ePub 版

oners confined there. After some hesitation, Sherman consented, on the condition that Wheeler's Cavalry should first be put hors de combat, and the railroad effectually destroyed. On the 27th the two expeditions started forth, but Stoneman almost immediately pushed for the neighborhood of Macon, ninety miles distant, where he arrived on the 30th ; Garrard remaining at Flat Rock to cover the movement. The enemy appear, however, to have been fully apprised of his design, and had sent all the prisoners from Macon to Charleston. Meanwhile, the rebel General Iverson, who had been on Stoneman's track since the 27th, overtook him on the 28th, at the junction of South and Yellow Rivers, some sixty miles northwest of Macon. A spirited fight ensued. Kelley's and Hume's rebel cavalry fought the command that Stoneman detached for the purpose of delaying pursuit. Iverson suspected the maneuvre, and left Kelley and Hume to finish the fight, while he passed around the party and continued the pursuit. Stoneman, when he neared Micon, detached a party to operate on Milledgeville and Eatonton. The country around was very unfavorable for cavalry operations, and it was soon discovered that a brigade of rebel infantry had wheeled from our flank and had taken up position along the main route, thus heading off Stoneman. The rebel Armstrong's Brigade of cavalry, comprising the First and Second Kentucky, had come down on Stoneman's left flank at the same time, thus, with the troops in his rear, completely surrounding him. Here it happened, by a strange coincidence, that the First and Second Kentucky of Adams's Brigade were pitted against their rebel namesakes.

Stonemam now discovered Iverson's command above Clinton, disputing his return. He quickly decided that he could not escape on either flank, and determined to fight through the centre. His command numbered nearly twenty-five hundred men, a portion of whom were dismounted, and sent forward as skirmishers. The enemy continued to press him more closely, and, after various fruitless attempts to make head against them, orders were given to the commanders of regiments to break through the opposing lines and escape in the readiest manner possible. Stoneman himself, with several hundred men and a section of artillery, remained to occupy the attention of the enemy, but was finally overpowered and obliged to surrender. Of his three brigades, one returned uninjured, one was somewhat scattered, but eventually found its way back to the Union lines, and the third was captured with him. Garrard's Division proceeded farther than Covington on the Augusta Railroad. Stoneman's total loss probably exceeded a thousand men, with three guns.

Meantime, McCook with his force reached the rendezvous at the appointed time, after having burned five hundred wagons and gathered up several hundred prisoners. The enemy collecting around him, however, he moved to Newman upon the Atlanta and West Point road. Here he was hemmed in, and was obliged to drop his captures and cut his way out, with the loss of five hundred men. The whole expedition must be considered a costly failure, as the cnemy's communications were only temporarily interrupted.

On the 26th of July, General Howard * assumed cominand of the Army of the Tennessee by order of the President, while General Logan re turned to his own corps, the Fifteenth. About the same time Hooker and Palmer were relieved, at their own request, of their commands, and were succeeded, the former by General Slocum and the latter by General Jefferson C. Davis. As Slocum was then in Vicksburg, his place was temporarily filled by General H. S. Wiliiams. General D. S. Stanley also succeeded Howard in command of the Fourth Corps.

Meanwhile the army had been making a movement en echelon from left to right, by which the line was prolonged due south, facing east. The right was now held by the Army of the Tennessee, Thomas being in the centre and Schofield on the left. To protect the Army of the Tennessee from any sudden attack in flank while this movement was in progress, Davis's Division of the Fourteenth Corps was posted so as to be within easy supporting distance of Howard. The enemy, observing the movement, and perceiving that it was Sherman's intent to swing around so as to hold ihe Macon Railroad, massed his troops on the 28th in the same direction. About noon Stewart's Corps attacked Logan, who had just got into position on the right, his corps having been the first detached from its former position on the left. At first the enemy was successful in his onset, his cavalry turning our flank and inflicting considerable loss. But, by the middle of the afternoon, the fortune of battle had changed, and our men, aided by bastily-built intrenchments, repulsed every charge of the enemy. An advance was then ordered, and the enemy was forced back to his own works, leaving the field in our possession. The fighting was very severe till nightfall, although there was little artillery firing. Our loss was about six hundred, and the enemy's nearly five thousand. Had Davis's Division come up on the Bell's Ferry road, as had been looked for, at any time before four o'clock, what was simply a complete repulse would have been a disastrous rout to the enemy.

Meanwhile there was a general advance along the line, but our forces were driven back, the enemy being strongly posted. The Fourth and Fourteenth Corps were hotly engaged, and there was heavy artil. lery firing in their front all day and night, and on the day succeeding. But night fell upon a divided field. Our right was at one time in dan. ger, but was handsomely rescued.

• Oliver Otis Howard was born in Leeds. Maine participating in the victory of November 25th in in 1930, and graduated at Bowdoin College in 155th front of that place. Soon afterwards be received and at West Point in 1954. He was appointed in-cornmand of the Fourth Corps, and made the cainstructor of mathematics at the Military Acadeinspaign from Chattanooga to Atlanta He succeeded in 1857, but resigned his commission in 1861 to McPherson as commander of the Army of the Tes. take command of a regiment of Maine volunteers. nessee, and in the expedition from Atlants to lle commanded a brigade at Bull Run, and for gal. vannab be commanded the right win. of Sherman lant conduct in that battle was commissioned a | army. He also commanded a wing in the marek brigadier-general of volunteers le fonght at northward from Savannah which terininated in the Williamsburg, lost an arm at Fair Oaks, and after surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston and all the battle of Antietam took Sedgwick's Division in the rebel forces under his command. Since the Sumner's Corps. Early in 1863 he was assigned to conclnsion of the war he has held the office of the command of the Eleventh Corps He was pres. Commissioner of Freedmen. le is a man o! ent at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and in the deep religious principles and has been called the Autunan accompanied his corps to Chattanooga, "Havelock of America."


Siege of Atlanta.-Position of the City.–Topography.—The Enemy's Strength.--Sher.

man moves to the Right.-Wheeler's Raid. — Kilpatrick's Raid.—Grand Flank Movement of the Army on the Macon Railroad. -- Defeat of the Enemy at Jonesboro'.-Evacuation of Atlanta. Congratulatory Order of General Sherman.-Truce.-Depopulation of Atlanta. --Correspondence between Sherman and Hood.-Results of the Campaign.

With the affair which was described at the close of our last chapter, the enemy ceased his efforts to prevent the extension of Sherman's right flank; but every forward step of the latter was resisted with great force and skill. Sherman was now settled down to the siege of Atlanta, with little hope, however, of either taking it by assault or reducing it while its communications were intact. A description of the locality may not be here misplaced : As seen from Stone Mountain, a vast elevation of granite sixteen miles northeast, Atlanta appears situated upon a large plain, but as the observer descends from this giddy height and travels in the direction of either point of the compass, his progress is obstructed by sharp “pitches” and narrow “ravines,” through many of which flow small rivulets. To such an extent is this the character of the surface, that scarcely an acre of level ground can be found in the limits of the city. The soil, where there is any, is light and sandy, with a substratum of red clay. Other portions are gravelly and sterile. The most of the country is still covered with a heavy growth of timber. This description holds good until within a few miles north of Marietta, twenty-one miles north of Atlanta, including Dallas, lying a little northwest of Marietta.

The city is laid out in a circle, two miles in diameter, in the centre of which was the passenger dépôt, since destroyed by fire, from which radiate railroads to every quarter of the South. On the north side of the dépôt is a park. Opposite the three vacant sides were situated the three principal hotels, and in the business portion of the city were many fine blocks of buildings. Before the war these were mostly filled with consignments of goods from the large cities of the North and Northwest for the supply of the cotton regions. But the city had become one vast Government storehouse, containing the machine-shops of the principal railroads, the most extensive rolling mill in the South, founderies, pistol and tent factories, &c., &c. In addition there were works for casting shot and shell, making gun-carriages, cartridges, caps, shoes, clothing, &c., &c. Encircling the city was a line of rifle-pits, nine miles in length and about thirty inches high, upon slight eminences. At nearly regular intervals there were planted twelve or fourteen batteries. The fortifications were constructed as a defence from raids, and for the year previous had been manned with a small force.

This line of works had now become very strong, and extended round the city, within the lines General Sherman had drawn about it. Between the two armies stretched a narrow belt of wooded and hilly ground, which was the scene of a constant series of skirmishes. The

enemy had a decided advantage in his fortifications, and the greater facility of movement afforded by the interior position. The force at the disposal of General Hood was not, however, large, and he was looking earnestly for re-enforcements. The strength of his army was not known. Johnston's veterans, by his official report, June 25th, 1864, numbered forty-six thousand six hundred and twenty-eight effective men of all arms, Wheeler's Cavalry included. After that time he received enough veteran troops and Georgia militia to bring his force up to sixty-five or seventy thousand men, from which were to be deducted the losses in subsequent battles. Hood's line of battle extended from Decatur to below East Point, a distance of fifteen miles. General Sherman had been reenforced by convalescents and some new troops, so that his preponderance remained about the same as at the commencement of the campaign.

