War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0409 Chapter L. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.- UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

the town. I am to impatient for a siege, but I do not know but here is as good to fight it out farther inland. One thing is certain, whether we get inside of Atlanta or not, it will be a used-up community by the time we are done with it.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON, August 7, 1864-10.30 p.m.

Major-General SHERMAN:

General Washburn has been directed to send you all the troops he can spare from his command.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 7, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: In order that you may have a proper understanding of the recent cavalry operations form this army that terminated somewhat unsuccessfully, I will explain. On the 25th of July I had driven the enemy to his inner intrenchments of Atlanta, and had by Garrad's division of cavalry broken the road leading to Augusta about the branches of the Ocumulgee,forty miles east,and had by McPherson's army taken up two sections of rails of about five miles each, near Stone Mountain and Decatur. I then proposed to throw the Army of the Tennessee rapidly moved by the right,so as to approach the only remaining railroad left to the enemy,leading due south for six miles, and then branching to Macon on the one hand and West Point, on the Chattahoochee, on the other. To accomplish this I placed General Stoneman with his own division of cavalry, 2,300 strong,and Garrad's division, about 3,500,on my left near Decatur, and on the right General McCook with a small division of about 1,300 and a part of Harrison's,just received under Rousseau, from the raid to Opelika. This force was about 1,700. Both expeditions started punctually on the 27th,and acted under my written orders, No. 42, a copy of which is inclosed.* The day before starting General Stoneman addressed me a note,+ a copy of which is inclosed,asking leave, after fulfilling his orders, to push on and release our prisoners to be confined at Macon and Andersonville. I gave my consent in a letter,+ a copy of which is also inclosed. Nothing put the natural and intense desire to accomplish an end so inviting to one's feelings would have drawn me to commit a military mistake, at such a crisis, as that of dividing and risking my cavalry, so necessary to the success of my campaign. Stoneman ordered Garrard to move to Flat Rock, doubtless to attract the attention of the enemy, while he passed him and on the McDonough and the railroad about Lovejoy's,where he would have met McCook, but for some reason he did no to McDonough, but to Convington, and down on the east side of Ocmulgee to Clinton, when he sent detachments that burned the Oconee bridge, seventeen locomotives, over 100 cars, tore down telegraph wire,and damaged the railroad east of Macon considerably. He

---------------

*See p.255.

+See pp.264,265.

---------------