HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, August 18, 1864.
Hood may attempt to pass round our left flank to our, rear following the cavalry movement, in which even I will move General Schofield, and if need be General Howard, in that direction. Therefore ascertain as soon as possible if any infantry has passed out of Atlanta to the east.
W. T. SHERMAN,
August 18, 1864.
Let General Garrard look well around Decatur to see if enemy’s infantry is moving outside fortifications of Atlanta in direction of Roswell.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Before Atlanta, Ga., August 18, 1864.
(Received 2 p. m.)
Major General D. S. STANLEY,
Commanding Fourth Army Corps:
GENERAL: For the purpose of aiding General Kilpatrick in his operations on the Macon railroad as much as possible, I desire you to concentrate on your left flank as large a force as you can, without weakening your lines too much (by daylight to-morrow morning, 19th), and make a strong demonstration, and attract the enemy toward you as much as possible, and endeavor to hold him opposite you during the day. It is hoped that General Kilpatrick will be able to reach the Macon road at Jonesborough between 12 m. and 2 p. m. to-morrow, 19th, and if he can have from that time until 10 p. m. to work uninterruptedly, he ought to be able to destroy so much of the road as to make it impossible to operate it for at least ten days, by which time it is supposed Hood will be starved out. Similar instructions have been given to General Garrard, who will operate on the enemy’s flank still farther to your left. It is also desirable for you to make a similar demonstration on the morning of the 20th, to enable General Kilpatrick to withdraw.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.