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‘ [217] to Thomas from Hooper's department? If there are new troops organized, state militia, or anything that can go, now is the time to annihilate Hood's army. Governor Bramlette [of Kentucky] might put from five to ten thousand horsemen into the field to serve only to the end of the campaign.’

At ten P. M. this night, Thomas replied to his chief: ‘Your two telegrams of eleven A. M. and 1.30 P. M. received. At the time that Hood was whipped at Franklin, I had at this place but about five thousand men of Smith's command, which added to the force under Schofield, would not have given me more than twenty-five thousand; besides, Schofield felt convinced that he could not hold the enemy at Franklin until the five thousand could reach him. As General Wilson's cavalry force also made only about one-fourth that of Forrest's, I thought best to withdraw troops back to Nashville, and wait the arrival of the remainder of Smith's force, and also of a force of about five thousand, commanded by Steedman, which I had ordered up from Chattanooga. The division of General Smith arrived yesterday morning [December 1], and Steedman's troops arrived last night. I now have infantry enough to assume the offensive, if I had more cavalry; and will take the field anyhow, as soon as McCook's division of cavalry reaches here, which I hope will be in three or four days. We can neither get reinforcements nor equipments at this great distance from the North very easily, and it must be remembered that my command was made up of two of the weakest corps of General Sherman's army and all the dismounted cavalry except one brigade; and the task of reorganizing and equipping has met with ’

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