Granger's corps with me in the field, and I presume that, with the remainder of his corps, may be ordered away at any time. This will leave me in the field with but one corps, that a very small one, and having a commander regularly assigned to it. Either I must virtually deprive General Stoneman of his command, or else I have nothing to do with the field myself. Even if I were to retain all the troops I have and get all zI want, the whole would be only enough for a single corps, and would be far more efficient under a single corps organization than it is at present. I now have nominally three corps, with all their cumbrous staff organizations, and yet cannot put 15,000 muskets in the field. I respectfully request that whatever troops I am to have may be organized into a single corps under my immediate command. I do not make this request for the purpose of displacing General Stoneman. I have no fault to find with him, but I can see no use whatever for an intermediate commander between myself and the only corps I have That corps is now so small that I cannot do otherwise than add to it the new troops you propose to send me. Hence, even if AI retain Granger's troops, I will at best have but a corps and one division in the field. If you do not think it best to adopt this suggestion, would it not be better to give me the whole of Granger's corps, and let me use the new troops you are now sending to hold the railroad between Knoxville and Chattanooga? Two divisions of Granger's corps are now under my command, one here and the other on the railroad. I would bring the other here and replace it by the [new] regiments but for the uncertainty how long I shall be permitted to keep that corps. If it is your intention for me to have the use of Granger's corps, or the two divisions under my command until the campaign here is ended, I will brinsion forward as soon as it can be relieved. This will remove to a reasonable extent the difficulty I have mentioned by giving me, at least nominally, two corps. I hope, general, you will definitely arrange this matter so as to remove the uncertainty and embarrassment of my present position.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Morristown, Tenn., March 15, 1864.
GENERAL: My consideration of the plan of campaign in East Tennessee leads me to doubt the wisdom of limiting our operations here to merely driving the enemy out and preventing his return. If the Army of the Potomac is to act offensively and endeavor to drive Lee out of Virginia, it appears to me that our efforts in East Tennessee should be directed rather to the preservation than to the destruction of the Virginia railroad. In the event of our occupation of Central Virginia this road would be of immense value to us, and could be protected by a very small force, for the mountains southof it form an impassable barrier except at a few points, and these easily held. The troops now employed in holding Western Virginia and Eastern Kentucky would be sufficient to hold this line, and at the same time do their present service more effectually than now. It seems to me entirely practicable and, at the same time, an economical use of force to push a column sufficiently strong for the purpose up as far as New River, and drive the enemy out of that portion of the country from which he can threaten Kentucky or