HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CORPS,
Lookout Valley, Tenn., February 12, 1864.
GENERAL: I would respectfully report that in compliance with your order, copy annexed, marked A, I visited Nashville.
Brigadier-General Ward estimated the troops about Nashville at 14,000 exclusive of his own command, viz:
Armed men in quartermaster's department, about..........4,200
General Granger's brigade, about........................3,000
About twenty batteries in all, refitting, &c., say......1,500
Third Kentucky Cavalry, about.......................... 700
Remounts of cavalry, about.............................3,000
He states that his letter to General Granger, spoken of in the correspondence, expressing inability to furnish details, was written about January 1, when there were no other troops than the convalescents about Nashville. He was all ready to come forward, fully equipped in every respect; his command was in a state of discomfort, now having turned in their tents, drawn shelter-tents, and made every preparation for a move.
General Granger stated that the effective for duty in his command (post returns) were only 1,785 enlisted men; that taking Ward's brigade would only leave him Eighteenth Michigan, One hundred and second Ohio, Thirteenth Wisconsin, and Seventy-third Indiana, the latter small, and entered into lengthy and minute details of the nature and extent of the guard duty required. The convalescents, as fast as able to do guard duty, were sent to the front. The cavalry remounts not under his orders; the batteries mostly refitting, &c.
General Rousseau stated that he had pretty nearly made arrangements by which he thought he could relieve Ward's brigade; was not certain; would see and write General Thomas; said he had every desire to send those troops to the front, but the difficulty was in replacing them.
My opinion in the premises us that the interests of the service would be best promoted by moving General Ward's brigade, if not his division, to the front. Their present condition near Nashville, with its temptation to soldiers, will not be improved. The command is represented in a very high state of discipline and perfection in drill. Their permanent camps are broken up, and they are not comfortably situated.
The number of troops necessary at Nashville for all duty at that post I should place at about 3,500. This could be effected by causing General Slocum, Twelfth Corps, to extend his lines to Murfreesborough, including that post, and sending Colonel Coburn's brigade to Nashville and vicinity.
I inclose herewith the correspondence referred to in the order annexed.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. 11TH AND 12TH CORPS, February 13, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded, with the request that General Ward's command may be ordered to its corps without delay, as there are and