Wm. M. McPherson, Esq. St. Louis
Your kind note of August 24 from Rochester N.Y. reached me here and I am really thankful for the warm terms in which you write, and I know you will not feel the less kindly when you Know we are inside Atlanta. I dont see why we can’t have some sense about negroes, as well as about horses, mules, iron, copper. I never thought my negro letter would get into the papers, but since it takes I lay low. I like negroes well enough as negroes, but when fools & idiots try & make negroes better than ourselves I have an opinion.
We are also ruining our Country financially in this Bounty & substitute business. It only amounts to Spending money, it don’t make a single soldier. Fools think they can beg off and will spend their money on some worthless substitute who shirks and is of no use & after Spending all his money, will have to serve besides. Well the Thing will work out its natural Solution.
W. T. Sherman Major General
ATLANTA, GEORGIA., September 29, 1864: 9 a. m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
It is not safe, and never will be, across this road of ours, for the guerrillas will know sooner than I when the paymasters leave Nashville. They even know when a single one is expected. It is plain to me that the money should be left in some safe place, and the soldiers paid in checks, just like any sensible business man would do. If the money comes to the front, of course I will to permit each State to have agents to take it back, and all the express companies, and even the women, will have to come, to be sure they get their share. I know officers and men prefer to be paid in checks, and I cannot imagine why the paymasters insist on the folly of bringing money. I renew my request that the paymasters be ordered at once to come and pay this army with checks on New York, and to bring along one-eighth in greenbacks for change.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.
ATLANTA, GA., September 29, 1864: 8:30 p. m.
Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
I have now effected the actual exchange of 2,000 prisoners of my own army. General Stoneman will be here tomorrow, and Colonel Harrison is already in. Our prisoners have been moved from Andersonville to Savannah, Millen, and Charleston. Any change will be for the better. I have agreed with Hood to send to Griffin, to be forwarded to our prisoners, a supply of clothing, soap, combs, &c. The latter will be furnished by the Sanitary Commission, and the former by the quartermaster. I take it for granted that Forrest will cut our road, but I think we can prevent his making a serious lodgment. His cavalry will travel a hundred miles in less time than ours will ten. I have sent two DIVISIONS up to Chattanooga, and one to Rome, and Thomas started today to clear out Tennessee. Our road should be watched from the rear, and I am glad General Grant has ordered reserves for me to Nashville. I prefer for the future to make the movement on Milledgeville, Millen, and Savannah River. Hood now rests twenty-four miles south, his left on the Chattahoochee, and his right on the WEST Point road. He is removing the iron of the Macon road. I can whip his infantry, but his cavalry is to be feared.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.
A man just in from Hood’s headquarters reports Hardee’s corps moving at 5 this a. m., and I want Elliott’s cavalry to reconnoiter down toward Carrollton for obtaining information.
Garrard should send down, say a brigade, to Kilpatrick to enable him to watch the movement, and also let him push his shoeing and be ready. Our cavalry must do more, for it is strange Forrest and Wheeler should circle around us thus. We should at least make ten miles to his hundred.
I need to know if Hood intends to go West or try to break my road.
The enemy continue to attack the railroads to the rear.
General Rousseau on his way from Pulaski to Nashville Writes:
Forrest took the Fayetteville road and will probably strike Elk River bridge. Will be in Nashville by 6 a. m. Repulsed Forrest at Pulaski, with loss of about 200 to him. The trains are heavy and managed badly. Our cavalry has gone, via Shelbyville, to Wartrace or Tullahoma. Hope to join them, and strike Forrest at once.
I have sent Thomas to Tennessee to give orders to protect my rear.
I write my commanders:
General McARTHUR, Marietta:
I want the party on Kenesaw to be very wide awake and arrange the old parapet so as to resist any sudden attack of our enemy, and you should all be on your guard. It is reported the enemy is crossing the Chattahoochee to the west.
General CORSE, Rome:
GENERAL: Watch out well for the first appearance of infantry over about Cedartown, and let me know.
General John E. SMITH, Cartersville:
You cannot be too particular about Allatoona and about the Pumpkin Vine; it is reported Hood is about passing the Chattahoochee to the west, and I will watch him and see if he will cross over to the Selma road or try to get on our road.
Cox Writes from Decatur:
Your dispatch received. We should have been very glad to have seen you. I have a brigade of infantry out toward Stone Mountain to-day covering a foraging party and making a reconnaissance. A regiment of cavalry accompanies them. An escort for a train had a skirmish yesterday with about 200 rebel cavalry five miles out on the Covington road. The rebels were driven off, losing 3 killed and a few wounded. We had 1 killed and 3 wounded. This is the largest hostile party we have heard of this side of Stone Mountain.