“Either this should be done or battle given where Longstreet now is”

I wrote again to Gen. Foster, urging action.

CHATTANOOGA, January 24, 1864 – 3 p. m.

Major-General FOSTER:

Can you not now organize a cavalry force to work its way past Longstreet south of him, to get into his rear and destroy railroad and transportation, or cannot Willcox do this from the north? Either this should be done or battle given where Longstreet now is. Let me know what you think about this.



He replied,

KNOXVILLE, January 24, 1864.

Major-General GRANT:

Your dispatch of tree 2nd is received; also one without date ordering an advance. I have telegraphed the results of the past week’s movements. the whole force is now distributed to their positions to obtain forage and thereat which men and animals so much need. The roads are very bad, and after a rain will become impassable. the animals are in a very bad condition. Very little of the artillery can be taken forward at this time on a march. the bread thus far received from Chattanooga has not amounted to one-tenth of the rations. We now have only enough for the hospitals. I make the above representation in justice to the men, who have already suffered much, and would earnestly urge that they be allowed some weeks to rest.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 10, p 58,60

O.R., I, xxxii, part 2, p 193-4

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