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Chapter 12:

In accordance with the valuable diary of Brigadier General Shoupe, I find naught to record after the battle of the 22d beyond the usual shelling by the enemy, till the 26th of July when the Federals were reported to be moving to our left. This movement continued during the 27th, when I received the additional information that their cavalry was turning our right, in the direction of Flat-rock, with the intention, as I supposed, of interrupting our main line of communication, the Macon Railroad. We had lost the road to Augusta previous to the departure of General Johnston on the I8th, and, by the 22d, thirty miles or more thereof had been utterly destroyed.

The Federal commander continued to move by his right flank to our left, his evident intention being to destroy the only line by which we were still able to receive supplies. The railroad to West Point, because of its proximity to the Chattahoochee river, was within easy reach of the enemy whenever he moved far enough to the right to place his left flank upon the river. Therefore, after the destruction of the Augusta road, the holding of Atlanta — unless some favorable opportunity [194] offered itself to defeat the Federals in battle — depended upon our ability to hold intact the road to Macon.

Sherman thus refers to the importance of this line: 1

I always expected to have a desperate fight to get possession of the Macon road, whicn was then the vital objective of the campaign.

General Wheeler started on the 27th of July in pursuit of the Federal cavalry which had moved around our right; and General Jackson, with the brigades of Harrison and Ross, was ordered, the following day, to push vigorously another body of the enemy's cavalry which was reported to have crossed the river, at Campbellton, and to be moving, via Fairburn, in the direction of the Macon road. On the 28th it was apparent that Sherman was also moving in the same direction with his main body. Lieutenant General Lee was instructed to move out with his Corps upon the Lick — Skillet road, and to take the position most advantageous to prevent or delay the extension of the enemy's right flank. This officer promptly obeyed orders, and came, unexpectedly, in the afternoon, in contact with the Federals in the vicinity of Ezra Church, where a spirited engagement ensued. The enemy was already in possession of a portion of the ground Lee desired to occupy, and the struggle grew to such dimensions that I sent Lieutenant General Stewart to his support. The contest lasted till near sunset without any material advantage having been gained by either opponent. Our troops failed to dislodge the enemy from their position, and the Federals likewise to capture the position occupied by the Confederates. Although the actual loss was small in proportion to the numbers engaged, Generals Stewart, Brown, Loring, and Johnson, were slightly wounded. I desired of Lieutenant General Lee an opinion as to the manner in which our troops had conducted themselves upon the field. In answer to my request, he replied that he could not succeed in bringing about united action; whilst one [195] brigade fought gallantly, another failed to do its duty. I learned afterwards that such indeed was the case, notwithstanding he had led one or more to the attack, and had even offered to lead others. Although this affair occurred subsequent to the improvement of the morale of the Army and the check to desertions, which had resulted from the battles of the 2Ist and 22d, the lack of spirit manifested in this instance will convey a just idea of the state of the Army at this period.

In reference to the non-capture of the position held by the enemy, he says in his official report:

I am convinced that if all the troops had displayed equal spirit, we would have been successful, as the enemy's works were slight, and, besides, they had scarcely gotten into position when we made the attack.

Whilst these operations were in progress, Wheeler and Jackson were in hot pursuit of the Federal cavalry--General Lewis's infantry brigade having been sent to Jonesboroa, the point about which I supposed the raiders would strike our communications.

At an early hour on the 29th, dispatches were received from various points upon the Macon road to the effect that General Wheeler had successfully checked the enemy at Latimer's, and was quietly awaiting developments. On our left, the Federals succeeded in eluding our cavalry, for a time, by skirmishing with our main body, whilst their main force moved round to the rear, and cut the telegraph lines at Fairburn and Palmetto. General Jackson, however, soon discovered the ruse, and marched rapidly toward Fayetteville and Jonesboroa, the direction in which the Federals had moved. The enemy succeeded in destroying a wagon train at the former place; in capturing one or two quarter masters who afterwards made their escape, and in striking the Macon road about four miles below Jonesboroa, when the work of destruction was began in earnest.

