Wednesday, September 21, 1864

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 21, 1864: 10 p.m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Magnificent from Sheridan, and his success will have an effect all over the country. Hood is falling back from Lovejoy’s, but I will not follow him now, but will watch his motion with my cavalry. I write very fully to General Grant today by special aide. He will bring my report to Washington. My information from the interior of Georgia is all favorable to our cause. I send copies of your dispatch about Sheridan to Hood with my complements, but I know it does not afford comfort to the enemy.
W. T. SHERMAN,
Major-General.

ATLANTA, GA., September 21, 1864-11. 30 p.m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
In my dispatch today I reported that Hood was falling back. Reports just in seem indicate he has shifted from the Macon road at Lovejoy’s over to the WEST Point road about Palmetto Station, where his men are intrenching. I will watch him, as I do not see what he designs by this movement.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, Atlanta, September 21, 1864

Lieutenant-General GRANT, City Point, Va.:
Lieutenant-Colonel Porter will start back in the morning, and will bring you full answer to your letter, also all my official reports of the past. I prefer that General Canby and a part of Farragut’s fleet should continue to threaten Mobile City, but not attempt its capture; that a small force with gun-boats ascend the Appalachicola to the arsenal and up to Columbus, if possible; that you take city of Savannah by a coup de main at the same time or soon after your active movements about Petersburg and the mouth of Cape Fear River. With Savannah in our possession, and boats at liberty to work up the Savannah River, I am willing to start for Augusta in the manner I proposed in my letter of last night, which Colonel Porter will bring. I beg you to give my personal congratulations to Sheridan and my earnest hope that he will push Early back on Lynchburg. He can’t do much up the Tennessee and Virginia Valley; it is too long. Burbridge will attempt the capture and destruction of the salt -works about Abingdon from Kentucky and Knoxville. Schofield has gone to Knoxville to make the arrangements.
All well.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 21, 1864.

Major General O. O. HOWARD, East Point:
The general wishes, if possible, that you put some persons on the track of Hood, and find out where he is going. He has been trying to get our persons from here, but does not succeed in finding any persons that is worth much or reliable.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

I Respond to General Hood:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 21, 1864

General J. B. HOOD, Commanding Confederate Forces:
Yours of the 20th instant, asking me to treat as a prisoner of war W. C. Glover, Company H, Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, employed as a scout by your authority, and who is said to have been captured by me, and is about to be executed as a spy or bushwhacker.

I confess that I know nothing about the matter at all, but I will at once proceed to find out the facts and communicate them to you as early as possible, but I can relieve any undue anxiety on the part of the friends of Glover in assuring them that no one can be executed by us without a full and fair record trial, by a sworn tribunal at which the prisoner is always allowed to have his witnesses and counsel.

Since you left our service some few changes have been made in the laws of Congress and in the powers of reviewing officers of courts martial. The act of April 10, 1806, defining spies and their punishment, is materially modified by that of February 13, 1862. Also by an act of Congress approved December 24, 1861, the commanding general of a division, a separate (detached) brigade, can assemble a court-martial (general), but in case of the sentence of death the case must be reviewed and the necessary order given by the officer commanding the army in the field or department to which the division or brigade belongs.

General George H. Thomas commands the department in which Chattanooga lies and has the review of all such cases, and you must know that he would never order the execution of an innocent man. I have no doubt that a scout regularly detailed may push his operations so as to make him a spy. If found looking around the fortifications, encampments, posts, quarters, or headquarters of the armies of the United States, or any of them, he would clearly fall within the meaning of the laws and be liable to the penalty of death.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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