be ready to convey this to you as soon as translated into cipher. I propose to study the crossings of the Chattahoochee, and when all is ready to move quick. As a beginning I keep the wagons and troops well back from the river, and display to the enemy only the picket-line, with a few batteries along at random. Have moved General Schofield to a point whence he can in a single march reach the Chattahoochee, at a point above the railroad bridge, where there is a ford. At present the waters are turbid and swollen by the late rains; but if the present hot weather lasts the water will run down very fast. We have pontoons enough for four bridges, but, as our crossing will be resisted, we must maneuver some. All the regular crossing-places are covered by forts, apparently of long construction; but we shall cross in due time, and instead of attacking Atlanta direct, or any its forts, I propose to make a circuit, destroying all its railroads. This is a delicate movement and must be done with caution. Our army is in good condition and full of confidence; but the weather is intensely hot, and a good many men have fallen with sunstroke. This is a high and healthy country, and the sanitary condition of the army is good.
W. T . SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Vining's Station, Ga., July 6, 1864.
Major General J. M. PALMER,
Commanding Fourteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you only attempt to hold your present position by strong skirmish lines, and put your troops in camps where they will have shade and be convenient to water, and enjoy as much rest as possible during the few days that we are to remain here, and prepare roads so that they can with rapidity and without difficulty debouch upon the main roads leading through the country. Corps commanders will also make use of this opportunity to bring forward clothing to issue to the men.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Chief of Staff.
(Same to Generals Howard and Hooker.)
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Vining's Station, July 6, 1864.
I wish you to move your corps across Nickajack Creek, and take position either on the right of Davis' division, or if there is not room enough between his regiment and the creek, encamp in reserve behind Davis. Make as little show of your force as possible so as to conceal your position from the enemy. Keep nothing in his view except a strong skirmish line.
GEO. H. THOMAS,