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, and had stretched forth to the sea in one vast plain like the country from Atlanta? But when the Confederate commander, with seventy thousand available men, surrendered the Thermopylae of the South without risking a general battle, it is hardly reasonable to suppose that he would have made a final stand upon the plains of Georgia. According to the following extract from an official telegram, even General Sherman was in doubt as to whether or not Johnston would fight for Atlanta: Van Horne, 11 Army C., vol. II, page 121. headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the field, at San House, Peach Tree road, five miles N. E. Of Buckhead, Ga., July 18, 1864: * * It is hard to realize that Johnston will give up Atlanta without a fight, but it may be so. Let us develop the truth. W. T. Sherman, Major General Commanding. My predecessor had evidently another scheme in reserve. General Forrest was required, with five thousand (5000) cavalry in Tennessee, to
n and animals on the country. On the 17th, he writes Schofield, at Chattanooga: Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 157. * * * We must follow Hoodtill he is beyond the reach of mischief, and then resume the offensive. Ten days after this declaration, he was still undecided as to the plan he should adopt. In truth, it seemed difficult to divine when our little Army would be far enough away to be beyond the reach of mischief. On the 26th, he telegraphed to General Thomas: Van Horne's History of the Army of the Cumberland, vol. II, page 181. A reconnoissance, pushed down to Gadsden to-day, reveals the fact that the rebel Army is not there, and the chances are it has moved west. If it turns up at Guntersville, I will be after it. He writes in his Memoirs :t There is no doubt that the month of October closed to us looking decidedly squally, but, somehow, I was sustained in the belief that in a very few days the tide would turn. Upon the same page I find the followin
k river, just in time to prevent our troops from cutting them off. Van Home, in his History of the Army of the Cumberland, thus mentions their narrow escape: Van Horne's Army of the Cumberland, vol. II, page 189. General Hood's rapid advance had been made with the hope of cutting off General Schofield from Columbia, and baat the time lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general of the Fourth Army Corps. J. S. Fullerton, Brevet Brigadier General, United States Volunteers. Van Horne; in his History of the Army of the Cumberland, informs us that at 3 p. m., when the Confederate Army was already at Spring Hill, the Federal commander became apptill the movement went on without interruption by the enemy. Vol. II, pages 194, 195. Rarely has an Army escaped so easily from a peril so threatening. Van Horne's A. C., vol. II, page 196. In connection with this grave misfortune, I must here record an act of candor and nobility upon the part of General Cheatham, wh
s--occasioned the extraordinary gallantry and desperate fighting witnessed on that field. The subjoined extract from Van Horne's History of the Army of the Cumberland, will confirm my assertion in regard to our nearly-won victory. Referring to the main breach in the Federal works, the author says: Van Horne's History, vol. II, pages 199, 200. Toward the breach, the enemy's heavy central lines began to press, and to his lateral lines were turned, in seemingly overwhelming convergen on that date, but was afterwards suspended by Grant. On the 11th, at 4 p. m., he again telegraphed General Thomas. Van Horne's History Army of the Cumberland, vol. II, page 257. If you delay attacking longer, the mortifying spectacle will from General Grant to Thomas gives strong evidence that in this campaign we had thrust at the vitals of the enemy: Van Horne's History, vol. II, page 259. Washington, December 15th, 1864, 11.30 p. m. I was just on my way to Nashville,
s General Sherman correct. Touching this same accusation of rashness, put forth by my opponents, I shall merely state that the confidence reposed in me upon so many occasions, and during a service of three years, by Generals Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet, in addition to the letters of these distinguished commanders, expressive of satisfaction with my course, is a sufficient refutation of the charge. The above allegation is not more erroneous than the following inference is illogical. Van Horne, in his History of the Army of the Cumberland, speaks in commendation of my movement to the rear of Sherman, after the fall of Atlanta, but regards the circumstance as unfortunate for the Confederacy that Johnston was not summoned to Palmetto at the beginning of the new campaign, in order to insure its successful issue. The writer must assuredly have been ignorant of the antecedents of this General when he formed this conclusion; it seems, indeed, preposterous to suppose that General John