Resaca, May 15, 1864.
General GARRARD,
Farmer’s Bridge, across Oostanaula River:
GENERAL: I regret exceedingly you did not avail yourself of the chance I gave you to cut the railroad. At the time you reached the bridge, Martin’s cavalry was all that was on that flank, and they widely scattered. Forrest on the 6th was retreating before Sam. Strugis, in Mississippi, toward Tupelo. In person he may be at Rome, but if his horses are there they can outmarch ours. Roddey on the 11th was at Tuscumbia. Now Martin’s and Wheeler’s divisions are covering the retreat of Johnston for Allatoona, and I want you to dash in and strike the retreating masses in flank and all round. Leave your artillery at the bridge, or better still, throw it into the Oostanaula, and operate rapidly against the enemy retreating by all roads for Atlanta via Allatoona. From Adairsville to Kingston is a place to strike, and from Kingston to the railroad bridge across Etowah (Hightower.) I will send a division of infantry to come round by the bridge you describe, eight miles above Rome, to push up your wagons and incumbrances. Now, do not spare horse-flesh, but strike boldly on the flank of the retreating columns. McPherson will cross Oostanaula by Lay’s Ferry, and get on Resaca and Rome road. Thomas will pursue the railroad, and Schofield on his left over on the old Kingston road. You can depend on meeting McPherson first, as his bridge is done at Lay’s Ferry. Stoneman is over on the left somewhere. McCook will be with Thomas, and Kilpatrick with McPherson. I would re-enforce you, but 3,000 cavalry is as much as you need and can whip any cavalry you encounter. Can’t attack infantry in line unless disordered, nor forts. I send General Corse down to represent me.