telegram received, DLC-William T. Sherman. O. R., I, xxxii, part 2, 410; ibid., I, xxxiv, part 2, 351.
Head Quarters, Mil. Div. of the Miss.
Nashville Ten. Feb.y 16th 1864
MAJ. GEN. SCHOFIELD,
COMD. G DEPT. OF THE OHIO,
I telegraphed you some days ago that conversation with Gen. Foster had decided me not to make any push against Longstreet for the present. Also that you might now get off all the Veterans you think you can spare. At the same time every preparation should be made for as early a move in the spring as practicable. Clothing should be got for the men and all the rations accumulated possible. All new regiments you may receive during the Winter, as well as any old ones back in Ky. available for duty to the front, should be rendezvozed where they can be eazily provisioned and at the same time be on the road either to join the Army in the Field, or form a column to march into Western Virginia either by Pound or Stoney Gaps. 1
There is probably such a force in South West Virginia as would prevent a Cavalry force penetrating by that route, unaided by Inf.y and Artillery. But it looks now to me as if a column should be pushed through by that, or one of those, routes in conjunction with an advance up Holsten Valley.
I have but little hope of Sturgis being able to reach Longstreets rear unaided. If he is preparing for it, as I understood from Foster he is, let him try. I suppose going without Infantry, or only a mounted force, he would go by Jonesville & Estellville? 2 This enterprise would be hazardous but would pay well if successful. The destruction of important bridges between Bristol & Saltville, and of the Saltworks there, would compensate for great risks.
Let me know what you think and wish in this matter so that I