Friday, November 11, 1864

KINGSTON, GEORGIA, November 11, 1864. Midnight.

Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff
My arrangements are now all complete, and the railroad cars are being sent to the rear. Last night we burned all foundries, mills, and shops of every kind in Rome. Tomorrow I leave Kingston with the rear guard for Atlanta, which I propose to dispose of in a similar manner, and to start on the 16th on the projected grand raid. All appearances still indicate that Beuregard has got back to his old hole at Corinth, and I hope he will enjoy it. My army prefers to enjoy the fresh sweet-potato fields of the Ocmulgee. I have balanced all the figures well, and am satisfied that General Thomas has in Tennessee a force sufficient for all probabilities. I have urged him the moment Beuregard turns south to cross the Tennessee at Decatur and push straight for Selma.

Tomorrow our wires will be broken, and this is probably my last dispatch. I would like to have General Foster to break the Savannah and Charleston road about Pocotaligo about December 1. All other preparations are to my entire satisfaction.
W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 11, 1864.
Captain O. M. POE, Atlanta, Ga.:
You may commence the work of destruction at once, but don’t use fire until toward the last moment.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 11, 1864.
General EASTON, Atlanta, Ga.:
I understand there are three trains coming down, but they did not leave Dalton till 6 p.m. It will delay us one day to await them and I do not want to lose this fine weather. Besides, the burning of the town of Rome gives the enemy the clue to my intentions. Cannot we get along with what we now have?
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

ATLANTA, GA., November 11, 1864.
Major-General SHERMAN:
With what the army now has in its provision wagons, what is between here and Kingston, and what I have here in store I think I can make out five day’s grain, commencing with tomorrow.

The Army of the Tennessee have obtained and have got in their wagons all they can haul and they want; same of Twentieth Army Corps. There is great plenty of salt, coffee, salt meat, pepper, and soap here. The Fourteenth Army Corps may want a little more bread, and, perhaps, a little more sugar. I have about 100,000 rations bread for Fourteenth Army Corps, 22,000 rations sugar. I do not know how much General Davis may have on hand, but presume he has 200,000 rations of bread. Everything is loaded in Atlanta save what is held for the Fourteenth Army Corps. There are least 1,200,000 rations of the principal rations in hands of troops and available.
L. C. EASTON, Chief Quartermaster.
A. BECKWITH, Colonel, &c.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 11, 1864.
General EASTON, Atlanta, Ga. ;
There are three trains here now, seemingly loaded with bread and forage. I have ordered them to go through to Atlanta, but they are the last to pass south from Kingston. I wish you to have them unloaded and started back at once, as General Davis’s rear Division should leave Kingston by 9 o’clock tomorrow morning at farthest. General Corse is here and Rome is abandoned. The enemy’s cavalry made its appearance on the south bank in some force at Rome, showing they are watching us and are aware we are moving. I do not think that Hood yet knows we are going south. Show this dispatch to Slocum and Beckwith, and give all notice that I move from here tomorrow about 9 a. m. with the rear guard and all must be ready to move from Atlanta in four days.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 11, 1864.

I. Major-General Thomas, commanding Department of the Cumberland, will organize into battalions all officers, recruits, and furloughed men now in the Department of the Cumberland, or who may arrive there, belonging to the Fourteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps, keeping them as far as possible distinct by corps and in reserve until further orders.

II. Brigadier General N. J. Jackson, U. S. Volunteers, having reported for duty, is hereby assigned to the Department of the Cumberland, and will report by telegraph to Major-General Thomas, commanding, and in person to Major-General Slocum, commanding Twentieth Corps, for immediate assignment to duty.

III. Brigadier General Thomas F. Meager, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby assigned to the Department of the Cumberland, and will report to Major General George H. Thomas for orders.

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

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 11, 1864.
Major-General HOWARD, Smyrna, Ga.:
Dispatches from General Thomas 5 p.m. yesterday, corroborated by dispatches from Croxton yesterday 1 a.m., place Hood’s army, one corps at Florence and the balance from Tuscumbia to Iuka. I have no doubt Jackson’s cavalry is watching us on this side and Iverson’s on the east side of the Chattachoochee. You will do well to watch them, but I have no fear of Hood’s infantry troubling you. Kentucky gives McClellan 11 votes, which is all he gets.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

SMYRNA CAMP, November 11, 1864.
Major-General SHERMAN:
No enemy is found at Dallas, but many citizens insist in saying that Hood’s army is in vicinity of Villa Rica, his own headquarters at that place. I discredit the report. Will have the country scoured to ascertain the truth. Three deserters report five regiments Georgia cavalry only at Villa Rica.
O. O. HOWARD, Major-General

