Monday, August 1, 1864

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

Thomas Writes:

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.

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Sunday, July 31, 1864

Near Atlanta Georgia 8 p.m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
No change since my last. Weather has been intensely hot, and today it is raining hard. General Garrard’s cavalry is back. General Stoneman placed it at Flat Rock to cover his movement south. General Garrard reports the enemy’s cavalry all round him for two days, when he charged out and went to Latimar’s, where he heard that General Stoneman had passed Covington, so he got two full day’s start for Macon. I will not hear of him for some days. From rumors among the people, I think he struck the road, for it is reported broken at Jonesborough. Tomorrow night I will move General Schofield to the extreme right to draw the enemy out to East Point. His works are too strong for an assault, and we cannot spare the ammunition for a bombardment.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

General Thomas writes:

I have just returned from the right. General Howard’s troops only occupy the intrenchments made by Morgan and Ward, whereas he should have extended his line toward the railroad, throwing out as his intrenchments were completed. Morgan and Ward could then have supported his right as he extended his lines. I think Howard’s army will reach very nearly to the railroad when intrenched and thrown out as my troops are. Should Schofield move to the right he will surely reach the road; thus Morgan and Ward can be held in reserve and in support of the right flank as it progresses toward the railroad. The reconnaissance your ordered was made today by Morgan. He found the enemy covered by a strong infantry skirmish line with artillery on a road leading direct to East Point from a house on the Green’s Ferry road, about a mile from the rear of our right. The troops moved about a mile and a half on that road before encountering the enemy. Morgan returned to his camp toward night, as I did not see, it prudent to have him so far to Howard’s right. I think I understand the directions of all roads leading toward East Point from all points directly in our rear.

I Replied:
I have your dispatch, which is most satisfactory. I think General Schofield, supported by General Davis and Ward, will reach the railroad. At all events, it is our true move. General Garrard’s cavalry can occupy General Schofield’s lines, and General Stanley’s left, refused along Pea Vine, will make good flank, covering Buck Head and the Pace’s Ferry road. This will enable you with your main army to press on Atlanta, which General Howard advances his right and General Schofield extends, supported by General Davis and Ward, will make an army equal to Hood’s movable column.

I think I appreciate General Garrard’s good qualities, but he is so cautious that if forced to make a bold move to the relief of General McCook I doubt if he would attempt it. General Stoneman went with a full knowledge of his risk but General McCook will have reason to expect co-operation from about McDonough, and may be disappointed when he finds his brigade gone and a new road ahead closed by Wheeler. He has, however, a bold and well-appointed force and can fight his way back; still, for his sake, we must occupy the attention of the enemy as much as possible.

I have ordered General Garrard in on our left, and tomorrow night will let him fill with a skirmish line General Schofield’s position, and move all of General Schofield to the right of General Howard, and with the division of Generals Davis and Ward in reserve on the right to strike a blow beyond our new right flank when intrenched. Our right flank must be advanced in close and absolute contact with the enemy, and with General Schofield on that flank I think we can make him quit Atlanta, or so weaken his lines that we can break through somewhere, the same as our Kenesaw move. Study the road so that Generals Schofield and Howard may have a line close up to the enemy, as close as possible. I will send a regiment of cavalry down the west bank of the Chattahoochee to feel for General McCook. I must have a bolder commander for General Garrard’s cavalry and want General Thomas to name to me General Kilpatrick or some good brigadier for the command.

Thomas Replied:

I do not know of a better cavalry commander in my army than Garrard. He is an excellent administrative officer, and I have no doubt you will find on inquiry that his ordered from Stoneman were indefinite. Garrard is much more judicious than Kilpatrick, who can knock up his horses as rapidly as any man I know. I think if you will bear with Garrard you will find in a short time he will be the best cavalry commander you have.

