herman ordered a vigorous pursuit in force of Hardee's beaten column.
Hardee was found well intrenched, near Lovejoy's, with his flanks covered by Walnut creek and Flint river — a strong position, which was thoroughly reconnoitered, but Sherman was in no hurry to attack it. Soon, flying rumors, then more trust-worthy accounts, imported that Hood had blown up whatever he could in Atlanta and decamped: Stewart's corps retreating on McDonough, while the militia were marched off eastward to Covington.
The news was fully confirmed on the 4th by a courier from Slocum, who had entered the city unopposed on the morning after Hood's withdrawal.
Sherman thereupon returned
Sept. 5-7. to Atlanta, and, encamping his army on all sides, allowed it that season of rest which, under his able leadership, it had so nobly earned.
Atlanta had been cheaply won; for, not only was the position one of great importance, but the loss of munitions, guns, locomotives, cars, manufacturing machinery, &c.