Thursday, September 22, 1864

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
Atlanta, Ga., September 22, 1864

Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
Yours of September 14 is received, and you may assure General Tower that he can do good service to the Government and himself in my command. I can safely give him absolute control over all unfinished works in my command, and will be glad to do so. I have also opposed costly works at this time, and prefer only such redoubts as troops can and should make at no additional cost to the Government. Why can’t our black troops do all the works necessary at Nashville and elsewhere?
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

General Howard Reports:

A deserter reports that a bridge is laid seven miles from Newman; that a DIVISION of cavalry has gone to Blue Mountain to meet Wheeler. Blue Mountain is perhaps twenty miles north of Talladega, on the Selma and Talladega Railroad. Thinks the infantry will not cross. Infantry, three corps, encamped on the WEST Point railroad.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Atlanta, Ga., September 22, 1864.

JAMES E. YEATMAN, Esg., Sanitary Commission, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Yours of September 14 is received, and I assure you the compliments you have lavished on me make me fear that my services and abilities are overrated. I don’t want to be elevated an inch more than I can sustain myself, for pride will have its fall.

The condition of the prisoners at Andersonville has always been present to my mind, and could I have released them I would have felt more real satisfaction than to have now another battle. Indeed, General Stoneman’s trip was partly for that purpose, and I fear failed partially because the general took a road east of Ocmulgee, instead of west, as I contemplated and ordered. I have frequent messages from them, and have sent word for the men to be of good cheer; that the day of their deliverance was approaching; but I now think that Jeff. Davis is removing them to Charleston, Savannah, and a point on the Savannah and Macon road at Millen, where a branch puts off for Augusta. My last escaped prisoners left Andersonville on the 12th, at which date many train loads had gone off eastward, and this reduction of the number will improve the condition of the balance.

I am now engaged in exchanging with General Hood a couple thousand of the prisoners, but this is confined to the last 2000 captured from my army, who, of course, are not in as bad condition as those who have been longer confined. During the few days that must expire before all the papers are completed I will have occasion to write to General Hood and will offer to send down some fifty or sixty tons of clothing and other necessaries, but I doubt if he will consent. These Confederates are as proud as the devil and hate to confess poverty, but I know they are really unable to supply socks, drawers, undershirts, scissors, combs, soap, &c., which our men need more than anything else to preserve cleanliness and health. Should, however, he assent, I will telegraph you to send me such articles as we do not have on hand, and will give credit to your commission for all I obtain. This appears to me the best manner in which I can carry out your humane, patriotic, and most worthy object.

With sentiments of great respect, your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Atlanta, Ga., September 22, 1864

General J. B. HOOD:

GENERAL: My latest authentic information from Andersonville is to the 12th, and from what I learn our prisoners of war confined there are being removed to Savannah, Charleston, and Millen, need many articles which we possess in superfluity, and can easily supply, with your consent and assistance, such as shirts, drawers, socks, shoes, soap, candles, combs, scissors, &c. If you will permit me to send a train of wagons with a single officer, to go along under flag of truce, I will send down to Lovejoy’s or Palmetto a train of wagons loaded exclusively with 10,000 or 15,000 of each of these articles, and a due proportion of soap, candles, &c., under such other restrictions as you may think prudent to name. I would like my officer to go along to issue these things, but will have no hesitation in sending them if you will simply promise to have them carried to the places where our prisoners are and have them fairly distributed.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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