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As soon as Johnston received this ominous dispatch, which, as he said, threatened an important route to Atlanta and one that was nearer to that city than his main body, he instantly declared the necessity of abandoning the position and of taking a new line ; and so before the morning he drew back from the outer lines to the inner lines of the bridgehead, sending his cavalry and some artillery to the south bank of the Chattahoochee. From all quarters as early as 4.30 A. M. the morning of the 5th, we found the strong outer works in our immediate front empty. A Confederate officer, who had been a pupil of mine when I was an instructor in mathematics at West Point, left a note upon a forked stick in the abandoned trenches addressed to me, saying: Howard, why didn't you come on and take my works! I was all prepared for you. I am ashamed of you. One of the officers who picked it up brought the note to me. It was plain enough after our experience at Kenesaw why I did not charge over m
the Nickajack square, having that winding creek and Ruff's Mills for protection. News brought us from scouts declared that from 1,000 to 1,200 slaves had been there employed. On June 29th Sherman had everything clearly mapped out. He was heaping up stores to enable him to cut loose from his railroad. He now aimed to get upon that railroad somewhere below Marietta by turning around Schofield as a door around a free hinge. In a telegram sent to Halleck, at Washington, the last day of June, Sherman showed what he was doing: To-morrow night I propose to move McPherson from the left to the extreme right .... This will bring my right within three miles of the Chattahoochee and about five of the railroad (at the place where the railroad crossed the river]. By this movement I think I can force Johnston to move his army down from Kenesaw to defend his railroad crossing and the Chattahoochee. . . . Johnston may come out of his intrenchments and attack Thomas, which is what I want,
Johnston had his forts and trenches made bending around behind that creek. He extended these works to the right, northward beyond the Nickajack square, across the railroad and as far as Power's Ferry, near Vining's Railway Station. His outer lines, considerably away from the river, were also intrenched in the Nickajack square, having that winding creek and Ruff's Mills for protection. News brought us from scouts declared that from 1,000 to 1,200 slaves had been there employed. On June 29th Sherman had everything clearly mapped out. He was heaping up stores to enable him to cut loose from his railroad. He now aimed to get upon that railroad somewhere below Marietta by turning around Schofield as a door around a free hinge. In a telegram sent to Halleck, at Washington, the last day of June, Sherman showed what he was doing: To-morrow night I propose to move McPherson from the left to the extreme right .... This will bring my right within three miles of the Chattahoochee
iles of the Chattahoochee and about five of the railroad (at the place where the railroad crossed the river]. By this movement I think I can force Johnston to move his army down from Kenesaw to defend his railroad crossing and the Chattahoochee. . . . Johnston may come out of his intrenchments and attack Thomas, which is what I want, for Thomas is well intrenched parallel with the enemy south of Kenesaw. The proposed march was only to proceed down the Sandtown straight for Atlanta. On July 1st, from Sherman's Signal Hill, he had issued a set of general orders, which, germinating ever since, at last came out: King's division of Palmer's corps was designated to go off northward to puzzle the Confederate Kenesaw watchers, and with Garrard's cavalry to take the place of all McPherson's army. The next morning by 4 A. M. McPherson drew out one division (that of Morgan L. Smith) and marched it trains and troops, back of us all, and on down river to Schofield, whom he was to aid
on down river to Schofield, whom he was to aid and support till the remainder of his corps should arrive. Something delayed King all that day, but the night of July 2d King was on hand, and McPherson was about to pull out the remainder of his troops from their lines, when Harrow, one of his division commanders, reported that whewn motion, were each moving for Marietta, striving to get there first. McPherson was not long delayed, for he drew out from Johnston's front that very night of July 2d, leaving Garrard's dismounted cavalry in his place; he moved on down behind Thomas, stretching to the Nickajack. But Logan's Fifteenth Corps delayed and passed tinfantry creeping on and on down the Sandtown road, till Stoneman, on the lead, had actually touched the Chattahoochee River; and we had already in the morning of July 2d Morgan L. Smith's division as far down as the Nickajack square in conjunction with Schofield. Sherman's quickening orders, given under the inspiration of what
