in hopes none were left for you, but I see it is the same old game; but we must not allow the enemy to build a new system of fortifications. We cannot pass Atlanta without reducing it, and the more time we give them the harder it will be to carry. General Schofield is near the distillery, where the enemy is fortifying. General Howard is just where he first encountered the enemy, four miles back from Atlanta, and McPherson is on the railroad, about two miles and half out, but reports a line of breast-works, but does not seem certain. I wish you to press forward all the time, and thereby contract the lines. If we can shorten our line either to the left or right, we should attempt to break up West Point. I rather incline to think it best to swing to the right, but hope to-morrow's work may develop some weak park. The enemy attempted to sally against Cox, but were quickly repulsed. I saw the skirmishers of the other division of Schofield make a dash at a line of rifle-pits, carrying it and capturing about 100 prisoners. I was anxious to-day to prevent the enemy from making a new and larger line of breast-works than had been at first prepared, which is so near Atlanta that artillery could overreach and enter the town. All the prisoners captured by Schofield are of Hood's corps, though each division commander insists he has to fight two corps. All the ground I have seen is densely wounded, but the roads are good. We will to-morrow press at all points and contract our line, so as to spare a column for detached service. It seems to me Palmer can force the enemy to evacuate the works on this bank of the Chattahoochee or be captured. I will push Schofield and McPherson all I know how.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,
July 20, 1864-6.15 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: The enemy attacked me in full force at about 4 p. m., and has persisted until now, attacking very fiercely, but he was repulsed handsomely by the troops all along my line. Our loss has been heavy, but the loss inflicted upon the enemy has been very severe. We have taken many prisoners, and General Ward reports having taken 2 stand of colors. I cannot make at present more than this general report, but will send you details as soon as I can get them from my corps commanders.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, July 20, 1864-8 p. m.
DEAR GENERAL: I have just read General Stoneman's letter, with your indorsement. We have seen enough to-day to convince us that all of Stoneman's information is incorrect. Something more than militia