Near Atlanta, Georgia
We start our movement tonight.
Our movement commences tonight. The Twentieth Corps is drawing back and taking post at the railroad-bridge. The Fourth Corps (Stanley) moved to his right rear, closing up with the Fourteenth Corps (Jeff. C. Davis) near Utoy Creek. Garrard’s cavalry, leaving their horses out of sight, has occupied the vacant trenches, so that the enemy will not detect the change.
General Dodge (commanding the Sixteenth Corps) wounded in the forehead, has gone to the rear, and his two divisions are distributed to the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps. I will miss Dodge. He was a capable commander and ran a successful spy operation.
The enemy are still in the same position:
Lieutenant Fish took his position on lookout station at 7.30 p. m. and reports the following:
At 10.05 a. m. a train of thirteen box and one passenger cars arrived in Atlanta. The doors were shut; could not tell if loaded or not; a few men in passenger-cars. At 5 p. m. a train of fifteen box-cars arrived in Atlanta with between 150 to 200 men on board. They appeared to have other freight besides the men. At 5.35 p. m. a train of three passenger, one baggage, and seven box cars arrived in town. Baggage-car well filled with what appeared to be trunks, and quite a number of passengers. At 6 p. m. a train of eighteen box-cars loaded quite heavy with men and freight left town. At 6.20 p. m. a train of four cattle-cars loaded with men and freight left town, also one box-car with two engines in front; the hind engine had no fire in.
Lieutenant Weirick reports:
Everything of the rebel lines in front of the Fifteenth Corps unchanged. From my own observation the rebel forts and lines as far as I can see appear unchanged. Very little sign of an evacuation. The men on the cars appeared unarmed, probably convalescents. The train of five cars and two engines were well filled with men sitting on top of some kind of freight. One of the engines appeared to be disabled. A fatigue party of forty men and an officer on horseback came from the rebel left and moved to their right a little before dark. The men had picks, shovels, and axes.
Wheelers cavalry is still looking for an opening to attack our railroads. Our forces to the rear are active in blocking his movements and intend to keep him from crossing the Tennessee. I must risk this move to destroy Hood’s last line of supply before he can damage my own. I will force Hood to come out and fight or abandon the city.