HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, July 20, 1864-8 p. m.
DEAR GENERAL: I inclose for you perusal letters from Generals Thomas and Stoneman. * You will see that they are in error. I think our only chance of entering Atlanta by a quick move if possible is lost. Still more good results will flow from your pressing hard and close on your flank the other, because if you can reach Atlanta with your guns or turn that flank we will capture more prisoners and property than by the other, for it will leave the enemy in a pocket whence they should not escape. We have carried several light lines or rail-pits to-day all along our lines, but have not followed up quick enough, so that I suppose in the morning we will find the remainder made into good parapets. Still do not fail to try them strong and find that flank if you can reach it. I have ordered Thomas to press close into Atlanta, and will see that Schofield and Howard do the same. I have no news letter than you have from abroad.
W. T. SHERMAN,
Open up a straight road to Schofield.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
In Field, July 20, 1864-8.45 p. m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Military Div., of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: Inclosed I send you sketch of our position to-night.+
We have had some pretty lively skirmishing and have driven the enemy from several pretty strong positions, though I do not think there has been much of anything but cavalry in front of us on the left. But they have had four pieces of artillery and are armed with short Enfield rifles, making if difficult at times to dislodge them. Brigadier-General Gresham, commanding Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, was wounded in the leg below the knew by a minie-ball, which shattered the bone, I am afraid he will lose his leg. I have assigned Brigadier General Giles A. Smith to the command of the division. You will see from the sketch that my left (Blair's command) is in lot 207, and the line runs nearly north, the right breaking to the rear slightly to connect with General Schofield. General Garrard's headquarters are in Decatur and his command is so disposed as to cover our rear and line of communications back to Roswell. Our losses have been comparatively light.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Atlanta, Ga., July 20, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM T. CLARK,
Asst. Adjt. General, Department and Army of the Tennessee:
COLONEL: I have the honor to state, for the information of the major-general commanding, that from the best information I have been
* Not found as inclosures, but reference is probably to Thomas' letter of 12 m., p. 196, and Stoneman's of 11 a. m., p. 217.
+ To appear in the Atlas.