Also at dawn in the a. m. for one of Taylor's regiments to move to the left and occupy a position about midway between our present left and the position to be occupied by Kirby's brigade, there to cover the deep ravine on our left. 8.15 p. m., General Newton reports that he has exhausted his inventive powers in the way of making demonstrations, and wishes to know whether he can remain quiet to-morrow a. m. and instruct his pickets to hid and not fire, so that if the enemy opens artillery fire upon us in the morning for the purpose of trying to get us to reply, and thus discover whether we are here, he may deceive them and entice them to advance their skirmish line. 8.30 p. m., General Newton was instructed not to return the enemy's fire if he opens in the a. m., and to keep his pickets hid, so that the enemy might advance his skirmishers, and he take advantage of such advance. Like instructions were also given to General Wood. Usual artillery and picket firing to-day. Day dry and very hot.
August 19.-12.30 a. m., received dispatch from General Kimball stating that the lookout at Howard's house reports that 10.30 p. m. rockets were sent up in the enemy's lines, apparently opposite General Newton's division, and about twenty minutes afterward others were sent up, and then a bright fire was kindled in the southern part of the town. It is supposed that the enemy is making some movement. 3 a. m., started from headquarters for the left. General Kimball made the movements, in accordance with the orders given to him at 8 p. m. last night. At daybreak Kirby's brigade was moved to the point indicated on the railroad (Augusta and Atlanta road) and he (Kirby) sent strong reconnoitering parties toward Atlanta, and south toward the battle-field of the 22nd of July, where the Seventeenth Corps fought. 5 a. m., the lookout in front of Kimball's division discovered a body of the enemy's troops, a division in strength, moving double-quick from Atlanta toward the position held by Kirby. These troops went into their works, opposite Kirby's brigade, as posted on the railroad. At daybreak Colonel Taylor sent a regiment to cover the ravine between our left and Kirby, and General Grose (commanding Kimball's right brigade) advanced his skirmishers and drove the enemy from his skirmish rifle-pits, and engaged him in his main works for a short time. 7 a. m., up to this time, from sunrise, the enemy could be discovered moving troops to his right and filling the main works and rifle-pits in front of Kirby. 7.20 a. m., as the object of the demonstration had been accomplished, General Kimball was directed to withdraw Kirby's pickets and troops and to leave two regiments as the burnt brick house, very near the railroad; also to leave the regiment in position that is now covering the ravine. These troops were instructed to keep busy through the day, and to move about as thought forming for some movement, and to dig dirt near the abandoned earth-works around the burnt brick house, and in front of the ravine, as though they were making preparations to stop permanently. The artillery officers of the first Division were also directed to keep up slow firing through the day. These instructions were well carried out, and had the desired effect. 12.35 p. m., a telegram from General Sherman to General Thomas was submitted to General Stanley by General Thomas. It was as follows:
General Howard's signal officer reports cars loaded with soldiers sent down the railroad. Of course Hood will try to defend that road at all cost, and we should take advantage of detachments made for that purpose. Better let all your line feel forward as far as prudent, and if a safe place be found to make a lodgment.