reaching those places in a week or ten days, with my troops in a compact and manageable condition. General Grant, however, has ordered Schofield either to the Army of the Potomac or to you, and General Smith's command to General Canby. I am now left with the Fourth Corps, and about 12,000 effective cavalry. I am willing to undertake the capture of Montgomery and Selma with these troops when the roads become passable, but we can do nothing now; for even here, where we have gravelly hills to move our wagons over, the roads are so bad that we can scarcely get over them with empty wagons. I am as anxious as anybody to strike crushing blows to the enemy, but I do not see how it will be possible to accomplish anything now, and I do not want to fail when I start. If General Canby moves against Mobile and Selma, there will be no necessity for the troops remaining with me to go in that direction, but I can effect far more by moving through East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, covering you movements on Charleston, or in the direction of Richmond in the spring. The Fourth Corps, within itself, is prepared to move, and the cavalry will be as soon as Wilson can get horses to mount his men, but I assure you, most earnestly, that the roads are in such condition now, that no good whatever can be done by attempting a move. We shall only exhaust our troops and ruin our animals; whereas, if we wait until the roads become passable, about the 1st of March, I do not believe the rebels will have any force short of Virginia which can resist, successfully, even the troops I have left under my command. I hope to be able to forward my report of operations, since I left Atlanta until the 31st of December last, in a few days.
Very truly, yours,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.
EASTPORT, TENN., February 5, 1865. (Received 1.15 p. m. 6th.)
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Has action been taken relative to the corps organization of General Smith's command? He is anxious to have it done as soon as possible. Please telegraph him action taken at Cairo, III.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
NASHVILLE, February 5, 1865-9.40 p. m.
Wood's division starts at 8 o'clock to-morrow a. m. for Huntsville.
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
NASHVILLE, February 5, 1865-3.30 p. m.
Major General D. S. STANLEY,
Fourth Army Corps:
General Wood and command still at Nashville. His troops will leave here for Huntsville to-morrow at 8 a. m. He himself has a leave of absence for thirty days.
J. L. DONALDSON,
Bvt. Brigadier General and Chief Quartermaster Dept. of the Cumberland.