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. He at once replied that he could not give me the exact figures, for the reason that General Johnston had taken with him all the books and records of the Army to Macon, but that we had lost, in round numbers, twenty-five thousand (25,000) men. Moreover, that we had, at Adairsville, fifty-three thousand (53,000) infantry. Two of lton, in the event the Commanding General of our Army had desired to offer battle, when in possession of Rocky-faced Ridge: headquarters, Georgia militia, Macon, Ga., September 15th, 1864. General J. B. Hood, Commanding Army of Tennessee, near Lovejoy Station: General:--My appointment was dated 1st June. I took command aim all the books and records of the Army when he relinquished the command. Major Falconer is sustained in his statement in regard to the removal of the records to Macon, by the following declaration, which prefaces the diary of Brigadier General Shoupe: Memoranda of daily movements and events in the Army of Tennessee, kept by
noble Polk had been laid in his grave nigh two months. General Johnston was then residing in Macon, Georgia, where he wrote his official report, in which were brought forward, for the first time, thest night, in his quarters — then a little cabin near the church — when General Johnston suggested Macon as being the place to fall back upon. If I remember rightly, this suggestion was received in siur Army fifty or sixty miles from Dalton, no general battle fought, and our Commander talking of Macon, one hundred miles beyond Atlanta, as being the place to fall back upon! This gloomy outlook s to speak one word which would convey a suspicion of General Johnston's contemplated retreat to Macon. Shortly after this occurrence, the Army occupied the line at Kennesaw Mountain, the last strre, as they had been throughout the campaign, friendly and cordial, he not only failed to comply with his promise, but, without a word of explanation or apology, left that evening for Macon, Georgia
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 theous campaign, the abandonment of the mountain fastnesses, and the foreshadowed intention of our commander to fall back to Macon? I shall now glance at his two plans for the defence of Atlanta, one of which was to insure the security of that city ack the enemy as they crossed Peach Tree creek. Within thirty-six hours, almost before he had time to select quarters in Macon after his departure on the evening of the 18th of July, General Thomas was crossing Peach Tree creek, whilst McPherson anmy's left was across the Augusta Railroad, southeast of the town, and moving rapidly southwest to destroy the railroad to Macon. Your views upon this important subject, I should be pleased to have at your earliest convenience. Yours truly, J.
een placed upon cars, and been removed to the rear. In regard to the first plea, I am unable to discover why his family could not retreat as well as the Army. A General who, at New Hope Church, informed his corps commanders that he considered Macon, one hundred miles beyond Atlanta, the point to fall back upon, would hardly have resisted the temptation to carry out his suggestion, when to retreat was, with him, if not a fixed principle, certainly an inveterate habit. Aside from any othering. Moreover, I am not only indirectly but, I may say, directly concerned in this matter, from the fact that I have publicly stated that General Johnston foreshadowed to his corps commanders at New Hope Church, his intention to retreat to Macon, Georgia, during his campaign of ‘64 from Dalton. I am the only living witness of this historic truth; therefore, Mr. McFarland's testimony, through one of your prominence and character, becomes of great relative value to me. When I again have the
Army; he however, altered his decision, and concluded to remain with his corps. The evening of the I8th of July found General Johnston comfortably quartered at Macon, whilst McPherson's and Schofield's Corps were tearing up the Georgia Railroad, between Stone Mountain and Decatur; Thomas's Army was hastening preparations to cro, a few enterprising scouts thrown out that afternoon from his columns, in the direction of the Macon Railroad might have captured my predecessor on his retreat to Macon. Sherman says (vol. II, pages 71, 72): On the 18th all the Armies moved on a general right wheel, Thomas to Buckhead, forming line of battle facing Peach Tompt in reporting all such information. I cannot but think, therefore, that General Johnston was cognizant before 4 o'clock that day, and before his departure for Macon, of the enemy's presence on the Augusta Railroad, within six or eight miles of Atlanta. If such is not the case, our cavalry, stationed upon the right, neglected
