War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0461 Chapter L. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, near Atlanta, August 11, 1864.

General SCHOFIELD:

Can't you make up a detachment strong enough to feel by the nearest line, and ascertain exactly the distance to the West Point railroad, and to break it? It is reported the enemy is repairing the Augusta road. This, if true, will have an effect on our next move.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO, August 11, 1864.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Your dispatch is received. I could spare a division for the expedition you refer to. Hascall's present position is of no value to our line, considered defensively. I think he might push out to the West Point railroad, break it, and return without running very great risk. Less than a division would hardly suffice, for it would have to fight cavalry on nearly all sides.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, near Atlanta, August 11, 1864.

General SCHOFIELD:

There must be some confusion in your or my dispatches of yesterday and to-day. I understood you last night that General Hascall had one brigade on the right, south and east of Utoy Creek, that the ground was open, and that the pickets and flankers could see the West Point railroad, and that the enemy's line was parallel with the Macon road. This corresponds with all probabilities. You also report that there was no redoubt, as first supposed, in the direction of the West Point road, which also corresponds with all our information. You also suggested that instead of making a continuous line to reach the road that it be done by a detachment, stating that you believed one division enough. You say, I think General Hascall might push out to the West Point railroad, break it, and return without running very great risk, there being nothing but cavalry in that direction, and now you speak of it as of extraordinary hazard. It was I that suggested that it would be prudent to be prepared to support General Hascall, and as our line is already drawn out, thought the support necessary could better come from your five divisions than to draw from any more distant point. Now, let me understand what has made you change your mind on this subject. The dispatch from which I quote is dated to-day, and if not properly sent by the wires please correct it. The dispatch was in answer to mine asking if this very thing were not feasible, and I certainly construed your answer as affirmative. If it involves extra hazard I don't want it done, because I have not yet made up my mind whether to swing round Atlanta by the east or south, but I want to fight Hood the earliest possible moment he will come out of his trenches, and would risk a good deal to draw him out. There is no doubt of it, our movements all are too slow to be productive of good results. I feel mortified that he holds us in check by the aid of his militia.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.