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Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V2 by Jacob Dolson Cox

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to inaction in the presence of the Confederate Army under General
Lee. This had allowed the Richmond government to send Longstreet's
corps to reinforce Bragg at the west; and it was because the grand
opportunity was not improved by Meade that it became necessary to
send Hooker a thousand miles with the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps to
reinforce Rosecrans. Halleck expressed the sentiment of the
administration and of the country when he wrote to Grant on December
13th, "As General Meade's operations have failed to produce any
results, Lee may send by rail reinforcements to Longstreet without
our knowing it. This contingency must also be considered."
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. iii. p. 396.] It was, in
fact, what Longstreet strenuously urged his government to do. As
late as February 17th, when it was certain that Grant would soon be
in command of all the National armies, Halleck, in a long letter of
which the burden was that Lee's army must be made the objective in
the Eastern campaign, plainly intimated that Meade could not give
the Army of the Potomac the necessary aggressive energy. "Meade
retreated before Lee with a very much larger force," he said, "and
he does not now deem himself strong enough to attack Lee's present
army." [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xxxii. pt. ii. pt. ii. p. 411] After
mentioning the opportunities to break or defeat the enemy which had
been lost or not improved at Antietam and Chancellorsville, he adds
that of Meade after Gettysburg, and continues: "I am also of opinion
that General Meade could have succeeded recently at Mine Run had he
persevered in his attack." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 412.] Pointing out
that McClellan had operated by exterior lines, and Burnside, Hooker,
and Meade by interior ones, and that all had alike failed, he argues
that this does not prove anything against either line of operation,
whether by the James River or by Culpepper; but the sound military
principle still is to avoid scattering the eastern army by North
Carolina expeditions and the like, which were then mooted, and to
concentrate the forces in the east against Lee's army and fight it
out to a finish. [Footnote: _Id_. p. 413.] The letter is an able
one, but the reference to it is now made for the sole purpose of
showing how the problem was placed before General Grant when the
supreme responsibility was cast upon him. He accepted the view so
ably presented. He did not allow the proposed expedition to be made
by Burnside, though he had himself favored it before; but united his
troops to the army on the Rapidan. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxii. pt. ii. p. 143.] He kept up for a time a nominal duality of
organization, not putting Burnside under Meade or Meade under
Burnside. This made an ostensible reason for the next step, which
was to take the field there in person and try what effect his own
inflexible will might have in giving an aggressive impetus to that
army. It seemed to him to be a choice between that and a continued
dead-lock to the end of the chapter. Thus it was that Grant gave up
his own desire to continue at the head of the western armies which
he had led to successive and glorious victories. Thus it was that
Sherman was right in saying to him, "Like yourself, you take the
biggest load." [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iii. p. 313.] The decision was
not prompted by egotism. There was no vanity in Grant's composition.
He simply saw, as he thought, that in that way decisive progress
might be made, and so he quietly went that way.

Sherman's relations to Halleck had always been close and most
friendly. Outside of official communications they had kept up a
personal correspondence, part of which is found in the Official
Records. From the day when it became apparent that Grant was to
become lieutenant-general, Sherman yielded to his impulse to comfort
and reassure his older friend on what must necessarily involve
disappointment if not humiliation. In a long letter from the
Mississippi in January, he takes pleasure in telling how he had
spoken in public of Halleck's good qualities and talents. "I spoke
of your indomitable industry and called to mind how, when Ord,
Loeser, Spotts, and I were shut up in our stateroom, trying to keep
warm with lighted candles and playing cards on the old Lexington,
off Cape Horn, you were lashed to your berth studying, boning harder
than you ever did at West Point." [Footnote: _Id_., pt. ii. p. 261.]
This was on their voyage out to California during the Mexican War.
In a cordial answer (February 16th), Halleck said he expected Grant
to receive the promotion, and should most cordially welcome him to
the chief command, glad himself to be relieved from so thankless and
disagreeable a position. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii.
pt. ii. p. 408.] He enlarged upon its difficulties, though he did
not see, apparently, that it had been in his power to take the field
as Grant afterward did, and that it was by his own act that he had
become "simply a military adviser of the Secretary of War and the
President." He bore witness to the fact that there was more harmony
in the western army than in the eastern, saying, "There is less
jealousy and backbiting and a greater disposition to assist each
other." [Footnote: _Ibid_.] In reply Sherman assured Halleck of his
own belief that Grant would prefer to command the "army of the
centre" which was to advance from Chattanooga, and did not want the
position of general-in-chief at Washington. [Footnote: _Id_., p.

At the beginning of April Sherman wrote again to Halleck, expressing
his belief that he could make his army a unit in action and feeling.
"We have never had," he said, "and God grant we never may have the
dissensions which have so marred the usefulness of our fellows whom
a common cause and common interests alone ought to unite as
brothers." [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iii. p. 222.] It was in this letter
that he asked Halleck to say to the President that he would prefer
not to be nominated to the vacant major-generalship in the regular
army. "I have now all the rank necessary to command, and I believe
all here concede to me the ability, yet accidents may happen, and I
don't care about increasing the distance of my fall. The moment
another appears on the arena better than me, I will cheerfully
subside. Indeed, now, my preference would be to have my Fifteenth
Corps, which was as large a family as I feel willing to provide for;
yet I know Grant has a mammoth load to carry. He wants here some one
who will fulfil his plans, whole and entire and at the time
appointed, and he believes I will do it. I hope he is not mistaken.
I know my weak points, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for
past favors and advice, and will in the future heed all you may
offer, with the deepest confidence in your ability and sincerity."

A single reference more will complete this sketch of the relations
of those prominent men. The week before the opening of his campaign
(April 24th) Sherman wrote again: "I see a mischievous paragraph
that you are dissatisfied and will resign; of course I don't believe
it. If I did, I would enter my protest. You possess a knowledge of
law and of the principles of war far beyond that of any other
officer in our service. You remember that I regretted your going to
Washington for your own sake, but now that you are there you should
not leave." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p.
469.] This hearty friendship and cordial comradeship lasted unbroken
till Halleck's too famous advice to Mr. Stanton after Lincoln was
assassinated, to direct Sherman's subordinates in the Gulf States
and in the West not to obey the orders he might issue in pursuance
of his convention with the Confederate General Johnston. That was a
sore blow which shattered this lifelong friendship, though it now
seems probable that had Halleck's dispatch to Stanton not been
published without the rest of the correspondence, Sherman might have
found possible a more innocent meaning for his words than they
seemed to have when they were read by themselves. This, however, is
not the place to discuss that subject. [Footnote: See Chap. L.,

In considering Sherman's means of supplying his army in the field,
we must note the situation and connections of Nashville, which made
it naturally the principal depot for operations in Alabama and
Georgia. A hundred and eighty-six miles by rail south of the Ohio
River, centrally situated as the capital of Tennessee, it was
directly connected with Chattanooga by a hundred and fifty miles of
railroad, and indirectly by way of Decatur, Alabama, and Stevenson,
a line thirty-five miles longer. These railway connections would of
themselves make Nashville an important post, but it had also the
advantage of water communication with the Ohio. It lies at the
southern bend of the Cumberland River, the course of which is nearly
due north from the city to its mouth, and the stream is navigable
for steamboats the greater part of the year. The Tennessee, a much
larger river, is nearly parallel to the Cumberland in this part of
its course, and a partially constructed railroad from its banks at
Johnsonville to Nashville, seventy-odd miles, was completed during
the winter. With these three lines of communication, there was very
little danger that the great Nashville depot could run short of
munitions or rations, or be seriously isolated by raids of the
enemy. It was to communication between Chattanooga and Nashville
that Sherman had to give his best thought and will. The War
Department had sent out Colonel McCallum, the General Superintendent
of Military Railways in January, and improvements had then been
begun, which under Sherman's energetic command made a brilliant
success of this part of the military administration through the
whole campaign. [Footnote: See "Sherman" (Great Commanders Series),
pp. 199 _et seq_. Also letter of McCallum to Stanton, Official
Records, vol. xxxii. pt. ii. pp. 143-145: Order appointing Adna
Anderson general superintendent of transportation and W. W. Wright
chief engineer of construction, _Id_., p. 365: Sherman's order
organizing the military use of the railways, _Id_., pt. iii. p.
279.] The management of the railways in use was given to Adna
Anderson, and the engineering and bridge-construction to W. W.
Wright. These gentlemen were both civil engineers and experts in
railroad building and management. Military rank was given them later
in order to enable them to control officers and men of the army on
proper occasions. Their skill and energy were of inestimable value
to the army, and gave them brilliant reputations which they fully
earned. They remained in their military railway duties to the end of
the war, and were distinguished in the same profession in civil life
to the end of their lives. When Sherman assumed command of the
Division of the Mississippi, about eighty carloads a day was the
limit of the capacity of the road and the delivery at Chattanooga.
It was only half of what was needed to insure rapid progress of the
campaign. By the 1st of May it had increased to a hundred and thirty
cars a day, with exceptional days on which the delivery ran higher;
but a steady average of a hundred and fifty (the needed quantity)
had not been reached, and every day's advance into Georgia would
increase the length of the line. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxii. pt. iii. pp. 466, 490.]

In a characteristic letter to General Thomas, Sherman explained the
necessity of having the railway management directed from his own
headquarters instead of those of the Army of the Cumberland, and in
one to Mr. Lincoln he tersely repelled the idea that he was unduly
hard on the inhabitants of the country and their business.
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 489; and vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. pp. 25, 33.]
General Meigs, the quartermaster-general, who knew the country by
personal inspection, fully agreed with Sherman and wrote him on
April 20th, advising him to "resist the pressure of civilians and
private donations and supplies; march your troops, and devote the
cars solely to transportation of military necessities.... Many
civilians," he added, "can give charitable, patriotic, benevolent,
and religious reasons to be allowed to go to the front; the reasons
are so good that nothing but an absolute and unchangeable
prohibition of all such travel will do any good." [Footnote: _Id_.,
vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p. 434.]

The business management of the military railways was a matter of
greatest importance, but it must be supplemented by an adequate
system of defence. To cut the long line and interrupt the
communications of the army would, of course, be the constant effort
of the enemy. Every wooden bridge across a stream was a most
vulnerable point. A burnt bridge meant a delay of trains till it
could be rebuilt, and Sherman's estimate that he must receive at the
front a hundred and fifty car-loads daily, shows how soon trouble
would be caused if the steady roll of car-wheels should cease. For
the freight cars of that day, ten tons made a load, and with the
light locomotives and iron rails then in use, twenty or thirty cars
made a full train. A system of blockhouses for the protection of the
bridges had been gradually developed by the engineers of the Army of
the Cumberland on suggestions made by General Halleck and others,
and was under the charge of Colonel W. E. Merrill, who enlarged and
improved it. This able officer was retained at the head of the
defensive system, and his success in it was noteworthy. [Footnote:
Colonel Merrill has given a valuable memoir on the construction and
use of the blockhouses, in "Ohio Loyal Legion Papers," vol. iii. p.
389. After the war, he was for many years United States Engineer in
charge of Ohio River improvements.]

