in preventing the enemy from drawing supplies from Mississippi and in clearing that section of all large bodies of rebel troops. I do not look upon any points except Mobile, in the south, and the Tennessee, in the north, as presenting practicable starting-points from which to operate against Atlanta and Montgomery. They are objectionable as starting-points to be all under one command, from the fact that the time it will take to communicate from one to the other will be so great; but Sherman or McPherson, one of whom would be intrusted with the distant command, are officers of such experience and reliability that all objection on this score, except that of enabling thaw two armies to act as a until, would be removed. The same objection will exist-probably not to so great an extent, however-if a movement is made than one column. This will have to be with an army of the size we will be compelled to use. Heretofore I have abstained from suggesting what might be done in other commanded than my own in co-operation with it, or even to think much over the matter; but as you have kindly asked me in your letter of January 8, only just received, for an interchange of views on our present situation, I will write you again in a day or two, going outside of my own operations.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
KNOXVILLE, January 15, 1864.
Major General U. S. GRANT:
The Strawberry Plains bridge is completed; also the pontoon bridge at this place, so that it will stand, I think. I am about commencing the brigade at this place on the piers of the railroad bridge. A regiment is ordered to London to work on the railroad bridge at that place. No supplies have arrived for a week by river. The bread rations are entirely exhausted. I am forced to abandon all idea of active operations for the present, and to place the army where i can live by foraging. The Fourth Corps are now moving for Dandridge, and the Twenty-third Corps of Mossy Creek. General Sturgis, with all the cavalry, is in front of Dandridge, near Kimbrough's Cross-Roads. I propose to hold all the country and the forage in it on the south and east of French Broad, as Longstreet has exhausted all the supplies in his vicinity, and is now forced to send across the river for forage and grain. I pursue some portions of our forces will be in almost constant collision if we succeed in holding, as I expect Longstreet cannot long remain where he is. He is now building a pontoon brigade across the Nola Chucky,
J. G. FORSER,
NASHVILLE, January 15, 1864.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Suspend your order for the movements of twelve-month's Kentucky men until I can see Governor Bramlette, which will be within