General Lewis, within three hours after receiving the order, [196] had placed his men on the cars and was in Jonesboroa with his brigade, ready for action. Meantime Jackson was coming up with his cavalry, when the Federals became alarmed, and abandoned their work; but not without having destroyed about a mile and a-half of the road, which was promptly repaired.

While Jackson followed in pursuit, and Lewis returned to Atlanta, Wheeler moved across from Latimer's, with a portion of his command, in rear of this body of the enemy-leaving General Iverson to pursue General Stoneman who, after some-what further damaging the Augusta road, and burning the bridges across Walnut creek and the Oconee river, had moved against Macon.

These operations had been ordered by General Sherman upon a grand scale; picked men and horses had been placed under the command of Generals McCook and Stoneman, with the purpose to destroy our sole line of communication, and to release, at Andersonville, thirty-four thousand (34,000) Federal prisoners to ravage and pillage the country.

These raiders, under McCook, came in contact with General Roddy's cavalry at Newnan, and were there held in check till Wheeler's and Jackson's troops came up; whereupon the combined forces, directed by General Wheeler, attacked the enemy with vigor and determination, and finally routed them. Whilst these operations were progressing in the vicinity of Newnan, General Cobb was gallantly repelling the assault of Stoneman at Macon, when Iverson came up, and engaged the enemy with equal spirit and success.

The following dispatches were received from Generals Wheeler and Iverson. Wheeler says:

We have just completed the killing, capturing, and breaking up of the entire raiding party under General McCook--some nine hundred and fifty (950) prisoners--two pieces of artillery, and twelve hundred horses and equipments captured.

Iverson, the same date:

General Stoneman, after having his force routed yesterday, surrendered [197] with five hundred (500) men; the rest of his command are scattered and flying toward Eatonton. Many have been already killed and captured.

General Shoupe, in recording these two telegrams in his diary, states that Iverson also captured two pieces of artillery, and remarks that “the Ist day of August deserves to be marked with a white stone.” He, doubtless in common with every Southerner, experienced deep concern in regard to the Federal prisoners at Andersonville, as it was reported that Sherman had arms in readiness for their use. Fearful indeed would have been the consequences, had they been turned loose upon the country in its unprotected condition.

Had the authorities at Richmond believed that General Johnston would have abandoned the strongholds of the mountains, they would assuredly have removed these prisoners before the Federals crossed the Chattahoochee.

General Sherman, in reference to his plan of operations at this time, writes: 2

My plan of action was to move the Army of the Tennessee to the right rapidly and boldly against the railroad below At:anta, and at the same time to send all the cavalry round by the right and left to make a lodgment on the Macon road about Jonesboroa.

The flanks of the Federal Army were at this juncture so well protected by the Chattahoochee and the deep ravines which run down into the river, that my antagonist was enabled to throw his entire force of cavalry against the Macon road; and but for the superiority of the Confederate cavalry, he might have succeeded to such extent as to cause us great annoyance, and subject our troops to short rations for a time.

After the utter failure of this experiment, General Sherman perceived that his mounted force, about twelve thousand in number, in concert with a corps of infantry as support, could not so effectually destroy our main line of communication as [198] to compel us to evacuate Atlanta, as the subjoined extract will indicate: 3

I now became satisfied that cavalry could not, or would not, make a sufficient lodgment on the railroad below Atlanta, and that nothing would suffice but for us to reach it with the main Army.

Wheeler and Iverson having thus thoroughly crippled the Federal cavalry, I determined to detach all the troops of that arm I could possibly spare, and expedite them, under the command of Wheeler, against Sherman's railroad to Nashville; at the same time, to request of the proper authorities that General Maury, commanding at Mobile, be instructed to strike with small bodies the line at different points, in the vicinity of the Tennessee river, and also that General Forrest be ordered with the whole of his available force into Tennessee for the same object. I intended General Wheeler should operate, in the first instance, south of Chattanooga.

