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Hood in his chosen and intrenched position, and on the next day, December 16th, actually annihilated his army, eliminating it thenceforward from the problem of the war. Hood's losses were 15,000 men to Thomas's 3057.
Therefore at the end of the year 1864 the conflict at the West was concluded, leaving nothing to be considered in the grand game of war but Lee's army, held by Grant in Richmond, and the Confederate detachments at Mobile and along the sea-board north of Savannah.
Of course Charleston, ever arrogant, felt secure; but it was regarded by us as a dead cock in the pit, and fell of itself when its inland communications were cut. In January Fort Fisher was captured by a detachment from the Army of the Potomac, aided by Admiral Porter's fleet, and Wilmington was occupied by Schofield, who had been brought by Grant from Nashville to Washington and sent down the Atlantic coast to prepare for Sherman's coming to Goldsboro‘, North Carolina,--all converging on Richmond.
in standing on the defensive.
Thereafter the Confederate army in Atlanta clung to its parapets.
I never intended to assault these, but gradually worked to the right to reach and destroy his line of supplies, because soldiers, like other mortals, must have food.
Our extension to the right brought on numerous conflicts, but nothing worthy of note, till about the end of August I resolved to leave one corps to protect our communications to the rear, and move with the other five to a point (Jonesboro‘) on the railroad twenty-six miles below Atlanta, not fortified.
This movement was perfectly strategic, was successful, and resulted in our occupation of Atlanta, on the 2d of September, 1864.
The result had a large effect on the whole country at the time, for solid and political reasons.
I claim no special merit to myself, save that I believe I followed the teachings of the best masters of the science of war of which I had knowledge; and, better still, I had pleased Mr. Lincoln, who wa