It is not desirable that you should start this expedition until the one leaving Vicksburg has been three or four days out, or even a week. I do not know when it will start, but will inform you by telegraph as soon as I learn. If you should hear through other sources before hearing from me you can act on the information received. To insure success your cavalry should go with as little wagon train as possible, relying upon the country for supplies. I would also reduce the number of guns to a battery, or the number of batteries, and put the extra teams to the guns taken. No guns or caissons start with less then eight horses. Please inform me by telegraph on receipt of this what force you think you will be able to send under these directions.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
Lieutenant-General, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, February 14, 1865-8 p. m. (Received 15th.)
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,
City Point, Va.:
Your telegram of 1 p. m. to day has been received. I can send on the expedition you propose about 10,000 men. They are fully equipped now, with a battery to each division composed of four guns, sixth caissons, and each carriage drawn by eight horses. I will be obliged to you if you will notify me at least three or four days before you wish the movement to commence, as it takes about that length of time to get a dispatch from here to General Wilson's headquarters. In the meantime I will prepare full instructions for the officer who goes in command of the expedition.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
LOUISVILLE, February 14, 1865.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS:
Horses ordered to me from Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis. Can perhaps equip General Stoneman's command in ten or fifteen days. Would like to know at once wants in arms, equipments, and horses.
W. P. CHAMBLISS,
NASHVILLE, February 14, 1865.
Major W. P. CHAMBLISS,
Inspector of Cavalry:
Major-General Stoneman will be in Louisville to-morrow evening, but in the meantime you will make preparations to furnish him with 2,000 horses and about 600 Spencer carbines. After his arrival he will be able to give you more definite information of his wants, and may probably want more carbines.
GEO. H. THOMAS,