I will stay here or down at the forks of the road to-night. Schofield encountered nothing but cavalry, about 500, according to the negro's report, and all retreated toward Atlanta. Tell Garrard that it will be much easier to break the telegraph and road to-day and night than if he waits longer. This negro says there is a road leading to Stone Mountain from a Mr. Lively's, on the Decatur road, on which I suppose you to be. At any rate I will be here till evening and would like to hear from you.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Blake's Mill, Ga., July 18, 1864-9.30 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: Inclosed please find sketch* of my position to-night and copy of Special Field Orders, Numbers 70, paragraph VI, from these headquarters.+
In pursuance of this order, the different commands were in motion promptly at the hour designated, the Seventeenth Corps closing up on the Fifteenth, and the Fifteenth and Sixteenth coming together by heads of column at the Widow Rainey's, and the infantry (Fifteenth Corps) reaching a point about one mile from Braman's [Browning's] Court-House jus as the last brigade of the cavalry was passing. The cavalry under Brigadier-General Garrard pushed on and struck the railroad, and five regiments were set to work to destroy it. A brigade of infantry (Lightburn's), of Morgan L. Smith's division, was also sent down, and the two forces together thoroughly destroyed over three miles of track upsetting the ties, breaking the iron loose, pulling up the ties, putting the iron on top, and setting fire to the pile The whole of the Fifteenth Corps was marched to the immediate vicinity of Braman's [Browning's] Court-House, the Sixteenth to the point indicated on the map, and the Seventeenth to Blake's Mill, to be used as a reserve to re-enforce either flank in case the enemy advanced or was found in strong force. There being no water in the vicinity of Braman's [Browning's] Court-House just before dark, after the brigade returned from the railroad, the Fifteenth Corps marched to Henderson's Mill and went into camp.
There is no telegraph line along the railroad. During our operations we saw no indications of any heavy force of the enemy; nothing but cavalry, which fell back and disappeared readily on our approach.
Inclosed please find copy of report just received from General Garrard.++
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Henderson's Mill, Ga., July 18, 1864.
Colonel W. T. CLARK,
Asst. Adjt. General, Army and Department of the Tennessee:
SIR: In obedience to Special Field Orders, Numbers 70, I moved with my command this morning at 5 o'clock from Nancy's Creek, near Cross
+See p. 168.
++See Part II, p. 808.