War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0122 Chapter XLIV. KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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CHATTANOOGA, March 23, 1864.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Two days before General Grant left Nashville he telegraphed me to send my surplus troops on Nashville and Decatur Railroad to relieve General Dodge's troops between Columbia and Decatur. Your letter of March 18 informs me that each department commanded would be allowed to cover his own communications and organize all his effective force into a fighting column, from which I inferred that you did not expect me to relieve General Dodge on the Nashville and Decature Railroad. Please let me know if I am to send troops to relieve Dodge.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

CHATTANOOGA, March 23, 1864.

(Received 24th.)

Major General P. H. SHERIDAN,

(Through Major General G. Granger):

Lieutenant-General Grant directs that you immediately repair to Washington and report to the Adjutant-General of the Army.

WM. D. WHIPPLE,

Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.

HUNTSVILLE, March 23, 1864.

Brigadier General W. D. WHIPPLE,

Chief of Staff:

Your telegram received. I have two regiments, one at Mooresville, 24 miles from here, and one at Triana, 15 miles from here. There is also a detachment of about 300 men at Mooresville. This is all the force I have-about 1,700 men. With this force I picket and patrol the river about 30 miles and guard some of the railroad. General Dodge is across the river at Decatur. He is throwing up entrenchments, and I am informed he has some 15,000 men under his command, and of this, a large force is at Decatur. Should any force cross the river my orders require that the troops at Mooresville pursue them.

K. GARRARD,

Brigadier-General.

ATHENS, March 23, 1864.

Brigadier-General GARRARD,

Commanding:

I think we will be able to keep Forrest from crossing in force. Will keep you posted. His movement to Tuscumbia and Eastport may be feint to cover raid in West Tennessee.

G. M. DODGE,

Brigadier-General.