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Author: Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman,
Vol. II., by William T. Sherman

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Title: The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Vol. II.

Author: William T. Sherman

Release Date: August 16, 2006 [EBook #2617]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by David Widger. Additional proofing was done by Bryan Sherman


By William T. Sherman





On the 18th day of March, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee, I relieved
Lieutenant-General Grant in command of the Military Division of the
Mississippi, embracing the Departments of the Ohio, Cumberland,
Tennessee, and Arkansas, commanded respectively by Major-Generals
Schofield, Thomas, McPherson, and Steele.  General Grant was in the
act of starting East to assume command of all the armies of the
United States, but more particularly to give direction in person to
the Armies of the Potomac and James, operating against Richmond;
and I accompanied him as far as Cincinnati on his way, to avail
myself of the opportunity to discuss privately many little details
incident to the contemplated changes, and of preparation for the
great events then impending.  Among these was the intended
assignment to duty of many officers of note and influence, who had,
by the force of events, drifted into inactivity and discontent.
Among these stood prominent Generals McClellan, Burnside, and
Fremont, in, the East; and Generals Buell, McCook, Negley, and
Crittenden, at the West. My understanding was that General Grant
thought it wise and prudent to give all these officers appropriate
commands, that would enable them to regain the influence they had
lost; and, as a general reorganization of all the armies was then
necessary, he directed me to keep in mind especially the claims of
Generals Buell, McCook, and Crittenden, and endeavor to give them
commands that would be as near their rank and dates of commission
as possible; but I was to do nothing until I heard further from
him on the subject, as he explained that he would have to consult
the Secretary of War before making final orders.  General Buell and
his officers had been subjected to a long ordeal by a court of
inquiry, touching their conduct of the campaign in Tennessee and
Kentucky, that resulted in the battle of Perryville, or Chaplin's
Hills, October 8,1862, and they had been substantially acquitted;
and, as it was manifest that we were to have some hard fighting, we
were anxious to bring into harmony every man and every officer of
skill in the profession of arms.  Of these, Generals Buell and
McClellan were prominent in rank, and also by reason of their fame
acquired in Mexico, as well as in the earlier part of the civil

After my return to Nashville I addressed myself to the task of
organization and preparation, which involved the general security
of the vast region of the South which had been already conquered,
more especially the several routes of supply and communication with
the active armies at the front, and to organize a large army to
move into Georgia, coincident with the advance of the Eastern
armies against Richmond.  I soon received from Colonel J. B. Fry
--now of the Adjutant-General's Department, but then at Washington in
charge of the Provost-Marshal-General's office--a letter asking me to
do something for General Buell.  I answered him frankly, telling him
of my understanding with General Grant, and that I was still awaiting
the expected order of the War Department, assigning General Buell to
my command.  Colonel Fry, as General Buell's special friend, replied
that he was very anxious that I should make specific application for
the services of General Buell by name, and inquired what I proposed
to offer him.  To this I answered that, after the agreement with
General Grant that he would notify me from Washington, I could not
with propriety press the matter, but if General Buell should be
assigned to me specifically I was prepared to assign him to command
all the troops on the Mississippi River from Cairo to Natchez,
comprising about three divisions, or the equivalent of a corps
d'armee.  General Grant never afterward communicated to me on the
subject at all; and I inferred that Mr. Stanton, who was notoriously
vindictive in his prejudices, would not consent to the employment of
these high officers.  General Buell, toward the close of the war,
published a bitter political letter, aimed at General Grant,
reflecting on his general management of the war, and stated that both
Generals Canby and Sherman had offered him a subordinate command,
which he had declined because he had once outranked us.  This was not
true as to me, or Canby either, I think, for both General Canby and I
ranked him at West Point and in the old army, and he (General Buell)
was only superior to us in the date of his commission as
major-general, for a short period in 1862.  This newspaper
communication, though aimed at General Grant, reacted on himself, for
it closed his military career.  General Crittenden afterward obtained
authority for service, and I offered him a division, but he declined
it for the reason, as I understood it, that he had at one time
commanded a corps.  He is now in the United States service,
commanding the Seventeenth Infantry.  General McCook obtained a
command under General Canby, in the Department of the Gulf, where he
rendered good service, and he is also in the regular service,
lieutenant-colonel Tenth Infantry.

I returned to Nashville from Cincinnati about the 25th of March,
and started at once, in a special car attached to the regular
train, to inspect my command at the front, going to Pulaski,
Tennessee, where I found General G. M. Dodge; thence to Huntsville,
Alabama, where I had left a part of my personal staff and the
records of the department during the time we had been absent at
Meridian; and there I found General McPherson, who had arrived from
Vicksburg, and had assumed command of the Army of the Tennessee.
General McPherson accompanied me, and we proceeded by the cars to
Stevenson, Bridgeport, etc., to Chattanooga, where we spent a day
or two with General George H.  Thomas, and then continued on to
Knoxville, where was General Schofield.  He returned with us to
Chattanooga, stopping by the way a few hours at Loudon, where were
the headquarters of the Fourth Corps (Major-General Gordon
Granger).  General Granger, as usual, was full of complaints at the
treatment of his corps since I had left him with General Burnside,
at Knoxville, the preceding November; and he stated to me
personally that he had a leave of absence in his pocket, of which
he intended to take advantage very soon.  About the end of March,
therefore, the three army commanders and myself were together at
Chattanooga.  We had nothing like a council of war, but conversed
freely and frankly on all matters of interest then in progress or
impending.  We all knew that, as soon as the spring was fairly
open, we should have to move directly against our antagonist,
General Jos. E. Johnston, then securely intrenched at Dalton,
thirty miles distant; and the purpose of our conference at the time
was to ascertain our own resources, and to distribute to each part
of the army its appropriate share of work.  We discussed every
possible contingency likely to arise, and I simply instructed each
army commander to make immediate preparations for a hard campaign,
regulating the distribution of supplies that were coming up by rail
from Nashville as equitably as possible.  We also agreed on some
subordinate changes in the organization of the three separate
armies which were destined to take the field; among which was the
consolidation of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps (Howard and Slocum)
into a single corps, to be commanded by General Jos. Hooker.
General Howard was to be transferred to the Fourth Corps, vice
Gordon Granger to avail himself of his leave of absence; and
General Slocum was to be ordered down the Mississippi River, to
command the District of Vicksburg.  These changes required the
consent of the President, and were all in due time approved.

The great question of the campaign was one of supplies.  Nashville,
our chief depot, was itself partially in a hostile country, and
even the routes of supply from Louisville to Nashville by rail, and
by way of the Cumberland River, had to be guarded.  Chattanooga
(our starting-point) was one hundred and thirty-six miles in front
of Nashville, and every foot of the way, especially the many
bridges, trestles, and culverts, had to be strongly guarded against
the acts of a local hostile population and of the enemy's cavalry.
Then, of course, as we advanced into Georgia, it was manifest that
we should have to repair the railroad, use it, and guard it
likewise: General Thomas's army was much the largest of the three,
was best provided, and contained the best corps of engineers,
railroad managers, and repair parties, as well as the best body of
spies and provost-marshals.  On him we were therefore compelled in a
great measure to rely for these most useful branches of service.  He
had so long exercised absolute command and control over the railroads
in his department, that the other armies were jealous, and these
thought the Army of the Cumberland got the lion's share of the
supplies and other advantages of the railroads.  I found a good deal
of feeling in the Army of the Tennessee on this score, and therefore
took supreme control of the roads myself, placed all the army
commanders on an equal footing, and gave to each the same control, so
far as orders of transportation for men and stores were concerned.
Thomas's spies brought him frequent and accurate reports of Jos. E.
Johnston's army at Dalton, giving its strength anywhere between forty
and fifty thousand men, and these were being reenforced by troops
from Mississippi, and by the Georgia militia, under General G. W.
Smith.  General Johnston seemed to be acting purely on the defensive,
so that we had time and leisure to take all our measures deliberately
and fully.  I fixed the date of May 1st, when all things should be in
readiness for the grand forward movement, and then returned to
Nashville; General Schofield going back to Knoxville, and McPherson
to Huntsville, Thomas remaining at Chattanooga.

On the 2d of April, at Nashville, I wrote to General Grant, then at
Washington, reporting to him the results of my visit to the several
armies, and asked his consent to the several changes proposed,
which was promptly given by telegraph.  I then addressed myself
specially to the troublesome question of transportation and
supplies.  I found the capacity of the railroads from Nashville
forward to Decatur, and to Chattanooga, so small, especially in the
number of locomotives and care, that it was clear that they were
barely able to supply the daily wants of the armies then dependent
on them, with no power of accumulating a surplus in advance.  The
cars were daily loaded down with men returning from furlough, with
cattle, horses, etc.; and, by reason of the previous desolation of
the country between Chattanooga and Knoxville, General Thomas had
authorized the issue of provisions to the suffering inhabitants.

We could not attempt an advance into Georgia without food,
ammunition, etc.; and ordinary prudence dictated that we should
have an accumulation at the front, in case of interruption to the
railway by the act of the enemy, or by common accident.
Accordingly, on the 6th of April, I issued a general order,
limiting the use of the railroad-cars to transporting only the
essential articles of food, ammunition, and supplies for the army
proper, forbidding any further issues to citizens, and cutting off
all civil traffic; requiring the commanders of posts within thirty
miles of Nashville to haul out their own stores in wagons;
requiring all troops destined for the front to march, and all
beef-cattle to be driven on their own legs.  This was a great help,
but of course it naturally raised a howl.  Some of the poor Union
people of East Tennessee appealed to President Lincoln, whose kind
heart responded promptly to their request. He telegraphed me to know
if I could not modify or repeal my orders; but I answered him that a
great campaign was impending, on which the fate of the nation hung;
that our railroads had but a limited capacity, and could not provide
for the necessities of the army and of the people too; that one or
the other must quit, and we could not until the army of Jos. Johnston
was conquered, etc., etc.  Mr. Lincoln seemed to acquiesce, and I
advised the people to obtain and drive out cattle from Kentucky, and
to haul out their supplies by the wagon-road from the same quarter,
by way of Cumberland Gap.  By these changes we nearly or quite
doubled our daily accumulation of stores at the front, and yet even
this was not found enough.

