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396

HOOD ON SHERMAN'S COMMUNICATIONS.

1664.

at Allatoona, and appeared before Dalton and demanded its surrender. The little garrison there, under Colonel Liebold, held the post firmly until General Steedman came down from Chattanooga and drove Wheeler off. The latter then pushed up into East Tennessee, made a circuit around Knoxville by way of Strawberry Plains, crossed the Clinch River near Clinton, went over the Cumberland Mountains by way of the Sequatchie, and appeared at McMinnville, Murfreesboro', and Lebanon. Rousseau, Steedman, and Granger, in Tennessee, were on the alert, and they soon drove the raider into Northern Alabama by way of Florence. Although he had destroyed

much property, his damage to Sherman's communications was so

slight, that the latter said, in writing from Atlanta on the 15th of September:* “ Our roads and telegraphs are all repaired, and the cars run with regularity and speed.”i

Sherman and Hood took advantage of the lull in the campaign, in September, to reorganize their respective armies for vigorous work, and it was at nearly the close of the month when active operations were resumed.'

Then, convinced that Hood intended to assume the offensive, and, Sept. 28.

in all probability, attempt to seize Tennessee, Sherman sent' General Thomas, his second in command, to Nashville, to organize the new troops expected to assemble there, and to make preliminary preparations to meet such an event. Thomas arrived at Nashville on the 3d of October.

Meanwhile, the Confederates had crossed the Chattahoochee, and by a rapid movement had struck the railway in the vicinity of Big Shanty, not far from Kenesaw, and destroyed it for several miles. At the same time

a division of infantry, under General French, pushed northward,

and appeared before Allatoona,' where Colonel Tourtellotte, of the Fourth Minnesota, was guarding one million rations with only three thin regiments. Sherman was startled, and moved at once for the defense of his communications and stores. Leaving Slocum, with the Twentieth Corps, to

, hold Atlanta and the railroad bridge across the Chattahoochee, he

commencedd a swift pursuit of Hood with the Fourth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twenty-third Corps, and two divisions of cavalry.

On the morning of the 5th, Sherman was at the strong position around Kenesaw, and his signal officers were soon at work upon its summit. Expecting an attack on Allatoona, and knowing the weakness of the garrison there, he had telegraphed (and now signaled) to General Corse, at Rome, to hasten thither with re-enforcements. The order was promptly

obeyed, and Corse was there and in command when French ap

peared at dawn' with an overwhelming force, and invested the place. After a cannonade of two hours the Confederate leader demanded

• Oct. 5.

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i Sherman's Report.

2 At that time the Army of the Cumberland, General Thomas commanding, occupied Atlanta; the Army of the Tennessee, General Howard commanding, was grouped about East Point; and the Army of the Ohio, commanded by General Schofield, was at Decatur. Sherman's cavalry consisted of two divisions; one, under General Garrard, was at Decatur, and the other, led by General Kilpatrick, was stationed near Sandtown, where be could watch the Confederates on the west. Sherman strengthened the garrisons to the rear; and to make bis communications more secure, he sent Wagner's division, of the Fourth Corps, and Morgan's division, of the Fourteenth Corps. back to Chattanooga, and Corse's division, of the Fifteenth Corps, to Rome. Hood's army was arranged in three corps, commanded respectively by Generals Cheatham, Lee, and Stewart.

His cavalry under Wheeler, had been re-enforced.

BATTLE AT ALLATOONA PASS.

397

the surrender of the post. It was refused. Then he assailed it furiously, but was met with fires so murderous from two forts on the ridge that his columns were continually driven back.

The battle raged fiercely. From the top of Kenesaw, Sherman could see the smoke of conflict and hear the thunder of the cannon, though eighteen

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miles distant. He had sent General J. D. Cox, with the Twenty-third Corps, to assist the garrison by menacing French's rear in the direction of Dallas; and he was enabled to say to the commander at Allatoona, by signal flags from Kenesaw, “Hold out, for relief is approaching,"? And when Sherman was assured that Corse was there, he exclaimed: “He will hold out! I know the man!” And so he did. He repelled assault after assault, until more than one-third of his men were disabled. Then the assailants, apprised of the approach of Cox, hastily withdrew and fled toward Dalton, leaving behind them two hundred and thirty of their dead, and four hundred made prisoners, with about eight hundred muskets. Corse lost seven hundred and seven men, and was severely wounded in the face. Among the many badly hurt were Colonels Tourtellotte and Howell.

