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[383] with the buildings. As it was impossible that the Confederacy could ever recover it, its destruction was, at the least, injudicious.

On the 15th the Confederate cavalry, on the Raleigh road, was pressed back by the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, and at seven o'clock next morning Lieutenant-General Hardee was attacked by those corps in a position four miles south of Averysboroa, that he had intrenched. The enemy compelled him to abandon it, however, by turning his left; but he fell back only four hundred yards, to a better position than that just abandoned. There he was repeatedly attacked during the day, but repelled the assailants without difficulty. In the afternoon he was informed, by Lieutenant-General Hampton, that the enemy had crossed Black River, at various points below, as if to turn his left; he therefore abandoned his position in the night, some hours after the fighting had ceased, and marched toward Smithfield, to Elevation, which he reached about noon of the next day.

In his brief report by telegraph, General Hardee stated that his loss in killed, wounded, and missing, was about five hundred; prisoners taken next day, said that theirs was above three thousand; as reported to General Sherman, it was seventy-seven killed, and four hundred and seven wounded. That report, if correct, proves that the soldiers of General Sherman's army had been demoralized by their course of life on Southern plantations. Those soldiers, when fighting between Dalton and Atlanta, could not have been driven back repeatedly by a fourth of their number, with a loss so utterly insignificant. It is unaccountable, too, that the party fighting under cover

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