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[216]

Many of the people of Atlanta chose to go southward, others to the north, the latter being transported free, by Sherman's order, as far as Chattanooga.

Shortly after the middle of September, Hood moved his army from Lovejoy's Station, just south of Atlanta, to the vicinity of Macon. Here Jefferson Davis visited the encampment, and on the 22d he made a speech to the homesick Army of Tennessee, which, reported in the Southern newspapers, disclosed to Sherman the new plans of the Confederate leaders. These involved nothing less than a fresh invasion of Tennessee, which, in the opinion of President Davis, would put Sherman in a predicament worse than that in which Napoleon found himself at Moscow. But, forewarned, the Federal leader prepared to thwart his antagonists. The line of the Western and Atlantic Railroad was more closely guarded. Divisions were sent to Rome and to Chattanooga. Thomas was ordered to Nashville, and Schofield to Knoxville. Recruits were hastened from the North to these points, in order that Sherman himself might not be weakened by the return of too many troops to these places.

Hood, in the hope of leading Sherman away from Atlanta, crossed the Chattahoochee on the 1st of October, destroyed the railroad above Marietta and sent General French against Allatoona. It was the brave defense of this place by General John M. Corse that brought forth Sherman's famous message, “Hold out; relief is coming,” sent by his signal officers from the heights of Kenesaw Mountain, and which thrilled the North and inspired its poets to eulogize Corse's bravery in verse. Corse had been ordered from Rome to Allatoona by signals from mountain to mountain, over the heads of the Confederate troops, who occupied the valley between. Reaching the mountain pass soon after midnight, on October 5th, Corse added his thousand men to the nine hundred already there, and soon after daylight the battle began. General French, in command of the Confederates, first

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