in front of the right of that army, which, if successful, would cut off the hostile force then attacking its left.
replied, as I recollect, that he had asked Thomas
to send some troops to the left, and the latter had replied that he had none to spare.
Without these the proposition to make a counter-attack could not be entertained.
But my memory is only that of conversations with General Sherman
during the day, and he ought to be much better informed than I concerning what passed between General Thomas
I recollect that General Sherman
during the day expressed something like a wish to ‘let the Army of the Tennessee fight its own battle,’ but in his statement of motive for so doing I think he does that army injustice.
My impression was, and is, that they would have been very glad of assistance, and that timely help would have increased the fraternal feeling between the armies, instead of creating unworthy jealousy.
I cannot but believe, as I then thought, that we were losing a great opportunity that day. A large force of the enemy had made a wide circuit from his defenses about Atlanta
and attacked our left several miles distant.
We there had a chance to fight him on equal terms.
I thought, and still think, we ought to have concentrated a large part of Thomas
's force and mine near the Howard House
, and made a strong counter-attack upon this attacking column of the enemy, with the hope of cutting it off from Atlanta
Instead of this, Thomas
spent the day in efforts to ‘make a lodgment in Atlanta
’ over well-prepared fortifications which the Georgia
militia could hold against him about as well as the veteran Confederate troops.
The movement of August 4 and 5 was designed to be substantially what had been frequently suggested, but which I have heretofore referred to as having never been tried, with the exception that the attacking force