DECHERD, TENN., May 4, 1864.
Brigadier General WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,
Chief of Staff:
Please say to General Sherman and General Thomas that we are just passing through Decherd, and will commence the ascent of the mountain to-night. Our artillery and forage train were delayed one day by the rains and mud. I will reach Stevenson in the shortest possible time, and then to Chattanooga.
Brigadier General Kenner Garrard,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, May 4, 1864.
Commanding Division of Cavalry, en route:
GENERAL: I received your message to-day and expect will be at Shellmound during the 6th. I send with this my inspector-general, Corse, who knows the country and will guide you across the mountain to Trenton, and by Johnston’s Crook to La Fayette, near which I want you to effect a junction with General McPherson and report to him. You will have a mountainous road, but will save full twenty miles in distance and reach McPherson full a day sooner than by following around by Chattanooga, the road being full of troops and wagons. Let your train of artillery and wagons follow by Chattanooga, attaching it to some train of Logan’s troops that are just ahead of you. You will need five days’ rations and as much forage as you can carry and pack. On your route you will find grass but no forage. Wagons can travel that road but you will be more bothered by them than by want of forage.
Take a good feed at starting and the nose-bag of oats or corn must suffice until you come to your wagons near Gordon’s Springs. If you have pack animals they could be brought over the mountain. Make the men lead up and down the mountain. We are forced to act at once and may need your services soon after reaching McPherson. Have your ordered the other brigade to follow you? General Corse will bring you a good map and will accompany you.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,