HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Rome, Ga., November 2, 1864.
Lieut. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
City Point, Va.:
Your dispatch is received.* If I could hope to overhaul Hood I would turn against him with my whole force. Then he retreats to the southwest, drawing him as a decoy from Georgia, which is his chief object. If he ventures north of the Tennessee I may turn in that direction and endeavor to get between him and his line of retreat, but thus far he has not gone above the Tennessee. Thomas will have a force strong enough to prevent his reaching any country in which we have an interest, and he has orders if Hood turns to follow me to push for Selma. No single army can catch him, and I am convinced the best results will result from defeating Jeff. Davis' cherished plan of making me leave Georgia by maneuvering. Thus far I have confined my efforts to thwart his plans, and reduced my baggage so that I can pick up and start in any direction, but I would regard a pursuit of Hood as useless; still if he attempts to invade Middle Tennessee I will hold Decatur and be prepared to move in that direction, but unless I let go Atlanta my force will not be equal to his.
W. T. SHERMAN,
SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 39, Part 2 (Serial No. 79), p. 594-5; John Bell Hood, Advance and Retreat, p. 265-6