It is stated on page 24 of General Sherman
's “Memoirs” volume II, that on the 1st of May, 1864, the strength of the three armies — of the Cumberland
, of the Tennessee
, and of the Ohio
— with which General Sherman
was about to invade Georgia
, was ninety-eight thousand, seven hundred and ninety-seven men of all arms present for duty, with two hundred and fifty-four field-pieces.
As the forces of the three departments furnishing these troops amounted at the time to two hundred and twenty-nine thousand, five hundred and twenty-four men present for duty (see Secretary of War
's report, 1865, page 5), the strength of the invading army could have been doubled without leaving its communications insufficiently guarded.
Therefore, General Sherman
must have regarded the forces he assembled as ample for his object.
That object was (see General Grant
's letter, on page 26) “to move against Johnston
's army, to break it up, and to get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as he could, inflicting all the damage he could against their war resources.”
That army was in front of Dalton
, of forty-two thousand, eight hundred men, of all arms, present for duty, with one hundred and fifty field-guns.
Its position had not been selected, but was occupied by accident.
took it for the encampment of a night in his retreat from Missionary Ridge
; but the troops remained there because it was ascertained that the pursuit had ceased.
During the previous winter General Gilmer
, Chief Engineer
of the Confederacy
, had wisely provided a strong base for this army, by the intrenchment of Atlanta
, and the engineers of the