HOUSE OR REPRESENTATIVES.
I know Colonel Dibrell and know him to be strictly reliable.
J. S. CHRISMAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMSTRONG'S CAVALRY DIVISION,
Near Sevierville, East Tenn., February 5, 1864.
Honorable E. L. GARDENHIRE:
DEAR SIR: As I feel a very deep interest for the success of your cause and for the redemption of our homes from the enemy I feel that I am but doing my duty to make such suggestions as in my humble opinion will best attain that end, and believing that General Longstreet's is the only army which can successfully flank the army at Chattanooga, and that it ought by all means to do so, I drew up a plan and submitted it to General Longstreet, through General Bushrod Johnson, who fully coincides with me and adopts my plan and routes, which I will give to you, and as you are well acquainted with the routes you can understand and explain them to the Department at Richmond, and be of very great serving in getting up the movement.
I propose that General Longstreet concentrate his whole force at Blain's Cross-Roads, with ten days' rations, make a feint on Knoxville, but move his entire force on the Hembree road, crossing Clinch River at Lee's Ferry, leaving Clinton to the right, to Wartrburg; thence the Hembree road to Brady's. or through the Sinking Cane, via Jack Officer's, White Plains, Trousdale's Ferry, and Lebanon, to Nashville, sending his cavalry advance to tear up the railroad between Decherd and Nashville, to prevent General Thomas throwing his force back too fast. Mean time, let Generals Roddey, Wheeler, and others cross the Tennessee River below, and strike the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad from Pulaski to Farnklin, and destroy that. By taking this route the enemy will not know until General Longstreet shall have reached Trousdale's Ferry, within 47 miles of Nashville, what point he will strike, and he can easily take Nashville, with all her vast stores, before a sufficient force could be sent to resist him. Mean time, if General Thomas falls back upon him, let General Johnston move rapidly on Thomas, and Longstreet, with the advantages of the fortifications of Nashville, could easily defend the place. He would be abundantly able to whip any force they might so concentrate in his rear, and if necessary fall back between the Cumberland and Caney Fork Rivers, each of which would be a strong protection to his flanks.
As to supplies, he would have all the country between Waitsborough, Ky., and the Caney Fork, some six counties, which was been foraged upon by little by the enemy, and is famous for hogs, cattle, and corn, and I think the citizens would turn out the last ear of corn and pound of meat, and thousands of Tennesseans now at home would ally to arms and assist in driving the foul invaders from our soil. The distance from Blain's Cross-Roads to Lee's Ferry is about 25 miles; Lee's Ferry to Wartburg, about 25 miles; Wartburg to Cookville, 55 miles; Cookville to Trousdale's Ferry, about 30 miles; Trosdale's Ferry to Lebanon, 18 miles, and Nashville, 29; total from Blain's Cross-Roads to Nashville about 185 miles. Forage to Wartburg is very scarce, but enough could be taken to do us there. The