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[346] The movement continued on the night following, Howard moving out by a long circuit well back toward the river and thence to the West Point railroad near Fairburn, while Thomas closed up on the railroad about Red Oak, and Schofield was near by. Then, says Sherman, ‘I ordered one day's work to be expended in destroying that road, and it was done with a will. Twelve and a half miles were destroyed, the ties burned, and iron rails heated and twisted by the utmost ingenuity of old hands at the work. Several cuts were filled up with trunks of trees, logs, rocks and earth, intermingled with loaded shells prepared as torpedoes to explode in case of an attempt to clear them out.’ ‘Having personally inspected this work, and satisfied with its execution,’ he ordered his whole force, now almost entirely south of the Confederate line of intrenchments, forward to the Macon railroad, Howard farthest toward Jonesboro, Thomas to Couch's and Schofield on the north flank to Morrow's mills. This meant a new battle line extending from Rough and Ready to Jonesboro, and gave Sherman the interior lines.

Meanwhile the attention of Hood had been arrested on the 24th by a cavalry raid to tear up the Georgia railroad toward Stone mountain. On the 25th it was noticed that the enemy's batteries were silent and embrasures were filled with brush in front of French's division. At an early hour on the 26th, the scouts brought in word that the Federals were leaving their works, even falling back to the river—had Wheeler caused this? Then Stewart and Lee marched out and occupied the deserted works. Some prisoners were brought in, but none of them would give any information. The only hostile force at hand was in front of a part of Hardee's line. The prevailing impression was that Sherman was falling back across the Chattahoochee. The mournful news arrived of the surrender of Fort Morgan, Mobile harbor. On the 27th still no knowledge of what the enemy was really

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