SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. LEFT WING, 16TH A. C.,
Near Atlanta, Ga., July 24, 1864.
I. General Woods' division, of the Fifteenth Corps, has been ordered to move into Decatur at 5 o'clock this morning, and to directly return, destroying the line of the railroad for the purpose of keeping the enemy's cavalry on our left flank, and at the same time securing a diversion while an attack is being made on the flank of General Thomas and protecting the return of General Garrard from his cavalry expedition. The skirmishers of this command will feel well out at daylight this morning. The skirmisher line will be careful to keep its right flank connected with General Blair's pickets, and will be cautioned against any attempt of the enemy to break through to cut them off from the main line. In case the enemy should attack, General Woods is instructed to fall upon his flank and punish him. Brigadier General J. W. Fuller, commanding Fourth Division, will move two regiments from his right to the left of General Sweeny's line, to occupy the position of Colonel Williamson's brigade during its absence from the line.
* * *
By order of Major General G. M. Dodge:
J. M. BARNES,
NEAR ATLANTA, GA., July 25, 1864-8.30 p. m.
Your dispatch of the 21st did not come till to-day. Johnston is relieved and Hood commands. Hood has made two attempts to strike hard since we crossed the Chattahoochee, and both times got more than he bargained for. No doubt he expects to cut to my rear, but I have already cut to his rear, having broken his Augusta road out for fifty miles, and his Southern road at Opelika. None remains to him but the Macon road, and I think I will have that soon. I would rather that Hood should fight it out at Atlanta to retreat farther toward Macon. If you can keep away re-enforcement all well. My army is all in hand, and rear well guarded.
W. T. SHERMAN,
NEAR ATLANTA, GA., July 25, 1864.
(Received 1 a. m. 26th.)
Colonel JAMES A. HARDIE,
I have your dispatch of yesterday, announcing the appointment of General Osterhaus as major-general. I do not object to his appointment, but I wish to put on record this my emphatic opinion, that it is an act injustice to officers who stand by their posts in the day of danger to neglect them and advance such as Hovey and Osterhaus, who left us in the midst of bullets to go the rear in search of personal advancement. If the rear be the post of honor, then we had better all change front on Washington.
W. T. SHERMAN,