War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0460 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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can possibly get hold of, for a movement through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, to destroy railroads, towns, &c., and join the Cavalry Corps in the field. Please lose no time in putting your command in excellent condition. Hurry Hatch off with all the force that can be got to him. You will probably not have over five weeks for preparation; if you can be ready sooner than that let me know by telegraph. Direct General Hatch to inform you of his progress and the number of men he can move. Colonel Hommond will be sent to see and confer with you.

J. H. WILSON,

Brevet Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 27, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: Heretofore I have invariably, since the war has been in progress, refused to recommend officers to promotion as generals, unless each had filled the position in actual battle and demonstrated by an absolute test his fitness. This rule is probably over severe; exceptions do occur; officers hold positions of influence, importance, and of absolute necessity which might debar them from attaining what all honorable and good officers seek to attain, high rank, unless promotion be open to them as well as the officers in the actual command of troops. A case is now before me: Brigadier General W. F. Barry, an officer of rare merit, of high professional skill and experience, and of undoubted ability, has held and still holds near me the office of chief of artillery, which is wrong-fully construed a staff position. He actually supervises all the artillery of this army, and were it concentrated it would make an actual of necessity the artillery is distributed to posts, armies, DIVISIONS, and brigades, so that at no one time is such a thing possible as a DIVISION of artillery; yet we must confess that it is a out important arm of service, absolutely necessary to an army, and its officers should have the incentives of promotion held out as far as possible. For these reasons I beg to make an execption to my general rule and hereby recommend that Brigadier General W. F. Barry be brevetted major-general for gallant and meritorious services in the campaign of Atlanta, to date September 1, 1864, the date of the fall of that city.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 27, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: Captain Bachtell, chief of the signal corps, serving with this army, has asked my candid opinion of the services of that corps during the period of my command in this army. I have watched their operations closely, and willingly admit their zeal, and any expression that may have escaped me to the prejudice of that corps resulted from accidents of nature, such as fog, intervening forests, &c., that impeded