Friday, September 23, 1864

Atlanta, Georgia

Grant Writes:

Do you not require a good cavalry leader? It has seemed to me that you have during your campaign suffered for want of an officer in command of cavalry whose judgment and dash could both be relied on. I could send you General Ayres, who, I believe, would make a capital commander, and know him to be one of our best officers in other capacities.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, Atlanta, Georgia

General GRANT, City Point:
I do want very much a good cavalry officer to command, and have been maneuvering three months to get Mower here, but Canby has sent him up White River. My present cavalry need infantry guards and pickets, and it is hard to get them within ten miles of the front. If you think Ayres will do, I would like him. Romeyn B. Ayres is, or was, as bad a growler as Granger. I would prefer Gregg or Wilson; still, anybody with proper rank will be better than Garrard. Kilpatrick is well enough for small scouts, but I do want a man of sense and courage to manage my cavalry, and will take any one that you have tried.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

General Howard Reports:

My scouts confirm the story of a bridge across the Chattahoochee about two miles below Campbellton. They found rebel cavalry pickets on the other side of the river; they crept down the river-bank till they could hear work on the bridge, but were not near enough to see it.

I think Hood and Forrest may be maneuvering to my rear;
General WEBSTER, Nashville:
I will send some troops back to Chattanooga and Bridgeport. Telegraph to General Burbridge, if he has not started, to move to Nashville and be prepared to move against Forrest; also, hold McCook’s DIVISION of cavalry, which must be about Nashville. Look out for Decherd and the tunnel.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

I ask Schofield to position his troops to protect the West:
General Thomas consents that General Gillem serve with you up in East Tennessee, but his DIVISION properly belongs down along the Tennessee River from Florence down, and from present information they are more needed there than up in East Tennessee. I doubt the necessity of your sending far into Virginia to destroy the salt- works, or any other material interest; we must destroy their armies.

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