HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 21, 1864.
I have received your note and am glad of the fair prospect of things both at home and with us. Hood retreated with more precipitancy than I had first supposed, and I learn that the day you and General Cox moved out of Rome we stampeded the train back to Blue Mountain. I now have my infantry up to Little River and at Cedartown, and the mass about here. I will push cavalry well down toward Gadsden, and want a pontoon bridge at Cedartown. Send your spare one down with the knowledge that it will be destroyed when we are done with it. In as much as the boats may be fired on, I want you to send your cavalry and one or two brigades of infantry down by Vann's Valley, Cave Spring, and the center road, to cover the movement. As soon as I get the bridge I will occupy Centre, after eating out this Chattanooga Valley, which we find rive in forage, and some potatoes, hogs, chickens, &c. I explain to the people that we have abundance of provisions at the North; that we have good roads to our rear, and that we design to supply our own wants; but Hod has broken our road, and we must make it off the country. I think we can save enough forage to pay for the repairs. I don't want too much accumulation at Rome or anywhere, for I design something else; but we sill send our trains into and though Rome to meet us elsewhere in a few days. Telegraph to Chattanooga to send all mails and express matter to this army via Rome. I have ordered a courier-line back. I want you to establish one forward, say to Coosaville, Order the boats in descending to destroy or bring along all boats, canoes, floats, &c. Let them be armed and ordered to proceed with caution. Find out for me, if you can, where the steam-boats that are above the Ten Islands are now sunk. I may get them up or further destroy them. Continue to give daily budgets of news, and keep all the posts advised of our whereabouts.
W. T. SHERMAN,
WASHINGTON, October 21, 1864 - 10. 30 a. m.
Major General G. H. THOMAS,
So long as Forrest holds Corinth he threatens several very important points. Please consult General Sherman as to best means of getting rid of him.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
NASHVILLE, TENN., October 21, 1864 - 9 p. m.
(Received 3 a. m. 22d.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
The following dispatch has just been received from Major-General Sherman, which I forward for your information: *
I feel confident that I can defend the line of Tennessee with the force General Sherman proposes to leave with me, and shall proceed at once
* See Sherman to Thomas, October 19, 1864, p. 365.