With a careful system of railway work went also thorough study of
the wagon trains necessary in the field to carry the baggage of the
army, its ammunition, and a few days' rations, its hospital
supplies, and the records and papers of all the business
departments. Besides the supplies for men, the food for the teams,
for the cavalry horses, and for the horses of mounted officers makes
in the aggregate a bulk and weight astonishing to those who for the
first time undertake the calculation. Great droves of beef cattle
accompanied the march, and were coming forward on all the roads from
the country in the rear where they could be bought and collected.
The purchase, driving, coralling, feeding, and distributing of these
made, of itself, a great business for the commissaries of
subsistence. The introduction of the shelter tent of two
india-rubber blankets got us rid of the regimental trains, which at
the beginning of the war had been the most unwieldy of all our
_impedimenta_. The two soldiers who were thus partners in the little
house they carried on their backs, clubbed all their arrangements
for comfort, and by working together greatly reduced the hardships
of campaigning. Sherman applied the full force of his mind and the
strong impulse of his personal example to discarding everything not
essential to the army work, and to securing the utmost mobility in
his columns. Throughout the campaign his own headquarters looked
small and bare compared with those of many of his subordinates. Some
writers have ridiculed this, as if it were a mere "fad" of the
general; but it was both wise and shrewd to keep before the army the
constant lesson that privation was necessary, and that the orders on
the subject must be obeyed, since the commander set the example of
obedience. It was akin to Bonaparte's marching on foot through the
burning sands of Syria after his repulse from St. Jean d'Acre. It
was speaking to the soldiers in the ranks a language which they
understood, and which helped them in their arduous work more than

A marked trait of Sherman's military intellect was his accurate
judgment of the force of his enemy, and his freedom from the common
fault of overestimating the army opposed to him. In his
correspondence with General Thomas in April, discussing the
preparations for the campaign and the severe reduction of burdens to
a scale which was "rather the limit of our aim than what we can
really accomplish," he had occasion to acknowledge the receipt of
information concerning the enemy which Thomas had collected. "I read
the reports of your scouts with interest," he said, but added, "I
usually prefer to make my estimate of the enemy from general
reasoning rather than from the words of spies or deserters."
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p. 323.] The
remark is significant. Prior to the opening of a campaign, whilst
affairs are quiet, pretty reliable information of an enemy's
strength and positions may usually be got; but when the time of
action comes, the very air is full of excitement, and the "secret
service" is apt to be a machine for self-delusion. Precedent
knowledge supplemented by actual contact with the enemy is the best
reliance for a capable general. His own reasoning from trustworthy
data at the earlier point of departure, is, with such aids, his best
guide. He knows where his enemy must be and what his force ought to
be, better than his spies, or the enemy's deserters who, by a common
stratagem, may be really hostile spies stuffed with the disturbing
information they are sent to reveal.

In the Confederate Army changes had also been occurring under the
stress of Bragg's great defeat which culminated in the loss of
Missionary Ridge on the 25th of November. Dissatisfaction with the
conduct of the campaign was prevalent in both military and civil
circles. Lee pointed out the embarrassment which must result to
Longstreet from Bragg's misfortune, especially as the retreat of the
latter had been promptly followed by Grant's occupation of
Cleveland. Communication between Longstreet and Bragg was thus
interrupted, and unless short work was made of Burnside, Longstreet
would have to retreat into Virginia or North Carolina. [Footnote:
_Id_., vol. xxxi. pt. iii. p. 779.] In the letter to President Davis
which contained these suggestions, Lee added a strong hint that
Beauregard was the most available officer of proper rank to succeed
to the command of which Bragg asked to be relieved on the 29th.
[Footnote: _Id_., pt. ii. p. 682.] The unfortunate Bragg coupled
with this request another; namely, that the causes of the defeat
should be investigated. In his official report [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxi. pt. ii. p. 665] he attributed it to a panic
amongst the troops holding the apparently impregnable heights of
Missionary Ridge, and he characterized the conduct as shameful. "The
position was one," he said, "which ought to have been held by a line
of skirmishers against any assaulting column." He declared that our
troops reached the crest so exhausted by climbing as to be
powerless, and that "the slightest effort would have destroyed
them." One who stands on that ridge and looks down into the valley
can easily agree with this opinion, and believe that no commander
would order his troops to attack the position in front. The impulse
of Wood's and Sheridan's divisions to attack, and the feebleness of
the resistance of the astonished Confederates, are both phenomenal,
and in a superstitious age would certainly have been attributed to
supernatural influences.

The truth, however, seems to be that the confidence of the
Confederate Army in its leader had declined so far that it lost hope
when opposed to the prestige of the conqueror of Vicksburg, and was
morally prepared for disaster. Mr. Davis's prompt acceptance of
Bragg's retirement can only be understood in this way, for the
general was with good reason reckoned a favorite with the
Confederate President. Except for this loss of prestige he would
have been answered as Lee was when he made a similar suggestion
after Gettysburg,-that confidence was undiminished, and that neither
the army nor the people wished for a change.

Bragg was directed to turn over the command to Lieutenant-General
William J. Hardee, next in rank, and the evidence indicates that
Hardee could have retained it, had he been willing. But, surpassed
by none in ability and soldierly quality in command of a corps, he
shrunk from the burden of chief responsibility for a campaign, and
declined the permanent appointment. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxi. pt. iii. p. 764.] Mr. Davis seems to have taken no notice
of Lee's suggestion of Beauregard, but asked whether Lee himself
could not, even temporarily, go to the West and by a vigorous
campaign restore the prestige of the Army of Tennessee. Lee calmly
presented the objections to this, from the point of view of the army
of northern Virginia as well as that of the western army; though he
submitted fully to the decision the President might reach after
further consideration. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 785, 792.] Mr. Davis
was convinced that it would be unwise to transfer Lee, but he did
not take kindly to the idea of appointing Beauregard. The
estrangement between them which began in the first campaign in
Virginia had not been removed, but had rather been intensified by
the fact that Beauregard had, as he thought, failed in the command
of the army after A. S. Johnston fell at Shiloh, and now seemed to
have a party of friends and supporters in the Confederate Congress
who were looked upon as an organized opposition to his
administration. [Footnote: For some indications of this, see
Beauregard's letters to Pierre Soulé and to W. Porcher Miles,
Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. iii. pp. 812, 843. Davis's Rise and
Fall of the Southern Confederacy, vol. ii. p. 69.]

Whilst the subject was under consideration, General Polk, who was a
warm friend both of President Davis and of General Johnston, wrote
to Mr. Davis a strong letter urging Johnston's appointment. He
advocated it on the double ground of the wish of the army and of the
country. He did not ignore the fact that the personal friendship
once existing between Davis and Johnston had been broken, but
appealed to the sense of public duty to yield to a general desire,
and to motives of magnanimity to overlook personal differences.
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. iii. p. 796.]

Beauregard and Johnston were in fact the only ones, out of the five
officers of the full rank of general, who were available to take
Bragg's place; for the Confederate grades were much less flexible
than ours, where any major-general by assignment of the President
acquired the legal right to command an army, and a superiority over
him who had just laid down the power. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxi. pt. iii. p. 835.] Mr. Davis felt the embarrassment
keenly, but finally decided to appoint Johnston. On the 16th of
December the latter was ordered to turn over the command of the Army
of the Mississippi to Lieutenant-General Polk, and proceed to Dalton
to assume command of the Army of Tennessee. [Footnote: General W. W.
Mackall, who had been chief of staff to Johnston and Bragg in turn,
wrote to Johnston on December 9th: "I never did believe that Mr. D.
would give you your place as long as he can help it; but he can't."
The letter has other piquant passages. _Id_., p. 801.]

The result of conferences with Lee, and correspondence with
Longstreet and others, had been the conviction on the part of the
Confederate President that the only promising military policy in the
West was for the Army of Tennessee to take early aggressive action,
turning Chattanooga by the east, getting between Thomas and
Schofield by the occupation of Cleveland, and, if both the National
commanders kept within their fortifications, move boldly over the
Cumberland Mountains by way of the gaps near Kingston. As part of
this plan Longstreet should advance close to Knoxville, and join
Johnston either by turning Knoxville on the east before Johnston
passed far beyond Cleveland, or by the west if Johnston had got to

This indication of the wishes of the Richmond Government was
gradually developed. The earliest suggestions were of the necessity
for a prompt renewal of the aggressive. Mr. Seddon, Secretary of
War, in the letter informing Johnston of his transfer (December
18th), had said it was hoped that he would assume the offensive as
soon as the condition of the army would allow it. [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. iii. p. 843.] A few days later
(December 23d) Mr. Davis himself wrote, quoting General Bragg as to
the good effect a prompt resumption of the initiative would have on
the _morale_ of the army, and General Hardee as to the fit condition
of the troops for action. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 856.] To this he
added that an "imperative demand for prompt and vigorous action
arises, not only from the importance of restoring the prestige of
the army, and averting the dispiriting and injurious results that
must attend a season of inactivity, but from the necessity of
reoccupying the country upon the supplies of which the proper
subsistence of our armies materially depends."

Johnston's reply (January 2d) was a presentation of the difficulties
in the way of action. [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xxxii. pt ii. p. 510.]
He said that Bragg and Hardee had made the considerable
reinforcement of the army a precedent condition of resuming the
offensive. His conclusion was that without large reinforcements
there was "no other mode of taking the offensive here than to beat
the enemy when he advances and then move forward." A fortnight later
he said: "My recent telegrams to you have shown, not only that we
cannot hope soon to assume the offensive from this position, but
that we are in danger of being forced back from it by the want of
food and forage, especially the latter." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 559.]
The shortness of forage he attributed to bad management of the
Georgia Railroad, owned by the State. Supposing this were remedied
(as a little later he said it was), he compared the advantages of
two routes of advance into Middle Tennessee,--one by Rome,
Gunterville, and Huntsville, the other by East Tennessee through the
Cumberland Mountains. He pronounced in favor of the former, which
would turn the mountains by the south and save the task of
surmounting them. If, whilst this was going on, the National army
should push for Atlanta, two or three thousand cavalry could, he
thought, prevent it from reaching that place in less than a month.
Large reinforcements were, however, essential for any aggressive
movement. He was willing to try the East Tennessee route and unite
with Longstreet, if he were satisfied that the country could furnish
the provisions and forage for the march. To both of these routes, he
preferred one which should make a base still farther west, in
northern Mississippi.

At the beginning of February he reviewed the situation as he then
believed it to be, and concluded that it was impracticable to assume
the offensive from northern Georgia. He advised the collection of as
large an army as possible in northern Mississippi, with a bridge
equipage for the passage of the Tennessee. This army, he thought,
should be larger than his and Folk's united. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxii. pt. ii. p. 644.]

Sherman's Meridian expedition now interrupted the discussion of
plans for a month, except that Mr. Davis suggested a movement of
Johnston's army to strike Sherman's column in co-operation with
General Polk. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 729.] Assuming that Sherman was
aiming at Mobile, Johnston declared it impossible to strike him
before he should establish a new base. Hardee's corps was, however,
put in motion to reinforce Polk. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 769.]
Beauregard was ordered to send ten thousand men from his department
on the southern seacoast to Johnston, if possible, but he reported
that it was not practicable. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 772.]

It must be said that making the correspondence a personal one on the
part of Mr. Davis, instead of carrying it on through the War
Department, was a waiving of etiquette, and thus it was also a step
toward a cordial and frank understanding. It must equally be noted
that General Johnston's tone remained that of cold formality, and
his letters do not show the hearty readiness to bend his views to
meet those of the President which is always apparent (for instance)
in the letters of General Lee. The situation was not one in which a
general may say, "I need certain supplies, equipment, transportation
or pontoon bridges, and must have them before I can move." The
Confederate cause was unquestionably in great straits, and calling
for men and means was a good deal like Glendower's call, "Will they
come?" Every commanding officer was expected to act with what he had
or could get, were it much or little. Very warm friends of Johnston
saw that his attitude was one likely to increase estrangement.
General Polk, the mutual friend who had probably thrown the casting
influence which gave Johnston the command, wrote to him through a
confidential intimate of both (Colonel Harvie, Johnston's
inspector-general), suggesting that he take private steps toward a
reconciliation with Mr. Davis. He urged the general, as he had urged
the President, that private feeling and personal pride should be
sacrificed to the cause in which both were engaged. [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. ii. p. 593.] The appeal seems to
have failed, and cold formality continued to be the tone of
Johnston's communications with the government. About the first of
March Mr. Davis dropped the correspondence, turning it over to
General Bragg, now his chief of staff.

Johnston had written to Bragg (February 27th) that the President's
letters had given him the impression that a forward movement was
intended _in the spring_; but if this were so, much preparation
would be necessary, and large reinforcements and equipment.
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 808.] He assumed that Longstreet was to unite
with him, if the President's plan had not changed. This treatment of
the matter as problematic and intended only as a plan for the
spring, must be admitted to be somewhat exasperating to Mr. Davis,
as the pressure from Richmond since the 18th of December had been
for immediate aggressive action, and had been so emphatically put
that to speak of it as creating only "an impression" sounded very
like a sneer, and was unfortunate if not so intended.

Bragg answered in good temper, and after disposing of the matters of
business, he added: "The enemy is not prepared for us, and if we can
strike him a blow before he recovers, success is almost certain. The
plan which is proposed has long been my favorite, and I trust our
efforts may give you the means to accomplish what I have ardently
desired but never had the ability to undertake. Communicate your
wants to me freely and I will do all I can to give you strength and
efficiency. We must necessarily encounter privations and hardships,
and run some risk; but the end will justify the means." [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p. 592.]

