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enemy's pickets. Entering the town in the morning, he destroyed the commissary stores found there, and continued his march. On the evening of the 16th, the Tallapoosa river was crossed at Smith's Ford, near Youngville, about thirty-five miles from Montgomery. On the 17th, the railroad was struck at Loccopaca, one hundred and thirty-five miles south-west of Atlanta, and on the following day the work of destruction was earnestly commenced. The column which proceeded toward Montgomery was attacked near Chewa Station, by a much superior forse sent down from Montgomery, but being reēnforced by the main body under Rousseau in person, our men defeated and drove back the enemy, destroying an important trestle work about twelve miles from the city. Rousseau's forces then proceeded eastward to Opelika, destroying the road as they went. On the 19th they entered Opelika and burned “ Confederate" storehouses, railroad depots, and army supplies of various kinds. A large Rebel force approaching from West Point, Rousseau turned aside from the railroad toward Lafayette. The march was continued on the next two days in the direction of Sherman's lines, which were reached on the morning of the 22d of July. The expedition had traveled 450 miles, losing less than thirty men, and fully accomplishing its purpose.
Preparatory to an intended advance, Gen. Sherman had also sent the cavalry of Gens. Stoneman and McCook down the Chattahoochee river, scouting far to the right, and diverting the enemy's attention. On the 17th of July, a general advance commenced, the army of Thomas crossing at the bridges built by Howard, and marching toward Atlanta by way of Buckhead; Schofield, already over, proceeding by Cross Keys; and McPherson moving directly toward a point near Stone Mountain, on the Augusta railroad, cast of Decatur. A general line was formed along the Old Peach Tree road. McPherson reached the Augusta road, seven miles cast of Decatur, on the 18th, and destroyed the track for a distance of four miles. Schofield, on the same day, entered the town of Decatur. On the 19th, the lines were contracted from the left, McPherson marching into Decatur, and Schofield advanc
ing some distance by one of the roads (passing the Howard House), from that place to Atlanta. Thomas meanwhile crossed Peach Tree Creek, under fire from the enemy's well intrenched lines on the south bank. Each of these three columns encountered opposition, and skir.nished on its way. On the 20th all were closed in, converging upon Atlanta. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon of that day, the enemy
sud. denly sallied from his works, and heavily attacked Sherman's right center, engaging Hooker's corps, and portions of Howard's and Palmer's
The Twentieth Corps was entirely unprotected by fortifications, and Newton's division of the Fourth Corps, which was first assailed, was only partially eovered by hastily constructed lines of rail piles. The enemy, notwithstanding these advantages, was repulsed with great loss, leaving over 500 dead on the field, about 1,000 severely wounded, and many prisoners in the aggregate not far from 5,000 men. The total casualties on the side of the Government were estimated by the commanding general at not exceeding 1,500, mostly in Hooker's corps. The battle of Peach Tree Creek, resulting in so depressing a defeat of the Rebels, had almost immediately followed a change of commanders Gen. Hood having succeeded Johnston, after the latter's failure to hold the line of the Chattahochee.
By a reconnoissance on the next day, the enemy's intrenched lines were found to be on commanding hights beyond Peach Tree Creek, extending across the Augusta road, on the east, to near Turner's Ferry, on the Chattahoochee, at a distance of about four miles from Atlanta. On the 22d, to the surprise of Gen. Sherman, this strong line was found to be abandoned. But Atlanta was not yet to be surrendered. The new Rebel general had determined on a change of strategy, of which the battle of the 20th afforded the first illustration. The Unión army passed over the deserted works of Hood, advancing until the lines were approached to within a general distance of two miles from the city. The enemy had now taken shelter behind a line of redoubts built a year before, and was busily engaged in connecting and strengthening these by the usual works. The Army of the Tennessee, in advancing from Decatur, had sub
stantially followed the railroad, Logan's Corps (the Fifteenth) and Blair's (the Seventeenth) on the left, and Dodge's (the Sixteenth) on the right. In contracting the arc, the Fifteenth Corps had connected directly with the left of Schofield, near the Howard House, leaving the Sixteenth Corps out of line. Blair's corps, on the extreme left, after a severe fight, had gained posBession of a high hill, giving a view into the heart of the town. Dodge was ordered to the support of the left in this position, and was moving by a diagonal path for that purpose, when the enemy moved out, soon after noon, on the 22d of July, to attack that part of the lines. Gen. McPherson, while passing by a narrow road, leading by the rear, through wooded ground, from Dodge's corps to the division on the extreme left of Blair, was killed by Rebel sharpshooters—à death deeply lamented. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan temporarily succeeded to his command. A severe engagement had already begun. Hardee's corps assailed and enveloped Blair's left flank, while Stewart's corps
attacked in front. The two divisions of Generals Giles A. Smith and Leggett, of the Seventeenth Corps, maintained the fight with desperate valor, while the moving column of Gen. Dodge speedily closed up the line holding the enemy in check, and driving him back with destructive blows. The battle raged over this part of the ground until about 4 o'clock, when thero was a brief lull, followed by a desperate attempt of the enemy to break through the lines where they had been weakened by the withdrawal of Martin's brigade of the Fifteenth Corps, to reënforce the left. This attack, after partial success, was finally repulsed, and the corps regained all the ground lost, with all the guns captured by the enemy, but two.
