HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CORPS,
Lookout Valley, Tenn., February 14, 1864.
Major-General HOOKER, Commanding Eleventh and Twelfth Corps:
GENERAL: With regard to the inquiries contained in the letter of the major-general commanding the department, of date February 13, 1864, I would respectfully state that, in my opinion, considering the present position of the troops on the line of the Tennessee River from knoxville, to Decatur, the following forces on the line from Nashville to Bridgeport would be sufficient, viz:
At Nashville, for all duties, 3,000.
At each of the following-named points one regiment of infantry, viz: Murfreesborough, one regiment; Estill Springs, Elk River, or Tullahoma, in the discretion of the commanding officer, one regiment; Stevenson, one regiment; Bridgeport, one regiment.
At each of the following-named points, or in their vicinity, for the bridges near them, as follows: Duck River, both forks, three companies; Wartrace, one company; Decherd, Tunnel, Cowan, and Tantalon, five companies; Anderson, one company; in all, one regiment.
For each mile of road in addition to the forces above mentioned 4 men per mile for patrol duty; for the whole distance, 123 miles, say 500, to be distributed properly; for the duty.
One regiment of cavalry for the use of the commanding officer, intrusted with the whole line from Nashville to Bridgeport, to be stationed by companies and squadrons at such points as may from time to time be most desired for scouts, patrols, vedettes, &c. This would give the whole force, exclusive of Nashville, at six regiments of infantry, of the average number of 450 men each, and one regiment of cavalry, leaving the artillery, two batteries for a division, to be posted by sections, in the discretion of the commanding officer of the division; probably as follows: One section at Elk River; one section at Duck River; one section at Decherd; one or two sections at Stevenson; the balance as may be further directed, or in the discretion of the division commander.
There are at Tullahoma four siege guns, and at Duck River two guns, not properly belonging to the field artillery of the division.
With regard to the forces in the district of General Rousseau, I have no knowledge, either from reports of his command and its stations, or from personal examinations, as General Rouseeau has not yet reported to the Twelfth Corps. I should judge that a distribution of forces in the same proportion on the line from Nashville, via Columbia, to Decatur, would serve all present purposes.
The First Division of the Twelfth Corps would, by its present returns, furnish an excess of nearly 1,000 men over the railroad number Nashville and Bridgeport, exclusive of Nashville and the forces required south of the river at Bridgeport. The 1,000 men in excess, added to General Granger's post return of 1,785 men, would very nearly supply the required force at that point. The increased numbers of the returning regiments of veteran volunteers will in all probability so strengthen the various divisions that one division will eventually be able to perform the duties and accomplish the purposes indicated in the letter of the major-general commanding.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.