This, of course, implied prompt action whilst Grant's forces
remained scattered and were still suffering from the dearth of
supplies which had so nearly approached starvation and nakedness.
Schofield's forces were at Knoxville, over a hundred miles northeast
of Chattanooga. Part of Sherman's were on the Meridian expedition or
now returning to Vicksburg on the Mississippi. Another part, under
Logan, were about Huntsville, as far to the southwest as Schofield
was to the northeast. In this condition of things a quick blow at
Thomas would find him isolated. He could be turned by the north
before Schofield could join him if he stayed in his fortifications,
and he could be fought on equal terms in the field if he came out of
his lines. This made the southern opportunity. To wait for spring
was to wait for Grant and Sherman to concentrate the now scattered
armies, to have them clothed and fed, and to have the horses and
mules ready for a campaign. It is no wonder the government at
Richmond thought it worth while to "encounter privations and
hardships and to run some risk."

Lee had been in Richmond and was in accord with this plan. He wrote
to Longstreet on the day after the date of Bragg's letter just
quoted, urging him to drop all other schemes and to unite in
influencing Johnston to adopt it. "If you and Johnston could unite
and move into Middle Tennessee," he said, "it would cut the armies
of Chattanooga and Knoxville in two and draw them from those points,
where either portion could be struck at as opportunity offered....
By covering your fronts well with your cavalry, Johnston could move
quietly and rapidly through Benton, cross the Hiwassee, and then
push forward in the direction of Kingston, while you, taking such a
route as to be safe from a flank attack, would join him at or after
his crossing the Tennessee River. The two commands, upon reaching
Sparta, would be in position to select their future course; would
necessitate the evacuation of Chattanooga and Knoxville, and by
rapidity and skill unite on either army." [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p. 594.]

There were no doubt difficulties in the way--when are there not? But
we who were in Grant's command are glad that we were not called upon
to meet the enemy under this plan of campaign vigorously executed.
We did not lack faith that we could defeat it, but we were much
better pleased to have the enemy await the completion of our own
preparation and allow us to take the initiative. It cannot be denied
that it was based on sound strategy. With his usual considerateness,
Lee said that Johnston and Longstreet on the ground should be better
able to judge the plan and to decide; but he urged it with much more
earnestness than was common in his letters. That Johnston rejected
it must be admitted to be very strong evidence that he lacked
enterprise. His abilities are undoubted, and when once committed to
an offensive campaign, he conducted it with vigor and skill. The
bent of his mind, however, was plainly in favor of the course which
he steadily urged,--to await his adversary's advance, and watch for
errors which would give him a manifest opportunity to ruin him.

Longstreet had written to Johnston on the 5th of March that Mr.
Davis had directed a conference between them on the practicability
of uniting their armies between Knoxville and Chattanooga, with a
view to the movement into Middle Tennessee. Longstreet thinks he can
make his part of the movement, but must leave the question of
supplies to Johnston after they unite. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxiii. pt. ii. p. 587.] Lieutenant-General John B. Hood, who
had been assigned to a corps in Johnston's army, wrote to Mr. Davis
on the 7th that the army was well clothed, well fed, with abundant
transportation, in high spirits, anxious for battle, and needing
only a few artillery horses. A junction with Longstreet's army he
thought would make it strong enough to take the initiative, and he
strongly supported the plan of moving before Grant could
concentrate. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 606.]

Johnston wrote to Bragg on the 12th that no particular plan of
campaign had been communicated to him. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 613.] He
does not appear to have telegraphed a brief inquiry on this subject,
but wrote at some length in regard to his requirements before he
could be in condition to take the field. He referred to his first
opinion in favor of a defensive campaign as unchanged. The ordinary
course of mail seems to have required about a week for a letter to
reach Richmond. It happened that on the same day Bragg at Richmond
was writing to Johnston outlining the plan of campaign mentioned
above, adding that it was intended to throw a heavy column of
cavalry into West Tennessee as a diversion, and that if by rapid
movement Johnston could capture Nashville, Grant would be in a
precarious position. The President, on assurance of the immediate
execution of the plan, would order to him 5000 men from General
Polk, 10,000 from Beauregard, and Longstreet's command estimated at
16,000, but which was really nearer 20,000. Putting these
reinforcements and Johnston's own army at lowest figures, his column
would amount to 75,000 men. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii.
pt. iii. p. 614.]

After posting his letter of the 12th, Johnston went on an inspection
tour to Atlanta, and there on the 13th he received and answered
Longstreet's letter of the 5th. He pronounced impracticable the plan
submitted to them, and reiterated his fixed opinion that it was best
to wait for Grant's advance. In any event, he thought a forward
movement should "wait for the grass of May." [Footnote: _Id_., p.
618.] He argued that it was better to let the enemy's forces
advance, and fight them far from their base and near his own. Bragg,
on the other hand, had urged the recovery of the populous region of
Middle Tennessee as necessary both for obtaining army subsistence
and forage, and for the recruitment of the ranks. Both these
resources he estimated very highly, and as Tennessee was still
claimed as a seceding State, the Confederate conscription laws would
be enforced there. On the other hand, every movement in retreat cut
off a part of their area for supplies and men, was discouraging to
the army, and was followed by numerous desertions of soldiers whose
families were within our lines.

In answering Longstreet, Johnston had said that he would execute
zealously any plan the President would order; but he evidently
insisted on definite and formal commands if he were to depart from
his preconceived views to which he held tenaciously. On the 16th of
March he wrote again, this time in answer to Bragg's of the 7th.
After telling of the impossibility of collecting artillery horses in
northern Georgia, he mentions Longstreet's letter to him, to say
that he thinks the point of junction suggested is too near the
enemy, and that his army should have an accumulation of eighteen or
twenty days' supplies before entering upon such a movement. They
must also have ordnance stores for a campaign, and wagon trains to
carry it all. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p.
636.] Two days later he received Bragg's full letter of the 12th
sent by the hand of Colonel Sale as special messenger, and he now
answers by telegraph. He says that Grant is back at Nashville, and
is not likely to stand on the defensive. To meet at Dalton his
expected advance, the reinforcements that had been spoken of must be
sent at once. "Give us those troops," he says; "and if we beat him
we follow. Should he not advance, we will thus be ready for the
offensive. The troops can be fed as easily here as where they now
are." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 649.] Next day he elaborated the same
ideas in a letter, adding the suggestion before made by him that the
line of advance by way of North Alabama was a preferable one to the
route through East Tennessee.

The telegram was answered from Richmond whilst the longer letter was
on its way. The answer conveyed the information that Grant would not
personally lead the western army, but would turn over its command to
Sherman. It also briefly noted the fact that Johnston had not
accepted the aggressive policy on which the large reinforcements
were made conditional. [Footnote: I do not find this dispatch in the
Official Records. It is given in Johnston's "Narrative of Military
Operations," p. 298.] He replied that his dispatch expressly
accepted taking the offensive, and the only difference was as to
details. He therefore repeats the urgent request that the troops be
sent at once. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p.

It is not easy to accept his interpretation of his former dispatch.
Waiting indefinitely to see whether the National army would advance,
and declaring the administration plan impracticable, hardly looks
like assuming the initiative. It was not a difference as to details.
The very gist of the subject under discussion was a prompt advance
against the parts of our army before they could be united for any
purpose. The question would naturally arise, What might happen in
the places from which troops were drawn, if they were not used by
Johnston immediately? The latter had already said to Longstreet that
his requisitions on the commissaries and quartermaster's departments
for supplies and wagon-trains were so large as to make filling them
"a greater undertaking than anything yet accomplished by those
departments, and if they succeed, it will not be very soon."
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. p. 618.] Yet these
were only part of the conditions which he considered essential to
any advance.

There seems to have been no rejoinder to Johnston's last telegram,
and the subject was dropped. Longstreet was persuaded by his
correspondence with Johnston that the combined movement could not be
made, and turned to the scheme (already mentioned), of mounting his
troops and making an expedition from southwestern Virginia into
Kentucky. This was decisively rejected by the Richmond government.
[Footnote: _Id._, p. 748.] Grant was now known to be in Virginia,
inspecting the commands there and preparing for an active campaign.
Concentration on both sides, and not further morselling of armies
was to be the wholesome order of the day, and Longstreet was soon
ordered to report to Lee. Between Bragg and Johnston correspondence
was limited to the current business of the army, and general plans
of campaign were not again mentioned. In April, Johnston became
uneasy at the silence which indicated that the President regarded it
unprofitable to discuss plans with him, and sent Colonel B. S. Ewell
of his staff to Richmond to make explanations in person. He was
politely received, and his visit no doubt tended to relax a little
the strain in the relations between Mr. Davis and Ewell's chief; but
it was too late to accomplish what had been hoped for in January.
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxii. pt. iii. pp. 839, 842.]
Spring had come, and Sherman's concentration was in progress; indeed
it was almost completed. Ewell reported to Johnston again on the
29th of April. On the 1st of May Schofield was at the Hiwassee River
in touch with the left wing of Thomas's army, whilst McPherson was
closing in on the right.

The certainty that Grant was in Virginia had brought the Confederate
government to the conclusion that Lee must be reinforced by
Longstreet and by whatever troops Beauregard could spare. The
Atlantic coast States were thus to supply Lee with men and means.
About four thousand men were to be immediately added to Johnston's
army, mostly drawn from Mobile. Polk's infantry would be sent to him
also, if, as was nearly certain, Sherman's advance on Atlanta should
prove to be our great effort in the West. [Footnote: _Id._, p. 841.]
The doubt whether one of our columns might not move through Alabama
made it necessary to continue to the last moment ready for either
event. The Gulf States would then become the feeders of Johnston's
army in the campaign.

The very unsatisfactory relations between Mr. Davis and General
Johnston cannot be overlooked if we would judge intelligently the
events of the Atlanta campaign. It may be that the general was right
in thinking a winter advance impracticable, though Lee's concurrence
in the President's plan is no small argument in its favor. It is,
nevertheless, the indisputable province of a government to
determine, in view of the whole situation, political and military,
whether continued operations are necessary. The army is organized
for the sole purpose of reaching the ends at which its government
aims in the war. The expenditure of life and treasure should be
stopped and the government should sue for peace, unless its armies
can be relied upon to act in hearty subordination to its view of the
existing exigencies. The general should meet it with absolute
ingenuousness and the promptest and clearest decision. He should act
at once or ask to be relieved in time to let another carry out the
plan. Mr. Davis, like Mr. Lincoln on several occasions, had reason
to feel that a prolonged discussion had in fact thwarted him, and
that he had not the cordial service he might fairly expect.

One of the results of the financial embarrassments of the
Confederacy was the great and growing depreciation of its paper
currency. Its officers in the field found their pay a merely nominal
pittance, and those who had no independent fortune were reduced to
the greatest straits. Interesting evidence of this has been
preserved in petitions forwarded to the War Department in February,
asking that rations might be issued to them as to the private
soldiers. The scale of prices attached to their petition was that at
which the government sold the enumerated articles to its officers,
and was supposed to show the average cost and not a market price
fixed by the retail trade. They paid for bacon $2.20 per pound, for
beef 75 cents, for lard $2.20, for molasses $6 per gallon, for sugar
$1.50 per pound, for a coat $350, for a pair of boots $250, for a
pair of pantaloons $125, for a hat from $80 to $125, for a shirt
$50, for a pair of socks $10. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxii. pt. ii. p. 658.] Their statements were verified and approved
by their superiors, and General Johnston, in forwarding the
petitions, said that at existing prices the pay of company officers
was worth less than that of the private soldiers. [Footnote: _Id._,
p. 661.]



The opposing forces--North Georgia
triangle--Topography--Dalton--Army of the Ohio enters
Georgia--Positions of the other armies--Turning Tunnel Hill--First
meeting with Sherman--Thomas--Sherman's plan as to
Dalton--McPherson's orders and movement--Those of Thomas and
Schofield--Hopes of a decisive engagement--Thomas attacks north end
of Rocky Face--Opdycke on the ridge--Developing Johnston's
lines--Schofield's advance on 9th May--The flanking march through
Snake Creek Gap--Retiring movement of my division--Passing
lines--Johnston's view of the situation--Use of temporary
intrenchments and barricades--Passing the Snake Creek defile--Camp
Creek line--A wheel in line--Rough march of left flank--Battle of
Resaca--Crossing Camp Creek--Storming Confederate line--My division
relieved by Newton's--Incidents--Further advance of left
flank--Progress of right flank--Johnston retreats.