The Union loss in this battle of Atlanta was 3,722, in killed, wounded and prisoners. Gen. Sherman estimates the enemy's total loss as certainly not less than 8,000 men, while Gen. Logan reported the number as at least 10,000. Of his dead, 2,200 were actually counted on the field. His aggregate losses in the two battles of the 20th and 22d, probably exceeded 15,000.
On the 21st, Garrard's division of cavalry had been dispatched to Covington, forty-two miles east of Atlanta, on the
Augusta railroad, to destroy two important bridges in that ricinity. During Garrard's absence, Wheeler had attempted to destroy the wagon trains of the Army of the Tennessee, left behind at Decatur; but they were protected and safely withdrawn, by the management of Col. (afterward Gen.) Sprague, and the three regiments under his command. On the 23d, Garrard returned, having fully accomplished his purpose, and bringing in a number of prisoners and horses, with the loss of but two men.
The Rebel commander was now reduced to the Macon railroad exclusively, for the transportation of his supplies. To reach this road, therefore, became an important object to Gen. Sherman. Two expeditionary forces of cavalry were accordingly organized for this purpose—one numbering not less than 5,000, placed under the command of Gen. Stoneman, and the other numbering about 4,000, under Gen McCook; the former to move by the left beyond Atlanta, to McDonough, and the latter by the right to Fayetteville—the two bodies acting in concert, to meet at a given time and place on the Macon railroad. This joint expedition, which seemed to promise complete success, and was to have been followed by an attempt to release the Union prisoners at Andersonville, resulted in disaster, Gen. Stoneman himself having been taken prisoner, with 700 of his men, near Macon. It appears that he had attempted a sudden descent on Andersonville, before completing the contemplated work in conjunction with McCook. The latter oflicer proceeded at the same time to execute his part of the plan of operations, crossing the Chattahoochee near Rivertown, and moving rapidly to the West Point railroad, near Palmetto Station, where he broke up the road; and thence to Fayetteville, destroying 500 wagons and various supplies for the army found there. He then struck the Macon Railroad at Lovejoy's, on the night of the 29th of July, as appointed. Failing to hear from Stoneman, and being heavily pressed, he withdrew to Newman, on the West Point road, where he fell in with a cousiderable infantry force, moving from Mississippi to Atlanta, which had been stopped there by the break which McCook had just previously made at Palmetto. He was speedily hemmed in and
forced to give battle. He succeeded in cutting his way out, with a loss of about 500 men, and reached Marietta without further interruption. The serious losses from this raid were not compensated by any material advantages—the slight damage done to the railroads beyond East Point being easily repaired by the enemy.
Gen. Sherman had determined to withdraw the Army of the Tennessee from its position on the left, and move it around, by the rear of Schofield and Thomas, to the right, extending the Union lines below Proctor's Creek, while Schofield extended his forces to the Augusta railroad. This change was commenced on the night of the 26th of July, and the Army of the Tennessee (Gen. 0. O. Howard having now succeeded to the command), was in its new position on the 28th, and speedily threw up the temporary covering works which our troops had accustomed themselves to construct. The enemy, hoping to find Howard's troops still in motion and unprepared to receive an attack, repeated the attempt which had cost him so heavily on the 20th and 22d. A series of assaults (on some points as many as seven), were made, chiefly on Logan's corps, and each time repulsed, with comparatively little loss on the Union side. Tho Rebel loss in killed and wounded was not less than 5,000. Of Rebel dead left on the field, 642 were counted by our men, who buried them. The aggregate Union loss was reported at less than 500. This battle, so disastrous to the assailants, terminated Hood's efforts of this sort, the three actions fought within little more than a week having cost him over 20,000 men, without profit, and with only a proportionately very small reduction of the strength of our armies. Henceforward the enemy remained on the defensive, and endeavored, by strong works, to prevent a further extension of Sherman's lines southward toward the railroad below East Point.
Gen. Schofield's army was subsequently transferred to the right of Howard, and also Gen. Palmer's corps, of the Army of the Cumberland. The latter corps moved into position beiow Utoy Creek, on the 1st of August, and Schofield, going still farther to the right, extended the line to a location near East Point. These changes were made without interruption