« AnteriorContinuar »
GEN. WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, at the instance of Lt.-Gen. Grant, succeeded him in command of the military division of the Mississippi, embracing the four great departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the Arkansas. Teceiving the order at Memphis, he repaired at once to Nashville, where he met the Lt.-General, and accompanied him so far as Cincinnati— Grant being then on his way to Washington to direct thenceforth our operations generally, but more especially those in Virginia. The plans of the superior were freely imparted to and discussed with his most trusted subordinate, ere they parted to enter respectively on their memorable campaigns against Richmond and Atlanta. Those campaigns were to be commenced simultaneously on the Rapidan and the Tennessee; and either movement to be pressed so vigorously, persistently, that neither of the Rebel main armies could spare troops to reenforce the other. When Sherman received” his final instructions from Grant, it was settled that the campaign should open with May; and Gen. Sherman set forth’ accordingly from the Winter encampments of
his forces around Chattanooga with an army barely short of 100,000 men" of all arms, with 254 guns. It was far superior in every thing but cavalry to that which it confronted; and which, though estimated by Sherman at 55,000 to 60,000, probably numbered hardly more than 50,000." Johnston's army was organized in three corps, led by IIardee, IIood, and Polk. Sherman was from time to time rêenforced, so as nearly to keep his original number good; but, as he advanced into Georgia, the necessity of maintaining his communications seriously reduced his force at the front.
The country between Chattanooga and Atlanta is different from, but even more difficult than, that which separates Washington from Richmond. Rugged mountains, deep, narrow ravines, thick, primitive woods, with occasional villages and more frequent clearings, or irregular patches of cultivation, all traversed by mainly narrow, ill-made roads, succeed each other for some 40 miles; then intervenes alike distance of comparatively open, facile country, traversed by two considerable rivers; then another rugged, difficult region of mountains and passes reaches nearly to the ChattaYochee; across which, 8 miles disint, lies the new but important city of tlanta–a focus of several railroads, Aving some 20,000 inhabitants, and en the seat of extensive manufacries of Confederate supplies. It had sen well fortified, early in 1863.
* March 14, 1864. * April 30. "May 6. * Army of the Cumberland–Gen. Thomas:
Infantry. Cavalry. Artillery. Total. 34,56S 3, S2S 2,377 60,773
Army of the T. unessee—Gen. McPherson:
Infantry. Cavalry. Artillery. Total. 22,437 624 1,404 24,465
Army of the Ohio–Gen. Schofield:
Infantry. Cavalry. Artillery. Total. 11,1S3 1,697 679 13.559 Grand total.............................. 9S,797
* Johnston reported his infantry at 40,900. Sherman estimated his cavalry (under Wheeler) at 10,000. Estimating his artillery at 3,100, his total force would be 54,000. It was occasionally swelled rather than strengthened by drafts of such Georgians not already in the service as passed for militia. The force which Sherman, after passing the Oostenaula, could show at the front, was probably about 70,000 to Johnston's 45,000.
Johnston's position at Dalton was overed by an impassable mountain nown as Rocky-Face ridge, cloven the passage of Mill creek called uzzard's Roost gap. The railroad averses this pass, but our army ould not; it being naturally very rong and now thoroughly fortified. ence, while Thomas menaced" and ebly assailed it in front, McPheron flanked the enemy's left, moving wn by Ship's gap, Villanow, and nake creek gap, to seize either esaca or some other point well its rear, while Schofield should ress on Johnston's right. In execung these orders, Thomas was comalled to bear more heavily on the ebel front than was intended: Newn’s division of IIoward's (4th) corps, ld Geary's of IIooker's (20th) corps, saulting in earnest and even caring portions of the ridge; whence ley were soon repelled with loss. eantime, McPherson had reached le front of Resaca, scarcely resistl; but he could not carry it, and ared not remain between it and Shnston's main body; so he fell ick to a strong position in Snake eek gap, which he could hold for me hours against all gainsayers. herman now, leaving Howard's rps and some cavalry to threaten alton in front, moved" the rest of s forces rapidly in the track of :hofield, and through Snake creek p; which compelled Johnston to
* May 7.
* May 10–11.
evacuate his stronghold and fallback rapidly to Resaca; advancing inforce against which, Kilpatrick, fighting the enemy's cavalry, was disabled by a shot. Sherman had calculated on seriously damaging Johnston when he thus retreated, but was unable to reach him—Johnston having the only direct, good road, while our flanking advance was made with great difficulty. Howard entered Dalton on the heels of the enemy, and pressed him sharply down to Resaca. Sherman forthwith set on foot a new flanking movement by his right to turn Johnston out of Resaca; which Johnston countered by an attack on IIooker and Schofield, still in his front and on his left; but he was ra. ther worsted in the bloody fight" thus brought on : IIooker driving the Rebels from several hills, taking 4 guns and many prisoners. The Rebels retreated across the Oostenaula during the night, and our army entered Resaca in triumph next morning. McPherson crossed on our right at Lay's ferry next day; Gen. Thomas moving directly through Resaca, on the heels of Hardee, who covered the Rebel retreat; while Schofield advanced on our left, over a rough region, by such apologies for roads as he could find or make. Jeff. C. Davis's division of Thomas's army kept down the north-west bank of the 00s. tenaula to Rome, where he took 8 or 10 great guns, and destroyed mills and founderies of greatimportance to the enemy; leaving here a garrison: Johnston made a momentary stand against our central advance in 3. strong position covering Adairsville; but, on the approach of our main body, he again retreated, with only
TUNNEL/H }*H DoNED BY ENEMY
MAY 13 TH
<Soo - unt on 1 NTREncH MENTS Uso EAST POINT
* = REBE- • * -------- ARMYoF THE cum Be RLAND (Twou ks) –––– 22 × 33 TENNESSEE (No retRSOs) Ks ----- 33 33 33 OHIO (*): 2 * - Jon ESBORO” | #CAPTURED SEPs.1ST & : co A_s - * ASLo &/ FAveTTEVILLE as § *\LovEJOY § o Q
SBERMAN'S ATLANTA CAMPAIGN.
harp skirmishing between our van nd his rear-guard; until, having assed through Kingston, he was gain found" holding a strong and rtified position about Cassville, aparently intent on a decisive battle. spon being pressed, however, he rereated, under cover of night, across he Etowah; burning the railroad nd other bridges, and taking a still fronger position covering the AllaYona pass, where the country again ecomes mountainous, rugged, and ifficult, and where he doubtless had etermined to fight in earnest. Sherman, after halting two days to 2st and reconnoiter, decided to flank im out of this by moving well to the ght, concentrating his army on Dals; to which point Jeff. C. Davis, at ome, had already been directed, nd on which Thomas now advanced; scPherson moving still farther to he right, by Van Wert, and swingg in on Thomas's right; while Schoeld, moving on the east, should aim come in on Thomas's left. Johnon promptly divined this movement, ld prepared to baffle it. Thomas, advancing from Burnt ickory to Dallas, was confronted" Pumpkinvine creek by Rebel cavry, whom he rapidly pushed across, ving the burning bridge; but, as looker's corps, in the van, pushed
l, his foremost division (Geary's).
und the enemy in line of battle; ld a severe conflict ensued, without scisive result. Hooker finally conntrated his command four miles rth of Dallas, and struck hard, by herman's order, at Stewart's posiSn covering New IIope church; bence, though he gained some ound, he was unable to drive the
* May 19. * May 25.