The history of the campaigns of 1864-1865 under Sherman have been
given in another form, and I need not repeat the narrative of the
connected movements of his forces. [Footnote: See "Atlanta," and
"The March to the Sea, Franklin and Nashville."] I shall confine
myself to the more personal view of events as they came under my own
eye, and to such additional knowledge as the publication of the
Records has brought within our reach.

Nashville and Chattanooga, being large depots of supply, were
fortified and furnished with garrisons. A few other points had also
to be garrisoned in some force, besides the numerous small posts and
blockhouses. But after all deductions, Sherman still expected to
take the field with an army of a hundred thousand men of all arms,
and this was what he did. His returns for the 30th of April show his
strength to have been 93,131 infantry, 12,455 cavalry, and 4537
artillery. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. i. p.
115.] His cavalry were not all at the front, and fell short of the
nominal strength. [Footnote: Memoirs, vol. ii. pp. 23, 24; Official
Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 26.]

General Johnston's similar returns for the end of April show his
army actually present at Dalton to have consisted of 54,500
infantry, cavalry, and artillery, not including part of a brigade at
Resaca and some detachments _en route_. [Footnote: _Id._, vol.
xxxii. pt. iii. p. 866.] General Polk was on his way to join with
14,000 men, [Footnote: _Id._, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. pp. 670, 737,
740.] and these with about 5000 increase of Hardee's and Hood's
corps reached Johnston before he was seriously engaged with Sherman,
giving him an army of 75,000 men. [Footnote: For a careful analysis
of these forces, see "Century War Book," vol. iv. p. 281, a
statistical paper by Major E. C. Dawes; also "Atlanta," Appendix A.
For the meaning of "effective total" in Confederate returns, see
_ante_, p. 482.] The Richmond government only delayed ordering Polk
to join Johnston until it was certain that Sherman intended to
operate with a single army upon the Atlanta line, and Polk went even
beyond what they seemed to expect of him in carrying the troops of
his department to the army at Dalton.

Although he was not aware of the urgency of the Confederate
government with Johnston to induce him to take the initiative and
operate by turning our left flank, Sherman had considered the
possibility of this. The Fourth Corps had been concentrated at
Cleveland on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railway about a dozen
miles north of the Georgia state line and thirty-five miles from
Dalton. The line of this railway was the easy road out of northern
Georgia into Tennessee, and pretty closely followed the old Federal
road. Had Johnston marched northward, he must have taken this route,
and would have found his way barred by the Fourth Corps, which was
strong enough to retard his advance till Sherman could have
concentrated to meet him. The railways made a nearly equilateral
triangle of the country between Cleveland, Chattanooga, and Dalton.
It was thirty-eight miles from Chattanooga to Dalton, and
twenty-seven to Cleveland. The east side of the triangle was near
the Cooyehuttee Creek, a stream heading quite close to Cleveland and
uniting, below Dalton, with the Connasauga. This valley is narrow
west of the river, and is, much of the way, separated by a high and
sharp ridge from the very broken country, which makes up the greater
part of the triangle, where the branches of the Chickamauga run
northward in parallel valleys till they unite near Chattanooga, and
empty into the Tennessee. For nearly forty miles, therefore, the
waters on the east side of the dividing ridge run southward to the
Gulf of Mexico, whilst on the west side they run northward to the

Going south from Chattanooga, the railroad and the wagon roads have
to thread their way from one valley to another, the latter climbing
painfully the high ridges intervening, the former taking shorter
cuts by deep excavations and tunnels. Within sight of Chattanooga
the north end of Missionary Ridge is pierced for the railway where
Grant's left wing fought in the battle which closed General Bragg's
career as a commander in the field. Some twenty miles further on,
another ridge is tunnelled where the railroad passes from the
Chickamauga valley into that of Mill Creek, a small tributary of the
Cooyehuttee, flowing eastward into that river in front of Dalton.
Here, at Tunnel Hill, had been Johnston's advanced post during the
winter, and Thomas's had been above Ringgold on the top of Taylor's
ridge facing it on the west. But as Tunnel Hill did not extend many
miles northward, and could be turned in that direction, the
Confederates had made Dalton their intrenched camp, and were
prepared to retire from Tunnel Hill whenever Sherman should advance
in force.

[Illustration: Map]

The position at Dalton was an impregnable one to an attack in front
on the Chattanooga road. Mill Creek breaks through the Chattanooga
Mountains (here known by the local name of Rocky Face), by a crooked
gorge flanked by precipitous cliffs called the Buzzards Roost. The
west side of Rocky Face is a nearly perpendicular wall, and in the
Mill Creek gorge, spurs from the sides so project as to enfilade the
entrance like bastions. A little north of the gorge a larger spur
from the ridge runs down to the east, connecting with a subordinate
parallel ridge, and from the lower slope a line of heavy earthworks
continued the defences toward the Cooyehuttee. Mill Creek had been
dammed so as to make an inundation in the gorge, and the
Confederates held the ridge and cliffs on both sides as well as the
fortified line in the lower ground. Some three miles north of Mill
Creek Gap, Rocky Face and Tunnel Hill break down into smaller
disconnected hills, and here about Catoosa Springs a bit of more
open country made a practicable connection between the centre of the
Union Army at Ringgold and its left wing advancing from Cleveland.
Johnston hoped that Sherman would dash himself against the walls of
Rocky Face and suffer severe loss in doing so; and if the ridge was
turned on the north by part of the Union Army, this wing would find
itself in presence of the strong earthworks skirting Mill Creek, and
would be so separated from the centre that he could reasonably hope
to crush it. Sherman, of course, could know little of the
Confederate position till he was near enough to reconnoitre it, and
must find out by experiment how the nut was to be cracked.

On Thursday, the 5th of May, the Army of the Ohio under General
Schofield was at Red Clay, a hamlet just south of the Georgia state
line. My own division (the third) was encamped a mile in advance, at
some springs which furnished a good supply of water. General Judah's
division (the second) was at Red Clay. General Hovey's division (the
first) was still at Blue Springs, Tennessee, covering the army
trains and the repairs of the railway. The cavalry covered the left
flank and reconnoitred forward toward Varnell's Station, skirmishing
with the enemy's horse. The valley was a narrow one, tributary to
the principal valley of the Connasauga, and, near my camp, was
filled with a dense thicket of loblolly pine, a second growth which
came up in the exhausted light soil of abandoned fields, and which
we were to become very familiar with as we advanced into Georgia. As
we could not see out in any direction except that of the road, I
covered my front with a slashing of the trees by way of a rough
abatis to prevent a surprise. We were now the left flank of the
grand army.

When we passed Cleveland, the Fourth Corps took up its line of
march, bearing away to the westward of ours and went into position
at Catoosa Springs, about eight miles southwest of Red Clay, with a
ridge intervening. Here General Howard became the left of the Army
of the Cumberland, having Palmer's Corps (the Fourteenth), next
beyond him facing Tunnel Hill, and Hooker's (the Twentieth) still
farther to the southwest, marching by way of Woods Station over
Taylor's Ridge upon Trickum in the upper valley of the East
Chickamauga. Thomas's army was the heavy centre of the grand army,
and his infantry was about two-thirds of the whole. This great
preponderance of one organization was faulty in a purely military
point of view, but Grant and Sherman both felt that it would not be
wise to disturb the _esprit de corps_ of the Cumberland Army by
subdividing it, or to offend Thomas by diminishing it, and, anyhow,
no such change could have been made without the concurrence of the

General McPherson's Army of the Tennessee was to constitute
Sherman's right, but was a little delayed in its concentration. At
this time it contained only Logan's Corps (the Fifteenth) and the
left wing of the Sixteenth (Brigadier-General G. M. Dodge in
command). It was moving behind the Army of the Cumberland, to Lee
and Gordon's Mills, and thence upon Villanow. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 39.] General Kenner Garrard's
strong division of cavalry accompanied McPherson's movement.

Sherman was anxious to allow the enemy as little time for
preparation as might be, yet, as he had to give McPherson a day or
two to come into line, he set Saturday the 7th of May as the time
for the more complete concentration, and an attack upon Tunnel Hill
if Johnston should continue to hold it. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 38.]
Accordingly, on Saturday morning all the columns were in motion.
Palmer advanced against the ridge of Tunnel Hill in front, and
Howard coming from the north turned the flank of the ridge. The hill
was held by the Confederate cavalry under Wheeler, supported by
Stewart's division of infantry, who were ordered to resist our
advance with stubbornness enough to force the display of Thomas's
forces. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 672.] A lively skirmishing fight was
kept up till Howard's men advanced toward the flank and rear of the
position, when the enemy retreated within Mill Creek Gap. Wheeler
was ordered to let a brigade of cavalry retire up the valley of Mill
Creek, outside of Rocky Face, and to cover Dug Gap, through which
runs the road from Villanow to Dalton. [Footnote: _Ibid_.]

My division marched from its camp in front of Red Clay over the
ridge by Ellidge's Mill to Dr. Lee's on the main road from Varnell's
Station to Ringgold, and near the northern end of Tunnel Hill ridge.
Here we came into close connection with the Fourth Corps. The rest
of the Army of the Ohio followed, the rear-guard holding a gap
looking eastward above Ellidge's Mill, and the cavalry covering the
front and flank to Varnell's Station. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 48, 54.]
Our supply station was moved over to Ringgold on the Chattanooga
line, and the railroad at Red Clay was soon abandoned. In the
movement all the division commanders were ordered to report to me in
the absence of General Schofield.

At Dr. Lee's I met Sherman and Thomas for the first time. They had
come over from Ringgold to reconnoitre for themselves and observe
the effect of Howard's movement turning Tunnel Hill. The house stood
upon a knoll looking southward over farm fields and rolling country
to the sharp end of Rocky Face, and when my column halted near by, I
rode forward with General Schofield to meet the army commander. It
was a bright May morning, and a picturesque group was gathered on
the sloping lawn in front of the house. The principal officers were
dismounted, their horses and escort in the background. An occasional
puff of white smoke on the slope of Tunnel Hill in the distance
marked the attack going on there, but it was too far away for the
cannonade to be more than a muffled sound, not interrupting the
conversation. Sherman was tall, lithe, and active, with light brown
hair, close-cropped sandy beard and moustache, and every motion and
expression indicated eagerness and energy. His head was apt to be
bent a little forward as if in earnest outlook or aggressive
advance, and his rapid incisive utterance hit off the topics of
discussion in a sharp and telling way. His opinions usually took a
strong and very pronounced form, full of the feeling that was for
the moment uppermost, not hesitating at even a little humorous
extravagance if it added point to his statement; but in such cases
the keen eye took a merry twinkle accentuated by the crow-foot lines
in the corner, so that the real geniality and kindliness that
underlay the brusque exterior were sufficiently apparent. The
general effect was of a nature of intense, restless activity, both
physical and mental. In conversation he poured out a wealth of
original and striking ideas, from a full experience, observation,
and reading; his assertions would be strong and confident, highly
colored by the glow of momentary feeling, unsoftened by the
modifications and exceptions which have to tame down broad
generalizations before they are put in practice. One did not know
him long before discovering that in responsible action he did not
lack the prudence which took all probable contingencies into
account. His practical work in the field was never reckless, but his
boldest outlines of plan were worked out with thoughtful caution in
detail and full provision for possible disappointment. When
discussing a situation with his familiars, after strongly stating
his own view he would add, "Now what is Joe Johnston's game?" and he
would analyze his adversary's possible moves with a candor and
insight that left no doubt of his full comprehension of the problem
before him. In carrying out a plan he was free from the common
weakness of giving increased weight to doubts when the conflict is
joined, and making a timid execution of a strong purpose; he knew
when it was time for debate to stop (even with his own thoughts),
and to bend every energy to decisive action. All this was, of
course, not visible in the first meeting at Dr. Lee's, but no one
could doubt that here was a most original and interesting character,
and I soon acquired an undoubting conviction that of all the men I
had met, he was the one to whose leadership in war I would commit my
own life and the lives of my men with most complete confidence. In
him the combination of intellectual insight with fertility of
invention and with force of will in execution was of the highest
order. I felt that if the end we aimed at was a noble and worthy
one, the price he asked us to pay was reasonable, and the object was
worth the sacrifices he called for: we were therefore enthusiastic
in our obedience.

