to defence of Augusta
or crossing of Savannah river
;’ but he was informed that no troops out of his own department could be sent to him. Richard Taylor
, at Selma
, however, was ordered to call on the governors of Alabama
for all the state troops they could furnish, and to keep himself in readiness to move at a moment's notice, with all his available force; while Wheeler
, with thirteen brigades of cavalry,1
was instructed to watch the national movements closely, and attack and harass Sherman
at all favorable points.
On the 17th, Cobb
announced from Macon
: ‘We are falling back rapidly to this place.
We are too weak to resist them, unless reinforced promptly.
The prisoners should be removed from this place.’
The same day Hardee
was sent from the sea-coast, and directed to ‘concentrate detachments from garrisons, convalescents from hospitals, reserves, militia, and volunteers.’
On the 18th, the governor of Georgia
telegraphed to Jefferson Davis
: ‘A heavy force of the enemy is advancing upon Macon
, laying waste the country, and burning the towns.
We have not sufficient force.
I hope you will send us troops as reinforcements, until the emergency is past.’
On the 19th, Hardee
arrived at Macon
, but the rebels were now distracted by the division of Sherman
's force; on this day, the approach of a strong column of all arms along the line of railroad from Atlanta
was reported, and Hardee
declared: ‘My opinion, hastily formed from the information before me, is that the enemy will ultimately form junction and march upon Augusta