Saturday, October 29, 1864

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Georgia, October 29, 1864
Brigadier-General WATKINS, Calhoun, Ga.:
Cannot you send over about Fairmount and Adairsville and burn ten or twelve houses of known secessionists, kill a few at random, and let them know that it will be repeated every time a train is fired on from Resaca to Kingston!
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864
Major-General HALLECK:
Brigadier-General Ransom died today, of sickness incurred on the campaign. He was being carried on a litter from Gaylesville, and got within six miles of Rome, when it became necessary to carry him to a house, where he died. His body is here, and will be sent to Chicago in charge of his personal staff. In his death this army loses one of its best Division commanders.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864
Major-General ROSECRANS, Warrensburg, Mo.:
I have your dispatches today. I have pushed Beauregard to the west of Decatur, but I know he is pledged to invade Tennessee and Kentucky, having his base on the old Mobile and Ohio road. I have put Thomas in Tennessee and given him as many troops as he thinks necessary, but I don’t want to leave it to chance, and therefore would like to have Smith’s and Mower’s Divisions up the Tennessee River as soon as possible. Could you get them on board of boats at Booneville or higher up and let the boats run to Paducah where orders would meet them? I propose myself to push straight down into the heart of Georgia, smashing things generally.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Major-General SLOCUM, Atlanta, Ga.:
I have sent the Fourth Corps back to Chattanooga, and must also send Schofield with the Twenty-third. All recruits and conscripts for other four corps will come forward. Continue to prepare as before, and collect all the forage you can. Hood has gone clear across to Decatur and the Alabama road, and is threatening to enter Tennessee from that quarter. He has left the Blue Mountain and will depend on the Mobile and Ohio road.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Wilson continues reorganization of the cavalry:

SPECIAL ORDERS,
HDQRS. CAV. CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 3.
Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.

I. Brigadier-General Garrard will immediately organize his Division into two brigades, and after furnishing what horses General Kilpatrick requires, mount the Second Brigade of the new organization. As soon as this duty is accomplished he will proceed to Nashville with the Division, taking all horses unfit for field service, and gathering all dismounted men found along its route.
Upon his arrival at Nashville General Garrard will turn over the men and command of his Division to Brigadier General Eli Long.

II. Brigadier General Eli Long will relieve, at Nashville, Tenn., Brig. General, K. Garrard from the command of the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi.

Upon assuming command General Long will remain in Nashville for the purpose of collecting, remounting, and equipping the dismounted men of his Division there.
By command of Brevet Major-General Wilson:
E. B. BEAUMONT, Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
General John E. SMITH, Cartersville, Ga.:
I will send general Schofield’s corps to Resaca from here tomorrow, and it will relieve all your men at Adairsville and above. you will then collect your Division at Kingston and Cartersville ready to move. I must here await for the development of Hood. I think Thomas will have enough men to handle him, even if he succeeds in crossing the Tennessee.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Corse Follows My Wishes for the March:

HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Brigadier General E. W. RICE, Commanding First Brigade:
You are hereby informed that this Division is soon to take the field for a long, arduous, and successful campaign. you will, therefore, at once set about preparing and properly equipping your command for the same, but in such a manner as not to attract attention or occasion rumor or speculation among the soldiers. All baggage, clothing, camp and garrison equipage not absolutely requisite in campaign for the warmth and subsistence of officers and men, and which is sufficiently good to be of service hereafter, will be got in readiness without delay to be shipped to the rear, probably to Chattanooga, in charge of an officer and a few men- those not able to endure a march, convalescents, &c. The greatest energy must be displayed in fitting up your transportation and carrying out the above instructions. All baggage, camp and garrison equipage which has became worn out, and of little or no utility at present and none in future, will be burned or destroyed.
By order of Brigadier General John M. Corse.

THOMAS sent the following dispatches:

DECATUR, ALA., October 29, 1864.
Our skirmishers have just driven the enemy on our front out of their rifle-pits into the woods, 1,800 yards from our works. Our men have possession of these pits, and will occupy them to-night. Am satisfied that they are gradually withdrawing, and that their main force will encamp at Courtland to-night. Have sent an additional patrol to Brown’s Ferry, and will send a regiment of infantry in that direction in the morning on gun-boat, if it returns from Whitesburg; if not, will send them on foot. Sent gun- boat up river, to patrol it more perfectly.
R. S. GRANGER, Brigadier-General.

Center Star, via Pulaski, 29th, 4 a. m.:
Major Root, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, reports the enemy crossing river at the mouth of Cypress Creek, two miles below Florence. I will move down at once with all the force that can be spared from guarding river, and try and drive them back.
JOHN T. CROXTON, Brigadier-General.

