War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0534 KY., SW.VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIV.

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wagons to follow and overtake them at some point to be hereafter fixed; therefore, order Dodge's march by roads that will carry them near the railroad. The cavalry must, of course, come all the way by the common road.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Chattanooga, April 29, 1864.

General McPHERSON,

Huntsville, Ala.:

Put everybody in motion at once for Chattanooga by roads north of the Tennessee, according to the figures we agreed on, viz, 10,000 of the Fifteenth Corps and 10,000 of the Sixteenth Corps and Garrard's cavalry. I have a dispatch from General Grant wanting me to be all ready by May 5. You know how I like to be on time. A steam-boat has gone to Larkin's for the bridges. Make your orders for the two divisions at Cairo and Clifton as full as possible, and when all things are working well come up.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HUNTSVILLE, April 29, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

The enemy still hang around Decatur in considerable force. As the object in leaving a force there is to protect our right flank and railroad communication, would it not be better to withdraw the force we proposed leaving at Decatur to this side of the river and station it on the high ground near the junction, take up the pontoon bridge, and bring the boats up Limestone Creek to near the railroad where they can be guarded and sent to the desired points? The force stationed at the points I suggest will be more securely located and in a position where it can better operate to repel attacks on railroad.

JAS. B. McPHERSON,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Chattanooga, April 29, 1864.

General McPHERSON,

Huntsville, Ala.:

I approve your suggestion as to the evacuation of Decatur, but it should only be as an alternative at the last moment. If it be possible to get any of the Clifton force I would prefer to hold Decatur, as it is a constant threat to North Alabama. It is desirable to keep the rebel cavalry there as possible, and I would risk something. It is there merely to watch you.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.