HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,
Near Roswell, July 6, 1864-7 p.m.
GENERAL: Roswell was occupied by my command with but small opposition, the few hundred rebels on the roads falling back before my advance, and burning the bridge after crossing. There is a good ford at this place, so I am informed (the shallow ford), but as the opposite banks command this one, and pickets lie on the other side, I have not crossed any of my men. The approach to Roswell from Marietta can be made on two roads-one, as it approaches within two miles of Roswell, is by a crooked, hilly road that could be easily defended; the other, the river road, passes so close to the river as to come under the fire of the enemy’s rifles. I had one man shot on this road from the other side. There are branch roads which lead into the Cummings road and the old Alabama road, and the approach on the latter is the best and safest in case the enemy is in this vicinity or secrecy is desirable. The position in rear of Roswell for me is not good, as roads come in from all directions, but by being on Soap Creek I can watch all this country, the fords, &c., and passing west of Sweat Mountain will have the short line on the enemy. There is a road leading over to the old Alabama road, a distance of about two miles. As fast as I can gain information I will send it to you.
My impression is that Johnson will make no attempt on this flank, but that his cavalry has gone to his left. He will try to keep his communications with the source of his supplies westward. All information from citizens and his acts in this vicinity lead to this belief. His cavalry instead of falling back to the fords and bridges in this locality crossed on the bridges, &c., with the infantry. Everything is taken out of this country; the grain cut by the rebel soldiers and hauled off. All citizens of property also have left. There were some fine factories here, one woolen factory, capacity 30,000 yards a month, and has furnished up to within a few weeks 15,000 yards per month to the rebel Government, the Government furnishing men and material. Capacity of cotton factory 216 looms, 191,086 yards per month, and 51,666 pounds of thread, and 4,299 pounds of cotton rope. This was worked exclusively for the rebel Government. The other cotton factory, one mile and a half from town, I have no data concerning. There was six months’ supply of cotton on hand. Over the woolen factory the French flag was flying, but seeing no Federal flag above it I had the building burnt. All are burnt. The cotton factory was worked up to the time of its destruction, some 400 women, being employed. There was some cloth which had been made since yesterday morning, which I will save for our hospitals (several thousand yards of cotton cloth), also some rope and thread. I have just learned that McCook is near the paper-mills, on Soap Creek, and I may not take up the position first proposed in this letter. I will try to disguise the strength of my command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General Kenner Garrard,
The machinery of the cotton factory cost before the war $400,000. The superintendent estimates that it alone was worth with its material, &c., when burnt over a million of our money.
From Brigadier General Kenner Garrard to Major General William T. Sherman – July 6, 1864
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,