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Sunday, July 31, 1864

TO JOHN SHERMAN
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Near Atlanta, July 31, 1864

Dear Brother,
I received your long letter of the 24th last night and before starting out this morning will answer. I don’t want Hugh to engage in the cotton business. At first the speculators made large profits by buying cotton of slaves, overseers & thieves, but that is now all over. The competition is so great we have lost all we gained in our Mississippi campaign but the naked River. The Guerrillas render it almost a barren conquest. The only orders I give as to cotton is to burn it as the chief cash resource of the South.

Even with what is left to them at present prices they are richer in money than you of the North, and as Mr. Chase encouraged the trade in cotton, he supplied the armies of the South better than they were enabled to do, through the blockade. In my Meridian trip, I found the enemy’s camps well stocked with Shoes clothing & ammunition of Cincinnati and Philadelphia manufacture. This greed after gain encourages the South to believe what our army already knows, that our People are so avaricious that they would sell our lives for a small profit. I don’t want Hugh to engage in it, it is a dirty business. Until he is drafted let him cultivate potatoes & vegetables to feed his family, Same of Moulton.

Of course before we can make our conquests permanent we have to populate the South de novo.
Don’t understand me as opposed to the progress of the War. On the contrary, since the first day of it, we have had no choice, only our government, had no sense and kept on with temporary expedients instead of resorting to the universal compulsory draft, with terms of enlistment adequate to the End. We no sooner get an army than it dissolves away. I have seen with sorrow some of my best Regiments march to the Rear to time out. Whilst mine dwindles thus, that of the enemy constantly grows and may in the End overreach me. I don’t believe you can appreciate the disgust felt by the real men of the army for the recent Law of Congress allowing states to Send agents into the Rebellious states to enlist the refuse and negroes with high bounties, to be credited them on the draft. Our soldiers do not feel complimented that Such stuff shall go into the count as par with them.
You speak of the drift of popular sentiment that Grant 8c Sherman would now be good candidates. Fortunately we are not candidates, for before the election is over “Mack” or some other “Skunks” would write us down, in the Method of Sim Tappertit.

Since we crossed Chattahoochee, Hood attacked my center & got whipped: July 20th, on the 22nd he shortened his lines, drew inside of Atlanta well fortified and then launched his whole available force against my left, where a real hard fight ensued, but there again he got the worst of it; on the 27th I was extending my Lines and attacked by the Right & he repeated the same manoeuver and got dreadfully whipped. In Each of these battles we killed as many as our entire casualties. My aggregate losses will not foot up 5000, whereas on the 20th we buried near 700 Rebels—on the 22nd 3200, and the 27, 642, making 4700 dead,. The wounded at the rate of 6 to 12 makes this loss over 20,000. We have taken near 3000 prisoners, and 21 Battle flags, but in the Rush of the 22nd we lost McPherson and 10 cannon.

I do not think Hood will attack me again. Atlanta is too Strong for an assault and I must manoeuver on its communications. Weather is dreadfully hot. I am sorry you sold your house, but you can get another. Don’t change your residence “during the War.” If I survive this campaign in life or Reputation, I will seek some rest and retirement, and let the Rising Generals step in for a term of three years, when I will be ready to come in afresh.

Love to all. Yours affectionately,
W. T. Sherman

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Saturday, July 30, 1864

Near Atlanta Georgia

Our railroad is done to the rear of our camps. Colonel W. P. Wright has reconstructed the bridge across the Chattahoochee in six days. The President approved the promotion of 8 colonels to Brigadier General one day after I telegraphed the names to the war department. I doubt if eight promotions have ever made fairer, or were more honestly earned, during the whole war.

I wrote to Thomas:
Send two or three of your best scouts across to the west bank of the Chattahoochee, and down till they come to where General McCook crossed, and how guarded, and with orders to send us back work and news from our cavalry.
I am starting for General Howard’s headquarters. Any message for me will reach me there. I have ordered Captain Poe to examine and select a line as a left flank in case I have to throw General Schofield on the right.
Our right is too much refused to be a threat. I will go to Schofield’s tomorrow and examine a point near Stanley’s left to see what chance to break in there. As soon as the cavalry returns I will probable throw Schofield over, and in the mean time want that flank well studied. I would like to have you go to Davis’ division and cause a bold reconnaissance over toward East Point.

