War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0038 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLIII.

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, November 20, 1863.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,

Commanding Department and Army of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: On reflection, I think it would be better to let Howard start as soon as possible, making his march and crossing of the river by daylight. Our forces will be seen by the enemy coming out of Lookout Valley, and seeing this force cross into Chattanooga will have a tendency to conceal from them Sherman's movement. If it is not practicable to make this change now without interfering too much with uses it was previously intended to put the bridge to I do not insist on the change being made.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, November 20, 1863.

Major-General GRANT,

Comdg. Division of the Mississippi, Chattanooga, Tennessee:

GENERAL: Your letter of this morning, suggesting that General Howard pass across the river in daylight, was handed to me at Fort Wood, and I have taken the earliest opportunity to reply, after returning to my quarters. I did not give the order to General Howard, because, by an arrangement with General Smith, chief engineer, he is to have the exclusive use of the bridge all afternoon, to enable him to pass across the river the balks and chesses for the pontoon bridge to be thrown across the river above.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, November 20, 1863.

Major-General THOMAS,

Commanding Department of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: A note just received from General Sherman, giving present position of his forces, shows an entire impossibility for him to get all his troops up and over Brown's Ferry before to-morrow night. His attack cannot be made, therefore, before Sunday morning (22d), if then. I have written to him to use all dispatch to be ready by that time. You can make your own judgment about bringing Howard across to-night, as previously directed. The only advantage in it will be in getting continuous use out of the bridges.

Very respectfully,

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.