War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0271 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Nashville, Tenn., April 6, 1864.

General J. P. TAYLOR,

Commissary-General, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I ought to have near me an officer of your department clothed with power co-extensive with my own, who could converse with me freely, leaner my plans, the strength of my various columns, routes of march, nature of supplies, and everything, and who could direct the harmonious working of the whole machine. Now I have to deal with four distinct commissaries, with no common recognized head. Colonel Kilburn would be perfectly satisfactory to me, or indeed any officer of experience you may name.

I as the detail of such an officer to be made and to emanate from the highest authority, that his acts would be final.




Nashville, April 6, 1864.

Major General GEO. H. THOMAS,

Commanding Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga:

GENERAL: I have heretofore advised you be telegraph that the changes in the organization of your command that we concurred in have been made by the sanction of the Commander-in-Chief, and also that we retain control over our furloughed veterans.

I have ordered, through the State authorities, all absentees to come forward at once, or at furthest at he expiration of their furloughs. I have also sent forward to General Schofield a division of 5,000 infantry (Hovey's), which once at or near Hiwassee will enable you to draw below that river all of the Fourth Corps heretofore detached. These changes simply give you the absolute control of the Army of the cumberland proper, in a shape that will enable you to handle and control it perfectly.

If you want General Palmer's place to be filled by any officer in my command you have only to ask it and I think you should have no delicacy, as the general himself must feel that the importance of the occasion demands that you should be entirely satisfied with the ability and experience of yours corps commanders.

As to posting the three great corps of which you have the command, I would only say that Chattanooga is you center, Cleveland your left, and Stevenson your right. As a matter of course you should cover your own communications, which I construe to extend back to Nashville and forward to Columbia. At Columbia I want Garrard' division to be composed of as near 4,000 cavalry as you can make it, of the best kind, to move, as it were, on our right flank, and at a certain moment to move against a point that I will probably direct in person. This division will still compose a part of your cavalry command, make all its reports to you, and in due season return to you. In the mean time I may give General Garrard some private and public instructions, of which you shall be duly advised.

Please give all the orders necessary to assemble that division at and in front of Columbia, and you may direct General Garrard, with detachments of his dismounted men, to guard the block-houses at Columbia and along down as far as Lynnville, and to draw oats and