Friday, May 27, 1864

Near Dallas, Georgia

Schofield has brought up his divisions and is now in position on our far left connected to Thomas in the centers. Jeff Davis has brought his division into line between McPherson on the far right and Hooker on the right of center. There is constant skirmishing in their front. Davis reports several gaps and his division is stretched thin.

I am in the middle with Thomas’s army. We have forced the enemy into his breastworks all across our front. They are strongly defended and difficult to see through the dense woods. I have ordered the troops here to intrench and then we will begin to move left toward the railroad and interpose between Johnston and his railroad if possible. I sent instructions to McPherson:

If you can’t drive the enemy from his position work to your left, so as to connect with Hooker. We are working on the left of the line in front of us, and as soon as you are in communication with Hooker I will strengthen the left and work round by that direction, so we may, if we choose, march round their extreme right and reach Marietta or Acworth.

Corse rode in and reported the conditions in McPherson’s front and with questions from McPherson.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Dallas, May 27, 1864-1.15 p.m.
General McPHERSON, Near Dallas, Ga.:

GENERAL: General Corse is here. We are pressing in front and General Thomas is working around the left. We don’t want to turn the enemy’s left flank but his right, so as to put our concentrated army between him and the railroad, of which we want to make use. Therefore, instead of compassing the enemy’s flank, I wish you to work up so as to connect with General Hooker, when I will strengthen our movement to our left, the enemy’s right. Use the Marietta road as far as possible and then reach for General Hooker’s right. We have two divisions to the right of the road-Geary’s and Butterfield’s-and Williams in reserve. All the rest of this army are north of this road.
Yours, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Major-General, Commanding

I hear from McPherson:

We have forced the enemy back to his breast-works throughout nearly the whole extent of his line and find him occupying a strong position extending apparently from the North Marietta, or New Hope Church, road, to across the Villa Rica road. Our lines are up within close musket-range in many places and the enemy appear to be massing on our right. I cannot well work toward the left; certainly not until I get trains and everything out of the way, for as soon as we uncover this flank (the right), the enemy will be on it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON, Major-General, Commanding

Evening:

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Dallas, May 27, 1864-sundown.
Major-General McPHERSON, Near Dallas, Ga.:

GENERAL: We have been busy with the enemy all along our front line. From description I think the hills in your front are stronger than the ground to our left, by which we can move toward Allatoona and Acworth, or pound away till we find a weak place. We should have our army united, and, therefore, I think it best you should send your trains back across the Pumpkin Vine by moonlight and let them park up to our rear, where General Palmer has a division; then, by moving by the left flank, you can put yourself in connection with us and we can act against some one point or turn his right flank. No doubt Johnston’s whole army is present, as we have felt him for four miles to the north and east. I don’t think there is more than a mile from General Davis’ left to General Hooker’s right. General Corse is with you and has been back and forth twice.

Yours, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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