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[340] abandonment of Atlanta. For if the Southern troops had remained in the place, the enemy would, in a few days, have been forced to return to his railroad. And, besides, Atlanta could have been sufficiently supplied from Macon, through Augusta; but at Jonesboroa the Federal troops could not be fed. This mode of gaining Atlanta made the acquisition of no great value. For the campaign continued, and General Sherman was occupied by General Hood until late in October, when he commenced the disastrous expedition into Tennessee, which left the former without an antagonist.

Bentonville-pages 303-4-5-6: Johnston attempted to unite the three little bodies of his troops near Bentonville, on the 18th of March, to attack the head of General Sherman's left column next morning, on the Goldsboroa road. Less than two-thirds had arrived at eight A. M. of the 19th, when the Federal column appeared and deployed, intrenching lightly at the same time. The fighting that day was a vigorous attack on our left, defeated in half an hour; then a similar one on our right, repulsed in like manner. About three o'clock, all the troops being in line, the Federal army was attacked, driven from its position, and pursued a mile and a half, into an extensive thicket, which compelled the Southern troops to halt when otherwise they were not opposed. Two hours after we were slightly attacked-by a reconnoitering party, probably; it was so easily repelled. We made no other attack, but held our ground till after nightfall, to carry off our wounded. Our army remained in line nearly parallel to the Goldsboroa road, to remove the wounded to Smithfield. Its flanks were somewhat thrown back — the left only of cavalry skirmishers. Butler's cavalry was observing the right Federal column; Wheeler's arrived from Averysboroa the evening of the 19th. Mower's movement (see page 304) was made after three o'clock; for he had proceeded but a mile and a half when attacked and driven back, about half-past 4 o'clock, being then in rear of our centre where orders could not reach him. So the skirmishing mentioned on page 304 must have been very brief. Our men, being intrenched, easily drove off the enemy. In reference to “wide discrepancies,” General O. O. Howard's (right) wing fought only in this skirmish. Yet it is claimed (page 305) that its loss was but four hundred and eight, while it inflicted one of near two thousand, including wounded, on the Confederates-four times as great as that they suffered June 27th, by the assault of the whole Federal army (see page 61). It is claimed, also, on page 305, that the Southern army, which was successful in all the fighting and intrenched in most of it, lost fifty per cent. more than the Federals. These “discrepancies” cannot be charged to the Southern officers.

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