War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0773 Chapter L. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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sounded to him as to us, to be at Atlanta. The last, about 4 o'clock, probably at East Point. We watched it closely. Very large fires were visible in the direction of Atlanta. Brilliant flashes followed at regular intervals by loud explosions, far too loud for any artillery, and then by very rapid explosions of shell. The interval between the flash and explosion gave the distance to Atlanta. All the circumstances indicate the burning of magazines at Atlanta. At the time of the later and near explosions the fires and flashes were not visible. I have no doubt these last were at East Point. I cannot explain the phenomena of last night in any other way. No battle I have ever witnessed would begin to account for it. Citizens here report that a large column of rebel troops passed down the Flat Rock road, just in front of Stanley, yesterday morning. What troops they were I have not yet learned, but am searching for information. Garrard's cavalry went yesterday to about two miles this side of East Point, met some cavalry, and returned. Prisoners and citizens there all said that Stewart's corps and the militia were still about Atlanta. I have sent an infantry reconnaissance up the Flat Rock road to see what can be learned in that direction. Garrard will be here soon, when I will get him started off toward the east. As soon as I can learn there is no force in our rear I will move in and attack the enemy's right.

Very respectfully,

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

SEPTEMBER 2, 1864-10.25 a.m.

General SHERMAN:

A negro who has just come in from Atlanta says our troops attacked the place about dark last night. The enemy immediately retreated on the McDonough road in great confusion and disorder, all the citizens joining in the flight. Houses were burned, magazines blown up, and a wagon train of ammunition burned. I have my head of column on the McDonough road (one division) the other is moving more to the left, but has a road by which it can join the first if necessary. I have sent to find a road leading substantially parallel to the railroad,if you desire me to pursue toward Griffin.

I hope to hear from you soon, as Colonel Warner must have reached you before now.

Very respectfully,

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

SEPTEMBER 2, 1864-12.45

General SHERMAN:

I have your orders sent by Colonel Ewing and Colonel Schofield, and am pushing on rapidly. I understand the game, and it is one worth any amount of effort. I sent the colonel simply to give you the information about Lee's movement.

Respectfully,

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.