In the Field, Snake Creek Gap, May 13, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS,
Commanding, &c.:
I want the pontoon bridge laid at the best point near Ray’s [Lay’s] Ferry, near the mouth of Lick or Snake Creek. I inclose a sketch* made to-day by a seemingly intelligent officer. As soon as I know the pontoons have started down the road I will send all the cavalry here to cross the bridge, and will order all of General Schofield’s army to move as soon as it is demonstrated Johnston has actually retreated. In the mean time turn the train toward the mouth of Snake Creek, and after an hour’s work about daylight we can discover if the rebel army proposes to fight us or not at or near Resaca. Contemporaneous with laying the double bridge I will order Garrard to move down to all the passes toward Rome to disturb them in flank. Please give the necessary directions that the pontoon be carried down Snake Creek Valley under a good escort and be held about a mile back out of view till it be ordered to the bank. The sketch indicates Tanner’s. At daylight I want you from the extreme left of your army (General Palmer’s) to swing in to the railroad, and General Hooker hold pretty strong on his own ground, and the instant my mind is clear that Johnston will not do his fighting here, I will turn General Schofield toward the pontoon at Lay’s or Tanner’s. Let your engineer copy this sketch and returned it. Send orders round to General Howard to pass down the valley, keeping his main force down by the Rome road and the cavalry down by the railroad.
Major-General, Commanding.