HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, Tenn., October 29, 1864-10 a. m.
Your dispatches of yesterday from Gaylesville and Rome received. I have already instructed the different garrisons that they must defend themselves against all odds. I have also ordered them to keep on hand ample supplies of provisions and ammunition, and they report themselves well supplied. Some of the gun-boats are ordered to remain at or near Decatur and the others patrolling the river between Bridgeport and Decatur. how far to the front of Chattanooga do you wish me to hold the country when you start south! I believe the most difficult part of my work will be to keep open the railroad to Knoxville, unless an advanced force is thrown out int he direction of Dalton, and such force will be in constant danger unless the railroad is entirely destroyed between that place and Cartersville and Rome. If you can let me know a few days before you are ready I will prepare Wright for operations on the railroad.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
ROME, GA., October 29, 1864.
We have reconnoitered well down to Gadsden and Jacksonville. hood took with him all his infantry, but left a good deal of cavalry. He started for Bridgeport and Guntersville, but my movements have thrown him clear across to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. if he does not attack Decatur to-day he will not at all, but he will go to Tuscumbia and depend on the Mobile road. now, I want you to be all ready for him if he enters Tennessee. He will work as fast as possible, for winter is coming, but he cannot haul supplies and will be dependent on the country. I have sent Stanely back. Give him as many conscripts as possible and use him as the nucleus. I will also send Schofield back, who will relieve you of all that Knoxville branch, but if necessary break up all minor posts and get about Columbia as big an army as you can and go at him. You may hold all the cavalry and new troops except them men actually assigned to the corps with me. I would like Dalton held, but leave that to you, Chattanooga, of course, and Decatur in connection with the boats. If to make up a force adequate, it be necessary, abandon Huntsville and that line and the Huntsville and Decatur road, except as far as it facilitates an army operating toward doned, and will howl still more before they are done. Get, if you can, A. J. Smith; 's and Mower's DIVISIONS, belonging to my army, from Missouri and let them come to you via Clifton. Get the gun-boats to fill the Tennessee River, and that will bother him much. If you could make a good lodgment at Eastp[ort Hood could not use the Corinth and Decatur road, for there are only seven miles of good road from Eastport to Iuka. General Schofield has not got in yet, but I will push him right on to Resaca. I will give you notice when I start. All preparations are now progressing, but I want to know Hood's movements, and how well you are prepared before I start.
W. T. SHERMAN,