and that all of the women and children were sent out of the city last night. I send you by the Charles Houghton some letters handed me by Captain Burger, and also a package from Mrs. Foster. Colonel Mulford has just returned from Charleston, but brings no news.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. W. THOMAS,
Major and Chief Quartermaster.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
U. S. Steamer Nemaha, December 5, 1864.
Brigadier General J. P. HATCH,
Commanding Field Division:
GENERAL: You will have all the white regiments of Brigadier-General Potter's command prepare at once two days' rations (cooked, if time permits), and twenty extra rounds of ammunition in pockets, and move to the landing to-night as early as possible, for embarkation on transports. The naval brigade will be relieved immediately and report to the admiral, the horses, carts, &c., to remain as at present, in charge of the naval brigade. You will have Day's battery also, with two days' rations, report at the dock at daylight to-morrow, to embark to follow and join Potter's brigade. The remaining regiments of your command you will dispose of to the best advantage, to hold your present position as long as possible. One of the batteries, with a regiment in reserve, may, of you prefer, be placed on the interior line of defense. Have this movement made as silently as possible, so as not to betray it to the enemy.
By order of Major General J. G. Foster:
W. B. DEAN,
Lieutenant, 127th New York Vols., Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CITY POINT, VA., December 6, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
On reflection since sending my letter by the hands of Lieutenant Dunn I have concluded that the most important operations toward closing the rebellion will be to close out Lee and his army. You have now destroyed the roads of the South, so that it will probably take three months, without interruption, to re-established a through line from east to west. In that time I think the job here will be effectually completed. My idea now, then, is that you establish a base on the sea-coast, fortify, and leave in it all your artillery and cavalry, and enough infantry to protect them, and, at the same time, so threaten the interior that the militia of the South will have to be kept at home. With the balance of your command come here by water with all dispatch. Select yourself the officer to leave in command, but you I want in person. Unless you see objections to this plan, which I cannot see, use every vessel going to you for purposes of transportation. Hood has Thomas close in Nashville. I have said all I could to force him to attack, without giving the positive order until to-day. To-day, however, I could stand it no longer, and gave the order without any reserve, I think the