gan, and One hundred and second Ohio, aggregate for duty, 1,414; at Gallatin, and on railroad between Nashville and Kentucky border, the One hundred and sixth and Seventy-first Ohio, effective strength 571, and the Eighty-third Illinois at Fort Donelson and Clarksville, strength 483; total, 2,468. By his return of April 15 this officer reports in his division present for duty 4,189. Add to this the number recently transferred to him from the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, 706, will make his whole effective force 4,895. Deduct from this number the troops in position at and beyond Nashville, 2,468, it will leave General Rousseau 2,409 officers and men to establish along the line of communications between Lookout Mountain and Nashville, or a few more than is required, as per the statement of Brigadier-General Whiple (1,460), to occupy the block-houses, omitting the garrisons at Murfreesborough, Tullahoma, Stevenson, and Bridgeport.
I desire that the attention of the major-general commanding the department may be called to the foregoing figures, and should like to be informed if, in his judgment, so large a force should be retained at Nashville and at the points beyond, now held by General Rousseau's forces. Cannot two regiments be with safety removed from Nashville?
I am informed that there are an unusual number of convalescents, contrabands, and, for aught I know, other troops not fitted for field service at that place. Please reply at your earliest convenience.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, April 23, 1864.
Colonel Comstock is here from General Grant. We may have to begin quite as soon as I first estimated, May 1. You will commence at once to break up railroad above Bull's Gap, and either bend and twist the bars or carry them to Knoxville, and move down the infantry force about the Hiwassee. Stoneman will be able to overhaul us before we will need the flanking force.
W. T. SHERMAN,
KNOXVILLE, April 23, 1864.
I have just returned from Bull's Gap. Nothing new of importance. All my cavalry, about 500, supported by a brigade of infantry, will start on a reconnaissance to the Watauga to-morrow.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,