JULY 17, 1864.
Memoranda to Special Field Orders, Numbers 36: The map composed of two parts of the official compilation made at Marietta July 5 and 11, 1864, is the best and will be the standard for orders issued from these headquarters. As a general rule, old road will be found to lead to Decatur, but new roads to Atlanta. The general country is very hilly and stony, but improves south and east as we approach the head of the Ocmulgee. Peach Tree Creek is considerable of a stream, but fordable at all points east of the main road from Buck Head to Atlanta. The first real lines to be found will be on the Old Peach Tree road, which starts at Turner’s Ferry, keeps near the Chattahoochee, crosses Peach Tree at Moore’s Mill and on a main ridge by Buck Head, Buchanan’s, and Pinckneyville. Our first line must be in front of this road, leaving it clear for communication; General Thomas the right, General Schofield the center, and General McPherson the left. General Thomas will move substantially on Atlanta, General Schofield on Decatur, and General McPherson, with General Garrard’s cavalry, is charged with the destruction of the railroad between Decatur and Stone Mountain. As soon as the road is broken all the armies will close on General Thomas, occupying the main roads east of Atlanta, or, in other works, the line swung across the railroad near Decatur. General Thomas will press close on Atlanta, but not assault real works, but not be deterred by cavalry of light defenses. General Schofield will threaten the neighborhood of Decatur, but Generals McPherson and Garrard will risk much and break the railroad during the 18th or 19th.
W. T. SHERMAN,
Special Field Orders from Major General William T. Sherman to – July 17, 1864
JULY 17, 1864.