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[281] the relation gave rise to took epigrammatic form in many cases, in the suggestion that it was bad news for the Chicago Convention. Sure enough, there was our flag placidly waving in the twilight. To our loving eyes there seemed something effulgent about it, and as night fell its colors came out, to our excited vision, more and more plainly. A few weeks ago I clambered up a look-out at a signal-station on our left, and gazed upon the bristling trenches of the enemy, their frowning guns, and defiant flags, and wondered as I gazed, how and when I should enter there. Little did I dream that it would be from the south, and threading the road through the forts from whose embrasures deserted guns would look us a lonely, stern, but meaning welcome. Little did I think that the mesh of yawning ditches, towering parapets, tangled abatis, and impracticable chevaux de frise would be silently carried by a battle whose thunder should be inaudible in the streets of the city for the mastery of which it was fulminated-by a subtle idea, matured in the wonderful brain of the Commanding General, and by the integrity, and courage, and morale of the immense army he has marshalled to a victory which must affect the destinies of the country and of the human race itself.

Hood, no doubt, was quickly apprised of the unfavorable issue of Hardee's assault on the thirty-first of August on the Army of the Tennessee. With his rail communications severed, all supplies cut off, and more than half of his army defeated in attack, and impotent for defence against the hosts pushing upon it, it is plain that he was compelled to abandon the town, and endeavor to unite his army once more, now most critically divided and menaced. On the morning of the first orders were issued in Atlanta for an evacuation that night, and though confided at first to the army commanders alone, and to those citizens whose welfare they had especially at heart, it was blown over the city by the afternoon, and fell like a thunder-clap upon the unsuspecting inhabitants, who but a day or two ago had been hilarious over the withdrawal of Sherman. They thought him foiled, and put to a last trump of building railroads and, possibly, digging canals. Every vehicle in the city was brought into requisition by fugacious families. Negroes, free and bond alike, were arrested and started south on foot. Shopkeepers packed up their scanty wares, or found places where they concealed them. The confusion intensified as night came on, and I am told that the scene beggared description. The faces of most of the citizens wore a look of despair as they turned their backs upon their homes, from which they were driven so unexpectedly. The streets were cluttered with wagons, tottering under hasty, ill-adjusted loads; the sidewalks swarmed with two classes — the fugitives and the wreckers. For be it known that in the last hours of the rebel occupation of Atlanta, thousands of the lower classes, who proposed to remain, fell to plundering the abandoned houses and stores as soon as their owners disappeared. Staff officers dashed from point to point with gloomy faces, while drunken soldiers brawled along the banquettes, and cursed alike the citizens they encountered and the patrols that dragged them to their commands. What pen can do justice to the scene of rapine, of anguish, of terror, of stealthy riot and brutality, which had risen through the thin crust, barely hiding the hideous . elements that go to make up Southern society in the fourth year of Jefferson Davis.

With railroads cut on all sides, the trains in Atlanta, consisting of eighty-three cars and seven locomotives, could not be saved. The cars were loaded with the ammunition in Atlanta, and divided into four trains. They were taken out on the Augusta railroad, about a mile from the city, where the engines were detached and dashed into each other at the highest speed. The cars were fired, and for about an hour the most appalling explosions ensued, making the very earth tremble. The wreck of these cars has been visited by thousands since our occupation. Fragments of wood and iron were hurled to an immense distance, while the ground in the vicinity is torn up, blackened and scarred for hundreds of yards. Over one thousand bales of cotton, piled up in the southern suburbs of the city, were also given to the torch.

During the afternoon, Hood ordered what army provisions remained after filling his trains to be given to citizens, and considerable quantities were thus distributed. There were but six days supplies for the army in Atlanta, and we found the report that Hood was subsisting his troops from hand to mouth, so long prevalent in our army, to be true. During the afternoon, specific orders for the withdrawal of Stewart's corps and the militia were issued, and about sunset the latter were withdrawn from the trenches. When they were fairly on the road, Stewart's corps followed, all being en route by midnight, except the cavalry, a brigade or two of infantry, and the pickets. These latter remained until the advance of the Twentieth corps neared the city on the morning of the second.

The explosion of ammunition was, of course, heard at the position of the Twentieth corps but seven miles distant; and though General Slocum had received no intelligence of Sherman's great success, he was not unprepared to find Hood gone any morning, and the explosions convinced him that the withdrawal was taking place. He instantly issued orders to his division commanders, Generals Ward, Williams and Geary, to send out each a heavy reconnaissance at daybreak the morning of the second.

About one thousand men were detailed from each division, and at five A. M. pushed forward on neighboring roads leading into Atlanta, on the north and north-west. Encountering no

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