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9 Series I Volume XXXVIII-IV Serial 75 - The Atlanta Campaign Part IV

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Page 9 Chapter L. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.


HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, May 1, 1864.

General McPHERSON, Huntsville, Ala.:

Dispatch of to-day received. All right. Telegraph to Stevenson that my opinion is that 2,500 men can hold Decatur against all the cavalry in North Alabama. He has a good bridge to his rear, and we know cavalry don't attack such redoubts as he has. I suppose Blair is now at Cairo, and troops may be expected at Clifton, and on to Huntsville, to re-enforce that wing, and if necessary to make a diversion on Rome.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.


HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, May 1, 1864.

General McPHERSON, Huntsville, Ala.:

I have an intelligent report from Dalton, that the cavalry in North Alabama is ordered to Dalton. What is the appearance before Decatur?

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HUNTSVILLE, May 1, 1864.

Major-General SHERMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

General Dodge is here; left Decatur this forenoon. Roddey's cavalry was off to the westward toward Courtland and was skirmishing with our pickets; yesterday they came up and opened with four pieces of artillery. They make a dash on our pickets almost every day and skirmish a little, but do not seem disposed to fight much as they invariably fall back when any force is sent against them.

JAS. B. McPHERSON,

Major-General.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Huntsville, Ala., May 1, 1864.

Brigadier General JOHN D. STEVENSON,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Decatur, Ala.:

GENERAL: It is all important as a cover to our movement that Decatur should be held as long as possible, or until the necessity for its occupation by our forces ceases to exist. Occupying an advanced position on our flank, it is a constant menace to Northern Alabama, and conveys the idea that we may at any time throw a body of troops from there down to the central portion of the State. This compels the enemy to keep a force of cavalry in the vicinity of Decatur, and hold them where they can really do us very little damage. Again, if Decatur should be abandoned, the enemy would undoubtedly hold it with a small force and throw quite a respectable force across the river into Florence and open communication with Forrest, thus endangering very seriously our lines of communication and supplies. For these reasons Decatur should be held with a strong hand, and should only be evacuated in the greatest emergency.

Impress upon all your railroad and guards to hold their positions and defend the bridges from their block-houses and stockades at all hazards; a sur-


Page 9 Chapter L. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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