General Thomas was in person and manner a strong contrast to
Sherman. Equally tall, he was large and solidly stout, with an air
of dignified quiet and deliberation. His full beard was not of so
stubbly a cut as Sherman's, his countenance was almost impassive,
and the lines of his brow gave an air of sternness. His part in the
conversation was less, his words much fewer and less expressive, but
always clear and intelligent. His manner was kindly, but rather
reserved, and one felt that his acquaintance must be gradually
cultivated. His reputation for cool intrepidity and stubborn
tenacity could not be excelled, and no soldier could approach him
without a deep interest and respect that was not diminished by his
natural modesty of demeanor. Better acquaintance with him made one
learn that his intellect was strong and broad, and his mind had been
expanded by general reading, with some special scientific tastes
beyond his military profession. He was a noble model of patriotic
devotion to country, and of the private virtues that make a great
citizen. His military career had been an important one from the
beginning of the war. Second in rank in the armies of Buell and
Rosecrans in 1862 and 1863, at the great battles of Stone's River
and Chickamauga he had held his wing of the army defiant and
invincible when other parts were swept back by the Confederate
impetuosity. No sobriquet conferred by an admiring soldiery was more
characteristic than the "Rock of Chickamauga." Between him and
Sherman the old affection of schoolmates at the Military Academy was
still warm. Sherman still called him "Tom," the nickname of cadet
days, and Thomas evidently enjoyed, in his quiet way, the vivacious
talk and brilliant ideas of his old friend, now his commander. His
army so much outnumbered the organizations of McPherson and
Schofield that, as a massive centre, it was necessarily the chief
reliance of Sherman for the results of the campaign, and was
personified in its leader's weight and deliberation; while the
lighter organizations of the Tennessee and the Ohio were thrown from
flank to flank in zigzag movements from one strategic position to
another as we penetrated into Georgia.

Grant's plan of having the armies of the East and West begin
simultaneous movements on the first days of May had been responded
to by Sherman with the information that on the first of the month
his three armies were in mutual support, and that he would "draw the
enemy's fire within twenty-four hours of May 5th." [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 1.] The delay in
McPherson's reaching his position, slight as it was, had to be
considered in ordering other movements in view of the promise to
Grant to get into immediate contact with the enemy, and helped in
the decision to let Thomas's army advance strongly in the centre and
engage the enemy if the chance seemed at all favorable, while
McPherson made the flanking movement by way of Snake Creek Gap. On
the 4th Sherman had telegraphed Grant that he would "first secure
the Tunnel Hill, then throw McPherson rapidly on his (the enemy's)
communications, attacking at the same time cautiously and in force."
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 25.]

McPherson's orders went to him on the evening of the 5th, directing
that whilst the movements of Thomas and Schofield already described
were in progress, on Saturday the 7th he should "secure Snake Creek
Gap, and from it make a bold attack on the enemy's flank or his
railroad at any point between Tilton and Resaca." [Footnote: _Id_.,
p. 39.] Sherman expressed the hope that Johnston would fight at
Dalton, but should he fall back along the railroad McPherson was to
hit him in flank. "Do not fail, in that event," he continued, "to
make the most of the opportunity by the most vigorous attack
possible, as it may save us what we have most reason to apprehend, a
slow pursuit, in which he gains strength as we lose it." McPherson
was assured that Thomas and Schofield would prevent Johnston from
turning on him alone, and the sound of battle at the north would
show the greater necessity for rapid movement on the railroad. "If
once broken to an extent that would take them days to repair, you
can withdraw to Snake Creek Gap, and come to us or await the
development according to your judgment or information you may
receive." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 39.]

Sherman's orders to Thomas were to take Tunnel Hill, and threaten
Dalton in front, but not to attack its defences "unless the enemy
assume the offensive against either of our wings, when all must
attack directly in front toward the enemy's main army, and not
without orders detach to the relief of the threatened wing."
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 40.] With similar orders to Schofield, Sherman
added: "As soon as Tunnel Hill is secured to us, I shall pause to
give McPherson time for his long march; but we must occupy the
attention of all the enemy, lest he turn his whole force on
McPherson, which must be prevented. Therefore, on the sound of heavy
battle always close up on Howard and act according to circumstances.
We will not be able to detach to McPherson's assistance, but can
press so closely from this direction that he (Johnston) cannot
detach but a part of his command against him." [Footnote: _Id_., p.

These lucid orders show that Sherman was not contemplating merely a
flanking movement to make Johnston retreat and yield territory; on
the other hand he strongly expressed the desirability of forcing
conclusions as near his own base as possible, and showed his
apprehension of the disadvantages which must come from stretching
still further his long line of communications. The same desire and
the same apprehension were constant with him throughout the
campaign, and it was with an unwillingness growing at times into
impatience that he found himself compelled to follow Johnston's slow
and skilful retreat. It was not till the change of the Confederate
commanders that aggressive tactics on the part of the enemy gave the
opportunity for severe punishment and led to the speedy destruction
of the hostile army. Herein lies the key of the whole campaign.

The possession of Tunnel Hill enabled Sherman to look into Mill
Creek Gap, the break in Rocky Face, and the first look was enough to
show how desperate would be an attack either upon the precipitous
cliffs or into the fortified gorge. His orders for the 8th of May
were for Thomas to threaten the Buzzard Roost pass and try to get a
small force on Rocky Face ridge. Schofield from Dr. Lee's was to
feel along the same ridge southward toward the gap and the signal
station which the enemy had established above it on Buzzard Roost.
It was to be a skirmishing advance, but no battle, attracting the
enemy's attention whilst McPherson was seizing on Snake Creek Gap in
Johnston's rear. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv.
p. 56.]

On our part, Schofield ordered Judah's division to ascend the north
point of Rocky Face and press along the sharp ridge southward. My
own division was to occupy the passes looking toward Varnell's
Station, sending a regiment to support the cavalry there. [Footnote:
_Id_., pp. 55, 66, 85.] General Thomas, seeing no chance of getting
to the top of Rocky Face from the west, had ordered the Fourth Corps
to attempt it from the north, and Howard had sent in Newton's
division to do this before Schofield received his orders for the
day. The latter therefore put Judah's division in support of
Newton's, extending the line along the east base of the ridge, and
called up Hovey's division into close support. With my own division
I advanced southeastwardly to hills in that direction, keeping
abreast of the movement on Rocky Face. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 82, 83;
pt. ii. p. 675.]

Sherman had conjectured that the hill-tops would be found to be
plateaus on which troops might manoeuvre to some extent, but they
proved to be sharp and steep to the very summits, and composed of
loose rock of every size, but all as angular as if from fresh
cleavage. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. ii. p. 675;
pt. iv. p. 84.] Harker's brigade of Newton's division had the
advance, but even a brigade was too large a body for combined
action, and Colonel Opdycke with his regiment (One Hundred and
Twenty-fifth Ohio) took the lead. He made a demonstration as if to
turn the north point and go up the eastern side; then leaving the
brigade skirmish line to continue to push there, he rapidly moved
again to the west side and climbed swiftly to the ridge. Here was
only room for four men to march abreast, but charging from rock to
rock he succeeded in advancing about a third of a mile southward
along the ridge to a breastwork of stone where the enemy, who had
fought bravely for every "coign of vantage," were finally enabled to
check him. He also threw together a heap of stones to cover and
enable him to hold the ground he had gained. [Footnote: _Id_., pt.
i. p. 367.]

Schofield in person had followed the advance of Judah's division,
and reconnoitred along the ridge parallel to Rocky Face on the east.
It was plain that there was little chance of getting near Buzzard
Roost by following Harker's path along the knife-like summit, and he
was disposed to let Judah try the effect of a night attack upon the
fortified outpost at the enemy's signal station in front of Harker.
[Footnote: _Id_., pt. iv. p. 83.] Sherman realized that he could not
hope to carry the Dalton lines from the west and north, and that
Johnston was too well satisfied with his defensive position to leave
it unless some part of our army was compromised by making a false
move. McPherson, however, was entering Snake Creek Gap with so
little opposition as to show that the importance of that pass was
not understood by Johnston, if indeed he knew of its existence.
Sherman therefore determined to keep up active demonstrations with
watchful observation of the enemy for another day, whilst the
decisive part of McPherson's movement should go on, and was already
planning to transfer Hooker's Corps to McPherson's column as soon as
the latter should hold the outlet of his gap. He wrote to Schofield,
"We must not let Johnston amuse us here by a small force whilst he
turns on McPherson." He sometimes suspected this was being done, and
had been uneasy during the day at the absence of cannonade from
Johnston's lines. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv.
pp. 83, 84.] The orders for the 9th were that Thomas should continue
to push along the crest of Rocky Face from the north and make
demonstrations on other parts of his line, whilst Schofield
cautiously swung his left flank out toward the east at right angles
to the principal ridge and made a strong reconnoissance of the
enemy's lines in the immediate front of the town. At midnight
Sherman learned that Hooker had made an effort to carry Rocky Face
at Dug Gap, two or three miles south of Buzzard Roost, and had
failed with considerable loss to Geary's division, which was

At daybreak on the 9th, my own camp was astir. The division advanced
beyond the left flank of the position of Hovey's, then swung the
left forward and moved southward astride of the ridge parallel to
Rocky Face on the east. Judah's division connected our movement with
the left flank of the Fourth Corps across the intervening valley.
Hovey's division marched in rear of my left flank as a reserve.
McCook's division of cavalry covered the extreme flank at Varnell's
Station, under orders to demonstrate on the direct road to Dalton as
our infantry advanced. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 98-100.] The enemy
resisted with strong outposts and skirmish lines posted in several
strong barricades of timber and stones. We drove him from these and
continued the movement till we confronted the main line of
intrenchments. Schofield intended to attack these as soon as
Newton's division of the Fourth Corps (which was our pivot) should
be able to force the position in its immediate front on the crest of
Rocky Face, but Newton was obliged to report that Harker's brigade
had failed in its effort, [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii.
pt. iv. p. 102.] and Schofield ordered us to stand fast where we

McCook had found a superior force of Confederate cavalry under
Wheeler on the Dalton road; his advanced brigade under Colonel La
Grange had been roughly handled, and that officer was captured.
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 96.] General Stoneman was, however, advancing
from Charleston with the cavalry of the Army of the Ohio, and the
affair was of no great significance, though the Confederates claimed
a considerable victory for their horse. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 683.]

Our movement had been an interesting one. As we went forward on the
ridge, we could see Judah's line keeping pace with us in the valley
and on the lower slopes of Rocky Face, whilst Newton's men continued
the line to the summit, where Harker was having a sharp combat in
which both artillery and small arms were brought into play. Off
beyond our left was a separate rounded height, Potato Hill, on which
the enemy had artillery which annoyed us, and to which our own guns
answered. The space between was filled with skirmishers, horse and
foot, and a rattling fusillade accompanied our march. It was evident
that the lines before us were very formidable and held in force, and
that the reconnoissance had been pushed as far as possible; to go
further would commit us to a desperate attack upon intrenchments.
[Footnote: When Johnston's retreat gave us possession of Dalton, we
found the works of a very strong character, putting that front quite
beyond a _coup-de-main_. I examined them myself later in the
campaign.] But Sherman did not desire to do this. He wished to keep
the enemy employed so that he could not send a great force against
McPherson, and thus to give the latter a chance to make a success of
the movement against Resaca. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 98.] Toward evening he directed Schofield to
fall back to a strong defensive position again, as from the news he
got from McPherson he was sure Johnston must either attack us or
retreat on the next day, and he wished to be ready for a prompt
transfer of his army to Snake Creek Gap. But Schofield thought a
night movement too uncertain in that broken and tangled country,
especially as he had not been pleased with the handling of Hovey's
division during the day, and obtained permission to bivouac for the
night where we were, sending a couple of infantry regiments to
support McCook's cavalry and cover our flank. [Footnote: _Id_., pp.
99, 119.]