I accordingly called together in Nashville the master of
transportation, Colonel Anderson, the chief quartermaster, General
J. L. Donaldson, and the chief commissary, General Amos Beckwith,
for conference.  I assumed the strength of the army to move from
Chattanooga into Georgia at one hundred thousand men, and the
number of animals to be fed, both for cavalry and draught, at
thirty-five thousand; then, allowing for occasional wrecks of
trains, which were very common, and for the interruption of the
road itself by guerrillas and regular raids, we estimated it would
require one hundred and thirty cars, of ten tons each, to reach
Chattanooga daily, to be reasonably certain of an adequate supply.
Even with this calculation, we could not afford to bring forward
hay for the horses and mules, nor more than five pounds of oats or
corn per day for each animal.  I was willing to risk the question
of forage in part, because I expected to find wheat and corn
fields, and a good deal of grass, as we advanced into Georgia at
that season of the year.  The problem then was to deliver at
Chattanooga and beyond one hundred and thirty car-loads daily,
leaving the beef-cattle to be driven on the hoof, and all the
troops in excess of the usual train-guards to march by the ordinary
roads.  Colonel Anderson promptly explained that he did not possess
cars or locomotives enough to do this work.  I then instructed and
authorized him to hold on to all trains that arrived at Nashville
from Louisville, and to allow none to go back until he had secured
enough to fill the requirements of our problem.  At the time he
only had about sixty serviceable locomotives, and about six hundred
cars of all kinds, and he represented that to provide for all
contingencies he must have at least one hundred locomotives and one
thousand cars.  As soon as Mr. Guthrie, the President of the
Louisville & Nashville Railroad, detected that we were holding on
to all his locomotives and cars, he wrote me, earnestly
remonstrating against it, saying that he would not be able with
diminished stock to bring forward the necessary stores from
Louisville to Nashville.  I wrote to him, frankly telling him
exactly how we were placed, appealed to his patriotism to stand by
us, and advised him in like manner to hold on to all trains coming
into Jeffersonville, Indiana.  He and General Robert Allen, then
quartermaster-general at Louisville, arranged a ferry-boat so as to
transfer the trains over the Ohio River from Jeffersonville, and in
a short time we had cars and locomotives from almost every road at
the North; months afterward I was amused to see, away down in
Georgia, cars marked "Pittsburg & Fort Wayne," "Delaware &
Lackawanna," "Baltimore & Ohio," and indeed with the names of
almost every railroad north of the Ohio River.  How these railroad
companies ever recovered their property, or settled their
transportation accounts, I have never heard, but to this fact, as
much as to any other single fact, I attribute the perfect success
which afterward attended our campaigns; and I have always felt
grateful to Mr. Guthrie, of Louisville, who had sense enough and
patriotism enough to subordinate the interests of his railroad
company to the cause of his country.

About this time, viz., the early part of April, I was much
disturbed by a bold raid made by the rebel General Forrest up
between the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers.  He reached the Ohio
River at Paducah, but was handsomely repulsed by Colonel Hicks.  He
then swung down toward Memphis, assaulted and carried Fort Pillow,
massacring a part of its garrison, composed wholly of negro troops.
At first I discredited the story of the massacre, because, in
preparing for the Meridian campaign, I had ordered Fort Pillow to
be evacuated, but it transpired afterward that General Hurlbut had
retained a small garrison at Fort Pillow to encourage the
enlistment of the blacks as soldiers, which was a favorite
political policy at that day.  The massacre at Fort Pillow occurred
April 12, 1864, and has been the subject of congressional inquiry.
No doubt Forrest's men acted like a set of barbarians, shooting
down the helpless negro garrison after the fort was in their
possession; but I am told that Forrest personally disclaims any
active participation in the assault, and that he stopped the firing
as soon as he could.  I also take it for granted that Forrest did
not lead the assault in person, and consequently that he was to the
rear, out of sight if not of hearing at the time, and I was told by
hundreds of our men, who were at various times prisoners in
Forrest's possession, that he was usually very kind to them.  He
had a desperate set of fellows under him, and at that very time
there is no doubt the feeling of the Southern people was fearfully
savage on this very point of our making soldiers out of their late
slaves, and Forrest may have shared the feeling.

I also had another serious cause of disturbance about that time.  I
wanted badly the two divisions of troops which had been loaned to
General Banks in the month of March previously, with the express
understanding that their absence was to endure only one month, and
that during April they were to come out of Red River, and be again
within the sphere of my command.  I accordingly instructed one of
my inspector-generals, John M.  Corse, to take a fleet steamboat at
Nashville, proceed via Cairo, Memphis, and Vicksburg, to General
Banks up the Red River, and to deliver the following letter of
April 3d, as also others, of like tenor, to Generals A. J. Smith
and Fred Steele, who were supposed to be with him:


Major-General N. P. BANKS, commanding Department of the Gulf, Red

GENERAL: The thirty days for which I loaned you the command of
General A. J. Smith will expire on the 10th instant.  I send with
this Brigadier-General J. M. Corse, to carry orders to General A.
J. Smith, and to give directions for a new movement, which is
preliminary to the general campaign.  General Corse may see you and
explain in full, but, lest he should not find you in person, I will
simply state that Forrest, availing himself of the absence of our
furloughed men and of the detachment with you, has pushed up
between the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, even to the Ohio.  He
attacked Paducah, but got the worst of it, and he still lingers
about the place.  I hope that he will remain thereabouts till
General A. J. Smith can reach his destined point, but this I can
hardly expect; yet I want him to reach by the Yazoo a position near
Grenada, thence to operate against Forrest, after which to march
across to Decatur, Alabama.  You will see that he has a big job,
and therefore should start at once.  From all that I can learn, my
troops reached Alexandria, Louisiana, at the time agreed on, viz.,
March 17th, and I hear of them at Natchitoches, but cannot hear of
your troops being above Opelousas.

Steele is also moving.  I leave Steele's entire force to cooperate
with you and the navy, but, as I before stated, I must have A. T.
Smith's troops now as soon as possible.

I beg you will expedite their return to Vicksburg, if they have not
already started, and I want them if possible to remain in the same
boats they have used up Red River, as it will save the time
otherwise consumed in transfer to other boats.

All is well in this quarter, and I hope by the time you turn
against Mobile our forces will again act toward the same end,
though from distant points.  General Grant, now having lawful
control, will doubtless see that all minor objects are disregarded,
and that all the armies act on a common plan.

Hoping, when this reaches you, that you will be in possession of
Shreveport, I am, with great respect, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

Rumors were reaching us thick and fast of defeat and disaster in
that quarter; and I feared then, what afterward actually happened,
that neither General Banks nor Admiral Porter could or would spare
those two divisions.  On the 23d of April, General Corse returned,
bringing full answers to my letters, and I saw that we must go on
without them.  This was a serious loss to the Army of the
Tennessee, which was also short by two other divisions that were on
their veteran furlough, and were under orders to rendezvous at
Cairo, before embarking for Clifton, on the Tennessee River.

On the 10th of April, 1864, the headquarters of the three Armies of
the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Ohio, were at Chattanooga.,
Huntsville, and Knoxville, and the tables on page 16, et seq., give
their exact condition and strength.

The Department of the Arkansas was then subject to my command, but
General Fred Steele, its commander, was at Little Rock, remote from
me, acting in cooperation with General Banks, and had full
employment for every soldier of his command; so that I never
depended on him for any men, or for any participation in the
Georgia campaign.  Soon after, viz., May 8th, that department was
transferred to the Military Division of "the Gulf," or "Southwest,"
Major-General E.  R. S. Canby commanding, and General Steele served
with him in the subsequent movement against Mobile.

In Generals Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield, I had three generals
of education and experience, admirably qualified for the work
before us.  Each has made a history of his own, and I need not here
dwell on their respective merits as men, or as commanders of
armies, except that each possessed special qualities of mind and of
character which fitted them in the highest degree for the work then
in contemplation.

By the returns of April 10, 1864, it will be seen that the
Army of the Cumberland had on its muster-rolls--

Present and absent...................171,450
Present for duty..................... 88,883

The Army of the Tennessee--
Present and absent....................134,763
Present for duty...................... 64,957

The Army of the Ohio--
Present and absent ................... 46,052
Present for duty ..................... 26,242

The department and army commanders had to maintain strong garrisons
in their respective departments, and also to guard their respective
lines of supply.  I therefore, in my mind, aimed to prepare out of
these three armies, by the 1st of May, 1864, a compact army for
active operations in Georgia, of about the following numbers:

Army of the Cumberland................ 50,000
Army of the Tennessee................. 35,000
Army of the Ohio ..................... 15,000

Total ............................... 100,000

and, to make these troops as mobile as possible, I made the
strictest possible orders in relation to wagons and all species of
incumbrances and impedimenta whatever.  Each officer and soldier
was required to carry on his horse or person food and clothing
enough for five days.  To each regiment was allowed but one wagon
and one ambulance, and to the officers of each company one pack
horse or mule.

Each division and brigade was provided a fair proportion of wagons
for a supply train, and these were limited in their loads to carry
food, ammunition, and clothing.  Tents were forbidden to all save
the sick and wounded, and one tent only was allowed to each
headquarters for use as an office.  These orders were not
absolutely enforced, though in person I set the example, and did
not have a tent, nor did any officer about me have one; but we had
wall tent-flies, without poles, and no tent-furniture of any kind.
We usually spread our flies over saplings, or on fence-rails or
posts improvised on the spot.  Most of the general officers, except
Thomas, followed my example strictly; but he had a regular
headquarters-camp.  I frequently called his attention to the orders
on this subject, rather jestingly than seriously.  He would break
out against his officers for having such luxuries, but, needing a
tent himself, and being good-natured and slow to act, he never
enforced my orders perfectly.  In addition to his regular
wagon-train, he had a big wagon which could be converted into an
office, and this we used to call "Thomas's circus." Several times
during the campaign I found quartermasters hid away in some
comfortable nook to the rear, with tents and mess-fixtures which
were the envy of the passing soldiers; and I frequently broke them
up, and distributed the tents to the surgeons of brigades.  Yet my
orders actually reduced the transportation, so that I doubt if any
army ever went forth to battle with fewer impedimenta, and where
the regular and necessary supplies of food, ammunition, and
clothing, were issued, as called for, so regularly and so well.

My personal staff was then composed of Captain J. C. McCoy,
aide-de-camp; Captain L. M. Dayton, aide-de-camp; Captain J. C.
Audenried, aide-de-camp; Brigadier-General J. D. Webster, chief of
staff; Major R. M. Sawyer, assistant adjutant-general; Captain
Montgomery Rochester, assistant adjutant-general.  These last three
were left at Nashville in charge of the office, and were empowered
to give orders in my name, communication being generally kept up by

Subsequently were added to my staff, and accompanied me in the
field, Brigadier-General W. F. Barry, chief of artillery; Colonel
O. M. Poe, chief of engineers; Colonel L. C. Easton, chief
quartermaster; Colonel Amos Beckwith, chief commissary; Captain
Thos. G. Baylor, chief of ordnance; Surgeon E. D.  Kittoe, medical
director; Brigadier-General J. M. Corse, inspector-general;
Lieutenant-Colonel C. Ewing, inspector-general; and Lieutenant-
Colonel Willard Warner, inspector-general.

These officers constituted my staff proper at the beginning of the
campaign, which remained substantially the same till the close of
the war, with very few exceptions; viz.: Surgeon John Moore, United
States Army, relieved Surgeon Kittoe of the volunteers (about
Atlanta) as medical director; Major Henry Hitchcock joined as
judge-advocate, and Captain G. Ward Nichols reported as an extra
aide-de-camp (after the fall of Atlanta) at Gaylesville, just
before we started for Savannah.

During the whole month of April the preparations for active war
were going on with extreme vigor, and my letter-book shows an
active correspondence with Generals Grant, Halleck, Thomas,
McPherson, and Schofield on thousands of matters of detail and
arrangement, most of which are embraced in my testimony before the
Committee on the Conduct of the War, vol. i., Appendix.

When the time for action approached, viz., May 1,1864, the actual
armies prepared to move into Georgia resulted as follows, present
for battle:
Army of the Cumberland, Major-General THOMAS.
Infantry ....................... 54,568
Artillery ......................  2,377
Cavalry.........................  3,828
        Aggregate............... 60,773
Number of field-guns, 130.

Army of the Tennessee, Major-General McPHERSON.

Infantry ....................... 22,437
Artillery ......................  1,404
Cavalry ........................    624
         Aggregate ............. 24,465
Guns, 96

Army of the Ohio, Major-General SCHOFIELD.

Infantry ....................... 11,183
Artillery.......................    679
Cavalry.........................  1,697
        Aggregate .............. 13,559
Guns, 28.

Grand aggregate, 98,797 men and 254 guns

These figures do not embrace the cavalry divisions which were still
incomplete, viz., of General Stoneman, at Lexington, Kentucky, and
of General Garrard, at Columbia, Tennessee, who were then rapidly
collecting horses, and joined us in the early stage of the
campaign.  General Stoneman, having a division of about four
thousand men and horses, was attached to Schofield's Army of the
Ohio.  General Garrard's division, of about four thousand five
hundred men and horses, was attached to General Thomas's command;
and he had another irregular division of cavalry, commanded by
Brigadier-General E.  McCook.  There was also a small brigade of
cavalry, belonging to the Army of the Cumberland, attached
temporarily to the Army of the Tennessee, which was commanded by
Brigadier-General Judson Kilpatrick.  These cavalry commands
changed constantly in strength and numbers, and were generally used
on the extreme flanks, or for some special detached service, as
will be herein-after related.  The Army of the Tennessee was still
short by the two divisions detached with General Banks, up Red
River, and two other divisions on furlough in Illinois, Indiana,
and Ohio, but which were rendezvousing at Cairo, under Generals
Leggett and Crocker, to form a part of the Seventeenth Corps, which
corps was to be commanded by Major-General Frank P. Blair, then a
member of Congress, in Washington.  On the 2d of April I notified
him by letter that I wanted him to join and to command these two
divisions, which ought to be ready by the 1st of May.  General
Blair, with these two divisions, constituting the Seventeenth Army
Corps, did not actually overtake us until we reached Acworth and
Big Shanty, in Georgia, about the 9th of June, 1864.

In my letter of April 4th to General John A. Rawains, chief of
staff to General Grant at Washington, I described at length all the
preparations that were in progress for the active campaign thus
contemplated, and therein estimated Schofield at twelve thousand,
Thomas at forty-five thousand, and McPherson at thirty thousand.
At first I intended to open the campaign about May 1st, by moving
Schofield on Dalton from Cleveland, Thomas on the same objective
from Chattanooga, and McPherson on Rome and Kingston from Gunter's
Landing.  My intention was merely to threaten Dalton in front, and
to direct McPherson to act vigorously against the railroad below
Resaca, far to the rear of the enemy.  But by reason of his being
short of his estimated strength by the four divisions before
referred to, and thus being reduced to about twenty-four thousand
men, I did not feel justified in placing him so far away from the
support of the main body of the army, and therefore subsequently
changed the plan of campaign, so far as to bring that army up to
Chattanooga, and to direct it thence through Ship's Gap against the
railroad to Johnston's rear, at or near Resaca, distant from Dalton
only eighteen miles, and in full communication with the other
armies by roads behind Rocky face Ridge, of about the same length.

On the 10th of April I received General Grant's letter of April 4th
from Washington, which formed the basis of all the campaigns of the
year 1864, and subsequently received another of April 19th, written
from Culpepper, Virginia, both of which are now in my possession,
in his own handwriting, and are here given entire.  These letters
embrace substantially all the orders he ever made on this
particular subject, and these, it will be seen, devolved on me the
details both as to the plan and execution of the campaign by the
armies under my immediate command.  These armies were to be
directed against the rebel army commanded by General Joseph E.
Johnston, then lying on the defensive, strongly intrenched at
Dalton, Georgia; and I was required to follow it up closely and
persistently, so that in no event could any part be detached to
assist General Lee in Virginia; General Grant undertaking in like
manner to keep Lee so busy that he could not respond to any calls
of help by Johnston.  Neither Atlanta, nor Augusta, nor Savannah,
was the objective, but the "army of Jos. Johnston," go where it


WASHINGTON D. C., April 4, 1864.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: It is my design, if the enemy keep quiet and allow me to
take the initiative in the spring campaign, to work all parts of
the army together, and somewhat toward a common centre.  For your
information I now write you my programme, as at present determined

I have sent orders to Banks, by private messenger, to finish up his
present expedition against Shreveport with all dispatch; to turn
over the defense of Red River to General Steels and the navy, and
to return your troops to you, and his own to New Orleans; to
abandon all of Texas, except the Rio Grande, and to hold that with
not to exceed four thousand men; to reduce the number of troops on
the Mississippi to the lowest number necessary to hold it, and to
collect from his command not less than twenty-five thousand men.
To this I will add five thousand from Missouri.  With this force he
is to commence operations against Mobile as soon as he can.  It
will be impossible for him to commence too early.

Gillmore joins Butler with ten thousand men, and the two operate
against Richmond from the south aide of James River.  This will
give Butler thirty-three thousand men to operate with, W. F. Smith
commanding the right wing of his forces, and Gillmore the left
wing.  I will stay with the Army of the Potomac, increased by
Burnside's corps of not less than twenty-five thousand effective
men, and operate directly against Lee's army, wherever it may be

Sigel collects all his available force in two columns, one, under
Ord and Averill, to start from Beverly, Virginia, and the other,
under Crook, to start from Charleston, on the Kanawha, to move
against the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad.

Crook will have all cavalry, and will endeavor to get in about
Saltville, and move east from there to join Ord.  His force will be
all cavalry, while Ord will have from ten to twelve thousand men of
all arms.

You I propose to move against Johnston's army, to break it up, and
to get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as you can,
inflicting all the damage you can against their war resources.

I do not propose to lay down for you a plan of campaign, but simply
to lay down the work it is desirable to have done, and leave you
free to execute it in your own way.  Submit to me, however, as
early as you can, your plan of operations.

As stated, Banks is ordered to commence operations as soon as he
can. Gillmore is ordered to report at Fortress Monroe by the 18th
inst., or as soon thereafter as practicable.  Sigel is
concentrating now.  None will move from their places of rendezvous
until I direct, except Banks.  I want to be ready to move by the
25th inst., if possible; but all I can now direct is that you get
ready as soon as possible.  I know you will have difficulties to
encounter in getting through the mountains to where supplies are
abundant, but I believe you will accomplish it.

From the expedition from the Department of West Virginia I do not
calculate on very great results; but it is the only way I can take
troops from there.  With the long line of railroad Sigel has to
protect, he can spare no troops, except to move directly to his
front.  In this way he must get through to inflict great damage on
the enemy, or the enemy must detach from one of his armies a large
force to prevent it.  In other words, if Sigel can't skin himself,
he can hold a leg while some one else skins.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D.

DEAR GENERAL: Your two letters of April 4th are now before me, and
afford me infinite satisfaction.  That we are now all to act on a
common plan, converging on a common centre, looks like enlightened

Like yourself, you take the biggest load, and from me you shall
have thorough and hearty cooperation.  I will not let side issues
draw me off from your main plans in which I am to knock Jos.
Johnston, and to do as much damage to the resources of the enemy as
possible.  I have heretofore written to General Rawlins and to
Colonel Comstock (of your staff) somewhat of the method in which I
propose to act.  I have seen all my army, corps, and division
commanders, and have signified only to the former, viz., Schofield,
Thomas, and McPherson, our general plans, which I inferred from the
purport of our conversation here and at Cincinnati.

First, I am pushing stores to the front with all possible dispatch,
and am completing the army organization according to the orders
from Washington, which are ample and perfectly satisfactory.

It will take us all of April to get in our furloughed veterans, to
bring up A. J. Smith's command, and to collect provisions and
cattle on the line of the Tennessee.  Each of the armies will
guard, by detachments of its own, its rear communications.

At the signal to be given by you, Schofield, leaving a select
garrison at Knoxville and London, with twelve thousand men will
drop down to the Hiawassee, and march against Johnston's right by
the old Federal road.  Stoneman, now in Kentucky, organizing the
cavalry forces of the Army of the Ohio, will operate with Schofield
on his left front--it may be, pushing a select body of about two
thousand cavalry by Ducktown or Elijah toward Athens, Georgia.

Thomas will aim to have forty-five thousand men of all arms, and
move straight against Johnston, wherever he may be, fighting him
cautiously, persistently, and to the best advantage.  He will have
two divisions of cavalry, to take advantage of any offering.

McPherson will have nine divisions of the Army of the Tennessee, if
A. J. Smith gets here, in which case he will have full thirty
thousand of the best men in America.  He will cross the Tennessee
at Decatur and Whitesburg, march toward Rome, and feel for Thomas.
If Johnston falls behind the Coosa, then McPherson will push for
Rome; and if Johnston falls behind the Chattahoochee, as I believe
he will, then McPherson will cross over and join Thomas.

McPherson has no cavalry, but I have taken one of Thomas's
divisions, viz., Garrard's, six thousand strong, which is now at
Colombia, mounting, equipping, and preparing.  I design this
division to operate on McPherson's right, rear, or front, according
as the enemy appears.  But the moment I detect Johnston falling
behind the Chattahoochee, I propose to cast off the effective part
of this cavalry division, after crossing the Coosa, straight for
Opelika, West Point, Columbus, or Wetumpka, to break up the road
between Montgomery and Georgia.  If Garrard can do this work well,
he can return to the Union army; but should a superior force
interpose, then he will seek safety at Pensacola and join Banks,
or, after rest, will act against any force that he can find east of
Mobile, till such time as he can reach me.

Should Johnston fall behind the Chattahoochee, I will feign to the
right, but pass to the left and act against Atlanta or its eastern
communications, according to developed facts.

This is about as far ahead as I feel disposed, to look, but I will
ever bear in mind that Johnston is at all times to be kept so busy
that he cannot in any event send any part of his command against
you or Banks.

If Banks can at the same time carry Mobile and open up the Alabama
River, he will in a measure solve the most difficult part of my
problem, viz., "provisions." But in that I must venture.  Georgia
has a million of inhabitants.  If they can live, we should not
starve.  If the enemy interrupt our communications, I will be
absolved from all obligations to subsist on our own resources, and
will feel perfectly justified in taking whatever and wherever we
can find. I will inspire my command, if successful, with the
feeling that beef and salt are all that is absolutely necessary to
life, and that parched corn once fed General Jackson's army on that
very ground.
As ever, your friend and servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.


Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: Since my letter to you of April 4th I have seen no reason
to change any portion of the general plan of campaign, if the enemy
remain still and allow us to take the initiative.  Rain has
continued so uninterruptedly until the last day or two that it will
be impossible to move, however, before the 27th, even if no more
should fall in the meantime.  I think Saturday, the 30th, will
probably be the day for our general move.

Colonel Comstock, who will take this, can spend a day with you, and
fill up many little gaps of information not given in any of my

What I now want more particularly to say is, that if the two main
attacks, yours and the one from here, should promise great success,
the enemy may, in a fit of desperation, abandon one part of their
line of defense, and throw their whole strength upon the other,
believing a single defeat without any victory to sustain them
better than a defeat all along their line, and hoping too, at the
same time, that the army, meeting with no resistance, will rest
perfectly satisfied with their laurels, having penetrated to a
given point south, thereby enabling them to throw their force first
upon one and then on the other.

With the majority of military commanders they might do this.

But you have had too much experience in traveling light, and
subsisting upon the country, to be caught by any such ruse.  I hope
my experience has not been thrown away.  My directions, then, would
be, if the enemy in your front show signs of joining Lee, follow
him up to the full extent of your ability.  I will prevent the
concentration of Lee upon your front, if it is in the power of this
army to do it.

The Army of the Potomac looks well, and, so far as I can judge,
officers and men feel well.  Yours truly,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief,
Culpepper, Virginia

GENERAL: I now have, at the hands of Colonel Comstock, of your
staff, the letter of April 19th, and am as far prepared to assume
the offensive as possible.  I only ask as much time as you think
proper, to enable me to get up McPherson's two divisions from
Cairo.  Their furloughs will expire about this time, and some of
them should now be in motion for Clifton, whence they will march to
Decatur, to join General Dodge.

McPherson is ordered to assemble the Fifteenth Corps near Larkin's,
and to get the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps (Dodge and Blair) at
Decatur at the earliest possible moment.  From these two points he
will direct his forces on Lebanon, Summerville, and Lafayette,
where he will act against Johnston, if he accept battle at Dalton;
or move in the direction of Rome, if the enemy give up Dalton, and
fall behind the Oostenaula or Etowah.  I see that there is some
risk in dividing our forces, but Thomas and Schofield will have
strength enough to cover all the valleys as far as Dalton; and,
should Johnston turn his whole force against McPherson, the latter
will have his bridge at Larkin's, and the route to Chattanooga via
Willa's Valley and the Chattanooga Creek, open for retreat; and if
Johnston attempt to leave Dalton, Thomas will have force enough to
push on through Dalton to Kingston, which will checkmate him.  My
own opinion is that Johnston will be compelled to hang to his
railroad, the only possible avenue of supply to his army, estimated
at from forty-five to sixty thousand men.

At Lafayette all our armies will be together, and if Johnston
stands at Dalton we must attack him in position.  Thomas feels
certain that he has no material increase of force, and that he has
not sent away Hardee, or any part of his army.  Supplies are the
great question.  I have materially increased the number of cars
daily.  When I got here, the average was from sixty-five to eighty
per day.  Yesterday the report was one hundred and ninety-three;
to-day, one hundred and thirty-four; and my estimate is that one
hundred and forty-five cars per day will give us a day's supply and
a day's accumulation.

McPherson is ordered to carry in wagons twenty day's rations, and
to rely on the depot at Ringgold for the renewal of his bread.
Beeves are now being driven on the hoof to the front; and the
commissary, Colonel Beckwith, seems fully alive to the importance
of the whole matter.

Our weakest point will be from the direction of Decatur, and I will
be forced to risk something from that quarter, depending on the
fact that the enemy has no force available with which to threaten
our communications from that direction.

Colonel Comstock will explain to you personally much that I cannot
commit to paper.  I am, with great respect,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

On the 28th of April I removed my headquarters to Chattanooga, and
prepared for taking the field in person.  General Grant had first
indicated the 30th of April as the day for the simultaneous
advance, but subsequently changed the day to May 5th.  McPhersons
troops were brought forward rapidly to Chattanooga, partly by rail
and partly by marching.  Thomas's troops were already in position
(his advance being out as far as Ringgold-eighteen miles), and
Schofield was marching down by Cleveland to Red Clay and Catoosa
Springs.  On the 4th of May, Thomas was in person at Ringgold, his
left at Catoosa, and his right at Leet's Tan-yard.  Schofield was
at Red Clay, closing upon Thomas's left; and McPherson was moving
rapidly into Chattanooga, and out toward Gordon's Mill.

On the 5th I rode out to Ringgold, and on the very day appointed by
General Grant from his headquarters in Virginia the great campaign
was begun.  To give all the minute details will involve more than
is contemplated, and I will endeavor only to trace the principal
events, or rather to record such as weighed heaviest on my own mind
at the time, and which now remain best fixed in my memory.

My general headquarters and official records remained back at
Nashville, and I had near me only my personal staff and
inspectors-general, with about half a dozen wagons, and a single
company of Ohio sharp-shooters (commanded by Lieutenant McCrory) as
headquarters or camp guard.  I also had a small company of
irregular Alabama cavalry (commanded by Lieutenant Snelling), used
mostly as orderlies and couriers.  No wall-tents were allowed, only
the flies.  Our mess establishment was less in bulk than that of
any of the brigade commanders; nor was this from an indifference to
the ordinary comforts of life, but because I wanted to set the
example, and gradually to convert all parts of that army into a
mobile machine, willing and able to start at a minute's notice, and
to subsist on the scantiest food.  To reap absolute success might
involve the necessity even of dropping all wagons, and to subsist
on the chance food which the country was known to contain.  I had
obtained not only the United States census-tables of 1860, but a
compilation made by the Controller of the State of Georgia for the
purpose of taxation, containing in considerable detail the
"population and statistics" of every county in Georgia.  One of my
aides (Captain Dayton) acted as assistant adjutant general, with an
order-book, letter-book, and writing-paper, that filled a small
chest not much larger than an ordinary candle-boa.  The only
reports and returns called for were the ordinary tri-monthly
returns of "effective strength."  As these accumulated they were
sent back to Nashville, and afterward were embraced in the archives
of the Military Division of the Mississippi, changed in 1865 to the
Military Division of the Missouri, and I suppose they were burned
in the Chicago fire of 1870.  Still, duplicates remain of all
essential papers in the archives of the War Department.

