sickness produced by heavy cold rains, which prevailed in the latter half of June. These and the slightly wounded were beginning to rejoin their regiments. For want of reports I am unable to give the loss or the services of the cavalry, which was less under my eye than the rest of the army. Its effective strength was increased by about two thousand during the campaign. The effective force transferred to General Hood was about forty-one thousand infantry and artillery and ten thousand cavalry. According to the opinions of our most experienced officers, daily reports of prisoners, and statements of Northern papers, the enemy's loss in action could not have been less than five times as great as ours. In the cases in which we had the means of estimating it, it ranged from seventy to one to ninety to one, compared to ours, and averaged thirteen to one. The Federal prisoners concurred in saying that their heaviest loss occurred in the daily attacks made in line of battle upon our skirmishers in their rifle-pits. Whether they succeeded in dislodging our skirmishers or not, their loss was heavy and ours almost nothing. At Dalton the great numerical superiority of the enemy made the chances of battle much against us, and even if beaten, they had a safe refuge behind the fortified pass of Ringgold, and in the fortress of Chattanooga. Our refuge, in case of defeat, was in Atlanta, one hundred miles off, with three rivers intervening. Therefore, victory for us could not have been decisive, while defeat would have been utterly disastrous. Between Dalton and the Chattahoochee we could have given battle only by attacking the enemy intrenched, or so near intrenchments that the only result of success to us would have been his falling back into them. While defeat would have been our ruin. In the course pursued, our troops always fighting under cover, had very trifling losses compared with those they inflicted, so that the enemy's numerical superiority was reduced daily and rapidly, and we could reasonably have expected to cope with the Federal army on equal ground by the time the Chattahoochee was passed. Defeat on this side of that river would have been its destruction. We, if beaten, had a place of refuge in Atlanta — too strong to be assaulted, and too extensive to be invested. I had also hoped that by the breaking of the railroad in its rear the Federal army might be compelled to attack us in a position of our own choosing, or to a retreat easily converted into rout. After we crossed the Etowah five detachments of cavalry were successively sent with instructions to destroy as much as they could of the railroad between Dalton and the Etowah. All failed — because too weak. We could never spare a sufficient body of cavalry for this service, as its assistance was absolutely necessary in the defence of every position we occupied. Captain Harvey, an officer of great courage and sagacity, was detached on this service with one hundred men on the eleventh of June, and remained for several weeks near the railroad, frequently interrupting, although not strong enough to prevent its use. Early in the campaign, the statements of the strength of the cavalry in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, given me by Lieutenant-General Polk, just from the command of that department, and my telegraphic correspondence with his successor, Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee, gave me reason to hope that a competent force could be sent from Mississippi and Alabama, to prevent the use of the railroad by the United States army. I therefore suggested it to the president directly on the thirteenth June and sixteenth July, and through General Bragg on the third, twelfth, thirteenth, sixteenth, and twenty-sixth June, and also to Lieutenant-General Lee on the tenth May and third, eleventh, and sixteenth June. I did so in the belief that this cavalry would serve the Confederacy better by insuring the defeat of Major-General Sherman's army, than by repelling a raid in Mississippi. Besides the causes of my removal alleged in the telegram announcing it, various other accusations have been made against me, some published in newspapers in such a manner as to appear to have official authority, and others circulated orally in Georgia and Alabama, and imputed to General Bragg. The principal are: That I persistently disregarded the instructions of the president. That I would not fight the enemy. That I refused to defend Atlanta. That I refused to communicate with General Bragg, in relation to the operations of the army. That I disregarded his entreaties to change my course and attack the enemy. And gross exaggerations of the losses of the army. I had not the advantage of receiving the president's instructions in relation to the manner of conducting the campaign, but as the conduct of my predecessor in retreating before odds less than those confronting me had apparently been approved, and as General Lee in keeping on the defensive, and retreating towards Grant's objective point, under circumstances like mine, was adding to his great fame, both in the estimation of the administration and people, I supposed that my course would not be censured. I believed then as I do now, that it was the only one at my command which promised success. I think that the foregoing narrative shows that the Army of Tennessee did fight, and with at least as much effect, as it had ever done before. The proofs that I intended to hold Atlanta are, the fact that under my orders the work of strengthening its defenses was going on vigorously, the communication on the subject made by me to General Hood, and the fact that my family was in the town. That the public workshops were removed and no large supplies deposited in the town, as alleged by General
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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