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[596] left their intrenchments confronting it-moving to the railroad and to the rear. he then held a position in front of Kenesaw for a month, and left that, at last, because, by extending his intrenchments, Sherman had got nearer to Atlanta by several miles than we were. In all the fighting we had been successful, and that in positions frequently prepared for defense in a few hours. Is it probable, then, that General Johnston would not have attempted to hold a place fortified already to his hand under the direction of the Engineer Bureau, and previously inspected by Major-General Gilmer, the chief-engineer of our army? Why had he been strengthening it from the 5th of July, with all the labor he could command, if he did not intend to defend it, in the event of his failing to crush the enemy at Peach-tree Creek? Why was he strengthening it at the very moment of his removal a If the position was as weak as described by General Hood, why did Sherman not attempt to carry it by assault?

The place, in my judgment, could not have been taken either by assault or investment. What are the facts General Sherman first seized the Augusta road, and held it for six weeks to no purpose. To seize the Macon road he had to let go that to Augusta, which could have supplied our army. In making that movement, he exposed his flank to attack, which blunder was not taken advantage of. His movement was concealed by a curtain of cavalry, and was probably not known to General Hood in time. A large portion of his cavalry under Wheeler was in Sherman's rear, operating on his line of communications. To avoid any such contre-temps, General Johnston kept his cavalry in hand to watch the movement of the enemy and avoid being outflanked. But I do not propose to discuss General Hood's campaign, which he says was without fault. My purpose is simply to correct errors into which, in my judgment, he has fallen as to General Johnston's, and to do this General Hood has rendered it necessary to consider somewhat the operations around Atlanta. If he did, as he supposes, really commit no blunder, he is probably the only general,


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