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[315] Sixteenth corps, at the request of General Dodge; Lieutenant-Colonel W. Warner, of the Seventy-sixth Ohio, and Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ewing, Inspector-General of the Fifteenth corps and Captain Thirteenth United States Regulars.

These officers, of singular energy and intelligence, have been of immense assistance to me in handling these large armies.

My three “armies in the field” were commanded by able officers, my equals in rank and experience. Major-General George H. Thomas, Major-General J. M. Schofield, and Major-General O. O. Howard. With such commanders I had only to indicate the object desired, and they accomplished it. I cannot overestimate their services to the country, and must express my deep and heartfelt thanks that, coming together from different fields, with different interests, they have co-operated with a harmony that has been productive of the greatest amount of success and good feeling. A more harmonious army does not exist.

I now enclose their reports, and those of the corps, division, and brigade commanders, a perusal of which will fill up the sketch which I have endeavored to make. I also submit tabular statements of our losses in battle by wounds and sickness; also, lists of prisoners captured, sent to the rear, and exhanged; also, of the guns and materials of war captured, besides the important country, towns, and arsenals of the enemy that we now “occupy and hold.”

All of which is respectfully submitted.

W. T. Sherman, Major-General Commanding. Major-General H. W. Halleck, Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.

Official correspondence.

headquarters military division, of the Mississippi, in the field Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 9, 1864.)
General J. B. Hood, Commanding Army of Tennessee, Confederate Army:
General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, at the hands of Messrs. Ball & Crew, consenting to the arrangements I had proposed to facilitate the removal south of the people of Atlanta, who prefer to go in that direction. I enclose you a copy of my orders, which will, I am satisfied, accomplish my purpose perfectly. You style the measure proposed “unprecedented,” and appeal to the dark history of war for a parallel, as an act of “studied and ingenious cruelty.” It is not unprecedented, for General Johnston himself, very wisely and properly removed the families all the way from Dalton down, and I see no reason why Atlanta should be excepted.

Nor is it necessary to appeal to the dark history of war, when recent and modern examples are so handy. You, yourself burned houses along your parapet, and I have seen to-day, fifty houses that you have rendered uninhabitable, because they have stood in the way of your forts and men. You defended Atlanta on a line so close to town that every cannon shot and many musket-balls from our line of investment, that overshot their mark, went into the habitations of women and children. General Hardee did the same at Jonesboroa, and General Johnston did the same last summer at Jackson, Mississippi. I have not accused you of heart-less cruelty, but merely instance these cases of very recent occurrence, and could go on and enumerate hundreds of others, and challenge any fair man to judge which of us has the heart of pity for the families of a brave people.

I say that it is kindness to these families of Atlanta to remove them now, at once, from the scenes that women and children should not be exposed to, and the “brave people” should scorn to commit their wives and children to the rude barbarians who thus, as you say, violate the laws of war, as illustrated in the pages of its dark history.

In the name of common sense I ask you not to appeal to a just God in such a sacrilegious manner. You, who in the midst of peace and prosperity, have plunged a nation into war, dark and cruel war, who dared and badgered us to battle, insulted our flag, seized our arsenals and forts that were left in the honorable custody of a peaceful ordnance sergeant, and seized and made prisoners of war, the very garrisons sent to protect your people against negroes and Indians.

Long before any overt act was committed by the, to you, hateful Lincoln tried to force Kentucky and Missouri into rebellion in spite of themselves, falsified the vote of Louisiana, turned loose your pirates to plunder unarmed ships, expelled Union families by thousands, burned their homes, and declared by an act of your Congress the confiscation of all debts due Northern men for goods had and received.

Talk thus to Marines, but not to me, who have seen these things, and who will this day make as much sacrifice for the peace and honor of the South as the best-born Southron among you. If we must be enemies let us be men, and fight it out as we propose to do, and not deal in such hypocritical appeals to God and humanity. God will judge us in due time, and he will pronounce whether it will be more humane to fight with a town full of women and the families of a brave people at our backs, or to remove them in time to places of safety among their own friends and people.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

W. T. Sherman, Major-General, Eth. B. Wade, A. D. C.

headquarters Army of Tennessee, September 12, 1864.
Major-General W. T. Sherman, Commander Military Division of the Mississippi:
General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the ninth instant,

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