and censure which have followed some of his most important transactions.
However unconscious General Sherman
himself may have been of the influence of such motives, their existence was natural, even inevitable, and they have manifestly given their coloring to all of the memoirs.
This should not occasion surprise, nor even regret, much less be held to justify unkind criticism.
It is desirable for the future historian to have the view of the chief actor in any portion of history taken from his own standpoint.
It is only by a critical, laborious and honest comparison of this view with those of other actors and eye-witnesses that impartial history may ultimately be written.
My present purpose is simply to direct attention to some points in the history of those campaigns of General Sherman
in which I was one of his principal subordinates, upon which the views of others were at the time, or have since been, different from his own. In what I have to say the motive of self-vindication can have little or no influence; for, with some unimportant exceptions, General Sherman
does relatively full justice to me and to the little army which I had the honor to command.
I shall speak mainly of the acts of others, especially the noble dead.
I must preface my remarks by observing that the organization of Sherman
's army during the Atlanta campaign
was extremely faulty, in that the three grand divisions were very unequal in strength, the Army of the Cumberland having nearly five times
the infantry strength of the Army of the Ohio, and more than twice that of the Army of the Tennessee, even after the junction of Blair
The cavalry, of which two divisions belonged to the Army of the Ohio, always acted either under the direct orders of General Sherman
or of the nearest army commander, according to the flank on which it was operating.
This inequality resulted from the fact that Sherman