Sherman now resorted to a further prolongation of his line to the southward, with a view of getting possessionof the Macon road. On the 1st of August, Schofield marched from the left to a position below Utoy Creek, where he joined on to Logan's right, and formed the right wing of the army. The enemy made corresponding movements. This process of extending by the right was continued from the 2d to the 5th, on which day Cox's Division of Schofield's Corps attacked the enemy's line a mile below Utoy, and was repulsed with the loss of four hundred men. On the next day Schofield advanced his whole line, in the hope of gaining a foothold on either the West Point or Macon Railroad, but did not succeed.

This movement convinced Sherman that the whole army would re quire to be moved to reach the Macon road. On the 10th he shelled the city with four-and-a-half-inch rified guns as an experiment. On the 16th orders were issued for a grand flank movement on the 18th to Fairburn, on the West Point road, and thence across to the Macon road at Jonesboro', twenty-two miles north of Atlanta. This march from Fairburn to Jonesboro' would traverse the base of a triangle of which the east side is the Macon road and the west side the West Point Railroad, both of which meet at East Point, whence they follow a common track six miles to Atlanta. This manœuvre would cut the only two roads into Atlanta. The necessity of moving the whole army grew out of the superiority of the enemy in cavalry, which was manifested in the failure of the Union cavalry raids. At this juncture, however, Hood detached Wheeler with a cavalry force to proceed east and north and fall upon Thomas's communications at Dalton. Accordingly, on the 14th of August, Wheeler appeared before Dalton, demanding its surrender, which was refused. Some damage was done to the lines, but sufficient protection had been provided to preserve them from danger.

Upon ascertaining this movement, Sherman supposed that the detachment of Wheeler would deplete the enemy in cavalry so far as to give the Union army the preponderance. Hence he suspended the general movement he had contemplated, and ordered Kilpatrick, who had recently returned to duty, to proceed with five thousand cavalry on a raid against the two railroads. He was partially successful, and returned to camp on the 22d. The damage he had done, however, was nearly all repaired by that time, and the original grand movement became neces

sary. General Sherman therefore renewed the order for a general movement on his right on the night of the 25th, when, all things being ready, the Fourth Corps, Stanley, drew out of its lines on the extreme left, and marched to a position below Proctor's Creek. The Twentieth Corps, Williams, moved back to the Chattahoochee. During the night of the 26th the Army of the Tennessee continued drawing out and moving rapidly by a circuit well towards Sandtown and across Camp Creek, the Army of the Cumberland below Utoy Creek, Schofield remaining in position. The third move brought the Army of the Tennessee on the West Point Railroad, above Fairburn, the Army of the Cumberland about Red Oak, while Schofield closed in near Digs and Mims. Twelve and one-half miles of railroad were here destroyed, the ties burned, and the iron rails twisted. The whole army moved, the 29th, eastward by several roads : Howard on the right, towards Jonesboro'; Thomas in the centre, by Shoal Creek; Church to Couch's, on the Decatur and Fayetteville road; and Schofield on the left, about Morrow's Mills.

The movement proceeded with signal success, and Howard, on the evening of the 30th, passed Flint River and halted within half a mile of Jonesboro'. Hood now began to understand the object of Sherman's movement; but still ignorant, apparently, that nearly the whole Union army was moving upon his communications, he contented himself with sending Hardee's and Lee's Corps to Jonesboro', where they intrenched, while he remained in Atlanta with Stewart's Corps and the militia. On the morning of August 31st, IIoward finding himself in the presence of a heavy force of the enemy, he deployed the Fifteenth Corps and disposed the Sixteenth and Seventeenth on its flanks. The men covered their front with the usual parapet, and were soon prepared to act offensively or defensively, as the case called for. On the morning of the 31st, Kilpatrick took a strong position on a hill in front of the Fifteenth Corps, which the rebels had occupied with a picket line and a few skirmishers. During the forenoon Kilpatrick ascertained that the enemy were massing infantry and cavalry in his front and on his left tlank. To meet and check this movement, two regiments of infantry were sent from Osterhans's command, First Division, Fifteenth Corps, and three regiments of infantry from the Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, as supports; and at the same time a brigade from the Seventeenth Corps was ordered to take a position in the rear of the Sixteenth Corps as reserves, in case of an attack from the enemy. During the forenoon our artillery kept up a ceaseless cannonade upon the rebel lines for the purpose of provoking an assault. The enemy's batteries responded, after a few hours' silence, most vigorously. At three o'clock on the afternoon of the 31st, S. D. Lee's Corps assaulted the Fifteenth Corps and a portion of the Sixteenth Corps, advancing boldly up to our works in three columns, with colors flying. The first line approached within twenty or thirty yards of Hazen's Second Division, Fifteenth Corps; but the deadly fire from our breast works caused it to waver badly, and in fifteen minutes it was broken and irrev. ocably lost for that moment. The second live of rebels camne to the rescue, and with yells dashed on to destruction, for they, too, were swept away before they reached the impenetrable abatis and deadly

« 上一頁繼續 »