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ge stirred up quite as brisk a contest in Nickajack square as we did near Smyrna camp ground. He ran into Stevenson's division, but could not go beyond the first line of detached rifle pits. The order was gradually executed, the outworks taken, and some fifty prisoners captured. Stoneman now held our side of the river to Sandtown. The position of the Confederate army was in two lines running across the Atlanta Railroad at right angles near where the railroad bent off toward the river. Loring's corps was on the right and Hardee's on the left of that road. Hood's stretched off toward the extreme left, where was G. W. Smith with his Georgia troops supporting General Jackson's cavalry. Wheeler's cavalry division watched the extreme right. Hood was made uneasy by McPherson's works. The enemy, he wrote, is turning my left and my forces are insufficient to defeat this design or hold him in check. Johnston instantly on this report dispatched (Cheatham's) division. That, however,
island, and Newton finally finished to the east shore. Over Phillip's and Power's ferries my divisions crossed, and, staying there, put trenches on Schofield's right; Newton, after his return from Roswell, soon went over to strengthen the line; Wood later moved down east of the river, sweeping away the Confederate cavalry detachment and pickets, till Pace's Ferry (near Vining's Station and Palmer's front) was uncovered; then Palmer's pontoon bridge was laid there in safety. We had an occasiothinning his lines before Thomas. As my orders appeared a little confusing, I rode back at daylight of the 20th to General Thomas near Buckhead, where he had slept the night before. Here he instructed me to take my two divisions, Stanley's and Wood's, to the left two miles off from Newton, leaving Newton where he was, on the direct Atlanta wagon road. This, creating a broad, uncovered space along my front, was done owing to the nature of the country — rough and woody with much thick under
G. P. Buell (search for this): chapter 2.34
im to reconnoitering for a convenient river crossing somewhere near Thomas. He discovered a practicable ford just above the mouth of Soap Creek. There was but a small picket of the enemy's cavalry opposite, and a single section 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, already made a display of force below Schofield, in front of Pace's Ferry. My demonstration began about sundown the night before with a completeness of preparation that attracted the attention of the Confederate watchmen opposite. While there was yet light enough we opened all our artillery that was near and practiced until we got the range; then we ceased till a fixed time in the night, when all sleepers were startled by an alarming cann
d bent off toward the river. Loring's corps was on the right and Hardee's on the left of that road. Hood's stretched off toward the extreme left, where was G. W. Smith with his Georgia troops supporting General Jackson's cavalry. Wheeler's cavalry division watched the extreme right. Hood was made uneasy by McPherson's works. The enemy, he wrote, is turning my left and my forces are insufficient to defeat this design or hold him in check. Johnston instantly 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 ground he had been holding and retire before morning to General Shoup's line of redoubts. 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 nece
pport 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 when he tried to withdraw, the enemy advanced in column and were forming in line of battle near his picket line. Sherman, watching this news by the wires, ordered Harrow to stay where he was, and in fact, all of Me-Pherson's men still there, to delay; and announced that all of us would do what we could during the night to get at the facts. But he said: We must not attempt any night movement with large forces, because confusion would result, but must be prepared at break of day to act according to the very best information we can gather during the night. That Friday night was a feverish one on our lines, and, I doubt not, a troubled one on the Confederate side; for until after twelve midnight, I had kept
John Newton (search for this): chapter 2.34
orks! At three o'clock similar reports came from Wood and Newton. Immediately my corps was assembled. At 5 A. M. it wasineer? Garrard crossed at 6 A. M. with little loss, and Newton, of my corps, followed him during the morning; the ford bd creek, called Rottenwood, that separated him from us. Newton, on the morning of the 9th waited for Dodge to replace him pier log structure, which Stanley made to the island, and Newton finally finished to the east shore. Over Phillip's and Pod, and, staying there, put trenches on Schofield's right; Newton, after his return from Roswell, soon went over to strengthions, Stanley's and Wood's, to the left two miles off from Newton, leaving Newton where he was, on the direct Atlanta wagon Newton where he was, on the direct Atlanta wagon road. This, creating a broad, uncovered space along my front, was done owing to the nature of the country — rough and wooalmost a smile. Fortunately for me, Thomas was to be near Newton's troops during the tough conflict at Peach Tree Creek, wh
Morgan L. Smith (search for this): chapter 2.34
sion 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 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 ha it when, after the failures of the 27th, Sherman kept his cavalry and infantry 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 he had discovered on the sides of Kenesaw, and what he hoped for, came to me through Thomas. S
Joe Johnston (search for this): chapter 2.34
camp ground; crossing the Chattahoochee; General Johnston relieved from command Until they reached Kenesaw, Johnston's and Sherman's men alike had been working along, by swingings and twistings, i river]. By this movement I think I can force Johnston to move his army down from Kenesaw to defend ugh Marietta after the retreat. Doubtless, Johnston, who had suspected just such a movement when the Nickajack to the Chattahoochee far below Johnston's forces. Garrard had now gone back two mifore Sherman saw plainly that for some reason Johnston had stopped on our side of the river; and he for Atlanta, already in plain sight, and for Johnston's lines of supplies We who belonged to Tho Roswell village and let him return to me. Johnston, not far from Atlanta, with his three corps, tween the Marietta and the Augusta roadways. Johnston showed consummate generalship when he took Pe was not in the plans, but in the execution. Johnston was cautious, wary, flexible, full of expedie[14 more...]
e northwest corner of this remarkable square. As the banks of the river and all the creeks near here are very high, that Nickajack square afforded the Confederate commander unusual advantage for an extensive bridgehead against us. Letting his left rest above the mouth of the Nickajack, 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
econnoissance by the redoubtable Wheeler, which stirred up all hands. About this time Sherman relieved all suspense in the langour of hot weather by ordering us forward and then said: A week's work after crossing the Chattahoochee should determine the first object aimed at; viz., the possession of the Atlanta and Augusta road east of Decatur, Ga., or of Atlanta itself. Having the same Fourth Corps under Thomas I was already near the middle of our concave line: Palmer the rightmost, Hooker next, and I next, then Schofield, then McPherson. Stoneman was back by the night of July 16th, so that we were all in active march the morning of the 17th. By July 19th, army, corps, and division commanders had pretty well fulfilled Sherman's preliminary orders, having made what he denominated his general right wheel. Thomas, after much skirmishing and driving back first cavalry and then infantry, had secured three crossings of the Peach Tree Creek. One lodgment over the creek was in fr
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