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Sherman had difficulty in getting consent from Grant, who wanted him to ruin Hood's army first. As it turned out, Sherman marched one thousand miles and was several hundred miles from Lee at the end of the campaign. If Lee's army had been his real objective there were other ways of reaching it: first, by sending his army by sea north from Savannah, as was suggested by Grant, which would have taken two months, say until the end of February, 1865; second, by sending the troops by rail, as Schofield was moved with fifteen thousand men and as Hooker was moved with twenty-three thousand men, and, third, by marching on Sherman's famous feint. Railroad Bridge over the Chattahoochee, 1863 In the foreground we see the formidable defenses behind which Johnston held the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee against the advance of Sherman upon Atlanta. At this river Sherman exemplified again the strategy of Alexander at the Hydaspes. While Johnston with all his forces save cavalry wa
ama, and began a thorough reorganization, a remounting and re-equipping of the cavalry corps of Sherman's army. Wilson's cavalry corps speedily made itself felt as an integral part of the army, taking a prominent part in the battle of Franklin, scoring a decisive victory over Forrest's cavalry under Chalmers, and pressing the foe so closely that the Confederate troopers were actually driven into the Harpeth River. This decisive action of the Union cavalry prevented Forrest from turning Schofield's left flank and cutting his line of retreat. In the battle of Nashville, which followed (December 15-16, 1864), Wilson's dismounted cavalry gallantly stormed the strong Confederate earthworks side by side with their comrades of the infantry. General Thomas mentions the part taken by this cavalry as follows: Whilst slightly swinging to the left, [the cavalry] came upon a redoubt containing four guns, which was splendidly carried by assault, at 1 P. M., by a portion of Hatch's divis
the principle that already had been demonstrated was again shown to be true--one American in the trench was worth several Americans outside — for all Americans are intrinsically equal. While these stirring events of the East were occurring, Schofield at Franklin, Tennessee, attacked by Hood, proved again that the increasing faith in hasty field-works was not ill Fort Sedgwick. Although the Union Fort Sedgwick before Petersburg was not as elaborate a piece of engineering as the bastionfederacy and withdraw with all his trains and supplies, after inflicting a very large loss on the Southerners and sustaining a comparatively light one himself. Had the conditions been reversed, Hood's army would probably have done as well as Schofield's. They were all Americans of the same intrinsic quality. One force was behind breastworks, slight as they were, and the other was the assaulting party. Again, at Nashville, Thomas and Hood contended on equal terms behind their respective lin
eers, under Captain O. M. Poe, who labored constantly in the construction of defenses for the numerous bridges along the line of railroad, fortified many strategic points, made surveys and issued maps, reconnoitered the positions of the Confederates, and managed the pontoon-bridge service. Sherman started from Atlanta for the sea-coast, November 16, 1864. Hood had moved north into Tennessee. The Union army under Thomas had been sent to Nashville. The engineers fortified Franklin, but Schofield, with two corps of Thomas' army, was not strong enough to hold it. At Nashville the skill of the engineers, under Captain (afterward General) Morton and Captain Merrill, had enabled General Thomas to take his stand and hold on until he was ready to move against Hood. A tripod for surveying the battlefield: map-making from pulpit rock, Lookout Mountain The tripod signal in the background was erected by Captains Dorr and Donn, of the United States Coast Survey, in the triangular surve
ecame overwhelming. Colonel Ould offered to deliver the sick and wounded at Savannah, without equivalent. Transportation was sent late in November, and there and at Charleston, where the delivery was completed after the railroad leading to Savannah was cut, about thirteen thousand men were released. More than three thousand Confederates were delivered at the same time. Another proposition for exchange was made on January 24, 1865, and as it was then certain that the action could have little influence on the final result, exchanges were begun and continued with little interruption to the end, though much confusion was caused by the refusal of subordinates who had not been informed of the arrangements to receive the prisoners. In February, for example, General Schofield's orders from General Grant were delayed, and for several days he declined to receive, much to the dismay of the Confederate commander, a large number of prisoners ordered to Wilmington from Salisbury and Florence.
al, very often the magisterial side of the office was uppermost. Not all the military commanders viewed the activity of these officers with satisfaction. General Schofield, while commanding in Missouri, quotes with approval the statement of General S. R. Curtis that the creation of the so-called provost-marshal invented a spurious military officer which has embarrassed the service. . . . Everybody appoints provostmar-shals and these officers seem to exercise plenary powers. General Schofield goes on to say that these officers are entirely independent of all commanders except the commander of the department, and hence of necessity pretty much independenta spurious military officer which has embarrassed the service. . . . Everybody appoints provost-marshals and these officers seem to exercise plenary powers. General Schofield quoted this statement with approval, and said that these officers were entirely independent of all commanders except the commander of the department, and hen
iled severe labor upon the men in the destruction of the arsenal and supply depots at Meridian, and the practical demolition of the railroad almost the entire distance. Sherman's march to the sea is unique among marches. The army had good training for its undertaking. Its commander had led it from Chattanooga to the capture of Atlanta, and had followed the Confederate general, Hood, northward. Shortly after Sherman abandoned the pursuit of Hood, he detached Stanley's Fourth Corps and Schofield's Twenty-third Corps to the assistance of Thomas, in Tennessee. This march of nearly three hundred miles was one of the most arduous of the war, though lacking in the picturesqueness of that to the sea; it included the severe battle of Franklin, and had victorious ending at Nashville. Sherman's army marched from Atlanta and vicinity on November 15, 1864. The men set forward, lifting their voices in jubilant song. As to their destination, they neither knew nor cared. That they were h
war. He it was who tapped a wire and reported the hiding-place of Wilkes Booth. The youngest boy operator, O'Brien, began by refusing a princely bribe to forge a telegraphic reprieve, and later won distinction with Butler on the James and with Schofield in North Carolina. W. R. Plum, who wrote a History of the Military Telegraph in the Civil War, also rendered efficient service as chief operator to Thomas, and at Atlanta. The members of the group are, from left to right: 1, Dennis Doren, Supe, and was the man who tapped a wire and reported the hiding-place of Wilkes Booth. Another operator, Richard O'Brien, in 1863 refused a princely bribe to forge a telegraphic reprieve, and later won distinction with Butler on the James and with Schofield in North Carolina. W. R. Plum, who wrote History of the Military Telegraph in the Civil War, also rendered efficient service as chief operator to Thomas, and at Atlanta. It is regrettable that such men were denied the glory and benefits of a
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 7. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Meeting at the White Sulphur Springs. (search)
e marked by his usual energy, judgment and success, but were mostly of that ordinary character that marks cavalry acting as a part of an army of mixed forces. Schofield halted at Spring Hill. There were two movements, however, that deserve especial notice. When Hood was ready to advance from Columbia. Forrest crossed Duck rs he retreated from Nashville, the Confederate army would have been captured. I think I risk nothing in saying if Forrest had been in command of our army, General Schofield would never have marched by Spring Hill, and the disastrous battle of Franklin, where the gallant Cleburne and so many brave men fell, would never have been there, while the trains were some distance behind. Wilson, with ten thousand cavalry, and Wood's division of infantry, were close on him, while A. J. Smith and Schofield were moving on from Columbia. Forrest, with his forty-five hundred, as undaunted as Zenophon with his celebrated ten thousand, calmly awaited their approach, an
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 9. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Opinion of a United States officer of the Depopulation of Atlanta. (search)
of joy. The city was a valuable railroad center of the South, and the seat of some of its most. important and necessary manufactures, and its fall was a heavy and discouraging blow to the Confederacy. Sherman decided to give rest to his army, and therefore, instead of pressing his advantage in the field with twice the force that Hood could bring to resist him, he recalled his troops on the 5th, and assigned the occupancy of Atlanta to General Thomas, East Point to Howard, and Decatur to Schofield. He also took steps to depopulate the city, so as to avoid the necessity of feeding the inhabitants, of keeping it in strong garrison, and of burdening the railroad with supplies for the sustenance of an unfriendly population when he should again resume field operations. He therefore peremptorily required that all the citizens and families resident in Atlanta should go away, giving to each the option to go South or North, as their interests or feelings dictated. General Hood opened a co
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