The Fourth Corps (Stanley’s) is at Rossville tonight. Have made arrangements to dispatch it by railroad to Athens and Pulaski as rapidly as possible. Have also referred General Hatch, at Clifton, to re-enforce General Croxton at Florence. With Croxton on the spot to oppose him I do not think the enemy can cross in very heavy force before Stanley can get into position and be prepared to meet him.

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864-9 a. m.
Major-General THOMAS:
Stanley should reach Wauhatchie today. Schofield will be here tonight, and I will push him right away for Resaca, to go to Chattanooga, if events call for it. Order all recruits and drafted men accordingly, viz, those for the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps, to come to the front. Appoint some good man to organize and arm the convalescents I sent back. I repeat, should the enemy cross the Tennessee River in force abandon all minor points and concentrate your forces at some point where you can cover the road from Murfreesborough to Stevenson. Engraft on Stanley and Schofield all the new troops. Give Schofield a Division of new troops. Give General Tower all the men you can to finish the forts at Nashville, and urge on the navy to pile up gun-boats in the Tennessee River.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Thomas Replies from Nashville:

Your dispatches of yesterday from Gaylesville and Rome received. I have already instructed the different garrisons that they must defend themselves against all odds. I have also ordered them to keep on hand ample supplies of provisions and ammunition, and they report themselves well supplied. Some of the gun-boats are ordered to remain at or near Decatur and the others patrolling the river between Bridgeport and Decatur. How far to the front of Chattanooga do you wish me to hold the country when you start south? I believe the most difficult part of my work will be to keep open the railroad to Knoxville, unless an advanced force is thrown out in the direction of Dalton, and such force will be in constant danger unless the railroad is entirely destroyed between that place and Cartersville and Rome. If you can let me know a few days before you are ready I will prepare Wright for operations on the railroad.

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS:
We have reconnoitered well down to Gadsden and Jacksonville. Hood took with him all his infantry, but left a good deal of cavalry. He started for Bridgeport and Guntersville, but my movements have thrown him clear across to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. If he does not attack Decatur today he will not at all, but he will go to Tuscumbia and depend on the Mobile road. Now, I want you to be all ready for him if he enters Tennessee. He will work as fast as possible, for winter is coming, but he cannot haul supplies and will be dependent on the country. I have sent Stanley back. Give him as many conscripts as possible and use him as the nucleus. I will also send Schofield back, who will relieve you of all that Knoxville branch, but if necessary break up all minor posts and get about Columbia as big an army as you can and go at him. You may hold all the cavalry and new troops except the men actually assigned to the corps with me.

I would like Dalton held, but leave that to you, Chattanooga, of course, and Decatur in connection with the boats. Get, if you can, A. J. Smith; ‘s and Mower’s DIVISIONS, belonging to my army, from Missouri and let them come to you via Clifton. Get the gun-boats to fill the Tennessee River, and that will bother him much. If you could make a good lodgment at Eastport Hood could not use the Corinth and Decatur road, for there are only seven miles of good road from Eastport to Iuka.

General Schofield has not got in yet, but I will push him right on to Resaca. I will give you notice when I start. All preparations are now progressing, but I want to know Hood’s movements, and how well you are prepared before I start.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

ROME, GA., October 29, 1864-12 m.
Major-General THOMAS:
I have your dispatch. Stanley has reached Chattanooga, and can, with the assistance of the cars, reach Athens in less than four days. I hear that the enemy has passed to the WEST of Decatur, and, therefore, will cross about Florence. I don’t see how Beauregard can support his army; but Jeff. Davis is desperate, and his men will undertake anything possible. If necessary, draw heavily on Chattanooga, depending on Schofield to replace them. Schofield is not yet up, but I will push him right along to Resaca. With Decatur held and a good gun-boat force up at the head of navigation, the enemy will be bold to enter Tennessee; but we must expect anything. If they wait to get supplies about Tuscumbia, you will get the Missouri troops. Have your orders to meet them at Paducah.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Thomas Replies:

Your dispatch of this 9 a.m. is received. If I can get Stanley to Athens in four days I shall have no fears of Hood crossing the Tennessee River. Granger has enough men already to defend Decatur; but I will keep your instructions in mind. I feel no apprehensions whatever about Chattanooga, and hope to be relieved from all uneasiness from the direction of Florence and Eastport as soon as I can get Stanley into position. I will engraft the troops into Stanley’s and Schofield’s corps as you direct, and will endeavor to arrange so as to garrison the block-houses and small garrisons along the railroad by Stanley’s old troops, and intermingle the new regiments with his Divisions, so as to render them as efficient as possible. All these changes can be made without mixing the troops of the three armies at all. I will have convalescents organized and posted at Chattanooga and Bridgeport to aid in defense of those two places.

