Wednesday, September 14, 1864

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 14, 1864

General J. B. HOOD, C. S. Army,
Commanding Army of Tennessee:
Yours of September 12 is received and has been carefully perused. I agree with you that this discussion by two soldiers is out of place and profitless, but you must admit that you began the controversy by characterizing an official act of mine in unfair and improper terms.

I reiterate my former answer, and to the only new matter contained in your rejoinder I add, we have no “negro allies” in this army; not a single negro soldier left Chattanooga with this army or is with it now. There are a few guarding Chattanooga, which General Steedman sent to drive Wheeler out of Dalton.

I was not bound by the laws of war to give notice of the shelling of Atlanta, a “fortified town” with magazines, arsenals, foundries, and public stores. You were bound to take notice. See the books. This is the conclusion of our correspondence, which I did not begin, and terminate with satisfaction.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, 
Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 14, 1864

General HOWARD, East Point:
I was coming down today, but think I had better stay here and get up my report and papers and finish up before I begin a general tour of visits. I have several pieces of information that should be considered before you begin to consolidate corps. The draft will be made next Monday.  General Grant has sent a special messenger to me with plans and papers, which I should receive before doing anything. You should hear from Colonel Howard as to whether he can get the fragments. We should know the finale of Wheeler and detachments, so as to form an approximate estimate of the force necessary to guard our rear. I think you had better be a little patient till these thinks are better settled, when we can do all for the best.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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