HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 2, 1864.
It is very probable Forrest may, for political effect, make a dash at your fort. I must not fall into his hands. A very small garrison can hold it against a million; but quietly and without attracting notice make all proper dispositions against a surprise or sudden attack.
W. T. SHERMAN,
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND
Chattanooga and Nashville, Tenn., Numbers 300.
November 2, 1864.
VI. Brigadier General R. W. Johnson, U. S. Volunteers, having reported to the major-general commanding the department, pursuant to orders from headquarters Military DIVISION of the Mississippi, is hereby assigned to the command of the First DIVISION, Fourteenth Army Corps, and will proceed to join his command without delay. The quartermaster's department will furnish transportation.
* * *
By command of Major-General Thomas:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
KINGSTON, GA., November 3, 1864-7 p. m.
(Received 11 a. m. 4th.)
The situation of affairs now is as follows: Beauregard, with Hood's army, is now at Florence, with a pontoon bridge, protected from our gun-boats below by the Colbert Shoals; from above by the Muscle Shoals. He has with him Wheeler's and Roddey's cavalry. Forrest's cavalry is down about Fort Heiman. The country round about Florence has been again and again devastated during the past three years, and Beauregard must be dependent on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, which also has been broken and patched up in its whole extent. He purposes and promises his men to invade Middle Tennessee, for the purpose of making me let go Georgia. The moment I detected that he had passed Gadsden, I detached the Fourth Corps (General Stanley's) 15,000 strong, which is now at Pulaski, and subsequently the Twenty-THIRD Corps (Schofield's), 10,000, which is now on the cars, moving to Nashville. This gives Thomas two full corps, and about 5,000 cavalry, besides, 10,000 dismounted cavalry and all the new troops recently sent to Tennessee, and the railroad guards, with which to encounter Beauregard, should be advance farther. Besides which, Thomas will have the active co-operation of the gun-boats above and below the shoals, and the two DIVISIONS of Smith and Mower, en route from Missouri. I therefore feel no uneasiness as to Tennessee, and have ordered Thomas to assume the offensive, in the direction of Selma, Ala. With myself I have the Twentieth Corps at Atlanta, the Fifteenth and Seventeenth