Twentieth Corps into four divisions, assigning one to Rousseau, who will be called the commander of the District of Tennessee; his duties, the defense of my communications from here to Nashville and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to the Kentucky line, and to preserve order in that portion of Tennessee appropriately belonging to my department. The other three divisions to be organized for the field as soon as possible. The only difficulty I see in the way is, that General Hooker is not desirous of having either Schurz or Williams as division commanders. He wishes to give one division to Butterfield, one to Geary, and expresses a willingness to keep Ward as the other. Geary is an excellent officer, but is low in rank; therefore to retain him in command of a division would necessitate the relieving of Schurz entirely from duty with that corps, and as General Howard is happy to get rid of him I will recommend that he be relieved from duty with this army. I do not think he is worth much from what I have seen of him, and should not regret to have him go. Howard would like to get Newton to command Sheridan's old division. I have said nothing to Palmer, but I do not think he would object to take a division under Buell, and if Buell comes and would be willing to do duty under me I would be very glad to give him the Fourteenth Corps. The three divisions of the Fourteenth Corps are commanded by Davis, Johnson, and Baird, all brigadiers. If you cold give Johnson a command in Kentucky, at Louisville, for instance, I think he would be satisfied and Palmer would take his division. Should Buell not come or be willing to take that command, I prefer to have Palmer remain. I have already given orders to General Garrard to concentrate his command at Columbia, and will telegraph him to-night to report to you by letter. I expect he has reached Columbia already with a portion of his command. His brigade commanders are Wilder, Minty, and Long-all three active and intelligent. Wilder is in Indiana with his regiment, but it is time for him to come back. Please telegraph to Governor Morton about his return. I am using every exertion to get ready, but our animals are coming to the front very slow. I send you some rebel papers of the latest date. Johnston does not seem inclined to attack.
GEO. H. THOMAS.
CHATTANOOGA, April 8, 1864-12 midnight.
Does General Butterfield return to this department? If he does I can give him a division in General Hooker's corps. If you have sufficient major-generals to dispense with Schurz, I would recommend he be relieved from duty with this army. He is night agreeable to General Hooker nor General Howard. If Buell is willing to take the Fourteenth Corps, I do not think General Palmer will object to taking a division under him. General Howard would like to get Newton if he is willing to serve under him. I will then have in the Fourth Corps, Stanley, Newton, and Wood as division commanders; in the Fourteenth Corps (should Buell take it), Generals Palmer, Davis, and Johnson, or Baird, as division commanders; in