well sheltered foe. Next morning, the Rebel intrenched lines stretched unbrokenly from Dallas to Marietta, over a most difficult region, wherein days were necessarily spent by Sherman, amid continual skirmishing and fighting, in making careful approach. es. He had just ordered Schofield to advance our left and flank the enemy’s right, when Johnston struck heavily at our right at Dallas, held. by McPherson. But this attack gave our men the advantage of breastworks, and was repulsed with loss; as one made by IIoward's corps on Cleburne, farther toward the center, was repulsed by the enemy. Our army was now moved" to the left along the Rebel front, enveloping the Allatoona pass, and compelling the enemy to evacuate it; as he soon af. ter did his intrenchments covering New Hope church, and Ackworth also. Allatoona pass was promptly garrisoned by Sherman, and made a secondary base of supplies: the rail. road bridge across the Etowah being repaired, and our trains down the road run to this point. Gen. Frank Blair here came up," with two divisions of the 17th corps, and Col. Long's brigade of cavalry; raising Sherman's effective force nearly to that with which he left Chattanooga; and he moved forward next day to Big Shanty. Kenesaw mountain, with its almost equally formidable neighbors, Pine and Lost mountains, now loomed be: fore him, with Rebel lines two miles long covering the points not impreg. nable by nature—lines which the enemy were actively strengthening each hour. Here Sherman halted perforce, and studied and planned
* June 1. * June 8.
and manoeuvered; finally attempting to force, by sharp fighting, a way between Kenesaw and Pine mountains. In the desultory conflict that ensued, Lt.-Gen. Polk, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana, was instantly killed” by a cannon-ball. He was engaged, with Johnston and IIardee, in making observations, when they were observed on our side, and two shots fired at them—it was said by Thomas's order—the first of which scattered the party to places of safety; but Polk soon tired of his, and, coming out to watch the firing, was struck in the side by a three-inch shot, which tore him to pieces. He neither spoke nor breathed thereafter. Pushing forward wherever the rugged nature of the ground would permit, with frequent assaults and constant battering and picket-firing, Sherman compelled the enemy to abandon Pine mountain,” and then Lost mountain,” with the long line of strong breastworks connecting the latter with Kenesaw. Meantime, rain fell almost incessantly; the narrow mountain roads were rocky gullies; and the Rebel batteries on IGenesaw belched iron constantly at our lines—the balls generally passing harmlessly over the heads of our men, whom the enemy's guns could not be depressed sufficiently to reach. It being evident that we were steadily though slowly gaining ground, especially on our right, a sally and attack were made " by the enemy, led by Hood, with intent to interpose between Thomas's right and Schofield's left, near what was known as ‘the Kulp house.’ The
Hooker's corps, and Hascall’s of Schofield's army, but utterly failed— the enemy being repulsed from our lines with heavy loss, including some prisoners. Sherman now determined to assault in turn, and did" so, after careful preparation, at two points, south of Kenesaw, and in front of Gens. Thomas and McPherson respectively; but the enemy's position was found, at fearful cost, absolutely impregnable—each attack being signally repulsed, with an aggregate loss of 3,000, including Gens. Harker and Dan. McCook, killed, and Col. Rice, with other valuable officers, badly wounded. The Rebels, thoroughly sheltered by their works, reported their loss at 442. Gen. Sherman, in his report, defends this assault as follows: “Upon studying the ground, I had no alternative but to assault or turn the enemy's position. Either course had its difficulties and dangers. And I perceived that the enemy and our own officers had settled down into a conviction that I would not assault fortified lines. All looked to me to outflank. An army, to be efficient, Inust not settle down to one single mode of offense, but must be prepared to execute any plan that promises success. I wished, therefore, for the moral effect, to make a successful assault on the enemy behind his breastworks. * * * Failure as it was, and for which I assume the entire responsibility, I yet claim that it produced good fruits; as it demonstrated to Gen. Johnston that I would assault, and that boldly; and we also gained and held ground so close to the enemy's
parapets that he could not show a head above them.”
If these be sound reasons, they at least as fully justify Grant's order to assault at Cold Harbor: Kenesaw being a palpable Gibraltar, which
Cold IIarbor is not.
blow fell on Williams's division of this bloody repulse; but, waiting only
* June 11. * June 15.
* June 17.
* June 22. * June 27.