Tuesday, October 11, 1864

KINGSTON, GEORGIA, October 11, 1864: 10 a.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT, City Point, Va.:
Hood moved his army from Palmetto Station across by Dallas and Cedartown, and is now on the Coosa River, south of Rome. He threw one corps on my road at Acworth, and I was forced to follow. I hold Atlanta with the Twentieth Corps, and have strong detachments along my line. These reduce my active force to a comparatively small army. We cannot remain now on the defensive. With 25,000 men, and the bold cavalry he has, he can constantly break my road. I would infinitely prefer to make a wreck of the road and of the country from Chattanooga to Atlanta, including the latter city, send back all my wounded and worthless, and, with my effective army, move through Georgia, smashing things to the sea. Hood may turn into Tennessee and Kentucky, but I believe he will be forced to follow me. Instead of being on the defensive, I would be on the offensive; instead of guessing at what he means to do, he would have to guess at my plans. The difference in war is full 25 per cent. I can make Savannah, Charleston, or the mouth of the Chattanoochee. Answer quick, as I know we will not have the telegraph long.
T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Grant Writes:

CITY POINT, VA., October 11, 1864: 11 a.m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.:
Your dispatch received. Does it not look as if Hood was going to attempt the invasion of Middle Tennessee, using the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston roads to supply his base on the Tennessee River, about Florence or Decatur? If he does this he ought to be met and prevented from getting north of the Tennessee River. If you were to cut lose, I do not believe you would meet Hood’s army, but would be bushwhacked by all the old men, little boys, and such railroad guards as are still left at home. Hood would probably strike for Nashville, thinking by going north he could inflict greater damage upon us than we could upon the rebels by going south. If there is any way of getting at Hood’s army, I would prefer that, but I must trust to your own judgment. I find I shall not be able to send a force from here to act with you on Savannah. Your movements, therefore, will be independent of mine, at least until the fall of Richmond takes place. I am afraid Thomas, with such lines of road as he has to protect, could not prevent Hood going north. With Wilson turned loose with all your cavalry, you will find the rebels put much more on the defensive than
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General

Grant Writes Again:

CITY POINT, VA., October 11, 1864: 11:30 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Kingston, Ga.:
Your dispatch of today received. If you are satisfied the trip to the sea-coast can be made, holding the line of the Tennessee firmly, you may make it, destroying all the railroad south of Dalton or Chattanooga, as you think best.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, October 11, 1864.
General HALLECK, Washington:
Yours of September 28 is just received and is exceedingly to my liking because it is the judgment of history. I don’t care about the silly titles of Southern or Northern editors, but I do want to do right, and at Memphis and Vicksburg I experienced in my own sphere of action the unwisdom of expending mIllinois of money and thousands of lives and then turn to and rent or entertain claims of indemnity for property fairly won. I think the gage of battle was made to us and if we win we are entitled to the conquests. How soon was I forced to realize my crude judgment. Hood at once moved against my communications, and by contracting my lines I left a corps impregnable in Atlanta, with ninety days’ food, and sallied out prepared to fight him wherever he chose. No army can keep an enemy off my long line, but its vital points are secure.
Allatoona prevented the occupation of my line and covered 8,000 cattle, which are necessary to me. I am here at a point where if Hood passes up toward Chattanooga I can cross at Rome and be on his rear. I have Rome strongly held also, but I am loath to remain on the defensive, and want to break up this line back to Chattanooga, leave Thomas to defend Tennessee, and collect my forces and go to the seashore, taking Macon, Milledgeville, and Savannah en route. I can do it. Still I am acting to defend Atlanta and its defenses, a harder task than to take them.

I have just got a mail and letters from everybody, McClellan included, the first I ever remember to have received; also several inclosing a slip from a newspaper saying that I pledge 99 votes of every 100 of this army for McClellan. It is like newspaper assertions, a pure fabrication. I am not the citizen of any State; my State allegiance is divided between Ohio, California, Missouri, and Louisiana, and by the laws of no one State could I vote. Indeed, I cannot conceive how my opinion is pertinent to the occasion. I deny ever having said or thought of such a thing as here indicated. I hate to express a political opinion, because it is tested, not by reason or general principles, but by some dirty party platform. Again let me say that I value your opinion of matters of importance above those of any other, because I know you to be frank, honest, and learned in the great principles of history. Both Grant and I are deficient in these and are mere actors in a grand drama, the end of which we do not see. Mr. John C. Hamilton has written me and I shall answer. Show this to the President, except this conclusion: Damn the mischievous newspapers.
Your friend.