Schofield Reports:
A rebel scouting party which came into Decatur this morning informed the citizens that the railroad had been cut by our cavalry at a place called Jonesborough, as it was understood by Colonel Garrard, who brought the report.
The enemy has shown more force than usual in his main works in my front today, and has been erecting a battery a short distance in front of his old works on the railroad brigade, where I pressed him closely on the 28th. Colonel Garrard reports no movement on our left, except a small body of cavalry, which he drove from Decatur this morning.
I have your dispatch expressing your desire that I advance my picket-line in front of the distillery near the road leading to Atlanta. I tried that on the 28th and found it impracticable, for this reason, viz, the point refereed to is in a large re-reentering angle of the enemy’s works, and the enemy’s picket-line in that vicinity is enfiladed by the artillery of both the adjacent salient. Neither the enemy’s picket-line, nor even the main captain in rear, should be held by our troops until those salients are carried. One of them is three-quarters of a mile to my left, and hence beyond my reach. The other is somewhat to my right. I will see General Stanley and ascertain what can be done about this latter salient. Perhaps we can drive in the skirmishers around it and keep down its fire with our sharpshooters.

I replied to Schofield:
I am starting for the right. It may became necessary to shift you to the extreme right, in which case our left will be back of Pea Vine creek, from General Wood’s right back to the rebel lines, with a detachment at Buck Head, but this I do not propose till General Garrard is back.
Order Colonel Garrard to feel into Decatur again in the morning, and, without seeming anxious, to pick up any further news of our cavalry. Where did General Garrard leave his wagons and lame horses?
Our troops are on the Sandtown road. The enemy must follow that movement, and if they hold a force on your left front, it is only for effect. They will weaken about General Stanley. I will come over tomorrow. I hope to hear of our cavalry tomorrow. When it is back, I will probably shift you over to the right.

Blair asks permission to send an officer to have soldiers collect for his corp:

I have the honor to represent that in the recent operations this command has became reduced to about 6,400 effective men. A large number of the officers and men of this corps have been left behind sick and slightly wounded in hospitals at Cairo, Nashville, Louisville, Huntsville, and Rome. I satisfied there are many of them ready for the field who been improperly detailed at these points and at Saint Louis, Mo. I have, therefore, the honor to request that sent to these points for the purpose of collecting and returning all men fit for duty to this command, with full authority to sent to the front officers and men who, in his opinion, have been improperly detailed or are absent without proper authority from this command. In the recent battles Major Kennard’s regiment has been reduced to about twenty-five men, with whom there are two line and one field officer, so that he can easily be spared. As he is an active and efficient officer, I am satisfied he will be able to collect a large number of men who will otherwise remain as extra nurses and servants to officers.

GENERAL ORDERS, 
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Numbers 238. 
Washington, July 30, 1864

The following assignments are hereby made:
1. Major General O. O. Howard to the command of the Army and Department of the Tennessee.

2. Major General H. W. Slocum to the command of the Twentieth Army Corps, vice Major-General Hooker, who is relieved at his own request.

3. Major General D. S. Stanley to the command of the Fourth Army Corps, vice Major-General Howard, transferred to the Army and Department of the Tennessee.

By order of the President of the United States:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General

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Saturday, July 30, 1864

Head Qtrs. Milt. Div. of the Miss. In the Field near Atlanta Ga. July 30″ 1864.

