The enemy is making a concerted effort to drive me out by destroying the railroads in my rear. I am shifting troops to meet the threat.
Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
Send Corse’s DIVISION up, ready to embark for Rome. I will see him and instruct him. I don’t know what to do with Vandever, but he can command the post, and leave Corse to put the DIVISION in good order. I would like you to get about 1,000 men from the MISSISSIPPI over to Eastport, at the head of the Tennessee, and have the Memphis cavalry reach across to that point, via Iuka, occasionally. The enemy will use superhuman efforts to cut our road.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 26, 1864.
General J. D. WEBSTER, Nashville:
GENERAL: General Newton’s DIVISION is now at Chattanooga, and General Corse at Rome. We can defend our roads below Bridgeport, and General Granger and the gun-boats can protect those from Decatur to Stevenson. Rousseau should collect all the force he can, and move straight for Pulaski and Florence. Call forward from Kentucky any troops that can be spared there, and hold all that come from the rear, until Forrest is disposed of. Caution Rousseau to unite his movable force and not let it be picked up in detail. Recruits should now be coming forward fast. Ask Rosecrans for me if he cannot spare A. J. Smith, and explain to him that he may be needed. I wanted him for this very contingency, which I foresaw. Use my name, and concentrate at Nashville all the men you can. Recall Generals Steedman and Schofield, if you know where they are.
The policy should be, small but well-commanded bodies in the block-houses, and a movable force to act straight against Forrest, who must scatter for forage.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 26, 1864.
Admiral PORTER, Cairo:
I would like you to instruct the officers on the Tennessee River, both above and below the Shoals, to be most vigilant and active, especially up as high as Eastport and Waterloo. As soon as there is water enough, I will re-establish the post at Eastport, so that cavalry can come across from Memphis to operate on that flank.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
My Engineer, Poe has laid out blockhouses that defend the critical points on the railroad. These blockhouses defend the important bridges tunnels and structures that are difficult to replace. Damage to track can be repaired quickly. The blockhouses can be held by a small force until re-enforcements arrive. I want the blockhouses held and to have a large mobile force that can relieve attacks and pursue Forrest. There is limited forage in the area and Forrest must scatter to forage or his horses will starve. That is when he is vulnerable.