Hood sent a note agreeing to terms for evacuation of Atlanta. I resent that he calls my orders cruel and unprecedented.
HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, OFFICE CHIEF OF STAFF, September 9, 1864
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN. Commanding U.S. Forces in Georgia:
Your letter of yesterday’s date borne by James M. Ball and James R. Crew, citizens of Atlanta, is received. You say therein “I deem it to be to the interest of the United States that the citizens now residing in Atlanta should remove,” &c. I do not consider that I have any alternative in this matter. I therefore accept your proposition to declare a truce of two days, or such time as may be necessary to accomplish the purpose mentioned, and shall render all assistance in my power to expedite the transportation of citizens in this direction. I suggest that a staff officer be appointed by you to superintend the removal from the city to Rough and Ready, while I appoint a like officer to control their removal farther south; that a guard of 100 men be sent by either party, as you propose, to maintain order at that place, and that the removal begin on Monday next. And now, sir, permit me to say that the unprecedented measure you propose transcends, in studied and ingenious cruelty, all acts ever before brought to my attention in the dark history of war. In the name of God and humanity I protest, believing that you will find that you are expelling from their homes and firesides the wives and children of a brave people.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD, General.
Edwin M Stanton, Secretary of War Writes:
Requisitions for the pay of your army have been in the Treasury for more than a month. It is believed that adequate funds will now be speedily provided, so that payment will be made promptly. The operations of your army and the condition of your lines of communication rendered the transmission of funds insecure, even if they could have been had. The first object of the Department will be the payment of your forces, and the most strenuous efforts will be employed to that end. You will please advise me when you think it safe to forward funds.
I Write General Halleck:
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
All our troops are now in position, comfortable and well. In a day or two I will have telegraphic communication from Roswell round to Sandtown, and can act promptly. A few of the enemy’s cavalry followed us as far as Rough and Ready, and last evening General Hood sent in a flag of truce asking to exchange prisoners. I have about 2,000 in hand, and will exchange if he will make a fair deal.
I have sent out my inspector-general to confer and agree, and to make arrangements for the exodus of citizens. I am not willing to have Atlanta encumbered by the families of our enemies. I want it a pure Gibraltar, and will have it so by October 1. I think General Rousseau and Steedman are stirring Wheeler up pretty well, and hope they will make an end of him, as Gillem has of Morgan. I have ordered renewed activity, and to show no mercy to guerrillas or railroad breakers. It makes a world of difference if “my bull gores your ox, or yours mine.” Weather beautiful and all things seem bright.
I Write General Webster at Nashville:
Your dispatch is received. Even sutlers must be prohibited from coming to Atlanta. I will as soon as the railroad is open make arrangements for opening and supplying three stores, one at Atlanta, one at Decatur, and one at East Point, and allow them jointly one car a day. Telegraph all parties to push Wheeler and his bands to the death. Now is the time to strike them hard, and to wipe out all guerrilla bands. Show them no mercy. I will exchange with Hood about 2,000 prisoners that I have in hand. Our success has been very complete, and I want to make it thorough from the Ohio River to Atlanta, so that we may use Atlanta hereafter as a base.
General Rousseau Sends a Message:
The three brigades of rebel cavalry now retreating toward East Tennessee are commanded by Brigadier-General Cerro Gordo Williams, and Robertson, and Colonel Dibrell. General Milroy has sent out after them, through McMinnville, the Ninth Pennsylvania and Fifth Tennessee Cavalry. Honorable Edmund Cooper, of Shelbyville, reports Williams’ and Robertson’s force out of ammunition, only partially armed, and the men and horses much worn. General Starkweather just telegraphs from Pulaski that he has news that General Taylor has crossed into Mississippi, and is concentrating with Forrest to enter West Tennessee and cross the river.
Starkweather Reports from Athens, Alabama:
Major-General Rousseau concentrated all forces of Generals Steedman and Granger with his own at Athens, and has moved on toward Tennessee River again today. Major-General Milroy has returned to Tullahoma. Cars will reach Columbia tomorrow going north. All right south. Country is filled with strolling bands of the enemy, who have been lost from their commands, as also those who were part of a Tennessee brigade of enemy which was disbanded for thirty days. We have news that General Taylor has crossed into Mississippi, and is concentrating with Forrest to enter West Tennessee and cross river. Enemy surrounded Clifton last Thursday. My scout arrived direct from Savannah yesterday. All from fifteen to fifty-five have been conscripted in Mississippi. The country there is full of stragglers. Have our hands more than full here. Losses on our part small.
I want enemy raiders in our rear harassed continuously.