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[129] small rear-guard, would by the use of three roads have been in position to attack McPherson at dawn of day the next morning, while the main body of Sherman's army was far away on the other side of Rocky-face. Or if McPherson had not held the entire natural position as far east as the Connasauga River, Johnston could have passed round him in the night. It seems to me certain that McPherson's force was too small to have taken and held that position. Indeed it does not seem at all certain that, however large his force might have been, he could have put troops enough in position before night to accomplish the object of cutting off Johnston's retreat. The case was analogous to that of Hood's crossing Duck River in November of that year, and trying to cut off our retreat at Spring Hill. There was simply not time enough to do it in that one day, and if not done in one day it could not be done at all.

So that it does not seem at all certain that this, which was ‘Thomas's plan’ to throw the entire Army of the Cumberland on the road in Johnston's rear and thus cut off his retreat, would have succeeded any better than Sherman's, yet it gave greater promise of success, and therefore ought to have been tried. It is at least probable that Johnston's view of the case (see his ‘Narrative,’ pages 15, 16, 17) is the correct one: that, with his thorough knowledge of the ground, ample roads, and means of early information, together with our ignorance of the ground and our extremely deficient roads, he could have defeated any possible attempt to cut him off from Resaca.

To illustrate the faulty system of organization and command which characterized the Atlanta campaign, I will now refer to an incident of the operations about Dallas, it being next in order of date of those I wish to consider. General Sherman does not allude to it at all in his ‘Memoirs.’

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