War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0497 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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mand the cavalry of the left, and General Garrard, of the Army of the Cumberland, is temporarily attached to the right, and will receive orders from Major-General McPherson until he is relieved by the commanding general. Major-General Thomas will organize out of his remaining cavalry force a division to act on his front and to keep up communications. The habit of general officers taking cavalry for escorts and orderlies is very ruinous to the cavalry arm of the service and should be discontinued as far as possible. Commanders of brigades and divisions and of corps, when acting compactly, should as far as possible mount a few infantry as orderlies and escorts, leaving the cavalry arm entire to fulfil its most important part of clearing the front and flank. Cavalry is most effective when appearing suddenly on the flank or rear of the enemy, as it usually is the advance of a column of infantry, and thus appearing it causes that idea, but if it hesitates in acting the effect is lost.

V. Army commanders will give great attention to their lines of communication. A small force in a block-house, disencumbered of baggage and stores not needed, can hold their ground and protect their point against any cavalry force until relief comes. They should be instructed to fight with desperation to the last, as they thereby save the time necessary for concentration. Small reserves capable of being shifted to a way-point by a train of cars should be placed judiciously and instructed. The main reserves will be at Nashville, Murfreesborough, Columbia, Decatur, and Stevenson, from which places they can be rapidly transported to the point of danger. Danger to our line of communication is most to be apprehended from the west, and most care must be observed in that direction. The Tennessee River will be patrolled by gun-boats, both above and below the Shoals. General Schofield will, as heretofore, look to his left and rear, General Thomas to his immediate rear, including Duck River and Columbia, and General McPherson to his right rear, especially Decatur and from the direction of Florence. On notice of danger the commanding general of the reserve at Nashville will promptly provide for the emergency, and see that damages, if done, are quickly repaired, but all officers are cautioned against the mischievous and criminal practice of reporting mere vague rumors, often sent into our lines by the enemy for his own purposes. Actual facts should be reported to the headquarters at Nashville and in the field, that they may be judged in connection with other known facts. An army of a million men could not guard against the fabulous stories that are sent to headquarters. Officers must scrutinize and see with their own eyes or those of some cool, experienced staff officer before making reports that may call off troops from another quarter, where there may be more need of them. When troops are entrenched or well covered by block-houses, a surrender will entail disgrace, for we have all seen examples when a few determined men have held thousands in check until relief came or the necessities of the enemy forced him to withdraw.

VI. Army commanders will make such orders and instructions to their respective commands as will carry out these orders.

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By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:


Assistant Adjutant-General.