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 This friction occurred at a most unfortunate time in the face of the enemy and it caused delay and loss to us. I had always regarded General Palmer as a strong man, brave and resolute and of good judgment. Under similar circumstances to his, perhaps a little more aggravating, I served under a junior, biding my time. Of course, one must be guided by his sense of what is right; yet, in case of doubt, he ought to give the benefit of his doubt to his country's service. At one period Sherman had heavy guns brought up and bombarded Atlanta, carrying into it terror and destruction. This was not sufficient, however, to induce Hood to surrender. On August 16th, Sherman, being resolved to attack Hood's railway lines, issued his orders for the following movements: First: the Twentieth Corps was sent back to fortify and hold the Chattahoochee bridge. Second: Schofield's forces and mine to move on the station at Fairburn; then directly against the West Point railroad between Red Oak and Fairburn; Thomas was to follow up in support. Forrest's and Wheeler's raids on Sherman's rear somewhat modified these orders, but Thomas began the execution of the first move on the night of August 25th. The movement of the Twentieth Corps toward the rear, followed by the remainder of Thomas's command, which was going on toward our right flank, had the effect, as was natural, of deceiving the Confederate commander. The night of the 26th my move began. My army (of the Tennessee) was at the time 25,000 strong. We wakened the men quietly and turned our faces southward in two well-organized columns.
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