The 6th of May was given to Schofield and McPherson to get into
position, and on the 7th General Thomas moved in force against
Tunnel Hill, driving off a mere picket-guard of the enemy, and I
was agreeably surprised to find that no damage had been done to the
tunnel or the railroad.  From Tunnel Hill I could look into the
gorge by which the railroad passed through a straight and
well-defined range of mountains, presenting sharp palisade faces,
and known as "Rocky Face."  The gorge itself was called the
"Buzzard Roost."  We could plainly see the enemy in this gorge and
behind it, and Mill Creek which formed the gorge, flowing toward
Dalton, had been dammed up, making a sort of irregular lake,
filling the road, thereby obstructing it, and the enemy's batteries
crowned the cliffs on either side.  The position was very strong,
and I knew that such a general as was my antagonist (Jos.
Johnston), who had been there six months, had fortified it to the
maximum.  Therefore I had no intention to attack the position
seriously in front, but depended on McPherson to capture and hold
the railroad to its rear, which would force Johnston to detach
largely against him, or rather, as I expected, to evacuate his
position at Dalton altogether.  My orders to Generals Thomas and
Schofield were merely to press strongly at all points in front,
ready to rush in on the first appearance of "let go," and, if
possible, to catch our enemy in the confusion of retreat.

All the movements of the 7th and 8th were made exactly as ordered,
and the enemy seemed quiescent, acting purely on the defensive.

I had constant communication with all parts of the army, and on the
9th McPherson's head of column entered and passed through Snake
Creek, perfectly undefended, and accomplished a complete surprise
to the enemy.  At its farther debouche he met a cavalry brigade,
easily driven, which retreated hastily north toward Dalton, and
doubtless carried to Johnston the first serious intimation that a
heavy force of infantry and artillery was to his rear and within a
few miles of his railroad.  I got a short note from McPherson that
day (written at 2 p.m., when he was within a mile and a half of the
railroad, above and near Resaca), and we all felt jubilant.  I
renewed orders to Thomas and Schofield to be ready for the instant
pursuit of what I expected to be a broken and disordered army,
forced to retreat by roads to the east of Resaca, which were known
to be very rough and impracticable.

That night I received further notice from McPherson that he had
found Resaca too strong for a surprise; that in consequence he had
fallen back three miles to the month of Snake Creek Gap, and was
there fortified.  I wrote him the next day the following letters,
copies of which are in my letter-book; but his to me were mere
notes in pencil, not retained.


Major-General McPHERSON, commanding army of the Tennessee,
Sugar Valley, Georgia.

GENERAL: I received by courier (in the night) yours of 5 and 8.30
P. M. of yesterday.

You now have your twenty-three thousand men, and General Hooker is
in close support, so that you can hold all of Jos. Johnston's army
in check should he abandon Dalton.  He cannot afford to abandon
Dalton, for he has fixed it up on purpose to receive us, and he
observes that we are close at hand, waiting for him to quit.  He
cannot afford a detachment strong enough to fight you, as his army
will not admit of it.

Strengthen your position; fight any thing that comes; and threaten
the safety of the railroad all the time.  But, to tell the truth, I
would rather the enemy would stay in Dalton two more days, when he
may find in his rear a larger party than he expects in an open
field.  At all events, we can then choose our own ground, and he
will be forced to move out of his works.  I do not intend to put a
column into Buzzard-Roost Gap at present.

See that you are in easy communication with me and with all
head-quarters.  After to-day the supplies will be at Ringgold.


W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Major-General McPHERSON, commanding army of the Tennessee,
Sugar Valley, Georgia

GENERAL: The indications are that Johnston is evacuating Dalton.
In that event, Howard's corps and the cavalry will pursue; all the
rest will follow your route.  I will be down early in the morning.

Try to strike him if possible about the forks of the road.

Hooker must be with you now, and you may send General Garrard by
Summerville to threaten Rome and that flank.  I will cause all the
lines to be felt at once.

W. T. SHERMAN, major-general commanding.

McPherson had startled Johnston in his fancied security, but had
not done the full measure of his work.  He had in hand twenty-three
thousand of the best men of the army, and could have walked into
Resaca (then held only by a small brigade), or he could have placed
his whole force astride the railroad above Resaca, and there have
easily withstood the attack of all of Johnston's army, with the
knowledge that Thomas and Schofield were on his heels.  Had he done
so, I am certain that Johnston would not have ventured to attack
him in position, but would have retreated eastward by Spring Place,
and we should have captured half his army and all his artillery and
wagons at the very beginning of the campaign.

Such an opportunity does not occur twice in a single life, but at
the critical moment McPherson seems to have been a little cautious.
Still, he was perfectly justified by his orders, and fell back and
assumed an unassailable defensive position in Sugar Valley, on the
Resaca side of Snake-Creek Gap.  As soon as informed of this, I
determined to pass the whole army through Snake-Creek Gap, and to
move on Resaca with the main army.

But during the 10th, the enemy showed no signs of evacuating
Dalton, and I was waiting for the arrival of Garrard's and
Stoneman's cavalry, known to be near at hand, so as to secure the
full advantages of victory, of which I felt certain.  Hooker's
Twentieth Corps was at once moved down to within easy supporting
distance of McPherson; and on the 11th, perceiving signs of
evacuation of Dalton, I gave all the orders for the general
movement, leaving the Fourth Corps (Howard) and Stoneman's cavalry
in observation in front of Buzzard-Roost Gap, and directing all the
rest of the army to march through Snake-Creek Gap, straight on
Resaca.  The roads were only such as the country afforded, mere
rough wagon-ways, and these converged to the single narrow track
through Snake-Creek Gap; but during the 12th and 13th the bulk of
Thomas's and Schofield's armies were got through, and deployed
against Resaca, McPherson on the right, Thomas in the centre, and
Schofield on the left.  Johnston, as I anticipated, had abandoned
all his well-prepared defenses at Dalton, and was found inside of
Resaca with the bulk of his army, holding his divisions well in
hand, acting purely on the defensive, and fighting well at all
points of conflict.  A complete line of intrenchments was found
covering the place, and this was strongly manned at all points.  On
the 14th we closed in, enveloping the town on its north and west,
and during the 15th we had a day of continual battle and skirmish.
At the same time I caused two pontoon-bridges to be laid across the
Oostenaula River at Lay's Ferry, about three miles below the town,
by which we could threaten Calhoun, a station on the railroad seven
miles below Resaca.  At the same time, May 14th, I dispatched
General Garrard, with his cavalry division, down the Oostenaula by
the Rome road, with orders to cross over, if possible, and to
attack or threaten the railroad at any point below Calhoun and
above Kingston.

During the 15th, without attempting to assault the fortified works,
we pressed at all points, and the sound of cannon and musketry rose
all day to the dignity of a battle.  Toward evening McPherson moved
his whole line of battle forward, till he had gained a ridge
overlooking the town, from which his field-artillery could reach
the railroad-bridge across the Oostenaula.  The enemy made several
attempts to drive him away, repeating the sallies several times,
and extending them into the night; but in every instance he was
repulsed with bloody loss.

Hooker's corps had also some heavy and handsome fighting that
afternoon and night on the left, where the Dalton roan entered the
intrenchments, capturing a four-gun intrenched battery, with its
men and guns; and generally all our men showed the finest fighting

Howard's corps had followed Johnston down from Dalton, and was in
line; Stoneman's division of cavalry had also got up, and was on
the extreme left, beyond the Oostenaula.

On the night of May 15th Johnston got his army across the bridges,
set them on fire, and we entered Resaca at daylight.  Our loss up
to that time was about six hundred dead and thirty-three hundred
and seventy-five wounded--mostly light wounds that did not
necessitate sending the men to the rear for treatment.  That
Johnston had deliberately designed in advance to give up such
strong positions as Dalton and Resaca, for the purpose of drawing
us farther south, is simply absurd.  Had he remained in Dalton
another hour, it would have been his total defeat, and he only
evacuated Resaca because his safety demanded it.  The movement by
us through Snake-Creek Gap was a total surprise to him.  My army
about doubled his in size, but he had all the advantages of natural
positions, of artificial forts and roads, and of concentrated
action.  We were compelled to grope our way through forests, across
mountains, with a large army, necessarily more or less dispersed.
Of course, I was disappointed not to have crippled his, army more
at that particular stage of the game; but, as it resulted, these
rapid successes gave us the initiative, and the usual impulse of a
conquering army.

Johnston having retreated in the night of May 15th, immediate
pursuit was begun.  A division of infantry (Jeff. C. Davis's) was
at once dispatched down the valley toward Rome, to support
Garrard's cavalry, and the whole army was ordered to pursue,
McPherson by Lay's Ferry, on the right, Thomas directly by the
railroad, and Schofield by the left, by the old road that crossed
the Oostenaula above Echota or Newtown.

We hastily repaired the railroad bridge at Resaca, which had been
partially burned, and built a temporary floating bridge out of
timber and materials found on the spot; so that Thomas got his
advance corps over during the 16th, and marched as far as Calhoun,
where he came into communication with McPherson's troops, which had
crossed the Oostenaula at Lay's Ferry by our pontoon-bridges,
previously laid.  Inasmuch as the bridge at Resaca was overtaxed,
Hooker's Twentieth Corps was also diverted to cross by the fords
and ferries above Resaca, in the neighborhood of Echota.

On the 17th, toward evening, the head of Thomas's column, Newton's
division, encountered the rear-guard of Johnston's army near
Adairsville.  I was near the head of column at the time, trying to
get a view of the position of the enemy from an elevation in an
open field.  My party attracted the fire of a battery; a shell
passed through the group of staff-officers and burst just beyond,
which scattered us promptly.  The next morning the enemy had
disappeared, and our pursuit was continued to Kingston, which we
reached during Sunday forenoon, the 19th.

From Resaca the railroad runs nearly due south, but at Kingston it
makes junction with another railroad from Rome, and changes
direction due east. At that time McPherson's head of column was
about four miles to the west of Kingston, at a country place called
"Woodlawn;" Schofield and Hooker were on the direct roads leading
from Newtown to Casaville, diagonal to the route followed by
Thomas.  Thomas's head of column, which had followed the country
roads alongside of the railroad, was about four miles east of
Kingston, toward Cassville, when about noon I got a message from
him that he had found the enemy, drawn up in line of battle, on
some extensive, open ground, about half-way between Kingston and
Cassville, and that appearances indicated a willingness and
preparation for battle.

