In the Field, two miles from Atlanta, Ga.,
July 23, 1864-11 a. m.
Major-General THOMAS:
GENERAL: We find the enemy in force inside of Atlanta, doubtless in the entrenchments as represented in the blue map as a circle of one mile and a quarter radius. We can see the building of town plain. The enemy fires a good deal of artillery, which passes over the house where I am. Schofield and McPherson are deploying and getting guns up, and will soon open a converging fire. I have sent word to Howard that we were mistaken in supposing the enemy gone, and have directed to continue his operations against Atlanta on that road. I sent General Corse to you to say, also, that my orders sent by Colonel Ewing were predicated on the supposition that Atlanta was given up. I want to hear from your right and front. I suppose Hood has let go the river and will make Atlanta his right and East Point his left, and endeavor to operate on our road with cavalry. I have ordered McPherson to set one corps (Dodge’s) at work destroying the railroad completely back to and beyond Decatur. I suppose Garrard to be at this time near Yellow River, and during the day will break the bridges there and beyond. He will be back the day after to-morrow. If the enemy holds on to Atlanta I wish you to press down close from the north and use artillery freely, converging in the town. I will then throw McPherson again on your right to break the Macon road. I would let Stoneman try it, but I hate, to base any calculations on the cavalry. McCook might attempt it, but he is not strong enough, for I take it the main cavalry force of the enemy is now on that flank.
Please give me at once the fullest information of the state of matters from the ridge as far toward Atlanta or East Point as you have ascertained.
I am, &c.,
Major-General, Commanding.
Our battery on this flank will open about 1 p. m.