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[322] raid under Rousseau from Decatur, Ala., against the railroad connecting Atlanta with the west, from Opelika to West Point. On the 14th, a division of Federal cavalry also crossed the Chattahoochee near Newnan, and was bravely met and repelled by Armstrong's brigade. Meanwhile the work of strengthening and extending the Confederate intrenchments about Atlanta was pushed rapidly, until strong defensive lines protected the city against assault.

On the 17th of July the Federal army began its advance against Atlanta, and on the same day General Johnston received a telegram from Adjutant-General Cooper, relieving him of command, and ordering him to turn over the same to Lieutenant-General Hood, temporarily commissioned general. The cause assigned for this was that Johnston had failed to arrest the advance of the enemy to the vicinity of Atlanta, far in the interior of Georgia, and expressed no confidence of ability to defeat or repel him. General Johnston promptly replied that the order was obeyed, and added:

As to the alleged cause of my removal, I assert that Sherman's army is much stronger compared with that of Tennessee, than Grant's compared with that of Northern Virginia. Yet the enemy has been compelled to advance much more slowly to the vicinity of Atlanta than to that of Richmond and Petersburg; and penetrated much deeper into Virginia than Georgia.

In turning over the command to General Hood, the late commander explained the plans he had formed. He had expected first to be afforded an opportunity to engage the enemy on terms of advantage while the Federal armies would be divided in crossing Peachtree creek. If unsuccessful, he would fall back to the outer line of intrenchments, close at hand, and hold them until the 10,000 State troops promised by Governor Brown were all at hand, when this force of Georgians would be put in the works and the three corps would sally out and attack

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