It has frequently occurred within the past month that requisitions upon General Ward for details for necessary duty at this post have been, returned with the indorsement that his troops were all on duty, and that the requisition could not be filled, thus showing that the force at present at the post is really not equal to the demands of the service. This force would necessarily, be reduced next week by the loss of the Thirteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, re-enlisted as veterans.
The One hundred and second Illinois, now guarding the railroad, would necessarily be required to be relieved, if the First Brigade of General Ward's division is moved to the front, by a regiment from this post, leaving outside of the forts but the Eighteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, which is really required for provost duty. I could not be responsible for the safely of this important depot with so limited a guard as would be left here after this brigade is taken away.
That the general may better understand the necessity of more troops at this post, I will give in detail the necessary guards daily mounted for the protection of the city and depots of supplies, necessarily scattered over the entire limits of the city:
Grand guard (picket)......................................360
Interior guard (over depots and magazines)................174
Provost guard and city standing guard.....................364
Extra permanent guard, i.e., guards over quartermasters' property, outside of picket-lines (mule depots, wood, &c)...........212
All these are exclusive of escorts, guards to prisoners, train guards, working parties, fatigue duty, and contingent demands.
All these guards and detachments' could scarcely be regarded as available for the defense of the city against a sudden assault, and when we reflect that the enemy must know how dependent the Army of the Cumberland is on this great depot, it is not hazarding much to state that the enemy would risk the loss of many men to destroy it, even though he had no hope of holding the position.
The forts which have been in process of construction for several years are not approaching completion, and in their present condition, with the exception of Fort Negley-which covers very little of the ground-will offer no protection to the city.
I have, sir, the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
R. S. GRANGER,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NASHVILLE,
Nashville, January 31, 1864.
Unless other troops are sent into district to take the place of General Ward's brigade, I do not see how it is to be relieved. There is not a post now occupied by troops which I could safely take any men. I deem the present small guard along the several railroads leading from this place to the boundary of my district inadequate, and would respectfully suggest that before General Ward's brigade is taken away from this post an equal number of troops be sent to relieve it.
LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU,