During your respite prepare for future action. Let the country see, at all times, by your conduct, that you love the cause you have espoused; that you have no sympathy with any who would by word or deed assist vile traitors in dismembering our mighty republic or trailing in the dust the emblem of our national greatness and glory. You are the defenders of a government that has blessed you heretofore, with peace, happiness and prosperity. Its perpetuity depends upon your heroism, faithfulness and devotion. When the time shall come to go forward again, let us go with the determination to save our nation from threatened wreck, and hopeless ruin, not forgetting the appeal from widows and orphans that is borne to us upon every breeze, to avenge the loss of their loved ones who have fallen in the defence of their country. Be patient, obedient, and earnest, and the day is not far distant when you can return to your homes with the proud consolation that you have assisted in causing the old banner to again wave from every mountain, and over every town and hamlet of our once happy land, and hear the shouts of triumph ascend from a grateful people, proclaiming that once more we have one flag and one country.
John A. Logan, Major-General Commanding.
General Sherman's order.
headquarters military division of the Mississippi, in the field, Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 8.The officers and soldiers of the Armies of the Cumberland, Ohio, and Tennessee, have already received the thanks of the nation through its President and Commander-in-chief; and it remains now only for him who has been with you from the beginning, and who intends to stay all the time, to thank the officers and men for their intelligence, fidelity and courage displayed in the campaign of Atlanta. On the first day of May our armies were lying in garrison, seemingly quiet, from Knoxville to Huntsville, and our enemy lay behind his rocky-faced barrier at Dalton, proud, defiant and exulting. He had had time since Christmas to recover from his discomfiture on the Mission Ridge, with his ranks filled, and a new commander-in-chief, second to none of the Confederacy in reputation for skill, sagacity and extreme popularity. All at once, our armies assumed ife and action, and appeared before Dalton; threatening Rocky Face we threw ourselves upon Resaca, and the rebel army only escaped by the rapidity of its retreat, aided by the numerous roads with which he was familiar, and which were strange to us. Again he took post at Allatoons, but we gave him no rest, and by a circuit toward Dallas, and a subsequent movement to Ackworth, we gained the Allatoona Pass. Then followed the eventful battles about Kenesaw, and the escape of the enemy across the Chattahoochee river. The crossing of the Chattahoochee and breaking of the Augusta road was most handsomely executed by us, and will be studied as an example in the art of war. At this stage of our game, our enemies became dissatisfied with their old and skilful commander, and selected one more bold and rash. New tactics were adopted. Hood first boldly and rapidly, on the twentieth of July, fell on our right at Peachtree Creek, and lost. Again, on the twenty-second, he struck our extreme left, and was severely punished; and finally again, on the twenty-eighth, he repeated the attempt on our right, and that time must have been satisfied, for since that date he has remained on the defensive. We slowly and gradually drew our lines about Atlanta, feeling for the railroads which supplied the Rebel army, and made Atlanta a place of importance. We must concede to our enemy that he met these efforts patiently and skilfully, but at last he made the mistake we had waited for so long, and sent his cavalry to our rear, far beyond the reach of recall. Instantly our cavalry was on his only remaining road, and we followed quickly with our principal army, and Atlanta fell into our possession as the fruit of well-concerted measures, backed by a brave and competent army. This completed the grand task which had been assigned us by our Government, and your General again repeats his personal and official thanks to all the officers and men composing this army, for the indomitable courage and per-severance which alone could give success. We have beaten our enemy on every ground he has chosen, and have wrested from him his own Gate City, where were located his foundries, arsenals and workshops, deemed secure on account of their distance from our base, and the seeming impregnable obstacles intervening. Nothing is impossible to an army like this, determined to vindicate a Government wherever our flag has once floated, and resolved to maintain them at any and all cost. In our campaign many, yea, very many of our noble and gallant comrades have preceded us to our common destination, the grave; but they have left the memory of deeds, on which a nation can build a proud history. McPherson, Harker, McCook, and others, dear to us all, are now the binding links in our minds, that should attach more closely together the living, who have to complete the task which still lies before us in the dim future. I ask all to coutinue as they have so well begun, the cultivation of the soldierly virtues that have ennobled our own and other countries. Courage, patience, obedience to the laws and constituted authorities of our Government; fidelity to our trusts, and good feeling among each other; each trying to excel the other in the practice of those high qualities, and it will then require no prophet to foretell that our
Special Field Orders, No. 68.
Special Field Orders, No. 68.