Monday, June 6, 1864

In the Field, Allatoona Creek, June 6, 1864

Major-General THOMAS, Commanding Army of the Cumberland:

Captain Poe brought me late in the evening a sketch made by Colonel Asmussen, a copy of which he says you have. This sketch clearly marks the strategic point in our advance. The place marked “Court-House” must be the Golgotha of our map. I wish you to put your center anywhere between the Court-House and Mrs. Hall’s, with your wings up the road toward Doctor Elliott’s and Big Shanty Hotel, and toward the Hardshell Church. Have a small picket at Peter’s, the White House, and General McPherson will connect with you there and about Doctor Elliott’s. Should the enemy be in force about Doctor Elliott’s, we must strengthen the connection by the road by J. McLean’s, White House, Durham, Davenport, Chastine, &c.

I will go myself today to Acworth and have the telegraph opened there and give all orders for making Allatoona a strong fortified depot, with a place of issue at Acworth. I think in three days we shall be all ready to go to Marietta. I will have the main force of General McPherson on Proctor’s Creek, about Fitzgerald’s and W. J. Philips’, with pickets and patrols forward to Doctor Elliott’s.

I think General Schofield had better stay where he is until you get in a better position, when we can place him about the Hardshell Church, or Williams’, according to the developments of the enemy. He will be instructed to come at your call or on the sound of battle. Be careful to shift everything on our back track across to the Allatoona road. I want to spare our cavalry as much as possible to get ready for the move on Opelika, if Johnston’s has gone beyond Chattahoochee.

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

ACWORTH, GA., June 6, 1864: 12 m.

General Johnston has drawn most of the troops out of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia to oppose me. That leaves Mobile open to a concerted attack from land and sea. An attack from Mobile would draw forces away from my front and open another route for supplying my army.

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

I am now on the railroad at Acworth Station, and have full possession forward to within six miles of Marietta. All well. Telegraph me all items of news to date. Has the movement on Mobile been ordered? Canby telegraphs me that he can spare General A. J. Smith. All I ask is the co-operation of Farragut’s fleet.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Halleck Replies:

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 6, 1864: 10 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Acworth, Ga.:

Operations on Mobile has been suggested to General Canby. A. J. Smith has been sent to Memphis to break up Forrest’s operations on your line of supplies. I fear that Steele has allowed guerrilla bands to go north to Missouri, which may give us serious trouble. Hundred days’ men have been thrown into Tennessee, so that you can draw in all the men you require. Grant has as much as he can attend to on the Chickahominy. I am doing all I can to re-enforce and supply him. All right so far. Draw to yourself all you require. We will do all we can to cover your rear.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General and Chief of Staff

I wrote to Webster at Nashville:

Acworth, June 6, 1864.
General WEBSTER, Nashville, Tenn.:

We have turned Allatoona Pass and reached the railroad at this point seven miles east of Allatoona Pass, and have full possession of all roads seven miles farther east to within six miles of Marietta. Johnston tried to head us off at Dallas but did not succeed. In all encounters we had the advantage. All is working well. You may give this publicity.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

I will position my army in front of Joe Johnston then resupply and contemplate my next move. I need more troops and request that they be brought up as soon as possible. I contacted the commanders by telegraph:

Acworth, June 6, 1864: 12 m

We are in full possession of Allatoona Pass and all roads forward to within seven miles of Marietta. Let everything come this way.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Acworth, June 6, 1864.
Where is General Blair? I want instant answer.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Acworth, Ga., June 6, 1864.
Major-General ROUSSEAU,
Nashville, Tenn.:
Have you relieved General John E. Smith’s command? Telegraph me to-day the present disposition of your troops, in cipher. We have successfully turned Allatoona Pass and are now in full possession of the rail and other roads to within six miles of Marietta. Johnston tried to stop me near Dallas, but I got around his flank and he quit. I then moved to the left and got on the main roads.
Major-General, Commanding

Rousseau replied:

NASHVILLE, TENN., June 6, 1864

Major-General SHERMAN:

I will have all of General Granger’s brigade relieved day after tomorrow. One regiment is now on the river, another will be tomorrow picketing between Decatur and Bridgeport, another is marching. The delay has been caused by the Indiana 100-days’ regiments having been stopped and posted in Kentucky. The road from here to Bridgeport is guarded by 100-days’ men, except one regiment at Murfreesborough and one south of Tullahoma. There are almost 2,000 men at Bridgeport. The Eleventh Indiana Cavalry is between Stevenson and Huntsville, the Thirteenth at Huntsville, the Twelfth between there and Decatur, the Ninth and Tenth at Pulaski and south, odds and ends at Columbia, and the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry between that and this place. Colonel Spalding’s brigade of Tennessee cavalry now patrolling the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and will soon be moved to the vicinity of Pulaski. General Granger’s brigade is to picket the road between Decatur and Bridgeport in obedience to orders from General Thomas. General Smith’s division will all be relieved by the 12th.

