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[365]

General Hood asserts in his published report, that the army had become demoralized when he was appointed to command it, and ascribes his invariable defeats partly to that cause. The allegation is disproved by the record of the admirable conduct of those troops on every occasion on which that general sent them to battle-and inevitable disaster. Their courage and discipline were unsubdued by the slaughter to which they were recklessly offered in the four attacks on the Federal army near Atlanta, as they proved in the useless butchery at Franklin1-and survived the rout and disorganization at Nashville-as they proved at Bentonville. If, however, such proof is not conclusive, the testimony of the two most distinguished officers of that army-Lieutenant-Generals Hardee and Stewart--is certainly not less than equivalent to General Hood's assertion.

In a letter to me, dated April 20, 1868, Lieutenant-General Hardee testifies:

General:
In regard to the condition of the Army of Tennessee when, on the 18th of July, 1864, at Atlanta, Georgia, you were relieved of command, I have the honor to say:

That, in my opinion, the organization, morale, and effectiveness of that army, excellent at the opening of the campaign, had not been impaired at its close. There had been nothing in the campaign to produce that effect. It is true that the superior numbers of the enemy, enabling them to cover our front


1 General Hartsuff, General Schofield's Inspector-General, told me in the succeeding spring that the valor and discipline of our troops at Franklin won the highest admiration in the Federal army.

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