War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0372 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

parties, who may during an attack at the right gain one of their redoubts or salients, which will settle the question quick; at all events will keep employed a large force to hold their lines.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

SHERMAN'S HEADQUARTERS,

August 5, 1864.

General THOMAS:

Generals Schofield and Palmer must be engaged. We can hear the musketry.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 5, 1864.

General THOMAS:

I telegraphed to General R. S. Granger this morning that he need not send the battery along with the infantry brigade. If not needed at Decatur order General Granger to send it to Nashville in reserve. I know that the slowness of the troops on the right was not the fault of the men, but the want of proper direction on the part of the commanders. First, was the question of rank; and next, the course taken was too far west, away from the railroad rather than toward it. To-night General Schofield will put General Johnson in the trenches, take his out, and move perpendicular to the road, and not extend to the right more than is necessary, and will have Generals Baird and Morgan in support. If we can keep the forts of Atlanta full, with four divisions in hand, we can whip any force outside of rebel intrenchments, and will have General Johnson near enough for support. All our line is well developed, but is generally strengthened by good abatis and parapet, and conforms pretty close to the enemy, so that if we force the enemy to stick in his trenches General Schofield should surely reach the railroad and overcome any force the enemy has outside. I have no doubt by our delay the enemy is better prepared than he would have been could we have moved quick, as I ordered yesterday. Last night I could see the cars, say a mile and a quarter due southeast, whereas Generals Baird and Johnson to-day moved southwest, or nearly due west, away from the enemy. But we will try again to-morrow, and persevere to the end. I have written to General Palmer at length, and asked him to come and see me very early in the morning, and if he wants to go I will assent, and in that event will make the recommendations your suggested this morning. I have personally examined our line from right to left, and feel no uneasiness as to the enemy making a sally. I know it will be hard to make an assaulting column, but all I want is to force the enemy to hold troops at all points, so as not to mass too heavy on our right.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.