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 General Hardee was relieved of duty in this army and department and assigned to the Department of South Carolina and Florida. Perhaps the interval of hard campaigning and continuous fighting was never more acceptable and enjoyable than during our sojourn about Atlanta. Supplies came in to refresh our men. We enjoyed most having the immense mail bags come forward. We could now have time to read our letters and reply to them. There was joy, great joy, throughout the land, and, of course, its influence found its way through the mail to every tent. But we must remember that in war the mourning is close to the rejoicing. So many had been killed, many more disabled for life, and others patiently enduring their suffering till time and good nursing should bring them to health again. Those in the hospitals were not forgotten by the Christian and Sanitary Commissions. At this time those who had already recovered from their wounds, or who had been prisoners and exchanged, or who came to the field for the first time as recruits, joined my army at East Point. Sherman personally had the hardest time. He was determined to turn Atlanta into “a purely military garrison or depot, with no civil population to influence military measures.” This determination met with strenuous opposition. Sherman's single expression, which he telegraphed to Halleck, gives a good idea of the state of things in the captured city just then: If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war.
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