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‘ [240] I am in hopes he will be able to clear them out.’ Thus another avenue of communication with Thomas was cut off. The Cumberland river was closed.

Rosecrans, who had commanded in Missouri, was at this juncture relieved by Dodge, at Grant's request, and on the 8th, the general-in-chief telegraphed to Halleck: ‘Please direct General Dodge to send all the troops he can spare, to General Thomas. With such order, he can be relied on to send all that can properly go. They had probably better be sent to Louisville, for I fear either Hood or Breckenridge will go to the Ohio river. I will submit whether it is not advisable to call on Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, for sixty thousand men for thirty days. If Thomas has not struck yet, he ought to be ordered to hand over his command to Schofield.’ Yet even now, he had a good word to say for his inert subordinate. ‘There is no better man to repel an attack than Thomas, but I fear he is too cautious to take the initiative.’ Halleck replied to this at nine P. M. ‘If you wish General Thomas relieved, give the order. No one here will, I think, interfere. The responsibility, however, will be yours, as no one here, so far as I am informed, wishes General Thomas removed.’ To this Grant answered at ten o'clock: ‘Your despatch of nine P. M. just received. I want General Thomas reminded of the importance of immediate action. I sent him a despatch this evening, which will probably urge him on. I would not say relieve him, until I hear farther from him.’

The despatch Grant had sent to Thomas was in these words: ‘8.30 P. M. It looks to me evident the enemy are trying to cross the Cumberland, and are ’

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