ATLANTA, October 1, 1864: 1 p. m.
Lieutenant-General GRANT, City Point:
Hood is evidently on the WEST side of Chattahoochee below Sweet Water. If he tries to get on my road this side of the Etowah I shall attack him, but if he goes over to the Selma and Talladega road why would it not do for me to leave Tennessee to the force which Thomas has and the reserves soon to come to Nashville, and for me to destroy Atlanta, and them march across Georgia to Savannah or Charleston, breaking roads and doing irreparable damage? We cannot remain on the defensive.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
General J. D. WEBSTER, Nashville:
If enough horses cannot be obtained by purchase they should be impressed. It is plain that either Forrest or we must take the horses of the country. General Thomas is now in full command of all the troops operating against Forrest, and I want you to help him by making any orders he may ask. If Forrest be prevented getting supplies, he cannot stay long north of the Tennessee.
Hood is moving but I don’t yet know where. He may move to Alabama, but he may head north and try to attack my roads. Howard and Cox are sending infantry to feel out Hood’s movements and cavalry has been sent to monitor his movements. I have wired back to Marietta, Allatoona and Rome to be on the lookout for an attack and to unite forces to repel the enemy. If the enemy attacks Allatoona, my whole army is ready to move north to attack him.
Thomas has gone to Chattanooga and Nashville to deal with Forrest. Reports place Forrest in over half a dozen places at once. General Rousseau thinks there is an attempt by the secesh to confuse us into a stampede that conceals real intentions. Schofield has been attending matters in Kentucky and will return as soon as the railroad is repaired or his cavalry is ready.
If Hood moves to Alabama, I will take advantage by marching from Atlanta to the sea. I Write Major-General HOWARD:
I have not yet heard from Lieutenant General U. S. Grant as to my proposed campaign, but it is well for you to bear in mind that if Hood swings over to the Alabama road and then tries into Tennessee, I may throw back to Chattanooga all of Major-General Thomas’s men as far down as Kingston, and draw forward all else; send back all cars and locomotives; destroy Atlanta, and make for Savannah or Charleston via Milledgeville and Millen. If Hood aims at our road this side of Kingston, and in no manner threatens Tennessee, I will have to turn on him. Keep these things to yourself. The march I purpose is less by 200 miles than I made last fall, and less than I accomplished in February, and we could make Georgia a break in the Confederacy by ruining both east and WEST roads, and not running against a single foe until we got to the seashore and in communication with our ships.