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t orders to make no noise, and, under cover of darkness, marched to and across the Chattahoochee, upon the flat plains of Georgia. After our passage of this river on the night of the 9th of July, Sherman moved rapidly to the eastward and across the Chattahoochee, some distance above Peach Tree creek. He formed a line parallel to this creek, with his right on the river, and approached Atlanta from the north, whilst Schofield and McPherson, on the left, marched rapidly in the direction of Decatur to destroy the railroad to Augusta. General Johnston thus relates the sequel: Johnston's Narrative, pages 348, 349, 350. On the 17th, Major General Wheeler reported that the whole Federal Army had crossed the Chattahoochee. * * * The following telegram was received from General Cooper, dated July 17th: Lieutenant General J. B. Hood has been commissioned to the temporary rank of General, under the late law of Congress. I am directed by the Secretary of War to inform you that, a
up the Georgia Railroad, between Stone Mountain and Decatur; Thomas's Army was hastening preparations to cross on towards the railroad between Stone Mountain and Decatur, which he reached at 2 p. m. of that day, about foumiles from Stone Mountain, and seven miles east of Decatur, and there he turned toward Atlanta, breaking up thilroad as he progressed, his advance guard reaching Decatur about night, where he came into communication with Schofield's troops, which had also reached Decatur. It thus appears that on the afternoon of the 18th the enemy was in Decatur, almost at the gates of Atlanta. This intelligence must have been communicated to General l report Appendix, p. 320. that McPherson was at Decatur on the morning of the 19th, is proof of my ignorancver toward, and even on, the Georgia Railroad, near Decatur. I perceived at once that the Federal commander hahout recrossing Peach Tree creek in the vicinity of Decatur, and making on the west side a detour which necessi
out in air, near the Georgia Railroad between Decatur and Atlanta, and a large number of the enemy's wagons had been parked in and around Decatur. The roads were in good condition, and ran in the dn's line, which extended from the vicinity of Decatur almost to the Dalton Railroad, north of Atlanank, even if he was forced to go to or beyond Decatur, which is only about six miles from Atlanta. simply to follow the guides furnished him to Decatur, and attack as ordered. Thus orders were gs of the gallant Wheeler, in the direction of Decatur, whence I hoped, momentarily, to hear a contison's left, even if he was forced to march to Decatur. He at once remarked that if the move had be in our rear, immediately in the direction of Decatur. General McPherson ordered me to send back t of our line. It stood on the main road from Decatur to Atlanta, and for some reason, had not beenatigue from the march of the night previous. Decatur is but six miles from Atlanta, and the detour[1 more...]
from our conquest. To prepare for this, or any other emergency, I ordered Newton's Division of the Fourth Corps back to Chattanooga, and Corse's Division of the Seventeenth Corps to Rome, and instructed General Rosseau at Nashville, Granger at Decatur, and Stedman at Chattanooga, to adopt the most active measures to protect and insure the safety of our roads. So vast were the facilities of the Federal commander to reinforce his line of skirmishers, extending from Nashville to Atlanta, tha issue shoes and clothing forthwith upon their receipt. On the 6th, the Federals withdrew from our immediate front, and moved off in the direction of Atlanta. General Sherman published orders stating that his Army would retire to East Point, Decatur, and Atlanta, and repose after the fatigue of the campaign through which it had passed. We were apprised of these instructions soon after their issuance — as well as of nigh every important movement of the enemy through the vigilance of our cav
roaches to the railway bridge. His right being established at this ford, his left should have been thrown back north of Decatur, and his entire line strongly entrenched. From this position of perfect safety, he could have made constant demonstratiomas'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 p front by works and abatis, on the left by Camp creek, and on the right by being thrown back and entrenched southeast of Decatur. This position of the enemy would have necessitated the immediate abandonment of Atlanta or have shut up our Army in will be perceived that Sherman had simply to advance his right flank, in order to form a junction with the troops, near Decatur, and thus completely hem in our Army. This plan for the speedy capture of Atlanta could have been executed with an insi
nd Gadsden. I leave near Jacksonville all surplus baggage, artillery, and wagons, and move prepared for battle. If I move to the Tennessee, my trains will meet me at Gadsden. Please have the Memphis and Charleston Railroad repaired at once to Decatur, if possible. J. B. Hood, General. This last precautionary measure I deemed advisable, as I sought to forestall every possible contingency. If our arms met with only partial success in battle — that is, if Sherman was not routed, but mereling. Thus far I have confined my efforts to thwart this plan, and have reduced baggage so that I can pick up and start in any direction; but I regard the pursuit of Hood as useless. Still, if he attempts to invade Middle Tennessee, I will hold Decatur, and be prepared to move in that direction; but, unless I let go Atlanta, my force will not be equal to his. W. T. Sherman, Major General. Before my attention was arrested by the above dispatches, I had written those lines which record my s
of Pollard and Johnston. General Sherman gives color to their charge of rashness as a commander, in the following passage: I did not suppose that General Hood, though rash, would venture to attack fortified places like Allatoona, Resaca, Decatur and Nashville; but he did so, and in so doing, played into our hands perfectly. Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 167. And yet from other portions of his Memoirs it will be seen that I did not attack either Resaca, Decatur, or Nashville. Decatur, or Nashville. My official report will also show that Major General French assaulted Allatoona, whilst under discretionary orders. Thus, in none of these instances is 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
f the Ohio, under Schofield, was also about to cross east of the Buckhead road. The Army of the Tennessee, under McPherson, was moving on the Georgia Railroad at Decatur. Feeling it impossible to hold Atlanta without giving battle, I determined to strike the enemy while attempting to cross this stream. My troops were disposed asrossing Entrenchment creek at Cobb's Mills, and to completely turn the left of McPherson's Army. This he was to do even should it be necessary to go to or beyond Decatur. Wheeler, with his cavalry, was ordered to move on Hardee's right, both to attack at daylight, or as soon thereafter as possible. As soon as Hardee succeeded inch towards the Tennessee. My corps reached the vicinity of Leighton, in the Tennessee Valley, October 29th. Stewart's and Cheatham's Corps were then in front of Decatur. On the night of the 29th I received orders to cross the Tennessee river at Florence, Alabama. By means of the pontoon boats, two brigades of Johnson's Division
hing forward to strike the Augusta railroad east of Decatur: the whole army thus making a right-wheel movement,e miles, while Schofield, on his right, had reached Decatur, and Thomas had crossed July 19. Peach-tree creeis, was killed. McPherson, advancing directly from Decatur, with Logan's (15th) corps in the center, Frank Blasound of guns, on that flank and on our rear toward Decatur, apprised Sherman that mischief was afloat. Hood h, breaking up a railroad) had raided, unopposed, to Decatur, where were McPherson's wagons, and attempted to ca After a brief lull, the enemy charged again up the Decatur road; catching a regiment thrown forward upon it un right; moving behind the rest of the army from the Decatur road on the east to Proctor's creek on the south-we he made for camp by a north-east circuit; reaching Decatur on the 22d. Sherman did not hesitate. He made td it. And now, learning that Hood, after a feint on Decatur, had passed on to Tuscumbia and laid a pontoon-brid
., 1862, 112; strength of his force for defense of Washington, 130; at Gettysburg, 377; in council at Williamsport, 392; killed in the Wilderness, 569. Wainwright, Col., wounded at South Mountain, 198. Wainwright, Capt., killed at Galveston, 324. Waite, Col. C. A., captured at San Antonio, 18. Walker, Gen. W. H. T., at Antietam. 207; defeated at Jackson, 306; at Chickamauga. 415; fights Brannan at Pocotaligo, 463; retreats up Red river before Gen. A. J. Smith, 537; killed at Decatur, Ga., 633. Walker, Capt. (Navy), up the Yazoo river, 318. Wallace, Gen. Lew., 49; at Pittsburg Landing, 59-71; defeated at the Monocacy, 603. Wallace, Gen. W. H. L., 59; 63; killed at Pittsburg Landing, 64. Walthall, Gen., at Chickamauga, 417. War and its causes, Franklin Pierce on, 497. Ward, Gen. Hobart, at Chancellorsville, 360; at Manassas Gap fight, 393. Waring, Col. Geo. E., defeats Marmaduke at Batesville, 447; at Guntown. Miss., 621. Warner, Gen., fights at Hend
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