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[341] taken and the dispositions I had made for the attack, was received, he exclaimed to Brigadier-General Mackall, his Chief-of-Staff, with his finger on the map, “Hardee is just where I wanted him.”

I will not in this report enter into the details' of the engagement of the 22d July, one of the most desperate and bloody of the campaign, and which won the only decided success achieved by the army at Atlanta.

In the afternoon of the 28th July, when the corps of Stewart and Lee on the left had been badly repulsed in an attack upon the enemy's right, and were attacked in turn, a serious disaster was apprehended. General Hood sent several couriers in quick succession and in great haste to summon me to his headquarters, which were between my own and the then battlefield, and about one and a half miles nearer to it. He there directed me to proceed to the field, and, if necessary, to assume command of the troops engaged. If I failed of my duty in any respect on the 20th or 22d of July, it is a little singular that on the 28th General Hood, remaining at his headquarters in Atlanta, should have sent me to take command on a field where there was no portion of my own corps, and where nearly two-thirds of his army were engaged. Upon my arrival on the field, the fighting had nearly ceased, and I found it unnecessary to assume command.

This fight is mentioned by General Hood in terms to leave an impression of its success; but it was well known throughout the army that the loss in men, organization and morale in the engagement, was serious. No action of the campaign probably did so much to demoralize and dishearten the troops engaged in it. It was necessary, in order to cast upon me the onus of the general failure at Atlanta, to cover up any want of success on the part of others.

But if strange that General Hood should have placed me in command of two-thirds of his army on the 28th, after my failures of the 20th and 22d, it is not less remarkable that in the following month, remaining himself in Atlanta, nearly thirty miles from the scene of action, with one corps of his army, he should have sent me in command of the other two corps to make an attack at Jonesboroa, upon which, he says, so much depended.

On the 26th of August the enemy drew in his left on the north front of Atlanta, in pursuance of a design to turn our position and move upon our railroad communications. Wheeler had cut the railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, and General Hood believed the enemy to be retreating for want of supplies. He even ordered General W. H. Jackson, commanding the cavalry then with the army, to harass the rear of the retreating enemy. General Jackson endeavored to convince him of his error, but to no purpose. The opportunity to strike the flank of the enemy, exposed during the five days occupied in the movement, was neglected and lost. It was not until the 30th of August, in the evening of which day the enemy actually reached the vicinity of Jonesboroa, that he was


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