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. Hood, General. The improvement in the morale of the troops was already apparent, and desertions, so frequent at Palmetto, had altogether ceased. I, therefore, indulged a not unreasonable hope very soon to deal the enemy a hard and staggering blow. In order to convey his appreciation of the importance attached to our movement upon his line of communication, I will quote General Sherman's own words: Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 152. In person I reached Allatoona on the 9th of October, still in doubt as to Hood's immediate intentions. In a dispatch of the same date to Thomas, at Nashville: I came up here to relieve our road. The Twentieth Corps remains at Atlanta. Hood reached the road, and broke it up between Big Shanty and Ackworth. He attacked Allatoona, but was repulsed. We have plenty of bread and meat, but forage is scarce. I want to destroy all the road below Chattanooga, including Atlanta, and to make for the sea coast. We cannot defend this long
f desertions became of no consequence. In addition to the official returns, my authority for the last assertion is Judge Cofer, of Kentucky, who was provost marshal of the Army at this period, and is at present one of the district judges of his State. About two years ago, in Louisville, he informed me that he had been impressed by the small number of desertions reported to him during the campaigns to the rear of Sherman, and into Tennessee. Notwithstanding my request as early as the 9th of October that the railroad to Decatur be repaired, nothing had been done on the 1st of November towards the accomplishment of this important object, as the following dispatch from the super-intendent of the road will show: Corinth, Mississippi, November 1st, 1864. General G. T. Beauregard. I fear you have greatly over-estimated the capacity and condition of this railroad to transport the supplies for General Hood's Army. Most of the bridges between here and Okolona were destroyed and