commence destroying the railroad at 3 a. m. As your movement up the road will separate us several miles, and as we are liable to attack in flank, I prefer to hold on to our intrenched lines until Cox returns from Rough and Ready, and is closed up in support; no time will be lost in the mean time, as I will have strong working parties.
Your obedient servant,
D. S. STANLEY,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
August 31, 1864-3 a. m.
[Brigadier General WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE:]
GENERAL: I will immediately order out a brigade to Renfroe's, and will report. Will order them to keep up connection with General Howard, and will order a report from those which have returned.
JEF. C. DAVIS,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Poplar Springs, Ga., August 31, 1864.
Major General J. C. DAVIS,
Commanding Fourteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that the following letter of instructions from Major-General Sherman be copied for your information and guidance:
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, August 31, 1864.
I send you for perusal Howard's letter of 3 a. m.* He did not get the road, though I doubt not he is too close for the comfort of the enemy. He must not fail in this. Order one of Davis' divisions down at once to Renfroe's, and move all your trains well to your right, so that you can rapidly fling your whole command over to Jonesborough. Then let Davis send out from his front, obliquely tot he right front, a strong skirmish line with supports, as though to reach the railroad three or four miles above Jonesborough. Have Stanely do the same toward, but below, Rough and Ready. Impress upon these commanders that it is not so necessary to have united lines, but rather columns of attack. We are not on the defensive, but offensive, and must risk everything rather than dilly-dally about. We must confuse the enemy. As soon as Schofield gets up I will put him against Rough and Ready till he meets formidable resistance.
W. T. SHERMAN,
The messengers to Schofield are back and Stanely may look for him about Morrow's in two hours at furthest.
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
(Same to General Stanley.)
*See p. 725.
46 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT V