In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., July 31, 1864.
General THOMAS:
I have your dispatch, which is most satisfactory. I think General Schofield, supported by General Davis and Ward, will reach the railroad. At all events, it is our true move. General Garrard’s cavalry can occupy General Schofield’s lines, and General Stanley’s left, refused along Pea Vine, will make good flank, covering Buck Head and the Pace’s Ferry road. This will enable you with your main army to press on Atlanta, which General Howard advances his right and General Schofield extends, supported by General Davis and Ward, will make an army equal to Hood’s movable column. I think I appreciate General Garrard’s good qualities, but he is so cautious that if forced to make a bold move to the relief of General McCook I doubt if he would attempt it. General Stoneman went with a full knowledge of his risk but General McCook will have reason to expect co-operation from about McDonough, and may be disappointed when he finds his brigade gone and a new road ahead closed by Wheeler. He has, however, a bold and well-appointed force and can fight his way back; still, for his sake, we must occupy the attention of the enemy as much as possible.
Major-General, Commanding