War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0461 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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them when I was over anxious for news. But inseveral instances this corps has transmitted orders and brought me I formation of the greatest importance that could not havereached me in any other way. I will instnace one most remarkable case. When the enemy had cut our wires and acrually made a lodgmetn on our railroad about Big Shanty, the signal officers on Vining's Hill, Kenesaw, and Allatoona sent my orders to General Orse at Rome, whereby General Corse was enabled to reach Allatoona just in time to defend it. Had it not been for the services of this cofps on that occasion I am satisfied we should have lost the garrison at Allatoona and a most valuable depository of provisions there, which was worth to su and the country more than the aggreaate expense of the whole signal corps for one year. I am, therefore, willing to bear my testimony to the great utility of this corps, as well as the marked zeal which has always characterized their persoanl behavior. During this campaign several of their officers have lozst their lives in the front rank.

I am, with resept,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

GAYLESVILLE, ALA., October 27, 1864-10 a. m.

(Received 2 a. m. 28th.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

I have sent the Fourth Corps, General Stanley, back to Stevenson. This corps is about 15,000 strong. I will also send all the men not suited to our long march, but they will answer for defending posts. These, with what General Thomas has, will enable him to hold Tennessee, and in a few days I hope to be all ready to carry into effect my original plan. no doubt Hood has gone off toward the west, about Decatur, and may attempt and succeed in crossing the Tennessee, although that river is high and patrolled by gun-boats. If he attacks fortified places he will soon cripple his army, so that Thomas can dispose of him. I will await a few days to hear what head he makes about Decatur, and may yet turn to Tennessee; tu it would be a great pity to take a step backward. I think it would be better even to let him ravage the State of Tennessee, provided he does not gobble up too many of our troops. General Thomas is well alive to the occasion, and better suited to the emergency that any man I have. He should be st rengthened as much as possible, as the successful defense of Tennessee should not be left to chance.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

GAYLESVILLE, ALA., October 27, 1864-4 p m.

(Received 2. 25 p. m. 28th.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

General Canby telgraphs me from new Orleans, under date of October 18, that he had an intercepted dispatch from Jeff. Davis to Kirby Smith, ordering him to cross the MISSISSIPPI with his troops. General