During the night Sherman learned that McPherson had not succeeded in
taking Resaca or breaking the railroad, and had retired to the mouth
of Snake Creek Gap. Johnston was, of course, now aware of the
turning movement, and before morning we had evidence that he was
changing the positions of his army to meet the new situation.
Sherman immediately turned his whole energy to transferring his army
to McPherson's position. Hooker's Corps leading off was followed by
Palmer's, and this by ours. Howard's was ordered to remain in
position covering the Chattanooga railway, and to follow Johnston
directly through Dalton when he left his intrenchments. The movement
could not be begun till the 11th, as Stoneman with the cavalry of
the Army of the Ohio was marching from Cleveland, and another day
was needed to enable him to get upon our left flank, the place
assigned him in the combined advance. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 112,
113, 126.] Three days' rations in haversacks and seven more in
wagons gave provisions for a short separation from our base, and
orders to send back all baggage to Ringgold were strictly enforced.

At daybreak of the 10th I advanced my skirmishers to reconnoitre the
enemy's lines, which were found to be still held in force, and his
troops on the alert. We then proceeded to wheel the whole of the
corps backward in line of battle, ready to halt at any moment, and
engage the enemy if he should come out and attack us. My division
being on the flank, it was to regulate the movement, Judah's
conforming to mine on the right, and Hovey's in reserve immediately
in rear of mine. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv.
pp. 123, 131.] We were under a warm skirmish fire of infantry in
front, and the enemy's cavalry on our left flank also followed up
the movement sharply. Reinforcing the skirmish line till the enemy
was driven back, a good position in rear was selected for my second
line and it was made to lie down. My first line was then marched
slowly to the rear over the other, to another position, where it
halted and lay down in turn, whilst the other rose and marched to
the rear in a similar manner. Making the troops lie down avoided the
danger, incident to such a manoeuvre under fire, that the men in
second line would be confused by the passing of the first line
through their ranks and break their organization. [Footnote:
Officers experienced in war know that manoeuvres which are easy and
of fine effect on parade are difficult and even dangerous under
fire, and that it is wise to simplify the tactics as much as
possible. Marshal Saint-Cyr, whose reputation for tactical skill was
second to none in the wars of the French Republic and Empire, thus
speaks of the matter in his comments on the battle of Novi, apropos
to the break of the French division Watrin, which was in two brigade
lines: "La première, attaquée avec vigueur par le général Lusignan
appuyé par Laudon, ne soutint qu'un moment le choc, et se rabattit
sur la seconde; elle espérait se reformer en arrière de celle-ci, en
faisant ce qu'on appelle une passage de ligne; mais il fut démontré
une fois de plus, que cette manoeuvre, qui fait un assez bel effet à
la parade, ne peut réussir à la guerre lorsqu'on est suivi par un
ennemi actif. La premiere entraîna la seconde dans un mouvement
rétrograde; de plus elle y apporta assez de confusion pour que ces
deux lignes réunies crussent n'avoir d'autre parti à prendre que
celui de la fuite," etc. Mémoires, vol. i. p. 257. There can be no
question as to the general soundness of this criticism, and we
should not have continued the movement described if we had been
attacked in force. We should then have fought where we stood,
bringing the reserves to support the front line. It justifies,
however, the precaution of selecting carefully the alternate
positions and making the rear line lie down.] When we came opposite
the positions assigned us in the extension of the Fourth Corps line,
the division changed front to rear on right battalion and so swung
into its place. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. ii.
p. 675.] Sherman had sent Captain Poe, his chief engineer, to
observe our movement from the crest of Rocky Face held by Newton's
troops, and congratulated Schofield upon it, saying it "was
described to me by Captain Poe, as seen from the mountain, as very
handsome." [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iv. p. 121.] In his full report
made at the close of the campaign, General Schofield referred to it
as "a delicate and difficult one, owing to the character of the
ground, the position and strength of the enemy, and our comparative
isolation from the main army." He adds: "I regarded it as a complete
test of the quality of my troops, which I had not before had
opportunity of seeing manoeuvre in presence of the enemy."
[Footnote: _Id_., pt. ii. p. 510.]

Schofield had been so dissatisfied with General Hovey that on the
same day he asked to have him removed from the command of the
division, notwithstanding his high personal esteem for him and his
confidence in his personal gallantry. The trouble seemed to be in
the comprehension of orders and in the grasp of the surrounding
circumstances. Sherman did not feel at liberty to act on the
request, as Hovey had been assigned to the new division, before it
took the field, in fulfilment of a promise of General Grant under
whom Hovey had served in the Vicksburg campaign, and had been
recommended for promotion as a recognition of good conduct at the
affair of Champion Hill. [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iv. p. 122.
Brigadier-General Alvin P. Hovey had been a Judge of the Supreme
Court of Indiana, and a "War Democrat" in politics. His subsequent
withdrawal from the army and his connection with Sherman's famous
protest against promotions given under stress of personal and
political influences at Washington would not be entirely clear
without mention of the incident here told.]

Johnston seems to have heard rumors of Sherman's original plan to
send McPherson's column against Rome, much further in rear, and he
remained under the impression that this was the meaning of the
movements he now heard of, until McPherson was in possession of
Snake Creek Gap. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv.
pp. 674, 675.] On the 7th he had urged Polk to hasten his
concentration at Rome, and ordered Martin's division of cavalry to
Calhoun to cover the communications with Polk, and protect the
railroad south of the Oostanaula. Brigadier-General Cantey was at
Resaca with at least four thousand men, his own and Reynolds's
brigades with fourteen pieces of artillery. [Footnote: _Id_., pp.
679, 682.] Movements toward his rear were reported to Johnston, and
all his subordinates were on the alert to find out what it meant;
the cavalry was ordered to watch all gaps south of Dug Gap, but no
mention is made of Snake Creek Gap till McPherson had passed through
it. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 681, 683, 686, 687.] Then Cantey was told
to hold Resaca firmly, and call on Martin for assistance if he
needed it. Cars were sent to bring a brigade from Rome,
intrenchments were made to cover the south end of the Resaca bridge;
Major Presstman, chief engineer, was sent to mark out more extensive
works about Resaca, and Hood was ordered there with considerable
reinforcements. As soon, however, as it was known that McPherson had
retired to Sugar Valley, Hood was called back to Dalton, and
Johnston requested Polk to hasten in person to Resaca and take
command, hurrying forward his corps as fast as possible. [Footnote:
_Id_., pp. 687, 689.] This was the situation on the evening of the
10th of May.

When we took our position on the ridge of Rocky Face as the left of
the line, the division was somewhat exposed to a flank attack, and I
ordered the fallen timber on the hillside to be thrown together to
make obstruction to any hostile advance, besides the usual tactical
precautions of outposts and reserves. This, like the slashing made
at Red Clay a few days before, was suggested by the difficulty of
knowing what was going on around us in a country covered by dense
forests with only small cultivated openings here and there. In this
instance it was only the gathering of logs and tree-tops already
lying on the ground, and utilizing them as a means of delaying an
enemy till our lines could be formed. From such beginnings grew up
our more and more elaborate system of intrenched camps; a natural
evolution of campaigning in a country only partially cleared, with
no roads worthy of the name.

To pass such a defile as Snake Creek Gap with an army was no small
undertaking. Hooker was ordered to clear a second track, so that two
lines could march by the flank at once, but this could only be
imperfectly done in the time at command. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. pp. 126, 135, 145.] Careful orders in
detail were made, fixing the time for each corps and division to
move, keeping the roads filled night and day. Wagons were sent by
the rear to Villanow, and the regular subsistence trains were
stopped at Ringgold and Tunnel Hill till the Confederate army should
be dislodged. For night marching men were stationed with torches at
the forking of paths, and boards were nailed to trees as

Early on the morning of the 12th May, my division left its position
on Rocky Face and marched through Tunnel Hill station. General
Schofield, finding the shorter road to Snake Creek Gap blocked by
wagons of the Cumberland Army, ordered a detour to the west, and we
marched over to the Trickum and Villanow road, some two miles, and
then pushing southward got within three miles of Villanow. It was
evident that our movement and that of the whole army were visible
from the high ridge of Rocky Face. Johnston was aware of them, and
telegraphed to Richmond that Sherman was moving to Calhoun or to
some point on the Oostanaula. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 698.] He put everything in motion upon his
interior line to Resaca, and the last of his infantry left Dalton
that night, covered by a cavalry rear-guard. [Footnote: _Id_., p.
160.] Howard entered the place next morning.

[Illustration: Map]

Taking only a short rest, my division marched again at one o'clock
through Villanow and Snake Creek Gap into Sugar Valley, followed by
Judah's division of our corps, the other (Hovey's) being left to
guard the gap and the trains. McPherson's army covered the direct
road to Resaca, having Kilpatrick's cavalry on its right flank
toward the Oostanaula; Thomas's army was in the centre, consisting
of two corps (Hooker's and Palmer's) in Howard's absence; and
Schofield was ordered to continue the curve to the left, my own
division being the flank and directed to rest the left upon the
ridge or near it, facing northward.

The different corps advanced from McPherson's intrenchments to the
new line which was near Camp Creek on the Resaca road, facing east,
thence curving north and west through a quarter circle to my
position on the left close to the dominant ridge, and about four
miles north of Sugar Valley P. O. on the main Dalton road. I sent
Hanson's brigade forward to reconnoitre toward Tilton (where Howard
was), and it reached Martin's store, at the forks of the Dalton and
Tilton roads and the crossing of Swamp Creek. A Confederate division
had left that position only an hour before, marching toward Resaca.
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. ii. p. 675. In the
official Atlas (compiled after the war), plate lvii. map 2, Martin's
Store is given as Roberts' Store, and the position of the enemy
there is marked.]

Later in the afternoon the centre and left of the whole army swung
forward toward the east into the line along Camp Creek, quite away
from the Dalton road. Reilly's brigade of my division was therefore
left as a detachment covering that road until we should know that
Howard had advanced beyond Tilton. A regiment of Hanson's brigade
was left as an outpost at Martin's store, and the rest of the
brigade marched across country by the right of companies to the
front, keeping touch with Judah's division and this with the left of
the Army of the Cumberland. It was a rough march over ridges and
streams through the forest, on the long outer curve, of which the
pivot was several miles to the southeast.

Sherman had hoped to be in time to interpose between Resaca and
Johnston's army, as he had said in his orders of the 12th,
[Footnote: _Id_., pt. iv. p. 158.] but the Confederates had the
short interior line, and Johnston had been able to concentrate about
Resaca in the course of the 13th, his rear-guard resisting Howard's
advance at Tilton, and his left under Polk holding some high hills
west of Camp Creek in front of Resaca which commanded the railroad
bridge over the Oostanaula. With the latter exception his chosen
line of defence was on the broken ridge between the Connasauga River
and Camp Creek, which were nearly parallel to each other for some

On the morning of the 14th the advance was renewed, guided as before
by the progress of the Army of the Tennessee on the right and
continuing the wheeling movement toward the east. My right brigade
(Manson) continued its connection with the rest of the army, but
Reilly's had a very difficult and laborious march. I ordered it to
advance a mile upon the road it had covered during the night, and
then by the right flank to position in line with the rest of the
command. After leaving the road Reilly had to break his way through
the woods, crossing sharp and deep ravines and watercourses, with no
path or landmark to guide him. It was especially difficult for the
artillery, and that they got through at all proved that the officers
and men were experts in woodcraft. The regiment at Martin's store
remained there as an outpost during the day.

Reilly came into line about ten o'clock, and we rested an hour till
our flankers reported Howard's corps within supporting distance
coming from Tilton. We were on the west bank of the main stream of
Camp Creek, where its upper course makes an angle with the lower,
some small branches coming into it from the northeast. The valley
itself was open, and the change in its direction allowed it to be
enfiladed by the enemy's batteries at the angle. Generals Thomas and
Schofield were together upon a hill having a commanding view, and at
the word from them, "The line will advance," we moved forward into
the valley from the slope before them. Each brigade was in two
lines, and the artillery was left on the hither side of the valley
to cover the movement and reply to the enemy's cannonade. The
skirmish line had been advanced to the edge of the woods on the far
side, and kept the lead until we approached the Confederate
trenches. We passed over two or three ridges and ravines, driving
back the skirmishers of the enemy, and charged the line of
earthworks on the crest of a higher ridge. Our men dropped fast as
we went forward, but the line was carried and the Confederates broke
from the next ridge in rear, some two hundred yards away. The
direction of these ridges was such that our left was constantly
thrown forward as we passed from one to another.

