On one day, by aid of our artillery, we advance our pickets say three or five hundred yards. They intrench their posts, and the rebels spitefully yield the ground, or make an attempt at night to regain it. But no sooner has night clothed the earth in darkness than the corps of engineers, aided perhaps by a regiment, advance and commence to throw up a line of earthworks in the rear of the pickets, but greatly in advance of the lines of the brigade. In the morning, or whenever the work is done, the whole line advances into the new works, and it is so much permanently gained. This kind of work is not rapid, but safe and sure, and will take us into Atlanta, if no great mishap befalls us. But it would be no wiser to set a particular day for the triumphal entrance than it was for Miller to appoint a day for the world to blow up. There is a singular perverseness in human affairs that has always been very annoying to men of prophetic inclinations. Marietta is doomed. It is being made a base of supplies, and the site for hospitals. The streets, and houses, and suburbs are crowded with men, and wagons, and trains. Fences and out-houses soon disappear, and no one can tell who was to blame. The trees are barked, shrubbery destroyed, and insensibly, but perceptibly, the beauty and marks of comfort and refinement pass away, and soon the town looks dilapidated, outcast — as the boys say “played out.” I have seen this change come over more than one town, and it makes one sad to see the work of destruction commenced upon so beautiful a town as Marietta. But it is inevitable, and a part of the retribution that follows the rebellion, as it withdraws doggedly to its original haunts. We have had rain, in greater or less amounts, every day for more than a week; and it has happily preserved the purity of the atmosphere and allayed the heat, and been a great blessing to the wounded and sick.
near Atlanta, August 11, 1864.We have passed a sleepless night under the ceaseless roar of our artillery that has been firing into Atlanta. The din was the most terrific and unearthly that I have ever heard ; shots following each other in such rapid succession that it was impossible to count them. For nearly an hour at a time the discharge from our guns of various calibre was so rapid that one almost imagined that he was listening to a medley of thunders from the clouds. And, only think, every discharge carrying with it to the rebel city a messenger of death. Our guns command the Macon railroad, seven eighths of a mile distant, as I am informed by the topographical engineer of the Fourth Corps, who learns that the rebels have not ventured to use the road for three days. This portion of the army still continues to be the sole point of interest, but the time seems to have arrived when even here the lively activity and advancing of the past few days must subside, as it has in all the rest of the line, into the monotony of a siege. All the swinging around, of which the Twenty-third corps has accomplished so much of late, was opposed, it would appear, only by the enemy's flank forces-their lines defended by only temporary works-but the advance has at last developed a line of massiveness and strength which defies all assaults. General Hascall's division was pushed over Utoy creek on the morning of the ninth, in support of the third brigade, which had crossed the day before, and, advancing somewhat, found themselves confronted by a parallel of earthworks, which it were madness to assail. The skirmishers approached them within three hundred yards, but there they must needs make a pause. The engineers give it as their opinion that this is a part of the great system of defences about Atlanta, and that it will be found to stretch continuously from Atlanta to East Point. By pressing our lines strongly against theirs, we have developed this system of defences from Atlanta down as far as we have yet gone; and as we are but a mile and a half from East Point, and can see these works stretching down a valley in that direction half a mile, it is highly probable that they encircle that important point. Beginning north of Atlanta, they run, circling around, to the west, then nearly southwest to Utoy creek, then south, and finally south-east to East Point. They lose none of their formidable character as they recede from Atlanta. In our front here, only a mile and a half from East Point, there is a regular bastioned fort, not quite completed yet, and lines of abatis and carefully-constructed earthworks, capable of offering the most serious resistance to an assault. The rebels can be seen from our lines still at work completing them, and as they promise to be when finished, there is nothing which will avail against them but a regular siege. Captain Shields planted his battery (the Nineteenth Ohio), yesterday on a knoll, from which he declares he can shell any thing that runs over the track. There is a large trestle bridge plainly visible from this stand-point, a mile and a quarter distant, and it is believed that our batteries will be able to knock this to fragments. It is devoutly to be hoped that we shall be able to break the railroad above East Point, since, if it is done below, it will be necessary to cut it twice. Pretty substantial preparations are in progress here for carrying on a vigorous siege.----heavy guns of----inches calibre, were brought down a few days ago, and planted near the railroad, and have already given the rebels a taste of their quality. The heaviest artillery yet employed by the rebels against us is a gun of seven and three quarters bore, throwing a shell of sixty-four pounds. Good gunners state that a gun of the size employed by us is every way more effective than such ponderous affairs as those used by the rebels. The engineer driving the train which brought these large cannon to the army, being a gay