War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0170 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Smith's division of infantry, and they except by night to have five miles of road effectually destroyed. Thus far we have encountered only cavalry with light resistance, and to-morrow will move on Decatur and Atlanta. I am fully aware of the necessity of making the most of time and shall keep things moving.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, east of Chattahoochee River, July 18, 1864-6 a. m.

General THOMAS:

GENERAL: I have this moment your letter of 8 p. m. last night. I would like you to get to Buck Head early to-day and then to feel down strong on Atlanta. General Howard has already started and Generals Schofield and McPherson; I am on the point of starting and will be near General Schofield about the Cross Keys. Establish communication by courier along up to me as soon as you know any troops are in that vicinity. I may order General McPherson off on a tangent if I have anything that justified it. I want that railroad as quick as possible and the weather seems to me too good to be wasted.

Yours, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field at Sam. House's, Peach Tree Road, Five miles northeast of Buck Head, Ga., July 18, 1864.

Major-General THOMAS,

Buck Head, Ga.:

GENERAL: I have reports from General McPherson to 2 p. m. He had reached the railroad at a point two miles from Stone Mountain and seven miles from Decatur; had broken the telegraphs and road, and by 5 p. m. will have four or five miles broken. To-morrow I want a bold push for Atlanta and have made my orders, which, I think, will put us in Atlanta or very close to it. Hold about Howell's Mill and the main road and let your left swing across Peach tree about the South Fork and connect with Schofield, who will approach Decatur from the north, Johnston will give up Atlanta without a fight, but it may be so. Let us develop the truth.

Yours, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

July 18, 1864-2.15 p. m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: General Palmer's corps occupied the Turner's Ferry and Decatur road, and he is pushing his skirmishers down to Peach Tree Creek. General Hooker's corps is on General Palmer's left, also in front of the Turner's Ferry and Decatur road. General Howard occupies