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‘ [216] about the disposition of Thomas to lay in fortifications for an indefinite period, “until Wilson gets equipments.” This looks like the McClellan and Rosecrans strategy of do nothing, and let the enemy raid the country. The President wishes you to consider the matter.’ To this Grant replied: ‘Immediately on receipt of Thomas's despatch, I sent him a despatch which no doubt you read, as it passed through the office.’ He was not satisfied with this, however, and at 1.30 P. M. on the same day, forwarded a second message to Thomas: ‘With your citizen employes armed, you can move out of Nashville with all your army, and force the enemy to retire, or fight upon ground of your own choosing. After the repulse of Hood at Franklin, it looks to me that, instead of falling back to Nashville, we should have taken the offensive against the enemy, where he was. At this distance, however, I may err as to the best method of dealing with the enemy. You will now suffer incalculable injury upon your railroads, if Hood is not speedily disposed of. Put forth, therefore, every possible exertion to attain this end. Should you get him to retreating, give him no peace.’

Then, as the equipment of the cavalry was the great reason assigned by Thomas for delay, he telegraphed at 7.30 P. M. the same night to Stanton: ‘Do you not think it advisable to authorize Wilson to press horses and mares in Kentucky, to mount his cavalry, giving owners receipts, so they can get their pay? It looks as if Forrest will flank around Thomas, until Thomas is equal to him in cavalry.’ At ten P. M., he said to Halleck: ‘Is it not possible now to send reinforcements ’

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