HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 23, 1864.
General SLOCUM, Atlanta, Ga.:
Your dispatch of the 20th received. Am delighted at your success in foraging. Go on, pile up the forage, corn, and potatoes, and keep your artillery horses fat. Send back all unserviceable artillery, and at the last moment we can count up horses and see what we can haul, and send back all else. One gun per thousand men will be plenty to take along. Hood is doubtless now at Blue Mountain, and Forrest over about Corinth and Tuscumbia, hoping by threatening Tennessee to make me quit Georgia. We are piling up men in Tennessee, enough to attend to them and leave me free to go ahead. The railroad will be done in a day or two. We find abundance of corn and potatoes out here, and enjoy them much. They cost nothing a bushel. If Georgia can afford to break our railroads, she can afford to feel us. Please preach this doctrine to men who go forth, and are likely to spread it. All well.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAVALRY, DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Leesburg, Ala., October 23, 1864 - 8. 30 p. m.
Captain L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp:
CAPTAIN: In compliance with your instructions of the 22nd I marched to this place. This morning early I marched on the Gadsden road, skirmishing with the advance of Harrison's and Armistead's brigades, driving it from a strong position at King's Hill to its command, about two miles beyond. From this point it feel back to a stronger position about one miles beyond where we developed a larger force, with artillery in position, two pieces in our front and one or more to our left; at this place we found the enemy occupied a line extending from the mountain to the Coosa River, from one miles and a half to two miles in length. I learned that the enemy held another similar line about two miles beyond, at Turkeytown. The front of the first line was obstructed by felled timber and the position was too strong for my available dismounted force to assault. From King's Hill I had sent a strong regiment of mounted infantry to Will's Valley, at the junction of the road with that from Leesburb. It encountered a force of from 150 to 200 holding the gap leading into Will's Valley. This regiment rejoined me. I find less forage as I have advanced, and for position and forage returned to my camp at this place. From all that I can learn I think the enemy is holding Gadsden and its approaches, but cannot say whether to move on Guntersville, Decatur, or to Blue Mountain. All reports seem to agree that two corps of infantry have crossed the Coosa and that the cavalry is holding the approaches to Gadsden. A captured scout represents that he was "pressed" into service and claims to be a Union man; gave himself up; says a rebel infantry force is in Turkeytown Valley. I inclose a copy of bulletin* issued by Beauregard.
W. L. ELLIOTT,
* Not found, but see Beauregard's address, October 17 (p. 825), which is probably the document mentioned.