Before Atlanta, Ga., August 18, 1864-2 p. m.
Brigadier General Brigadier General Kenner Garrard,
Commanding Second Cavalry Division:
GENERAL: To facilitate the success of General Kilpatrick as much as possible, I wish you to be in Decatur by daylight to-morrow morning (19th) with the effective force you have with you. Then move in the direction of Flat Rock and Atlanta, and so attract the enemy’s attention by skirmishing and threatening as to induce him to believe that you are about to attack his flank, then by moving off toward Stone Mountain, draw him after you as far as possible, and swing round toward your present position in the direction of the Peach Tree road. This movement should be continued throughout the day, and the enemy should be threatened again early on the morning of the 20th instant by a similar movement as the one above directed. By this means it is hoped you will be able to hold all the cavalry the enemy now has on his right flank, and thereby give General Kilpatrick at least twelve hours on the Macon road. He expects to reach Fairburn by daylight to-morrow (19th) with his horses fresh and cool. He will then push rapidly for Jonesborough, which place he should reach by 2 p. m., and if uninterrupted he will have from that time until dark, and for some hours during the night, to break up and destroy the railroad, and whatever stores, material, and rolling-stock he may meet with. You will therefore perceive the necessity for occupying the attention of the enemy as much as possible to draw from General Kilpatrick all the cavalry you can for at least to-morrow and next day (19th and 20th).
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.