Friday, October 7, 1864

Kenesaw Mountain

I Signal To Corse at Allatoona:
I send a brigade to you in the morning.

Baird Reports:

My advance went as far as Abner’s house, three miles and a half beyond Lost Mountain. Our cavalry is now near Dallas. Had sharp fighting New Hope, and a few artillery shots nearer to Dallas. Lee’s and Stewart’s corps were encamped near here for three days, and the last left yesterday for the Division of Dallas. A brigade of cavalry passed here yesterday.

In the Field, Kenesaw, October 7, 1864.
General SLOCUM, Atlanta:
I was out all day yesterday, and from developments and what I could see and hear Allatoona is safe. The enemy were repulsed with a loss of over 500. Our loss was also severe. Road less damaged than estimated. It may be four or six miles to be rebuilt. Enemy on our appearance fell back to Dallas, and at dark yesterday we held Kenesaw, Pine Hill, and Lost Mountain; Hood’s camps appeared at New Hope Church, Dallas, and a point fifteen miles southwest of Lost Mountain. The supposition is he has sent his cavalry up toward Kingston, but I think the high water will bother him. Yesterday it rained in torrents, and the roads were awful. It is now bright and clear, and I will get to work on the road, and will watch Mr. Hood close. Make Atlanta safe beyond risk, and spare a brigade or part of a brigade to hold the old rebel works on the WEST bank of the Chattahoochee, especially down about Turner’s Ferry. That point is very strong, and esentail to the perfect covering of the railroad and bridges. I will go on to repair our roads. Grass is good, and our old camps are well stocked with sprout or volunteer corn, which is excellent fodder. You can find the same down about Peach Tree. Keep me well posted, though you cannot count on finding me in these chestnut woods until after night. Please answer now, as my telegraph operator sends this, and can hunt me up if answer is important.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major – General, Commanding.

Slocum Replies:

Everything is perfectly quiet here; the bridge will be finished tonight. Are you willing I should send a strong foraging party southeast? I think it can be safety done. I will arrange to send one brigade to the bridge and put two 20-pounders in one fort, on north side of river, and two light guns in the other; put the balance of the artillery in position on south side of river and construct at once abatis around the forts on north side of river.

HDQRS. MILITARY Division OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kenesaw, October 7, 1864.
General SLOCUM, Atlanta:
Have official intelligence from Allatoona. A very hard fight, but complete success. Corse arrived from Rome that morning just in time with re-enforcements. His loss foots up near 600, and he reports 150 rebel dead buried by him, and 450 prisoners. All our cattle, 8,000, are in at Allatoona safe. The Resaca bridge was partly washed away, but will be done soon. Don’t hear of any enemy up the road. The road is well torn up between this and Allatoona, and I will get to work to repair it. Put your men to work hard, for Hood has gone off south and may swing round on you, but I will not learn till late morning the exact route he took. Our cavalry is now at Powder Springs and New Hope Church, and pushing toward Dallas.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major – General

Elliott Reports:

Garrard’s communication, dated 11:30 a. m. today, states that he is near New Hope Church, skirmishing with the rear of the enemy. Armstrong camped on the ground where he then was, and French’s Division camped at New Hope Church. General Garrard did not know, when he wrote, which way they marched, but rumor reported them moving toward Dallas. Citizens tell him very conflicting stories, from which, he says, he can determine nothing. He had captured one wagon containing a rebel brigadier – general and colonel, with 3 soldiers and 4 negroes.

General Garrard was ordered with his Division as directed, and the instructions of the major – general commanding communicated to him. The instructions heretofore given me were as follows:

