HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Rome, Ga., October 24, 1864 -1. 30 a. m.
Captain L. M. DAYTON,
I am very much grieved and surprised to learn that the pontoons had not reached Cedar Bluff before yesterday evening, but not knowing where Perkin's Landing is, I presume it must be nearer Cedar Bluff, as they have had ample time to reach the latter place. I, therefore, would have to more my DIVISION to center to cover their getting down. In order to get to center I will have to move some distance around to avoid Cedar Bluff, as the rebels have destroyed the sole crossing over that stream since the covering force I sent down has returned. The distance to center from here, by the route I a, compelled to take, is about forty miles, or near two days' march for infantry, with four brigades of cavalry and one of infantry to overcome before reaching that point, which is equivalent to another day's march, and as I presume time is everything to the general I will move a brigade of infantry to cedar Bluff, on the right bank of the Coosa, crossing them in the boats, and cover the laying of the brigade. If the boats are this side of Cedar Bluff any distance they can cross in the boats and march down on the other side. The brigade will move soon after daylight, and by hard marching I will have them near the Bluff to-night. In the mean time if the general should desire my DIVISION to go around to center please send word by return courier, and I will move to that point at once.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO M. CORSE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth DIVISION, 15th Army Corps.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field Gaylesville, Ala., October 24, 1864.
The Army of the Tennessee has less than 20,000 present, and had no right to draw 25,000 rations; the Army of the Cumberland should have 20,000, and the Ohio 10,000. I will make General Howard refund 5,000 rations. I have been down to Cedar Bluff; the bridge is not here. I saw the officer yesterday who said he was at Perkins' place, below Coosaville, and I ordered him to leave at dark, and had a brigade waiting for him all night, but in the night he sent me word that he heard of a guerrilla down the river, and would not start without my positive order. I take it now that so much delay has occurred that the enemy will capture it on its way down. I ordered General Schofield to send a whole DIVISION to Cedar Bluff, and a brigade along up the Coosa, but the danger will be of course at the deep bends at the south. If the bridge does not come to- night I will infer that it is gobbled, or that we must get over by crossing via Rome. The officer was wrong last night in hesitating, for he could have floated by. The enemy has a barrier across the Narrows, down below Little River, near Turkeytown, and I have sent the Fifteenth Corps to test it, but not to assault. We are eating out this valley good, so that it will not be necessary to come again.
W. T. SHERMAN,