War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0719 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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NASHVILLE, TENN., October 9, 1864-9 p. m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Kingston, Ga.:

Your two dispatches of 6 p. m. November 8* and 9 a. m. of this date are received. General Croxton, from Four-Mile Creek, reports yesterday 8 p. m. that the river risen more than two feet on the Shoals, enough to make six feet below them. A scout from over the river reports the bulks of Hood's army still on that side. I also have a report from Granger, who says Elk River is still up, and that two couriers crossed in a skiff last evening, who communicated with Rogersville. General Croxton still holds east bank of Shoal Creek, but the enemy have a large force on WEST bank, supposed to be one corps. The enemy is supposed to have one corps at Florence and one corps on south side of the river opposite Florence. It is also reported that Roddey has gone to Cornith. The contradictory nature of these reports indicates plainly, however, that the entire infantry force of the enemy is in and about Florence and Tuscumbia. General Hatch reports yesterday from Taylors' Springs, Ala., that he intended attacking the enemy this morning along the entire line to ascertain where the enemy is and the position he holds. Your dispatch for Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point, marked immediate and important, will go forward by special messenger by first train in the morning.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

CHATTANOOGA, November 9, 1864.

Major-General THOMAS:

Our pontoon train of canvas boats is at Atlanta. I understand that General Sherman will take it with him. The companies of the Michigan Engineers are at Atlanta and two on railroad between Stevenson and Normandy. I hear unofficially that the regiment has been transferred to the Military DIVISION of the Mississippi. General Sherman has just ordered all our canvas pontoon covers sent to him. We have twelve frames ready. I have ordered sixty boats complete to be made as soon as possible. I have been waiting to see whatever or not one train would return. I had half a train ready for contingencies, but the covers for this are now taken away. Using the utmost dispatch it will take between two and three weeks to get up a train of sixty boats, or 1,200 feet long. We have on hand seventy-five Cincinnati boats equal to 1,500. There are fifteen Cincinnati pontoons at Resaca that could be procured if necessary, that would add 300 feet more.

Respectfully,

W. E. MERRILL,

Colonel and Chief Engineer Department of the Cumberland.

COLUMBIA, November 9, 1864.

Captain WILLIAMS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

Our pontoons have all been sunk and swept away but two. Can twelve pontoons be sent to reconstruct the bridge? Fifteen hundred beef- cattle for Stanley are stopped north of Duck River.

W. B. SIPES,

Colonel, Commanding.

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* Transmitting copies of Grant to Sherman, November 7, 10. 30 p. m. (p. 679), and Halleck to Sherman, November 8, 11 a. m. (p. 697).

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