Monday, July 4, 1864

Marietta, Georgia

In the Field, July 4, 1864
Major-General THOMAS:

I have no doubt that the enemy will attempt to molest our rear with his cavalry, and that he has reserved Roswell fortified for that very purpose. To counteract his designs I have ordered Garrard, with his whole cavalry, to proceed to Roswell, take the place if he can, otherwise hang near it, watching the river, opposing such a movement all he can and giving us and all points of the railroad timely notice. I wish you would so hold McCook as promptly to re-enforce Garrard, if need be. As soon as I understand the exact situation on the right, as to Turner’s Ferry, and what progress McPherson has made, I will order Schofield round where Garrard now is.

I will go tomorrow, and in the mean time I wish you to hold strong the points now at Howard’s and Palmer’s head of column and merely picket light the road by which Garrard moved, as I feel sure the enemy will not attempt a sally there. Hooker need not hold the line from Palmer round to McPherson but draw in to his left, save by a line of vedettes. I want you with your whole army to press steadily down on the enemy while McPherson cuts in on his flank. Schofield is to be held to re-enforce either part. Stoneman will threaten to cross the Chattahoochee and break the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, especially if the enemy send cavalry against our line of road. Instead of occupying Acworth, Big Shanty, and Marietta, I think we had better concentrate about the base of Kenesaw, near that water station, a point that could be defended against cavalry with great ease.

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

If Johnston moves to block McPherson’s move to the west, I will immediately send Schofield to cross the river to the East.

In the Field, on Marietta and Turner’s Ferry Road.,
July 4, 1864-6 p.m.
Major-General SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Army of the Ohio:
GENERAL: I am directed by the general commanding to say it was not his intention to move you to the left of the army until he succeeds in forcing Johnston across the Chattahoochee. In the mean time you will act in support and co-operate with General McPherson; General Hooker may be, by circumstances as they develop, moved toward General Palmer to concentrate General Thomas’ army, in which case you will be required to act upon McPherson’s flank. When Johnston is across the Chattahoochee then he will move you to the left.

I am, general, with much respect,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO, July 4, 1864:7.45 p.m
Captain L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp:

CAPTAIN: I have just received your letter dated 6 p.m. explaining General Sherman’s intentions as to my movements. I understood the general’s orders precisely as you explain them, and have been acting, or rather holding my troops ready to act, accordingly. From a map sent me by General Hooker, showing the position in which his “corps is being established,” and from personal examination of the ground occupied by General Dodge, I judge that Hooker’s right must be in rear of Dodge’s left, and if advanced would overlap it. Perhaps there is some mistake as to positions. I will examine the ground myself in the morning and put in whatever, force can be used between General Hooker and General McPherson’s left.

General McPherson has had today quite as many troops across the Nickajack, beyond Ruff’s Mill, as could be used there. Please inform the general that Stoneman’s cavalry has control of the country from McPherson’s right, on the Turner’s Ferryroad, to the river, near Sandtown. He has beaten the enemy’s cavalry in several small affairs and captured many prisoners and a large number of good horses and mules. I am just informed by Colonel Cameron, commanding a brigade of General Cox’s division, which has been covering General Hooker’s right during his advance, that at 5 p.m. today General Hooker united with General Dodge beyond Nickajack, and his (Colonel Cameron’s) troops were thereby relieved.

Very respectfully,
J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General

McPherson Reports:
Your dispatch per Lieutenant Vernay, was received last night. Lightburn’s brigade, of Morgan L. Smith’s division, secured a position across Nickajack Creek at Ruff’s Mill yesterday afternoon and were relieved by a portion of Sweeny’s division. Dodge is pushing forward his command in the direction of the railroad east of Nickajack Creek at Ruff’s Mill. Blair is near Widow Mitchell’s, and has sent two regiments of infantry and a section of artillery, in connection with a brigade of Stoneman’s cavalry, on the road to Turner’s Ferry, with orders to secure, if possible, the crossing of Nickajack Creek. Stoneman’s cavalry, hold the country from the Sandtown road west to Sweet Water, and most of his cavalry is along the Sandtown road. Your dispatch to me was shown to Major-General Schofield.

Garrard Reports from my far left:

I advanced on the Pace’s Ferry road about a mile and a half, driving the enemy’s pickets, crossing a creek and taking a range of hills on the south side. The enemy was strong, and being in front of the infantry, while they did not advance, knowing that any farther progress would be impossible on my part, I connected late this afternoon my vedettes with General Howard’s pickets. My dismounted men were half a mile in advance of where my vedettes now stand. The enemy’s cavalry picket the Power’s Ferry road and on the Roswell Factory road; my pickets extend from the Powers’ Ferry road to the Fourth Corps.
Are there any orders for me?

I ordered Garrard to go 20 miles upstream to Roswell to prevent the enemy from raiding my rear.

In the Field, July 4, 1864.
General GARRARD: Commanding Division of Cavalry:

I am satisfied the enemy will attempt with his cavalry to cross the Chattahoochee about Roswell and make an attempt on our communications. To counteract him you will move in that direction and watch close, taking some position on which to rally on infantry, a brigade of which is at Marietta, a strong brigade at Allatoona, and General Thomas, will be instructed to hold McCook’s brigade ready to go to your assistance. You may draw out at once and go to Roswell, and if you can force your way to it, you may gain a secure position from which you can watch that point.

In case the enemy’s cavalry get across, you must hang to him, opposing him whenever opposition is possible, and send couriers rapidly to me, and to the points of the railroad threatened. In the mean time, report to me frequently and use your cavalry as though you were preparing to cross yourself or were only waiting for the waters to subside and make the ford practicable. You now understand the geography so well that I have no doubt you can prevent Wheeler from doing much damage between Marietta and Allatoona. In case he passes round by Canton to go toward Cartersville, send notice and hang on his rear. We now have a full division of infantry at Kingston. Arrest every citizen in the country whom you find likely to prove a spy, and keep moving so that your force cannot be computed.

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

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