FRANKLIN, November 30, 1864–12 M.
MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville:
Your despatch of 10.25 A.M. is received. I am satisfied that I have heretofore run too much risk in trying to hold Hood in check, while so far inferior to him in both infantry and cavalry. The slightest mistake on my part, or failure of a subordinate, during the last three days, might have proved disastrous. I don’t want to get into so tight a place again. Yet I will cheerfully act in accordance with your views of expediency, if you think it important to hold Hood back as long as possible. When you get all your troops together, and the cavalry in effective condition, we can whip Hood easily, and, I believe, make the campaign a decisive one. Before that, the most we can do is to husband our strength and increase it as much as possible. I fear the troops which were stationed on the river below Columbia will be lost. I will get my trains out of the way as soon as possible, and watch Hood carefully. Possibly I may be able to hold him here, but do not expect to be able to do so long.