army, and a circle of finished redoubts, yet I shall not pause. The expeditions from Memphis, Vicksburg, and Baton Rouge are most important and will keep employed the forces of the enemy that might be mischievous to my rear; also the move on Mobile will be most opportune, no matter in what strength, even if confined to a feint. On the 9th I start a lightly equipped cavalry force of about 3,000, without wagons, from Decatur, Ala., to Opelika, to break up the single track from Montgomery eastward; the effect of which will be separate Alabama from Georgia. This force may be compelled to go to Pensacola. Please let the commanding officer at Pensacola look out for them about the 20th to 25th of July. If they make Pensacola they will leave horses there, and come back to Tennessee by water. Major-General Rousseau will command.
W. T. SHERMAN,
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE OHIO, Numbers 46. Smyrna Camp-Ground, Ga., July 7, 1864.
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II. The corps will endeavor to effect a crossing of the Chattahoochee to-morrow. The point selected for the crossing is near the mouth of Soap Creek. The troops will march at 4 a.m., the Third Division in advance. General Hascall's artillery will move near the head of his column, in order that it may be at hand to cover the crossing. The trains of both divisions will move in rear of the corps. One brigade of the Third Division will cross Soap Creek at the paper-factory, about a mile above its mouth, and move down the road toward the bank of the river, keeping out of view from the opposite bank. The brigade commander will deploy a strong line of skirmishers, with large reserves, behind the ridge near the river, and prepare a party of about fifty good men to lead the crossing and effect a lodgment on the opposite side. The men should be tall and strong, on account of the possible difficulty in fording. It is not necessary to select men from the Twenty-third Corps for their bravery. The brigade commander will keep his men out of sight, and not open fire unless the enemy's pickets be found on this side of the river, in which case he will drive them away without throwing any more force than necessary for the purpose. The point of crossing for the advance is an old fish-dam, constituting a practicable ford for infantry, about half a mile above the mouth of Soap Creek. The brigade commander will report the completion of the above predations and await further orders. General Cox will mass the remainder of his division on the west side of Soap Creek and in rear of the ridges bordering the river, and reconnoiter for position for his artillery. General Hascall will mass his division in a convenient position in rear of that of General Cox and send forward his artillery to report to the chief of artillery. General Cox will cause his skirmishers to be deployed, under cover, ready to advance to the river-bank. The artillery will be ready to move into position, and the troops will clear the road for the pontoon train, which will follow immediately after the infantry. Every precaution must be taken to avoid any display of force until the order is given to commence operations. Even groups of officers should not be seen by the enemy. This precaution is very important, since much delay may occur in perfecting the arrangements necessary to success, whereby the enemy, if warned of our intentions, might have