War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0652 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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DECATUR, August 24, 1864.

General GEORGE H. THOMAS:

The very last from a reliable and intelligent refugee, who is vouched for by our scout as being truly loyal, is Roddey returned to Moulton last night. His command will be there to-day. He is ordered to remain in the valley, but to strike at our railroads, and if possible to attack Decatur from the north. General Smith is between Pontotoc and Okolona, moving toward Columbus. Forrest is in the field, but is retreating south of Columbus, having told the citizens he could not hold the place without re-enforcements. Forrest only lost his little toe, but is reported twice 6,000 little toes still under his command. Clanton is reported in the eastern part of this (Morgan) county with 1,500 men.

R. S. GRANGER,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

August 24, 1864.

Brigadier General R. S. GRANGER,

Decatur, Ala.:

Yours received. Watch Roddey and Clanton well, and prevent them from crossing the river and attacking your post or line of communications.

WM. D. WHIPPLE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

NASHVILLE, August 24, 1864.

General WHIPPLE:

General Granger telegraph from Decatur that Roddey has returned to Moulton, and has orders to remain in the valley and strike at our communications, and if possible attack Decatur from the north side of the river. He says General Smith is between Pontotoc and Okolona, moving toward Columbus. Forrest is the field again, retreating south of Columbus, telling citizens he could not hold the place without re-enforcements. His force is reported to be 6,000.

L. H. ROUSSEAU,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, near Atlanta, August 24, 1864-8 p. m.

General GRANGER,

Decatur:

I am satisfied the enemy designs to make desperate attempts on our road. I have your dispatch, and think it probable Roddey is over there, also Clanton. Do the best you can and keep General Rousseau advised. Cavalry usually do so little damage to a road that it can be repaired faster than they damage it. Guard well the vital points, such as bridges and tunnels, and when the enemy scatters, as he is sure to do, pitch into his detachments.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.