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[259] officers assert that the city is being evacuated, while others insist that strong reinforcements are arriving. Both of these rumors are idle suppositions, neither of which are entertained at General Sherman's headquarters: For the past two days the enemy have been moving large bodies of troops to our left, and at an early hour this morning quite heavy cannonading was heard in that direction, and at the present hour of writing (nine o'clock A. M.), still continues with unabated fury. It is supposed by general officers that Hood.has massed large forces to assault Schofield, with the belief that, by some grand coup de main, he can succeed in turning our left flank. As General Sherman has full knowledge of the designs of the enemy from scouts and deserters, it is fair to presume that he has taken ample means to guard against any such calamity.

Deserters continue to flock inside our lines, many of whom are men of intelligence and good education. These men report that the greatest dissatisfaction prevails in Johnston's old army at his supersedure, and the appointment of Hood in his place. The troops are amazed at the reckless manner in which Hood has led his troops against the “Yankees,” They avow that had Johnston remained he would have abandoned Atlanta after becoming convinced that to hold it would imperil his army. Hood, they believe, will have to surrender Atlanta within a few days, and will also lose a great portion of his army. The change of rebel commanders is not distasteful to our officers, for, though they expect he will fight and risk more than Johnston, yet there is apparent in all his movements thus far a blind desperation that reminds one of the bull butting the locomotive. Since the removal of Johnston his army has been terribly cut up, according to the testimony of rebel officers and surgeons now in our hands. The loyal public need entertain no serious apprehension for the safety and victorious progress of this invincible army. The hour is rapidly drawing nigh when the bugle-notes shall again sound the advance, “On to Atlanta.”

Brigadier-General Knipe, commanding Third division, Twentieth corps, performed a very saucy, yet brilliant little “Yankee” trick, yesterday morning. The General had learned from his pickets that the rebel pickets were in the habit of sleeping upon their posts, and were also addicted to late rising. He determined to try his luck at nabbing the napping rebels. Two companies of the Second Massachusetts and Fifth Connecticut were accordingly ordered to proceed cautiously to the enemy's reserve picket post in their front, and if possible surround it. The plan was beautifully executed, and before the drowsy fishes could be made aware of their ludicrous situation they were safely within the strong meshes of a “Yankee” net, from which escape was impossible. This neat little excursion netted a handsome prot, General Knipe making a haul of one hundred and six prisoners, including four commissioned officers.

After the prisoners were safely bagged, one company was sent with them to the rear, while the remaining company took possession of the depleted rebel picket post, determined not to be “relieved” except by “blue coats.” Shortly after a company of rebels were leisurely marching down the road to “relieve” their comrades, when a few bullets whistling through their ranks laid two or three low, and so sadly demoralized the balance that they took to the woods in great disorder. In half an hour after a superior force came down boldly, bent upon dislodging the impudent “Yanks” from their picket post, but at last accounts our troops were settling the dispute with leaden messengers, and the prospects of Massachusetts and Connecticut yielding to the insolent demands of South Carolina and Mississippi were not very encouraging. We still hold the position, and it is a very favorable one, commanding a fine view of the rebel line.

near Atlanta, Georgia, August 2, 1864.
The campaign is running to its fourth month, with scarcely a day but a large part of the command is under fire. Our losses in killed or wounded are already over a thousand, but this is no fair proportion of the losses of our army, as the fates have, as usual, put us in warm places.

Will the people keep up their pluck and fight the thing out? It all depends upon their steadfastness of purpose. If Richmond does not fall sooner, the Army of the West will finally make its way to the back door. If none of the Eastern rebel army comes here, we will wear this one out before the close of the season, and it is but a matter of time when the entire force of the enemy must waste away. Will the people hold out?

Johnston's veteran army, by his official report, June twenty-fifth, contained 46,628 armsbearing men, including 6,631 of Wheeler's cavalry. They have lost since that time 5,000 prisoners, and in their three assaults upon our works since arriving in front of this place, at least 20,000 men. They have received from Mississippi 3,500, and are receiving, from Governor Brown's proclamation, about 8,000 militia. This gives them to-day an army of about 25,000 veterans, and 8,000 militia; 33,000 in all.

These figures are substantially correct. The hope of being reinforced by Kirby Smith is at last given up. After exhausting the militia of Alabama and Eastern Mississippi, which may amount to ten thousand more, if they have the power to force them out, I cannot for my life see how the enemy can make up the wastage of their army.

I know the rebel army, when it was joined by Polk just before the fight at Resaca, was seventy-one thousand strong. This included Polk, and besides the additions before mentioned,

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