KNOXVILLE, April 24, 1864.
Your dispatch of yesterday directing me to destroy the railroad and move down to the Hiwassee is just received. I have ordered the cavalry which left Bull's Gap this morning to push forward and destroy the Watauga and Holston bridges, and the brigade of infantry, which also started this morning, to break up the same, and to destroy the bridges above Greeneville. My other troops will destroy the road from Lick Creek toward Greeneville. I will push the work rapidly, and move down to the Hiwassee as soon as possible; think it will take me until the 1st of May to reach there if I take time to destroy the roads thoroughly. Will that be soon enough, or must I be there sooner?
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
April 24, 1864.
May 1 will be soon enough for you to be at teh Hiwassee. Colonel Comstock has just started for Washington and will keep me well advised of the progress there. We must move in concert with General Grant. I have written you fully by courier to-day.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, April 24, 1864.
Your dispatch is received. I telegraphed you last night to begin your movement toward the Hiwassee in preparation for the advance into Georgia. Let the brigade of infantry sent beyond Bull's Gap make the break in the railroad, and begin to move your command for active service down to Charleston. I write you fully to-day.
W. T. SHERMAN,
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tenn., April 24, 1864.
Major General J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Ohio, Knoxville:
GENERAL: I now have a messenger out from General Grant, which convinces me that the Army of the Potomac, from its shorter lines and superabundant supplies, will be ready sooner than we; but let come what may we must attack Joe Johnston in position, or force him back of Coosa, at the moment the initiative is made in the East. I prefer that Johnston should not move at all, but receive us on his present ground. But I do not propose rushing on him rashly until I have in hand all the available strength of your, Thomas', and McPherson's armies.