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be more easy of execution before the enemy had made more thorough preparation or regained full confidence, and accordingly I ordered General Schofield across from his position on the Sandtown road to Smyrna Camp-ground, and next to the Chattahoochee, near the mouth of Soap's creek, and effect a lodegment on the east bank. This was most successfully and skilfully accomplished on the seventh of July, General Schofield capturing a gun, completely surprising the guard, laying a good pontoon bridge and a trestle-bridge, and effecting a strong lodgement on high and commanding ground, with good roads leading to the east. At the same time General Garrard moved rapidly on Roswell, and destroyed the factories which had supplied the rebel armies with cloth for years. Over one of these, the woollen factory, the nominal owner displayed the French flag, which was not respected, of course. A neutral, surely, is no better than one of our own citizens, and we do not permit our own citizens to fabricate cloth for hostile uses.
General Garrard was then ordered to secure the shallow ford at Roswell, and hold it until he could be relieved by infantry; and as I contemplated transferring the Army of the Tennessee from the extreme right to the left, I ordered General Thomas to send a division of his infantry that was nearest up to Roswell to hold the ford until General McPherson could send up a corps from the neighborhood of Nickajack. General Newton's division was sent, and held the ford until the arrival of General Dodge's corps, which was soon followed by General McPherson's whole army. About the same time General Howard had also built a bridge at Powers' ferry, two miles below General Schofield, had crossed over and taken a position on his right. Thus during the ninth we had secured three good and safe points of passage over the Chattahoochee, above the enemy, with good roads leading to Atlanta, and Johnston abandoned his tete du pont, burned his bridges, and left us undisputed masters north and west of the Chattahoochee, at daylight on the tenth of July.
trade and travel between Georgia and Alabama and Mississippi, which runs from Montgomery to Opelika, and my purpose was to break it up effectually and thereby cut off Johnston's army from that source of supply and reinforcement.
General Rousseau, commanding the District of Tennessee, asked permission to command the expedition, and received it. As soon as Johnston was well across the Chattahoochee, and as I had begun to maneuvre on Atlanta, I gave the requisite notice, and General Rousseau started punctually on the tenth of July. He fulfilled his orders and instructions to the very letter, whipping the rebel General Clanton en route; he passed through Talladega, and reached the railroad on the sixteenth, about twenty-five miles west of Opelika, and broke it well up to that place. Also three miles of the branch to ward Columbus, and two toward West Point. He then turned north, and brought his command safely to Marietta, arriving on the twenty-third, having sustained a trifling loss-not to exceed thirty men.
The main armies remained quiet in their camps on the Chattahoochee until the sixteenth of July, but the time was employed in collecting stores at Allatoona, Marietta, and Vining's station, strengthening the railroad guards and garrisons, and improving the pier bridges and roads leading across the river. Generals Stoneman's and McCook's cavalry had scouted well down the river, to draw attention in that direction, and all things being ready for a general advance, I ordered it to commence on the seventeenth; General Thomas to cross at Powers' and Pace's ferry bridges, and to march by Buckhead; General Schofield, already across at the mouth of Soap's creek, to march by Cross Keys; and General McPherson to direct his course from Roswell straight against the Augusta road, at some point east of Decatur, near Stone Mountain. General Garrard's cavalry acted with General McPherson, and Generals Stoneman and McCook watched the river and roads below the railroad, On the seventeenth the whole army advanced from their camps and formed a general line along the old Peach-tree road.
Continuing on a general right wheel, General McPherson reached the Augusta railroad on the eighteenth, at a point seven miles east of Decatur, and with General Garrard's cavalry, and General Morgan L. Smith's infantry division of the Fifteenth corps, broke up a section of about four miles, and General Schofield reached the town of Decatur.
