HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,
July 20, 1864-12 m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: I have just completed an inspection of the lines from right to left. The enemy seems to be resisting General Palmer's extreme right very obstinately. I have therefore directed him to hold General Davis in force to observe and oppose any attempts on our right flank. The other two divisions of General Palmer's corps, General Hooker's corps, and General Newton's division, of General Howard's corps, are a mile in advance of Peach Tree Creek, their skirmishers connecting, and the troops advancing gradually. Prisoners report that the enemy's line of battle confronts my troops, with his left near Turner's Ferry, and his right resting on what I take to be Pea Vine Creek. He has a heavy line of skirmishers in my front. If the prisoners' report be true his attention is fully occupied by us, and I am in hopes General McPherson, Schofield,and Howard will be able to fall upon his rear without any very great difficulty. Captain Sutermeister, who command the artillery stationed in the redoubt on the north side of the Chattahoochee, at the railroad bridge, reports considerable force of the enemy in his front in their rifle-pits. That report, taken in connection with the fact of a considerable force threatening General Davis' right, induces me to place some confidence in the reports of the deserters, which I hope may be true, as it will enable you to capture a great many prisoners. General Davis lost quite heavily yesterday, probably 200, including wounded and missing. The loss in the other commands is slight. We have taken about 50 of the enemy prisoners and buried 25 or 30 of their killed.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
P. S.-The Stoneman raid turns out to be a humbug. I sent you his last report yesterday afternoon and hope it was received. It seems that when twenty-five of the enemy are seen anywhere, they are considered in force.
G. H. T.
WITH GENERAL HOWARD,
Four miles north of Atlanta, [July 20, 1864]-3.25 [p. m.]
From McPherson's fire, I think he is within one and a half or two miles of Atlanta. Schofield ought to be within two miles. All your troops should push hard for Atlanta, sweeping everything before them.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., July 20, 1864-6.10 [p. m.]
DEAR GENERAL: I have your of 12 m. I have been with Howard and Schofield to-day, and one of my staff is just back from General McPherson. All report the enemy in their front so strong that I was