Friday, June 3, 1864

Near Dallas, Georgia

I am withdrawing my troops from the right and moving back to the railroad south of the Allatoona Pass. I wrote to General Thomas:

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Dallas, June 3, 1864.
General THOMAS, 
Commanding Army of the Cumberland:

General Hovey’s division, supported by General Butterfield, reached the much-talked of Acworth road today, passing the enemy’s flank. Colonel McCook reports to me his cavalry has been in Acworth; still our left is our weakest point should the enemy attempt it, which I do not apprehend. I wish you to relieve all of General Schofields’ men behind parapets as far as the road which runs from McCook’s headquarters to Marietta, and let him (General Schofield) have all his corps at the main Acworth road. Withdraw General Stanley’s or General Newton’s division, letting the other cover the line, and I will order General McPherson to support it if pressed. I think the rest of your line would be sufficiently strong to be occupying the commanding points and holding the main bodies more massed in rear. As soon as I hear distinctly of General Blair I will withdraw everything beyond Brown’s Mill.

General McPherson reports his trains back all safe from Kingston. I suppose yours also are back or about Burnt Hickory, in which case the wagon escort is near enough to be counted present. If so, I wish you to send a brigade of infantry, section of artillery, and such dismounted cavalry as Colonel McCook can spare, up on the Allatoona road to the works of the Acworth road, and along it to Allatoona Creek, where there is reported a good bridge and ford, to guard and hold that point. I want also a line of couriers to Allatoona, which for the present had better be by Burnt Hickory. Keep your pioneers busy on roads to Allatoona and Burnt Hickory.

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

General Thomas reports:

Major General W. T. SHERMAN, 
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

General Baird succeeded in advancing his lines within a short distance of the house he was firing at this morning, and has his skirmishers beyond. General Palmer’s chief engineer went into Acworth today about 11 a.m., capturing 1 or 2 of the enemy’s vedettes, whom they found there. He went by the Dallas and Allatoona road and the fork which passes the ford you directed me to have guarded today. He reports the road a pretty good one. He says the citizens told him that Hardee’s and Hood’s corps were withdrawing by the road to Big Shanty, which I believe is on the railroad a few miles north of Marietta.

In compliance with your orders,a brigade from Butterfield’s division now guards the upper bridge and ford on Allatoona Creek, on the road to Acworth. Lieutenant Kelly reports his couriers attacked and driven in twice today, one, point on the old Burnt Hickory road between there and Pumpkin Vine Creek. He also reports that the rear guard of a train going to Burnt Hickory from some of the old camps was attacked. I have therefore ordered General Garrard to send two regiments of cavalry thoroughly to scout the country on our right and rear as far as the crossings of the Etowah River toward Kingston.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,Major-General, Commanding

I wrote orders to Schofield:

Major-General SCHOFIELD, 
Commanding Army of the Ohio:

Continue until further orders to work to the east around the flank of the enemy unless you can force it without too heavy loss. General Hooker is in close support, and Thomas will keep up the connection.

I will continue to occupy Allatoona, and put all of Blair’s corps, when it arrives, on the line from Allatoona to Marietta. I have also ordered Thomas to send a brigade to Allatoona Creek, about five miles to the north of your present position, where is represented to be a good bridge and ford.

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

I wrote orders to McPherson:

Major-General McPHERSON, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:

I received your note in the night, and am not astonished you could not hear the sounds in the midst of the storm yesterday. Schofield felt forward from the position “Burned Church,” steering due east, and found cavalry dismounted all through the woods. He advanced till about dark, when he encountered the infantry and artillery posted behind finished breast-works. To-day I will still work by the left and get to the railroad without weakening my line too much. All I ask is that when we do come in contact with the enemy on anything like fair terms and supporting we whip them more fully.

I now hold Allatoona, and shall in to work across to the railroad as far east and south as I can without two heavy a loss. If you do hear sounds of battle you will know that naturally Johnston will draw from his left (to your front) on the theory that we are there on the defensive. Therefore, when you do hear sounds of battle hold the enemy there, or take advantage of his weakening that flank. In my judgment the point that affords you most advantages and cover is about where Butterfield’s center was, where a small stream comes from the east and crosses our line near where a cabin stood, and from which there is an old field with dead timber to the front. If we can carry a single point and hold it thereabouts we gain advantage.

Dodge should intrench the main part of his command at the two points designated, but patrols and skirmishers should post the woods to the south, especially where Jeff. C. Davis was in front of that hill.

You should give great attention to the browsing of all animals when there is a leisure moment, and empty wagons and caissons should be sent for growing wheat, barley, oats, or rye, as well as grass or such bushes as horses and mules eat. I may send a brigade of Thomas’ up toward Allatoona, but I want Blair to march up and through that pass and on as far as he can. In the mean time I will hold it with cavalry. Should any specific attack be required of you I will send special orders, but in their absence act promptly and with confidence on these general principles. Keep at all times your pioneers and details opening and improving roads from your rear up toward Allatoona and Burnt Hickory.

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

General Blair is not yet and Rome. I need those troops to secure the pass at Allatoona. For now it is held by cavalry. The rain is turning roads to mud and slowing movement. Dodge is making good maps of McPherson’s position and Condit Smith doing good service locating the trains in the rear where they are guarded from attack. I have ordered the railroad to deliver supplies to the Etowah bridge and a new bridge constructed.

Recruiters are trying to sign up our negro workers as soldiers. This must stop as it disrupts the army.

In the Field, near Dallas, June 3, 1864

1. Recruiting officers will not enlist as soldiers any negroes who are profitably employed by any of the army departments, and any staff officer having a negro employed in useful labor on account of the Government will refuse to release him from his employment by virtue of a supposed enlistment as soldier.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman

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