HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 5, 1864.
Army of the Cumberland:
Yesterday General Palmer raised the question of rank with General Schofield. I went in person and found that General Schofield ranked General Palmer as a brigadier; but General Palmer was appointed and confirmed major-general to date November 29, 1862. General Schofield was also nominated from same date, but the Senate would not confirm. But since that session the Senate has confirmed, and General Schofield has his commission of same date as General Palmer, and ranks him by virtue of prior commission. I have so decided, and General Palmer asks to be relieved of his command and to be ordered North. I declined and ordered him emphatically to go on to-day and execute the plan prescribed for yesterday, in connection with and under command of General Schofield. I have another letter from him, asking to be relieved after to-day's operations. Now, what say you? General Davis is unwell and General Johnson ranks him. That is the largest corps we have, and thus far has not sustained heavy loss in this campaign. It moves slowly and reluctantly and there is something wrong. What are your plans and wishes? General Schofield reports that General Johnson's division has reached the Sandtown road well to the right by a road I put it on last night. General Morgan's division also has reached it, and General Baird is swinging by a left wheel, so his right flank will reach it. Generals Schofield and Palmer have both gone out to complete the movement, which involves a push toward the railroad till our right flank is near enough the railroad to control it by short-range artillery. There was sharp firing for a few moments this morning, but it has ceased now, so that I begin to think we will succeed on that flank without the serious battle I apprehended. Still, keep your ears open, and if you hear heavy musketry over near White Hall, either make a break into Atlanta or so occupy the lines that the enemy may not detach too heavily against Generals Schofield and Palmer. Generals Howard and Schofield will connect by a shorter line across the head of Utoy Creek. Our cavalry has scouted down to the mouth of Utoy Creek.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
August 5, 1864--9.30 a. m.
Your dispatch received. I regret to hear that Palmer has taken the course he has, and as I know he intends to offer his resignation as soon as he feels he can do so without injury to himself I recommend that his application to be relieved from the command of the Fourteenth Army Corps be granted. I earnestly recommend Brigadier General J. C. Davis for major-general U. S. Volunteers for past services and uniform gallantry in battle, and apply to have him assigned to the command of the Fourteenth Army Corps. I have everybody on the lookout for any movement of the enemy.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.
24 R R--VOL XXXVIII, PT V