Late operations around Atlanta.
An able correspondent in Hood
's army, in his last letter to the Mobile Advertiser
, gives what he was informed was General Hood
This is interesting as a part of the history of the operations around Jackson
and the evacuation of Atlanta
We have not seen if elsewhere from any other source.--As the correspondent says, "the plan was certainly bold and ambitious enough in its scope." Hood
, it seems, was deceived by false information from his scouts, and the Yankees
state as much on him. We copy from the correspondence as follows:
I have been informed that the following was General Hood
's plan of operations on the 30th of August, Yankee Howard
's grand corps of eighteen thousand, made a forced march of sixteen miles from Fairburn
, on the West Point
road, to Jonesboro
', on the Macon
They arrived at Jonesboro
' on the Macon
They arrived at Jonesboro
' on the evening of the 30th, crossed Flint river
, and took position between the river and the town.
This is the head of Flint river
, and here it is a mere creek, about knee deep.
's corps, which was only twelve miles from Jonesboro
', and Lee
's which was fifteen, to meet this movement.
I do not know when Hardee
moved, but presume that he moved during the day of the 30th.
never moved until ten that night, and did not straighten out and get fairly in motion until daylight.
Some Yankees has struck his road and impeded his movement.
Thus it happened that the Yankees
' from twelve to twenty hours in advance of us. They had time to get position, to entrench, and to rest before we got there.
How it happened that they thus. "stole a march." on us, and moved over a longer distance in a less time, I cannot explain.
We had the shortest line and the use of a railroad to transport troops, and yet they beat us by at least twelve hours in the race.
The object was to attack them while in motion and unprepared.
Our two corps had an effective strength of more than twenty thousand men — an excess over the enemy.
had entire confidence in the result, thinking surely that, with a majority in numbers, we would beat the Yankees
He was informed that Sherman
's line was twenty-eight miles long.
While we beat back Sherman
's right, Stewart
, with over twenty thousand men, was to fall on his left centre, cut it, and drive them down the river, thus cutting off escape and capturing two- thirds of Sherman
The plan was certainly bold and ambitions enough in its scope.
In attempting too much, he accomplished nothing.
It would have been better had he been satisfied merely to drive Sherman
back and defeat his campaign.
I believe he could have done this by throwing all of his army upon a part of Sherman
's — the nearest part of it to Atlanta
If, indeed, Sherman
did divided his army and scatter it over a line of twenty-eight miles, Hood
followed suit by dividing his own, with twenty miles between the fragments.
But I do not believe that Sherman
did commit this blunder.
His own dispatches state that his army was between Jonesboro
' and Rough and Ready, not over twelve miles from right to left.
I believe this was his position; and it follows that General Hood
was deceived by false information from his cavalry and scouts, And they must have been very tardy in conveying information of Howard
's march from Fairburn
'. It must have been about night on the 30th when General Hood
was informed of Howard
's movement upon Jonesboro
', and before night toward was there.
On the night of the 31st, when Hardee
that our assault upon the enemy at Jonesboro
' had failed, he was greatly astonished.
He threw up his hands, it is said, exclaiming, "My God !" He had overestimated the courage of his army; and the mistake had been fatal, He fell into the opposite extreme of distrust, and ordered the evacuation of Atlanta
, which he had not, until then, contemplated.
He still had the Augusta railroad, which the enemy could not reach, and which would have enabled him to hold Atlanta
His army was still but little hurt, and might still have fought a general battle on the next day, but he had lost confidence in his army.