War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0037 Chapter LVIII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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not better execute the plan of my letter sent by Colonel Porter, and leave General Thomas, with the troops in Tennessee, to defend the State? He will have an ample force when the re-enforcements ordered reach Nashville.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

For a full understanding of the plan referred to in this dispatch, I quote from the letter sent by Colonel Porter:

I will therefore give my opinion that your army and Canby's should be re-enforced to the maximum; that, after you get Wilmington, you strike for Savannah and the river; that Canby be instructed to hold the Mississippi River, and send a force to get Columbus, Ga., either by the way of the Alabama or Apalachicloa, and that I keep Hood employed and put my army in final order for a march on Augusta, Columbia, and Charleston, to be ready as soon s Wilmington is sealed as to commerce and the city of Savannah is in our possession.

This was in reply to a letter of mine of date September 12, in answer to a dispatch of his containing substantially the same proportion, and in which I informed him of a proposed movement against Wilmington, and of the situation in Virginia, &c.,

CITY POINT, VA., October 11, 1864-11 a. m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

Your dispatch of October 10 received. Does it not look as if Hood was going to attempt the invasion of Middle Tennessee, using the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston roads to supply his base on the Tennessee River, about Florence or Decatur? If he does this, he ought to be met and prevented dorm getting north of the Tennessee River. If you were to cut loose, I do not believe you would meet Hood's army, but would be bushwhacked by all the old men, little boys, and such railroad guards as are still left at home. Hood would probably strike for Nashville, thinking that by going north he could inflict greater damage upon us than we could upon the rebels by going south. If thee is any way of getting at Hood's army, I would prefer that; but I must to your own judgment. I find I shall not be able to send a force from here to act with you on Savannah. Your movements, therefore, will be independent of mine, at least until the fail of Richmond takes place. I am afraid Thomas, with such lines of road as he has to protect, could not prevent Hood from going north. With Wilson turned loose with all your cavalry, you will find the rebels put much more on the defensive than heretofore.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

KINGSTON, GA., October 11, 1864-11 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Hood moved his army from Palmetto Station across by Dallas and Cedartown, and is now on the Coosa River, south of Rome. He threw one corps on my road at Acworth, and I was forced to follow. I hold Atlanta with the twentieth Corps, and have strong detachments along my line. This reduces my active force to a comparatively small army. We cannot rain here on the defensive. With the 25,000 men, and the bold cavalry he has, he can constantly break my roads. I would infinitely prefer to make a wreck of the road and of the country from Chattanooga to Atlanta, including the latter city, send back al my wounded and worthless, and, with my effective army, move thorough Georgia, smashing things to the sea. Hood may turn into Tennessee and Kentucky, but I believe he will be force to follow me. Instead of my being on the defensive, I would be on the offensive; instead of guessing at what he means to do, he would have to guess at my plans. The difference in war is full 25 per cent. I can make Savannah, Charleston, or the mouth of the Chattahoochee. Answer quick, as I know we will not have the telegraph long.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

CITY POINT, VA., October 11, 1864-11.30 p. m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

Your dispatch of to-day received. If you are satisfied the trip to the sea-coast can be made, holding the line of the Tennessee River firmly, you may make it, destroying all the railroad south of Dalton or Chattanooga, as you think best.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.