Sunday, June 5, 1864

ALLATOONA CREEK, GA., June 5, 1864: 3.30 p.m.

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

The enemy discovering us creeping round his right flank, abandoned his position and marched off last night. We captured about 30 of their pickets at daylight. General McPherson is moving today for Acworth, General Thomas on the direct Marietta road, and General Schofield on his right. It has been raining hard for three days, and the roads are very heavy. The construction party is at work on the Etowah bridge, and should repair it in five days, when I will move on to Marietta. I expect the enemy to fight us at Kenesaw Mountain, near Marietta, but I will not run head on his fortifications An examination of his abandoned lines here shows an immense line of works, all of which I have turned with less loss to ourselves than we have inflicted on him. The wheat-fields of the country are our chief supply of forage, and we have in camp bread, meat, sugar, and coffee for many days; ample till the railroad will be complete to Acworth.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I wrote to McPherson:

Major-General McPHERSON, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:

The fact that the enemy has abandoned your front makes it more imperative to get to our railroad as much in front of Acworth as possible. You will, therefore, in spite of the rain and bad roads, make the move indicated in orders of yesterday. If you could get a division today without wagons or artillery up to the bridge across Allatoona Creek near Acworth, where Thomas has a brigade, it would be advisable. This prolonged rain is unfortunate, but cannot be helped.

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

I wrote to Thomas:

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Allatoona Creek, June 5, 1864
Major-General THOMAS, Commanding Army of the Cumberland:

General McPherson reports the enemy gone from his front. He has advanced his skirmishers half a mile east of New Hope Church, capturing a lieutenant and 30 men. If you feel your front, it too will be found abandoned, save by a small guard. The movement indicated in yesterday’s orders will, therefore, be executed, and I have so instructed General McPherson. After feeling your front, prepare to move your whole command by McCook’s former headquarters northeast, across Allatoona Creek, toward Andersonville or Kenesaw Station, connecting by pickets with General McPherson about Acworth. I propose then to complete our line of railroad, replenish, and prepare to follow the enemy to and beyond the Chattahoochee, according to the point Johnston selects for defense.

General Schofield can remain where he now is until you have passed, and then join your right. The only thing that requires dispatch is the bridge at the Etowah, where the railroad crosses, and I wish you to get your pontoons there as soon as possible. I consider the road from Burnt Church to Allatoona more safe than by Burnt Hickory.

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

Thomas replied:

June 5, 1864
Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: Early this morning I forwarded you a note from General Newton reporting that the enemy had left his front. I immediately ordered all my troops on the right to reconnoiter to their front, and report the result. The last report has just come in, and General Palmer reports the enemy’s cavalry in his front occupying the ground occupied yesterday by their infantry. He has a party out now to ascertain their strength. General Howard reports the enemy entirely gone from his front. My troops will march tomorrow, as ordered.

Very respectfully,
GEO. H. THOMAS, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Allatoona Creek, June 5, 1864

Major-General THOMAS, Commanding Army of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have made a reconnaissance forward and indicate the point where McCook now has his cavalry as the point for you to assemble your command, with one corps on the road toward Acworth, distant only four miles due north, and the others forward toward Marietta and Sandtown as far as will bring your pickets to the enemy. I am unable yet to say whether Johnston will select a field in front of Marietta or at the Chattahoochee. I want to feel the base of Kenesaw as soon as possible, but will not assume determined action until General Blair is up and the enemy has selected his new point.

I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

I wrote to Schofield

Near Allatoona Creek, June 5, 1864.
Major-General SCHOFIELD, Commanding Army of the Ohio:

General McPherson finds no enemy to his front and has pushed his skirmishers half a mile beyond New Hope Church, capturing 1 lieutenant and 30 men. Your flank now becomes the point of interest. The order of yesterday will be executed. McPherson will move by a road to the rear of Thomas to a point in front of Acworth. Thomas will cross Allatoona Creek by the bridge near McCook’s present headquarters and move out toward Andersonville, connecting with McPherson by pickets, and you can follow him. I judge your line facing southeast will rest near the bridge you cross, and your center at the blacksmith shop on the main road from Allatoona to Marietta, the same that is laid down on our maps as passing through Golgotha and Lost Mountain Post-Office.

We can adjust our lines after reaching the ground. I prefer our lines not to be deployed too much, but held in masses at central points with connections from army to army made by skirmish lines. We being on the offensive should be prepared to move quick. When we reach our next position I will await Blair’s arrival, replenish stores, make and fortify our depot at Allatoona, and then move on according to the point where Johnston selects for battle. I think he will oppose us lightly all the way to the Chattahoochee and defend that line with all his ability. Make your preparations and dispositions accordingly. This hard rain is unfortunate, but it is beyond our control.

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

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