NASHVILLE, February 11, 1864.
Major General J. M. SCHOFIELD, Knoxville, Tenn.:
I deem it of the utmost importance to drive Longstreet out immediately, so as to furlough the balance of our veterans, and to prepare for a spring campaign of our own choosing, instead of permitting the enemy to dictate it for us. Thomas is ordered to start 10,000 men, besides the remainder of Granger's corps, at once. He will take no artillery, but will take his artillery horses, and 3, mules to 100 men. He will probably start next Monday.
U. S. GRANT,
KNOXVILLE, February 11, 1864-10 a.m.
Major-General Foster informed me that a raid upon Longstreet's rear had been projected through North Carolina, but its execution was suspended until my arrival. To make that raid now would use up all the effective cavalry horses and leave me destitute of cavalry, and I think it would be better to organize the cavalry I now have in Kentucky, and send it through Pound Gap upon Longstreet's rear. If at the same time one could be made up in the Kanawha Valley, and my force here be ready to move at the same time, we might hope for a complete success.
Please inform me what you think should be and can be done.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
KNOXVILLE, February 11, 1864-12.30 p.m.
Major-General THOMAS, Chattanooga:
The two cavalry divisions in front are in tolerably good condition. They will be able to get forage north of the Little Tennessee for about two weeks. I think there must be some forage between the Little Tennessee and Hiwassee. The cavalry is not in condition to make any extensive movement without being entirely used up. I do not think it advisable to attempt one for the present. Sturgis has gone to Kentucky with one division to remount it.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Knoxville, February 11, 1864.
Colonel E. M. McCOOK,
Commanding Cavalry Forces:
COLONEL: The commanding general directs that the preparations for the proposed expedition toward Virginia, under Colonel La Grange, shall be continued, but that no movement shall be made until further instructions be sent. Meanwhile, the commanding general will communicate with General Grant.
General Foster left here on the 9th instant. General Schofield is now in command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWARD E. POTTER,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.