Judah's division on our right had not succeeded in crossing Camp
Creek, and our flank was exposed to a galling artillery fire, as the
ridge on which we were had its shoulder bare when it came out into
the valley, whose curve gave the enemy an enfilading fire upon us.
His infantry sought also to drive us out of the position we had
captured, and the fighting was heavy for an hour or two. But
Howard's corps came up on our left, and we made firm our hold on the
hills we had gained, forcing the Confederates to adopt a new line
curving to the eastward.

The division had lost 562 men, and our ammunition was nearly
exhausted. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. ii. pp.
676-679.] Wagons could not follow us, and toward evening Generals
Thomas and Schofield arranged to relieve us with Newton's division
of Howard's corps, let us replenish the cartridge boxes, and then
pass to the left. This brought again the Army of the Cumberland
together, and gave us our usual position on the flank. Newton's men
came over part of the ground we had traversed, and as they crossed
the open we saw them under the enemy's cannonade, the balls here and
there bowling them over like tenpins. Harker's brigade came up to
relieve Manson's, which was the most exposed, and Manson and I were
standing together arranging the details, our horses being under
cover in the edge of the wood. Harker rode up to confer with us and
learn the situation, and as we talked, a shell exploded among us,
the concussion stunning Manson and a fragment slightly wounding
Harker. Manson's experience was a curious illustration of the effect
of such an accident. He was unaware of his hurt, and only thought,
in the moment of failing consciousness as he fell, that the motion
was that of his companions flying upward instead of his own falling;
and on coming to himself in the hospital began to speak his sorrow
for what he supposed was the death of his friends. He himself never
fully recovered from the effects of the concussion. Colonel
Opdycke's regiment was one of the first in the winning column, and
his men were hardly placed in the line before he was led back,
wounded; but as soon as his wound was dressed and he had recovered a
little from the shock, he was back at his post. The place was so hot
a one that Harker's brigade also exhausted its ammunition and had to
be relieved before the left of my own line was moved.

The captured position was firmly held by Howard's corps, whilst
Hooker's, which had been relieved by the Army of the Tennessee, was
marched to the left of Howard's, extending the line across the ridge
toward the Connasauga and turning the enemy's flank. The whole
Twenty-third Corps was also united during the night and moved to
Hooker's support, where next day Hood made strong efforts to drive
our line back. My own and Judah's division were held in reserve, but
Hovey's was put in on Hooker's left, extending the line practically
to the river, and the division took a gallant part in repulsing
Hood. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. ii. p. 511.]

On the extreme right McPherson had bridged the Oostanaula at Lay's
Ferry and made demonstrations on Calhoun. The whole Army of the
Tennessee had pressed forward to Camp Creek, and toward evening of
the 14th forced a crossing and carried some hills near its mouth
which commanded the railway bridge. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxviii. pt. iii. pp. 92, 377.] Polk's Confederate corps made
strong efforts to dislodge McPherson's men, but failed, and the
latter intrenched the position. As Johnston had not succeeded in
dislodging Sherman at either flank of the position, and the course
of the Oostanaula made it possible for Sherman to put himself upon
the railway near Calhoun, the Confederate general evacuated the
Resaca position in the night of the 15th, retreating southward
toward Kingston and Cassville.



Tactics modified by character of the country--Use of the
spade--Johnston's cautious defensive--Methods of Grant and
Sherman--Open country between Oostanaula and Etowah--Movement in
several columns--Sherman's eagerness--Route of left wing--Of
McPherson on the right--Necessity of exact system in such
marches--Route of Twenty-third Corps--Hooker gets in the way--Delays
occasioned--Closing in on Cassville--Our commanding
position--Johnston's march to Cassville--His order to fight
there--Protest of Hood and Polk--Retreat over the Etowah--Sherman
crosses near Kingston--My reconnoissance to the Allatoona
crossing--Destruction of iron works and mills--Marching without
baggage--Barbarism of war--Desolation it causes--Changes in our
corps organization--Hascall takes Judah's division--Our place of
crossing the Etowah--Interference again--Kingston the new
base--Rations--Camp coffee.

The opening period of the campaign had developed the conditions of
warfare in so broken and difficult a country, and they were only
emphasized by the later experiences of both armies. Positions for
defence could be intrenched with field-works whilst the hostile army
was feeling its way forward through dense forests and over mountain
ridges. To carry such positions by direct assault was so costly that
the lesson of prudence was soon learned and such attacks were more
and more rarely resorted to. Sherman had moved upon the enemy at
Resaca as promptly as the deployment and advance could be made after
the turning movement and the passage of the Snake Creek defile; but
we found Johnston strongly placed, on ground naturally difficult of
approach, with works which gave his men such cover as to overcome
any advantage we had in numbers. Still, the enemy found in turn that
we could make counter-intrenchments and quickly extend them till we
turned his flanks and threatened his communications, when he must
either retreat or assault our works, and that, if he assaulted, the
balance of losses would turn so heavily against him as to fatally
deplete his army. Johnston carefully and systematically maintained
this defensive, and in Virginia, after Lee had tried the policy of
attack in the Wilderness, he became as cautiously defensive as
Johnston. Grant was slower than Sherman in learning the
unprofitableness of attacking field-works, and his campaign was by
far the more costly one. The difference in such cases goes much
farther than the casualty list; it was shown in October, when
Sherman's army was strong and well-seasoned, but Grant's was so full
of raw recruits as almost to have lost its veteran quality. There
were special reasons which led Grant to adhere so long to the more
aggressive tactics, which would need to be weighed in any full
treatment of the subject; but I am now only pointing out the fact
that in both the East and the West the lesson was practically the
same. Aggressive strategy had the advantage it always has, but
defensive tactics proved generally the better in so peculiar a field
of operations.

Between the Oostanaula and the Etowah was the most open portion of
northern Georgia, and it was possible for Sherman to move his army
southward in several columns of pursuit on parallel roads (such as
they were) without extending his front over a width of more than
eight or ten miles. He was eager to bring the Confederates to battle
in this region, and urged his subordinates to make haste. The
assignment of routes to the different columns gave the centre to
General Thomas, following the railroad in general, but putting his
three corps upon as many country roads, when they could be found.
General Schofield with the Twenty-third Corps was ordered to get
over to the old Federal road which runs through Spring Place (east
of Dalton) to Cassville. General McPherson with his two corps was
sent by the Rome road and such parallel road as might be available,
keeping communication with the centre. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 216.] Beyond him, on the extreme right,
Davis's division of the Cumberland Army supported Garrard's cavalry
division in a movement upon Rome by the west side of the Oostanaula.
[Footnote: _Id_., pp. 198, 202-204.] The object of the
last-mentioned movement was the destruction of the Confederate
machine-shops and factories at Rome, as well as to cover the flank
against movements along the main route of travel from Alabama. The
extreme left flank was to be covered by the cavalry of the Ohio Army
under General Stoneman.

In making such an advance, success as well as comfort depends upon
the care with which the several columns are led, so that each shall
keep its place, progressing equally with the others, and avoid above
all things cutting into and interrupting those moving on its right
or left. Each must keep the common purpose in view, and avoid
obstructing the rest, for nothing is more wearisome to the troops
and ruinous to the plans of the commander than to have the lines of
advance cross each other. In our march of the 17th our own corps was
fated to feel the full annoyance and delay of such an interference.

General Thomas ordered Howard's corps to cross by the bridges at
Resaca, followed by Palmer's, which was diminished by the absence of
Davis's division. He also ordered Hooker's corps to march by the
long neck between the Oostanaula and Connasauga rivers to Newtown,
and cross the Oostanaula there. Hooker would then follow such roads
as he could find within two or three miles of Howard's line of march
toward Adairsville. Sherman and Thomas both were with Howard.
[Footnote: _Id_., pp. 202, 209, 210, 216, 217.]

Schofield ordered the divisions of the Twenty-third Corps to cross
the Connasauga at different places, and make their way by different
roads eastward to the Federal road crossing of the Coosawattee,
turning south after crossing that river and marching till abreast of
Adairsville and some four or five miles distant from it. As we had
to gain several miles of easting and to cross two rivers before
marching southward, ours was, of course, much the longer route; and
as the pontoons were all in use at Resaca and Lay's Ferry, we had to
find fords or build trestle-bridges.

I marched my own division to Hogan's Ford on the Connasauga, two
miles below Tilton, and there crossed in water so deep that the men
had to strip and carry their clothes and arms on their heads. Once
over we pushed for the Federal road and the crossing of the
Coosawattee at Field's Ferry. The other two divisions of the corps
crossed the Connasauga at or near Fite's Ferry, where were
trestle-bridges. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv.
p. 210.]

General Hooker started upon the Newtown road, which runs southward
some miles upon a long, narrow ridge which here separates the
Oostanaula from its tributary; but before he had gone far he learned
that the crossing at Newtown (the mouth of the Connasauga) was
unfordable, and other means of getting over doubtful. He now turned
abruptly to the east, crossed the Connasauga at Fite's, and marched
toward McClure's Ford on the Coosawattee. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 205,
206.] In moving out from Hogan's (or Hobart's) Ford, I had learned
that the road from the north which crosses the Coosawattee at
McClure's was probably the principal and shortest route to Cassville
and had reported this to General Schofield, who ordered Judah's and
Hovey's division to take the most direct roads to McClure's. These
columns, however, ran into Hooker's, which were making for the same
point and had headed Schofield's off, having the inner of the
concentric routes on which we were marching. Neither at McClure's
nor the more distant ferry at Field's Mill was there any bridge or
tolerable ford, and Hooker was no better off than he would have been
at Newtown. This movement had wholly disjointed Sherman's plan of
keeping the three armies upon separate lines of march. Finding no
means for rapid crossing at McClure's, he pushed one of his
divisions to Field's, and so occupied and blocked both of the
Coosawattee crossings, which by the orders should have been wholly
at Schofield's disposal. We found ourselves obliged therefore to
camp on the north side of the Coosawattee on the night of the 16th,
instead of being well over that river and ready for a prompt advance
on the 17th. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. pp.
210, 211, 220, 221, 225, 226.] Hooker himself might much better have
obeyed his original orders. He reported to Thomas at ten o'clock on
the morning of the 17th that he was not yet over, and had not the
means of constructing a bridge that would stand; in short, that he
had been "bothered beyond parallel." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 221.] When
Schofield requested that he would allow our troops to take
precedence of the Twentieth Corps wagons at either the ferry or the
bridge, so that Sherman's expectation might not be disappointed,
Hooker suggested that we should march back to Resaca and follow
Thomas across the bridges there, thus getting into the place he
himself should have taken if the Newtown crossing had been really
impossible! [Footnote: _Id_., p. 227.]

Modern systems lay great stress upon the most scrupulous care on the
part of corps commanders to follow the roads assigned them, and to
avoid trespassing upon those assigned to others. Moltke has even
condensed the whole strategic art of moving troops into "marching
divided in order to fight united," and to avoid interference and
confusion of columns _en route_ is quite as essential as to keep
tactical manoeuvres on the battle-field from crossing each other.
[Footnote: See Prince Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen's Letters on Strategy
(Wolseley Series), vol. ii. pp. 160, 161, 185, 237, etc.] No better
proof of the necessity of the rule could be given than this. Sherman
was most anxious to bring Johnston to battle in the open country
between the two rivers, and ordered his subordinates to press the
pursuit and to engage the enemy wherever he might be overtaken,
trusting to the quick advance of the several columns to their
support. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. pp. 201,
202, 211, 220, 232, 242.] Anything which delayed the columns or put
them on different roads from those indicated by the commanding
general, directly tended to thwart his plans. All of Sherman's
dispatches during the 17th, 18th, and 19th of May show his
disappointment at not getting forward more rapidly.

