Saturday, July 9, 1864

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
Near Chattahoochee, July 9, 1864
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

I telegraph to you, and Mr. Secretary Stanton answers. Drop me a word now and then of advice and encouragement. I think I have done well to maintain such an army in such a country, fighting for sixty days, and yet my losses are made up by the natural increase. The assault I made was no mistake; I had to do it. The enemy and our own army and officers had settled down into the conviction that the assault of lines formed no part of my game, and the moment the enemy was found behind anything like a parapet, why everybody would deploy, throw up counter-works and take it easy, leaving it to the “old man” to turn the position. Had the assault been made with one fourth more vigor, mathematically, I would have put the head of George Thomas whole army right through Johnston’s deployed lines on the best ground for go-ahead, while my entire forces were well in hand on roads converging to my object, Marietta. Had Harker and McCook not been struck down so early the assault would have succeeded, and then the battle would have all been in our favor on account of our superiority of numbers, position, and initiative. Even as it was, Johnston has been much more cautious since, and gives ground more freely. His next fighting line, Smyrna Camp-Ground, he only held one day.

Before going ahead I will put there a good pier or trestle bridge and will at some point intermediate, convenient to roads, put down two more pontoon bridges, making five bridges and three fords, before I put the army across the Chattahoochee.

General Schofield effected a lodgment across the Chattahoochee near the mouth of Soap Creek last night without loss, and has two good pontoon bridges. He captured the single gun that guarded the passage, but the guard fled. General Garrard crossed at Roswell Factory, and has a secure lodgment at the shallow ford,the best ford on the whole river. General Dodge is moving to that point to take Garrard’s place. I will put there a good pier or trestle bridge and will at some point intermediate, convenient to roads, put down two more pontoon bridges, making five bridges and three fords, before I put the army across the Chattahoochee. These crossings will be strongly covered with forts.

I will then endeavor to break the railroad south of Atlanta by an expedition from Decatur under General Rousseau, and another from here. In the mean time, I will collect supplies and secure better my rear, and then cross over the main army and go ahead. Weather is very hot, but the country is high and healthy.

I call your attention to the inclosed paper in reference to the Roswell factories. They were very valuable, and were burned by my orders. They have been engaged almost exclusively in manufacturing cloth for the Confederate Army, and you will observe they were transferred to the English and French flags for safety, but such nonsense cannot deceive me. They were tainted with treason, and such fictitious transfer was an aggravation. I will send all the owners, agents, and employees up to Indiana to get rid of them here. I take it a neutral is no better than one of own citizens, and we would not respect the property of one of our own citizens engaged in supplying a hostile army.

Write me a note occasionally and suggest anything that may occur to you, as I am really in the wilderness down here. I will fight any and all the time on anything like fair terms, and that is the best strategy, But it would not be fair to run up against such parapets as I find here.

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


HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Chattahoochee River, July 9, 1864
General WEBSTER, Nashville:

I have ordered the arrest of the operators at the Confederate manufactories at Roswell and Sweet Water, to be sent North. When they reach Nashville have them sent across the Ohio River and turned loose to earn a living where they won’t do us any harm. If any of the principals seem to you dangerous, you may order them imprisoned for a time. The men were exempt from conscription by reason of their skill, but the women were simply laborers that must be removed from this district.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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