General Thomas. On the whole, I do not feel sure but that you ought to remain at Chattanooga till we see the developments and organize the rear.
Very truly, yours,
J. A. GARFIELD,
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D. C., September 21, 1863.
I think it very important for General Rosecrans to hold his position at or about Chattanooga, because if held from that place to Cleveland, both inclusive, it keeps all Tennessee clear of the enemy, and also breaks one of his most important railroad lines. To prevent these consequences is so vital to his cause that he cannot give up the effort to dislodge us from the position, thus bringing him to us, and saving us the labor, expense, and hazard of going farther to find him and also giving us the advantage of choosing our own ground and preparing it to fight him upon. The details must, of course, be left to General Rosecrans, while we must furnish him the means to the utmost of our ability. If you concur, I think he should better be informed that we are not pushing him beyond this position, and that, in fact, our judgment is rather against his going beyond it. If he can only maintain this position without more, the rebellion can only eke out a short and feeble existence, as an animal sometimes may with a thorn in its vitals.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, September 21, 1863.
It is respectfully submitted that the within instructions, given ten days ago, conform to those suggested in the President's letter of this morning.
H. W. HALLECK,
[Inclosure No. 1.]
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C. September 11, 1863-1.35 p.m.
General Burnside telegraphs from Cumberland Gap that he holds all East Tennessee above Loudon, and also the gaps of the North Carolina mountains. A cavalry force is moving toward Athens to connect with you. After holding the mountain passes on the west, and Dalton, or some other point on the railroad, to prevent the return of Bragg's army, it will be decided whether your army shall move farther south into Georgia and Alabama. It is reported here by deserters that a part of Bragg's army is re-enforcing Lee. It is important that the truth of this should be ascertained as early as possible.
H. W. HALLECK,