The night of the 2nd I received verbal instructions to mass my cavalry near Powder Springs, open communication with Marietta; if the enemy had gone in the directions of Allatoona to follow him up, and harass him as such as possible. High water delayed the movement, but I communicated with Marietta the night of the 3d. Learning that the enemy was on the railroad near Big Shanty, I marched early on the 4th for that place, found our infantry engaged with the enemy, then destroying the railroad, the working party protected by a strong force of infantry, with at least one Division of Lee’s corps in position behind works extending from the Burnt Hickory road to the railroad. I satisfied myself of this from personal observation and from prisoners taken on my front, and about two miles distant. On the 5th to co-operate with Major-General Stanley in a feint on Pine Hill, General Kilpatrick was ordered toward Dallas, and became engaged on that road. Sent in two prisoners from Hardee’s corps, who reported the corps proceeding from Powder Springs to Lost Mountain. I accompanied General Garrard’s Division on the Burnt Hickory and Allatoona road to Hardshell Church, sending out reconnaissances on all the roads. The Fourth U. S. Cavalry drove infantry pickets to their camp on the Allatoona road beyond Kemp’s Mill; saw the camp, and an attempt was made by the infantry of the enemy to cut them off. On the 6th I applied for instructions, at the same time reporting that I covered all the roads and has sent out scouts. I received Special Field Orders, Numbers 85, October 6, 1864, and immediately complied with same orders. I think now, as I thought on the 5th, that the one reduced Division of cavalry could not have gone direct to Allatoona from Hardsheell Church, but had my orders of the 6th directed me to make the reconnaissance made by General Cox on that day, instead of the 5th, as he reports, I could have obtained the same information. My cavalry has never avoided the cavalry of the enemy in any force; it has too often contended with it and with success; during the present scout has seen very few cavalry. The orders of the major – general commanding have been complied with, and to enable me to do so I held my command in readiness, picketing only the roads, and sending out scouts until I could learn what disposition he wished made. I do not regard the remarks derogatory to my command, when made by those unacquainted with the orders given me, but desiring to do my duty and obey orders, as does my command, I confess that it is not only discouraging but mortifying to hear of the major – general commanding censuring the cavalry publicly in the hearing of officers & enlisted men.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. ELLIOTT, Brigadier – General and Chief of Cavalry

HDQRS. MILITARY Division ON THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kenesaw, October 7, 1864
General ELLIOTT:
I have your communication of today and will answer at length at a more leisure moment. Our cavalry is wanting in enterprise. I am fully conscious of the many difficulties which they encounter in so wooded a country and such blind roads, but ’tis useless to discuss these now. I want to prevent Hood crossing the Allatoona range, toward the Etowah bridge, and also to keep the infantry force employed in repairing the damage already done to our road. I wish you, therefore to keep Garrard’s Division and Kilpatrick employed in harassing the enemy’s rear, picking off parties and also striking whenever he offers an opportunity. His road must be equally bad as ours, and will occasion delay and stranggling of which our cavalry may take an advantage. I don’t care of pursuing much below Dallas, but I do want to know that Hood’s main army has passed below Dallas toward Carrollton. If our cavalry will make bold and handsome dashes I promise to make full and public acknowledgment of their services.
I am, yours,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major – General, Commanding.

The cavalry still don’t know where Hood is heading.

Howards says that Hood is marching toward Dallas.fantry from my extreme left to Mitchell’s Cross Roads, Captain Reese conducting them.

HDQRS. MILITARY Division OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kenesaw, October 7, 1864.
General CORSE, Allatoona:
I received your report. I have so high an appreciation of your services and those of your command, as also that of Colonel Tourtellotte and garrison, that I shall make the defense of Allatoona the subject of a general order. I will move my army one step north tomorrow, and want you to exercise a general care over the operations from Allatoona as far as Kingston. I will so place my command that in one day’s work they will replace all the ties burned between Allatoona and Kenesaw, and leave the laying of the iron to the construction party. We have 2,700,000 rations of bread in Atlanta, and can afford to await repairs. My infantry is now near Dallas and cavalry must be below it. General Garrard passed New Hope before noon, and General Kilpatrick at Powder Springs at 11. 30 a. m. Both are ordered to push the enemy and develop his route of movement. He is already too far south to make the Etowah bridge via Stilesborough. Still, too much care cannot be exercised. General John E. Smith should be down, and I will be much obliged if you can manage to send to Generals Thomas and Webster notice that Atlanta is safe in our possession; the new and contracted line finished and ready for defense, so that General Slocum can hold it against Hood’s whole army. The bridge across Chattahoochee which was carried away by the freshet will be done by tomorrow, and I will put 10,000 men at work at once to replace the ties burned by the enemy (35,000) and have the road ready for the iron by the time the construction train comes from the north. I want more news from the north. I almost share the pain of your wound with you, but you know for quick work I cannot be without you, and ask you, spite of pain, to keep you head clear and leave others to do your bidding. Your presence alone saved to us Allatoona the day before yesterday, but this does not detract from the merit of the others. Keep me well advised for I now think Hood will rather swing against Altlanta and the Chattahoochee bridge, than against Kingston and the Etowah bridge, but he is eccentric and I cannot guess his movements as I could those of Johnston, who was a sensible man and only did sensible things. If Hood does not mind I will catch him yet in a worse snap than he has been in. Rome is of no value at all, save as a flank. Destroy its bridges and factories on the slightest provocation, and cover the vital points of our road.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major – General, Commanding

