Near Atlanta, Ga., August 18, 1864.
Brigadier-General KILPATRICK,
Commanding Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: General Sherman directs me by telegraph to inform you that everything is most favorable for your work, and he wishes you to do it well; to break as much of the Macon road as you possibly can, and, as you swing back, to rest on the West Point road somewhere below Fairburn, and make another big break there. If you find you are master of the situation on that road, take time enough and destroy as long a line of track as possible. Do the work thoroughly by heating and twisting the rails, and burning ties, &c. In places where you have not time to work, you can still do great dame by prying up the track (rails and ties together), propping it up above the surface of the ground, piling in large quantities of dry fence rails and burning them. There is good reason to hope that you may be able to accomplish what the whole army would otherwise have to do, at great risk, by a long and difficult flank movement. Early to-morrow I will move with a corps of infantry toward the railroad near East Point, and engage the enemy so as to prevent his sending infantry to oppose you. General Sherman directs me to assure you that he will have the same done all along the line, especially on your extreme left, and he will see that Garrard occupies the attention of the enemy’s cavalry about Decatur and Stone Mountain. The most abundant success attend you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.