BEFORE ATLANTA, GA., July 24, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
I have the honor to state the brigade of cavalry from General Stoneman’s command, which, by information from you of last evening, was to report to me this morning, has not yet reported. It is necessary that trains with forage and rations should be brought forward from Roswell.
You are aware that I have no cavalry at my disposal, nor is it practicable to take a sufficient force of infantry from the lines as a guard to the trains brought forward under guard there stationed, and shall the bridge be destroyed?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. LOGAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., July 24, 1864.
Major General JOHN A. LOGAN,
Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have pretty well surveyed the whole position, and by the aid of maps and my own observations think I understand the case pretty well. Our lines are now strong in front, and we compass Atlanta from the railroad on the east to the railroad west. The enemy, having failed in his assault on your flank before it was covered by any defensible works, and having sustained most serious loss, will not again attempt it, but will await our action. I now inclose you a map* made by General Schofield’s engineers, which shows the road to your present right rear. I sent Captain Poe to see you this morning, but from what Captain Hickenlooper says I think I may have failed to convey to you my right meaning, which is this: The only object in placing the Army of the Tennessee on that flank was to reach and destroyed the railroad from Atlanta toward Augusta. That is partially done, and the work of destruction should be continued as far as possible. I wish you to keep one division or more employed day and night in breaking and burning the road until General Garrard returns. I feel no doubt but that he has succeeded in breaking the bridges across the Yellow River and the Ulcofauhachee, but he may have to fight his way back, and to relieve him I wish you to push your skirmishers out from General Dodge’s front of General Blair’s left, as though you were going to push your way to the east of Atlanta toward the August road. To keep up this delusion, you should send a column cautiously down one of those roads or valleys, southeast, and engage the enemy outside his works, but no behind his trenches. As soon as General Garrard is back you can discontinue all such demonstration and prepare for your next move. I proposed give you timely notice to send your wagons behind General Thomas and then to move your army behind the present to the extreme right, to reach, if possible, the Macon road, which you know to be the only road by which Atlanta can be supplied. This will leave General Schofield the left flank, which will be covered by the works he has constructed on his front, and he can use the abandoned trenches of the enemy to cover his left rear. You will no longer send your wagons by Roswell, but by Buck Head and Pace’s Ferry, and when you change you will draw from the railroad bridge, to which our cars now run, and at which point we are making a pier bridge, as also two of pontoons. General Stoneman will surely be at Decatur to-day, and we will have two divisions of cavalry on our right viz, General McCook’s and [Colonel] Harrison’s (General Rousseau’s). Act with confidence. Know that the enemy cannot budge you from your present ground, and act offensively to show him that you dare him to the encounter. You can understand that being on the defensive he cannot afford to sally unless at great peril. General Schofield has so strengthened his front that I fell no uneasiness about that flank, and only study now to make the next move so quickly that we may reach East Point or vicinity with as little loss as possible. My headquarters are now behind General Howard’s corps, General Newton’s division, on the main Marietta and Atlanta road, which crosses the Chattahoochee at Pace’s Ferry and passes through Buck Head. I am at a large white house near the enemy’s old line of entrenchments, a prolongation of the same which passes from where I saw you yesterday by General Schofield’s position. I have just heard that General Garrard is back.
Go on breaking that road good.
W. T. SHERMAN,