L. H. ROUSSEAU, Major-General

Blair Replied:


Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding, &c.:

I arrived to-day at this place, and march to-morrow morning as directed. Shall Long’s cavalry accompany me or move forward to join his division?

F. P. BLAIR, JR., Major-General, Commanding

ACWORTH, June 6, 1864.

Major-General BLAIR, Kingston, Ga.:

Instead of marching via Euharlee and Stilesborough march straight for this place via Cartersville and Allatoona. There is a pontoon bridge at the railroad crossing. Leave a regiment at that bridge and relieve Garrard’s cavalry, and the balance of a brigade at Allatoona, relieving Stoneman’s cavalry. I want you to have ten days’ supplies ready on arrival of the Chattahoochee. Now is the time for big licks, so be alive night and day. At the pontoon try and manage that your command crosses between midnight and daylight when it is not occupied by the supply trains. I want to go to Marietta on Wednesday or Thursday and feel down to the Chattahoochee next day. Order the brigade left at Allatoona to be provided with tools and to intrench both ends of the pass very strong. General McPherson is here with his command.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

ROME, GA., June 6, 1864.

Major-General SHERMAN:

I am here with my command; neither General Blair nor myself can find any orders concerning my command. Will camp at Kingston to-night with Seventeenth Corps.

ELI LONG, Colonel, Commanding

In the Field, Acworth, June 6, 1864

Colonel ELI LONG, Kingston, Ga.:

I have just ordered Blair to come straight for Acworth, via Etowah railroad bridge, where I have ordered a pontoon bridge. Nevertheless, I want your cavalry, without wagons, to come round by Euharlee and Stilesborough, to cover that flank and to spare the pontoon bridge, which now has more travel than it can accommodate. I want you to be at Garrard’s position, near the mouth of Allatoona Pass, early Wednesday morning.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Kingston, Ga., June 6, 1864
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Department of the Cumberland:

All the forces at this post have been directed to the front as indicated in your dispatch. Nine hundred infantry are on duty here to defend the post, to unship and reload all stores, of which a large amount has accumulated. The post command is about exhausted with fatigue on fortifications, picket, and duties of post. May a relief for fatigue be asked? As a force of cavalry, under Wheeler, is reported by citizens as having crossed Etowah River on the 4th, the large amount of stores, and open, defenseless position of this post is respectfully referred to. We have no serviceable cavalry.

H. A. HAMBRIGHT, Colonel Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania Vol. Infty., Commanding Post.

In the Field, Acworth, Ga., June 6, 1864
Colonel HAMBRIGHT, Commanding Kingston:

You will cause all stores arriving at Kingston to come forward and unload at the Etowah, and you may also send to the same point all stores on hand. Wheeler is not near the Etowah, but I will instruct General Thomas to relieve your command and bring you to the front where the labor may not be so great. A good block-house and a regiment will suffice at Kingston.

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

I wrote orders for the start of the next engagement:

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 20. 
In the Field, Acworth, Ga., June 6, 1864.

Major-General Blair’s command is at Kingston and a good pontoon bridge is laid over Etowah River at the railroad crossing. The general commanding believes the enemy has gone across Chattahoochee River, though all must be prepared for battle at or near Kenesaw Mountain. The following dispositions will be completed and the army ready to move on lines to be hereafter designated by Thursday morning, June 9, at 6 a.m.:

I. Major-General Thomas will continue to provide a garrison at Kingston, which, however, will cease to be a depot, but all stores will hereafter be kept as near Allatoona as possible until the railroad bridge is done, when Allatoona will be the main depot, Resaca being discontinued. The two road bridges across the Etowah, near Kingston, will be stripped of their planking and be guarded by cavalry. The fords of the Etowah will also be patrolled by cavalry, and Major-General Thomas will keep a small cavalry force at some convenient point to patrol the country south of the Etowah.

II. Major-General McPherson will cause one regiment to guard the railroad bridge now under construction near Allatoona, and the balance of a brigade to hold the mountain pass of Allatoona. Two or more good strong earth redoubts will be located at the eastern extremity of this pass, and must be constructed by the troops; but the commanding officers at Kingston, at the railroad bridge, and at Allatoona will arrest and put to work on these redoubts all soldiers loafing about pretending to seek their regiments and all skulkers or men sent by corps commanders or provost-marshals to work as a penalty. Captain Poe, chief engineer, will lay out the traces of these works and give instructions as to details.

III. On Thursday morning at daylight, Major-General Stoneman will be on the right, reporting with all his effective cavalry to Major-General Schofield, and General Garrard will be on the left, reporting with all his effective force to Major-General McPherson. The utmost care must be taken to graze all horses and mules at every chance. The growing wheat, oats, and rye, if used in moderation and frequently, will not injure a mule or horse.

IV. The whole army must be ready to move at daylight Thursday, supplied for ten days, all empty and surplus wagons to be sent back to the neighborhood of Cartersville and Etowah bridge.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

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