This was one, if not the chief, object of the campaign, viz: the advancement of our lines from the Tennessee to the Chattahoochee, but Atlanta lay before us, only eight miles distant, and was too important a place in the hands of an enemy to be left undisturbed, with its magazines, stores, arsenals, workshops, foundries, &c., and more especially its railroads, which converge there from the four great cardinal points. But the men had worked hard and needed rest, and On the nineteenth, General McPherson turned we accordingly took a short spell. But in an- along the railroad into Decatur, and General ticipation of this contingency, I had collected a Schofield followed a road toward Atlanta, leadwell-appointed force of cavalry, about two thou- ing by Colonel Howard's house and distillery, sand strong, at Decatur, Alabama, with orders, and General Thomas crossed Peach-tree creek on receiving notice by telegraph, to push rap-in force by numerous bridges, in the face of the idly south, cross the Coosa, at the railroad bridge or the Ten Islands, and thence by the most direct route to Opelika. There is but one stem of finished railroad connecting the channels of
enemy's intrenched lines. All found the enemy in more or less force, and skirmished heavily.
On the twentieth all the armies had closed in, converging toward Atlanta, but as a gap existed
between Generals Schofield and Thomas, two divisions of General Howard's corps of General Thomas' army were moved to the left to connect with General Schofield, leaving General Newton's division of the same corps on the Buckhead road. During the afternoon of the twentieth, about four P. M., the enemy sallied from his works in force, and fell in line of battle against our right centre, composed of General Newton's division of General Howard's corps, on the main Buckhead road; of General Hooker's corps next south, and General Johnson's division of General Palmer's corps. The blow was sudden and somewhat unexpected, but General Newton had hastily covered his front by a line of rail piles which enabled him to meet and repulse the attack on him. General Hooker's whole corps was uncovered, and had to fight on comparatively open ground, The and it, too, after a very severe battle, drove the enemy back to his intrenchments. action in front of General Johnson was comparatively light, that division being well intrenched. The enemy left on the field over five hundred dead, about one thousand wounded severely, seven stands of colors, and many prisoners. His loss could not have fallen short of five thousand, whereas ours was covered by one thousand five hundred killed, wounded, and missing; the greater loss fell on General Hooker's corps, from its exposed position.
On the twenty-first we felt the enemy in his intrenched position, which was found to crown the heights overlooking the comparatively open ground of the valley of Peach-tree creek, his right beyond the Augusta road to the east, and his left well toward Turner's ferry on the Chattahoochee, at a general distance from Atlanta of about four miles.
On the morning of the twenty-second, some-
General McPherson, who had advanced from
Fifteenth connecting on the right with General
About ten A. M., I was in person, with General
in front, the only question being as to the amount of force he could employ at that point. I hastily transmitted orders to all parts of our centre and right to press forward and give full employment to all the enemy in his lines, and for General Schofield to hold as large a force in reserve as possible, awaiting developments. Not more than half an hour after General McPherson had left me, viz., about 12:30 P. M. of the twenty-second, his Adjutant-General, Lieutenant Colonel Clark, rode up and reported that General McPherson was either dead or a prisoner; that he had ridden from me to General Dodge's column, moving as heretofore described, and had sent off nearly all his staff and orderlies on various errands, and himself had passed into a narrow path or road that led to the left and rear of General Giles A. Smith's division, which was General Blair's extreme left; that a few minutes after he had entered the woods a sharp volley was heard in that direction, and his horse had come out riderless, having two wounds. The suddenness of this terrible calamity would have overwhelmed me with grief, but the living demanded my whole thoughts. I instantly despatched a staff officer to General John A. Logan, commanding the Fifteenth corps, to tell him what had happened; that he must assume command of the Army of the Tennessee, and hold stubbornly the ground already chosen, more especially the hill gained by General Leggett the night before.
