plete running order in six weeks from the time they commence. General Baird is now at Ringgold, and the whole of the road in his rear is protected, so this party can commence work immediately. The road from Cleveland to Dalton can be finished in a week, provided we can get the necessary rails.
NASHVILLE, February 28, 1864.
General Schofield was notified as soon as it was reported that Longstreet was leaving East Tennessee, to return Granger's corps the moment it was known to be safe to do so. With the limited command now left to Schofield, you will, with Granger returned, have to hold to Loudon. Send Logan's troops back at the earliest moment you can dispense with them. Notify me when they start.
U. S. GRANT,
NASHVILLE, February 28, 1864
Between this time and the commencement of an active spring campaign it will be necessary to get new guards for the road from Columbia to Stevenson via Decatur, so as to relieve Sherman's force for the field. Guarding that line protects the other to a great extent, and will of course enable you to remove many of your present railroad guards.
Make an estimate as soon as you can of the force that can be got in the way here suggested, and what new force in addition will be required to enable you to keep your present organization in the field.
U. S. GRANT,
CHATTANOOGA, February 28, 1864-8.45 p.m.
Major General GORDON GRANGER,
As soon as the services of your command can be dispensed with by General Schofield concentrate it in the vicinity of Cleveland, placing a sufficient number of troops on the Hiwassee to prevent the enemy from crossing that stream to raid on the railroad between Calhoun and Loudon. I wish the whole of McCook's division of cavalry to be concentrated as near Cleveland as possible, that he may be foraged easily, and that I have his full services in observing our front in the direction of Dalton. I wish these dispositions to be made as soon as you are notified that your services in East Tennessee can be dispensed with. When so informed make your headquarters at Cleveland, posting your infantry and artillery between that place and Dalton, so as to effectually guard the depot of supplies at Cleveland. Inform me as soon as you are relieved.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.