The evacuation of Atlanta.
interesting accounts from there — Sherman
's evacuation of his position on our right — history of his flank movement, &c.
The news of the evacuation of Atlanta
by our forces gives interest to any news from there bearing upon the military situation.
The movement by which Sherman
has gained this advantage was a bold one, though not conducted with such secrecy as to hide from our commanders there its progress.
To enable our readers to comprehend the change of position made by Sherman
, we take from the Charlottesville Chronicle
the following about:
Sherman's change of base.
Four lines of communication meet at Atlanta
— the Chattanooga
, West Point
relies on the Macon
is dependent on a single line.
The enemy's cavalry have temporality destroyed the Augusta railway.
We learn to-day that his army is concentrated along the West Point
road "between East Point
. " This intelligence is significant of an active campaign around Atlanta
.--The West Point
road follows the course of the Chattahoochee
from northeast to southwest.
is distant six miles from Atlanta
is twelve miles farther south.
It will be observed, Sherman
's army is on the left flank of General Hood
, facing east.
His line stretches from Atlanta
to (and probably beyond) East Point junction of the Macon
and West Point roads, facing west.
This manœuvre of General Sherman
is a repetition of his movement around Dalton
, with this important exception — at Dalton
he operated on both flanks of General Johnston
To occupy the West Point
road, and menace the Macon
road (south of East Point
) he has withdrawn his army from the east and north of Atlanta
and thrown it southwest of Hood
's. Nay, he has abandoned the line of the Chattanooga
road from Atlanta
to the Chattahoochee
, and communicates with Marietta
— his fortified base — by wagon route from Fairburn
, on the river below the railroad bridge.
is held by Major-General McArthur
, and the "crossings of the Chattahoochee
are strongly guarded." Communication between Chattanooga
is now uninterrupted — Wheeler
being in Tennessee
The evacuation of the enemy's position on our right.
A letter from Atlanta
, dated the 27th ultimo, gives the following description of the evacuated works of the enemy in front of our right wing, three miles from Atlanta
It is thought that Sherman
is massing on our left to make a desperate attempt to cut our line of communication and hold the Macon and Western railroad, with the belief that it will compel our army to fall back, thereby giving up the much-coveted prize, Atlanta
I visited the Yankee
camps to the west of Atlanta
I find their earthworks to be very substantial, but not as much so as. I had anticipated form the reports of parties who had visited them the day previous.
The camps are well arranged.
From the appearance of everything, each man had a bunk made to sleep on. The bunks are made by driving four stakes in the ground about two feet one way and four and a half feet the other, two cross bars or boards laid across the stakes and fastened on, and then small poles, about six or seven feet long, are laid on the cross bars and fastened on with withes or ropes, and hemp sacks spread on a great many of them.
I have several of the sacks now in my possession, which I picked up around these bunks.
I could have procured at least a thousand.
These bunks all have dirt thrown up in front of them, which makes them very secure from Minnie balls.--The camps which the Yankees
occupied around this city are about the best arranged ones I have ever seen.
Nearly every camp has from one to two Dutch
bake ovens, which are made of brick, and put up in the best style.
In fact, everything is fixed up as though they intended to remain in them for years to come.
All the houses which the people vacated between here and the river have been torn to pieces, and the lumber used to make shelters of. The houses, where the families remained in them, are left standing, but they look rather worsted.
Some of them are pretty well riddled.
The Yankee camps are crowded daily with people who are out viewing them.
Every one you meet has a bag of plunder, which they are bringing home as curiosities.
There is some very fine furniture scattered over the camps.
In a day or two there will be nothing left worth bringing off.
It is reported here this evening that two brigades of Yankees crossed the Atlanta and West Point railroad, and struck out for the Macon and Western railroad.
I give you below a note which I discovered written in a large bold hand with charcoal on the headboard of one of the Yankee
The bunk is about three miles west of Atlanta
The note is as follows:
We are going to see you soon, and when we come to Georgia
we will remember Kennesaw
A letter dated the 28th says:
Many persons think that the long agony is over — that the investment is raised, and that the city is safe.
I am not so fast in my conclusions.
Among the prisoners who are brought in every day, I do not perceive the slightest demoralization.
They are all plucky, and have no idea of abandoning Atlanta
I see in late Northern papers hints which squint at a movement on our left; that is, upon East Point
, the junction of the Macon
and Montgomery roads, six miles from town.
thinks — and truly — that if he can seize and hold this seat in our rear he will force us out of our works for the purpose of attacking and driving him away, or for our evacuation and retreat.
But, be it remembered, we are as strongly fortified at East Point
, and thence along the line of the railroad to the city, as we are around Atlanta
will be compelled to attack our works if he gain East Point
; and no fear is felt for the result.
So that if the movement is an attempt at a flank, it is still considered highly favorable to us, and among other good things, relieves the city from bombardment.
History of Sherman's movement.
We find two very interesting letters in the Augusta Chronicle
giving a description of what was known of Sherman
's movements, and how they were accomplished.
We give extracts from them:
Something of the position of the Federal
army has been ascertained — enough, at least, to convince every one that the late movement from the trenches was not made with a view of retreating, and, perhaps, sufficient to warrant reasonable conclusions as to what are Sherman
's purposes, and where he will next strike.
The observations of our scouts, and reports from citizens in the rear of the late Federal lines, inform us that for some days back the enemy has been preparing a line of works, commencing on this side of the Chattahoochee
a short distance above the railroad bridge, on the State
road, and running down the river about two miles to a ferry, where they have built a permanent bridge.
From thence the works run to a point at the left of their extreme right wing.
Behind those works the forces withdrawn so quietly on Thursday night were thrown, and during Friday and Friday night the centre was moved to the rear of this line.
The works are said to be formidable, particularly in front of the railroad bridge.
This position leaves the Federal
line at least one-third shorter than it was before, and of course they have men to operate with elsewhere.
At the second ferry below the railroad bridge their pontoon has also been taken up and a permanent bridge erected.
The pontoon will, it is expected, be moved to ferries lower down the river.
These preparations, and the position into which Sherman
has thrown his army, indicate very clearly that all his late unexpected movements are the result of his having arrived at the conclusion that he could not capture Atlanta
by attacking its defences, and a matured plan for another attempt to flank our army from the city by cutting its railroad communication to the rear.
The raiding policy was a failure, but the purpose might be accomplished by throwing his main line across the West Point
roads, and that this is the grand movement that will be attempted there can be no longer any doubt.
The topography of the country on the north side of the river is said to be favorable for transportation by wagon, the roads numerous; and with the ferries bridged, as stated, supplies can be moved from Vining
's station above the river with facility.
This is the opinion of the old citizens who are acquainted with the country.
The movements now going on are big with importance, and promise a very early development of results.
has so far progressed with his new plan that strategic movements to prevent its fulfillment can be safely made with a certainty that renders an error almost impossible; and the time is at hand when General Hood
will be called upon to demonstrate all the soldierly qualities of a great commander it is acknowledged he possesses.
Of the result, if his resources are sufficient, fears are entertained by but few.
My former letter mentioned the fact that a heavy force of Federal cavalry occupied the West Point
road Sunday morning. In the vicinity of Red Oak
a battery was at once planted, and of course all transit by rail at once effectually blockaded.
We also had rumors that skirmishing was going on during the day.
The reports from our scouts, brought in this forenoon, were to the effect that at an early hour this morning a strong Federal column of infantry and artillery commenced crossing the West Point
road four miles below East Point
, and that they were entrenching as they advanced.
They were, it was thought, moving for Rough and Ready.
Counter movements are, of course, going on, but of their character I may not speak.
Of the progress made by the enemy in this direction, nothing definite has been ascertained; in fact, the only information I have been able to obtain was from passengers by the Macon
train just arrived, who bring reports current at Rough and Ready when the train passed, that the Yankees
had reached a point four miles west of the station, and were busy digging.
No firing was heard as the train passed up the road to-day.
The movement the Federal
commander is now endeavoring to carry on is a hazardous one, unless the numerical strength of his army has been greatly increased.
This is asserted by some, and it may be the case.
There is, therefore, a probability that General Hood
may need more men. At all events, the contingency should be provided for at once.
Now is the time to hold up his arms.
Every available resource should be at once drained, be it from the State
forces, or the idling and useless Government officials, of whom there are so many hugging safe and nominal positions in the rear.
If urging all to the front who owe duty in the field will not send them forward, let the scorn of the community attach to them forever.
They are needed now, and urgently.
It will not do for General Hood
to uncover Atlanta
by withdrawing all his forces from the long line around the city they so long and patiently held.
Some five or six miles must be watched, while the more active operations will probably take place on a line extending nearly, if not quite, to Jonesboro
', on the west side of the Macon
This simple statement will serve to show the magnitude of the work the Army of Tennessee will probably be called upon to perform; and will the situation induce the forwarding of every aid that can be controlled?
I am no alarmist, but cannot forego these expressions, which are freely indulged in at the front, and among officials who cannot well be mistaken as to the situation.