This is all there was of the affair at Lovejoy's Station, and indeed the time had come for a rest and recruitment of the troops. Our armies remained there until the morning of September 7th. Sherman says: “After due reflection I resolved not to attempt at this time a further pursuit of Hood's army, but slowly and deliberately to move back and occupy Atlanta, enjoy a short period of rest, and think awhile over the next step required in the progress of events.” The Army of the Cumberland led the return. It was, after the march, grouped in and about Atlanta. With the Army of the Tennessee I followed, and took up a defensive camp at East Point, between six and seven miles south of Atlanta; while the Army of the Ohio covered our eastern approaches by camping near Decatur. The campaign had already been a long and costly one since its beginning, May 6th, at Tunnel Hill, near Dalton. According to the reports which Sherman gathered, the aggregate loss up to that time to the Confederates was nearly 35,000 men, but he remembered that his own aggregate was not much less, being in the neighborhood of 35,000. His command had been for the most part under fire for 113 days, including three days rest at the Etowah. In my letters home I wrote:
Atlanta is a handsome place, with wide streets, and houses much scattered. I have my army to refit and reorganize. General Sherman asked me lately if I wanted a brigadiership in the regular army; he said I must try for one. I told him no, but if it were offered me for my services, if they were deemed of sufficient importance to warrant it, I should consider it a high compliment, but I should not ask for it.