Sunday, October 30, 1864

In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864

I. Major General J. M. Schofield will move his corps to Resaca, and relieve all troops along the railroad belonging to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Corps, and order them to join their proper Divisions by Kingston. He will cover the railroad during the movement of the trains and report for further instructions to Major General George H. Thomas, at Nashville, both by telegraph and letter.

II. Bvt. Major General Jeff. C. Davis will move his corps to Kingston and there await further orders.

III. Major General O. O. Howard, with the cavalry, will move his army by easy marches to Dallas and Smyrna Camp-Ground, reporting his position as often as possible en route that orders may reach him via Allatoona and Martietta.

IV. All detachments and recruits will join their respective corps at once by the most direct route.

V. Brigadier General John E. Smith will assemble his Division at Cartersville and Allatoona, and Brigadier General John M. Corse will hold his at Rome until further orders.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

McCook Writes that his cavalry has burned houses of Sesech that have been firing at our trains and will leave the country east of the railroad barren if necessary.

Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
General Blair and General Smith are here, and with a lot of recruits and furloughed men, &c., will join you tomorrow. Blair will convey orders and dispatches. In the mean time be prepared to move leisurely by such road as you may think best in the direction of Dallas. Please notify General Garrard that the general commanding directs that he come toward this place as far as he may think best, and go into camp convenient for forage, and there await orders, the object being to make some changes in his mount. Hood has left Decatur and gone toward Tuscumbia and the Shoals, not having made anything there. He is short of supplies.
I am, general, yours, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

Thomas Writes from Nashville:

Your two dispatches of yesterday received. One Division of Stanley’s troops have already left Chattanooga for Athens, and Tindall promises to have them all off by tomorrow. I have a dispatch from Croxton at 9 p.m. last night. He says nothing further of the crossing of the enemy at Florence, but that he learns from a source that he cannot doubt that Hood’s whole army reached Town Creek last night and would cross there. I have already directed him to oppose Hood with his whole available force, reporting direct to Stanley at Athens and to me here, via Pulaski. I Ordered Hatch lat night to reenforce Croxton at once.

Granger believes Hood has gone toward Tuscumbia, but he thinks he will be compelled to wait a day or two to get provisions, as his troops were almost mutinous at not having food when he was before Decatur. If he delays two days he will have no chance to get across. I think Schofield had better remain at Resaca for a day or two, or until we get further information. I have already directed Steedman to push forward all the recruits and drafted men belonging to the regiments with you. I have repeated my application to Commodore Pennock for gun-boats to go up the Tennessee. Have telegraphed to Rosecrans, at Saint Louis, to send A. J. Smith’s and Mower’s DIVISION to Eastport and the cavalry to Memphis. I doubt if Rosecrans will send them.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:
Dispatch of today received. I agree with Granger that Hood must delay for provisions. He cannot ford the Tennessee, and must pass his artillery by a pontoon bridge, which can only be laid in the reach about Florence, between Colbert and Muscle Shoals. Schofield is here and moves tomorrow for Resaca to report to you. Jeff. Davis will move to Kingston, and Howard to Martietta, via Van Wert and Dallas. I will keep all the horses, and will send Wilson, with all the dismounted cavalry, back to Tennessee, where he can make up a very heavy cavalry force, subject to your orders in case I depart for the south.

Hood must have seen Stanley moving to you, and has heard the result of affairs in Missouri and the Shenandoah, and will hesitate to put his army in Middle Tennessee at this season of the year, with the Tennessee River at his back; but I want you to keep me advised up to the last moment. It may take five days yet to get everything back, and during that time he may turn toward me, thinking I have divided my forces. General Rosecrans telegraphs me that he has ordered Generals Mower’s and Smith’s Divisions to Teneessee, and I have asked him to embark them at Booneville or Lexington, and send them in boats to the Tennessee River, reporting to you from Paducah.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Granger Reports from Decatur:

A very smart colored boy, whom I know, belonging to the Ninth Ohio Cavalry, and who was made prisoner during Major-General Rousseau’s expedition, and has been employed at General Hood’s headquarters during this whole expedition, came into camp this morning, having made his escape, gives the following as what he heard General Hood and General Beauregard say: He said they had determined upon an attack on Decatur, before leaving Palmetto, Ga., and were to pass from here into Middle Tennessee, where they designed to winter. If they failed to take Decatur they would go to Corinth, where they could best supply their army through the winter. They wanted the pontoon bridge and this place as a base of supplies. It is a remarkable fact, that with eight pieces of artillery within easy range of the bridge, and our men crossing it continually they never once fired on it. Hood, he says, was in favor of continuing the siege and assaulting the works, but Beauregard determined upon Friday that it was not practicable.