When Davis visited Hood at Palmetto, he instructed him to draw Sherman out of Georgia, for his presence there was causing alarming disaffection to the cause of the conspirators. In obedience to these instructions, Hood now moved

1 This shows the appearance of Allatoona Pass when the writer sketched it in May, 1866. The railway there passes through a cut in a ridge, on the summit of which, to the left of the picture, looking up from between the two houses, is seen Fort Hammond, so called because of a house standing there then, belonging to Mr. Hammond, a proprietor of the Allatoona Iron Works. The house on the ridge, at the right of the railway, belonged to Mr. Moore, and a fort on the extreme right was called Fort Moore.

2 The value and the perfection of the signal system employed in the army, under the general superintendence of Major Albert J. Myer, was fully illustrated in the event recorded in the text, when from hill to hill, at a distance of eighteen miles, intelligent communication was kept up by the mere motion of flags, discerned by telescopes. An account of the method of signaling, perfected by Major Myer, may be found in the Supplement to this work.

3 See note 8, page 396.

4 At this time there was great disaffection to the Confederate cause in Georgia. Governor Brown, Alexander H. Stephens, and others, seemed to have been impressed with the utter selfishness and evident incompetency of Davis, and were disposed to assert, in all its strength, the doctrine of State supremacy. Davis's speech at Macon, already noticed, did not help his cause. The people were tired of war-tired of furnishing men and means to carry out the ambitious schemes of a demagogue-and three days after that speech, a long letter

. Sept. 26, from Governor Brown was received at the Confederate “War Department," in which he abso

1864. lutely refused to respond to Davis's call for militia from that State. He said he would not encourage Davis's ambitious projects " hy placing in his bands, and under his unconditional control, all that remains to preserve the reserved rights of the State.” He bitterly and offensively criticised Davis's management of military affairs, in not re-enforcing Johnston and Hood. Georgia, he said, had then fifty regiments in Virginia; and he demanded their return to their own State, for its defense, if re-enforcernents were not sent to Hood for that purpose.—(See Rebel War Clerk's Diary, ii., 392. It was this practical application of the principles of State sovereignty, so destructive of National unity in Georgia, that caused Davis to visit that State.

398

HOOD CHASED BY SHERMAN.

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Oct. 10, 1564,

Oct. 11.

guns; and

• Oct. 14.

rapidly northwestward, and threatened Kingston and other important points on the railway. Sherman followed as rapidly. He pressed through the Alla

toona Pass and across the Etowah, and by a forced march reached Kingston" and saved it. There he found that Hood had turned

westward, threatened Rome, and was crossing the Coosa over a pontoon bridge, eleven miles below that town. Sherman then hurried on

to Rome, and pushed Garrard's cavalry and Cox's (Twenty

third) corps across the Oostenaula, to threaten Hood's flank should he turn northward. That vigorous leader had moved so rapidly that he avoided the intended blow, excepting a slight one by Garrard, which drove a brigade of Confederate cavalry, and secured two of their he suddenly appeared before Resaca, and demanded its surrender. Sherman had re-enforced that post with two regiments of the Army of the Tennessee, and Colonel Weaver, the commander, gallantly repulsed a vigorous attack. The assailants then moved on, closely followed by Sherman. They destroyed the railway from Tilton to the tunnel at Buzzard's Roost, and captured the Union garrison at Dalton. On his arrival at Resaca, Sherman determined to strike Hood in

fank, or force him to fight. He was now puzzled by Hood's

movements, and knew no better way to force him to develop his designs. General Howard moved to Snake Creek Gap, and skirmished with the Confederates there, for the purpose of holding them while General Stanley, with the Fourth and Fourteenth Corps, should move round to Hood's rear, from Tilton to the vicinity of Villanow. But the Confederates

gave way and withdrew to Ship's Gap, and on the following

dayd Sherman's forces moved directly toward Lafayette, with a view of cutting off Hood's retreat. That leader was watchful, and being in lighter marching order than his pursuer, outstripped and evaded him. Sherman still pressed on and entered the Chattanooga Valley, and on the 19th, his forces were all grouped about Gaylesville, a fertile region in Northern Alabama.