ions near Schofield. I well knew he would seek to retrieve his oversight at the earliest possible moment; therefore, I determined to forestall his attempt, and to make another effort to defeat the Federal Army. No time was to be lost in taking advantage of this second unexpected opportunity to achieve victory and relieve Atlanta. I was convinced that McPherson and Schofield intended to destroy not only the Georgia Railroad, but likewise our main line of communication, the railroad to Macon. It is now evident the blow on the 20th checked the reckless manner of moving, which had so long been practiced by the enemy, without fear of molestation, during the Dalton-Atlanta campaign. The rap of warning received by Thomas, on Peach Tree creek, must have induced the Federal commander to alter his plan. He says in relation thereto: Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 74. During the night (2Ist), I had full reports from all parts of our line, most of which was partially entrench
ed upon our ability to hold intact the road to Macon. Sherman thus refers to the importance of tave a desperate fight to get possession of the Macon road, whicn was then the vital objective of thhes were received from various points upon the Macon road to the effect that General Wheeler had suerwards made their escape, and in striking the Macon road about four miles below Jonesboroa, when t creek and the Oconee river, had moved against Macon. These operations had been ordered by Genery the right and left to make a lodgment on the Macon road about Jonesboroa. The flanks of the Fowever, in destroying a mile and a-half of the Macon road; had cut the wires, and burned the depot re gave to the Federal Army the control of the Macon road, and thus necessitated the evacuation of Thus, while Sherman was destroying the road to Macon, I would have been upon his communications witntire Army was assembled at this point, on the Macon road. Major General Gustavus W. Smith, comm[6 more...]
deracy had been sent either to General Lee, in Virginia, or to General Johnston, in the mountains; that, consequently, he had nothing to fear from the direction of Macon, and that one division would have sufficed to protect his rear, south of the city. When Grant marched round Pemberton at Vicksburg, and placed his rear in front ooccupying the identical position I have designated? The extraordinary haste I made to evacuate Atlanta, after the Federals gained possession of Jonesboroa, on the Macon road, fifteen miles below the line from Camp creek to and along South river and Shoal creek, is proof of the great dread I entertained of a speedy occupation of thndred and three (40,403). This number, subtracted from fifty thousand six hundred and twenty-seven (50,627)--less thirty-one hundred (3100) permanently detached to Macon and Mobile, about the beginning of the siege — shows a loss of seven thousand one hundred and twenty-four (7124), to which should be added two thousand prisoners r
and glacis, similar to the fortifications on Governor's Island, and those of Fortress Monroe. In the construction of permanent works, every exertion is made to render them as strong and durable as possible. It might be supposed, from General Sherman's Memoirs, that Atlanta was not only a thoroughly fortified town, but was provisioned to endure a siege of a year or more, after all communication was cut off; that it possessed arsenals and machine shops as extensive as those in Richmond and Macon — an illusion created, probably, by a dilapidated foundry, near the Augusta road, which had been in use prior to the war. General Sherman, therefore, cannot assert, in order to justify certain acts, that Atlanta was a regularly fortified town. And whereas I marched out at night, allowing him the following day to enter the city, unopposed, as he himself acknowledges, and whereas no provocation was given by the authorities, civil or military, he can in no manner claim that extreme war measure
on the communications of the enemy, drawing our supplies from the West Point and Montgomery Railroad. Looking to this, I shall at once proceed to strongly fortify Macon. Please do not fail to give me advice at all times. It is my desire to do the best for you and my country. May God be with you and us. J. B. Hood, General. stance on the three roads leading into Atlanta, be removed and stored for future use. Major General M. L. Smith, chief engineer, was instructed to not only fortify Macon, but likewise Augusta and Columbus; the chief commissary was directed to remove the depot of supplies to the West Point Railroad, as I desired, preparatory to cross move as Sherman is weaker now than he will be in future, and I as strong as I can expect to be. Would it not be well to move a part of the important machinery at Macon to the east of the Oconee river, and do the same at Augusta to the east side of the Savannah river? If done, it will be important to make the transfer so as not t
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