War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0377 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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WASHINGTON, October 20, 1864 - 3 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS:

It is reported here that Forrest is threatening both Paducah and Memphis. If, by the assistance of Burbridge and Washburn, you could drive him south it would relieve that part of the country from all danger.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 20, 1864 - 4. 30 p. m.

(Received 1 a. m. 21st.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

General Washburn has sent a brigade of about 1,200 infantry to Memphis to-day. Burbridge has telegraphed me that the cannot spare more than tree regiments of infantry, and these, with the force of infantry I can raise here now, will not be sufficient to drive Forrest south. I telegraphed yesterday to Sherman for one of my DIVISIONS, to move against Eastport and the Mobile and Alabama Railroad. If Sherman sends me the DIVISION asked for, I can, by moving against Eastport and the railroad, bring Forrest south immediately, and thus relieve Memphis and Paducah from any apprehension of attack. I have just seen Washburn, who informs me that information he has received to-day from Memphis convinces him that the enemy are certainly concentrating a heavy force at Corinth, and, if his information is true, it will require a larger force than I have to drive him south.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General.

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 20, 1864 - 9 p. m.

(Received 2. 20 a. m. 21st.)

Major-General HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

Of further reflection since telegraphing you this afternoon I am convinced that the best way to get rid of Forrest would be for Sherman to let me have one of my corps, with which (and the cavalry now in Tennessee) I could soon drive Forrest south, after which I can return to the main army with the corps and the greater part of the cavalry.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Summerville, Ga., October 20, 1864.

Major-General THOMAS,

Commanding Department of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: I think I have thought over the whole field of the future, and being no authorized to act, I want all things bent to the following general plan of action for the next three months: Out of the forces now here and the Atlanta I propose to organize an efficient army of from 60,000 to 65,000 men, with which I propose to destroy Macon, Augusta, and, it may be, Savannah and Charleston, but I will always keep open the alternatives of the mouth of Appalachicola and Mobile. By