Thursday, June 9, 1864

Acworth, Georgia
We must acertain whether Johnston will retreat across the Chattahoochee or fight this side. Reports place his troops at Kenesaw Mountain. If so, I will try to turn his position and cut off his retreat across the river.

I have accepted General Hovey’s resignation. I have neither the number of troops nor the position open to give him.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
Acworth, Ga., June 9, 1864.

Major-General SCHOFIELD, Commanding Army of the Ohio:

After a long conversation with General Hovey I have approved his application to be allowed to resign. I inclose copy of my indorsement, which shall go forward to-day. In the mean time you have full power to grant his leave to await the action of the President on this paper.

You can use your own discretion as to disposing his present command by distributing the regiments among your other divisions and brigades, or in styling it a brigade and attaching it to one of your divisions. I have subject to assignment Major Gens. Carl Schurz and Milroy; also Major-General Crittenden is offered to me, if I want him. You can have either or all these generals.

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

Dayton wrote my orders for tomorrow:

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, 
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 21. 
In the Field, Acworth, Ga., June 9, 1864.
The armies will move forward tomorrow morning.

I. Major-General Thomas the center, on the Burnt Hickory and Marietta road and such other roads as he may choose between it and the Acworth and Marietta road, aiming to strike the northern end of Kenesaw Mountain.

II. Major-General McPherson will move by the Acworth and Marietta road, with a column following the railroad and his cavalry well to the left, after passing Big Shanty.

III. Major-General Schofield will cover his wagons well about Mount Olive Church, and feel well with cavalry and skirmishers down the road past Hardshell Church, to ascertain the enemy’s strength about Lost Mountain and the ridge connecting it with Kenesaw Mountain. He will not pass the position about Hardshell Church in force until he is certain Major-General Thomas has reached some point on Kenesaw.

IV. The object will be to develop the enemy’s position and strength, and to draw artillery fire from his intrenched works. this army will operate by heads of columns instead of deployed lines of battle, each column covering its head and flanks with good advance and flanking skirmishers, and be prepared to deploy promptly, according to danger. Intrenched positions will not be attacked without orders. Each head of column will have a good battery of heavy rifled artillery, and should use it freely against rail and log barricades, and also to indicate the positions of heads of columns. The flank columns will conform their motions to that of the center. Either column reaching a good military position should intrench it by leaving a brigade, but should not delay its advance.

V. Major-General Stoneman’s cavalry will cover the right and Brigadier-General Garrard’s the left flanks. Brigadier-General McCook’s cavalry should be kept to the rear, or to keep up communications.

VI. The movement will begin at 6 a.m., and continue until some one of the columns reaches Kenesaw Mountain or until the center is checked.

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

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