retired from Strawberry Plains He has also withdrawn his Cavalry from the south side of the French Broad—I shall march for Strawberry Plains with all my available force tomorrow morning leaving a sufficient garrisson for this place" Copies, DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxii, part 2, 449-50. "I sent a reconnoisance toward Sevierville under Genl Hascall and another toward Strawberry Plains under Col. Garrard on the 21st. Each had a skirmish with the enemy. Genl. Hascall captured nine prisoners and killed several of the enemy. He lost one man killed and several wounded. The enemy fell back and recrossed the Holston at Strawberry Plains, and the French Broad at Boyds Ferry—Longstreet has taken up his pontoon bridge at Strawberry Plains. A reconnoisance in force under Genl. Stoneman found no enemy south of the French Broad today." Copies, DLC-John M. Schofield; DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O.R., I, lii, part 1, 524.
On Feb. 24, Schofield telegraphed to USG. "Longstreet destroyed the ferry‐ boat and completed the destruction of the Ral-Road bridge and retreated from this place yesterday. From the best information I can get he is moving rapidly towards Virginia or Georgia. As soon as I can cross the river I will push forward as far and rapidly as possible—His main force has gone towards Goldsboro the indications are that his whole force is going up the French Broad." Copy, DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxii, part 2, 456-57. A copy of this telegram went to Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas. On the same day, 7:00 P. M., Schofield telegraphed to USG. "Your despatch of 6 P. M. is just received—If Longstreet is leaving Tenn. with his whole force it will be impossible for me to overtake him. I will try to learn positively in time to let Grangers Corps join Genl. Thomas before Longstreet can reach Johnston. I will press forward here as rapidly as possible." Copies, DLC-John M. Schofield; DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxii, part 2, 456. The last two sources refer to USG's telegram of 11:00 A. M.
Nashville February 24th 1864
MAJOR GENERAL G. H THOMAS
Your dispatch received. Push the enemy as far as possible. If unable to carry Dalton, keep at least a heavy force threatening it so as to hold the enemy there. Shermans safety may be dependent upon your effort. Should you drive the enemy out of Dalton follow him as far as possible. If you have sufficiently recovered your health, I would like to have you go out to the front in person, if only to see the situation of affairs and return.
U. S. GRANT