I was hopeful that this combined movement would compel Sherman to retreat for want of supplies, and thus allow me an opportunity to fall upon his rear with our main body. I expressed this hope in a dispatch of August 2d, to President Davis. In reply thereto, and I presume also to a letter indited the ensuing day, but of which I possess no copy, he sent the following telegram:

Richmond, August 5th, 1864.
General J. B. Hood.
Yours of August 3d received. I concur in your plan, and hope your cavalry will be able to destroy the railroad bridges and depots of the enemy on the line to Bridgeport, so as to compel the enemy to attack you in position or to retreat. The loss consequent upon attacking him in his entrenchments requires you to avoid that if practicable. The enemy have now reached a country where supplies can be gathered by foraging expeditions, and a part of your cavalry will be required to prevent that. If he can be forced to retreat for want of supplies, he will be in the worst condition to escape or resist your pursuing Army. General Hardee's minute knowledge of the country and his extensive acquaintance [199] with the officers and men of the command, must render his large professional knowledge and experience peculiarly valuable in such a campaign as I hope is before you.

The foregoing dispatch is the only communication offering a suggestion, which I remember to have received during the siege of Atlanta from the President; it therefore stands out in bold contradiction to the general assertion that I was ordered by him to assume the offensive, or to make certain campaigns. The President did not, at any time, order what I should or should not do; and although I had solicited counsel, he gave none, save the above caution in regard to breastworks, and, at a later period, his expressed disapproval of the contemplated campaign into Tennessee.

In accordance with my determination to attempt, with cavalry, the destruction of Sherman's road, I ordered General Wheeler with four thousand five hundred (4500) men to begin operations at once. He succeeded in burning the bridge over the Etowah; recaptured Dalton and Resaca; destroyed about thirty-five miles of railroad in the vicinity, and captured about three hundred mules and one thousand horses; he destroyed, in addition, about fifty miles of railroad in Tennessee.

General Forrest, with his usual energy, struck shortly afterwards the Federal line of supplies in this State, and, as will hereafter be shown, inflicted great damage upon the enemy. Of his exploits on this expedition I have no official report, as he was not directly under my command.

Forrest and Wheeler accomplished all but the impossible with their restricted number of cavalry, and the former, finally, was driven out of Tennessee by superior forces. General Sherman, in relation to this movement, says: 4

The rebel General Wheeler was still in Middle Tennessee, threatening our railroads, and rumors came that Forrest was on his way from [200] Mississippi to the same theatre, for the avowed purpose of breaking up our railroads and compelling us to fall back from our conquest. To prepare for this, or any other emergency, I ordered Newton's Division of the Fourth Corps back to Chattanooga, and Corse's Division of the Seventeenth Corps to Rome, and instructed General Rosseau at Nashville, Granger at Decatur, and Stedman at Chattanooga, to adopt the most active measures to protect and insure the safety of our roads.

So vast were the facilities of the Federal commander to reinforce his line of skirmishers, extending from Nashville to Atlanta, that we could not bring together a sufficient force of cavalry to accomplish the desired object. I thereupon became convinced, and expressed the opinion in my official report, that no sufficiently effective number of cavalry could be assembled in the Confederacy to interrupt the enemy's line of supplies to an extent to compel him to retreat.

From the 5th to the 19th of August no event of special importance occurred. I find naught recorded save the constant demonstrations of the enemy in front, whilst completing his movement to our left. A heavy demonstration was made on the 6th against Bates's Division which was twice assaulted; twice the foe were driven back in great confusion with a loss of two stands of colors, eight hundred killed and wounded, some small arms and entrenching tools.

On the 7th General Cleburne's Division was transferred to our extreme left, and the 9th was made memorable by the most furious cannonade which the city sustained during the siege. Women and children fled into cellars, and were there forced to seek shelter a greater length of time than at any period of the bombardment.

