enemy faces us in force at all points with equal force and superior works. General Schofield tried to break through at a point near our right with a brigade (General Reilly's), but his men were caught in the entanglement and lost probably 500. We have skirmished heavily along the whole line, using artillery freely, but have made no impression. I will continue to work to the right to find the extreme flank and threaten the railroad, if possible, to draw him out of Atlanta or force him to attack us; but our line is already too extended and weak. By means of his militia (of which he has the whole population of Georgia) he is enabled to use his three regular corps as reserves. Our loss to-day will foot up 1,000. I will soon need re-enforcements, and if you can replace General A. J. Smith at Memphis with negro or fresh troops I would order him here via Decatur. He must now be en route for Columbus, Miss. I have called forward a brigade from Decatur. I am now convinced that General Stoneman surrendered near Macon with 700 of his men, ordering two small brigades to break out and get in. One (Colonel Adams'), with 900 men, is in, but their time is out and they will be discharged. The other brigade (Capron's) I fear was scattered and picked up in detail. His entire loss will be about 1,300. General McCook's loss is 500. Damage done road, cars, and bridges was very large, but the enemy run cars into Atlanta from Macon.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 6, 1864.
General Palmer is just started for your headquarters. When you have taken official action on his application, let me know it, that I may urge the speedy appointment of General Jeff. Davis to the command. General Johnson has not the ability or vigor necessary to so large a command.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
August 6, 1864--12 m.
The enemy have been feeling our lines from Williams' right toward the left, apparently to see whether we have weakened our lines or not. The skirmishing on the left is probably for the same purpose, but it will be well to ascertain whether he intends more serious work, which Stanley can do by sending Garrard to feel his flanks. Howard thinks he is trying to get out of Atlanta clear. That may be, but Stanley must be watchful and not give ground until he can see he intends to attack him, then have him withdraw gradually to new line and let him come on until he becomes well entangled in the abatis before opening fire on him, but not leave present position until he thinks it absolutely necessary.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
(Copy to General Stanley.)