Johnston seemed disposed, in the afternoon of the 17th, to meet
Sherman's wish for a decisive battle, and had selected a position a
mile or two north of Adairsville, where the valley of the Oothcaloga
Creek seemed narrow enough to give strong positions for his flanks
on the hills bordering it. Preliminary orders were given and the
cavalry was strongly supported by infantry to hold back Sherman's
advance-guard till the deployment should be completed. The
skirmishing was so brisk that, at a distance, it sounded like a
battle; but upon testing the position by a partial deployment,
Johnston concluded that his army would not fill it, and he resumed
his retreat on Cassville and Kingston, hoping that Sherman's columns
would be so separated that he could concentrate upon one of them,
and so fight his adversary in detail. [Footnote: Narrative, pp. 319,

Schofield had pressed the march of his troops after getting over the
Coosawattee, but the interruptions had been such that the distance
made was not great, though the time was long and the troops were
more tired than if they had made double the number of miles on an
unobstructed road. My division was on the extreme left flank and in
advance. After crossing the river at Field's Mill, the infantry by
Hooker's foot-bridge and the artillery by the flat-boat ferry, I
marched at ten o'clock in the evening and reached Big Spring Creek
at two o'clock in the morning of the 18th. Resting only till five
o'clock, we marched again, going southward on the Cassville road
three miles, thence westward on the Adairsville road five miles to
Marsteller's Mill. The other divisions of our corps took roads
westward of that which I followed, and the cavalry under Stoneman
passed beyond our left flank, scouting up the valley of Salequa
Creek as far as Fairmount and Pine Log Post-Office. Hooker moved two
of his divisions toward Calhoun after getting over the Coosawattee,
and these regained the position relative to the rest of Thomas's
army which the corps had been ordered to take. The other division
(Butterfield's), which had crossed in advance of my own at Field's
Mill, was necessarily on roads assigned to Schofield's command, and
a good deal of interference was inevitable. Hooker was personally
with this division, and in the afternoon of the 18th met General
Schofield at Marsteller's Mill, and then went forward about six
miles to the foot of the Gravelly Plateau, Butterfield's division
going still further forward on its top. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. pp. 238-242. The Atlas of the Official Records
does not give the routes of all the columns of either Hooker's or
Schofield's corps, nor does it give the line of march of the cavalry
on our left. The march of my own division is fixed by the memoranda
of my personal diary of the campaign. The official "Atlas" (Plate
lviii.) gives two mills as Marsteller's. It is difficult to identify
the several roads, but my own line of march was the principal
Cassville road leading from Field's Mills and ferry through Sonora
until we reached the road running directly to Adairsville. On this
last we marched to Marsteller's Mills. Our route on the 19th is also
incorrectly marked on the map. See Official Records, vol. xxxviii.
pt. iv. p. 256.]

General Schofield assembled the corps at the mills and rested for
the night. Early on the 19th my division took the advance and
marched southward on by-roads till we overtook Hooker's corps and
found it in line of battle, its movement being disputed by the
enemy's cavalry. Schofield deployed his corps on Hooker's left, my
division taking the extreme flank and advancing in line to the south
fork of Two Run Creek. Crossing this, we went forward to a position
a mile northeast of Cassville, briskly skirmishing with part of
Hood's corps. We found that we were opposite the extreme right of
the Confederate position, which was a strong one on the hills behind
Cassville; but an exchange of artillery shots satisfied us that we
to some extent enfiladed their intrenchments. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. ii. p. 680.] The concentration of
Thomas's army with Schofield's made a continuous line facing the
enemy on the north and west. Night was falling as we took position.

Johnston had followed the railroad to Kingston, where he was joined
by French's division coming to Polk's corps from Rome, and still
stuck to the general line of the railway to Cassville, though this
led him by a considerable detour to the east. His manifest policy
was to make the largest use of the railroad to move his baggage and
supply his troops, for wagon trains were not over-abundant with the
Confederates. He naturally reckoned also that Sherman could not go
far from the same line, and as the road crossed the Etowah near the
gorges of the Allatoona hills, he wished to lead the national
commander into that difficult country from the north, instead of
taking the more direct wagon-roads from Kingston toward Marietta.
Could Sherman have been sure of the route his adversary would take,
no doubt he would have concentrated his columns by shortest roads on
Cassville, gaining possibly a day thereby. [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iv.
pp. 242, 266.]

The position on the hills behind the village of Cassville was so
strong a one, and Johnston so much desired to offer battle at an
early day, that he resolved to retreat no further and to try
conclusions with Sherman here. He signified this in an unusually
formal manner by issuing a brief and stirring address to his troops,
in which he said that as their communications were now secure, they
would turn and meet our advancing columns. "Fully confiding in the
conduct of the officers and the courage of the soldiers," he said,
"I lead you to battle" [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii.
pt. iv. p. 728.] But when our left flank crossed Two Run Creek and
partly turned the right of his position, his corps commanders, Hood
and Polk, became so uneasy that they protested against giving battle
there, and induced Johnston to continue the retreat through
Cartersville across the Etowah River. He saw the mistake he had made
as soon as it was done, and never ceased to regret it. [Footnote:
Narrative, p. 323, etc.] The Richmond government had been
disappointed at his retreat from Dalton and Resaca and its
continuation through Adairsville. His strained relations with Mr.
Davis were rapidly tending toward his deprivation of command. But
more strictly military reasons made his change of purpose very
undesirable. Hardly anything is more destructive of the confidence
of an army than vacillation. The order to fight had been published,
and even a defeat might be less mischievous than the sudden retreat
in the night without joining the battle which had been so formally
announced. Either the order had been an error or the retreat was
one. Every soldier in the army knew this, and the _morale_ of the
whole was necessarily affected by it.

Sherman had no mind to follow the enemy into the defiles of
Allatoona from Cartersville. His position at Kingston offered a far
more easy way to turn that fastness by the south, if he could
replenish his stores, rebuild the bridges behind him, and make
Kingston the base for a march upon Dallas and thence on Marietta. On
the 20th of May his orders were issued for the new movement, to
begin on the 23d with preparation for a twenty days' separation from
the railroad. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. p.
271.] My own duty on the 20th was to follow the enemy's rear-guard
to the river and learn the condition of the bridges and crossings.
The division marched early, most of the distance to Cartersville
being made in line of battle, the opposition being at times
stubborn. The purpose of this was probably to prepare for the
destruction of the bridges, which were burned as soon as the
rear-guard crossed. We sent detachments to destroy the Etowah Mills
and Iron Works a few miles above; [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 286, 298.]
meanwhile General Schofield concentrated the Army of the Ohio at
Cartersville, General Thomas occupied Kingston as the centre, and
McPherson came into position on the right near the same place.
General J. C. Davis's division had occupied Rome, finding there
important iron-works and machine-shops as well as considerable
depots of supplies. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 264.] General Blair was
advancing from Decatur, Ala., with the Seventeenth Corps, under
orders to relieve Davis at Rome, when the latter would rejoin
Palmer's corps at the front.

The ten days which had passed since the movement to turn the enemy's
position at Dalton was begun, had been in literal obedience to the
order to march without baggage. At my headquarters we were, in fact,
worse off than the men in the ranks, for, although the private
soldier finds his knapsack, haversack, canteen, and coffee-kettle a
burden and a clattering annoyance, he soon learns to bear them
patiently, for they are the necessary condition of the comparative
comfort of his bivouac when the day's march is over. The veteran,
indeed, clings to them with eager tenacity, when he has fully
learned that they are his salvation from utter misery. But the
officer, whose hours of halting are crowded with important business,
and whose movements must be light and quick whenever occasion
arises, cannot carry on his person or on his horse the outfit
necessary for his cooking and his shelter. We had been full of the
most earnest zeal to respond thoroughly to the general's wishes, and
had not tried to smuggle into wagons or ambulances any extra
comforts. We had left mess chests behind, and had used our fingers
for forks and our pocket-knives for carving, turning sardine boxes
into dishes, and other tins in which preserved meats are put up into
coffee-cups. Such roughing can be kept up for a week or two, but it
is not a real economy of means to make it permanent. A compromise
must be found in which the wholesome cooking of food and the shelter
in a rainstorm, without which no dispatches can be written or
records kept, may be made to consist with the lightness of
transportation which active campaigning requires. The simple,
closely packed kitchen kit of a Rob-Roy canoe voyager was more or
less completely anticipated by the devices and inventions born of
necessity in our campaign in Georgia. The remainder of the season
bore witness that we could organize our camp life so as to secure
cleanliness of person and healthful living without transgressing the
reasonable rules as to weight and bulk of baggage which Sherman
insisted on. Every day proved the reasonableness of his system,
without which the campaign could not have been made.

The tendency of war to make men relapse into barbarism becomes most
evident when an army is living in any degree upon the enemy's
country. Desolation follows in its track, and the utmost that
discipline can do is to mitigate the evil. The habit of disregarding
rights of property grows apace. The legitimate exercise of the rules
of war is not easily distinguished from their abuse. The crops are
trampled down, the fences disappear, the timber is felled for
breastworks and for camp-fires, the green forage is used for the
army horses and mules, barns and houses may be dismantled to build
or to floor a bridge,--all this is necessary and lawful. But the
pigs and the poultry also disappear, though the subsistence officers
are issuing full and abundant rations to the troops; the bacon is
gone from the smoke-house, the flour from the bin, the delicacies
from the pantry. These things, though forbidden, are half excused by
sympathy with the soldier's craving for variety of food. Yet, as the
habit of measuring right by might goes on, pillage becomes wanton
and arson is committed to cover the pillage. The best efforts of a
provost-marshal with his guard will be useless when superior
officers, and especially colonels of regiments, encourage or wink at
license. The character of different commands becomes as notoriously
different as that of the different men of a town. Our armies were
usually free from the vagabond class of professional camp-followers
that scour a European battlefield and strip the dead and the
wounded. We almost never heard of criminal personal assaults upon
the unarmed and defenceless; but we cannot deny that a region which
had been the theatre of active war became desolate sooner or later.
A vacant house was pretty sure to be burned, either by malice or by
accident, until, with fences gone, the roads an impassable mire, the
fields bare and cut up with innumerable wagon-tracks, no living
thing to be seen but carrion birds picking the bones of dead horses
and mules, Dante's "Inferno" could not furnish a more horrible and
depressing picture than a countryside when war has swept over it.
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. pp. 273, 297,

The orders issued from our army headquarters in Georgia forbade
soldiers from entering houses or stripping families of the
necessaries of life. Most of the officers honestly tried to enforce
this rule; but in an army of a hundred thousand men, a small
fraction of the whole would be enough to spoil the best efforts of
the rest. The people found, too, that it was not only the enemy they
had to fear. The worse disciplined of their own troops and the horde
of stragglers were often as severe a scourge as the enemy.
[Footnote: See Hood's orders, Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. v.
pp. 960, 963.] Yet I believe that nowhere in the world is respect
for person and property more sincere than among our own people. The
evils described are those which may be said to be necessarily
incident to the waging of war, and are not indications of ferocity
of nature or uncommon lack of discipline.

In the organization of the Army of the Ohio, General Schofield made
an important change by assigning Brigadier-General Hascall to
command the second division in place of General Judah. In the battle
of Resaca the division suffered severe loss without accomplishing
anything, and General Schofield found, on investigation, that it was
due to the incompetency of the officer commanding it. [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xxxviii. pt. iv. p. 243.] The brigade
commanders, in their reports, complained severely of the way in
which the division had been handled, and the army commander felt
obliged to examine and to act promptly. [Footnote: _Id_., pt. ii.
pp. 581, 610, 611.] Judah was a regular officer, major of the Fourth
Infantry, a graduate of West Point in the class of 1843, but lacked
the judgment and coolness in action necessary in grave
responsibilities. General Schofield kindly softened the treatment of
the matter in his report of the campaign, but in his personal
memoirs he repeats the judgment he originally acted upon. [Footnote:
Schofield's Report, _Id_., pt. ii. p. 511; Forty-two Years in the
Army, p. 182. In the passage of his memoirs last referred to,
General Schofield had been using the case of General Wagner at
Franklin to give point to "the necessity of the higher military
education, and the folly of intrusting high commands to men without
such education" (p. 181); but he also distinctly recognizes the fact
that such education is gained by experience, and the fault of those
he uses as illustrations was that they had not learned either by
experience or theoretically. I have discussed the subject in vol. i.
chapter ix., _ante_. There must be knowledge; but even this will be
of no use unless there are the personal qualities which fit for high
commands.] The crossing of the Etowah River on May 23d was again the
occasion of an interference of columns, because Sherman's orders
were not faithfully followed. To McPherson was assigned a country
bridge near the mouth of Connasene Creek, to Thomas one four miles

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