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[228] and Milledgeville, the latter the capital of Georgia, about a hundred miles to the southeast. These two towns were about fifteen miles apart.

General Hood and General Beauregard, who had come from the East to assist him, were in Tennessee, and it was some days after Sherman had left Atlanta that they heard of his movements. They realized that to follow him would now be futile. He was nearly three hundred miles away, and not only were the railroads destroyed, but a large part of the intervening country was utterly laid waste and incapable of supporting an army. The Confederates thereupon turned their attention to Thomas, who was also in Tennessee, and was the barrier between Hood and the Northern States.

General Sherman accompanied first one corps of his army and then another. The first few days he spent with Davis' corps of Slocum's wing. When they reached Covington, the negroes met the troops in great numbers, shouting and thanking the Lord that “deliverance” had come at last. As Sherman rode along the streets they would gather around his horse and exhibit every evidence of adoration.

The foraging parties consisted of companies of fifty men. Their route for the day in which they obtained supplies was usually parallel to that of the army, five or six miles from it. They would start out before daylight in the morning, many of them on foot; but when they rejoined the column in the evening they were no longer afoot. They were astride mules, horses, in family carriages, farm wagons, and mule carts, which they packed with hams, bacon, vegetables, chickens, ducks, and every imaginable product of a Southern farm that could be useful to an army.

In the general orders, Sherman had forbidden the soldiers to enter private houses; but the order was not strictly adhered to, as many Southern people have since testified. Sherman declares in his memoirs that these acts of pillage and violence were exceptional and incidental. On one occasion Sherman

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William T. Sherman (12)
John B. Hood (4)
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Henry W. Slocum (2)
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