Word of my plans for Veatch have reached the papers. My commanders must keep all information secret.
Nashville, Tennessee April 2, 1864
General Brayman, Cairo:
Read my dispatches to Veatch and Hurlbut. Forrest will try and carry off plunder. If Hicks could defeat him at Paducah, surely Columbus must not only be safe, but should invite his attack.
If you can collect a couple thousand men of returning veteran regiments, you can go out to Union City and prevent his delaying in that neighborhood; but it would be idle for you to follow him. I depend on Hurlbut and Veatch to catch him or his plunder at the Hatchie.
I observe an article in an Evansville paper that looks as though you had communicated my instructions to private parties for publication. If this be so, it is a high military offense for which you must account. You are an officer of the United States and in no manner of ways accountable to an irresponsible press. I am to judge whether Veatch’s command can do better service up the Tennessee behind Forrest, or chasing him about Union City.
If my dispatches to you reach the public and the enemy again you will regret it all the days of your life.
W. T. Sherman, Major-General