Hurriedly sending orders to McPherson to resume the march, to
hasten forward by roads leading to the south of Kingston, so as to
leave for Thomas's troops and trains the use of the main road, and
to come up on his right, I rode forward rapidly, over some rough
gravel hills, and about six miles from Kingston found General
Thomas, with his troops deployed; but he reported that the enemy
had fallen back in echelon of divisions, steadily and in superb
order, into Cassville.  I knew that the roads by which Generals
Hooker and Schofield were approaching would lead them to a seminary
near Cassville, and that it was all-important to secure the point
of junction of these roads with the main road along which we were
marching.  Therefore I ordered General Thomas to push forward his
deployed lines as rapidly as possible; and, as night was
approaching, I ordered two field-batteries to close up at a gallop
on some woods which lay between us and the town of Cassville.  We
could not see the town by reason of these woods, but a high range
of hills just back of the town was visible over the tree-tops.  On
these hills could be seen fresh-made parapets, and the movements of
men, against whom I directed the artillery to fire at long range.
The stout resistance made by the enemy along our whole front of a
couple of miles indicated a purpose to fight at Cassville; and, as
the night was closing in, General Thomas and I were together, along
with our skirmish-lines near the seminary, on the edge of the town,
where musket-bullets from the enemy were cutting the leaves of the
trees pretty thickly about us.  Either Thomas or I remarked that
that was not the place for the two senior officers of a great army,
and we personally went back to the battery, where we passed the
night on the ground.  During the night I had reports from
McPherson, Hooker, and Schofield.  The former was about five miles
to my right rear, near the "nitre-caves;" Schofield was about six
miles north, and Hooker between us, within two miles.  All were
ordered to close down on Cassville at daylight, and to attack the
enemy wherever found.  Skirmishing was kept up all night, but when
day broke the next morning, May 20th, the enemy was gone, and our
cavalry was sent in pursuit.  These reported him beyond the Etowah
River.  We were then well in advance of our railroad-trains, on
which we depended for supplies; so I determined to pause a few days
to repair the railroad, which had been damaged but little, except
at the bridge at Resaca, and then to go on.

Nearly all the people of the country seemed to have fled with
Johnston's army; yet some few families remained, and from one of
them I procured the copy of an order which Johnston had made at
Adairsville, in which he recited that he had retreated as far as
strategy required, and that his army must be prepared for battle at
Cassville.  The newspapers of the South, many of which we found,
were also loud in denunciation of Johnston's falling back before us
without a serious battle, simply resisting by his skirmish-lines
and by his rear-guard.  But his friends proclaimed that it was all
strategic; that he was deliberately drawing us farther and farther
into the meshes, farther and farther away from our base of
supplies, and that in due season he would not only halt for battle,
but assume the bold offensive.  Of course it was to my interest to
bring him to battle as soon as possible, when our numerical
superiority was at the greatest; for he was picking up his
detachments as he fell back, whereas I was compelled to make
similar and stronger detachments to repair the railroads as we
advanced, and to guard them.  I found at Cassville many evidences
of preparation for a grand battle, among them a long line of fresh
intrenchments on the hill beyond the town, extending nearly three
miles to the south, embracing the railroad-crossing.  I was also
convinced that the whole of Polk's corps had joined Johnston from
Mississippi, and that he had in hand three full corps, viz.,
Hood's, Polk's, and Hardee's, numbering about sixty thousand men,
and could not then imagine why he had declined battle, and did not
learn the real reason till after the war was over, and then from
General Johnston himself.

In the autumn of 1865, when in command of the Military Division of
the Missouri, I went from St. Louis to Little Rock, Arkansas, and
afterward to Memphis.  Taking a steamer for Cairo, I found as
fellow-passengers Generals Johnston and Frank Blair.  We were, of
course, on the most friendly terms, and on our way up we talked
over our battles again, played cards, and questioned each other as
to particular parts of our mutual conduct in the game of war.  I
told Johnston that I had seen his order of preparation, in the
nature of an address to his army, announcing his purpose to retreat
no more, but to accept battle at Cassville.  He answered that such
was his purpose; that he had left Hardee's corps in the open fields
to check Thomas, and gain time for his formation on the ridge, just
behind Cassville; and it was this corps which General Thomas had
seen deployed, and whose handsome movement in retreat he had
reported in such complimentary terms.  Johnston described how he
had placed Hood's corps on the right, Polk's in the centre, and
Hardee's on the left.  He said he had ridden over the ground, given
to each corps commander his position, and orders to throw up
parapets during the night; that he was with Hardee on his extreme
left as the night closed in, and as Hardee's troops fell back to
the position assigned them for the intended battle of the next day;
and that, after giving Hardee some general instructions, he and his
staff rode back to Cassville.  As he entered the town, or village,
he met Generals Hood and Polk.  Hood inquired of him if he had had
any thing to eat, and he said no, that he was both hungry and
tired, when Hood invited him to go and share a supper which had
been prepared for him at a house close by.  At the supper they
discussed the chances of the impending battle, when Hood spoke of
the ground assigned him as being enfiladed by our (Union)
artillery, which Johnston disputed, when General Polk chimed in
with the remark that General Hood was right; that the cannon-shots
fired by us at nightfall had enfiladed their general line of
battle, and that for this reason he feared they could not hold
their men.  General Johnston was surprised at this, for he
understood General Hood to be one of those who professed to
criticise his strategy, contending that, instead of retreating, he
should have risked a battle.  General Johnston said he was
provoked, accused them of having been in conference, with being
beaten before battle, and added that he was unwilling to engage in
a critical battle with an army so superior to his own in numbers,
with two of his three corps commanders dissatisfied with the ground
and positions assigned them.  He then and there made up his mind to
retreat still farther south, to put the Etowah River and the
Allatoona range between us; and he at once gave orders to resume
the retrograde movement.

This was my recollection of the substance of the conversation, of
which I made no note at the time; but, at a meeting of the Society
of the Army of the Cumberland some years after, at Cleveland, Ohio,
about 1868, in a short after-dinner speech, I related this
conversation, and it got into print.  Subsequently, in the spring
of 1870, when I was at New Orleans, on route for Texas, General
Hood called to see me at the St. Charles Hotel, explained that he
had seen my speech reprinted in the newspapers and gave me his
version of the same event, describing the halt at Cassville, the
general orders for battle on that ground, and the meeting at supper
with Generals Johnston and Polk, when the chances of the battle to
be fought the next day were freely and fully discussed; and he
stated that he had argued against fighting the battle purely on the
defensive, but had asked General Johnston to permit him with his
own corps and part of Polk's to quit their lines, and to march
rapidly to attack and overwhelm Schofield, who was known to be
separated from Thomas by an interval of nearly five miles, claiming
that he could have defeated Schofield, and got back to his position
in time to meet General Thomas's attack in front.  He also stated
that he had then contended with Johnston for the "offensive-
defensive" game, instead of the "pure defensive," as proposed by
General Johnston; and he said that it was at this time that General
Johnston had taken offense, and that it was for this reason he had
ordered the retreat that night.  As subsequent events estranged
these two officers, it is very natural they should now differ on
this point; but it was sufficient for us that the rebel army did
retreat that night, leaving us masters of all the country above the
Etowah River.

For the purposes of rest, to give time for the repair of the
railroads, and to replenish supplies, we lay by some few days in
that quarter--Schofield with Stoneman's cavalry holding the ground
at Cassville Depot, Cartersville, and the Etowah Bridge; Thomas
holding his ground near Cassville, and McPherson that near
Kingston.  The officer intrusted with the repair of the railroads
was Colonel W. W. Wright, a railroad-engineer, who, with about two
thousand men, was so industrious and skillful that the bridge at
Resaca was rebuilt in three days, and cars loaded with stores came
forward to Kingston on the 24th.  The telegraph also brought us the
news of the bloody and desperate battles of the Wilderness, in
Virginia, and that General Grant was pushing his operations against
Lee with terrific energy.  I was therefore resolved to give my
enemy no rest.

In early days (1844), when a lieutenant of the Third Artillery, I
had been sent from Charleston, South Carolina, to Marietta,
Georgia, to assist Inspector-General Churchill to take testimony
concerning certain losses of horses and accoutrements by the
Georgia Volunteers during the Florida War; and after completing the
work at Marietta we transferred our party over to Bellefonte,
Alabama.  I had ridden the distance on horseback, and had noted
well the topography of the country, especially that about Kenesaw,
Allatoona, and the Etowah River.  On that occasion I had stopped
some days with a Colonel Tumlin, to see some remarkable Indian
mounds on the Etowah River, usually called the "Hightower:" I
therefore knew that the Allatoona Pass was very strong, would be
hard to force, and resolved not even to attempt it, but to turn the
position, by moving from Kingston to Marietta via. Dallas;
accordingly I made orders on the 20th to get ready for the march to
begin on the 23d.  The Army of the Cumberland was ordered to march
for Dallas, by Euharlee and Stilesboro; Davis's division, then in
Rome, by Van Wert; the Army of the Ohio to keep on the left of
Thomas, by a place called Burnt Hickory; and the Army of the
Tennessee to march for a position a little to the south, so as to
be on the right of the general army, when grouped about Dallas.

