up in the best position it ever occupied, in which it skirmished during the afternoon.
But at night General Hood
's persistent declaration that he and General Polk
would not be able to hold their ground an hour, caused the withdrawal of the army.
Page 43: The broken ground south of the Etowah
can nowhere be called a “ridge of mountains.”
The route through it chosen by General Sherman
was the least unfavorable.
Page 44: The action at New Hope Church was the attack on Stewart
's Division by Hooker
It began an hour and a half before sunset, and continued until dark, Stewart
holding his ground.
As the corps had a front equal only to that of the division, and was exposed to the musketry of five thousand infantry, and the canister of sixteen guns at short range, great execution must have been done in its ranks.
Page 45: The “bloody battle” mentioned was an absurd attack on the Federal
right, made without orders, by two Confederate brigades.
It was quickly ended by the division commander, who drew back the troops as soon as he heard the firing, after they had lost three hundred men. But a real battle, which occurred the day before, is unnoticed — a carefully prepared attack upon our right by the Fourth Corps, supported by a division of the Fourteenth.
The battle began about five o'clock P. M., and continued two hours. After the repulse of the assailants we counted about seven hundred dead within thirty yards of our line.
The description of daily fighting on the same page is correct as to spirit and frequency; but as the Confederates
were not permitted to leave their breastworks, the sallies and repulses were all Federal.
Page 46: The Confederate army abandoned the line of New Hope Church on the 4th of June, because it was discovered that day that the Federal
troops were moving by their left rear toward Allatoona
, under cover of their line of intrenchments.
On the same page, General Sherman
claims that substantially during May he had fought over one hundred miles of most difficult country — from Chattanooga
to Big Shanty.
The fighting commenced at Tunnel Hill
, thirty miles from Chattanooga
, and he reached Big Shanty only on the 10th of June.
Page 49: “I always estimated my force at about double his; ... but I also reckoned that in the natural strength of the country, in the abundance of mountains, streams and forests, he had a fair offset to our numerical superiority.”
Such being General Sherman
's opinion, it is not easy to understand why he did not make his army one hundred and fifty thousand or two hundred thousand men. He knew the strength of the country, and it has been seen that, on the 5th of May, he had one hundred and thirty thousand men under his control, beside those assembled around him. Page