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[237] intrenching tools arrived, when stronger defences were thrown up, and the two lines lie now so close, that our men lying on their backs pitch over stones and clubs into the rebel works.

To protect the flank of the assaulting column under Davis, Hooker, with Geary on the left, and Butterfield on the right, leaving Williams in reserve on the centre, moved from his works across the open fields, suffering a slight loss, and rested his line just at the edge of the forest. Just under the rebel works he lay and fortified. The new line he still holds with a light force, having retired his main forces to the original line.

Schofield's operations consisted of an advance by Riley's brigade on the Sandtown road, which resulted in a sharp skirmish, and the driving of the enemy from his works. Regretting that I am not ubiquitous, the fact that I am not, admitted. I presume it will only be necessary to say that our line was at least twelve miles long, to secure pardon for not furnishing the particulars.

Hascall's division, I was credibly informed, engaged the enemy and drove him at every point. The enemy's right was weak, and was held partly by cavalry. I heard no estimate of the losses in General Schofield's corps that I deemed reliable, and hence I adopt none.

I estimate the losses resulting from the assault along the line at three thousand, and feel confident that official reports will not vary far from that estimate. Of course, immediately after an engagement of the character of this, before the reports of regimental commanders have been sent in, it is impossible to be exact; but I venture the assertion that the official count will not vary one hundred either way.

The army now is executing another flank movement, and, if successful, as I cannot believe it will fail to be, when you next hear from me it will be from the banks of the Chattahoochee, if not from the objective point of the campaign — Atlanta.

six miles South of Marietta, June 30.
The assault upon the centre and left, which was made, having proved a failure, and the rebels still maintaining themselves on Kenesaw with defiance, what next shall be done to dislodge them? It is not for any one to say that it is impossible for large enough bodies of our troops to take the rebel works by direct assault, but the sacrifice of life would be so fearful that the mind cannot contemplate it without horror. To charge upon thick ranks of living men, is a thing our soldiers do with spirit, for they have good hope of success; but to be thrust against dead walls of earth and logs, only to be broken and crushed, without any compensating gain, is hard, is maddening. The flanking policy pursued by General Sherman, up to the time of the assault of the twenty-seventh, is not only the highest philanthropy, but the most successful strategy. It makes armies gain battles by marches instead of charges, with shoe-leather rather than with bayonets; keeps the men in good spirits, and keeps them out of the hospitals and out of the graves. It takes more bread, and meat, and coffee, and is less glorious as the world goes, but it saves men's lives, and that is more than all else. We must meet the rebel army sometime, it is true, face to face, and fight it, fight it hard, and crush it, else the Confederacy will never be broken up.

What this new movement, then, is definitely, of course, I do not know; but it is evidently to be a return to the old strategy of flanking.

Certain corps of the army are being rapidly brought to a marching trim, by being sifted of rheumatics and debilitated men-all, in short, who cannot march fast-and others are making themselves impregnable behind regular forts and earthworks of a formidable character. It may not be that they will make an attempt upon the fortifications on the south bank of the Chattahoochee, and it may be they will.

The question may be asked why Kenesaw Mountain was not flanked at once, and left behind in the forward march, just as Lost Mountain and Pine Mountain were? On the ordinary maps they all appear as detached cones rising out of the surrounding level, and offering the same facilities for the passage of flanking columns at their base. The real mountains are not so. Lost Mountain is almost a perfect cone; so is Pine Mountain; but Kenesaw is composed of two sections, divided by a deep notch on the summit, and the entire length of the two at the base is nearly two miles. Besides that, they slope away gradually in a series of hills, forming approaches to the main peak, and offering great natural advantages for fortifications. Thus the length of the rebel front, which it would be very difficult to carry by assault, was upward of four miles, the east end resting on the railroad. As the army approached this stronghold, and the centre and part of the left began to bear against it, the right wing was gradually swung around parallel to the railroad, apparently with the intention of driving off a sufficient number of the enemy's forces, to enable an assault made upon these approaches to succeed. The difficulties which lay in the way of this assault, both the strength of the defences and the determination of the rebels, seem not to have been fully weighed by any one. It was made on< the twenty-seventh, and failed-signally failed. Lost Mountain was so distant from the railroad that the rebel line could barely reach it by being greatly deployed, and, at the same time hold the. railroad. Our own superfluity in numbers enabled us to bring a strong line against theirs, and to sweep it away at once. Pine Mountain, though much nearer to the railroad, was so entirely detached that, while a small force was left in its front, the two wings could begin at once to swing around and cause the rebels to vacate it. It required so long a line to hold the railroad and, at the same time keep a strong force all along

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J. M. Schofield (2)
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