work at daybreak to-morrow on that flank, crossing Nickajack some-how and the moment you discover confusion pour in your fire. You know what a retreating mass across pontoon bridges means . Feel strong to-night and make feints of pursuit with artillery. I know Johnston's withdrawal is not strategic but for good reasons, after he crosses the Chattahoochee; but his situation with that river behind him is not comfortable at all. If you can get him once started, follow up and call on Schofield. Let him read this. You both see the whole game as well as I do. Let Stoneman threaten about Baker's and Howell's Ferries, and you secure if you can the ridge and crossing at Nickajack, opposite Turner's. I will send Logan to you to-morrow but you have as many men as can operate in that pocket. I don't confine you to any crossing, but press the enemy all the time in flank till he is across Chattahoochee.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Ruff's Mill, Ga., July 3, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM T. CLARK,
Asst. Adjt. General, Department and Army of the Tennessee:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the operations of this command for to-day (July 3): At daylight the Sixty-fourth Illinois Infantry, as skirmishers, advanced and took possession of Kenesaw Mountain. The command then moved to a point near Ruff's Mill, bivouacked and the Second Division went into position relieving General Lightburn's brigade, of General M. L. Smith's division, intrenching themselves on side to hold cross-roads and the commanding ground. Between my present position and that held by General M. L. Smith is a dense wood. The enemy appear to be in greatest force south of this wood and west of creek, which, with my limited force and owing to the lateness of the hour, compelled me to make such dispositions as would best protect the troops in case of an attack. The ground on the east side of the creek is, I should judge, the best to occupy, but will require a larger force than I have on the line. It is generally believed that nothing but cavalry is in our front. Large camp-fires are plainly visible two or three miles due east from our position, supposed to be the enemy's. I inclose herewith hurried sketch* of my position.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. DODGE,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE POST,
Chattanooga, July 3, 1864.
Colonel W. B. McCREERY,
Commanding Engineer Brigade:
COLONEL: Information which is deemed reliable is that the enemy is again advancing in force against La Fayette, who or what force we do not know. It is probably desirable that you should notify your pickets and also the various camps to increased vigilance and to be ready. If you have vedettes would it not be well to have some of them
*To appear in the Atlas.