Sherman was now satisfied that Hood was simply luring him out of Georgia, and did not intend to fight. He had an army strong enough to endanger the National communications between Atlanta and Chattanooga, but not of sufficient power to engage in battle. So the patriot leader determined to execute a plan, which he had already submitted to the consideration of General Grant, namely, to destroy Atlanta and its railway communications with Chattanooga, and, moving through the heart of Georgia, capture one or more of the important seaport towns—Savannah or Charleston, or both. So he remained at Gaylesville a week, watching the movements of Hood,

Oct. 16.

In recording the fact of Davis's absence at that time, A Rebel War Clerk said, in his diary: ** When the cat's away, the mice will play.' I saw a note of invitation to-day, from Secretary Mallory to Secretary Seddon, inviting him to his house, at 5 P. M., to partake of 'pen-soup' with Secretary Trenholm. His "pea-soup' will be oysters and champagne, and every other delicacy relished by epicures. Mr. Mallory's red face and his plethorie body indicate the highest living; and his party will enjoy the dinner, while so many of our brave men are lanquishing with wounds, or pining in cruel captivity. Nay, they may feast, possibly, while the very pillars of the Government are crumbling under the blows of the enemy."

PREPARATIONS FOR A MARCH TO THE SEA.

399

• Oct. 26,

1864.

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when, satisfied that he had marched westward over the Sand Mountains, he proceeded in preparations to put into execution his important plan, with a full understanding with Generals Grant and Thomas, and the approval of the General-in-chief. Stanley was ordered to proceed to Chattanooga with the Fourth Corps, and report to General Thomas, and Schofield was directed to do the same.

To General Thomas, Sherman now delegated full power over all the troops under his command, excepting four corps, with which he intended to march from Atlanta to the sea. He also gave him the two divisions of General A. J. Smith, then returning from the business of driving Price out of Missouri ;' also all the garrisons in Tennessee, and all the cavalry of the Military Division, excepting a single division under Kilpatrick, which he reserved for operations in Georgia. General Wilson had just arrived from the front of Petersburg and Richmond, to assume the command of the cavalry of the army, and he was sent back to Nashville, with various dismounted detachments, with orders to collect and put in fighting order all the mounted men serving in Kentucky and Tennessee, and report to General Thomas. Thus the latter officer was furnished with strength believed to be sufficient to keep Hood out of Tennessee; and he was invested with unlimited discretionary powers in the use of his material. Sherman estimated Hood's force at thirty-five thousand infantry and ten thousand cavalry.

By the first of November, Hood made his appearance near the Tennessee River, in the vicinity of Decatur, and passing on to Tuscumbia, laid a poncoon bridge across that stream at Florence. Then Sherman turned his force toward Atlanta, preparatory to taking up his march for the sea.

The Army of the Tennessee moved back to the south side of the Coosa, to the vicinity of Smyrna Camp-ground. The Fourteenth Corps moved to Kingston, from which point all the sick and wounded, and all surplus baggage and artillery, were sent to Chattanooga. The garrisons north of Kingston withdrew to the same place, with the public property and rolling stock of the railway. Then the mills and founderies at Rome were destroyed, and the railway was thoroughly dismantled from the Etowah to the Chattahoochee. The army crossed that stream, destroyed the railroads in and around Atlanta, and, on the 14th of November, the entire force destined for the great march to the sea was concentrated around that doomed city.

The writer, accompanied by his traveling companions already mentioned (Messrs. Dreer and Grėble), visited the theater of the Georgia campaign in 1884, from Dalton to Atlanta, in the delightful month of May, 1866. We left Chattanooga early on the morning of the 15th,' by railway.

e May, 1866, After passing through the tunnel at the Missionaries' Ridge, we crossed the Chickamanga River several times before reaching Tunnel Hill, in Rocky Face Ridge. The country in that region was quite picturesque, but utterly desolate in appearance. Over it the great armies had marched, and left the horrid foot-prints of war, At Dalton, a once flourishing Georgia town, where Bragg and Johnston had their quarters for several months, we saw he first terrible effects of the campaign upon the works of man. Ruin

• 1864.

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