army' also be prepared when I give you notice, or when you know that I have started south, to burn the Resaca bridge, and take up all the iron back to Dalton or even to Chattanooga, according to General Thomas' orders.
W. T. SHERMAN,
NASHVILLE, TENN., October 26, 1864 -10. 30 p. m.
(Received 9 a. m. 27th.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
General Granger reports that the enemy appeared in front of Decatur this afternoon and drove in his pickets. He reports them about 10,000 strong. Have gun-boats patrolling the river above Decatur, and as large a force as I can send at the different fords and ferries on the river, to defend them and prevent the crossing of the enemy. Have not heard from General Sherman to-day, nor from the lower part of the river.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
GAYLESVILLE, October 26, 1864 -9 a. m.
Major-General THOMAS, Commanding, &c.:
I have your dispatch of the 22d. Beauregard assumed command on the 17th, and may go on to perfect Davis plan for invading Tennessee and Kentucky to make me let of Atlanta, but I adhere to my former plan, provided always you can defend the line of the Tennessee. Decatur and Chattanooga must be held to the death. Minor points may be neglected, but the stronger places of Nashville, Murfreesborough, be neglected, but the stronger places of Nashville, Murfreesborough, Pulaski, and Columbia, strengthened. Don't make a move into WEST Tennessee or beyond the river unless you know that Beauregard follows me south. When you move it should be against Selma. I will give you command of all my troops not actually with me, and if any interruption should take place between us, keep in mind the programme laid down in my letter of the 20th, sent by Colonel Warner. Urge the coming of the Ohio and Indiana conscripts and new troops. Brigade them and put them in good order. I will send you the Fourth Corps the moment I hear Beauregard turns toward the Tennessee. I have strong reconnaissances in Will's Valley, near Gadsden, and at Centre, and am now working to get my stock in good order, and getting the sick and surplus stores back to Chattanooga. If Beauregard attempts Tennessee it will be from the direction of Decatur. He will hardly attempt it by Guntersville, as he has universally promised his men, as I would be in his heels.
W. T. SHERMAN,
GAYLESVILLE, October 26, 1864 -8 p. m.
Major-General THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:
A reconnaissance pushed down to Gadsden to-day reveals the fact that the rebel army is not there, and the chances are it has moved west. If ut turns up at Guntersville I will be after it, but if it goes, as I believe, to decatur and beyond, I must leave it to you for the present and