to. Much of the additional transportation required can be got by reducing that in the hands of troops left in depots and on railroad duty. It will be impossible to subsist a large wagon train, and besides they will impede the progress of armies marching over the narrow and mountainous roads of the South.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, Tenn., February 9, 1864.
Your telegram in reference to transportation received. Colonel Easton's estimate was made on the supposition that this army might be filled up to the maximum strength, but shall need nearly all the horses estimated for, as the cavalry has been on constant duty all fall and winter and is now almost entirely broken down. The estimate for mules can be reduced by dispensing with the greater part of the transportation for troops at depots and guarding railroads.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
NASHVILLE, February 9, 1864.
Brigadier General ALVIN P. HOVEY,
The early winter we have had betokens an early spring. I am very desirous of being ready to take advantage of the first dry roads to commence a campaign. Before I can start, however, many of our veterans must return and the new levies brought into the field.
Now, general, my particular object in detailing you for the service you are now on was to have some one who knew the importance of reorganization and discipline with the new troops from their enlistment. In this way I expected to have troops ready for duty from the moment they report for duty. I wish you would urge upon Governor Morton the importance of this, and ask him for me to organize into companies and regiments all those who are to go into new regiments, and to detach those are destined to fill up old organizations, at once. We will have some sharp fighting in the spring, and if successful I believe the war will be ended within the year.
If the enemy gain temporary advantage the war will be protracted. I want 10,000 and more troops now badly. With such a number I could let my veterans go, and could drive Longstreet out of East Tennessee.
I wish you could prevail on the Governor to organize all the forces he has and send you here at once. I would keep the division together, and where by contact with old troops they would improve more in one day than in six where they are.
U. S. GRANT,