I write the President:
A. LINCOLN, President of the United States:
I will keep the Department fully advised of all developments as connected with the subject in which you fell so interested. A Mr. Wright, former member of Congress, from Rome, Ga., and a Mr. King, of Marietta, are now going between Governor Brown and myself. I have said that some of the people of Georgia are now engaged in rebellion, begun in error and perpetuated in pride, but that Georgia can now save herself from the devastation of war preparing for her only by withdrawing her quota out of the Confederate army and aiding me to repel Hood from the borders of the State. In which event, instead of desolating the land as we progress, I will keep our men to the high roads and commons and pay for the corn and meat we need and take. I am fully conscious of the delicate nature of such assertions, but it would be a magnificent stroke of policy if I could, without surrendering a foot of ground or of principle, arouse the latent enmity to Jeff. Davis of Georgia. The people do not hesitate to say that Mr. Stephens was, and is, a Union man at heart, and they felt that Jeff. Davis will not trust him, or let him have a share in his government.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
Genearl Canby writes Halleck:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, New Orleans, La., September 17, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, D. C.:
I send for your consideration copies of some correspondence between Admiral Farragut, General Sherman, and myself. If the troubles in Arkansas are ended as soon as I hope they will be, I can then employ 20,000 or 25,000 men in season for Sherman’s movements. If the more important operations in the direction of Montgomery and the Appalachicola River are attempted, a much larger force (not less than 40,000 effectives) will be required, that is 15,000 or 20,000 in addition to the force I can gather here.
I can add somewhat to the strength by employing the militia, but it will have to be done cautiously and at points where they can do no mischief. If any troops can be spared for these objects they should be directed to Pensacola. If they are sent from the north will you advise me as early as possible?
Provision will be made for Sherman’s wants, if he should make his way to the coast.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
E. D. R. S. CANBY, Major-General, Commanding
I wire Halleck:
ATLANTA, GA., September 17, 1864: 8 a. m.
Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
My report is done and copied. Many of the subordinate reports are also ready, and I could send them forward today, but as I expect a special messenger from General Grant every hour, who will return, I will await his arrival, and avail myself of his return to send on the reports. All well. Troops in fine health, but are unusually anxious about paymasters and the draft. Mr. Stanton tells me the draft will be made on Monday next. If Mr. Lincoln modifies it to the extent of one man, or wavers in its execution, he is gone. Even the army would vote against him. Atlanta is pretty well cleared out of the families, so that source of trouble is disposed of. Now, I will build some strong interior redoubts, and then, I suppose, for Augusta?
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
Prisoners intended for exchange with Hood have been sent to Nashville. I asked Dayton to have them halted:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 1864.
Brigadier-General WEBSTER, Nashville, Tenn.:
General Sherman has arranged to exchange 2,000 prisoners, and has given orders to hold those en route and at Chattanooga, to be returned, if needed, but cannot get his orders obeyed, and he now directs that you stop and hold at Nashville all prisoners going north until further orders from him. He don’t want any modifications of this order, but to be held to strictly until you get orders from him direct.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST TENNESSEE, New Orleans, La., September 17, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.:
Your dispatch of the 10th has just been received. The operations you suggest have been in contemplation and preparations are now in progress. I think I can give you the assurance that you will find friends in Mobile if the troubles in Arkansas should be soon ended. How far east of that will depend upon the re-enforcement that can be spared for this command.
ED. R. S. CANBY, Major-General, Commanding