Already the whole line was engaged in battle. Hardee's corps had sallied from Atlanta, and by a wide circuit to the east had struck General Blair's left flank, enveloped it, and his right had swung around until it hit General Dodge in motion. General Blair's line was substantially along the old line of the rebel trench, but it was fashioned to fight outward. A space of wooded ground of near half a mile, intervened between the head of General Dodge's column and General Blair's line, through which the enemy had poured, but the last order ever given by General McPherson was to hurry a brigade (Colonel Wangelin's) of the Fifteenth corps across from the railroad to occupy this gap. It came across on the double-quick, and checked the enemy. While Hardee attacked in flank, Stewart's corps was to attack in front directly out from the main works, but fortunately their attacks were not simultaneous. The enemy swept across the hill which our men were then fortifying, and captured the pioneer company, its tools, and almost the entire working party, and bore down on our left until he encountered General Giles A. Smith's division of the Seventeenth corps, who was somewhat "in air," and forced to fight first from one side of the old rifle parapet and then from the other, gradually withdrawing, regiment by regiment, so as to form a flank to General Leggett's division, which held the apex of the hill, which was the only part that was deemed essential to our future plans. General Dodge had caught and held well in check the enemy's right, and punished him severely, capturing
many prisoners. Smith (General Giles A.) had gradually given up the extremity of his line and formed a new one, whose right connected with General Leggett, and his left refused, facing south-east. On this ground and in this order the men fought well and desperately for near four hours, checking and repulsing all the enemy's attacks. The execution on the enemy's ranks at the angle was terrible, and great credit is due both Generals Leggett and Giles A. Smith and their men for their hard and stubborn fighting. The enemy made no further progress on that flank, and by four P. M. had almost given up the attempt. In the meantime, Wheeler's cavalry unopposed (for General Gerrard was absent at Covington by my order), had reached Decatur and attempted to capture the wagon trains, but Colonel, now General Sprague, covered them with great skill and success, sending them to the rear of General Schofield and Thomas, and not drawing back from Decatur till every wagon was safe except three, which the teamsters had left, carrying off the mules. On our extreme left the enemy had taken a complete battery of six guns, with its horses (Murray's), of the Regular Army, as it was moving along unsupported and unapprehensive of danger, in a narrow, wooded road in that unguarded space between the head of General Dodge's column and the line of battle on the ridge above, but most of the men escaped to the bushes. He also got two other guns on the extreme left flank, that were left on the ground as General Giles A. Smith drew off his men in the manner heretofore described. About four P. M., there was quite a lull, during which the enemy felt forward on the railroad and main Decatur road, and suddenly assailed a regiment which, with a section of guns, had been thrown forward as a kind of picket, and captured the two guns; he then advanced rapidly and broke through our lines at that point, which had been materially weakened by the withdrawal of Colonel Martin's brigade, sent by General Logan's order to the extreme left. The other brigade, General Lightburn, which held this part of the line, fell back in some disorder, about four hundred yards, to a position held by it the night before, leaving the enemy for a time in possession of two batteries, one of which, a twenty-pounder Parrott battery of four guns, was most valuable to us, and separating General Wood's and General Harrow's divisions of the Fifteenth corps, that were on the right and left of the railroad. Being in person close by the spot, and appreciating the vast importance of the connection at that point, I ordered certain batteries of General Schofield to be moved to a position somewhat commanding, by a left flank fire, and ordered an incessant fire of shells on the enemy within sight and the woods beyond, to prevent his reinforcing. I also sent orders to General Logan, which he had already anticipated, to make the Fifteenth corps regain its lost ground at any cost, and instructed General Wood, supported by General Schofield, to use his division and sweep the
all my cavalry to prepare for a blow at the
parapet down from where he held it until he
