intend to give you anything like directions for future action, but will state a general idea I have, and will get your views after you have established yourself on the sea-coast. With your veteran army I hope to get control of the only two through routes from east to west possessed by the enemy before the fall of Atlanta. This condition will be filled by holding Savannah and Branchville. If Wilmington falls a force from there can co-operate with you. Thomas has got back into the defenses of Nashville, with Hood close upon him. Decatur has been abandoned, and so have all the roads, except the main one leading to Chattanooga. Part of the falling back was undoubtedly necessary, and all of it may have been; it did not look so, however, to me. In my opinion Thomas far outnumbers Hood in infantry, in cavalry Hood has the advantage in morale and numbers. I hope yet Hood will be badly crippled, if not destroyed. The general news you will learn from the papers better than I could give it. After all becomes quiet, and roads up here so bad that there is likely to be a week or two that nothing can be done, I will run down the coast and see you. If you desire it, I will ask Mrs. Sherman to go with me.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Millen, GA., December 3, 1864 - 2. 30 a. m.
Commanding Right Wing, &c.:
Your dispatch of the 2nd, with papers, &c., are at hand. The General-in-chief has sent you instructions in a cipher dispatch, and further directs you to remain as at present, for him to hear from General Slocum. He has no objection to your sending expeditions out to break small portions of the railroad, which might be done by small parties going down in boats and landing. This will prevent the enemy getting supplies into Savannah, which is very desirable. In tapping the wire here we learned that Bragg was to leave Augusta in this direction to-night, 2nd, with 10,000 men, to be followed by part of Wade Hampton's cavalry. Bragg will be likely to attack in rear of he can.
I am, General, very respectfully, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON,
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Clifton Ferry, GA., December 3, 1864.
I. This army will move forward to-morrow, the 4th instant, as follows: First, Major-General Blair, commanding Seventeenth Army Corps, will move his command, starting at 6. 30 a. m., along the railroad, which he will continue to destroy en route to Cameron (or Numbers 5 1/2). Second, Major-General Osterhaus, commanding Fifteenth Corps, will continue to move his command in two columns, on the west side of the river, the right column continuing its march toward Statesborough, making to-morrow a distance of fifteen miles. He will recall the portion of his command now on the east side of the river this p. m., except a sufficient force for a bridge guard, which will recross at an early