NEAR ATLANTA, GA., July 20, 1864-9 p. m.
(Received 12.45 p. m. 21st.)
Major General H. M. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have a dispatch from General Grant. Answer him in my name that Major General Smith has the very orders he suggests, viz, to hang on the Forrest and prevent his coming to Tennessee. I will, however, renew the order. I advanced from the Chattahoochee in force on the 17th. On the 18th General McPherson and Garrard’s cavalry reached the August road and destroyed Peach Tree Creek, General McPherson occupying Decatur. To-day we moved on Atlanta, and have been fighting all day. Our line now extends from a point on the railroad two miles and a half east of Atlanta, and extends around by the north to the mouth of Peach Tree Creek. We find the enemy in force, but will close in to-morrow. By the Atlanta papers we learn that Johnston is relieved and hood commands; that Rousseau is on the railroad at Opelika, and that most of the newspapers and people have left Atlanta. General Thomas is on my right, General Schofield the center, and General McPherson on the left, General Garrard’s cavalry on the left rear of General McPherson, and Generals Stoneman and McCook on the west bank, guarding our right flank. The enemy still clings to his intrenchments. If General Grant can keep Lee from re-enforcing this army for a week, I think I can dispose of it. We have taken several hundred prisoners, and had some short severe encounters, but they were partial; but we have pressed the enemy back at all points until our rifle-shot can reach the town. If he strengthens his works I will gradually swing around between him and his only source of supplies Macon.