kept on pressing skirmishers as near their wary foes as could be done, and here and there throwing a shell, but nothing definite could be found out, so many skirmishers did the Confederates keep in our front-nothing sure till about 2.45 A. M. of July 3d. The enemy then had gone, and Stanley's skirmishers were in their works! At three o'clock similar reports came from Wood and Newton. Immediately my corps was assembled. At 5 A. M. it was light enough to move, without danger of running upond. The previous movements of Schofield had forestalled and prevented any contact with the enemy by Hooker, or even by Blair and Dodge, till they had passed beyond him. They picked up a few stragglers. Dodge (of McPherson's army), this Saturday, July 3d, did a good work; he marched down to a place near Ruff's Mills and went into camp near the Nickajack square, while sending forward one division to intrench close by Nickajack stream, and having that division send over two regiments to fort
its way up to the intrenchments on the Smyrna camp-meeting grounds. Early Sunday morning Sherman himself made me a Fourth of July call. His mind was impatient because he had done so little. He did not believe that any regular works were in our fd our countrymen on opposite sides of intrenched lines, by the use of loaded rifles and shotted cannon, celebrate the Fourth of July. At daybreak this bright morning Dodge followed up his leading brigade. His whole force went over the creek, and antly on this report dispatched (Cheatham's) division. That, however, was not enough. In the evening of that same Fourth of July G. W. Smith declared that the Yankee cavalry was pressing him with such force that he would have to abandon the grounofield's corps back near to Thomas's left and rear, and located him at Smyrna camp ground, near where I fought on the Fourth of July. Sherman set him to reconnoitering for a convenient river crossing somewhere near Thomas. He discovered a practic
by his unexpected visit, and did not join us, after his consummate raid, until July 23d. To make our connections complete, two railway breaks, a long one above Marietta and one shorter below, near Vining's Station, had to be repaired. During July 6th the first gap was announced as restored, and the second was in progress. Thomas had found it impracticable to cross the river in face of the fortified points on his front or left. The water, which had risen from the recent rains, was now tohat the water was slowly falling and that in a short time all the fords would be practicable; so that, by .and by, something more than cavalry with its artillery would be required by the Confederate general over there to keep us back. On Tuesday, July 6th, in a dispatch, Sherman indicated briefly what he was then meditating: All the regular crossing places are covered by forts; but we shall cross in due time, and instead of attacking Atlanta direct, or any of its forts, I propose to ma
us high ground and the army had no prevailing sickness. Sherman did not delay all his operations. Something important was going on all the time. Sherman by July 8th had determined to make his first crossing near the Roswell factories; he ordered Garrard's cavalry division to go there. As soon as Garrard could charge into thsection of artillery. The whole work of preparation and approach was done so well that the enemy suspected no movement there until Schofield's men about 3 P. M. July 8th were making their way over by ford and by detached pontoon boats. I had sent the pontoons with Colonel Buell and his regiment, and had, in order to aid him, aa crossing there had not the enemy been too strong at that point; but we wanted to draw more and more of the preventing foe to our neighborhood. At 6 A. M. of July 8th I had taken a regiment with me and gone some five miles northward to find the right of Schofield's command and to protect his bridge across a broad creek, called
edman) with detailed instructions, at the head of it. He had given him additional troops and adequate authority to combine his men and give blow for blow. Believing that this annoyance could be even better removed by imitating Forrest's raids, Sherman sent out General Rousseau from the Tennessee border far down into Alabama, to swing around, destroy railroads as far south as Talladega and Opelika; and then, if possible, to return to him near Atlanta. Rousseau started from Decatur, Ala., July 9th. This remarkable raid was successful. His cavalry made a lodgment upon the Southern Railroad west of Opelika and destroyed some twenty miles of it. He defeated every Confederate troop sent against him with a loss of but twelve killed and thirty wounded; and he brought back a large number of captured mules and horses. Rousseau astonished the inhabitants everywhere by his unexpected visit, and did not join us, after his consummate raid, until July 23d. To make our connections complete,
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