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ter of the country, favorable to secrecy of movement, could command. Rosser was fallen in with at an early day, however, as already seen, and severely chastised. The presence of Longstreet's men was more carefully concealed until the moment arrived for the intended decisive blow. This was struck during the temporary absence of Sheridan in Washington. On the morning of the 19th of October, just as the army, in its position at Cedar Creek, was preparing breakfast, the Rebels suddenly attacked the Eighth Corps, on the left of the line, completely surprising the men, and driving them in great confusion from their camp. Pursuit was continued for nearly four miles, flanking the position of the main army, and communicating the panic to other parts of the line. The Sixth and Nineteenth Corps were almost hopelessly endeavoring to stem the tide of defeat, when Sheridan, who had hastened to the front, arrived in time to throw the inspiring influence of his presence into the scale, and to save the day by his guidance. He speedily made new dispositions of his forces, and by vigorous flank attacks, succeeded in repulsing the cnemy and driving him back in utter rout. The victory was even more signal than that gained a month before at Winchester. The enemy lost about fifty guns, a large number of killed and wounded, and thousands of prisoners. The pursuit was continued that night to Fisher's Hill, and on the following day, the cavalry pursued the flying battalions as far as Mount Jackson. Returning, the army re-occupied its old camp between Middleton and Cedar Creek. Among the deeply lamented losses in this famous battle, was that of Col. Lowell, a gallant officer of the cavalry.
These important victories in the Shenandoah Valley gave unbounded joy to loyal hearts throughout the nation. They gratified the popular thirst for military success, and awakened a true enthusiasm for the heroic commander who had redeemed the history of the Valley. General Sheridan was promoted, by the President, to be a Major-General of the Regular Army, in place of Gen. George B. McClellan, immediately after the latter had tendered his resignation, taking effect on the 8th of November.
On the day following the memorable victory at Cedar Creek, the President issued the following proclamation, for a day of national thanksgiving:
It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with his guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps, and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and 'afflictions.
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday of November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that, on that occasion, they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and our posterity throughout all generations.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington this twentieth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred [L. S.] and sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
Gen. Sherman s Campaign in Georgia. From Marietta to Atlanta.→ Passage of the Chattahoochee.-Rousseau's Raid.-Battles before Atlanta.-Heavy losses of the Rebels after Hood succeeds Johnston.-Cavalry expeditions under Stoneman and McCook.-Their Failure. Operations around Atlanta.-Kilpatrick's Raid.-Sherman's Army on the Macon Railroad.-Battle of Jonesboro.Capture of Atlanta.-Rebel Raids.-Hood's operations in Sherman's rear.-Price's Invasion of Missouri.-General Results of the South-western Campaigns.
ON retiring from Kenesaw Mountain, the Rebel commander in Georgia had taken up a strong position on the further bank of the Chattahoochee, having succeeded in effecting the crossing without interruption. He had previously provided a strong tete de pont covering his communication across the stream, and an advanced line of intrenchments on the hither side, crossing the railroad at Smyrna, five miles south of Marietta. These works had secured his safe retreat. The river is one of such depth and rapidity of current as not to be fordable, except at one or two points. A reconnoissance made on the 5th of July showed that Johnston's position could not be turned except by crossing this stream. General Sherman accordingly made his dispositions to effect this object with the least possible delay.
General Schofield was ordered up to Smyrna, from his position on the right, and directed to throw a force across the river, near the mouth of Soap's Creek. This he satisfactorily effected on the 7th of July, surprising the guard, and laying secure bridges. The place he occupied was on advantageous ground, commanding roads leading eastward. Gen. Garrard's cavalry division, operating with the Army of the Tennessee, was hastening forward to Roswell, where there were factories which had long been engaged in manufacturing cloth for the Rebel armies. After destroying these factories, Garrard took
possession of the ford across the Chattahoochee, near by, and McPherson's army was speedily transferred from the right, to this position on the extreme left. In the mean time General Howard had succeeded in throwing a bridge across the river at Powers' Ferry, two miles below where the Army of the Ohio had crossed, and had taken position on the right of the latter. These important advantages having been gained by Gen. Sherman, Johnston destroyed his bridge on the 10th of July, and left the right bank of the Chattahoochee to the Union armies without further contest.
During the next six days, the main army rested in camp, while supplics were accumulated at Marietta and Vining's Station (near the Chattahoochee), and the garrisons and guards along the railroad were strengthened. It was now, too, that the word was given for the setting out of an important cavalry expedition, under Gen. Rousseau, to break Johnston's railroad communications, in Alabama, on the main thoroughfare between Atlanta and the South-west, running from Opelika Junction to Montgomery. The force intended for this purpose had been for some time past gathering at Decatur, in Northern Alabama, and numbered, at the time of starting, but little more than two thousand men. The movement began on the 10th of July, and continued, with only occasional interruptions, to destroy stores accumulated by impressment for the Rebel army, or to chastise a guerrilla party, until the river Coosa was reached, near Ashville, on the evening of the 13th. The First Brigade crossed the river, while the Second remained on the north bank, and on the next day the forces began their march down the stream, a brigade on each side, until the ford was reached where Jackson crossed in 1814, and defeated the Creek Indians. Here, as the Second Brigade began to pass over, they were fired upon from the shelter of rocks and thickets by a considerable Rebel force under Clanton, mostly dismounted cavalry. The Second Brigade speedily found a favorable position from which the fire was returned with effect. The First Brigade charged upon Clanton's men, completely routing them. Gen. Rousseau then resumed his march, reaching Talladega late the same evening, and driving in the
enemy's pickets. Entering the town in the morning, he destroyed the commissary stores found there, and continued his march. On the evening of the 16th, the Tallapoosa river was crossed at Smith's Ford, near Youngville, about thirty-five miles from Montgomery. On the 17th, the railroad was struck at Loccopaca, one hundred and thirty-five miles south-west of Atlanta, and on the following day the work of destruction was carnestly commenced. The column which proceeded toward Montgomery was attacked near Chewa Station, by a much superior forse sent down from Montgomery, but being reenforced by the main body under Rousseau in person, our men defeated and drove back the enemy, destroying an important trestle work about twelve miles from the city. Rousseau's forces then proceeded eastward to Opelika, destroying the road as they went. On the 19th they entered Opelika and burned "Confederate" storehouses, railroad depots, and army supplies of various kinds. A large Rebel force approaching from West Point, Rousseau turned aside from the railroad toward Lafay ette. The march was continued on the next two days in the direction of Sherman's lines, which were reached on the morning of the 22d of July. The expedition had traveled 450 miles, losing less than thirty men, and fully accomplishing its purpose.
Preparatory to an intended advance, Gen. Sherman had also sent the cavalry of Gens. Stoneman and McCook down the Chattahoochee river, scouting far to the right, and diverting the enemy's attention. On the 17th of July, a general advance commenced, the army of Thomas crossing at the bridges built by Howard, and marching toward Atlanta by way of Buckhead; Schofield, already over, proceeding by Cross Keys; and McPherson moving directly toward a point near Stone Mountain, on the Augusta railroad, cast of Decatur. A general line was formed along the Old Peach Tree road. McPherson reached the Augusta road, seven miles cast of Decatur, on the 18th, and destroyed the track for a distance of four miles. Schofield, on the same day, entered the town of Decatur. On the 19th, the lines were contracted from the left, McPherson marching into Decatur, and Schofield advanc