HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAVALRY, DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 18, 1864.
Brigadier General J. KILPATRICK,
Commanding Third Division Cavalry:
I am directed by the general commanding to acknowledge the receipt of your communication* of 10 a. m., and to say that our cavalry on our left is on Augusta railroad, near and east of Atlanta. Decatur is occupied alternately by scouts from both armies. Should you find it necessary to return by our left, the route by Flat Rock, Latimar’s, and Decatur would probably be the best. You will have many officers of Garrard’s division, who can give you more information about South River and its branches than I am able to get for you. The entire cavalry force on the left cannot be detached, but orders will be given to make a demonstration this evening and early to-morrow morning to engage the attention of the enemy’s cavalry on our left draw him in that direction.
I am general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DAVID F. HOW,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Statement of J. Milton Glass (scout).
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 18, 1864.
Went into Atlanta past our left flank on 13th instant; saw one brigade of Martin’s division of cavalry between the cemetery and Decatur. Strahl’s brigade, of Cheatham’s division, holds the extreme right of the enemy’s infantry line and is in position about one mile from the cemetery toward Decatur on the south side of the railroad. Says the militia commences on the left of Strahl’s brigade. Lee’s corps is on the left of the militia and Stewart on his left. Hardee is on the extreme left; Cleburne’s division hold s the left flank and is in position, the left resting opposite Mims’, five or six miles southwest of East Point. Says he rode along the liens from Atlanta to East Point on Monday; left East Point yesterday morning and went to Fairburn. Did not see or hear of any reserves along their lines; says their lines are very thin. The country between the enemy and Fairburn is open; nothing there but a few cavalry pickets and scouts. Saw large squads of negroes throwing up breast-works. General Toombs arrived there about one week ago with second in command of the militia, and that there were 30,000 of them, including the troops brought up some time ago by Generals Roddey and Lee. Was told also that these troops, the 30,000, were to be organized into two corps. Says this Camp of Direction is a sort of headquarters for guards and couriers. Says that Wheeler started from Covington with about 6,000 men, and that Lewis with about 800 Kentuckians crossed the Chattahoochee below Campbellton and passed our right flank. Thinks it was Lewis’ brigade that cut the railroad at Acworth. Says the enemy was very anxious to learn from him what force was after Wheeler. Heard that Morgan was to form a junction with Wheeler some place near Cleveland in East Tennessee. Reports the Atlanta and West Point Railroad in running order. Trains passed through Fairburn yesterday morning for Atlanta. Reports the depot buildings and car sheds destroyed by Kilpatrick. Says that a large block of buildings near the corner of Marietta and Woodley streets was fired by our shells on Saturday night and destroyed. The buildings contained cotton and a large drug store; another building in same part of town was destroyed Sunday evening. Visited several camps; the men appear to have plenty of rations and forage from day to day, but there is no supply on hand; supplies are all brought from Macon. Says there are six strong forts at East Point all ready for artillery; none in them yet. On the evening of the 15th instant a train of fifteen cars loaded with infantry went down the Macon road; did not learn to what point; and on the 16th another train full of troops, about 1,000 men, went down same road. Says no train came up from Macon on 16th and that the cause of detention was not known at headquarters. Thinks Wheeler has all their mounted force off with him, except the brigade on their right near Decatur, and about two small brigades picketing and scouting between East Point and Fairburn.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the major-general commanding.
ED. C. DENIG,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.