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[274] eat up our precious rations?)--discourses “Shouldn't wonder, Shouldn't wonder.”

The Fourteenth corps and the Army of the Tennessee marched past the rear of the Fourth corps last night. The latter is now on the extreme right, the Fourteenth corps on its left, followed by the Fourth and Twenty-third corps successively. It is understood that they will hold this relative position in the line hereafter.

The enemy still hangs on our rear, but to our surprise, very chary of even a brisk skirmish. Has Hood been removed?

The supply trains for the expedition are now all up, and will move hereafter with the troops — that is, on parallel roads, which, though they have no existence now, will be well beaten tomorrow night.

August 28.--The army moved this morning at about eight o'clock. The Army of the Tennessee marched on a northerly road, and before dark struck the Atlanta and West Point railroad near Fairburn, a station eighteen miles from Atlanta. The rebel cavalry — a brigade commanded by General Ross-retreated slowly as we neared the railroad. He was evidently impressed with the notion that we outnumbered him.

The Army of the Cumberland has bivouacked At and near Red Oak, a flag-station on the West Point and Atlanta railroad, twelve miles from Atlanta. The Twenty-third corps has moved with the column, and to-night our whole army has cast loose from its old base, and is operating, as it were, in the air.

This morning a locomotive passed over the West Point railroad, whistling shrilly as it flirted by the stations which we were nearing. It is the last, we hope, that will be driven by a rebel engineer.

We begin to believe that Hood has been outwitted. We can hear nothing of his having sent any troops away from Atlanta; neither have any symptoms of attack been discovered.

The army has bivouacked in line, and thrown up trenches as usual. The wagon trains are coming up, and it will probably be morning before they all arrive.

The troops move light — very light. What a contrast between the steady, pouring columns of veterans, and the unskilled and unsettled marches of ‘61 and ‘62? Who, in those years of lumbering marches and still more lumbering battles, saw line officers harnessed up with knapsacks; or dreamed that the day would come when the soldier, in addition to carrying food, shelter, and equipments; would still find room for an intrenching tool — the last feather, though one not endangering his vertebra, for his swing is bold, and, in a martial sense, graceful. Here are spades, and picks, and coffee-pots, and kettles, giving the column a tinkerish aspect, but assuring for the cause that celerity in movement which is one of the first conditions of victory, and for the men themselves the speediest method of obtaining refection and repose, and the grateful contentment that follows.

With all these things — necessities of a light march, and peculiarly the necessities of this march — you might not be prepared to find any room left for the transportation of luxuries. I have seen, however, a number of articles that might be safely classed under that head — the most striking one being a cane-bottomed chair, which a captain of infantry carries dangling from his sword thrown across his shoulder. A bystander suggests it would be the height of politeness for him to carry the chair and offer it to a friend during the halts.

The men are hardy and strong. The regiments are not so long as they were when the campaign opened last May, but their experience in what a rebel journal calls the great battles of June, July, and August is, perhaps, rich compensation for the difference in numbers. Every man who passes you has fought in countless skirmishes, strained every nerve in the deadly assault, and coolly rolled back the impetuous attacks of the enemy. He knows better than the statistician how much lead it takes to kill a man; how much harmless bluster there is in a flight of shells, and what chances he has in his favor, if hit at all, of the wound being slight or severe. He has grown familiar with missiles, explodent and non-explodent. He knows, from the sounds that reach him, when, during any given passage at arms, the precise moment arrives when he is justified in pricking up his ears and getting ready to fall into line. The shrill sweep of a whole volley affects him less now than the hateful solitary whistle of a single bullet did before he had passed the ordeal of danger, hardship, and denial that have made up his life during the campaign. Our trust grows stronger and stronger as the column sweeps on, and we become certain that the present critical movement must succeed, or, in failure, inflict such damage upon the enemy, that to foil us just once more would ruin him irremediably.

While I was watching to-day the endless line of troops shifting by, an officer with a modest escort rode up to the fence near which I was standing and dismounted. He was rather tall and slender, and his quick movements denoted good muscle added to absolute leanness — not thinness. His uniform was neither new nor old, but bordering on a hazy mellowness of gloss, while the elbows and knees were a little accented from the continuous agitation of those joints. The face was one I should never rest upon in a crowd, simply because to my eye there was nothing remarkable in it, save the nose, which organ was high, thin, and planted with a curve as vehement as the curl of a Malay cutlass. The face and neck were rough, and covered with reddish hair, the eye light in color and animated, but though restless, and bounding like a ball from one object to another, neither piercing nor brilliant; the mouth well closed but common, the ears large, the hands and feet long and thin, the gait a little rolling, but firm and active. In dress and manner there was not the slightest trace of pretension. He spoke rapidly, and generally

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