John. A. Spooner Esq. Agent for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Nashville :

Sir:
Yours from Chattanooga of July 28th is received, notifying me of your appointment by your State as Lieutenant. Colonel and Provost Marshall for Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, under the act of Congress approved July 4th 1864 to recruit volunteers to be credited the Quotas of the States respectively. On applying to General Webster at Nashville, he will grant you a pass through our lines, to these States, and as I have had considerable experience in those States would suggest recruiting Depots to be established at Macon and Columbus, Mississippi; Selma, Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama; and Columbus, Milledgeville and Savannah Georgia. I do not see that the Law restricts you to Black recruits, but you are at liberty I suppose to collect white Recruits, also. It is a waste of time and money to open a rondevouz in North West Georgia, for I assure you I have not seen an able bodied man black or white fit for a soldier, who was not in this Army or the one opposite it.

You speak of the impression going about that I am opposed to the organization of Colored Regiments. My opinions are usually very positive and there is no reason why you should not know them. Though entertaining profound reverence for our Congress, I do doubt their wisdom in the passage of this Law. 1st: Because Civilian Agents about an army are a nuisance. 2nd: The duty of citizens to fight for their country is too sacred a one to be peddled off by buying up the refuse of other States. 3rd.: It is unjust to the Soldiers and Volunteers who are fighting as those who compose this army are doing to place them on a par with the class of recruits you are after. 4th: The negro is in a transition state and is not the equal of the white man. 5th: He is liberated from his Bondage by act of war and the armies in the Field are entitled to all his assistance in labor and fighting in addition to the proper quota of the States. 6th: This bidding and bartering for Recruits, white and black, has delayed the reinforcements of our armies at this time when such reinforcements could have enabled us to make our successes permanent. 7th: The Law is an experiment which pending war is unwise and unsafe and has delayed the universal draft which I firmly believe will become necessary to overcome the widespread resistance offered us. I also believe the universal draft will be wise and beneficent for under the Providence of God it will separate the Sheep from the Goats and demonstrate what citizens will fight for their country and what will only talk.

No one shall infer from this that I am not the Friend of the negro as well as the white race. I contend that the Treason and Rebellion of the Master freed the slave; and I and the armies I have commanded have conducted to safe points more negroes than those of any other General officer in the army. I prefer some negroes as pioneers, teamsters, cooks, and servants, others gradually to experiment in the art of the Soldier, beginning with the duties of local garrison such as we had at Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, Nashville and Chattanooga. I would not draw on the Poor race for too large a proportion of its active athletic young men, for some must remain to seek new homes, and provide for the old and young, the feeble and helpless.

These are some of my peculiar notions, but I assure you they are shared by a large proportion of our fighting men. You may show this to the agents of the other States in the same business with yourself.

I am &c.
W. T. Sherman, Major General Commanding

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Friday, July 29, 1864

TO ELLEN EWING SHERMAN
Head-Quarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, near Atlanta July 29, 1864

Dearest Ellen,
Since crossing Chattahoochee I have been too busy to write—we have had three (3) pretty hard battles, the Enemy attacked my center as we were fairly across the Peachtree Creek, and got badly beaten. Next as we closed in on Atlanta he struck our extreme Left, and the fighting was desperate He drove back a part of the Left, but the men fought hard and when night closed our losses amounted to 3500 and we found nearly 3000 Dead Rebels. Making the usual allowance, the enemy must have sustained a loss of 10,000. Yesterday I shifted the Army of the Tennessee to my Extreme Right, and in getting into position it was again attacked & repulsed the attack. The fight was mostly with the 15th Corps. Logan commands it.

McPherson’s death was a great loss to me. I depended much on him. In casting about for a Successor, I preferred Howard, who is a man of mind and intellect. He is very honest, sincere & moral, even to piety, but brave having lost an arm already. He was a junior Major General to Hooker who took offense and has gone away. I don’t regret it. Hooker is envious, imperious, and braggart. Self prevailed with him and Knowing him intimately, I honestly preferred Howard. Yesterdays work justified my choice, for Howards dispositions and manner Elicited the shouts of my old Corps, and he at once stepped into the Shoes of McPherson and myself.

