Saturday, August 6, 1864

Near Atlanta, Georgia

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 6, 1864: 1.45 p.m.

Major-General SHERMAN:
An order by the President, under the act of Congress for the military possession of the Northwestern Railroad, has been issued, and will be forwarded you by the Adjutant-General. Do not imagine that we are impatient of your progress; instead of considering it slow, we regard it rapid, brilliant, and successful beyond our expectations. Take your time, and do your work in your own way. This Department is only anxious to afford you every assistance within its power.
E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, August 6, 1864.
Special orders relating to the Northwestern Railroad, from Nashville to Reynoldsburg:
Whereas the exclusive use of the Northwestern Railroad, from Nashville to Reynoldsburg, is necessary for the military operations under command of Major-General Sherman, the President does therefore order and direct that Major-General Sherman take military possession of the said Northwestern Railroad, its stock, equipments, appendages, and appurtenances for the exclusive use of the United States, and hold, use, manage, and employ the same by his officers, agents, superintendents, and employees exclusively for the use aforesaid so long, and to such extent, as in his judgment such exclusive use is required for military operations, or until further orders, and that all conflicting orders and authority be, and they are hereby, revoked and annulled.
By order of the President:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General

WAR DEPARTMENT, August 6, 1864
Brigadier-General JOHNSON, Military Governor, &c., Nashville, Tenn.:
On the direct application of General Sherman and his representation that the exclusive use of the Northwestern Railroad, from Nashville to Reynoldsburg, is necessary for the success of his military operations, the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress, has, by order of this date, authorized and directed him to take military possession of said railroad, its rolling-stock, equipment, appendages, and appurtenances for exclusive military use, and revoked all prior and conflicting orders and authority.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War


HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 6, 1864
General THOMAS:
General Palmer is just started for your headquarters. When you have taken official action on his application, let me know it, that I may urge the speedy appointment of General Jeff. Davis to the command. General Johnson has not the ability or vigor necessary to so large a command.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, 
August 6, 1864: 2 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN:
General Palmer has decided to go, and I have relieved him from the command of the Fourteenth Army Corps. I respectfully recommend Brigadier General J. C. Davis as major-general U. S. Volunteers, and request that he be assigned to the command of the Fourteenth Corps. Should there be any objection to General Davis I respectfully recommend the promotion of Brigadier General J. M. Brannan, with the request that he be assigned to the command of the Fourteenth Corps.
GEO. H. THOMAS, Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding

NEAR ATLANTA, GA., August 6, 1864: 3 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
General Palmer has resigned his command of the Fourteenth Army Corps, and General Thomas has relieved him of the command. General Thomas recommends the promotion of General Jeff. C. Davis as a major-general and assignment to the command of the corps. In the event the President will not consent to this, General Thomas asks the promotion and assignment of General J. M. Brannan. I approve his recommendations, and ask a speedy return.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

NEAR ATLANTA, GA., August 6, 1864: 9 p.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
We have now developed our line along with the enemy from the Augusta railroad, on our left, to Utoy Post-Office, on our right, and the enemy faces us in force at all points with equal force and superior works. General Schofield tried to break through at a point near our right with a brigade (General Reilly’s), but his men were caught in the entanglement and lost probably 500. We have skirmished heavily along the whole line, using artillery freely, but have made no impression. I will continue to work to the right to find the extreme flank and threaten the railroad, if possible, to draw him out of Atlanta or force him to attack us; but our line is already too extended and weak. By means of his militia (of which he has the whole population of Georgia) he is enabled to use his three regular corps as reserves.

Our loss today will foot up 1,000. I will soon need re-enforcements, and if you can replace General A. J. Smith at Memphis with negro or fresh troops I would order him here via Decatur. He must now be en route for Columbus, Mississippi. I have called forward a brigade from Decatur.

I am now convinced that General Stoneman surrendered near Macon with 700 of his men, ordering two small brigades to break out and get in. One (Colonel Adams’), with 900 men, is in, but their time is out and they will be discharged. The other brigade (Capron’s) I fear was scattered and picked up in detail. His entire loss will be about 1,300. General McCook’s loss is 500. Damage done road, cars, and bridges was very large, but the enemy run cars into Atlanta from Macon.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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