HEADQUARTERS HARDEE'S CORPS,
Dalton, Ga., April 8, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: In the communication you sent me this morning from Major Locke to Colonel Northrop, the latter states on my authority that there were but 40,000 men of the Army of Tennessee present the other day with their standards. Major Locke is mistaken; I gave him no such information. It is more than probable I told him that our effective strength did not exceed 40,000 men, but I did no state, nor did I intend to convey the impression, directly or indirectly, that there are only 40,000 men and officers present with this army, or that rations had been improperly drawn. There is a great difference, as every one acquainted with returns knows, between the effective total and the aggregate present in an army.
I will take occasion to add that Major Locke is a gentleman of high character, and a friend of mine, and I know he did not intentional misrepresent me or the facts.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. J. HARDEE,
COLUMBUS, April 8, 1864.
Commanding, Jackson, Tenn., or elsewhere:
GENERAL: I am informed by General Johnston that Grierson and Smith are concentrating their forces at Decatur for a raid down through North Alabama via Elyton, Jones' Valley. This involves the necessity of my diverting General Lee's forces from any further co-operating with you, and seeing that by the time this communication reaches you will have had the ten days you desired to get out troops, you will leave such force below Memphis as may be necessary to check the enemy in that direction, and any small detachment you may safely leave in the Western District to complete you recruiting; you will then move with the rest of your force our of the Western District so as to unite with Lee in opposing the contemplated raid. Having indicated the point from whence that raid will start, and the line on which it is to move, I leave to your knowledge of the country the line of march best for you to pursue, remarking that it will be desirable for you to throw yourself as well up toward Decatur as you can, having reference to the supply of forage. If you have unorganized troops that you cannot take with you, send them to Columbus, Miss., where they may be organized and armed. I will give orders to your batteries and men who are here to be in readiness to join you at a moment's notice. You have been advised of reported move of the enemy up Tennessee River to Waterloo in boats, with the design of making a forward movement from that point. You will verify this movement, and keep your eye upon it. Loring's division is at Montevallo, on the railroad north of Selma, and General Johnston informs me that he had ordered Colonel Patterson with 900 of Roddey's command to move forward upon the left flank of the enemy's line of march, so as be ready to strike it.