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[463] themselves to do so advantageously. Our vast superiority in numbers enabled us to divide our army, and turn all his positions without risk from any quarter.

General Johnston, however, as he abandoned his intrenched positions, conducted his retreat, in my judgment, in a prudent and consummate manner, both in strategy and tactics. All the positions chosen for making a stand were selected with the utmost sagacity and skill, and his defenses were thrown up and strengthened with the exercise of marvelous ingenuity and judgment. This was the case near Dalton, Resaca, Cassville, New-Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach-Tree Creek, and other points which I do not now remember. Considering that Johnston's army was on the retreat, I think it remarkable that we found no deserters, no stragglers, no muskets or knapsacks, and no material of war. Johnston's troops also covered and protected the citizens living in the vast district in which we were operating, in carrying off all their property from before us. In fact, it was the cleanest and best-conducted retreat, as was remarked by every one, that we had seen or read of. Wherever we went we encountered a formidable line of battle which all commanders were inclined to respect; I know that this was my feeling, and other officers in command of armies and corps appeared to feel as I did. Indeed, this retreat was so masterly that I regard it as a useful lesson for study for all persons who may hereafter elect for their calling the profession of arms. After having given the subject a good deal of reflection, I unhesitatingly state as my conviction that this retreat was the most


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Joseph E. Johnston (3)
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