COLUMBIA, April 27, 1864.
GENERAL: Your telegram of this date received. I have about 3,000 effective men; no pack-saddles. Can move as I am and be at Decatur at the time mentioned. Would it not be well for me to see you?
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, April 27, 1864.
Commanding Second Division Cavalry, Right Wing:
GENERAL: General McPherson is now here, and on consultation, taking into consideration all the facts known to me of the strength and position of the enemy, we have concluded that McPherson's troops can reach their position at and near La Fayette more expeditiously by Chattanooga than by the contemplated road by Decatur, Gunter's, and Lebanon.
It is very desirable that the whole army should be at and in front of Chattanooga by May 5. You may therefore put in motion your cavalry that is mounted and equipped, with the wagons needed for efficient action, and the rest as fast as horses are received, leaving, as heretofore arranged, your dismounted men at Columbia and along the road.
General Rousseau will send a regiment to hold the road down as far as Pulaski. Enough horses are now on hand to increase your mounted force to 5,000. With these I want you at Chattanooga about the 5th of May, and as there is no necessity of your moving with Dodge, you can select your own route, and move by brigades and regiments, as you please. On arrival at Chattanooga take position near the extreme right of the whole army.
General McPherson will see you to-morrow. These orders may seem to you a little sudden, but are made necessary by orders from General Grant.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
APRIL 27, 1864.
Major General J. B. McPHERSON,
(Care of Major-General Sherman), Nashville:
Reports show Forrest at Jackson with most of his force; Martin at Blue Mountain; Clanton gone to Kingston, Ga., with part of his force; the force in the valley same as before; Polk still at Meridian or thereabouts; Lee is said to be this side of Okolona, but nothing certain. This is up to the 24th. Forrest has heavy pickets at Bear and Yellow Creeks and several boats in each, but so far as I can learn no part of his force proper is there yet.
G. M. DODGE,