NEAR ATLANTA, GA., August 1, 1864: 8 p.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
Colonel Brownlow reports from Marietta that he has just reached there, having escaped from a disaster that overtook General McCook’s cavalry expedition at Newman. He reports the expedition reached the railroad and destroyed more road than the rebels can repair in fifteen days, and burned 500 bagged wagons, including the headquarters train of the rebel army, but was overtaken at Newman by rebel cavalry and infantry, and after a hard fight had to surrender. Colonel Harrison was killed. I can hardly believe it, as he had 3,000 picked cavalry. Colonel Brownlow commanded one of the regiments, and brought in with him but few men. I have sent for him from Marietta, to inquire more closely into the matter. I have reported General Garrard’s safe return. General Stoneman used him as a cover to get a good start, so that he will probably reach Macon, and it may be Andersonville, but will have to run the gauntlet to get back safe. The loss of this cavalry is a serious one to me, but we are pushing the enemy close. Considerable re-enforcements of enemy militia and dismounted cavalry have reached Atlanta, under Stephen D. Lee.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Atlanta, Georgia, August 1, 1864
General WEBSTER, Nashville:
I am afraid that General McCook’s command of cavalry, 3,000 strong, has been caught and captured at Newman, after having broken the railroad and burned 300 wagons of the enemy; so Colonel Brownlow reports by telegraph from Marietta, he having escaped. Order General Burbridge, in Kentucky, and General Rousseau, to send me all the cavalry that can possibly be spared, as the enemy will surely be on our railroad very soon.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding
Colonel Brownlow reports that McCook destroyed twelve miles of the Macon railroad, and a bridge over the White Water, longer than the Chattahoochee bridge. he also destroyed over 500 wagons, Hood’s Hardee’s, and other headquarters wagons among them. Unfortunately he then turned back on his old route and commenced to destroy the West Point road, when he was attacked on the 30th, near Newman, by infantry and cavalry in overwhelming numbers, surrounded, and all who did not cut their way through were either killed or captured. There are nearly 500 now in Marietta, and Brownlow thinks many more will find their way in. The First Wisconsin was cut off near Campbellton, and returned two days ago. I will send you his report in the morning.
I wrote Thomas orders to protect our rear:
I wish you to see that some one officer, say the colonel of a small infantry regiment, be at the railroad bridge and occupy the rebel intrenchments toward Vining’s and about Turner’s Ferry, and collect in them all the scattered detachments about there. See that wagons are not grouped outside. Easton should use the bridge as his depot, instead of Vining’s, but a picket should be on the hill overlooking Vining’s. The guards at Marietta are enough. Kilpatrick’s cavalry should be between Marietta and the railroad bridge, with patrols down about Sweet Water. A regiment of men in the old rebel intrenchments will be a prefect protection to the bridge and our depot on the other side.
You had better order General Kilpatrick to march at once down by Marietta to our right flank, and to gather up the fragments of General McCook’s cavalry and put it in shape, for enemy will surely cross over to that flank. Also, if you have regiment of cavalry up at Chattanooga, it could patrol about Resaca till we get more cavalry down. It may be that more of General McCook’s men may escape.
I want to hold the enemy close to Atlanta while Schofield moves to the right. I wrote Schofield, Thomas and Howard:
You may fire from ten to fifteen shots from every gun you have in position into Atlanta that will reach any of its house. Fire slowly and with deliberation between 4 p. m. and dark. I have inquired into our reserve supply and the occasion will warrant the expenditure.
Schofield’s troops are drawing out of their old lines, and will move for the right early in the morning. When he reaches Howard will give him the right direction, so that when in position he will be within cannon-range of the railroad.
I had Dayton send the orders:
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., Numbers 48. August 1, 1864
I. During the next series of operations General Thomas will be the left, General Howard center, and General Schofield the right army. The two division of Generals Davis will continue to be held in reserve toward the right, and in case the enemy attack that flank, these division will report to and during the action obey General Schofield’s order. When not engaged General Thomas will post them so as to cover his communication from danger comming from the southeast.
II. Brigadier-General Garrard’s cavalry will relieve General Schofield on the left and occupy in part his trenches, patrol the roads about Decatur, and picket toward Roswell. He will report to General Thomas, and be prepared to sally out as cavalry from his trenches, in case of necessity.
III. All train of wagons going to and from the depots of Vining’s and Marietta will follow roads converging at they railroad bridge, and never go north of Buck Head or south of Turner’s.
IV. General Thomas will cause a new infantry flank to be prepared on his left, north of the Buck Head road, connecting General Stanley’s front lines with the old rebel prepared near Peach Tree Creek.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp
Schofield Ordered the movement of this Army:
The troops will withdraw from their present position and move toward the right this evening. The movement will commence at dark and will be made by brigade from the left. Each brigade will remain in position until the preceding one got into the road and is well under way, so that the troops may not be detained in positions exposed to the enemy’s artillery fire. The movement should be made quietly and in good order, with as little noise or display as possible. The picket-line will remain in its present position until it shall be remained by other troops, or until notified that our troops are withdrawn and that a new picket-line has been established by General Stanley’s corps and General Garrard’s cavalry, when our picket-line will quietly retire and join the corps. The division will march to points select by Captain Twining, chief engineer, behind the new flank line of the Army of the Cumberland, and there bivouac for the night. The march will resumed at 6 a. m. tomorrow. a detachment from the Second Division will be posted by Captain Twining at short intervals along the route of tonight’s march to keep fires burning to light the road and guide the column. Army headquarters will be tonight near headquarters of the military division.