This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 He becomes attenuated and gaunt, and his hipbones grow as long and peering as his ears, but he waxes ethereal in flesh alone. He tugs at his chains with redoubled muscularity. True, he dies sometimes (a dead mule is no longer a myth), but he does it quickly. He refuses food, wanders around disconsolately for an hour, lies quietly down and expires. 7 P. M.---The movement has commenced. Several batteries were quietly withdrawn from the trenches this afternoon. The troops on our left are just moving to the rear, so silently that even their equipments seem to have a subdued clank. The enemy is firing briskly on the skirmish line. Were these new troops gliding dimly through the forest, they would feel guilty at every shot, but they have sounded war's every depth, and construe nothing to mean attack until the columns come pouring down upon them. We shall test Hood's sagacity within a week pretty severely. What a momentous thing a night march seems! August 26.--At seven o'clock last evening, the Fourth corps, occupying the left of our line, north and north-east of Atlanta, withdrew from their trenches and marched west to the rear of the Army of the Tennessee, leaving their pickets behind until midnight. The Twentieth corps, on the right of the Fourth corps, fell back about nine P. M., to the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, which position — a very strong one--they will intrench and defend, while the rest of the army moves around Hood's left flank. None of the rest of our army left their trenches last night. The Fourteenth corps and Army of the Tennessee were in their old works at daybreak. The Sixteenth corps, now on the extreme left, refused their left flank considerably, and threw up works on the new line. The enemy discovered our absence on the left early this morning, and he has made demonstrations all day along our front, winding up this evening by a strong one on General Ward's division of the Twentieth corps, now in position at the river. Wherever their skirmishers have become too bold, they have been driven off by well-delivered volleys, and in no instance has their curiosity led them into danger at the same point the second time. They reconnoitered our right in the morning, and found it unchanged. During the afternoon the rest of the army prepared to move. The Army of the Tennessee will leave its trenches to-night, and the Twenty-third corps will follow. The Fourteenth corps is already on the march. The columns already in motion have been headed, during the day, for Sandtown, on the Chattahoochee river, fourteen miles below the railroad bridge. The army is moving, corps by corps, shutting up like a telescope, each corps that withdraws moving to the rear of those on the right, which maintain a bold front. By this means the dangers of a massive attack from the enemy are greatly lessened. The day has been insufferably warm. Many hundred men, exhausted by marching all night, have fallen by the way, but at this hour, ten P. M., they have all come up. This will be another sleepless night. The Army of the Tennessee is withdrawing. To-morrow our old trenches around Atlanta will be deserted, save those held by the Twenty-third corps, on the extreme right, near East Point. August 27.--Every road one crosses to day is filled with troops. Turbid streams of men and wagons pour along their respective roads, and are fed by tributaries from open fields and forests It all looks like endless, inextricable confusion; but let the enemy strike any of the thousand feelers we have out, and how suddenly the columns would be fronted, the lines dressed and the charges rammed home. Even to the most accustomed eye, the motley mingle-mangle of a march like this seems to be without beginning or end. But there is method in it. By midnight, perhaps sooner, every division will be sleeping behind trenches, the turf whereof has never yet felt the footfall of a Yankee soldier. The Twenty-third corps seems to have been selected to cover the rear during the marches — that is, the rear of the marching columns — we have no base of supplies, no real rear now. Garrard's splendid division of cavalry follows the Twenty-third corps, lingering along after the infantry is in motion, and spreading out like a fan, to protect its left flank when encamped. Kilpatrick's cavalry division covers the right flank, held to-night by the Army of the Tennessee. The day is warm, but lovely. None nave fallen out to-day, from exhaustion. The country grows open and rolling, and, as we near the West Point railroad, excellent foraging-country appears. The roads are excellent — equal, to all intents and purposes, to the best turnpikes. 10 P. M.--The troops are in line, intrenched and asleep. We are within four miles of the West Point railroad. General Sherman's headquarters are at Mount Gilead Church. No enemy yet. Is this silence ominous? Two days have elapsed, and nearly one hundred thousand prophets are wrong in their forecast. Hood lacks either discernment or pugnacity. Not the latter, perhaps. If he permits us to go unmolested for another day, he will have lost his chance, and we shall have gained — but we will not flatter ourselves. Suppose a heavy and persistent rain should set in upon us. Carrambo! I hear to-night of a wagon and a straggler or two picked up in our rear, The enemy's cavalry is following us closely. Perhaps they consider this another cavalry expedition. It will, certainly, require some ingenuity to surround this little raiding party — to place around it what one of our East Tennessee Generals denominates a “ring guard.” Brass band in the distance--(why were they brought along, to
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.