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and all eager for a chase as well as a fray. It was soon apparent that we would be forced to pass over a portion of the staked plains or desert lying between the Concha rivers and Mexico; that in order to overtake the Indians we would most likely have great fatigue and privation to endure, as we could expect to find but little water during the pursuit. However, in the conviction that we could live for a short time wherever Indians could subsist, we began the chase on the morning of the 17th of July, marched about forty miles, and camped that night upon the dry plains without water or the sight of game, so frequently in view the previous day, and without even the chirp of a bird to cheer us on our journey, we knew not exactly whither. At early dawn the following morning the march was resumed; we passed during the day a water-hole utterly unfit for use, and went into bivouac that night with the same surroundings, fully fifty miles further out in the desert. Our canteens were now emp
d a line parallel to this creek, with his right on the river, and approached Atlanta from the north, whilst Schofield and McPherson, on the left, marched rapidly in the direction of Decatur to destroy the railroad to Augusta. General Johnston thus relates the sequel: Johnston's Narrative, pages 348, 349, 350. On the 17th, Major General Wheeler reported that the whole Federal Army had crossed the Chattahoochee. * * * The following telegram was received from General Cooper, dated July 17th: Lieutenant General J. B. Hood has been commissioned to the temporary rank of General, under the late law of Congress. I am directed by the Secretary of War to inform you that, as you have failed to arrest the advance of the enemy to the vicinity of Atlanta, far in the interior of Georgia, and express no confidence that you can defeat or repel him, you are hereby relieved. from the command of the Army and Department of Tennessee, which you will immediately turn over to General Hood. * *
s to accomplish the great end, at the sacrifice of every personal consideration, and in the spirit of a true patriot. These are, indeed, grave questions, and afford matter for serious reflection to every Southerner, especially since General Johnston claims, by asserting his ability to have held Atlanta forever, the power to have saved the Confederacy from the disaster and ruin which followed. As already stated, the order relieving him from the command of the Army was received upon the 17th of July, at 11 p. m., he, unwilling to await the dawn of day, promulgated the order that night to the troops, and by dark, the next evening, he was journeying towards Macon with all speed possible. Had he remained with the Army, at my urgent solicitation, he would undoubtedly, have gained the credit of saving Atlanta, in the event of success; in case of failure, his friends could, as they have already done, have taken measures to protect his reputation by asserting that I had not altogether foll
e best of his ability, has, hitherto, deterred me from speaking forth the truth. Since, however, military movements with which my name is closely connected, have been freely and publicly discussed by different authors, whose representations have not always been accurate, I feel compelled to give an account of the operations of the Army of Tennessee, whilst under my direction. As already mentioned, the order, assigning me to the command of that Army, was received about II p. m., on the 17th of July. My predecessor, unwilling to await even the dawn of day, issued his farewell order that memorable night. In despite of my repeated and urgent appeals to him to pocket all despatches from Richmond, to leave me in command of my own corps, and to fight the battle for Atlanta, he deserted me the ensuing afternoon. He deserted me in violation of his promise to remain and afford me the advantage of his counsel, whilst I shouldered all responsibility of the contest. I reiterate that it is