War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0460 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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is. When reached, it should be torn up for a couple of miles, and then the force employed should return to the right flank of the army. I don't limit you to one division, but you can take the whole five, or only such part as you may deem sufficient to accomplish the end. It appears that Colonel Hamilton, Ninth Ohio, reported with his regiment to General Howard with 200 men. He reported to me in person he had a full regiment, of which 500 were here mounted, balance at Decatur, Ala. I have ordered General Howard to cause Colonel Hamilton to report to you at once. We believe the enemy has his three corps distributed-Hardee, right; Lee, left; and Stewart, center; old troops on picket and in rear; militia in trenches. The right is three miles east of Atlanta, center about railroad, and left about East Point. I believe a skirmish line can hold any part of our front, but in making a detachment due caution should be exercised. It appeared to me far more prudent to vacate or thin out your line; in other words, to extend the Fourteenth Corps and send out two divisions, say Generals Hascall's and Baird's, with your cavalry as vedettes, and a good engineer officer to sketch the country. But as you already have a better knowledge of the country than I, I leave it to you. It does seem to me with an enemy besieged we should be a little more enterprising.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,

August 11, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

From all the information I can get the distance from Hascall's position to the railroad is probably about two miles. He will have to travel somewhat farther to avoid moving in view of and parallel to the enemy's works. I think there cannot be much difficulty in reaching the road and getting back. Whether he can stay there long enough to do much damage is more doubtful.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,

August 11, 1864.

Major-General SHERMAN:

I do not see how I can support Hascall in his proposed movement on be prepared to cut in between East Point and any infantry sent to molest him, unless the enemy abandon his lines in front to attack him, which does not seem probable. My troops will be stretched out in line three miles long, and in no condition to move. While the enemy's lines in front are held I must either let Hascall take care of himself or abandon my lines and concentrate my troops to support him. If the division go on such an expedition I see no way but to risk its loss or its safety in retreat. I think the risk would not be very great, but of this you can judge quite as well as I . If you think the object to be gained worth the risk I will start Hascall early in the morning.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.