Wednesday, April 20, 1864

Nashville, Tennessee

I communicated with Schofield by telegraph to ascertain the situation with Longstreet’s army. I want the railroad destroyed to protect Knoxville and our flank, but I do not want to give away that Schofield is to move south.

Nashville, April 20, 1864

General Schofield, Knoxville:
I wish you would be certain as to Longstreet’s withdrawal, and in what state he lias loft the railroad from Bull’s Gap to Abingdon. I don’t intend to operate in that direction, and only want to be sure of the actual state of the railroad, bridges, &c, on our flank and rear when we do move.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

General Schofield replied:

Knoxville, April 20,1864

Major-General Sherman:
My information is positive as to condition of the railroad. It is not injured above Greeneville as far as Abingdon. I will send all my cavalry as far up as practicable and ascertain positively us to Longstreet’s withdrawal. I think it probable the enemy will destroy the Watauga and Holston bridges on our approach. If he does not, shall we destroy them?

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General

I will have the bridges destroyed

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