HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Peach Tree Creek, Ga., July 21, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: Since my report yesterday evening at 6 p. m. I have ascertained that, with the exception of General Geary's division, my loss has been very slight, although exposed to as hot a fire as I have almost ever experienced. The enemy was handsomely repulsed at all points in every attack he made. On General Palmer he assaulted some six or seven times. The same on General Newton. The attack on General Hooker seemed to have been continuous from the time the attack first began until the final repulse about sundown. I passed by General Geary's hospital last evening, and think he must have some 500 or 600 wounded. We took quite a number of prisoners (the exact number has not yet been reported), and General Ward reports that he has captured 2 stand of colors. Orders were given yesterday evening before I left the field to press the enemy again this morning, but I doubt if we can accomplish very much, as he undoubtedly had yesterday strong entrenchments in our front.
I am, general, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., July 21, 1864.
Army of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: After leaving you to-day I visited General Palmer and saw his skirmishers advance well to his right flank. I am satisfied the enemy will not attempt to hold Atlanta and the fort at the railroad crossing of the Chattahoochee. There is a weak place in that line, and it can best be reached by advancing General Johnson on the direct road as far as possible and bringing General Baird and Davis well up on his right. I do not think the enemy will assume the offensive from the fort on the Chattahoochee, but it may be prudent to let General McCook watch him on both sides of the river. The front of General Hooker is very narrow, but I admit is the point where your line should by the strongest. General Howard's two divisions in the direction have advanced a good distance over a complete line of the enemy's defenses, and I think both General Wood and Stanley are up to the main line of entrenchments, and that from General Wood's right rifled guns can reach the town. The enemy still holds the hill near where General Stanley's left and General Schofield's right are, and they keep up an infernal clatter, but it sounds to me like a waste of ammunition. General McPherson to-day charged and carried a hill, losing 250 men, but killing some and taking prisoners. From this hill be has an easy range of the town. We will try the effect of shelling to-morrow, and during it you had better make all the ground you can. I do not believe the enemy will repeat his assault as he had in that of yesterday his best troops and failed signally. Therefore I don't fear for your right flank.
Still, it is well to be prudent.