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[631] defensive campaign. Nevertheless, he was set aside, and a believer in more aggressive, less cautious strategy appointed in his stead. Johnston turned over to Hood an effective force of 41,000 infantry and artillery, and 10,000 cavalry1--in all, 51,000--which is nearly as many as he had at Dalton. Nothing short of brilliant and successful generalship in his successor could justify his displacement.

Gen. Rousseau, with 2,000 cavalry, now joined2 our army; having come through, by a long circuit, in twelve days from Decatur, Ala., defeating the Rebel Gen. Clanton by the way; passing through Talladega and destroying the railroad thence 25 miles to Opelika, doing some harm to the branch or cross road, with a loss of but 30 men.

Gen. Sherman resumed3 active operations by pushing Thomas over the Chattahoochee close on Schofield's right: the latter advancing, and with McPherson, now on our extreme left, reaching forward to strike the Augusta railroad east of Decatur: the whole army thus making a right-wheel movement, closing in upon Atlanta from the north-east. Obeying these orders, McPherson had broken up the railroad for some miles, while Schofield, on his right, had reached Decatur, and Thomas had crossed4 Peach-tree creek at several points — all skirmishing heavily; when, as Thomas was moving two of Howard's divisions to the left to close on Schofield, he was vehemently assailed5 in force by Hood, who struck suddenly and heavily Newton's division of Howard's corps, Hooker's corps, and Johnson's division of Palmer's; by whom he was repulsed, after a gallant struggle; wherein our total loss — mainly in Howard's corps — was 1,500; while the enemy left on the field 500 dead, 1,000 severely wounded, and manly prisoners. Sherman estimates their total loss at not less than 5,000. Among their killed were Brig.-Gen. Geo. M. Stevens, of Md., W. S. Feathertson, of Miss., L. Armistead, of Ga., and John J. Pettus, of Miss.

The next day was spent by Sherman in reconnoitering and feeling of the enemy's intrenched position along the heights south of Peach-tree creek; which the light of the ensuing morn 6 showed to be without defenders. It was at once concluded that Atlanta was to be quietly evacuated; and our men swept eagerly forward to within two miles of that city, where they were arrested by a far stronger line of works, carefully constructed in 1863, consisting of redoubts, connected by curtains, with rifle-trenches, abatis, &c. In the skirmishing of the 21st, Brig.-Gen. Lucien Greathouse, late Col. 48th Illinois, was killed. McPherson, advancing directly from Decatur, with Logan's (15th) corps in the center, Frank Blair's (17th) on its left, and Dodge's (16th) on its right, was now close to these inner defenses; Blair had carried, the night before, by hard fighting, a high hill which gave him a full view of the heart of the city, on which he was preparing to place his batteries. Dodge, who, as the semicircle described by our army was narrowed by our advance, had been thrown in the rear of Logan, was moving across by a cart-track to come in on Blair's

1 So says Pollard — doubtless quoting from Johnston's official report.

2 July 22.

3 July 16.

4 July 19.

5 July 20, 4 P M.

6 July 22.

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