Thursday, May 19, 1864

KINGSTON, Georgia, May 19, 1864

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

We entered Kingston this morning without opposition, and have pushed a column east as far as Cassville, skirmishing the latter part of the day with Hardee’s corps. The enemy has retreated south of the Etowah. Tomorrow cars will move to this place, and I will replenish our stores and get ready for the Chattahoochee. The railroad passes through a range of hills at Allatoona, which is doubtless being prepared for us; but I have no intention of going through it. I apprehend more trouble from our long trains of wagons than from the fighting, though, of course, Johnston must fight hard for Atlanta.

W. T SHERMAN, Major-Genera

I asked General Webster at Nashville to hurry militia to guard the railroads and free our soldiers for other duties.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Kingston, May 19, 1864
General J. D. WEBSTER, Nashville, Tennessee
General Halleck notified me I was to have 20,000 of the militia, and I asked him to order 5,000 to Nashville, 5,000 to Louisville, 5,000 to Columbus, Ky., and the same number to Memphis, Tenn. Telegraph to General Halleck,that we are making orders at the front based on this disposition of militia, and he will tell you what States the militia are to come from. I rather expect the militia will take their 100 days to get ready.
The force now at Decatur will soon be relieved, and General Thomas will control its armament out of the reserve artillery at Nashville. Don’t take any 20-pounders from the Seventeenth Corps, which is ordered to march from Huntsville for Rome. I want General Sturgis to go back to Memphis and go with General Washburn out to Columbus, Mississippi. Grierson reports sick. Let Van Cleave and all other generals on arrival at Nashville report for duty to General Rousseau.
We are progressing well. Today will determine whether Joe Johnston will give up all the country north of the Etowah or fight again for it. I Our troops are now in possession of Rome, and by an hour’s time our heads of columns will be within cannon-range of Kingston, on which place the enemy retreated. Weather fine and grass luxuriant, which is of immense value to our stock. The Oostenaula bridge at Resaca will be done by tomorrow when our cars will come to Kingston. We fight the enemy wherever he shows front, and thus far have the advantage in all road movements. Back us up with troops in the rear, so I will not be forced to drop detachments as road guard, and will I have an army that will make a deep hole in the Confederacy.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

I hope to trap some of Johnston’s force this side of the Etowah River:

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Kingston, Ga., May 19, 1864.

General THOMAS, Commanding Army of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: I feel certain that Johnston, after the affair at Resaca, does not want to fight us in the comparatively open ground this side of Cartersville. I send with this orders for General Schofield, which is a repetition of orders heretofore sent him by courier to press down to the road, and to order General Stoneman to secure the passage of Pettit’s Creek, this side of Cartersville. General Garrard’s cavalry is now at the bridge across Etowah, and Murray is coming to you to connect with General Hooker. Do you want General McPherson forward? He has his troops so he can advance by two roads. Send me word. I will come forward in that event. Connect with General Hooker, and, if possible, crush or capture any force that is, as I think, caught between General Stoneman and you.

Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General Commanding

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