HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, March 19, 1864.
General J. B. McPHERSON,
MY DEAR GENERAL: It gives me great pleasure to send you your commission as brigadier-general in the Regular Army. It Has been well earned and is well merited. You have my congratulations and my best wished that your future career may be as brilliant as the past.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Knoxville,, Tenn., March 20, 1864 (Received 24th.)
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 18th, giving an outline of the plan of future operations so far as it concerns my command.
I will have, so far as it depends upon me, all preparations made to fulfill the part of the plan assigned me. Indeed, to carry out the first part of it, all I now want is the necessary force. The withdrawal of the Ninth Corps has crippled me very and renders it impossible for me to do anything until I get more force. I t appears to me that time is very important in the plan adopted, fort I have a good deal of work to do before I can be ready to join the main army, and it can be done now more easily and with less force than would probably be required a month or more hence. besides, if Longstreet can be driven out of Tennessee soon the raid into Kentucky, for which he now seems to be preparing, will be prevented. I now have the Twenty-third Corps and two division of the Fourth. One of the latter is guarding the railroad from this place to the Hiwassee. I am informed six new regiments are ready to come here and are only waiting for transportation, but have not learned where they are nor when I man except them. When they arrive my force in the field will be about equal to the of the enemy. I ought to have the other division of the Fourth Corps or an equal force to make success certain and speedy. Longstreet can readily be re-enforced from Virginia unless the Army of the Potomac prevents it. If he receives no re-enforcements I may be strong enough without the other division of the Fourth Corps. My lack of cavalry and inability to support more makes it the more necessary for me to be superior to the enemy in infantry.
My main cavalry force is being remounted and equipped at Mount Sterling, Ky., and will be available for service as soon as it can be used to advantage. I have no infantry force in Kentucky which can be made available for the movement from Northeast Kentucky. General Grant informed me some time since that he expected 10,000 men soon, which he proposed to add to my command. A part of that force might be used for the purpose named if I receive sufficient re-enforcements here from other sources. I have some difficulty in selecting a suitable officer for that command. If my suggesting rela-