HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, August 31, 1864.
I have your dispatch and am rejoiced. I think we have now a good game. Break road down toward Jonesborough. The bulk of the enemy’s good troops are there; they attacked Howard twice and were repulsed. Put Garrard’s cavalry at your back; work down the road, burning and breaking the road good. Howard and Davis will hold on to Hardee and Lee. Baird has four brigades on the road from Rough and Ready, five miles above Jonesborough. Tell Garrard to push the enemy up to Rough and Ready, breaking road as he goes, and you with Stanley move south doing the same. I will give you timely notice if Hardee turns to you in force. Don’t get off the track; hold it fast; we will get our whole army on the railroad as near Jonesborough as possible and push Hardee and Lee first, and then for Atlanta. Inspire your men with the importance of their work, and trust to me to fall on Hardee’s flank or rear if he turns north, and the cavalry of Garrard can guard your rear toward Atlanta. If you get abreast of Baird, communicate with him and he will join you, but break the road good as you move south.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
August 31, 1864-8.15 p. m.
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: I have received your dispatch of this p. m. and also your instructions sent by Captain Audenried. I have seen Garrard and given him all necessary instructions. At daylight Cox will push up toward Rough and Ready to help Garrard to sweep in there, and will also destroy the track in that direction, while Stanley is getting under way below. I have sent a copy of your instructions to Stanley and will see him at daylight. I think you may rely upon our pushing the work with vigor. Cox has driven the enemy back nearly to Rough and Ready, where they seem to be in considerable force. Two trains arrived apparently with troops after we got on the railroad. This evening there are sounds of a movement to the south on a road not far east of the railroad. I will inform you at once if I learn anything important. My men are too much fatigued to work more to-night, but we will begin again at dawn of day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
P. S.-General Cox reports as the result of his reconnaissance to his front that he pushed out about two miles, finding many small roads, but no traveled one, and encountering no enemy.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,