get at 7 a. m. tomorrow, and move direct on Snake Creek Gap, approaching carefully and holding his column ready to pass through when relieved by General Stanley’s movement.

II. General Stanley will cross over to the hills about two miles north of the gap, somewhere south of Tilton, and with infantry reach the summit, and if possible find a way across into the valley beyond toward Villanow.

III. General Cox will come up and follow General Howard.

IV. All trains will remain, until further orders, near Resaca, parked, ready to follow by Dalton or Snake Creek Gap, as the orders may be.

V. General McCook will send all the cavalry he can raise boldly to the Buzzard Roost Pass to threaten the enemy in that quarter, and to give General Stanley notice of any force in that vicinity. As soon as General Garrand comes up he will be dispatched in the same direction.

VI. The general commanding will attend General Howard to the forks of the road about two miles this side of Snake Creek Gap, where couriers or staff officers can find him for orders.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

Howard Reports:

Just received dispatch from Dalton. Cavalry dashed in there and captured 10 prisoners. Stewart’s corps one mile and a half from there. Hood has divided his forces, one-half going toward the tunnel, tearing up the road; the other going toward Dug Gap.

I am here collecting my troops. Stanley has passed toward Tilton. Reconnaissance of infantry and cavalry has gone to Snake Creek Gap.

Report from reconnaissance to Snake Creek Gap, just received, states that a force of the enemy holds the gap. A prisoner says it is Lee’s corps, and that there are twenty-eight pieces of artillery in position.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Resaca, October 14, 1864: 6 p.m.
General SLOCUM, Atlanta:
Your telegram giving information about return of forage train received. Beyond a doubt the enemy’s whole force is here. Repeat the expeditions for forage and accumulate all you can. General Kilpatrick will patrol and cover the road from Chattahoochee River to Kingston via Dallas, &c., and he will keep you fully advised of everything in his vicinity.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

General OSTERHAUS, Calhoun:
Send word to General Cox if all is quiet on the road in the morning to pass the trains and teams to Resaca. You may march in by 7 a.m. without waiting, unless you have reason to believe our trains are threatened.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Resaca, Ga., October 14, 1864.
General John E. SMITH, Cartersville:
No danger to Resaca, but enemy went north on railroad and are destroying it toward Chattanooga, but don’t know how far. Have passed Dalton toward Tunnel Hill, capturing garrison, and are also in Dug and Snake Creek Gaps. Hood’s whole army is on the move. Will advise you more fully as we get information.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Resaca, Ga., October 14, 1864.
Colonel DEAN, Kingston:
Yours to Colonel Ewing received. Enemy have left here and are moving north on the railroad, and are also in Snake Creek Gap. Cavalry have pursued them beyond Dalton. It is Hood’s whole army.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Resaca, Ga., October 14, 1864.
General CORSE:
Leave enough men to hold the bridges and the important forts, and with the balance, about 2,500 men, and a section of guns, move out tomorrow on the Summerville road about eight miles. Stay till night and return to Rome. We will force the Snake Creek Pass.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General


I went to Dalton yesterday, but could get no farther, and found the enemy advancing on that place. I returned to Cleveland, bringing the trains and public property. General Thomas then ordered me to concentrate at Chattanooga the troops of Cleveland, Ringgold, and intermediate posts, and take command here. I am now acting under his orders. It is reported that Dalton was captured yesterday, but I doubt the truth of the report. The enemy does not appear to be advancing on this place. I will push out tomorrow and try to develop his strength and movements. There are now troops enough here to make the place secure, and more are expected tonight. I forward dispatches from General Grant.

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