HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Before Atlanta, Ga., August 18, 1864-10 a. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose copies of reports just received from points on my line relative to movements on the part of the enemy. I have ordered every moment carefully and closely watched, and all are on the alert. I am satisfied no movement can be made by him without its being at once detected, and myself made cognizant of the fact.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
August 18, 1864-6 a. m.
[Colonel J. S. FULLERTON:]
COLONEL: I have been around my lines this morning, and have demonstrated, kindled fires, and got up a muss general. The rebs in my front keep very close, few to be seen; their picket-line is strong. Last night the enemy was very quiet; but few lights were sen in their camp. Colonel Kirby lost 5 men from his picket-line, belonging to Twenty-first Illinois Veteran Infantry; they are reported captured. It is said that an officer came to the vedette, and after being challenged answered that he was officer of the day, and desired the sentinel to go farther out. Soon four other sentinels, hearing a scuffling, advanced, and they have not been heard of since. This is all that I can gather. The query with me is, have these men been captured or have they deserted. Their captain, with whom I conversed this morning says that they are good men and very sharp, and that if captured they will give no information. These men know nothing of the indicated movement.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
STATION OBSERVATION, August 18, 1864.
[Captain A. K. TAYLOR:]
CAPTAIN: Squad of eighteen men with knapsacks, &c., on marched from four gun fort toward town. Regiment moving out works on right of fort; they move toward rear of fort. Both battle-flags gone from here.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. HOPKINS,
Captain and Acting Signal Officer.
Part of men now standing in line in works.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, August 18, 1864-10.15 a. m.
General Barry says your big guns were ordered to stop firing as soon as the ammunition then on hand was exhausted. You understand of