If by a rapid movement, after crossing the mountains, you can precipitate your main force upon Nashville, and capture that place before the enemy can fall back for its defense, you place him in a precarious position. But in any event, by a movement in rear of Nashville while the Cumberland is low, similar to the in passing Chattanooga, you isolate that position and compel a retrograde movement of the enemy's main force.
It is needless, general, for me to impress upon you the great importance, not to say necessity, of reclaiming the provisions country of Tennessee and Kentucky, and, from my knowledge of the country and people, I believe that order great advantages may accrue, especially in obtaining men to fill your ranks.
The following forces it is believed will be available if nothing shall occur to divert the, viz:
Infantry. Artillery. Cavalry. Total.
Your own command.. 33,000 3,000 5,000 41,000
General Martin's ... ... 3,000 3,000
cavalry, now en
route to join..
From General 5,000 ... ... 5,000
From General 10,000 ... ... 10,000
General 12,000 2,000 2,000 15,000
Total.. 60,000 5,000 10,000 75,000
It is proposed to hold the re-enforcements ready, and to put them in motion just as soon as you may be able to use them. To throw them to the front now would only impede the accumulation of supplies necessary for your march. Measures have been taken to aid in supplying you with artillery horses. Additional means of transportation will be furnished as soon as practicable. the efficient organization of engineer troops in your command with supply every want in that department.
Ammunition in abundance is on hand, subject to your call, and it is believed the means of subsistence are ample in your immediate rear if efficient measures are inaugurated to get them forward. On this point you are desired to act at once in your own behalf, as the Department here could do not than refer you to its resources within your reach and control.
It will give much pleasure, general, to have your views in full on this subject in all its bearings, and no effort will be spared in bringing to your assistance the resources of the Government not essential at other points. Communicate fully at once, and afterward in detail, as points may arise requiring action.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DEMOPOLIS. March 12, 1864.
Assistant and Inspector General, Richmond:
The whole of Loring's division has, with great enthusiasm, re-enlisted for the war, and the best feeling prevails throughout the command.