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1 General Sherman, in his ‘Memoirs,’ says of the Federal position: ‘The position was naturally strong, with Snake Creek on our right, a deep, bold stream, with a confluent (Owl Creek) to our right front, and Lick Creek, with a similar confluent, on our left, thus narrowing the space over which we could be attacked to one and a half or two miles. At a later period of the war we could have rendered this position impregnable in one night, but at this time we did not do it.’The fact is, that the position was not strong, except that it could not be flanked, but might have been readily made impregnable in one night to the assault of so raw a force as ours. We knew, from the careful examination of Colonel Crocket, the Federal officer captured on the 4th, that, up to the evening of that day, there were no breastworks; but the several warnings given by the conflict in which he was captured, the noisy incidents of the next day's march and reconnoissance, and our presence in full force on the field for fifteen hours before the attack, were facts which forced General Beauregard to believe the Federals would surely use the ample time they had, during that night, to throw up intrenchments sufficient for the repulse of our raw troops.
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