SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 37.
In the Field, near Cross Keys, Ga., July 18, 1864.
The movement of the army to-morrow, July 19, will be as follows:
I. Major-General Thomas will press down from the north on Atlanta, holding in strength the line of Peach Tree, but crossing and threatening the enemy at all accessible points to hold him there, and also taking advantage of any ground gained, especially on the extreme right.
II. Major-General Schofield will move direct on Decatur and gain a footing on the railroad, holding it, and breaking the railroad and telegraph wire.
III. Major-General McPherson will move along the railroad toward Decatur and break the telegraph wires and the railroad. In case of the sounds of serious battle he will close in on General Schofield, but otherwise will keep every man of his command at work in destroying the railroad by tearing up track, burning the ties and iron, and twisting the bars when hot. Officers should be instructed that bars simply bent may be used again, but if when red hot they are twisted out of line they cannot be used again. Pile to ties into shape for a bonfire, put the rails across, and when red hot in the middle, let a man at each end twist the bar so that its surface become spiral. General McPherson will dispatch General Garrard’s cavalry eastward along the line of the railroad to continue the destruction as far as deemed prudent.
IV. All the troops should be in motion at 5 a. m., and should not lose a moment’s time until night, when the lines should be closed on General Schofield about Pea Vine and Decatur.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON,