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How he improved it.

General Carter L. Stevenson was one of the division commanders of that army, of the largest experience and military accomplishments. He had served in every army of the Confederacy and actively in all of our wars since 1834. He told me he had never seen any troops in such fine discipline and condition as Johnston's army the day he was moved from its command.

General Randall L. Gibson had been in constant action in the Western army (he it was who closed an honorable record by his masterly command of the defences near Spanish Fort, on the eastern shore of Mobile bay, in the last battle of the war between the States), and says that when Johnston assumed command of that army it was somewhat [180] demoralized, but when the campaign with Sherman opened the worst regiment in it was equal to the best when he came to its command. A Missouri soldier of Cockrell's brigade, which Johnston declared to be the best body of infantry he ever saw, was on his way back to his regiment after recovery from a wound. I asked him, ‘What do you all think of the change of commanders?’ ‘Oh, sir, we are mightily cut down about it!’

‘The bomb-proofs and the newspapers complain of his retreats. Why, we did not miss a meal from Dalton to Atlanta, and were always ready for the fight. We never felt we were retreating.’

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Preston Johnston (3)
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