Chattahoochee River I kept one brigade acting along its north bank in hopes that it might induce the enemy to think it your intention to cross south of the railroad, and it seems from the inclosed dispatches this morning picked up on the road that it had its effect. We covered the river from Campbellton up as far as Sandtown, and had not General McCook been withdrawn by General Elliott yesterday, I think he would have been able to have helped us to get to Howell's Ferry yesterday. As it was we did not get there until 8 o'clock this morning. One division of General Blair's relieved one of my brigades yesterday, on the road crossing the Nickajack a few miles above its mouth, and another division of General Blair's has just now taken the place of my remaining brigade at Howell's Ferry. I have now one brigade at Baker's Ferry, one at and below Sandtown, and the third in reserve. Our horses are improving every day; we get plenty for them and a good deal for the men from the country. Our ration return has never equaled our effective strength, which I was not aware of until orders induced me to compare the ration and field returns. We are ready for anything except guarding communications in the rear.
If Barry has got a good four-gun battery, I could make use of it, as I have a lot of dismounted men I could make use of to support it. We have all the transportation we want and can move at any time, with twenty days' supply for the men. All we lack is some ammunition for some of our arms, and that I am told is not to be obtained. General McCook informs me that he is in the same fix. I wish I could get my regiment, or rather the regiment to which I belong (the Fourth), with us. Can't you manage it?
I inclose a sketch of this region.*
Very respectfully, &c.,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Chattahoochee River, July 5, 1864.
Major General GEORGE STONEMAN,
DEAR STONEMAN: I have your note, which is very satisfactory. I have heard of your general success from other quarters. I will instruct General Barry to give you a good four-gun battery, if he can get one from some of the commands. Our left is now on the river above the railroad bridge. We find Hardee's corps intrenched on this side the river from the bridge down to the mouth of the Nickajack; we hear the other two corps and militia are across; we can see Atlanta plain, but it will require hard fighting and science to take it. It must be done. Garrard is gone up to Roswell, and I hope to hear from him to-night. I think Johnston will send all his effective cavalry round by the north, to strike our railroad, and must keep Garrard well on that flank and McCook to support him. I think you can whip anything that attempts to cross on that flank. Keep up the delusion of our crossing below Sandtown as long as possible, and I have reason to believe the enemy expects it. We have a nice game of war and must make no mistakes. We ought to have caught Johnston on his retreat, but he had prepared the way too well. We have killed a
nd crippled a good
*To appear in the Atlas.