HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Marietta, July 25, 1864.
Commanding Division of Cavalry:
GENERAL; Yours of to-day is received. I beg you will convey to Colonels Minty, Long, and Miller the assurances that I fully appreciate the services recently rendered. I would like to give all the time you ask for rest, reshoeing, &c., but am advised by General Grant that I must be prepared for a re-enforcement to the rebel army from Virginia, and want to prevent it. I am afraid I will have to call on you and also on General Rousseau’s cavalry to start again the day after to-morrow, but I propose that yours and Rousseau’s should be in the nature of support to General Stoneman and General McCook, who will be charged to make the circuit and break the Macon road well to the rear, say below McDonough.
I wanted General Stoneman to consult and advise with you and bring me your opinion, but my plan is that all my army shall swing round by the right against East Point, whilst the cavalry right and left move by a circuit, and by detachments reach the railroad so as to cut off the last link of the enemy’s communications. That done, I think we can pause for rest and all sorts of repairs. Every minute we delay will add to the magnitude of the undertaking, which I take it for granted the enemy must apprehended, and will be calling in his scattered cavalry to thwart and prevent it.
I am, yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN,
GENERAL SHERMAN’S HEADQUARTERS,
July 25, 1864.
General Brigadier General Kenner Garrard,
Commanding Cavalry Division:
GENERAL: General Sherman says that day after to-morrow will be soon enough, provided the enemy does not leave Atlanta before that time. In the meantime he wishes us to get our commands well in hand and to be ready to act vigorously in case we are called upon suddenly to push a retreating army. The general says that you can all in the regiment you know have at the Factory bridge, and that you can replace it with such portion of your command (under an officer), as you cannot make available in the contemplated operations. This party need not, nor will it be expected to keep up communications with the left of the army, but will be considered and will act as a sort of flank guard to Marietta, and to hold the bridge for ulterior purposes, in case it may be wanted. An infantry force will also be sent there from Marietta, if necessary. The success of your recent expedition warrants the general in expecting important results from the efforts of our forces combined.
I am, very respectfully, &c.,
Respectfully referred to General Sherman, through General Logan, to know under whose orders I am serving.
I have been all day occupied in carrying out General Logan’s orders and now this letter orders an entirely different disposition of my troops. Of course I do not recognize General Stoneman, but wish this matter settled in some way. I should not move for two to three days.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,