Thursday, October 13, 1864

Rome Georgia

Hood has taken his army north and is attacking Resaca. I will follow him with my army. I got approval to abandon the railroad below Nashville and to head off for the coast. Grant has agreed.

CITY POINT, VA., October 13, 1864: 3:30 p. m.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
On mature reflection, I believe Sherman’s proposition is the best that can be adopted. With the long line of railroad in rear of Atlanta, Sherman cannot maintain his position. If he cuts loose, destroying the road from Chattanooga forward, he leaves a wide and destitute country to pass over before reaching territory now held by us. Thomas could retain force enough to meet Hood by giving up the road from Nashville to Decatur and thence to Stevenson and leave Sherman still force enough to meet Hood’s army if it took the other and most likely course. Such an army as Sherman has (and with such a commander) is hard to corner or capture.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General

Grant writes Halleck on how to support my march:

CITY POINT, VA., October 13, 1864: 11 a.m.
Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
Vessels should be got ready loaded with grain, ordnance stores, and provisions-say 200,000 rations of grain and 500,000 rations of provisions, and 100 rounds of ammunition for 30,000 men, with proper proportion of artillery ammunition for that number of infantry. The Ordnance Department will have to select the kinds of ammunition based upon what they know of the armament of Sherman’s army. Soon after it is known that Sherman has struck south these vessels should sail and rendezvous at Ossabaw Sound. I take it his first supplies will have to be received by way of that river. General Canby ought to move the force he has in Mobile Bay, with the exception of enough to hold the forts, and any other force he can add to it, to Brunswick and try to strike the Albany and Gulf Railroad, say at Initial Point. Information should be got to Sherman of all preparations made to receive him on the sea-board. If Foster can send men to Brunswick it will be as well to send him as to send Canby, and probably his preparations can be earlier made. The forage rations here indicated might be reduced one-half if there is any difficulty about securing transportation, but the other supplies should rather be increased than diminished. There probably will be no difficulty about securing fifteen to twenty days’ forage in the country, and with a small amount on hand the animals could be kept along until vessels could return for a new supply.

I think it will be advisable for General Thomas now to abandon all the railroad from Columbia to Decatur, thence to Stevenson. This will give him much additional force. Has any change of commander in Missouri been ordered? I do think Price could be driven out in a week with the right man after him.
U.S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General

Stanton sends the blessing of the War Department:

Washington, October 13, 1864: 8:30 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN:
You will see by General Grant’s dispatch that your plans, are approved by him. You may count on the co-operation of this Department to the full extent of the power of the Government. Supplies will be forwarded with the utmost dispatch to the points indicated. Whatever results, you have the confidence and support of the Government.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War

Slocum Writes from Atlanta:

I am convinced Hood has taken all his troops from our front except a small cavalry force left near Sandtown. I have sent 400 wagons for forage to South River; expect them in this evening. They are well guarded. If they come in safely I shall send again at once. Our new line is well advanced and very strong. The cattle are here.

McCook at Kingston Reports Hoods location:

I started to Calhoun yesterday afternoon to see Colonel Watkins’ brigade and found the road broken above Adairsville four miles. I sent a courier back for General Raum, who came up with a regiment. We heard firing in the direction of Calhoun and Resaca at Adairsville. After repairing the road we went on to Calhoun, and found that a regiment of the enemy’s infantry had passed through there an hour before. I think it is all of their force in that vicinity on this side of the river. We met a courier with copy of Hood’s summons to surrender, which I inclose. At 10 o’clock musketry was still heard at Resaca. I left Colonel Raum with 350 men to try to communicate; loaded up all the abandoned commissaries and brought three trains down here that are now ready to carry troops if you desire. I also placed garrisons in the abandoned block-houses on the road. Watkins left his horses on this side and crossed his men. Could not get the Rome operator, suppose he is asleep, and have to send this through by courier. Will send anything else that comes. I have made arrangements for couriers to come through.

I am protecting my railroads and pursuing Hood.
General STANLEY:
March for Resaca at once, taking the road by McGuire’s. I have word from Colonel Raum that he holds the place.

Direct General Kilpatrick to guard our roads as well as possible with the force he had from Kingston to the Chattanoochee River, at the same time keeping up an efficient system of scouting to Dallas and Stilesborough, and giving timely notice himself of important information to the commanding officers either at Atlanta, Marietta, Cartersville, or Kingston, to the end that the general commanding may be kept fully cognizant of all events. When the telegraph is working he may notify all, and these headquarters direct. He can draw stores from any point convenient to himself. General Garrad’s DIVISION will move with the army.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.
General MCCOOK:
There is a brigade at Kingston belonging to General Ransom’s DIVISION, Army of the Tennessee. Load it up and move up the road and hold some point as near Resaca as you can get. Repair telegraph and send me back word.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

McCook Writes:

Major-General SHERMAN:
There was cannonading heard here in the direction of Resaca; I suppose from that that the garrison is not captured. I will push on to Resaca if possible, repair the road and line as we go. Will communicate from there.
E. M. MCCOOK, Brigadier-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.
General MCCOOK, Resaca:
There is no necessity for trains going from Resaca to Cartersville for ammunition. There are trains at Cartersville which can bring up the ammunition. Give orders for the ammunition and Hughes will have the trains dispatched. I had ordered General Ransom’s DIVISION to march for Adairsville, then to take cars, and we must avoid collision. Let Hughes move the train. Tell him what you want and he will have it done.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.
Send this to Hughes and he can report it to General McCook. Road safe at Adairsville now.
RESACA, October 13, 1864

McCook Replies:

I got those men into Resaca, and the railway and telegraph all right. I think all the enemy will have left here by daylight, and that they have gone north along the road, burning and destroying it as they go. All my cavalry will follow at daybreak to watch their movements. General Raum is satisfied Hood was here in person with two corps.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.

