I Wired Thomas at Chattanooga to urge his command to keep the telegraph line open to Louisville by Knoxville and Cumberland Gap. We must coordinate to defeat the raids on the roads.
I find this place crowded with officers and soldiers on leave and furlough. No more should be allowed to leave Atlanta until the road is reported clear to Nashville. From what I can learn about Forrest I think I will have to send General Morgan’s DIVISION to Tullahoma. I will know more in a few hours and before the DIVISION can start from here.
Your dispatch is received. I have notified all army commanders to stop furloughs. Give orders to keep the telegraph line, via Knoxville and Cumberland Gap, in good order. There is no doubt some of Hood’s infantry is across the Chattahoochee, but I don’t think his whole army is across. If he moves his whole force to Blue Mountain, you watch him from the direction of Stevenson, and I will do the same from Rome, and as soon as all things are ready I will take advantage of his opening to me all of Georgia.
I have yours and Rousseau’s dispatches about the location of Forrest. Try and make a junction with Rousseau. I suppose Forrest will manage to break the road tonight, but leave defensive garrisons, and push right at him with as heavy a force as you can get and as soon as possible. He won’t fight, but infantry can dog him. Take provisions and forage of the towns and people, and replace them after the work is done. If you can turn him toward Lamb’s Ferry, Granger should make a redoubt covering the ford, and hold him in check till the infantry can get up. We will never have a better chance at him than now. I will watch Hood here.
WASHINGTON, September 30, 1864: 1 p.m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.:
I have just seen the Paymaster-General in regard to your telegrams, that your army be mostly paid in checks on New York, and find that about one-half must be paid in the seven-thirty loan, which, not being a legal tender by law, cannot be deposited and checked against. A part of the other half, however, will be deposited in New York and Louisville, so that those who want checks can have them to that amount. You are mistaken in supposing that such checks are any safer for transmission than bonds or greenbacks, as they must be drawn to bearer. It would be impossible for the sub- treasurers to verify signatures to order checks in such payments. This matter has been fully discussed with the Treasury Department, and everything admissible by the law and the nature of the funds to be used will be done to carry out your wishers. Dispatch just received from General Foster states that our prisoners at Macon and Andersonville have been removed to the vicinity of Charleston and Savannah, for fear of your raids.
H. W. HALLECK, Major-General and Chief of Staff
Webster Writes From Nashville:
Only one Kentucky regiment has arrived here of three ordered. We can hold this city against any number yet reported. Numbers of rebels reported on south side of Tennessee River, trying to cross. There must be somewhere a large force over what Forrest has now with him. The infantry can defend road, but cavalry is needed to catch the raiders.
I Write Schofield:
ATLANTA, September 30, 1864: 9 p.m.
Major-General SCHOFIELD, Commanding Department of the Ohio:
I was surprised when I heard you had gone to Illinois. I had supposed you to be at Knoxville. General Grant suggests that Burbridge should be recalled, and it should be done unless he be beyond call. You should be with your army here or in East Tennessee, and until I know exactly where you are it is impossible for me to calculate as to your whereabouts. I want the whole reserves of Tennessee and Kentucky turned against Forrest, and as soon as General Hood shows his hand I will determine what to do from this point. Hood’s army is now on the Chattahoochee and the West Point road about Palmetto. Our army is as you left it, except I have sent Thomas back to look after Forrest.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 30, 1864
General COX, Decatur, Ga.:
I have pretty clear information that Hood has a part of his infantry across Chattahoochee, twenty-four miles south of us, and it may be all. I know that desperate efforts will be made to render our roads useless. Forrest is in Middle Tennessee, but I think will have his hands full, for I have sent you two DIVISIONS of Thomas’, and Thomas went up himself yesterday. I may have to make some quick countermoves east and southeast. Keep your folks ready to send baggage into Atlanta, and to start on short notice. Make your preparations quietly without attracting any notice. There are fine corn and potato fields about Covington and the Ocmulgee bottoms. We are well supplied with bread, meat, &c., but forage is scarce, and may force us to strike out. If we make a countermove I will go out myself with a large force and take such a route as will supply us, and at the same time make Hood recall the whole or part of his army.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding