OR, Series 1, Vol. 39, Part 1, Page 801

Richmond, Va.
February 15, 1865
General S. Cooper
Adjt. and Insp. Gen
Richmond, Va.
   A serious question was now presented to me. The enemy would not certainly long remain idle. He had it in his power to continue his march to the south and force me to fall back on Alabama for subsistence. I could not hope to hold my position. The country, being a plain, had not natural strength, nor was there any advantageous position upon which I could retire; besides, the morale of the army, greatly improved during the operations around Atlanta, had again become impaired in consequence of the recurrence of retreat, and the army itself decreasing in strength day by day. Something was absolutely demanded, and I rightly judged that an advance, at all promising success, would go far to restore its fighting spirit. Thus I determined, on consultation with the corps commanders, to turn the enemy's right flank and attempt to destroy his communications and force him to retire from Atlanta. The operations of the cavalry under Wheeler, in Georgia, and under Forrest, in Tennessee, proved to me conclusively and beyond a doubt that all the cavalry in the service could not permanently interrupt the railroad communications in the enemy's rear sufficiently to cause him to abandon his position. To accomplish anything, therefore, it became necessary for me to move with my whole force. Causing the iron to be removed from the several railroads out of Atlanta for distances of forty miles, and directing railroad stock to be restored to the West Point railroad {I'm unsure which road he means -- the Atlanta & West Point RR or the Montgomery & West Point RR -- or both}, the movement to the left toward that road began on the 18th of September. Arriving at that road the army took position with the left touching the Chattahoochee River and covering that road, where it remained several days to allow the accumulation of supplies at Blue Mountain {the terminus of the Alabama & Tennessee Rivers RR} and a sufficiency with which to continue the movement. On the 29th of September it left its bivouac
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. Hood