March 24, 1864.
Commanding Twenty-third Army Corps:
Let the veterans of Sixty-fifth Illinois have their furlough immediately. The men not enlisting will be assigned to other commands or to detached guard duty, &c., till the regiment returns, when they will rejoin it.
By command of Major-General Schofield:
J. D. COX,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
MOSSY CREEK, March 24, 1864.
I have the honor to suggest that you allow me to mobilize the Twenty-third Corps and put it in such a condition that as soon as grass comes we can move where and when we please and over any kind of country. I want no wagons or artillery, except a few mountain howitzers, and but 1,000 pack-mules for rations, baggage, and ammunition. Should this meet your views I will communicate more fully with you upon the subject, either verbally or in writing.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, March 24, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
My troops are very much scattered; I should like very much to have them concentrated. It is almost impossible for me to make returns of or find out what are the wants of the troops as things are now.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
NASHVILLE, March 24, 1864-noon.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS:
Your dispatch is received. General McPherson is now here, and we will go to-morrow to Decatur, to Huntsville, Larkinsville, &c. I will then come up to see you, and afterward General Schofield. For the present you may confine your attention to covering your own communications, and from Nashville as far as Columbia. General McPherson will cover from Columbia around to Stevenson. Unless the returning regiments are greatly needed to the front, I will order all troops coming forward to disembark at Nashville and march by easy marches. This will relieve our road, and also do the troops good. We will be pressed for wagons, and I wish you to arrange to strip all troops left to guard roads of their mules, horses, and wagons, to be used in our offensive operations until McPherson's troops arrive on the line of the Decatur road from the Tennessee River. I must move the cavalry division now at Huntsville and