The enemy, I am almost satisfied, has made no effort to cross this side the mouth of Elk River, and as my couriers communicate with General Croxton at that point I do not think Hood has made any serious attempt at crossing below here up to this time. This boy positively asserts that he heard Hood say they had lost 1,000 in killed and wounded alone at this place. All the prisoners state that wherever our shells and sharpshooters could reach they suffered very heavy loss. I know that our artillery practice was excellent.

I have this very moment received a communication from Major Swallow, Tenth Cavalry, dated October 30, 1. 30 a. m., Brown’s Ferry. He says all quiet at this point; no indications of the enemy. He proceeds immediately to the mouth of Elk River and Lamb’s Ferry. He has 150 cavalry. We made a few prisoners this morning, stragglers, who were trying to get through to their commands. I have out strong scouting parties and hope to pick up some more.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864.
Major-General DANA, or COMMANDING OFFICER, Memphis, via Cairo:

General Howard is on the march, and I telegraph you that General Beauregard is moving his army across to the head of the Tennessee to get me out of Georgia. He won’t succeed in his object. Don’t be concerned on the river. He cannot make a lodgment on the Mississippi, for we have troops in Missouri and Tennessee that can easily reach the river, and Beauregard won’t make the mistake of Pemberton and Frank Gardner. He may annoy you, but you can annoy him far more. He cannot afford to attack forts or men intrenched, for ammunition is scarce with him, and all supplies, except corn, which he gets in the country. He will be dependent on the Mobile and Ohio road, which should be threatened in its whole length. My old route to Meridian is one way; another by Brownsville, Canton, Kosciuskio, and Macon; also from Natchez out through South Mississippi. Expeditions on each of these lines will force him to keep a large part of his cavalry busy. If he move up to Jackson, Tenn., Trenton, &c., let him go, and send word to him if he behaves himself he may stay there. When he finds that I have not left Georgia, but on the contrary quite the reverse, he will doubtless draw to Selma. He will most likely cross into Middle Tennessee somewhere about Florence, but General Thomas is ready for him. In case of danger my orders are that the forts proper must be held to the death. He has not taken one from me here and taken only two block-houses.

All Georgia and Alabama are now open to me, as well as the Carolinas. Give these ideas to all your river posts. Don’t attempt to hold the interior further than as threatening to his lines of supply. I will furnish General Howard a copy of this that he may understand.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Rosecrans Writes:

WARRENSBURG, MO., October 30, 1864.10 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Rome, Ga.:
Your telegram of 29th, 12 p. m. (midnight), received. The river is so low that General Smith can reach the Mississippi sooner by marching. He leaves in the morning. It will require ten days to reach the Mississippi, where boats and complete supplies will await him. Whatever is possible will be done to enable you to make a sure thing against Beauregard. I hope you will be able to give that army a thorough defeat.

I have Winslow’s cavalry from Washburn, and also Moore’s brigade, of Seventeenth Army Corps. Though they belong to you, I should be glad, with your consent, to retain them until the country is rid of Price’s disbanded rebels and the guerrillas, who will be doubtless murdering our people and doing much mischief for some weeks to come. If you assent, please telegraph me and direct General Washburn to send company papers and property, so Winslow’s men can be clad and sheltered. The men came to me so naked I was obliged to issue extra clothing, and in justice to them, if they have to pay for it, and to the Government, if they do not, their clothing should be sent them from Memphis.
W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.

Beckwith Colonel and Chief Commissary of Subsistence Writes from Atlanta ATLANTA:
Your dispatch is received. The cars passed over the entire road both ways yesterday for the first time. Everything depends upon the ability of the road. It cannot be now worked to its full capacity, for the sidings and switches, water-tanks, &c., are not yet finished, nor is the road ballasted. Trains have to move slow. There is much freight to come forward, and much material to go back, and no calculation can be made as to time. I do not think we have too many cattle; any how, they are easily disposed of at the last moment.
A. BECKWITH, Colonel and Chief Commissary of Subsistence

I reply
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Rome, Ga., October 30, 1864.
Colonel A. BECKWITH, Atlanta, Ga.:
Discriminate as to the things sent north and ordered to Atlanta, as I may have to move earlier than it is possible to complete the arrangements; also, Thomas may have to use much of the rolling- stock above Chattanooga. Order things back to Resaca, if no farther, as I will send Schofield there to cover that point as long as possible.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

I do not want an excess of supplies at Atlanta to delay my move into Georgia.

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