be made to form a line of battle. Each army will form a until and connect with its neighbor by a line of pickets. Should the enemy assume the offensive at any point, which is not expected until we reach below Peach Tree Creek, the neighboring army will at once assist the one attacked. All preliminary steps may at once be made, but no corps need move to any great distance from the river until advised that General Stoneman is back.
VI. Major-General Thomas will study well the country toward Decatur via Buck Head, Major-General Schofield to a point of the railroad four miles northeast of Decatur, and Major-General McPherson and General Garrard that toward Stone Mountain. Each army should leave behind the Chattahoochee river, at its bridge or at Marietta, all wagons or incumbrances not absolutely needed for battle. A week's work after crossing the Chattahoochee should determine the first object aimed at, viz, the possession of the Atlanta and Augusta road east of Decatur, or of Atlanta itself.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON,
CITY POINT, VA., July 15, 1864.
Washington, D. C.:
In view of the possible recurrence of the late raid into Maryland, I would suggest that the following precautions be taken: First. There should be an immediate call for all the troops we are likely to require. Second. Washington city, Baltimore, and Harper's Ferry should be designated as schools of instruction, and all troops raised east of the State of Ohio should be sent to one of these three places as fast as raised. Nashville, Decatur, and Stevenson should also be names as schools of instruction, and all troops raise in Ohio and west of it should be sent to those. By doing this we always have the benefit of our increased force, and they in turn improve more rapidly by contact with veteran troops. To supply Sherman, all the rolling-stock that can possibly be got to him should be sent. An effort ought to be made to transfer a large portion of stores now at Nashville to Chattanooga. This might be facilitated by withdrawing for awhile the rolling-stock from the Nashville and Reynoldsburg Railroad, and a large part of the stock upon the Kentucky roads. There is every indication now, judging from the tone of the Southern press, that, unless Johnston is re-enforced, Atlanta will not be defended. They seem to calculate largely upon driving Sherman out be keeping his lines of communication cut. If he can supply himself once with ordnance and quartermaster's stores, and partially with subsistence, he will find no difficulty in staying until a permanent line can be opened with the south coast. The road from Chattanooga and Atlanta will be much more easily defended than that north of the Tennessee. With the supplies above indicated at Chattanooga, with, say, sixty days' provisions there, I think there will be no doubt but that the country will supply the balance. Sherman will, once in Atlanta, devote himself to collecting the resources of the country. He will take everything the people have, and will then issue from the stores so collected to rich and poor alike. As he will take all their stock, they will have no use for grain further than is necessary for bread. If the enemy do not detach from here against Sherman, they will, in case Atlanta falls, bring most of Johnston's army here with the