JULY 17, 1864.
Memoranda to Special Field Orders, Numbers 36: The map composed of two parts of the official compilation made at Marietta July 5 and 11, 1864, is the best and will be the standard for orders issued from these headquarters. As a general rule, old road will be found to lead to Decatur, but new roads to Atlanta. The general country is very hilly and stony, but improves south and east as we approach the head of the Ocmulgee. Peach Tree Creek is considerable of a stream,but fordable at all points east of the main road from Buck Head to Atlanta. The first real lines to be found will be on the Old Peach Tree road, which starts at Turney's Ferry, keeps near the Chattahoochee, crosses Peach Tree at Moore's Mill and on a main ridge by Buck Head, Buchanan's, and Pinckneyville. Our first line must be in front of this road, leaving it clear for communication; General Thomas the right, General Schofield the center, and General McPherson the left. General Thomas will move substantially on Atlanta, General Schofield on Decatur, and General McPherson, with General Garrard's cavalry, is charged with the destruction of the railroad between decatur and Stone Mountain. As soon as the road is broken all the armies will close on General Thomas, occupying the main roads east of Atlanta, or, in other works, the line swung across the railroad near Decatur. General Thomas will press close on Atlanta, but not assault real works, but not be deterred by cavalry of light defenses. General Schofield will threaten the neighborhood of Decatur, but Generals McPherson and Garrard will risk much and break the railroad during the 18th or 19th.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Vining's Station, Ga., July 17, 1864.
Order of the day for July 18, 1864.
In executing Special Field Orders, Numbers 36, from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, the following will be the operations of the Army of the Cumberland to-morrow:
The movement will be commenced by the Fourth Corps, Major-General Howard, and Twentieth, Major-General Hooker's corps, who will each seek a road leading from his present position to Buck head and march upon it to that point, the former forming to the left and the latter to the right of it along the Turner's Ferry and Buck Head road. Brigadier-General Johnson's division, Fourteenth Corps, will follow the movements of Major-General Hooker, keeping his skirmishers connected with those of Major-Generals Davis and Baird will maintain substantially their present positions, the former keeping his skirmishers connected with those of General Johnson.
The Fourth and Twentieth Corp will move at daylight,and the object is to gain possession of the ridge along which the Turner's Ferry and Buck head road runs, form in front of it, and threaten Atlanta by the roads leading from it to that place; Major-General Palmer's corps on the right, Major-General Hooker's in the center, and Major-General Howard's on the left.
By command of Major-General Thomas:
WM. D. WHIPPLE,