MARIETTA, November 11, 1864.
Captain L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp:
Four deserters came in this morning; left Montgomery on 2d; came to Opelika on cars; left that place on 4th; passed Carrollton on 9th. Hood was at Corinth. All convalescent soldiers now being sent to that point. Some infantry and 1,500 cavalry at Opelika. Three brigades of cavalry at Carrollton, and five regiments at Villa Rica. Small force at West Point and Newman. Cars run to Newman. No information regarding Atlanta and Macon Railroad. Citizens from Carrollton, and other points in that direction, think we are retreating from Atlanta.
J. KILPATRICK, Brigadier-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 11, 1864
General DAVIS, Commanding Fourteenth Corps:
GENERAL: General Sherman wishes you to order your commissary of subsistence at Cartersville to unload the stores he has there at once, and let the railroad men have the cars. He also wants you to meet him at the telegraph office at 7 o’clock.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 11, 1864.
General J. C. DAVIS, Commanding Fourteenth Corps:
The report of Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteers, has been received. I am instructed by General Sherman to direct you to let the man Berry Houk return home, with written instructions that he must take good care of the wounded soldier now at his house, and when he has sufficiently recovered to deliver him at any U. S. military post, for which he shall receive pay for each day’s care at the of seventy-five cents in gold. The other men arrested you will send under good guard to Chattanooga, to be imprisoned and held as hostages for the return of the wounded soldier at Houk’s house, and 31 of our soldiers whom they admit having unlawfully captured and made prisoners. The man Hendricks is to be kept in confinement being a possibility of escape during the war. An extract of so much of these instructions as refers to Mr. Houk you will furnish him as a voucher, to be recognized by our officers when he returns the wounded man. You will also send a full copy with the guard, to be given to the commanding officer at Chattanooga when the squad delivers the prisoners. I would further state that the wounded soldier of our guard brought in by Houk is now in Chattanooga hospital, sent there in care of Surgeon Wright, who had charge of the hospital at Kingston. From this man evidence might be had which would implicate some of these prisoners to a greater degree than the citizen hostages.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

Thomas sends information about Hood:

Following from General Granger received today. It confirms previously reported position of the enemy:

DECATUR, November 11, 1864-10 a. m.
Two men from the Tenth Tennessee, made prisoners at Florence, escaped Saturday night from the enemy. They confirm the reports of the two corps having crossed-one corps still on the south bank. They assert that the enemy is still very badly off for clothing, many being barefooted; but they are expecting clothing by train. They say the railroad is not completed to Tuscumbia, but only to Cherokee, fifteen miles from there. They have a train of wagons from Cherokee, and one pontoon bridge at the foot of the island, about the old railroad bridge. They say the enemy are fortifying. Talk in their camps is that they are going to advance on Nashville.
GRANGER, Brigadier-General

Stanley, from Pulaski, reports nothing new today. Water still very high. It is hoped the rise would carry off the enemy’s bridge, as it is treated at both ends, with pontoons in the middle. Deserters say the Georgia troops are disgusted, and are deserting.

Received dispatch from General Washburn today, dated Memphis, 8th. He says that reports from Corinth on the 4th show that but few troops were there then; that cavalry had brought up a lot of conscripts and absentees for Hood’s army, and went toward Tuscumbia. Also reports the enemy repairing the road from Cherokee to Tuscumbia. About the 29th ultimo, 4,000 rebel soldiers came down Blue Mountain railroad to Selma, and were sent to Hood, by the way of Meridian and Corinth; also ten car-loads of ammunition from Selma. The impression is Beauregard intends to make Corinth his base, and supplies are being sent up constantly on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. He was to send out cavalry reconnaissance 9th, but says his force is not strong enough to threaten Mobile and Ohio Railroad much.

Have not heard from A. J. Smith’s troops since last report, but am daily expecting him here. No reports from Hatch or Corxton today. Admiral Lee informs me he is pushing to put one ironclad on the Tennessee, one on the Cumberland, with a third convenient to be placed on either, according to the necessity of the case.

KINGSTON, November 11, 1864. 12 midnight.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS:
Dispatch of tonight received. All right. I can hardly believe that Beauregard would attempt to work against Nashville from Corinth as a base at this stage of the war, but all information seems to point that way. If he does you will whip him out of his boots, but I rather think you will find commotion in his camp in a day or two. Last night we burned Rome, and in two or more days will burn Atlanta, and he must discover that I am not retreating, but on the contrary fighting for the very heart of Georgia.

About a Division of cavalry made its appearance this morning south of the Coosa, opposite Rome, and fired on the rear guard as it withdrew. Also, two days ago some of Iverson’s cavalry, about 800, approached Atlanta from the direction of Decatur with a section of guns, and swept around toward While Hall, and disappeared in the direction of Rough and Ready. These also seem to indicate that Beauregard expects me to retreat. I hear of about 1,500 infantry down at Carrollton, and also some infantry at Jonesborough, but what number I cannot estimate. Those are all the enemy I know to be in this neighborhood, though a rumor is that Breckinridge has arrived with some from Western Virginia.

Tomorrow I begin the movement laid down in my Special Field Orders, Numbers 115, and shall keep things moving thereafter. By tomorrow morning all trains will be at or north of Kingston, and you can have the exclusive use of all the rolling-stock. By using detachments of recruits and dismounted cavalry in your fortifications you will have Generals Schofield and Stanley and General A. J. Smith, strengthened by eight or ten new regiments and all of Wilson’s cavalry. You could safety invite Beauregard across the Tennessee River and prevent his ever returning. I still believe, however, that public clamor will force him to turn and follow me, in which event you should cross at Decatur and move directly toward Selma as far as you can transport supplies.

The probabilities are that the wires will be broken tomorrow and that all communication will cease between us, but I have directed the main wire to be left, and will use if if possible. I wish you to do the same. You may act, however, on the certainly that I sally from Atlanta on the 16th instant with about 60,000, well provisioned, but expecting to live chiefly on the country.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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