Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi. Atlanta Oct. 1, 1864
We are all well. Forrest is threatening our Road in Tennessee, but I think ample steps are in progress to meet & defeat him. Should he temporarily disturb our Roads we are well prepared, with accumulated supplies here, and our Repair parties are so distributed that breaks can be speedily repaired. Should Hood’s main Army attempt Our Rear, I think we can make him suffer. Georgia is now open to me, and steps are being perfected at other distinct points that will increase the value of my position here.
The telegraph brings me word that Grant is not idle about Richmond. I know his perseverance and have no apprehensions that in the end he will worry Lee out. Sheridan’s success up the Valley of the Shenandoah, will again threaten Lee’s line of supply which is by Gordonsville & Lynchburg. That same Road is being attacked at a point further west from another quarter. I am in advance of all the other Columns and therefore should not be in a hurry, but if the Enemy is restless I may go ahead. Our men are now well clad & fed, well rested and ready to go wherever I lead.
The People of the South have made a big howl at my moving the families of Atlanta but I would have been a silly fool to take a town at such cost, and left it in the occupation of a helpless and hectic People. The War Department has simply been silent, has not committed itself one way or other so that the whole measure rests on me, but I am used to such things. Some of the correspondence between Hood & myself has been published, and the whole has been sent to Washington, where at some day it also will be published. I think General Hood will have no reason to glorify. I have letters of thanks from the Mayor of Atlanta and Colonel Clare who was the Confederate officer appointed to receive the families & transport them to the South. Instead of robbing them not an article was taken away, not even their negro servants who were willing to go along, and we even brought their provisions which I know to have been Confederate stores distributed to the People at the last moment, and were really our captured property.
Charley tells me he writes to you often but I think he means to do so and wants you to take the will for the deed. I sent you a few days ago some photographs, one of which Duke was very fine. He stood like a gentleman for his portrait, and I like it better than any I ever had taken. I have two large groups of all my staff, which I will send you if an opportunity offers. They are very fair.
I have not heard from you for some time, but of course you have got ere this the bundles I send by Colonel Moore. They will prove interesting and will answer for reading a long time. I want to see the Critiques of the English Military Press on my campaign. They seem to study the principles and really are the only persons that caught the true Spirit of the Chattanooga and Knoxville Campaign. As to the Cincinnati papers, and Catholic Telegraph, I have the most profound contempt. Their praise or censure is alike puerile. If they would confine their observations to street nuisances and religious picnics they would better fill their offices. They have no more Knowledge or appreciation of Military men or measures than the children of a Sunday School. If you get a chance let Bishop Purcell convey to his brother this my opinion. I hope Master Charley is again well, and that the rest of our flock are progressing well.
W. T. Sherman