The armies near Atlanta.
The Atlanta Appeal,
of the 17th, contains the latest intelligence by mail from the two armies near that city.
We copy the following from its correspondence:
To-day has been the dullest of the campaign, scarcely a shot being fired; and nothing to do save to try and escape from the fierce rays of the sun, read the Appeal
and speculate upon the probable fate of Atlanta
, at the risk of being cunning by the subject, which is ever present and haunts your thoughts by day and night, and it is as impossible to keep this out of a conversation nowadays, as it was for Mr. Dick
to keep King Charles the First out of that memorable memorial
A highly intelligent officer with whom I conversed to-day, gives it as his opinion that Sherman
will not be able to make another movement, especially away from the railroad, until he has accumulated more supplies which will require at least ten days yet. And when he crosses the river he will be met in an open field fight and the contest for the Gate city be decided.
A large force of the enemy's cavalry, accompanied by two batteries of artillery, the whole being estimated at 6,000, started down the north side of the river last night for the purpose of making a raid upon the Atlanta and West Point railroad; West Point
being, as it is supposed, their point of destination.
Prompt measures have been taken to meet them and the result is anxiously looked for. I hazard nothing in saying that they will yet regret their having raided so far from the main body
The following incident occurred some time since at the quarters of Col. Hill
Among a number of prisoners who had been brought in was one who evidently hadn't yet breakfasted, and was not consequently in a remarkably good humor. "Have you re-enlisted?" asked a Reb, stepping up to him. "No, and I guess I shan't soon, without I get transferred to another department," answered Yank
. " What department do you want to get in?" "Well, you see. I belonged to Patterson
's army in Virginia
the first year of the war, and run all over that State after Joe Johnston
, and it all did no good, and I'm getting tired of running through Georgia
to get whipped at last, for I knowed he wasn't scared like they said.
And now I want to get a job of driving an ambulance on a gunboat for the remainder of this darned war." The reply was well received by the clay-colored rebel, who shared his hard tack with him, and as he turned away gave a knowing look at the crowd and remarked, " That ar Yank
will do to travel, sure."
On every hand I hear complaints in regard to the quality of the tobacco issued to the troops, and am asked many times during the day to ventilate it. I have already called attention to this base imposition on the part of the agents of the Government
somewhere, and I am glad to learn that Maj. Moore
, Chief of Subsistence
, has forwarded several samples to the Department at Richmond
to show them what their agents are doing in the West
, which I hope will have the desired effect.
This is one of the fronts — the infantry front — while the cavalry front is still further in advance.
Neither has been troubled by any movements of significance for some time.
Affairs here are as dull and monotonous as the siege of Charleston
, and will remain so until one party or the other becomes disposed to assume the offensive.
We await with breathless anxiety to hear the results of Ewell
's operations around Washington
He has carried the "war into Africa
" with a vengeance, and whether the object in view be commendable or not, the attention of Grant
is diverted from Richmond
, and a timely pretext afforded him for not capturing those places, while old Abe and Cabinet are doubtless quaking in their shoes like Belshazzar when he saw the hand-writing on the wall of his banquet chamber.
We could easily afford to sacrifice Richmond
temporarily to gain the object of this expedition into Maryland
The Yankee pickets called to ours across the river yesterday that they had captured Gen. Forrest
in North Mississippi
The practice of exchanging papers and trafficking with them has been abolished.
Our men became so familiar with them at one time as to suspend hostilities and unite in a grand bathing to limitation.
It is thought that Yankee engineers were in the crowd to take observations and learn the localities of fords.
On one of these occasions a working party was brought down by the enemy and put to work building fortifications.
Our men were withdrawn, and this game speedily ended by a few shells from our batteries.
On The Left, July 16, 1864.
Everything has been quiet along our lines since I last wrote you, with the exception of the usual amount of shelling and skirmishing, and an attempt to make a raid on the Atlanta and West Point railroad.
In fact the shelling and skirmishing has been unusually light.
I don't thick I have heard half a dozen cannon per day, and the skirmishing on picket firing has only lasted a short portion of each day, and has been very slow.
A day or two ago, however, while this sort of pastima was going on along Stevenson
's front a Confederate picker challenged a Yankee to come out in open ground and fight a duel across the river until one or the other should fall.
The Yankee accepted the challenge, and they both stepped out and the duel commenced at a distance of five or six hundred yards, and it is no compliment to the skill of either as a marksman that they fired at each other some fifteen or twenty times, till finally the Confederate
fell with a bullet through his forehead.
Two brigades of cavalry crossed the river below here a day or twy ago with the intention, no doubt, of striking the Atlanta and West Point railroad.
started out in pursuit of them, and they were overtaken and driven back across the river by Gen. Frank Armstrong
, of Jackson
's division, and Moore
's bridge burned.
Since that time they have remained pretty quiet.
They evidently have a hankering after the West Point
road, however, and we may catch them there yet.
How Gen Johnston crossed the Chattahoochee.
The public, who believed that the Chattahoochee river
was the point at which Gen. Johnston
was to make a stand against Sherman
, ill read with interest the following account of his crossing that river, given ( July 10th) by the Savannah Republican's
correspondent with the Army of Tennessee.
He dates from "Behind the Chattahoochee
," and says:
Events have taken place within the last twenty-four hours which have disturbed the equilibrium of everybody — put the army to pondering and fermented Atlanta
until it is absolutely effervescing.
Falling back from Marietta
, Gen. Johnston
established his long chosen line along the Chattahoochee
, entered the entrenchments that had been previously prepared, and erected others which gave additional strength to his position, and led to the belief that he had made his last step backwards Subsequently, two corps were withdrawn to this side of the river, to defend the crossings on either wing, should any attempt be made to that end, and Hardee
was left two miles in front on the other side to defend the railroad bridge, and hold the enemy in check on our centre.
's line extended, perhaps, three or four miles, and yesterday (Saturday) heavy skirmishing ensued.
The Federal advanced and drove in our pickets in front of the division of Gan. French
, but reinforcements being sent forward the enemy were in turn driven back nearly to their works, and our line was re-established.
Demonstrations were likewise made on our right and left, several miles distant, but with what effect I am not informed.
They may have been of a character sufficiently threatening to justify the movements which followed, or the latter may have been made in accordance with a new line of policy adopted by Gen. Johnston
The fact, however, became evident yesterday that the commander in chief
had determined to withdraw his forces still further to the rear.
, during the night, retreated to the south side of the Chattahoochee
, burning the bridge behind him, and this morning we are all in line of battle two miles or more from the river banks.
The enemy have followed rapidly but cautiously, and while I write skirmishing is going on in front.
has established his headquarters only two and a half miles from the city.
Meanwhile the several railroads are bearing away Government property with all haste, and the town is in a furore.
Citizens are packing up their furniture; merchants are rushing around, eager to have their goods impressed, and thus removed; the sick and wounded are leaving in all directions; hospitals, commissary and quartermaster departments have changed their base; machine shops are moving machinery; the newspaper offices are all in a hub bub, ready to go by the first train; the streets are crowded with drays and private vehicles, containing ladies, babes and bandboxes; while anxious looking men are hurrying to and fro in almost futile efforts to escape with their families and property from their hated invaders.
Mangling in the air are sounds of the Sabbath bells, the shrieks of a score of locomotives, the tumbling of cars and carts, the shouts of drivers, and the unceasing hum of an excited city.
The spectacle is more melancholy than interesting.--Every one has given up the city, and save those who cannot get away, all are preparing to leave in the general evacuation.
I must confess myself at a loss what to say in the premises.
is stern, severe and reticent.
One can only draw conclusions from his actions, and those may prove to be only precautionary and strategic.
Possibly before another sunshines, Sherman
will have the Chattahoochee
at his back, and the fierce tide of battle long sought for will be waging in bloody fury.
It is not less probable that Gen. Johnston
will still continue his retreat to some other point.
It is not less probable that he has received orders from Richmond
to evacuate Atlanta
after emptying it of valuables, and decline a general engagement until events elsewhere shall be decided; and among all these suppositions it is useless to anticipate.
One can only hope; and this I do abundantly, with the knowledge that our army is still undemoralized, still confident and defiant, and satisfied, in their ignorance of the future, that Gen. Johnston
will in due time work out his own plan and secure success.