In the Field, near Chattahoochee, July 12, 1864-2 a. m.
Major-General McPHERSON,
Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have received your dispatches of last night. You may put in motion at once the Fifteenth Corps and trains for Roswell, leaving General Blair with such artillery and wagons as he may need to await the return of General Stoneman, and to make in the mean time the necessary demonstrations about Sandtown, Howell’s, and Turner’s. The enemy having destroyed his bridges, cannot come back on General Blair, and therefore he can strip light so as to follow you as little encumbered as possible when General Stoneman does get back or is heard from. Instruct General Blair fully on these points, and let him report to me direct while thus detached. Let your troops move in the cool of the evening and moonlight and in the morning, sparing men and animals as such as possible. You will then proceed in person to Roswell, and take control of matters on that flank, giving the necessary orders to your own troops and General Garrard’s cavalry. I want everything done that is prudent and necessary at Roswell to make it a kind of secondary base for operations against Atlanta, and the roads east toward Augusta and Macon. As you know, the bridges are under progress and the telegraph will be there as soon as you. The ford there, though rough, is always practicable in case of accident to ourselves or the bridges, and constitute one of the reasons for its use as a point of departure, and the roads to and from Roswell are all old and much used. The country thereabouts is also represented as abounding in grass, grain, and corn-fields, all of which will come into use. Your wagons and artillery should move by Marietta and fill up with provisions, forage, and ammunition, and, I think, that also is the best road for the troops, although a few miles could be saved by cutting across by Smyrna Camp-Ground. If convenient, you might ride by the Turner’s Ferry road along the enemy’s recent works by General Thomas’ and my headquarters to confer and to compare maps.
I am, with respect, yours, &c.,
Major-General, Commanding.