HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, September 1, 1864.
GENERAL: From reports of my staff I think enough of the railroad has been broken until we have conquered the army now lying at Jonesborough. We had pretty hard fighting with them this afternoon, and I think had all our force been engaged we would have beaten them, but now Stewart’s corps will effect its junction and the enemy will fortify. Yet he may underrate our strength, and I wish you to-morrow early to get over to the northeast of Jonesborough and approach from that quarter, and should the enemy retreat follow him with energy, hanging on his left flank; follow roads east of the railroad as far as Griffin. Thomas will follow the railroad substantially and Howard will keep to the right. I don’t see any reasons why the enemy should elect to hold Jonesborough defensively, as we have broken his road, so if you find him intrenched don’t assault, but feel below the town. Howard has Blair’s corps, with Kilpatrick cavalry, across Flint River, feeling out for the around by the east from Atlanta and joined Hood at Jonesborough you may order Garrard up to act with you around to the south of Jonesborough, but if there be anything to our rear keep him holding all roads by which Hardee or Hood-both are now represented as present-can receive re-enforcements from the rear. At all events call Garrard close up that he may be within reach if needed, which will be the case if the enemy retreats to-morrow. His movements are so slow that you had better send to him to-night specific orders. Now that the army is united you are of course subject to no one’s orders but mine. But if fighting occurs, or you have a chance to attack, the orders are always to attack. We don’t care about Jonesborough, but we want to destroy our enemy.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
September 1, 1864-7.15 p.m.
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: My troops are massed in rear of Stanley’s left. I found it impossible to deploy them before dark. I have found a country road leading around not far from Stanley’s left and striking the McDonough road about two miles from Jonesborough by which I can get in to-morrow, if that be in accordance with your plans. I have heard nothing from Garrard since he reached Rough and Ready this morning. Doubtless you have later information. Cox spent some time in waiting for him to get on the road, but the time was not lost, for Cox overtook Stanley before he had begun to deploy. We have made the destruction of the road very thorough. My headquarters are near the railroad where the Flat Rock road strikes it.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
P. S. – I received your dispatch from Howard’s headquarters at 2.30 p.m.