Near Atlanta Georgia
Our railroad is done to the rear of our camps. Colonel W. P. Wright has reconstructed the bridge across the Chattahoochee in six days. The President approved the promotion of 8 colonels to Brigadier General one day after I telegraphed the names to the war department. I doubt if eight promotions have ever made fairer, or were more honestly earned, during the whole war.
I wrote to Thomas:
Send two or three of your best scouts across to the west bank of the Chattahoochee, and down till they come to where General McCook crossed, and how guarded, and with orders to send us back work and news from our cavalry.
I am starting for General Howard’s headquarters. Any message for me will reach me there. I have ordered Captain Poe to examine and select a line as a left flank in case I have to throw General Schofield on the right.
Our right is too much refused to be a threat. I will go to Schofield’s tomorrow and examine a point near Stanley’s left to see what chance to break in there. As soon as the cavalry returns I will probable throw Schofield over, and in the mean time want that flank well studied. I would like to have you go to Davis’ division and cause a bold reconnaissance over toward East Point.
A rebel scouting party which came into Decatur this morning informed the citizens that the railroad had been cut by our cavalry at a place called Jonesborough, as it was understood by Colonel Garrard, who brought the report.
The enemy has shown more force than usual in his main works in my front today, and has been erecting a battery a short distance in front of his old works on the railroad brigade, where I pressed him closely on the 28th. Colonel Garrard reports no movement on our left, except a small body of cavalry, which he drove from Decatur this morning.
I have your dispatch expressing your desire that I advance my picket-line in front of the distillery near the road leading to Atlanta. I tried that on the 28th and found it impracticable, for this reason, viz, the point refereed to is in a large re-reentering angle of the enemy’s works, and the enemy’s picket-line in that vicinity is enfiladed by the artillery of both the adjacent salient. Neither the enemy’s picket-line, nor even the main captain in rear, should be held by our troops until those salients are carried. One of them is three-quarters of a mile to my left, and hence beyond my reach. The other is somewhat to my right. I will see General Stanley and ascertain what can be done about this latter salient. Perhaps we can drive in the skirmishers around it and keep down its fire with our sharpshooters.
I replied to Schofield:
I am starting for the right. It may became necessary to shift you to the extreme right, in which case our left will be back of Pea Vine creek, from General Wood’s right back to the rebel lines, with a detachment at Buck Head, but this I do not propose till General Garrard is back.
Order Colonel Garrard to feel into Decatur again in the morning, and, without seeming anxious, to pick up any further news of our cavalry. Where did General Garrard leave his wagons and lame horses?
Our troops are on the Sandtown road. The enemy must follow that movement, and if they hold a force on your left front, it is only for effect. They will weaken about General Stanley. I will come over tomorrow. I hope to hear of our cavalry tomorrow. When it is back, I will probably shift you over to the right.
Blair asks permission to send an officer to have soldiers collect for his corp:
I have the honor to represent that in the recent operations this command has became reduced to about 6,400 effective men. A large number of the officers and men of this corps have been left behind sick and slightly wounded in hospitals at Cairo, Nashville, Louisville, Huntsville, and Rome. I satisfied there are many of them ready for the field who been improperly detailed at these points and at Saint Louis, Mo. I have, therefore, the honor to request that sent to these points for the purpose of collecting and returning all men fit for duty to this command, with full authority to sent to the front officers and men who, in his opinion, have been improperly detailed or are absent without proper authority from this command. In the recent battles Major Kennard’s regiment has been reduced to about twenty-five men, with whom there are two line and one field officer, so that he can easily be spared. As he is an active and efficient officer, I am satisfied he will be able to collect a large number of men who will otherwise remain as extra nurses and servants to officers.
GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Numbers 238. Washington, July 30, 1864
The following assignments are hereby made:
1. Major General O. O. Howard to the command of the Army and Department of the Tennessee.
2. Major General H. W. Slocum to the command of the Twentieth Army Corps, vice Major-General Hooker, who is relieved at his own request.
3. Major General D. S. Stanley to the command of the Fourth Army Corps, vice Major-General Howard, transferred to the Army and Department of the Tennessee.
By order of the President of the United States:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General