“Your dispatch received. Push the enemy as far as possible.”

Gen. Thomas has moved south and is threatening Dalton.  I received the following dispatch.

CHATTANOOGA, February 24, 1864-4 a.m.

Major General U. S. GRANT:

Reports from the front just received. Our skirmishers engaged the enemy for some 4 miles, and drove them through Tunnel Hill on double-quick. A mile beyond town they formed, and brought up a battery of artillery. Colonel Long went within 3 1/2 miles of Dalton, and drove a regiment of infantry out of winter quarters. Our main force encamped within 3 miles of Tunnel Hill last night, and will be on the road to Dalton to-morrow night.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General.

I replied,

NASHVILLE, February 24, 1864-10.30 a.m.

Major General G. H. THOMAS:

Your dispatch received. Push the enemy as far as possible. If unable to carry Dalton, keep, at any rate, a heavy force threatening it so, as to hold all the enemy there. Sherman’s safety may be dependent upon your efforts. 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,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 10, p 151-2

O.R., I, xxxii, part 2, p 458-9