General Newton to move down the road toward Atlanta, as previously directed, to keep up connection with General Hooker, and to report to-day directly to General Thomas, and that the other two divisions of the corps will be pushed to a connection with him as soon as it can be done. 6.25, received note from General Stanley saying that his pickets are across south fork of Peach Tree Creek; that the main Atlanta road branches from the decatur road (on which he is) one mile from his position; that the enemy has been busy fortifying in his front all night, and a prisoner reports Cleburne's and Hindman's divisions took up a position in his front last evening. 6.50, ordered Stanely to advance, not directly forward toward Atlanta, but by the road that leads toward Decatur, and down the Atlanta road when he reaches it. He thus would move rather by the left flank and almost in a circle and approach Schofield. 7 a. m., directed Wood to relieve Stanely's pickets in the fork of south and north forks of Peach Tree Creek. 7.15 a. m., directed General Wood to leave a regiment on the north side of the bridge over north fork of Peach Tee Creek as a guard for the same, and for the trains on Decatur road (Stanely's bridge). 7.20 a. m., directed General Wood to leave a regiment on the north side of the bridge over north fork of Peach Tree Creek as a guard for the same, and for the trains on Decatur road (Stanely's bridge). 7.20 a. m., directed General Wood to leave his leading brigade in General Stanley's works, facing Hindman's and Cleburne's divisions, until all troops of his divisions, corps train, &c., have passed. 8.30 a. m., received Special Field Orders, Numbers 39, Military Division of the Mississippi (Sherman), dated July 19, 1864, as follows:*
8.30 a. m, received communication from headquarters Department of the Cumberland, of which following is a copy:*
NOTE.-As Wood's division returned to Buck Head (two brigades), and as Newton crossed to south side of the creek, Wood was directed to join Stanely instead of Newton.
8.30, Stanley reaches the south fork of Peach Tree Creek and commences to skirmish with the enemy. At same time and place an officer reported from General Schofield, and stated that his command was about one mile off, on the road that converges toward the one we are moving upon, and meets about two and one-fourth miles from Atlanta. The enemy burned the bridge at this point, and column halted to build a new one. The skirmish line waded the creek and drove the enemy back to a ridge beyond. 10 a. m., bridge completed, and column moved on. 10.25, about three-fourths of a mile from bridge met the enemy's skirmishers in force. His strong skirmish line is driven from rail barricades by Stanely's skirmishers, and the enemy opens upon them (Stanely's skirmishers) with artillery from their main works, about one-third of a mile beyond. 10.40, messenger from General Sherman, who says, "Move forward and develop the enemy; see whether he is in force." Prisoners we have taken say that Stevenson's division (late Hood's) is in Stanely's and Schofield's front. 10.50, ordered Stanely to fire form his batteries, which are now in position on his skirmish line, supported by a regiment or two, and to prepare to advance his skirmishers. Considerable skirmish firing yet. 10.55, received note from general Newton, stating that he had not advanced yet, as General Hooker has not got all of his force over the creek, and is three-fourths to one mile in his rear, waiting for him to come up. 2 p. m., the skirmishers of Gibson's brigade, of Wood's division, which remained
*For full text of orders and letter (here omitted) see Part V.