War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0358 Chapter LI. KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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road from Chattanooga to Atlanta, including the latter city (modified by General from Dalton, &c.), strike out into the heart of Georgia, and make for Charleston, Savannah, or the mounth of the Appalachicola. General Grant prefers the middle one, Savannah, and I understand you to prefer Selma and the Alabama. I must have alternates, else, being confined to one route, the enemy might so oppose that delay and want would trouble me, but, having alternates, I can take so eccentric a course that no general can guess at my objective. Therefore, when you hear I am off have lookouts at Morris Island, S. C., Ossabaw Sound, Ga., Pensacola and Mobile Bays. I will turn up somewhere, and believe I can take Macon and Milledgeville, Augusta and Savannah, Ga., and wind up with closing the neck back of Charleston so that they will starve out. This movement is not purely military or strategic, but it will illustrate the vulnerability of the South. They don't know what war means, but when the rich planters of the Oconee and Savannah see their fences and corn and hogs and sheep vanish before their eyes they will have something more than a mean opinion of the "Yanks. " Even now our poor mules laugh at the fine corn-fields, and our soldiers riot on chestnuts, sweet potatoes, pigs, chickens, &c. The poor people come to me and beg as for their lives, but my answer is, "Your friends have broken our railroads, which supplied us bountiful and you cannot suppose our soldiers will suffer when there is abundance within reach. " It will take ten days to finish up our road, during which I will eat out this flank and along down the Coosa, and then will rapidly put into execution the plan. In the mean time I ask that you give to General Thomas all the troops you can spare of the new levies, that he may hold the line of the Tennessee during my absence of, say, ninety days.

I am, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 19, 1864.

General WILSON,

Nashville:

General Garrard has about 2,500 cavalry, General Kilpatrick 1,500, General McCook 600. There may be about 1,000 other cavalry with my army. These embrace all the cavalry ready for battle. I wish you would see Generals Johnson and Thomas, bring to me about 2,500 new cavalry, and then go to work to make up three DIVISIONS, each of 2,500, for the hardest fighting of the war. I am going into the very bowels of the Confederacy, and propose to leave a trail that will be recognized FIFTY years hence.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 19, 1864.

Colonel A. BECKWITH,

Atlanta, Ga.:

Hood will escape me. I want to prepare for my big raid. On the 1st of November I want nothing but what is necessary to war. Send all trash to the rear at once and have on hand thirty days' food and