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[25] within gunshot of the enemy. The preparations for decisive fighting have been weighty and conclusive. Not an ounce of baggage is carried by the trains. Tents have been discarded, and the ammunition and supply trains are the only ones which have not shrunk to a shadow of their former selves.

Johnston has been occupying a position of immense natural strength, covering Dalton and Atlanta, and presuming the latter place to be the objective point of the campaign, the first aggressive movement promises, and has been found to be, one of great difficulty--one which peculiarly requires delicacy of judgment, combined with vigor of execution. Sherman has the absolute confidence of his men; he is a thorough soldier, a subtle strategist, and a fearless fighter. He will make the campaign a decisive one.

Tuesday, May 3,
was principally passed in concentrating the Fourth army corps, Major-General Howard, which was stretched along the railroad, the left resting at Cleveland, and the right at Ooltawah, ten miles below.

Camps were broken at noon; and amidst the wildest enthusiasm of the troops at the prospect of the opening of the spring campaign, the line of march was taken with the object of centering at Catoosa Springs, three miles north-east of Ringgold.


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