HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 21, 1864:10 a.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
General Howard and I have talked over the affairs of the Department of the Tennessee, and admit the wisdom of General Canby exercising command of the all troops on the Mississippi. To preserve organizations already existing without materially diminishing the military force on the Mississippi, we ask that certain fragments of regiments and brigades, not exceeding in the aggregate 2,500 men, be allowed to come to their organization here. Also, if possible, that a division of the Seventeenth Corps, originally designated as part of General McPherson’s column, but detained up Red River, be also allowed to come by any route deemed advisable by General Washburn. To accomplish these results General Howard sends today a staff officer to Louisville to confer with you by telegraph, and then to go to Memphis and accomplish whatever you may conclude.
Be assured that General Howard and I both cheerfully concede anything that will produce good results.
I think it would be well not to change the limits of departments, but to have all troops now belonging to the Department of the Tennessee still make returns to General Howard, but be subject to the military orders of General Canby, to whom they could make reports of effective force that would satisfy his purposes. All well. Expect to hear of General Kilpatrick every hour. Nothing further of Wheeler.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding
We continued to demonstrate all along our lines to distract from Kilpatrick’s raid. No news yet from Kilpatrick, but enemy captured have rumors of a railroad break.
Wheeler is in East Tenneessee which is a good place for him.