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r Falconer, his own Adjutant General, Johnston's Narrative, page 574. and to which he refers, the effective strength of the Army on the 10th of June, near Kennesaw Mountain, when about eighty miles from Dalton, and within about twenty miles of Atlanta, was fifty-nine thousand two hundred and forty-eight (59,248); whilst the retu on the night of the 9th, an effective total of only fifty thousand six hundred and twenty-seven (50,627), which, subtracted from the number we had when near Kennesaw Mountain the 10th of June, demonstrates a loss of eight thousand six hundred and twenty-one (8621), less six hundred (600) of J. K. Jackson's command, sent to Savannaan's advance, only two thousand three hundred and ninety-two (2392) cavalry, and that no other return was made up until the 10th June, when the Army was near Kennesaw Mountain-forty days in the interim having elapsed. Field-returns are made up from the returns of corps commanders, and may be called for every ten days, or every mon
Chapter 7: Reply to General Johnston New Hope Church Kennesaw Mountain retreat across the Chattahoochee Johnston relieved from command. General Johnston, touching the operations of his Army near New Hope Church says : Johnston's Narrative, pages 328, 329, 330. We found, next morning, that the Federal l one word which would convey a suspicion of General Johnston's contemplated retreat to Macon. Shortly after this occurrence, the Army occupied the line at Kennesaw Mountain, the last stronghold of the many sharp ridges passed over during our retreat. It was to the left of this point, on Pine Mountain, that we lost the brave and magnanimous Polk, and with him much of the history of this remarkable campaign. The Confederate Army had remained on the defensive about thirty days at Kennesaw Mountain, when Sherman resorted to a ruse he had learned from experience would prove effective: he sent a few troops to make a rumbling sound in our rear, and we folded
nt that as long as General Johnston endeavored to obtain the transfer, to his own command, of Longstreet's Corps in Virginia, and of Polk's Army in Mississippi, he spoke continually of fighting at Dalton; when, however, Sherman appeared at Tunnel Hill, in front of Rockyfaced Ridge, and he was given an Army of over seventy thousand (70,000) available troops — as I have demonstrated — he decided to retreat. What followed at Resaca? Retreat. New Hope Church? Retreat. Cassville? Retreat. Kennesaw Mountain? Retreat. Would we have fought at Atlanta after our inglorious campaign, the abandonment of the mountain fastnesses, and the foreshadowed intention of our commander to fall back to Macon? I shall now glance at his two plans for the defence of Atlanta, one of which was to insure the security of that city forever. By his first plan, he hoped to attack the enemy as they crossed Peach Tree creek. Within thirty-six hours, almost before he had time to select quarters in Macon after his
brave and gallant soldier, neglected to obey orders, and swing away, totally independent of the main body of the Army. General Sherman acknowledges the correctness of my position in regard to constant retreat and use of breastworks. He remarks, in reference to the battle of Shiloh : Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 229. We did not fortify our camps against an attack, because we had no orders to do so, and because such a course would have made our raw men timid. When at Kennesaw Mountain, he ordered General Howard to use freely his artillery, saying: Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 53. I explained to him that we must keep up the morale of a bold offensive, that he must use his artillery, force the enemy to remain on the timid defensive. Again, whilst still at Kennesaw, he says: Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 56, italicised by the author. On the 19th June the rebel Army again fell back on its flanks, to such extent that for a time I supposed it
ral Cummings, who were disabled whilst gallantly leading their troops into action. This failure gave to the Federal Army the control of the Macon road, and thus necessitated the evacuation of Atlanta at the earliest hour possible. I was not so much pained by the fall of Atlanta as by the recurrence of retreat, which I full well knew would further demoralize the Army and renew desertions. The loss of over four thousand (4000), sustained from this same cause during the change from Kennesaw Mountain to and across the Chatta-hoochee, augmented my great reluctance to order the Army to again turn its back to the foe. Howbeit, as stated in my official report, the presence of thirty-four thousand (34,000) Federal prisoners at Andersonville, rendered it absolutely incumbent to place the Army between Sherman and that point, in order to prevent the Federal commander from turning loose this large body, ready to wreak its ill — will upon our people. Thus the proximity of these prisoners to
done upon Decatur and the Augusta road, to deploy on Thomas's right along the south bank of South river and east side of Shoal creek, with their right thrown back southeast of Decatur, See line deployed from near East Point, map, page 167. and to entrench the whole line. Such would have been the position of the Federal Army within twenty-four hours after it left Peach Tree creek, and within ten days after its first crossing of the Chattahoochee, subsequent to the operations about Kennesaw Mountain, provided it had moved with the rapidity usual with the Confederate Armies. Even had forty-eight hours been required to perfect this movement, Sherman could have so manceuvred as to have held the main body of my troops on Peach Tree until he was willing I should become apprised of his real purpose. In other words, he could without difficulty have entrenched south of Atlanta, before I could have received the necessary information to warrant a change of position from the north to the s
ave Spring. At the latter place Major General Wheeler, with a portion of his command, joined me from Tennessee. We arrived at Coosaville on the 10th, and the day previous, when near Van Wert, I sent the following dispatch to General Bragg: [no. 34.] near Van Wert, Georgia, October 9th, 1864. General B. Bragg and Honorable J. A. Seddon, Richmond. When Sherman found this Army on his communications, he left Atlanta hurriedly with his main body, and formed line of battle near Kennesaw Mountain. I at once moved to this point, and, marching to-morrow, shall cross the Coosa river about ten miles below Rome; and moving up the west bank of the Oostenaula, hope to destroy his communications from Kingston to Tunnel Hill, forcing him to fall back or move south. If the latter, I shall move on his rear. If the former, I shall move to the Tennessee river, via Lafayette and Gadsden. I leave near Jacksonville all surplus baggage, artillery, and wagons, and move prepared for battle.
housand (3000) men. The officers of the militia not needed for these regiments took their places in the ranks as privates with the civil officers. The command had reported to General J. E. Johnston for duty, and had been ordered to guard the crossings of the Chattahoochee river from Roswell Bridge to West Point, which duty they continued to perform until ordered by General Johnston to cross the Chattahoochee and support the cavalry on the left wing of his Army, the right wing being at Kennesaw Mountain. In the execution of these orders the militia were twice brought in conflict with largely superior forces of the enemy's infantry. They behaved well, thoroughly executed the part assigned to them, and when the Army fell back to the Chattahoochee they were the last infantry withdrawn to the fortified position. General Johnston, in a letter to Governor Brown, paid a handsome, and, I think, a well deserved compliment to them for their conduct beyond the river, and their services in bea