The movement contemplated leaving our railroad, and to depend for
twenty days on the contents of our wagons; and as the country was
very obscure, mostly in a state of nature, densely wooded, and with
few roads, our movements were necessarily slow.  We crossed the
Etowah by several bridges and fords, and took as many roads as
possible, keeping up communication by cross-roads, or by couriers
through the woods.  I personally joined General Thomas, who had the
centre, and was consequently the main column, or "column of
direction."  The several columns followed generally the valley of
the Euharlee, a tributary coming into the Etowah from the south,
and gradually crossed over a ridge of mountains, parts of which had
once been worked over for gold, and were consequently full of paths
and unused wagon-roads or tracks.  A cavalry picket of the enemy at
Burnt Hickory was captured, and had on his person an order from
General Johnston, dated at Allatoona, which showed that he had
detected my purpose of turning his position, and it accordingly
became necessary to use great caution, lest some of the minor
columns should fall into ambush, but, luckily the enemy was not
much more familiar with that part of the country than we were.  On
the other side of the Allatoona range, the Pumpkin-Vine Creek, also
a tributary of the Etowah, flowed north and west; Dallas, the point
aimed at, was a small town on the other or east side of this creek,
and was the point of concentration of a great many roads that led
in every direction.  Its possession would be a threat to Marietta
and Atlanta, but I could not then venture to attempt either, till I
had regained the use of the railroad, at least as far down as its
debouche from the Allatoona range of mountains.  Therefore, the
movement was chiefly designed to compel Johnston to give up

On the 25th all the columns were moving steadily on Dallas
--McPherson and Davis away off to the right, near Van Wert; Thomas on
the main road in the centre, with Hooker's Twentieth Corps ahead,
toward Dallas; and Schofield to the left rear.  For the convenience
of march, Hooker had his three divisions on separate roads, all
leading toward Dallas, when, in the afternoon, as he approached a
bridge across Pumpkin-Vine Creek, he found it held by a cavalry
force, which was driven off, but the bridge was on fire.  This fire
was extinguished, and Hooker's leading division (Geary's) followed
the retreating cavalry on a road leading due east toward Marietta,
instead of Dallas.  This leading division, about four miles out from
the bridge, struck a heavy infantry force, which was moving down from
Allatoona toward Dallas, and a sharp battle ensued.  I came up in
person soon after, and as my map showed that we were near an
important cross-road called "New Hope," from a Methodist
meeting-house there of that name, I ordered General Hooker to secure
it if possible that night.  He asked for a short delay, till he could
bring up his other two divisions, viz., of Butterfield and Williams,
but before these divisions had got up and were deployed, the enemy
had also gained corresponding strength.  The woods were so dense, and
the resistance so spirited, that Hooker could not carry the position,
though the battle was noisy, and prolonged far into the night.  This
point, "New Hope," was the accidental intersection of the road
leading from Allatoona to Dallas with that from Van Wert to Marietta,
was four miles northeast of Dallas, and from the bloody fighting
there for the next week was called by the soldiers "Hell-Hole."

The night was pitch-dark, it rained hard, and the convergence of
our columns toward Dallas produced much confusion.  I am sure
similar confusion existed in the army opposed to us, for we were
all mixed up.  I slept on the ground, without cover, alongside of a
log, got little sleep, resolved at daylight to renew the battle,
and to make a lodgment on the Dallas and Allatoona road if
possible, but the morning revealed a strong line of intrenchments
facing us, with a heavy force of infantry and guns.  The battle was
renewed, and without success.  McPherson reached Dallas that
morning, viz., the 26th, and deployed his troops to the southeast
and east of the town, placing Davis's division of the Fourteenth
Corps, which had joined him on the road from Rome, on his left; but
this still left a gap of at least three miles between Davis and
Hooker.  Meantime, also, General Schofield was closing up on
Thomas's left.

Satisfied that Johnston in person was at New Hope with all his
army, and that it was so much nearer my "objective;" the railroad,
than Dallas, I concluded to draw McPherson from Dallas to Hooker's
right, and gave orders accordingly; but McPherson also was
confronted with a heavy force, and, as he began to withdraw
according to his orders, on the morning of the 28th he was fiercely
assailed on his right; a bloody battle ensued, in which he repulsed
the attack, inflicting heavy loss on his assailants, and it was not
until the 1st of June that he was enabled to withdraw from Dallas,
and to effect a close junction with Hooker in front of New Hope.
Meantime Thomas and Schofield were completing their deployments,
gradually overlapping Johnston on his right, and thus extending our
left nearer and nearer to the railroad, the nearest point of which
was Acworth, about eight miles distant.  All this time a continual
battle was in progress by strong skirmish-lines, taking advantage
of every species of cover, and both parties fortifying each night
by rifle-trenches, with head-logs, many of which grew to be as
formidable as first-class works of defense.  Occasionally one party
or the other would make a dash in the nature of a sally, but
usually it sustained a repulse with great loss of life.  I visited
personally all parts of our lines nearly every day, was constantly
within musket-range, and though the fire of musketry and cannon
resounded day and night along the whole line, varying from six to
ten miles, I rarely saw a dozen of the enemy at any one time; and
these were always skirmishers dodging from tree to tree, or behind
logs on the ground, or who occasionally showed their heads above
the hastily-constructed but remarkably strong rifle-trenches.  On
the occasion of my visit to McPherson on the 30th of May, while
standing with a group of officers, among whom were Generals
McPherson, Logan, Barry, and Colonel Taylor, my former chief of
artillery, a Minie-ball passed through Logan's coat-sleeve,
scratching the skin, and struck Colonel Taylor square in the
breast; luckily he had in his pocket a famous memorandum-book, in
which he kept a sort of diary, about which we used to joke him a
good deal; its thickness and size saved his life, breaking the
force of the ball, so that after traversing the book it only
penetrated the breast to the ribs, but it knocked him down and
disabled him for the rest of the campaign.  He was a most competent
and worthy officer, and now lives in poverty in Chicago, sustained
in part by his own labor, and in part by a pitiful pension recently

On the 1st of June General McPherson closed in upon the right, and,
without attempting further to carry the enemy's strong position at
New Hope Church, I held our general right in close contact with it,
gradually, carefully, and steadily working by the left, until our
strong infantry-lines had reached and secured possession of all the
wagon-roads between New Hope, Allatoona, and Acworth, when I
dispatched Generals Garrard's and Stoneman's divisions of cavalry
into Allatoona, the first around by the west end of the pass, and
the latter by the direct road.  Both reached their destination
without opposition, and orders were at once given to repair the
railroad forward from Kingston to Allatoona, embracing the bridge
across the Etowah River.  Thus the real object of my move on Dallas
was accomplished, and on the 4th of June I was preparing to draw
off from New Hope Church, and to take position on the railroad in
front of Allatoona, when, General Johnston himself having evacuated
his position, we effected the change without further battle, and
moved to the railroad, occupying it from Allatoona and Acworth
forward to Big Shanty, in sight of the famous Kenesaw Mountain.

Thus, substantially in the month of May, we had steadily driven our
antagonist from the strong positions of Dalton, Resaea, Cassville,
Allatoona, and Dallas; had advanced our lines in strong, compact
order from Chattanooga to Big Shanty, nearly a hundred miles of as
difficult country as was ever fought over by civilized armies; and
thus stood prepared to go on, anxious to fight, and confident of
success as soon as the railroad communications were complete to
bring forward the necessary supplies.  It is now impossible to
state accurately our loss of life and men in any one separate
battle; for the fighting was continuous, almost daily, among trees
and bushes, on ground where one could rarely see a hundred yards

The aggregate loss in the several corps for the month of May is
reported-as follows in the usual monthly returns sent to the
Adjutant-General's office, which are, therefore, official:

Casualties during the Month of May, 1864
(Major-General SHERMAN commanding).

            Killed and Missing.      Wounded.       Total.
                1,863                 7,436         9,299

General Joseph E.  Johnston, in his "Narrative of his Military
Operations," just published (March 27, 1874), gives the effective
strength of his army at and about Dalton on the 1st of May, 1864
(page 302), as follows:

Infantry..................... 37,652
Artillery....................  2,812
Cavalry......................  2,392

    Total ................... 42,856

During May, and prior to reaching Cassville, he was further
reenforced (page 352)

Polk's corps of three divisions....... 12,000
Martin's division of cavalry..........  3,500
Jackson's division of cavalry.........  3,900

And at New Hope Church, May 26th

Brigade of Quarles....................  2,200

         Grand-total.................. 64,456

His losses during the month of May are stated by him, as taken from
the report of Surgeon Foard (page 325)

            Killed       Wounded       Total
             721          4,672        5,393

These figures include only the killed and wounded, whereas my
statement of losses embraces the "missing," which are usually
"prisoners," and of these we captured, during the whole campaign of
four and a half months, exactly 12,983, whose names, rank, and
regiments, were officially reported to the Commissary-General of
Prisoners; and assuming a due proportion for the month of May,
viz., one-fourth, makes 3,245 to be added to the killed and wounded
given above, making an aggregate loss in Johnston's army, from
Dalton to New Hope, inclusive, of 8,638, against ours of 9,299.

Therefore General Johnston is greatly in error, in his estimates on
page 357, in stating our loss, as compared with his, at six or ten
to one.

I always estimated my force at about double his, and could afford
to lose two to one without disturbing our relative proportion; but
I also reckoned that, in the natural strength of the country, in
the abundance of mountains, streams, and forests, he had a fair
offset to our numerical superiority, and therefore endeavored to
act with reasonable caution while moving on the vigorous

With the drawn battle of New Hope Church, and our occupation of the
natural fortress of Allatoona, terminated the month of May, and the
first stage of the campaign.



JUNE, 1864.

