ATLANTA, July 24, 1864.
Colonel JOHN B. SALE:
Considerations of expediency and efficiency induced General hood to advise the distributing of the three brigades in Walker's division to the other divisions in the same corps. The corps commander also urged it, and I have authorized it. Brigadier-General Mercer, whose age and physical inability unfit him for active service, I propose to order to Savannah.
HDQRS. ROSS' BRIGADE, JACKSON'S CAVALRY DIVISION,
McGhee's, Ga., July 24, 1864-8 a. m.
GENERAL: A large train of wagons can be seen from the hills near Baker's Ferry on opposite side the river, between that point and Green's, and a woman has just come to my headquarters from that side the river. Says she left the Baker's Ferry road, about half a mile from ferry, yesterday evening, walking several miles down the river, where she crossed. She saw Colonel Adams' brigade cavalry and some infantry, but could not tell the number. The infantry had stopped and stacked arms on the Baker's Ferry road. She saw two of my men taken before Colonel Adams, and saw the boats in which the party crossed the river yesterday below Baker's (two only of Captain Norsworthy's men were captured), and says the boats looked like cloth. They placed the boats in wagons on their return, and she saw many others in wagons along with this force. my scouts confirm the statements in reference to the brigade of cavalry, wagon train, &c., but have not discovered infantry. There can be no doubt, I think, of this being a pontoon train, and the enemy in all probability intend crossing with a formidable force to strike the road below Atlanta. I have strengthened my pickets on that line. I believe the statement of the woman about the infantry. The cavalry that crossed the river the other evening are in the vicinity of the church at Turner's Ferry. Bands playing, &c. All quiet at present.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
L. S. ROSS,
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Numbers 56.
In the Field, July 24, 1864.
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V. Brigadier-General Mackall, Provisional Army, is relieved from duty as chief of staff at his own request.
VI. Brigadier General F. A. Shoup, Provisional Army, is assigned to duty as chief of staff, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
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By command of General Hood: