previous next
[635] Howard's right flank, which had been fully prepared for their reception, and which, as they approached, swept them down by a murderous fire. Again and again were they reformed and pushed up by their officers, only to be again decimated and broken; a few of them pressing up to our rail-pile parapet, only to be there shot down or hauled over as prisoners. When they could no more be driven to this foolish slaughter, their officers, at 3 P. M., gave it up and recoiled; leaving on the ground 642 dead, who were counted by our regular burial-parties; and these were not all. Sherman, whose total loss was but 600, estimates Hood's at 5,000. Hood admits but 1,500.1

Hood's appetite for attacks in force seems to have been satisfied by this time; since he made no more, though our long-range guns now reached into and shelled Atlanta from several points, kindling fires that involved heavy losses. Meantime, Sherman was steadily extending his right; bringing down Schofield's2 army, and then Palmer's corps; until his intrenched line had been pushed nearly to East Point, commanding the railroads whereby Atlanta must be fed. Hood barely watched these operations, and extended his out-works accordingly. Yet a vigorous defensive was so little suited to his impatient, heady disposition that, having squandered half his infantry in rash assaults and charges, he now dispatched Wheeler with his cavalry to our rear, to burn bridges, capture supplies, and break up the railroad whereon Sherman must depend for subsistence. Sherman had already3 resolved on a bold stroke for Atlanta; but, when he heard that Wheeler, having passed our left, was in his rear, had captured 900 beeves, broken the railroad near Calhoun, and was bent on havoc generally, he joyfully ordered Kilpatrick, now commanding our 5,000 remaining cavalry, to move4 from Sandtown, in the rear of our right, down to Fairburn, break up the West Point railroad thoroughly; then push across to the Macon road and destroy that; fighting any cavalry that might get in his way, but avoiding a serious conflict with infantry.

Kilpatrick obeyed; striking the Macon road at Jonesboroa, routing a small cavalry force under Ross, and doing some work on the railroad; when a brigade of Rebel infantry and a small force of cavalry appeared from below, and compelled him to resume his travels. Drawing off to the east, he made a circuit, and again struck the railroad near Lovejoy's but the enemy were already here; so, charging through their cavalry, taking 70 prisoners and a 4-gun battery, which he destroyed, he made for camp by a north-east circuit; reaching Decatur on the 22d.

Sherman did not hesitate. He made the proper discount on Kilpatrick's estimate of the damage he had done to the railroads; but he was confident that, though not sufficient to interrupt transportation for ten days, as Kilpatrick judged, it was worth something. He ordered the siege to be abandoned; the sick and wounded, surplus wagons, &c., to be sent back to his intrenched position on the Chattahoochee, which the 20th corps,

1 Logan estimates the Rebel loss at from 6,000 to 7,000. He says he took 1,500 to 2,000 muskets, with 160 prisoners, beside 73 wounded.

2 Aug. 1.

3 Aug. 16.

4 Aug. 18.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William T. Sherman (5)
Judson Kilpatrick (4)
J. B. Hood (4)
Wheeler (2)
John M. Schofield (1)
John Ross (1)
H. Palmer (1)
O. Lovejoy (1)
Logan (1)
Oliver O. Howard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 18th (1)
August 16th (1)
August 1st (1)
22nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: