Near Atlanta, Georgia
CITY POINT, VA., August 9, 1864: 11.30 a.m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding, &c., near Atlanta, Ga.:
The enemy having drawn to your front most of his forces west of Alabama, can you not re-enforce from Mississippi garrisons? I will ask to have all Western recruits sent immediately to you. Your views about showing no despondency, but keeping the enemy, with his last man now in the field, constantly employed, are the same I have often expressed. We must win, if not defeated at home. Every day exhausts the enemy at least a regiment, without any further population to draw from to replace it, exclusive of losses in battle. I would suggest the employment of as many negroes as you can get for teamsters, company cooks, pioneers, &c., and keep the enlisted men in the ranks, and the shipment to Nashville of every unemployed negro, big and little. By sending some of your disabled officers you might collect a considerable force from Northern hospitals.
Deserters coming in daily keep us well posted as to the position of Lee’s forces. Stories of deserters are not to be relied on, but they give their regiment, brigade, and division correctly, and many of them coming locate the whole. I think no troops have gone from here to Hood.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General
I requested negro regiments to guard the railroad and won’t get them. New recruits will be sent as soon as available several hundred per day.
WASHINGTON, August 9, 1864
Dispatch of August 2 received. There are no negro regiments available at present. Recruits from Western States will be sent you in the mode you desire.
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.
I write to Halleck and Grant:
NEAR ATLANTA, GA., August 9, 1864: 8.30 p.m.
Major General W. H. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
Schofield developed the enemy’s position to below East Point. His line is well fortified, embracing Atlanta and East Point, and his redoubts and liens seem well filled. Cavalry is on his flanks. Our forces, too, are spread for ten miles. So Hood intends to stand his ground. I threw into Atlanta about 3,000 solid shot and shell today, and have got from Chattanooga four 4 1/2-inch rifled guns, and will try their effect. Our right is below Utoy Creek. I will intrench it and the flanks and study the ground a little more before adopting a new plan. We have had considerable rain, but on the whole the weather is healthy. Colonel Capron, of Stoneman’s command, with several squads of men are in at Marietta, and will reduce his loss below 1,000.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
We are working on the railroad to my rear:
NASHVILLE, August 9, 1864.
We have military possession of the Northwestern Railroad, and are working it to Colonel McCallum’s satisfaction, connecting through to Johnsonville, the terminus on the Tennessee River. It is not, however, formally transferred by Governor Johnson, and I have made the communication to him. The road has been built for the most part by the United States,and no private parties have anything to do with it. Will send you by mail the orders under which I have proceeded to construct the road.
J. L. DONALDSON