KINGSTON, October 11, 1864: 5 p.m.
Brigadier-General WEBSTER:
General Howard has ordered the troops to Eastport. My idea is that a post at the head of navigation of the Tennessee River, well intrenched, with a cavalry force to strike out, will better protect the part of the Tennessee not patrolled by our gun-boats than any other disposition we can make. Don’t order, but explain these my wishes and instructions. Major-General Thomas can act with the knowledge that this disposition of troops is made.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General

In the Field, Kingston, Ga., October 11, 1864.
The army will move tomorrow morning early on Rome, the Armies of the Ohio and Tennessee by the river road, and the Army of the Cumberland by a detour via Woodlands, all to reach Rome to-morrow night. Trains will be taken to Rome.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, October 11, 1864.
General MCCOOK, Cartersville:
If you can get word to General Kilpatrick let him know that General Garrard is at Rome and Elliott on his way there. I have both his reports of the affair of Van Wert, and prefer his working his way to Rome via Stilesborough if he cannot go direct. Let him know that he can come either way, but if he hangs on the rear of the enemy and hits him on all occasions he will do right.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

CARTERSVILLE, October 11, 1864-3. 10 a. m.
General HOWARD:
Use all the cars and trains you can get today to send re- enforcements to Corse at Rome. Send organized regiments and brigades as far as possible, but don’t let this delay your march. Your trains are safe this side of Allatoona. Pass when you can Stanley’s trains, leaving them the road.

Be sure to bring some cattle along, say 1,500 above your original lot. Rome is quiet and Corse does not know yet where the enemy is. Come to a point about two miles east of Kingston, where there is beautiful pasturage and some corn-fields, and mass your command and await orders. In person come to Kingston.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

KINGSTON, October 11, 1864.
General John E. SMITH Cartersville:
Look to the condition of your trains, for I may pick up your Division entire, and make a move on a larger scale than my Meridian trip. I think Hood has gone, or will go, to Blue Mountain. Don’t accumulate much baggage or provisions at your posts; as a rule, keep on hand only what you can haul.

I understand there are over a million of rations of bread and some sugar, coffee, &c., at Allatoona. During this fracas run all but twenty days’ supply for Allatoona to Rome by cars. Doubtless Hood has gone up to the Tennessee, and I will go to Rome and get behind him. He will damage the road, but will be in a hurry to get out. Rush the repairs toward Atlanta. Acknowledge the receipt of this telegram.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I have an official report from General Kilpatrick, at Van Wert. He attacked and whipped Ross and Ferguson badly, and today would push to Cedartown and toward Rome. I think all the cavalry of the enemy south of the Etowah will be fully occupied, and I want Corse to look west from Rome with cavalry and south with scouts. Kilpatrick reports possibly the rebel army moving for Blue Mountain.

General Corse Writes:

Hood crossed yesterday at Coosaville, Lee and Stewart took one road north, and Bate’s and Cheatham’s Divisions went up a cross-road leading from the Alabama road into the Summerville road. Cheatham is in command of Hardee’s corps, the latter being absent. The corps is encamped on the Armuchee tonight. Lee and Stewart are camped farther to the West on another and parallel road. The object of the movement are conflicting, Dalton or Bridgeport are their destination. Beauregard arrived at the army at Cave Spring, and was received with prolonged huzzas by the lines as he rode by. There is no question in my mind that the main portion of Hood’s, or Beauregard’s, is tonight between here and Summerville.

KINGSTON, October 11, 1864-10 a. m.
Major-General THOMAS:
Your dispatch is just received. General Corse telegraphs that all is quiet at Rome, and he thinks the enemy gone, but don’t know where. I will find out. If he goes back of course I will also. If he goes to Blue Mountain I will remain here a short time. If he sends up toward Resaca or La Fayette I will cut in behind from Rome. The bridges from Resaca to Atlanta are all done, and we can repair the break at Big Shanty in four days.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

General Corse at Rome, reports Hood’s army passing up West of the Oostenaula toward Summerville and La Fayette. He must be headed for the railroad near Chattanooga. Chattanooga and Bridgeport must be reinforced.

General SCHOFIELD has finished his business in Knoxville and will come here to join his corp.

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