The 19th, nigh two weeks after Wheeler's departure with about one-half of our cavalry force, General Sherman took advantage of the absence of these troops, and again attempted a lodgment on the Macon road with cavalry. At 3.30 a. m., General Kilpatrick was reported to be moving, via Fairburn, in the direction of Jonesboroa. General Jackson quickly divined his object, moved rapidly in pursuit, overtook him at [201] an early hour, attacked and forced him to retreat after sustaining considerable loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. The Federals had previously succeeded, however, in destroying a mile and a-half of the Macon road; had cut the wires, and burned the depot at Jonesboroa.

General Sherman, touching this his second strenuous effort to render the evacuation of Atlanta a matter of compulsion by throwing cavalry to our rear, says:5

He (Kilpatrick) reported that he had destroyed three miles of the railroad about Jonesboroa, which he reckoned would take ten days to repair; that he had encountered a division of infantry and a brigade of cavalry (Ross's); that he had captured a battery and destroyed three of its guns, bringing one in as a trophy, and he also brought in three battle-flags and seventy prisoners. On the 23d, however, we saw trains coming into Atlanta from the South, when I became more than ever convinced that cavalry could not or would not work hard enough to disable a railroad properly, and therefore resolved at once to proceed to the execution of my original plan.

Our cavalry also drove a brigade of the enemy from the Augusta road on the 22d, which affair, together with the happy results obtained in the engagement with Kilpatrick, demonstrated conclusively that the absence of one-half of our mounted force notwithstanding, we had still a sufficient number, with Jackson, to protect not only the flanks of the Army, but likewise our communications against similar raids, and, moreover, to defend our people against pillaging expeditions. At this period, I was charged by the Johnston-Wig-fall party, through the press, with having committed a serious blunder by sending off the cavalry, and with having exposed our people to robbery and maltreatment by raiders through the country.

The severe handling by Wheeler and Iverson of the troops under Stoneman and McCook, together with Jackson's success, induced me not to recall Wheeler's four thousand five hundred (4500) men who were still operating against the railroad to [202] Nashville. I had, moreover, become convinced that our cavalry was able to successfully compete with double their number. Fortunately, they had not become demoralized upon the retreat, in consequence of their habit of dismounting and fighting at one point to-day, then remounting and hastening in another direction to encounter the enemy on the morrow. As before stated, our cavalry were not cavalrymen proper, but were mounted riflemen, trained to dismount and hold in check or delay the advance of the main body of the enemy, and who had learned by experience that they could without much difficulty defeat the Federal cavalry. This teaching, combined with the fact that small bodies can fall back in front of large armies without material discouragement to the men, warded off the baneful influences which worked upon the infantry, and accounts for the non-demoralization of the cavalry.

In this connection, it becomes my duty, as well as pleasure, to make acknowledgments of the valuable services of the cavalry of the Army of Tennessee, during my operations in Georgia, and North Alabama. I have not forgotten the outcry against Wheeler's cavalry just prior to and after the close of the war; it was brought about in great measure, doubtless, by renegades from our Armies, who committed outrages which were charged by the people to the account of the cavalry. I am confident that when the history of our struggle is written, Major General Wheeler and his command will occupy a high position, as the Confederacy possessed, in my opinion, no body of cavalry superior to that which I found guarding the flanks of the Army of Tennessee at the time I assumed its direction.

The bombardment of the city continued till the 25th of August; it was painful, yet strange, to mark how expert grew the old men, women and children, in building their little underground forts, in which to fly for safety during the storm of shell and shot. Often 'mid the darkness of night were they constrained to seek refuge in these dungeons beneath the [203] earth; albeit, I cannot recall one word from their lips, expressive of dissatisfaction or willingness to surrender.

Sherman had now been over one month continuously moving toward our left and thoroughly fortifying, step by step, as he advanced in the direction of the Macon Railroad. On the night of the 25th, he withdrew from our immediate front; his works, which at an early hour the following morning we discovered to be abandoned, were occupied at a later hour by the corps of Generals Stewart and Lee.

This movement of the Federals gave rise to many idle rumors in relation to its object. I felt confident that their plan would soon be developed; accordingly, orders were issued to corps commanders to send out scouts in their front, and to keep Army headquarters fully advised of the slightest change in the enemy's position; to issue three days rations, and to be in readiness to move at a moment's warning. Instructions were likewise sent to General Armstrong, commanding the cavalry in the vicinity of the West Point Railroad, to be most active in securing all possible information in regard to the operations of the enemy.

On the 27th, Major General G. W. Smith's Division was ordered to the left to occupy the position of Stevenson's Division which, together with General Maury's command, was held in reserve. Early the following morning, the enemy were reported by General Armstrong in large force at Fair-burn, on the West Point road. It became at once evident that General Sherman was moving with his main body to destroy the Macon road, and that the fate of Atlanta depended upon our ability to defeat this movement.

Reynolds's and Lewis's brigades were dispatched to Jones-boroa to co-operate with Armstrong. General Adams, at Ope-lika, was directed to guard the defences of that place with renewed vigilance, while General Maury was requested to render him assistance, if necessary. The chief quarter master, ordnance officer, and commissary, were given most explicit instructions in regard to the disposition of their respective [204] stores. All surplus property, supplies, etc., were ordered to the rear, or to be placed on cars in readiness to move at any moment the railroad became seriously threatened. General Armstrong was instructed to establish a line of couriers to my headquarters, in order to report every hour, if requisite, the movements of the enemy. In fact, every precaution was taken not only to hold our sole line of communication unto the last extremity, but also, in case of failure, to avoid loss or destruction of stores and material.

On the 29th, the Federals marched slowly in the direction of Rough and Ready, and Jonesboroa. A portion of Brown's Division was directed to take position at the former place and fortify thoroughly, in order to afford protection to the road at that point. General Hardee, who was at this juncture in the vicinity of East Point, was instructed to make such disposition of his troops as he considered most favorable for defence; and, in addition, to hold his Corps in readiness to march at the word of command. Generals Jackson and Armstrong received orders to report the different positions of the corps of the enemy at dark every night.

Had Sherman not been doubly protected by the Chatta-hoochee, deep intervening creeks and ravines extending to the river, beside the wall of parapets behind which he had thus far manceuvred, I would have moved out from East Point with our main body, and have attacked his Army whilst effecting these changes of position. This move not being practicable by reason of these obstructions, I was forced to await further developments.

The morning of the 30th found our general line extended further to the left-Hardee being in the vicinity of Rough and Ready with Lee's Corps on his right, near East Point. Information from our cavalry clearly indicated that the enemy would strike our road at Jonesboroa; after consultation with the corps commanders, I determined upon the following operations, as the last hope of holding on to Atlanta.

As General Armstrong had already foreseen, a Federal corps [205] crossed Flint river at about 6 p. m., near Jonesboroa, and made an attack upon Lewis's brigade, which was gallantly repulsed. This action became the signal for battle. General Hardee was instructed to move rapidly with his troops to Jonesboroa, whither Lieutenant General Lee, with his Corps, was ordered to follow during the night. Hardee was to attack with the entire force early on the morning of the 31st, and drive the enemy, at all hazards, into the river in their rear. In the event of success, Lee and his command were to be withdrawn that night back to Rough and Ready; Stewart's Corps, together with Major General G. W. Smith's State troops were to form line of battle on Lee's right, near East Point, and the whole force move forward the following morning, attack the enemy in flank, and drive him down Flint river and the West Point Railroad. In the meantime, the cavalry was to hold in check the corps of the enemy, stationed at the railroad bridge across the Chattahoochee, near the mouth of Peach Tree creek, whilst Hardee advanced from his position near Jonesboroa, or directly on Lee's left.

Such were the explicit instructions delivered, I impressed upon General Hardee that the fate of Atlanta rested upon his ability, with the aid of two corps, to drive the Federals across Flint river, at Jonesboroa. I also instructed him, in the event of failure — which would necessitate the evacuation of the city — to send Lee's Corps, at dark, back to or near Rough and Ready, in order to protect our retreat to Lovejoy Station.

I remained in Atlanta with Stewart and G. W. Smith, anxiously awaiting tidings from Jonesboroa. At an early hour the following morning, no information having been received and the wires having been cut by the enemy, I despatched a courier with orders that Lee's Corps, in any event, march back and take position in the vicinity of Rough and Ready. The arrival of no messenger from Hardee caused me to fear that the attack had not been made at an early hour, according to instructions; this apprehension proved, unfortunately, but too well grounded. [206]

The attack was not made till about 2 p. m., and then resulted in our inability to dislodge the enemy. The Federals had been allowed time, by the delay, to strongly entrench; whereas had the assault been made at an early hour in the morning, the enemy would have been found but partially protected by works. Lieutenant General S. D. Lee expressed the opinion, at the time, that the enemy could have been driven across the river, if the attack had been made at an early hour, or soon after his Corps arrived at Jonesboroa. General Hardee transmitted to me no official report at that period, nor subsequently, of his operations whilst under my command. I find, however, from the diary in my possession that his Corps succeeded in gaining a portion of the Federal works; the general attack, notwithstanding, must have been rather feeble, as the loss incurred was only about fourteen hundred (1400) in killed and wounded — a small number in comparison to the forces engaged. Among the wounded were Major General Patton Anderson and Brigadier General Cummings, who were disabled whilst gallantly leading their troops into action.

This failure gave to the Federal Army the control of the Macon road, and thus necessitated the evacuation of Atlanta at the earliest hour possible.

I was not so much pained by the fall of Atlanta as by the recurrence of retreat, which I full well knew would further demoralize the Army and renew desertions. The loss of over four thousand (4000), sustained from this same cause during the change from Kennesaw Mountain to and across the Chatta-hoochee, augmented my great reluctance to order the Army to again turn its back to the foe. Howbeit, as stated in my official report, the presence of thirty-four thousand (34,000) Federal prisoners at Andersonville, rendered it absolutely incumbent to place the Army between Sherman and that point, in order to prevent the Federal commander from turning loose this large body, ready to wreak its ill — will upon our people. Thus the proximity of these prisoners to Sherman's Army not only forced me to remain in a position to guard the country [207] against the fearful calamity aforementioned, but also thwarted my design to move north, across Peach Tree creek and the Chattahoochee, back to Marietta, where I would have destroyed the enemy's communications and supplies, and then have taken position near the Alabama line, with the Blue Mountain Railroad in rear, by which means the Confederate Army could, with ease, have been provisioned.6 Notwithstanding the presence of one of Sherman's Corps at the railway bridge over the Chattahoochee, I would have made this move. I would have thrown upon our left flank a sufficient force to occupy the Federals, at the bridge, whilst we laid pontoons and passed round to their rear, as we subsequently did in the presence of Schofield, at Columbia, Tennessee. Had I been enabled to carry into effect this plan, Hardee and Lee would not have been sent to Jonesboroa, as the cavalry would have been instructed to retard, to the utmost, the advance of the enemy, whilst Major General Cobb made demonstrations from the direction of Macon. Thus, while Sherman was destroying the road to Macon, I would have been upon his communications with Nashville, and the desertions, together with the demoralization which followed the evacuation of Atlanta, would have been avoided.

In lieu of the foregoing operations, the battle of Jonesboroa was fought, and on the following day, September 1st, at 2 a.m., Lieutenant General Lee, with his Corps, marched from Jonesboroa to the vicinity of Rough and Ready; and so posted his troops as to protect our flank, whilst we marched out of Atlanta at 5 p. m. the same day, on the McDonough road, in the direction of Lovejoy Station. Generals Morgan and Scott, stationed at East Point, received similar orders to protect our flank during the retreat.