General MCCOOK:
Very well. Watch the enemy close. We will be there as soon as we can march. I expect all of Ransom’s Division to go up in cars from Adairsville tonight. If possible get some scouts to cross the mountains to Villanow and La Fayette to report to me on my arrival at Resaca the direction taken by Hood’s trains. Are the ladies all safe?
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

Garrard reports that Hood has taken his pontoon with him. He does not intend to go back to Atlanta.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.
General HOWARD:
I wish you would push one Division (the nearest one) through to Adairsville at once, with orders to re-enforce Resaca. Cars will be at Adairsville to carry re-enforcements to Resaca. I want to save Resaca, and Geneal Raum having held it thus far I hope he will hold on. General McCook was within twelve miles with the other regiment you left at Kingston. Hood took his bridge with him. General Raum says you did not leave a brigade at Kingston, in consequence of which he has not been re- enforced.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.
General John E. SMITH, Cartersville:
General Howard left at Kingston only two regiments instead of a brigade, but they are strong regiments. I suppose it is now too late to re-enforce Resaca, but I want that force up the railroad as far as possible to watch the movements of Hood’s army. I think he will go on, it may be into Tennessee and Kentucky, picking up the small garrisons and avoiding the larger just as I wanted to do south. I will keep my army pretty well in hand so as to fight him if I get to him. I am now moving over toward Summerville with the Army of the Ohio, and have the Cumberland and Tennessee ready to turn up toward Resaca.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

Smith Replies:

Have all my force at work strengthening the defenses. Will countermand the order sending supplies to Rome, and protect them.

Raum Reports from Resaca:

The enemy in heavy force are now around this place, their resting on the river west and their left on the river east. I have made such disposition as I feel sure will result in the defeat of the enemy. Instead of a brigade having been left by the Seventeenth Army Corps to re-enforce this place, one regiment, the Tenth Illinois, is with me. I trust that re-enforcements will be hurried here as soon as possible. I think by placing a battery on the left bank of the river opposite the right of the enemy that his position will be enfiladed. A pontoon bridge is now over the stream. I have sent the cavalry horses, train, and cars under the protection of 200 cavalry.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.
General RAUM, Resaca:
Hold Resaca to the death. I will send you re-enforcements by cars, and will come up.
Have as many bridges finished for our use as you can be tomorrow morning; also gain all possible intelligence of the movements of the enemy; ascertain if Snake Creek Gap be held in force or not, and generally everything that will enable me to arrive at a correct judgment. Try and get a messenger through the mountains with as much verbal intelligence as possible of our movements. I will try and get through today.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.
Colonel DEAN,
Hold fast all supplies and guard them well until we know exactly what course things take. Don’t send the cars until you give time for the troops to reach Adairsville. It will be morning, I suppose, before they reach there, though I will order General Howard to push a DIVISION tonight. Keep me well advised, and ask General Raum to do the same. I have already caused their cavalry to be driven below Coosaville, capturing two guns, and have no doubt the columns now out will disturb Hood. I want him to be held at Resaca until I get there, though I suppose he will succeed or be off.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Colonel DEAN:
General Howard was just here and says he left at Kingston for Resaca two large regiments, amounting to 1,000 men. Did General Raum take them, and where are they? If at Kingston, send them in the cars tonight. General Howard promises one Division of near 4,000 men at Adairsville, so you may order cars. General Stanley marches on the Calhoun road. Turn cattle and everything for us up toward Resaca.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 13, 1864.
General CORSE, In the Field:
I have heard from Resaca. General Raum holds the place, but needs help. We will march at once. I want you to return to Rome and occupy the place with your Division, sending the brigade of the Fifteenth Corps toward its army. I will await your coming here. When General Kilpatrick gets in send him also to overtake us. If Hood retreats south by Will’s Valley I will come down this away. General Cox has captured two guns and by this time must be at the bridge.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

General J. D. COX, Commanding Army of the Ohio:
Hood has made his appearance at Resaca, demanding its surrender. Proceed with speed to your destination, and work smart. Try and get back by night within reach of Rome, and report progress, as I may be forced to turn toward Resaca.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

Cox Replies:

Your dispatch received. Garrard fills the road ahead of me and is pushing on. My infantry is close on his heels. He finds some cavalry in his front, but no serious resistance as yet. He has not reached the position where the enemy had their battery yesterday. As soon as he is seriously checked, I will have him give way and let the infantry through.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, October 13, 1864.
General COX:
I have your note announcing the capture of two guns. I prefer that you should send the cavalry off to your right flank and push ahead with your infantry; cavalry are too slow. Time is very important, and you cannot be too vigorous. I want the bridge at Coosaville destroyed and your command back near enough to follow on any road I may take.

I have word from Resaca. General Raum holds the place, but needs help. We must start at once. I suppose by the time you get this you will know if that bridge is gone. If so, come at once, and follow Stanley, who marches by the Calhoun road.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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