Tuesday, June 14, 1864

Big Shanty, Georgia

Bad news from Memphis. I had sent General Sturgis to Memphis to take command of all the cavalry in that quarter, to go out toward Pontotoc, engage Forrest and defeat him. I learn that General Sturgis had himself been defeated on the 10th of June, and has been driven by Forrest back into Memphis in considerable confusion. I expected that Forrest will soon be raiding all our roads in Tennessee. I will order General AJ Smith to go out from Memphis with his division and renew the offensive, so as to keep Forrest off our roads.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have just received the news of the defeat of our party sent our from Memphis, whose chief object was to hold Forrest there and keep him off our road. Of course it is to be deplored, but we must prepared for all contingencies. I have ordered A. J. Smith not to go Mobile, but to go out from Memphis and defeat Forrest at all cost. I know positively that all of Polk’s command is here from Mississippi, viz: Loring’s and French’s divisions and three brigades of cavalry, Ferguson’s, Ross’s, and Starke’s. Forrest has only his own cavalry, which has started for North Alabama, and the militia under Gholson. I cannot understand how he could defeat Strugis with 8,000 men. Our troops must assume the offensive from Memphis.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General


HDQRS. MIL DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 25. 

In the Field, Big Shanty, June 14, 1864

The movements to-morrow will be as follows:

I. During the early part of the day the batteries in position will maintain a pretty brisk fire on the enemy’s camps or groups of men and horses, especially at north base of Kenesaw, at Pine Hill, and on Schofield’s right. The cavalry of Generals McPherson will be active on our extreme left, and, if possible, effect a lodgment on the ridge between Brush and Kenesaw Mountains. The cavalry of General Thomas and Schofield will be active on our extreme right, toward and beyond Lost Mountain. General Stoneman will, if possible, about noon effect a lodgment on the Lost Mountain.

II. About noon General McPherson will, with infantry and artillery, make a demonstration from his left flank toward the enemy’s right, but will not assault his works; and General Schofield will make a similar strong demonstration at a point in front of General Cox’s division, south strong demonstration at a point in front of General Cox’s division, south of Pine Hill. Either of these of these may be converted into a real movement if the army commander can make a lodgment on any commanding ground to his present front.

III. About 2 p. m. General Thomas will move a strong well-appointed column of attack and break the enemy’s center at a point east of Pine Hill and west of Kenesaw, where in his judgment the changes of success are best. The object being to make a lodgment on the ridge commanding those hills from which the waters flow toward the Chattahoochee. All should be prepared to follows up the advantages if gaines, and the enemy show disorder. Time is important to us and we must make the best of it.

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

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