former by the left around Atlanta to McDonough, appointed bodies were to move in concert, the But among the dead was Major-General and the latter by the right on Fayetteville, and McPherson, whose body was recovered and on a certain night, viz., July twenty-eighth, they brought to me in the heat of battle, and I had were to meet on the Macon road near Lovejoy's, sent it, in charge of his personal staff, back to and destroy it in the most effectual manner. I Marietta, on its way to his Northern home. He estimated this joint cavalry could whip all was a noble youth of striking personal appear- Wheeler's cavalry, and could otherwise fully acance, of the highest professional capacity, and complish its task, and I think so still. I had the At the very with a heart abounding in kindness that drew to officers in command to meet me, and explained His sudden death the movement perfectly, and they entertained him the affections of all men. devolved the command of the Army of the not a doubt of perfect success. Tennessee on the no less brave and gallant Gen-moment, almost, of starting, General Stoneman eral Logan, who nobly sustained his reputation addressed me a note asking permission, after and that of his veteran army, and avenged the fulfilling his orders and breaking the road, to be death of his comrade and commander. The allowed, with his command proper, to proceed enemy left on the field his dead and wounded, to Macon and Anderson, and release our prisonand about a thousand well prisoners. His deaders of war confined at those points. There was alone are computed by General Logan at three something most captivating in the idea, and the I consented that after the defeat of thousand two hundred and forty, of which num- execution was within the bounds of probability of ber two thousand two hundred were from snccess. actual count, and of these he delivered to the Wheeler's cavalry, which was embraced in his enemy, under a flag of truce, sent in by him (the orders, and breaking the road, he might attempt enemy) eight hundred bodies. I entertain no it with his cavalry proper, sending that of doubt that in the battle of July twenty-second General Garrard back to its proper flank of the the enemy sustained an aggregate loss of full army. Both cavalry expeditions started at the eight thousand men. The next day General Gar-time appointed. I have as yet no report from rard returned from Covington, having succeeded perfectly in his mission, and destroyed the bridges at Ulcofauhatchee and Yellow rivers, besides burning a train of cars, a large quantity of cotton (two thousand bales), and the depots of stores at Covington and Conyers' station, and bringing in two hundred prisoners and some good horses, losing but two men, one of whom was killed by accident. Having, therefore, sufficiently crippled the Augusta road, and rendered it useless to the enemy, I then addressed myself to the task of reaching the Macon road, over which of necessity came the stores and ammunition that alone maintained the rebel army in Atlanta.
General Stoneman, who is prisoner of war at Macon, but I know that he despatched General Garrard's cavalry to Flat Rock, for the purpose of covering his own movement to McDonough, but for some reason unknown to me, he went off toward Covington and did not again communicate with General Garrard at Flat Rock. General Garrard remained there until the twentyninth, skirmishing heavily with a part of Wheeler's cavalry and occupying their attention, but hearing nothing from General Stoneman, he moved back to Conyers', where, learning that General Stoneman had gone to Covington and turned and resumed his position on our left. south on the east side of the Ocmulgee, he reGenerals Schofield and Thomas had closed It is known that General Stoneman kept to the well up, holding the enemy behind his inner in- east of the Ocmulgee to Clinton, sending detrenchments. I first ordered the Army of the tachments off to the east, which did a large Tennessee to prepare to vacate its line and to amount of damage to the railroad, burning the shift by the right, below Proctor's creek, and bridges of Walnut creek and Oconee, and deGeneral Schofield to extend up to the Augusta stroying a large number of cars and locomotives, road. About the same time General Rousseau and with his main force appeared before Macon. had arrived from his expedition to Opelika, He did not succeed in crossing the Ocmulgee at bringing me about two thousand good cavalry, Macon, or in approaching Andersonville, but rebut of course fatigued with its long and rapid tired in the direction whence he came, followed march, and ordering it to relieve General Stone- by various detachments of mounted men under man at the river about Sandtown, I shifted a General Iverson. He seems to have become General Stoneman to our left flank, and ordered 'hemmed in, and gave consent to two thirds of
his force to escape back while he held the enemy in check with the remainder, about seven hundred men, and a section of light guns. One brigade, Colonel Adams, came in almost intact. Another, commanded by Colonel Capron, was surprised on the way back and scattered, many were captured and killed, and the balance got in mostly unarmed and afoot, and the General himself surrendered his small command, and is now a prisoner at Macon. His mistake was in not making the first concentration with Generals McCook and Garrard near Lovejoy's, according to his orders, which is yet unexplained.
