equire here a more specific consideration.
They were the antecedents of oppressive measures which the enemy strove to enforce upon us during the entire war.
The third session of the provisional Congress commenced at Richmond on July 20, 1861, and ended on August 31st.
At the previous session a resolution had been passed authorizing the President to cause the several executive departments, with the archives thereof, to be removed to Richmond at such time as he might determine prior to July 20th.
In my message to the Congress of that date, the cause of removal was stated to be that the aggressive movements of the enemy required prompt, energetic action; that the accumulation of his forces on the Potomac sufficiently demonstrated that his first efforts were to be directed against Virginia, and from no point could necessary measures for her defense and protection be so effectively provided as from her own capital.
My remarks to Congress at this session were confined to such import
so informed that Mr. Davis was the last man in the Cabinet to agree to the order of removal. . . .
General Hood assumed command on July 18th.
In his report of the operations of the army while under his command, he states that the effective strength of his force on that day was forty-eight thousand seven hundred fifty men of all arms.
Feeling that the only chance of holding Atlanta consisted in assuming the offensive by forcing the enemy to accept battle, General Hood determined, on July 20th, to attack the corps of Generals Thomas and Schofield, who were in the act of crossing Peachtree Creek, hoping to defeat Thomas before he could fortify himself, then to fall on Schofield, and finally to attack McPherson's corps, which had reached Decatur, on the Georgia Railroad, driving the enemy back to the creek and into the narrow space included between that stream and the Chattahoochee River.
Owing to an unfortunate misapprehension of the order of battle and the consequent delay in m