points of importance are Montgomery, Opelika, and Columbus, Ga. Selma is secondary. I have had forage placed at Pensacola in case of the party having to go there. Don't move until I give specific orders.
W. T. SHERMAN,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
NEAR KENESAW, June 30, 1864.
Major General L. H. ROUSSEAU, Nashville:
The movement that I want you to study and be prepared for is contingent on the fact that General A. J. Smith defeats Forrest or holds him well in check, and after I succeeded in making Johnston pass the Chattahoochee with his army, when I want you in person, or to send some good officer, with 2,500 good cavalry, well armed, and a sufficient number of pack-mules, loaded with ammunition, salt, sugar, and coffee, and some bread or flour, depending on the country for forage, meat, and corn-meal. The party might take two light Rodman guns, with orders, in case of very rapid movements, to cut the wheels, burn the carriages, taking sledges along to break off the trunnions and wedging them in the muzzle. The expedition should start from Decatur, move slowly to Blountsville and Ashville, and, if the way is clear, to cross the Coosa at the Ten Islands or the railroad bridge, destroying it after their passage, them move rapidly for Talladega or Oxford, and then for the nearest ford or bridge over the Tallapoosa. That passed, the expedition should move with rapidity on the railroad between Tuskegee and Opelika, breaking up the road and twisting the bars of iron. They should work on that road night and day, doing all the damage toward and including Opelika. If no serious opposition offers, they should threaten Columbus, Ga., and then turn up the Chattahoochee to join me between Marietta and Atlanta, doing all the mischief possible. No infantry or position should be attacked, and the party should avoid all fighting possible, baring in mind, for their own safety, that Pensacola, Rome, the Etowah, and my army, are all in our hands. If compelled to make Pensacola, they should leave their horses, embark for New Orleans, and come round to Nashville again. Study this well, and be prepared to act on order when the time comes. Selma, though important, is more easily defended than the route I have named.
W. T. SHERMAN,
[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
NEAR CHATTAHOOCHEE, July 7, 1864-9 p. m.
Major General L. H. ROUSSEAU,
Nashville or Decatur:
I have no new instructions or information to convey to you, but expect you to leave Decatur on the 9th. If Roddey be about Tuscumbia, you might send a small infantry force down the Waterloo to amuse him by threatening to cross [and] to burn the Bear Creek bridge, eight miles back from Eastport and about five miles east of Iuka. You may give out that you are going to Selma, but be sure to go to Opelika, and break up railroad between it and Montgomery. There is but a single road there, which unites the Mississippi road with the Alabama roads. I am convinced General A. J. Smith will