Nevertheless, he was set aside, and a believer in more aggressive, less cautious strategy appointed in his stead.
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.
, 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.
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
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.
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.
, 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.
, 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