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[317] defiance of your navy, around the whole circumference of the globe. You say we have expelled Union families by thousands. The truth is, not a single family has been expelled from the Confederate States, that I am aware of, but on the contrary, the moderation of our Government toward traitors has been a fruitful theme of denunciation by.its enemies, and many well-meaning friends of our cause. You say my Government, by acts of Congress, has confiscated “all debts due Northern men for goods sold and delivered.” The truth is, Congress gave due and ample time to your merchants and traders to depart from our shores with their ships, goods, and effects, and only sequestered the property of our enemies in retaliation for their acts declaring us traitors, and confiscating our property wherever their power extended, either in their country or our own. Such are your accusations, and such are the facts, known of all men to be true.

You order into exile the whole population of a city, drive men, women and children from their houses at the point of the bayonet, under the plea that it is to the interest of your Government, and on the claim that this is an act of “kindness to these families of Atlanta.” Butler only banished from New Orleans the registered enemies of his Government, and acknowledged that he did it as a punishment. You issue a sweeping edict covering all the inhabitants of a city, and add insult to the injury heaped upon the defenceless, by assuming that you have done them a kindness. This you follow by the assertion that you will “make as much sacrifice for the peace and honor of the South as the best-born Southron.” And because I characterize what you call kindness as being real cruelty, you presume to sit in judgment between me and my God, and you decide that my earnest prayer to the Almighty Father to save our women and children from what you call kindness, is a “sacrilegious, hypocritical appeal.”

You come into our country with your army avowedly for the purpose of subjugating free white men, women and children; and not only intend to rule over them, but you make negroes your allies, and desire to place over us an inferior race, which we have raised from barbarism to its present position, which is the highest ever attained by that race in any country, in all time. I must, therefore, decline to accept your statements in reference to your kindness toward the people of Atlanta, and your willingness to sacrifice everything for the peace and honor of the South, and refuse to be governed by your decision in regard to matters between myself, my country, and my God.

You say “let us fight it out like men.” To this my reply is, for myself, and, I believe, for all true men, aye and women and children, in my country, we will fight you to death. Better die a thousand deaths than to submit to live under you or your Government and your negro allies.

Having answered the points forced upon me by your letter of the ninth September, I close this correspondence with you, and notwithstanding your comments upon my appeal to God in the cause of humanity, I again humbly and reverently invoke his Almighty aid in defence of justice and right.


Your obedient servant,

J. B. Hood, General. F. H. Wigfall, Aide-de-Camp.

The citizens' petition.

sir: The undersigned, mayor and two members of council for the city of Atlanta, for the time being the only legal organ of the people of the said city, to express their wants and wishes, ask leave most earnestly, but respectfully, to petition you to reconsider the order requiring them to leave Atlanta. At first view it struck us that the measure would involve extraordinary hardship and loss, but since we have seen the practical execution of it, so far as it has progressed, and the individual condition of many of the people, and heard their statements as to the inconveniences, loss, and suffering attending it, we are satisfied that the amount of it will involve, in the aggregate, consequences appalling and heartrending. Many poor women are in an advanced state of pregnancy, others now having young children, and whose husbands are either in the army, prisoners or dead. Some say: I have such a one sick at home; who will wait on them when I am gone? Others say: What are we to do? we have no homes to go to, and no means to buy, build, or to rent any — no parents, friends or relatives to go to. Another says: I will try and take this or that article of property, but such and such things I must leave behind, though I need them much. We reply to them, General Sherman will carry your property to Roughand-Ready, and General Hood will take it thence on. And they will reply to that: But I want to leave the railroad at such a point, and cannot get conveyance from there on. We only refer to a few facts to try to illustrate in part how this measure will operate in practice. As you advanced, the people north of us fell back, and before your arrival here a large portion of the people had retired south, so that the country south of this is already crowded, and without houses to accommodate the people; and we are informed that many are now staying in churches and other out-buildings. This being so, how is it possible for the people still here (mostly women and children) to find any shelter? and how can they live through the winter in the woods — no shelter or subsistence — in the midst of strangers who know them not, and without the power to assist them, if they were willing to do so? This is but a feeble picture of the consequences of this measure. You know the woe, the horror, and

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