NASHVILLE, February 12, 1864.
Conversation with Major-General Foster has undecided me as to the propriety of the contemplated move against Longstreet. Schofield telegraphs the same views. I will take the matter into consideration the day, after further talk with Foster, and give you the conclusion arrived at. If decided that you do not go I will instruct Schofield to let Granger send off his veterans at once.
Should you not be required to go into East Tennessee, could you not make a formidable reconnaissance toward Dalton, and, if successful in driving the enemy out, occupy that place and complete the railroad up to it this winter?
KNOXVILLE, February 12, 1864-1.30 p.m.
Major-General THOMAS, Chattanooga:
It is not practicable to move this army with artillery and wagon transportation before spring, and then the railroad will have to be relied on chiefly. The infantry might be supplied by a train of packmules from this place if forage for the mules can be brought here by rail until the railroad can be opened to any new position we may obtain.
With 10,000 additional infantry I believe would be strong enough without artillery to drive Longstreet out of East Tennessee. I can have the pack train here by the 1st of March. If you can give me 10,000 infantry, and supply me here with provisions and forage, I am willing to undertake the rest.
Mu opinion is, however, that it would be wiser to wait until spring, but am willing to leave by the 1st of March, if time is deemed of sufficient importance.
I have telegraphed substantially the above to Major-General Grant.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
CHATTANOOGA, February 12, 1864.
Major General U. S. GRANT:
I think an advance on Dalton would be successful, if you will let me have the division of Logan during the movement.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
NASHVILLE, February 12, 1864-3.20 p.m.
Logan's troops started yesterday morning. If I decide not to make the move at present into East Tennessee, I will send them back, unless you require them to aid in advance on Dalton. (See my telegram of this morning.*)
* See p.373.