Tuesday, August 2, 1864

NEAR ATLANTA, GEORGIA
My army has suffered losses that need replacement. I am very short on cavalry. I wrote the General Thomas in Washington about sending troop replacements and General Webster in Nashville about cavalry.

General L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army:
If you have any negro regiments fit for duty I would like to have them in front of Nashville; that would enable me to bring to the front brigades that properly belong to the corps at the front. Could not some general order be made for white recruits to be sent from the States as they are made, to be put in with our old men?

Losses in battle and sickness from work and weather is beginning to tell on the strength of my army. If this matter pertains to the Provost-Marshall-General, I would request you to notify him that I would prefer to have recruits come to me daily by tens and hundreds than to await them in larger bodies more difficult to transport. Our cars could bring me 400 daily without overloading.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General


HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 2, 1864
General WEBSTER, Nashville:
Too many citizens mange to come to the front. Be even more stringent than heretofore. Grant no passes beyond Chattanooga, and only the smallest possible number that far. Surgeons can fill the officers of the Sanitary Commission, and chaplains minister to the wants of the soldiers. If any recruits are coming from the North, I want them forwarded with dispatch by the cars.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

NASHVILLE, AUGUST 2, 1864.
Major-General SHERMAN:
The cavalry horses in this district are less than 3,000 all told. Had I not better order cavalry from Memphis to this line by such route as will avoid the necessary of fighting any of the enemy before reaching us; and also demonstrate from Memphis by such other troops as may be available.
J. D. WEBSTER, Brigadier-General


HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 2, 1864
General WEBSTER, Nashville:
Don’t call for any cavalry from Memphis. General A. J. Smith has his orders to watch Forrest, and if he comes to Tennessee to follow his men to Decatur. He will want all his cavalry. Only collect the scattered detachments of cavalry and order more horses to be pursed to remount the dismounted cavalry in General Thomas’ department at Columbia and elsewhere. A good many of General McCook’s cavalry are coming in by squads to Marietta.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

NASHVILLE, August 2, 1864
Major-General SHERMAN:
Can pick up from the corrals and teams here about 1,200 horses, besides the 3,000 now in use, mentioned in telegraph this forenoon. Will send 600 to Decatur at once to remount a regiment there. Will use the other to mount cavalry here. Will push them forward as fast as possible.
J. D. WEBSTER, Brigadier-General

I wrote to Thomas:

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 2, 1864.

General THOMAS:
I am quite unwell today. General Schofield is marching for and will take up position on the right. I think well of General Stanley’s keeping a mere line of display where General Schofield was for a few days, and if you can occupy General Palmer’s place in the main line by withdrawing General force in reserve on the right. As soon as General Schofield selects his right flank we must assume the offensive against the railroad between White Hall and East Point. I have no doubt that General McCook damaged the Southern road and that provisions and ammunition will be short in the rebel camp. But we must look to our own depots. Please do all that is possible to organize a force of cavalry about Marietta, composed of General Kilpatrick’s division and such of General McCook’s as have returned. Also have the old rebel lines west of Chattahoochee lightly guarded to cover to cover our bridge. Order all bridges above Pace’s, except that at Roswell, to be destroyed.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Thomas Replied:

Your received. Orders have been given to Kilpatrick to move down to Marietta and guard the road from the river to that place. A regiment has been sent to occupy the old rebel works across the river toward Vining’s and at Turner’s Ferry. The First Wisconsin Cavalry has been ordered down the river to pick up the scattered men of McCook’s command. The remaining four guns of the battery McCook had with him have been put in the works near the railroad brigade, and Major Purdy with the 280 men with which he returned, and all others he can collect, ordered to the same place.

I Responded:
General Schofield is in position on General Howard’s right and extends one mile and a half in a south course, his right being on ahead one-half southeast of lot 213. He faces a branch of Utoy Creek, and General Howard thinks the East Point and Atlanta road lines on the ridge opposite, which the enemy holds in force. General Schofield represents Utoy Creek opposite his right as about the size of Olley’s Creek, and thinks its passage will be seriously resisted. Better get General Palmer’s corps ready and we must break through somewhere. The rest of our line should make dashes and secure lodgments close up under the main works.

