HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 15, 1864
Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
My report is done, and will be forwarded as soon as I get a few more of the subordinate reports. I am awaiting a courier from General Grant. All well, and troops in fine, healthy camps, and supplies coming forward finely. Governor Brown had disbanded his militia, to gather the corn and sorghum of the State. I have reason to believe that he and Stephens want to visit me, and I have sent them a hearty invitation. I will exchange 2,000 prisoners with Hood, but no more.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding
It is certainly the best policy of the enemy, and I believe it their purpose, to assail your communications this side of the Tennessee. Wheeler and Roddey combined, without Williams, can come with 8,000 men. A. J. Smith’s return to Memphis may induce Forrest to join Wheeler. From every indication, I am satisfied that an early raid will be made, and I think the forces now in the district insufficient to prevent the destruction of the roads. There ought to be more cavalry and infantry than I have had control of. A large part of my cavalry is dismounted, and will remain so on account of its being used to garrison block-houses. The country is now full of bushwhackers and men belonging to Wheeler’s command. They are receiving large accessions of recruits, induced to join by Governor Johnson’s order to enroll the militia, which order is certainly proper in any event.
Governor BROUGH, Columbus, Ohio:
Don’t send commissioners for sick, pay, or anything else to this army. If our road has to carry citizens I cannot feed and care for my army. I will let commissioners for the vote come, and none others. Your own colonels and surgeons can take care of the wounded and sick. This rule is imperative and universal.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding
TO THOMAS EWING SR.
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Atlanta Ga. Sept. 15, 1864
Hon. Thos. Ewing Lancaster, Ohio
I have just closed my official Report of the Campaign of Atlanta. I cannot say it is as satisfactory as the work itself for any description seems meager to us who for four months have been intent on one thing which once attained seems a matter of course. The Grand Outlines contemplated these Grand Armies moving on Richmond, Atlanta & Montgomery Alabama, & Mine alone has yet reached its goal, so that in fact I am now at a loss, for the “next.” But soon that will be discussed and I will be off again. I can well understand the deep interest with which apart from personal considerations you have watched my progress, and with what real pleasure you have seen doubt and difficulty vanish before actual facts.
You have often Said that Napoleon had no subordinate to whom he was willing to entrust an hundred thousand men & yet have lived to See the little redheaded urchin not only handle an hundred thousand men, smoothly & easily, but fight them in masses of tens and fifty thousands at a distance of hundreds of miles from his arsenals and sources of supply. I feel in this less active pleasure than I know you do, and I only hope that I may be equally successful in telling the tale simply and well so that the reader may follow as through the mazes of forest and mountain that lay in our Path. If I fail to do this I can only promise to send the War Department the data which will enable some one there with more leisure and patience to make a narrative truthful, yet full of almost dramatic interest.
I have been able to write but little to Ellen of late, but as soon as my Report is copied in my Books, I will according to my custom send it to Ellen who will read it to you, So that on your Maps you may trace out our devious course to this the Grand Objective.
I receive floods of letters from all sorts of People but my universal answer is that I am a soldier & have only one opinion and one idea, a common country & an intelligent submission to its Laws and constituted authorities. My Negro letter got to the Newspapers through the very man who I thought would be the last to publish it, for it was penned in haste & with some irony against a class that have done more to hurt our army than an Equal number of Enemies—men who by pay & money have filled up our Muster Rolls with names, impoverished our Treasury by high & useless bounties & brought us no men, but on the contrary cut off the only valuable source of supply through a fair & square “draft.” I hear of Quotas being filled but not a man comes from the “Quota” to the Army. This is true and a burning shame to an army that has now been fighting near three years, till the Regiments of Ohio have less than 100 men for duty.
Excuse this long letter, which Ellen may read to you, when you have nothing more interesting.