War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0482 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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NEAR ATLANTA, GA., August 13, 1864-8 a.m.

(Received 11 p.m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

We have now pressed the enemy's lines from east around to East Point on the south. The nature of ground, with its artificial defenses, makes it too difficult to assault, and to reach the Macon road by a farther extension will be extra hazardous. I have ordered army commanders to prepare for the following plan: Leave one corps strongly intrenched at the Chattahoochee bridge in charge of our surplus wagon trains and artillery; with 60,000 men, reduced to fighting trim, to make a circuit of devastation around the town, with a radius of fifteen or twenty miles. To do this I go on the faith that the militia in Atlanta are only good for the defense of its parapets and will not come out. I want a good corps commander for the Fourteenth Corps, in place of General Palmer, and Jeff. Davis is the best officer in that corps. I prefer him much to General Brannan. I would like the utmost activity to be kept up in Mobile Bay, and, if possible, about the mouth of Applachicola. Also, to be assured that no material re-enforcements have come here from Virginia. If I should ever be cut off from my base, look out for me about Saint Mark's, Fla., or Savannah, GA.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

NEAR ATLANTA, GA., August 13, 1864-11.30 p.m.

(Received 11 a. m. 14th.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

In making the circuit of Atlanta, as proposed in my dispatch of to-day, I necessarily run some risk. If there be any possibility of Admiral Farragut and the land forces of Granger taking Mobile (which rebel prisoners now report, but the report is not confirmed by Macon papers of the 11th, which I have seen), and, further, of pushing up to Montgomery, my best plan would be to wait awhile as now, and at the proper time move down to West Point and operate into the heart of Georgia from there. Before cutting loose, as proposed, I would like to know the chances of our getting the use of the Alabama River this campaign. I could easily break up the railroad back to Chattanooga and shift my whole army down to West Point and Columbus, a country rich in corn, and make my fall campaign from there. I know Fort Morgan must succumb in time.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,

August 13, 1864.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Garrard has already received orders to scout as far as Roswell. He sent a scouting party some distance beyond Decatur, both south and in the direction of Covington, yesterday, but discovered nothing. Have sent orders for Kilpatrick to put down the bridge at Sandtown.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.