ROME, GA., October 29, 1864-12 m.
I have your dispatch. Stanley has reached Chattanooga, and can, with the assistance of the cars, reach Athens in less than four days. I hear that the enemy has passed to the WEST of Decatur, and, herefore, will cross about Florence. I don't see how Beauregard can support his army; but Jeff. Davis is desperate, and his men will undertake anything possible. If necessary, draw heavily on Chattanooga, depending on Schofield to replace them. Schofield is not yet up, but I will push him right along to Resaca. With Decatur held and a good gun-bat force up at the head of navigation, the enemy will be bold to enter Tennessee; but we must expect anything. If they wait to get supplies about Tuscumbia, you will get the Missouri troops. Have your orders to meet them at Paducah.
W. T. SHERMAN,
NASHVILLE, October 29, 1864-3 p. m.
Your dispatch of this 9 a. m. is received. If I can get Stanley to Athens in four days I shall have no fears of Hood crossing Tennessee River. Granger has enough men already to defend Decatur; but I will keep your instructions in mind. I feel no apprehensions whatever about Chattanooga, and hope to be relieved from all uneasiness from the direction of Florence and Eastport as soon as I can get Stanley into position. I will engraft the troops into Stanley's and Schofield's corps as you direct, and will endeavor to arrange so as to garrison the block-houses and small garrisons along the railroad by Stanley's old troops, and intermingle the new regiments with his DIVISIONS, so as to render them as efficient as possible. All these changes can be made without mixing the troops of the three armies at all. I will have convalescents organized and posted at Chattanooga and Bridgeport to aid in defense of those two places.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, Tenn., October 29, 1864-9 p. m.
Superintendent Railroad, Chattanooga:
I wish you to dispatch Major-General Stanley's troops for Athens, Ala., as rapidly as your facilities will admit without calling too heavily on the frolling stock of the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Majo-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
CHATTANOOGA, TENN., October 29, 1864.
Major General G. H. THOMAS:
Prospect bids fair that we can furnish the cars required in a. m. at sunrise to transport General Stanley's troops. it draws heavily on cars that should be loaded for the front. We will have flat-cars here in the