General McCook, in the execution of his part, went down the west bank of the Chattahoochee to near Rivertown, where he laid a pontoon bridge with which he was provided, crossed his command, and moved rapidly on Palmetto station of the West Point road, where he tore up a section of track, leaving a regiment to create a diversion toward Campbelltown, which regiment fulfilled its duty, and returned to camp by way of, and escorting back, the pontoon-bridge train. General McCook then rapidly moved to Fayetteville, where he found a large number of the wagons belonging to the rebel army in Atlanta. These he burned to the number of five hundred, killing eight hundred mules, and carrying along others, and taking two hundred and fifty prisoners, mostly quartermasters and men belonging to the trains. He then pushed for the railroad, reaching it at Lovejoy station at the time appointed. He burned the depot, tore up a section of the road, and continued to work until forced to leave off to defend himself against an accumulating force of the enemy. He could hear nothing of General Stoneman, and finding his progress east too strongly opposed, he moved south and west, and reaching Newnan, on the West Point road, where he encountered an infantry force coming from Mississippi to Atlanta, which had been stopped by the break he had made at Palmetto. This force, with the pursuing cavalry, hemmed him in, and forced him to fight. He was compelled to drop his prisoners and captures, and cut his way out, losing some five hundred officers and men, among them a most valuable officer, Colonel Harrison, who, when fighting his men as skirmishers on foot, was overcome and made prisoner, and is now at Macon. He cut his way out, reached the Chattahoochee, crossed and got to Marietta, without further loss.
General McCook is entitled to much credit for thus saving his command, which was endangered by the failure of General Stoneman to reach Lovejoy's. But on the whole, the cavalry raid is not deemed a success, for the real purpose was to break the enemy's communications, which, though done, was on so limited a scale, that I knew the damages would soon be repaired.
Pursuant to the general plan the Army of the Tennessee drew out of its lines near the Decatur road during the night of July twenty-sixth, and on the twenty-seventh moved behind the rest of the army to Proctor's creek, and south, to pro
long our line due south, facing east. On that day, by appointment of the President of the United States, Major-General Howard assumed command of the Army of the Tennessee, and had the general supervision of the movement, which was made en echelon, General Dodge's corps, Sixteenth, on the left, nearest the enemy, General Blair's corps, Seventeenth, next to come up on its right, and General Logan's corps, Fifteenth, to come up on its right, and refused as a flank, the whole to gain as much ground due south from the flank already established on Proctor's creek as was consistent with a proper strength. General Dodge's men got into line in the evening of the twenty-seventh, and General Blair's came into line on his right early on the morning of the twenty-eighth, his right reaching an old meeting-house called Ezra Church, near some large open fields by the poor-house, on a road known as the Bell's ferry or Lickskillet road. Here the Fifteenth corps, General Logan's, joined on and refused along a ridge well wooded, which partially commanded a view over the same fields. About ten A. M., all the army was in position, and the men were busy in throwing up the accustomed piles of rails and logs, which after awhile assumed the form of a parapet. The skill and rapidity with which our men construct them is wonderful, and is something new in the art of war. I rode along his whole line about that time, and as I approached Ezra Church there was considerable artillery firing, enfilading the road in which I was riding, killing an orderly's horse just behind my staff. I struck across an open field to where General Howard was standing in the rear of the Fifteeenth corps, and walked up to the ridge with General Morgan L. Smith, to see if the battery which enfiladed the main road and line of rail-piles could not be disposed of, and heard General Smith give the necessary orders for the deployment of one regiment forward and another to make a circuit to the right, when I returned to where General Howard was, and remained there until twelve o'clock. During this time there was nothing to indicate serious battle save the shelling by one, or at most two, batteries from beyond the large field in front of the Fifteenth corps.
Wishing to be well prepared to defeat the enemy if he repeated his game of the twentysecond, I had, the night before, ordered General Davis' division of General Palmer's corps, which, by the movements of the Army of the Tennessee, had been left, as it were, in reserve, to move down to Turner's ferry, and thence toward Whitehall or East Point, aiming to reach the flank of General Howard's new line, hoping that in case of an attack this division would in turn catch the attacking force in flank or rear at an unexpected moment. I explained it to General Howard, and bade him expect the arrival of such a force in case of battle. Indeed, I expected to hear the fire of its skirmishers by noon. General Davis was sick that day, and BrigadierGeneral Morgan commanded the division which