I have now Thomas, Schofield & Howard, all tried & approved soldiers. We are gradually drawing our lines close up to Atlanta, fortifying our front against their bold sallies, and I now have all the Cavalry out against the Roads between Atlanta & Macon. I am glad I beat Johnston for he had the most exalted reputation with our Old Army as a strategist. Hood1 is a new man and a fighter and must be watched closer, as he is reckless of the lives of his Men. It is wonderful with what faith they adhere to the belief that they whip us on all occasions though we have them now almost penned up in Atlanta. If no reinforcements come, I think I will cut them off from all communication with the rest of the Confederacy. Bowman has sent me the proof sheets of the August No. of the U.S. Service Magazine. The sketch is strong, but contains enough original material to give it the coloring of truth.

I enclose you a letter for you, which seems to be from the mother of your “Norah.” I also repeat that I prefer that Minnie should return to that School at Cincinnati, & Lizzie go along if willing. I prefer you should stay at Lancaster at whatever sacrifice of feeling or personal convenience till we can see daylight ahead in this war. But if you will go, better to Cincinnati than Notre Dame. There you have no better medical attendance than you will find within reach of Lancaster.

I don’t pretend to see a week ahead, and if I get killed which is not improbable at any moment, you will of course be compelled to live at Lancaster. Yesterday, a solid Canister Shot passed me Close & killed an orderly’s horse (Charley’s orderly) close behind me, in fact I daily pass death in the most familiar shape and you should base your calculations on that event. I got Minnie’s letter. It is plainly and well written and I feel satisfied she has made good progress at her new School, and do not wish her to change. I have cut out of a magazine two rough woodcuts of Grant & myself which approximate likenesses. Keep them as samples. Charley & I are both well and my staff remains unchanged except I have given Corse to Dodge to command one of his Divisions.

Give my love to all the children & the folks Generally. My poor Brother Jim. He was a good fellow, but John Barleycorn was too much for him.

Yours Ever,
W. T. Sherman

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Friday, July 29, 1864

Near Atlanta Georgia

I wrote to Thomas:
Until the result of our cavalry is known, I want the utmost activity on our flanks. General Howard but this time must have his line strong. I wish you to take General Davis’ division and one of General Williams’ and operate from General Howard’s right flank toward East Point. Don’t form a line, but move so as to occupy or threaten the railroad. General Schofield will do the same on the left. I will stay at home to-day to be convenient to the telegraph. Keep me well advised. Don’t extend the line permanently, but operate in the nature of a strong reconnaissance toward East Point, having General Howard’s lines as a point of departure and safety.

Thomas Reports:

I have just returned from the right. I have intrenched Morgan on the Howell’s (or Green’s) Ferry road, to the right and southwest of Logan. He has complete control of that road, and has his skirmishers our half a mile to his front. They have driven the rebels into intrenched riflepits, and report intrenched lines heavily manned a short distance in rear of their skirmish rifle-pits. I also directed ward to take position on Morgan’s right and refuse his right, so as to make a strong right flank.

Ward fronts the Howell’s Ferry road, and runs along it toward the Chattahoochee for half and then falls back this way. Howard had good ground to fight over yesterday. I saw several dead rebels that Ward’s men were burying. If, after intrenching, Howard will thin out and extend to his right, Morgan and Ward can move still farther to the right, and might perhaps overlap the enemy. Whilst Morgan and Ward made their advances, I had Williams, Johnson, and Baird make a strong reconnaissances to their fronts. They all report their belief that the enemy has either retired altogether, or has withdrawn the greater part of his forces, and only now has a weak skirmish line covering his fortifications around the city. I have directed them to feel strongly tonight, and determine whether the enemy has retired or not.

I believe the enemy must be weakening the defenses of Atlanta, but troops report a very strong defense. I all continue to extend my lines as far West as possible and try to move the enemy out of Atlanta by threatening his railroad.

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