Upon our uninterrupted march, information reached me that Hardee's Corps was engaged with a large force of the enemy. His position upon a ridge with an open country in rear relieved [208] me from special anxiety in regard to the safety of himself and command. Lieutenant General Stewart, nevertheless, was instructed to hasten forward to his support, and General Lee to follow promptly with his Corps. When these reinforcements reached the scene of action, the contest had ceased. Hardee's troops had been attacked by a considerable force; but, in consequence of the protection afforded by their breast-works, their loss in killed and wounded was small in comparison to that of the enemy. The Federals, who largely exceeded them in numbers, forced them back a short distance from the position they primarily occupied, and necessitated the abandonment of two four gun batteries. This engagement was the only event of importance which occurred during our continuous march from Atlanta to Lovejoy Station. I have often thought it strange Sherman should have occupied him-self with attacking Hardee's entrenched position, instead of falling upon our main body on the march round to his rear.

Notwithstanding full and positive instructions, delivered prior to the evacuation of the city, and ample time and facilities afforded to move all stores, cars and engines, the chief quarter master grossly neglected to send off a train of ordnance stores, and five engines, although they were on the track and in readiness to move. This negligence entailed the unnecessary loss of these stores, engines, and about eighty cars.. Shortly afterwards, a Court of Inquiry was assembled to examine into and report upon the cause of this unwarranted loss. A copy of the findings of the Court was forwarded to Richmond, and is at present, I presume, among the captured Confederate records in Washington. I regret I possess no copy for reference; my memory, however, is quite clear as to the result of the inquiry, which was, in substance, that the commanding general had issued all necessary orders, and was in no manner to blame; that ample time had been allowed, and the road left open long enough to have transferred all stores, etc., to a place of safety in rear; and that the loss was to be attributed to the neglect of the chief quarter master. The [209] stores which had been abandoned were blown up at about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 2d September, and the rear guard soon thereafter marched out of Atlanta. That night and the morning of the 3d, our troops filed into position in Sherman's front, which was then near Jonesboroa. By the 4th, our entire Army was assembled at this point, on the Macon road.

Major General Gustavus W. Smith, commanding Georgia State troops, was directed to proceed to Griffin and protect our communications in that vicinity; General Jackson was ordered to keep active scouts in the direction of Greenville; General Morgan to report to Jackson for duty; Lewis's Kentucky brigade to be mounted, and to use blankets in default of saddles.

On the 5th, General Morgan was ordered back to assume command of the cavalry on the right; the corps commanders were instructed to use every effort to gather up absentees; the chief commissary was directed to keep on hand five days rations of hard bread; Major Beecher, quarter master, to confer with Major Hallett, superintendent of the railroad, in regard to means to facilitate the transportation of supplies, and to issue shoes and clothing forthwith upon their receipt.

On the 6th, the Federals withdrew from our immediate front, and moved off in the direction of Atlanta. General Sherman published orders stating that his Army would retire to East Point, Decatur, and Atlanta, and repose after the fatigue of the campaign through which it had passed. We were apprised of these instructions soon after their issuance — as well as of nigh every important movement of the enemy through the vigilance of our cavalry, spies, and scouts, and from information received through Federal prisoners. Upon this date it may be justly considered that the operations round Atlanta ceased. We had maintained a defence, during forty-six days, of an untenable position, and had battled almost incessantly, day and night, with a force of about forty-five thousand (45,ooo) against an Army of one hundred and six [210] thousand (106,000) effectives, flushed with victory upon victory from Dalton to Atlanta. When we recall the extent of the demoralization of the troops at the commencement of the siege, we cannot but recognize that the Army of Tennessee was composed of splendid material, and that its condition at Dalton justifies the assertion of its capability, by proper handling, of having been made the equal of its counterpart in Virginia. The non-fulfilment of its brilliant promise is nowise attributable to the officers and men. The fault lies at the door of the teacher in whose school they had been trained; therefore, none of my countrymen can hesitate to accord them the highest praise for the patriotic and noble work performed by them during the siege of Atlanta.

1 Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 98.

2 Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 87.

3 Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 98.

4 Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 130.

5 Sherman's Memoirs, vol. II, page 104.

6 See Official Report, Appendix page 324.

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