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[578] was in marching column, Hood, in the afternoon of the 20th July, directed an attack upon it, designing to take advantage of a gap between two of its divisions. The attack was led by Walker's and Bates' divisions of Hardee's corps; and the massed troops, in admirable order, burst through the gap in the enemy's lines, and for a time appeared about to destroy his forces on the right. But a double fire was brought to bear upon their lines along the deep hollow they had penetrated; and the attack was drawn off in good order, but after a half hour of deadly work, in which the killed and wounded were counted by thousands. The loss of the enemy was about two thousand; that of the Confederates probably twice as large, as they were the assaulting party, and terribly exposed on the line of attack.

Next day, McPherson moved forward, and established a line east and south of Atlanta, and within three miles of the town. His command stretched beyond the Atlanta and Augusta Railroad, which he had torn up. Hood now hastily swung around Hardee's corps, followed by the others, and brought the bulk of his army against McPherson. Hardee moved against the enemy's extreme left, drove him from his works, and captured sixteen pieces of artillery. Gen. McPherson was shot dead as he rode along the line. Meanwhile, Cheatham attacked the enemy's centre with a portion of his command, and took six pieces of artillery. Affairs looked gloomy for the enemy; he had been repulsed at several points, he had lost much artillery, and the stream of bleeding men going to the rear told how severely he suffered in the conflict. But about this time the enemy succeeded in concentrating his artillery, and Gen. Sherman sent word to Logan, who had succeeded McPherson, to mass his troops in the centre and charge. Exhausted, wasted, and bleeding, the Confederate columns gave way, abandoning most of the artillery they had captured in the early part of the day. The attack of the 22d was like that of the 20th-one of the most reckless, massive, and headlong charges of the war, where immense prices were paid for momentary successes, and the terrible recoil of numbers gave a lesson to the temerity of the Confederate commander.

Hood's attempt on the Federal left being frustrated, he fell back to his inner line of works. The intentions of Sherman appear now to have been to swing his army to Hood's extreme right, threatening the Macon road, and having in co-operation a great cavalry raid upon his rear. Stoneman was sent with five thousand cavalry, and McCook with four thousand men, to meet on the Macon road near Lovejoy's Station, where they were to destroy the rail, and also to attack and drive Wheeler's command. Stoneman requested permission to be allowed to proceed to Macon to release the Federal prisoners confined there. Sherman left this at his own discretion, in case he felt he was able to do so after the defeat of Wheeler's cavalry.

But Stoneman did not fulfill the conditions He got down in front of

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McPherson (4)
J. B. Hood (4)
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