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[413] South, were made as comfortable as possible, but one who desires to know what hardships and suffering were undergone by people totally unfit to cope with them, must go down there and hear the stories from their own lips. When Sherman was in full possession of Atlanta he began his preparations for the march through the heart of the Confederacy. Hood was now in his rear instead of his front, and what should be done with him?

Hood had been defeated and driven, but he was not crushed. He would either draw Sherman from Atlanta or head for Nashville. He wanted reinforcements in either case, but his telegrams to that effect met with the reply that none could be sent him. From August 1st until October 21st Hood was operating on Sherman's lines, destroying railroads, capturing small garrisons and retaking many of the towns which Sherman had wrested from Johnson. In his movements north Sherman had followed him with at least half his army, and although almost every hour of every day witnessed a hot skirmish there was nothing like a general battle. Hood could damage and delay Sherman, but he could not cripple him and he was not strong enough to offer him general battle. On the 21st Hood began his movement towards Nashville, but it was a full month before he was at Columbia, on the Duck river. In the interim Sherman had headed Schofield's army for Nashville, left a strong garrison at Atlanta, and filed out of the city on his march to the sea.

Had one been able to climb to such a height at Atlanta as to enable him to see for forty miles around the day Sherman marched out, he would have been appalled at the destruction. Hundreds of houses had been burned, every rod of fence destroyed, nearly every fruit tree cut down and the face of the country so changed that one born in that section could scarcely recognize it. The vindictiveness of war would have tramped the very earth out of sight had such a thing been possible. At every rod along every highway there was a soldier's grave, and in rear of hospital sites were acres of them.

The railroad lines were the special objects of destruction, and the wonder is that they were so soon repaired. The Federals struck the Macon Road four or five different times at four or five different places, and worked such destruction each time that the line was reported permanently disabled, and yet within thirty hours the Confederates had everything repaired. On one occasion Kilpatrick destroyed four miles of track at once. The rails were removed, heated in the centre, and bent around trees until the ends passed each other. Every culvert was torn out, every cut filled

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