War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0187 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

ON STEAM-BOAT METROPOLITAN,

Clifton, Tenn., March 29, 1864 - 4 a. m.

Brigadier-General DODGE,

Athens, Ala.:

I reached here at 3 a. m. No news of Forrest since I left Paducah. Shall go to Savannah, thence to Purdy, as ordered by dispatch from General Sherman.

JAMES C. VEATCH,

Brigadier-General.

NASHVILLE, March 29, 1864.

COMMANDING OFFICERS,

Columbia, Pulaski, and Athens:

It is reported that Forrest has crossed the Tennessee River.

To be prepared for him in case this be true, the general directs that the veterans marching down the road toward the south be notified, in case Forrest attempts to turn east, south of the Cumberland, to mass in groups of about 2,000 men each and try and ambush him. Impress on all that they must not act on the defensive, but must destroy every man of Forrest's command that has crossed the Tennessee. Thee stockades and railroad defenses must be defended if only 50 men have to fight 1,000, for Forrest will not have time to stay long in any one place. Answer what your latest information may be, and keep scouts well out toward the river.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:

R. M. SAWYER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

NASHVILLE, March 29, 1864.

Major General L. H. ROUSSEAU,

Commanding District of Nashville:

GENERAL: The following is just received:

CHATTANOOGA, March 28, 1864.

Major R. M. SAWYER,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

If Forrest be at Eddyville he should be caught. Order all thee cavalry near Nashville to be ready to pursue him as soon as his route is understood. Of course he cannot take Fort Donelson, and must turn out by the way of Columbia or cross into Kentucky. Order Rousseau to keep on hand any infantry that may be at Nashville, ready to throw by rail toward a threatened point, but with all the cavalry he can obtain to cause the most energetic pursuit to be made;e not a man should escape. I trust that Veatch is on the track. The probability is that Forrest has divided his command. Veatch should attend to that west of the Tennessee. The veterans marching down the road toward the south be notified in case Forrest attempts to turn east, south of the Cumberland, to mass in groups of about 2,000 men each and try to ambush him; but if Forrest tries to cross through Kentucky, Burbridge or Hobson should collect all the returning veterans and such other troops as he can find and try and cut him off, according to the route he may attempt. Impress on all that they must not act on the defensive, but must pursue and do all that is possible to kill, capture, and destroy every man of Forrest's command that has crossed the Tennessee. The stockades and railroad defenses must be defended if only 50 men have to fight 1,000, for Forrest will not have time to stay long in a place.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.