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[267] force sufficient to successfully cope with them, and keep our communications intact.

Major-General Howard, the late commander of the Fourth corps, who succeeded the revered McPherson, is rapidly growing in favor, by his splendid management of the battle of the twenty-eighth ultimo, and his cordial and unassuming manner, and is winning the confidence and esteem of those who at first felt that injustice had been done the Army of the Tennessee by selecting a commander from another army. A division commander yesterday remarked to me: “General Howard is a man who already has won the esteem and love of this army. He handles his increased command splendidly, and with such renowned soldiers as Logan. Blair, and Dodge, Howard and his army are destined to make a mark second to none on the continent.”

The true and tried Brigadier-General Hazen, commanding a brigade under Wood, Fourth corps, has been ordered to report for duty to General Howard, of the Army of the Tennessee. Hazen was justly popular with General Thomas, and it is probable that nothing but the probability of immediate promotion to a division under Howard would cause the Commanding General to consent to the transfer of so efficient an officer, for whose promotion there is no vacancy in the old Army of the Cumberland at present.

August 18.--Two days of very little work have passed, and we are very little nearer the capture of the rebel stronghold. Yesterday and to-day not even a decent picket skirmish was gotten up, for a variation of the programme. Sherman and Thomas were at work, however, preparing for something that is to come. It would be improper to state what will be done in the next few days, should Hood not leave us his naked piles of red mud and logs. The batteries have tried hot shot on the city, with what effect is not known yet; as no fires have been seen, it is probable that the furnaces for heating the shot, or some of the details, are not in smooth running order.

During last night and this morning the rebels were seen moving toward our left; what their object is, of course, is mere conjecture — probably to call our attention from the right, while they attack it, and endeavor to drive it back. Our force is ample to guard against the turning of our flank, and at the same time continue our demonstrations upon the railroad, which, in a few days, must be reached.

The effect of the enemy's shells, as they come tearing through the trees, and over headquarters, is of an exciting tendency, especially among the dusky portion of hangers-on, who indiscriminately seek holes and trees in search of safe quarters. Indeed the sixty-four-pounders are not very welcome visitors to officers and soldiers, who invariably dodge as they pass. One passed over the heads of General Wagner and staff while at dinner yesterday, and continued on its course, blowing its wind upon General Wood's tents, and after boring a hole in a flag large enough to throw a man through, brought up in the rear without injuring any one. Prisoners still persist in asserting that Mobile is in our possession. If so, the capture of the city is going to have an important bearing upon the concluding chapter of the campaign. The opening up of a new base of supplies within short rail and water distance is a result that some think certain to follow.

Ten o'clock P. M.--There are strong indications of trouble to night on the front of the Fourth corps. It is believed Hood is preparing to strike our flank at daybreak, and turn it. Let him come on; Sherman wants nothing better than an assault, and Hood will be sure to get hurt, as he was in all his previous attempts. As I write there is quite a commotion on the Fourth corps' front, by the music of the bands, the braying of mules, and artillery and musketry firing, which commingles in one strange discord, above which the measured booming of the big guns alone is heard. I have heard so much of this in the last hundred days that it is an old song, and I fervently wish they would “dry up,” especially Hood's sixty-four-pounders, which at this moment are opening in reply to our long Parrotts.

Army of the Tennessee, August 19.
Four days have passed in unusual quiet. The mornings glide easily away, and a portion of the afternoons have scarcely a sound upon the air to make one think of the events which are impending. The picket firing through the nights and an occasional shot from some battery serve to remind us of the foe in front, and them of our presence and purposes. This state of affairs cannot long continue, for a long delay on our part will be the means of inspiring the enemy with hope, and if a movement of the rebels, either upon our works or away from Atlanta, is not soon accomplished, the chances of success become more certain for us and more doubtful for them.

Prisoners and deserters are constantly arriving within our lines. They come singly and in squads, numbering from three or four to ten and twelve. The accounts they furnish do not vary much in the main points of their stories. All tell of suffering, destitution, ill treatment, and a loss of confidence in the success of their cause. Their appearance speaks more distinctly of hunger, weariness and unhappiness. than any language they use can express. It must not be supposed that everything a captured rebel or disgusted conscript from the south side of the line relates is credited. A great deal of caution is indispensable in accepting and relying upon the information brought in by this class of persons. Experience has taught our officers that rebels, like pickpockets, will lie; though I am willing to favor the presumption that in both cases there are a few honorable exceptions.

Yesterday an innocent-looking fellow, who could not have been-older than seventeen years, and whose childish form most emphatically protested

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