only object is to have a clear understanding of what is to be done. Another object for wishing to see you was to have an understanding about the travel on the railroad. By my arrangements only such persons traveled by rail as seemed to have legitimate business here, and they were required to leave as soon as their business was finished, and all refugees and deserters were sent to the rear without any trouble. All persons who got permission to travel had to pay their fare, unless traveled under orders from proper authority (military division or some department headquarters). Now persons come on every train, permitted by papers signed by your provost-marshal-general and indorsed by Captain Crane, the transportation quartermaster for railroad at Nashville. My military conductors have orders to see that no one gets on the cars unless he has proper authority. The railroad conductors were required to collect tickets from passengers, and if the passenger had no ticket to collect the regular fare and report daily. The military conductors took up the passes and reported daily to my provost-marshal-general, thus acting as a check on the railroad conductors to prevent them from extorting money from passengers, or permitting improper persons from traveling; for the railroad superintendent, by comparing the checks taken up by his conductors with the papers taken by the military conductors each day, could easily discover if anything improper was done by his conductors. I frequently find also that persons who have been refused permission to come here by me, go to your provost-marshal-general, get papers, and come down in defiance of my authority. I think after reading my telegrams with this explanation you will understand my idea about the travel on the railroad, which I really believe the best for the interests of the service.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Blue Springs, April 23, 1864.
Scout toward Red Clay returned. Went 1 mile below there; found no enemy. Everything quiet there at 3 this a.m.
D. S. STANLEY,
CLEVELAND, April 23, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
General Stanley reports that his scouts have returned. They went as far as Claus' Chapel, 5 1/2 miles from King's Bridge. No rebels have crossed. Saw no signs of movement. Went on to Spring Place road and no movement there. He cannot account for the rockets.
O. O. HOWARD,