In the Field, October 7, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
GENERAL: The railroad to Chattanooga is all right except the bridges across the Oostenaula and Etowah, the latter having become shaky since 12 m. today, from an unusual rise and consequent drift against the bents. The bridge over the Oostenaula ought to be done today, and that over the Etowah I had a construction party sent to and will push it in hopes of finishing before daylight. I will go in an ambulance with my command to Cartersville, ready to strike toward Rome, Kingston, or the Etowah bridge as the case may be. My train of wounded is cut off on this side of the Etowah, and I will leave it here tonight. We hear nothing of the enemy.
JOHN M. CORSE, Brigadier – General

PINE HILL, October 7, 1864. – 1. 30 p. m.
General COX, Commanding Army of the Ohio, on the march:
From the appearance of things, as seen since it has cleared away, I am satisfied the enemy is gone south. Please push ahead rapidly and observe the tracks on the Dallas and Acworth road. Burn a house or brush pile every now and then, when I can tell where your head of column is. When your reach the road make a big smoke, a house or barn at least, and if you see the tracks pointing south, make three large smokes, 300 or 400 yards apart, so I may know.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major – General, Commanding.

COX Replies:

I left the brigade on Dallas road at 11 a. m. It was at the intersection of the road to New Hope from Hardshell, with the road from Allatoona Church to New Hope, not far from Pickett’s Mills, and about two miles from New Hope. Garrard’s cavalry was passing them. There is no enemy found. The brigade will support the cavalry. The firing heard is farther south. I have two other regiments pushing on Rome road to its intersection with the direct road from Dallas to Allatoona.

The reconnaissance report no rebels north or New Hope Church, and the main body went south from there this morning. I send to you an Irishman whom they captured, and who gives intelligent account. They used both this road and the direct Dallas and Allatoona road. If my brigade stays at Allatoona I will send up its baggage in the morning, and at same time draw some rations there. It is no farther than Marietta, and better road. Shall I do so?

I Reply to General COX:
Call in all your detachments, save the one at Allatoona, and be prepared for a march. When all reports are in, say about midnight, will send your orders.

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 7, 1864: 10 p. m.
Major – General SHERMAN:
General Morgan’s Division was at Shoal Creek, on the Athens and Florence road, this a. m., pressing the enemy closely, and heavy skirmishing going on between them. Morgan unable, on account of high water, to get across the creek with his whole force. Rousseau was at Blue Water, on the old military road, eighteen miles north of Florence this a. m. Major – General Washburn at Waynesborough pushing on to join Rousseau. Four gun-boats are up the Tennessee River in the neighborhood of Florence, which will effectually prevent the enemy crossing there. I hope to have some good news to report tomorrow. Four bridges on the Chattanooga and Atlanta road, on the Chickamauga river, have been carried away by high water, but will not materially affect the operations of the road, as trains can run via Cleveland. Colonel Wright promises to have the road in running order as far as Allatoona in one week. Six new regiments have arrived, which have already been posted at this point and along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad as far as Murfreesborough. The Tennessee and Alabama Railroad has been pretty thoroughly broken between Pulaski and Athens, but can be put in good running order between here and Pulaski in one week.
GEO. H. THOMAS, Major – General.

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