Chapter 15: Sherman's March to the sea.--Thomas's campaign in Middle Tennessee.--events in East Tennessee.
- The National Army at Atlanta, 405. -- beginning of Sherman's March for the sea -- the Confederates perplexed, 406. -- the Confederates bewildered and alarmed by Sherman's movements, 407. -- Macon and Augusta threatened, 408. -- the Army crosses the Ogeechee, 409. -- the March on Millen, 410. -- March from Millen to Savannah, 411. -- capture of Fort McAllister, 412. -- evacuation of Savannah, 413. -- the National troops in Savannah, 414. -- raids in the Mississippi region, 415. -- Forrest in Tennessee, 416. -- Hood menacing Decatur, 417. -- Forrest helping Hood, 418. -- Hood in Tennessee, 419. -- Schofield retreats before Hood to Nashville, 420. -- battle of Franklin, 421. -- the battle-field of Franklin, 422. -- a patriotic Tennessee matron, 423. -- Hood invests Nashville, 424. -- General Thomas makes ready for battle, 425. -- battle of Nashville, 426, 427. -- Hood driven out of Tennessee, 428. -- end of Thomas's campaign, 429. -- author's visit to the Nashville battle-ground, 430, 431.
Sherman's force, with which he proposed to march to the sea, was composed of four army corps in two grand divisions, the right wing commanded by Major-General O. O. Howard, and the left wing by Major-General H. W. Slocum. The right was composed of the Fifteenth Corps, led by General P. J. Osterhaus, and the Seventeenth, commanded by General F. P. Blair. The left consisted of the Fourteenth Corps, commanded by General J. C. Davis, and the Twentieth, led by General A. S. Williams.1 General Kilpatrick commanded the cavalry, consisting of one division. Sherman's entire force numbered sixty thousand infantry and artillery, and five thousand five hundred cavalry. On the 14th of November, as we have observed, Sherman's troops, destined for the great march, were grouped around Atlanta. Their last channel of. communication with the Government and the loyal people of the North was closed, when, on the 11th, the commander-in-chief cut the telegraph wire that connected Atlanta with Washington City. Then that army became an isolated moving column, in the heart of the enemy's country. It moved on the morning of the 14th, Howard's wing marching by way of Macdonough for Gordon, on the railway east of Macon, and Slocum's by the town of Decatur, for Madison and Milledgeville. Then, by Sherman's order, and under the direction of Captain O. M. Poe, chief engineer, the entire city of Atlanta (which, next to Richmond, had furnished more war materials for the Confederates than any in the South), excepting its Court-house, churches, and dwellings, was committed to the flames. In a short space of time, the buildings in the heart of the city, covering full two hundred acres of ground, were on fire; and when the conflagration was at its height, on the night of the 15th,
Nov. 22, 1864.
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