tions to mount, arm, and bring into the field the largest possible force that can be made available, leaving such police force as may be needed in Middle Tennessee. The last returns show a nominal cavalry force of nearly 60,000 men, but in reality there are not over 14,000 mounted, including all that are behind. There are three DIVISIONS here in the field, formerly belonging to the Army of the Cumberland, and commanded by Kilpatrick, McCook, and Garrard, mounting about 1,500 men each, 4,500 in all. They have about twice as many dismounted, guarding railroads and block-houses. Colonel Garrard commands a DIVISION formerly attached to the Army of the Ohio; five regiments are at the remount camp at Louisville preparing for the field, leaving only parts of two regiments in the field near Atlanta; there are, besides, Grierson's and Hatch's DIVISION in WEST Tennessee, and a part of Winslow's. The majority of the last went with Mower to Missouri, and have not returned. In addition to this there are five new Indiana regiments, averaging 750 men, now at Nashville and below, never mounted. They are splendid material, in for three years, and should be brought out at once; and still further, in addition, two DIVISIONS of Tennessee cavalry, not counted on the returns; they are to be left in Tennessee. From this you will see there are six DIVISIONS actually organized -material enough to make another or fill up the old ones -besides Winslow's DIVISIONS average about ten regiments each, and ought to yield, under thorough organization, 500 men, or an aggregate of 30,000, under even tolerable organization 20,000, for the field.
But what are the facts now? We cannot raise 6,000, and because horses, arms, and equipments have not been furnished. General Sherman estimates that Forrest (now commanding all the cavalry of Beauregard's military DIVISION) has 26,000 men mounted and menacing his communications, the bulk of it concentrated under himself and Wheeler somewhere between here and Decatur. Armstrong, Gholson, Ferguson, Jackson, and Roddey are on Beauregard's right flank, south of the Coosa, menacing the railroad between Allatoona and the Chattahoochee. From this hasty sketch you may readily perceive how vastly superior the enemy is to us in the number of his mounted troops actually in the field and concentrated for service, and how necessary it will be to have activity on the part of the Cavalry Bureau and an inexorable policy of concentration on the part of General Sherman. If we can organize and get out of Tennessee our six DIVISIONS and assume the offensive against Beauregard's communications and cavalry roving the rich region of Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas, we shall soon destroy their cavalry and establish the invincibility of our own. General Grant's telegram to General Sherman, on the 8th [11th?], looks exactly to the adoption of this policy, and I hope he will repeat it in an order to General Sherman. The latter says he don't expect anything from the cavalry, and that all I can do with it will be entirely to my credit, but if General Thomas is left in Tennessee the infantry forces must necessarily be more or less divided between him and General Sherman; if the cavalry force is divided equally between them, we shall effect nothing. Cavalry is useless for defense; its only power is in a vigorous offensive; therefore I urge its concentration south of the Tennessee and hurling it into the bowels of the Soutt drive back as it did Sooy Smith and Sturgis. We shall certainly be able to [do] this if the enemy doesn't cross the Tennessee or assume such an offensive as to throw us on the defensive, neither of which is very probable.