Pherson will cross and join with Thomas. McPherson has no cavalry, but I have taken one of Thomas' Divisions, viz Garrards, 6000 strong, which I now have at Columbia mounting equipping and preparing. I design this Division to operate on McPherson's Right Rear or Front according as the enemy appears. But the moment I detect Johnston falling behind the Chattahoochee I propose to cast off the Effective part of this Cavalry Division after crossing Coosa, straight for Opelika, West Point, Columbus or Wetumpka, to break up the Road between Montgomery and Georgia. If Garrard can do this work good he can return to the main army, but should a superior force interpose, then he will seek safety at Pensacola, and join Banks, or after Rest act against any force that he can find on the East of Mobile, till such time as he can reach me. Should Johnston fall behind Chattahoochee I would feign to the Right but pass to the Left and act on Atlanta oron its Eastern communications according to developed facts. This is about as far ahead as I feel disposed to look, but I would ever bear in mind that Johnston is at all times to be kept so busy that he cannot in any event send any part of his command against you or Banks. If Banks can at the same time carry Mobile and open up the Alabama River he will in a measure solve the most difficult part of my problem, Provisions. But in that I must venture. Georgia has a million of Inhabitants. If they can live we should not starve. If the enemy interrupt my communications I will be absolved from all obligations to subsist on our own resources, but feel perfectly justified in taking whatever & whereever I can find. I will inspire my command if successful with my feeling that Beef & Salt are all that is absolutely necessary to Life & parched Corn fed General Jacksons Army once, on that very ground. —" ALS, PHi. O. R., I, xxxii, part 3, 312-14.
Washington, D. C., Apl. 4th 1864.
MAJ. GEN. W. T. SHERMAN,
COMD. G MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS.
Most of the changes asked for by you, in your command have been made. The 11th & 12th Corps will be consolidated and the new Corps formed from them called the 1st Maj. Gen. Hooker to command. Schofield is assigned to the command of the 23d Corps which will embrace all the troops in his Dept. You can order such