General STEEDMAN:
Let me know the moment you hear of General Stanley, and to what point General Thomas orders him. I will also send Shofield’s Twenty-third corps to Resaca, and on to Chattanooga, if events demand it. I want every mite of news you have from the quarter of Decatur. You must organize and systematize the hospitals and men sent back to Chattanooga. You could use some of them for your forts. If there be any unfinished work at Chattanooga or on Lookout Mountain it should be finished at once.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

A telegram from Stanley received, and he is almost to Bridgeport. I am pleased at his rapid march. I want any news from Decatur!

Steedman Writes from CHATTANOOGA:

General Stanley has just arrived. His command will pass through Chattanooga, except one Division, which will cross Sand Mountain to Stevenson, as directed by General Thomas. There is nothing later from Decatur than the dispatch I sent you from General Granger last night.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Major-General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
I have your dispatch of today. Have you telegrahic communication with Decatur and Huntsville? If so, I want to know if Hood is still before Decatur, or, if he is gone, in what direction he went. Let me know tonight if possible.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Steedman Replies From CHATTANOOGA.

I have heard nothing from Decatur since 11:30 last night. The telegraphic communication is open, but I can get nothing from General Granger, although I have repeatedly asked him for information.
…..
The following has just been received from Decatur, dated October 29, 4:40 p.m.:

I told you we drove the rebs out of their rifle-pits yesterday, capturing 120. In the evening we made another sortie, spiking a couple of guns, and taking 14 more prisoners. In this skirmish we lost 40 killed and wounded. Our loss altogether up to this time amounts to 80. We blew up 4 caissons and dismounted 2 pieces of artillery. We killed and wounded a very large number of the enemy, full 500. About 4 o’clock this morning they began to leave in the direction of Courtland.

I have been probing them at different points all day, finding them in force, until 4 o’clock this evening, when our forces carried their last line of rifle-pits. Enemy evidently believed us to be in very strong force here, judging from what their prisoners have stated. I have endeavored to keep up this impression. I am picketing the river with all the cavalry in my possession, down to the mouth of Elk River. If gunboat returns, now some miles up river, I will send a regiment down the river to Brown’s Ferry. Negroes who escaped from them and prisoners say that Hood and Beauregard are both with them.

Received a dispatch from Athens which stated that two couriers from Florence reported that the enemy had crossed below Florence at Cypress Creek in large force. I think this information is to the same effect as that forwarded by General Croxton. It will hardly be necessary now to report, anyhow. I will send you, however, all the information I can obtain.
R. S. GRANGER, Brigadier-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Major-General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
I have your dispatch about Decatur. All right. I want to know the first moment Beauregard crosses to the north of the Tennessee. I think he must get supplies from the Mobile and Ohio road before he advances far into Tennessee.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Granger Reports From Decatur:

I have conversed with a number of deserters, prisoners, and escaped negroes, and from their information I am led to believe it is the impression among the officers and men of Hood’s army that they are bound to get into Middle Tennessee. The deserter who just left me says that their first aim was to take this place, and fully expected to do so. He thought now they would certainly attempt to cross above or below. I am convinced their infantry forces left in the direction of Courtland and they may send some cavalry to cross above. My guide, Harris, a sharp fellow, says from what he has heard above that they will try to cross above, near Whitesburg. I have sent him up there on the gun-boat Thomas. I have also ordered, in addition to force there already, five companies of One hundred and eighty-first Ohio, about 420 men. I have sent to Brown’s Ferry 150 of the Tenth Indiana, and will send to the Stone River down there with 100 men of the One hundred and eighty-first Ohio. I think Hood will, if he intends to cross, make the effort between Elk River and Eastport. Instructed Colonel Lyon to guard all passes from mouth of Flint River to Triana and scout river with cavalry.
……
In my last telegram I omitted to mention another reason why I think Hood will go to Tuscumbia before crossing. He was evidently out of supplies. His men were all grumbling. The first thing the prisoners asked for was something to eat. Hood could not get anything if he should cross this side of Rogersville.

Croxton Reports from CENTRE STAR, ALA.

It is reported that Hood’s entire army reached Town Creek today and expects to cross the river at Bainbridge tonight. I have this from such a source that I cannot doubt its truth. I will do what I can to prevent their crossing, keeping you fully advised.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 29, 1864.
Colonel BECKWITH, Atlanta, Ga.:
How are you getting on with the movement of things? There is an immense herd of cattle here. Won’t we have to send some back? General Stanley’s corps is in Chattanooga. I will send Schofield to Resaca and be ready to move down with the balance as soon as all things are ready. We will be ready to move from here in three days. How long do you want? I have heard nothing of Hood today.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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