Stanley Writes:
Telegram received from Washington assigns me to command of the Fourth Corps. Much obliged to you. Will do my best to merit the confidence. Deserter just in says order read last night to rebel army says they captured 500 of McCook’s command and dispersed the rest. Hardee has resigned. Cleburne commands his corps.

I wrote to General Slocum at Vicksburg:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 2, 1864
General SLOCUM, Vicksburg:
You are assigned to command the Twentieth Corps. Turn over your command to the officer next in rank, and come and command your corps in the field. I will extend General Washburn’s district over Vicksburg and Natchez, so that the river can be controlled by one mind. Come via Cario and Nashville.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

I had a telegraph operator go to Schofield’s Headquarters. He Communicates:

1.45 p. m. Major-General SHERMAN:
I have reconnoitered to the point reached by Morgan’s division on his reconnaissance the other day, which is on the prolongation of Howard’s new line and less than a mile from his right. I will put my troops in there and connect with Howard. The position faces a branch of Utoy Creek in foundry is not up. When I get it in position I will reconnoiter farther and give you a more accurate description. The enemy’s intrenchments are visible in front of Howard’s right, across the creek. I have not yet been able to determine hew far they extend, but will try to do so when my troops get up.

From all that I can see, I judge that the enemy’s infantry line bends back opposite my left center and runs from that point nearly south behind a small branch of the creek in front of Howard and myself. The force in front of my right appears to be cavalry. To seriously threaten the enemy’s flank and railroad communication it will be necessary to cross the creek in front of my right and reach the Sandtown road, which is about a mile beyond the creek. If this move can be made with a sufficiently large force the result must be very decisive. Please inform me if you desire me to push forward tomorrow, and also whether Morgan’s and Ward’s division will be absolutely under my command, or only to be called upon when the necessity arises. At present they are in easy supporting distance, but if I move they should move with me.

I Replied:
I would like to have you to prepare a crossing-place over the Utoy.
General Davis’ division will remain tomorrow, and during the day, if all is quiet, Ward’s will return to occupy the line now held by Palmer’s corps, and all of Palmer’s corps will come to Davis’ and advance with yours, or even beyond you, as an attacking column. I will be over tomorrow.
Will you have your command in position and intrenched by morning? How far do you reckon you are off from the railroad?

Schofield Replies:
My troops are in position, and will be well intrenched tonight. I have prolonged Howard’s new line along the branch of Utoy Creek about a mile and a half, and have a good flank. I think no point of my line is nearer the railroad than Howard’s right, which I estimate to be between one mile and a quarter and one mile and three-quarters. My right is not as far forward as I hoped it would be, but I have gone as far as it was possible today. To cross the creek will be a day’s work, and I reckon must be done in force. The situation seems very similar to that at Olley’s Creek. but I presume a single division will not be permitted to do what one did there. What means the unusual silence along the lines today?

Howard sends his position:
Our lines face a branch of Utoy. This branch seems to be nearly parallel with the East Point and Atlanta wagons road. Schofield’s right is about one mile and a half to the southeast of lot 213. I believe he has one division in position, probably well intrenched, before this time. The branch of the Utoy is said to be fordable. The general will certainly cross the creek if it is possible to do so, and if the rebel works change direction where I thinks they do, he can cross without difficulty. His right is on a high ridge, that should be intrenched to debouch from.

I assisted General Schofield in reconnoitering the ground on my right flank this a. m., and at 3 p. m. moved forward my command to occupy my new line. General Schofield extends that line over a mile to the southwest. We both face the western branch of Utoy Creek. The rebel works are parallel with mine on the other side of that creek and in plain view and apparently extend about half a mile beyond my right flank, where they seem to refuse. I could see no works in front of General Schofield’s right. the rebel skirmishers and mine are now close together, and we have a battery constructed from which I think we may reach the railroad, though it is not in slight.

I Responded:
If yours and General Schofield’s line run southwest and face Utoy Creek, I fear we are rather leaving than nearing the railroad. Is Utoy Creek easily passed? Will General Schofield have his men in position and covered by morning?
General Schofield has started his troops and himself. You will probably understand the object of extending the right as much as any one, and I beg you will aid General Schofield in getting a good position. General Thomas will see about putting General Ward’s division back, and having all of General Palmer’s crops as a right reserve. We should have the Sandtown road, and our right should, if possible, be within cannon-range of the railroad. I am quite unwell today.

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