places. To defend them properly we want a general there with experience and militry education. My own opinion of General Hurlbut has been favorable, but I do not de him equal to the command of the Department of the South, with its diminished forces. General Hatch is hardly the man for the place, but probably he is the best that can now be spared from the field.
I would like very much to see Buell restored to a command and have several times proposed him to the War Department, but there has been such a pressure against him from the West that I do not think the Secretary will give him any at present.
I think General Hunter would not accept any command under McPherson, or if he did trouble would follow. He is even worse than McClernand in creating difficulties. If you had him in the field under your immediate command perhaps things would go smoothly. Before acting on General Hunter's case, it would be well for you to see his correspondence while in command of a department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Nashville, Tenn., April 11, 1864.
General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Commanding Dept. of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: Since my interview with you I have a letter from Grant, full, clear, and explicit, which I well understand but cannot now impart, but will in due time. The arrangements we began and the organizations are in exact accordance with the part assigned us, only the general fixes the time a little earlier than I did; yet I will risk my judgment that the time I named to you will be as soon as others will be ready. Get your three corps well in hand, and the means of transportation as ready as possible.
When we move we will take no tents or baggage, but one change of clothing on our horses, or to be carried by the men and on pack-animals by company officers; five days' bacon, twenty days' bread, and thirty days' salt, sugar, and coffee; nothing else but arms and ammunition, in quantity proportioned to our ability. Even this will be a heavy incumbrance, but is rather the limit of our aim than what we can really accomplish.
Draw your forces down from the direction of Knoxville so as not to attract attention. I read the reports of your scouts with interest. I usually prefer to make my estimate of the enemy from general reasoning than from the words of spies or deserters.
We will go prepared for the maximum force possible of the enemy. We must not be led aside by any raids. We sill be much aided by a diversion in a different quarter, of which I prefer not to write but may communicate by the first confidential opportunity.
Look well to our supply of beef-cattle on the hoof, and salt in large excess of the rations. Encourage drills by brigades and divisions, and let the recruits practice at the target all the time.
Newton is still detained by sore eyes. Keep a division for him, but in all else make up your organization to suit yourself and corps commanders. R. S. Granger wants a leave. Do you object? I suppose Rousseau could do district and post duty both.
W. T. SHERMAN,