On the 1st of June our three armies were well in hand, in the
broken and densely-wooded country fronting the enemy intrenched at
New Hope Church, about five miles north of Dallas.  General
Stoneman's division of cavalry had occupied Allatoona, on the
railroad, and General Garrard's division was at the western end of
the pass, about Stilesboro.  Colonel W. W. Wright, of the
Engineers, was busily employed in repairing the railroad and
rebuilding the bridge across the Etowah (or High tower) River,
which had been destroyed by the enemy on his retreat; and the
armies were engaged in a general and constant skirmish along a
front of about six miles--McPherson the right, Thomas the centre,
and Schofield on the left.  By gradually covering our front with
parapet, and extending to the left, we approached the railroad
toward Acworth and overlapped the enemy's right.  By the 4th of
June we had made such progress that Johnston evacuated his lines in
the night, leaving us masters of the situation, when I deliberately
shifted McPherson's army to the extreme left, at and in front of
Acworth, with Thomas's about two miles on his right, and
Schofield's on his right all facing east. Heavy rains set in about
the 1st of June, making the roads infamous; but our marches were
short, as we needed time for the repair of the railroad, so as to
bring supplies forward to Allatoona Station.  On the 6th I rode
back to Allatoona, seven miles, found it all that was expected, and
gave orders for its fortification and preparation as a "secondary

General Blair arrived at Acworth on the 8th with his two divisions
of the Seventeenth Corps--the same which had been on veteran
furlough--had come up from Cairo by way of Clifton, on the
Tennessee River, and had followed our general route to Allatoona,
where he had left a garrison of about fifteen hundred men.  His
effective strength, as reported, was nine thousand.  These, with
new regiments and furloughed men who had joined early in the month
of May, equaled our losses from battle, sickness, and by
detachments; so that the three armies still aggregated about one
hundred thousand effective men.

On the 10th of June the whole combined army moved forward six
miles, to "Big Shanty," a station on the railroad, whence we had a
good view of the enemy's position, which embraced three prominent
hills known as Kenesaw, Pine Mountain, and Lost Mountain.  On each
of these hills the enemy had signal-stations and fresh lines of
parapets.  Heavy masses of infantry could be distinctly seen with
the naked eye, and it was manifest that Johnston had chosen his
ground well, and with deliberation had prepared for battle; but his
line was at least ten miles in extent--too long, in my judgment, to
be held successfully by his force, then estimated at sixty
thousand.  As his position, however, gave him a perfect view over
our field, we had to proceed with due caution.  McPherson had the
left, following the railroad, which curved around the north base of
Kenesaw; Thomas the centre, obliqued to the right, deploying below
Kenesaw and facing Pine Hill; and Schofield, somewhat refused, was
on the general right, looking south, toward Lost Mountain.

On the 11th the Etowah bridge was done; the railroad was repaired
up to our very skirmish line, close to the base of Kenesaw, and a
loaded train of cars came to Big Shanty.  The locomotive, detached,
was run forward to a water-tank within the range of the enemy's
guns on Kenesaw, whence the enemy opened fire on the locomotive;
but the engineer was not afraid, went on to the tank, got water,
and returned safely to his train, answering the guns with the
screams of his engine, heightened by the cheers and shouts of our

The rains continued to pour, and made our developments slow and
dilatory, for there were no roads, and these had to be improvised
by each division for its own supply train from the depot in Big
Shanty to the camps.  Meantime each army was deploying carefully
before the enemy, intrenching every camp, ready as against a sally.
The enemy's cavalry was also busy in our rear, compelling us to
detach cavalry all the way  back as far as Resaca, and to
strengthen all the infantry posts  as far as Nashville.  Besides,
there was great danger, always in my mind, that Forrest would
collect a heavy cavalry command in Mississippi, cross the Tennessee
River, and break up our railroad below Nashville.  In anticipation
of this very danger, I had sent General Sturgis to Memphis to take
command of all the cavalry in that quarter, to go out toward
Pontotoc, engage Forrest and defeat him; but on the 14th of June I
learned that General Sturgis had himself been defeated on the 10th
of June, and had been driven by Forrest back into Memphis in
considerable confusion.  I expected that this would soon be
followed by a general raid on all our roads in Tennessee.  General
G. J. Smith, with the two divisions of the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Corps which had been with General Banks up Red River,
had returned from that ill-fated expedition, and had been ordered
to General Canby at New Orleans, who was making a diversion about
Mobile; but, on hearing of General Sturgis's defeat, I ordered
General Smith to go out from Memphis and renew the offensive, so as
to keep Forrest off our roads.  This he did finally, defeating
Forrest at Tupelo, on the 13th, 14th, and 15th  days of July; and
he so stirred up matters in North Mississippi that Forrest could
not leave for Tennessee.  This, for a time, left me only the task
of covering the roads against such minor detachments of cavalry as
Johnston could spare from his immediate army, and I proposed to
keep these too busy in their own defense to spare detachments.  By
the 14th the rain slackened, and we occupied a continuous line of
ten miles, intrenched, conforming to the irregular position of the
enemy, when I reconnoitred, with a view to make a break in their
line between Kenesaw and Pine Mountain.  When abreast of Pine
Mountain I noticed a rebel battery on its crest, with a continuous
line of fresh rifle-trench about half-way down the hill.  Our
skirmishers were at the time engaged in the woods about the base of
this hill between the lines, and I estimated the distance to the
battery on the crest at about eight hundred yards.  Near it, in
plain view, stood a group of the enemy, evidently observing us with
glasses.  General Howard, commanding the Fourth Corps, was near by,
and I called his attention to this group, and ordered him to compel
it to keep behind its cover.  He replied that his orders from
General Thomas were to spare artillery-ammunition.  This was right,
according to the general policy, but I explained to him that we
must keep up the morale of a bold offensive, that he must use his
artillery, force the enemy to remain on the timid defensive, and
ordered him to cause a battery close by to fire three volleys.  I
continued to ride down our line, and soon heard, in quick
succession, the three volleys.  The next division in order was
Geary's, and I gave him similar orders.  General Polk, in my
opinion, was killed by the second volley fired from the first
battery referred to.

In a conversation with General Johnston, after the war, he
explained that on that day he had ridden in person from Marietta to
Pine Mountain, held by Bates's division, and was accompanied by
Generals Hardee and Polk.  When on Pine Mountain, reconnoitring,
quite a group of soldiers, belonging to the battery close by,
clustered about him.  He noticed the preparations of our battery to
fire, and cautioned these men to scatter.  They did so, and he
likewise hurried behind the parapet, from which he had an equally
good view of our position but General Polk, who was dignified and
corpulent, walked back slowly, not wishing to appear too hurried or
cautious in the presence of the men, and was struck across the
breast by an unexploded shell, which killed him instantly.  This is
my memory of the conversation, and it is confirmed by Johnston
himself in his "Narrative," page 337, except that he calculated the
distance of our battery at six hundred yards, and says that Polk
was killed by the third shot; I know that our guns fired by volley,
and believe that he was hit by a shot of the second volley.  It has
been asserted that I fired the gun which killed General Polk, and
that I knew it was directed against that general.  The fact is, at
that distance we could not even tell that the group were officers
at all; I was on horseback, a couple of hundred yards off, before
my orders to fire were executed, had no idea that our shot had
taken effect, and continued my ride down along the line to
Schofield's extreme flank, returning late in the evening to my
head-quarters at Big Shanty, where I occupied an abandoned house.
In a cotton-field back of that house was our signal-station, on the
roof of an old gin-house.  The signal-officer reported that by
studying the enemy's signals he had learned the key, and that he
could read their signals.  He explained to me that he had
translated a signal about noon, from Pine Mountain to Marietta,
"Send an ambulance for General Polk's body;" and later in the day
another, "Why don't you send an ambulance for General Polk?"  From
this we inferred that General Polk had been killed, but how or
where we knew not; and this inference was confirmed later in the
same day by the report of some prisoners who had been captured.

On the 15th we advanced our general lines, intending to attack at
any weak point discovered between Kenesaw and Pine Mountain; but
Pine Mountain was found to be abandoned, and Johnston had
contracted his front somewhat, on a direct line, connecting Kenesaw
with Lost Mountain.  Thomas and Schofield thereby gained about two
miles of most difficult, country, and McPherson's left lapped well
around the north end of Kenesaw.  We captured a good many
prisoners, among them a whole infantry regiment, the Fourteenth
Alabama, three hundred and twenty strong.

On the 16th the general movement was continued, when Lost Mountain
was abandoned by the enemy.  Our right naturally swung round, so as
to threaten the railroad below Marietta, but Johnston had still
further contracted and strengthened his lines, covering Marietta
and all the roads below.

On the 17th and 18th the rain again fell in torrents, making army
movements impossible, but we devoted the time to strengthening our
positions, more especially the left and centre, with a view
gradually to draw from the left to add to the right; and we had to
hold our lines on the left extremely strong, to guard against a
sally from Kenesaw against our depot at Big Shanty.  Garrard's
division of cavalry was kept busy on our left, McPherson had
gradually extended to his right, enabling Thomas to do the same
still farther; but the enemy's position was so very strong, and
everywhere it was covered by intrenchments, that we found it as
dangerous to assault as a permanent fort.  We in like manner
covered our lines of battle by similar works, and even our
skirmishers learned to cover their bodies by the simplest and best
forms of defensive works, such as rails or logs, piled in the form
of a simple lunette, covered on the outside with earth thrown up at

The enemy and ourselves used the same form of rifle-trench, varied
according to the nature of the ground, viz.: the trees and bushes
were cut away for a hundred yards or more in front, serving as an
abatis or entanglement; the parapets varied from four to six feet
high, the dirt taken from a ditch outside and from a covered way
inside, and this parapet was surmounted by a "head-log," composed
of the trunk of a tree from twelve to twenty inches at the butt,
lying along the interior crest of the parapet and resting in
notches cut in other trunks which extended back, forming an
inclined plane, in case the head-log should be knocked inward by a
cannon-shot.  The men of both armies became extremely skillful in
the construction of these works, because each man realized their
value and importance to himself, so that it required no orders for
their construction.  As soon as a regiment or brigade gained a
position within easy distance for a sally, it would set to work
with a will, and would construct such a parapet in a single night;
but I endeavored to spare the soldiers this hard labor by
authorizing each division commander to organize out of the freedmen
who escaped to us a pioneer corps of two hundred men, who were fed
out of the regular army supplies, and I promised them ten dollars a
month, under an existing act of Congress.  These pioneer
detachments became very useful to us during the rest of the war,
for they could work at night while our men slept; they in turn were
not expected to fight, and could therefore sleep by day.  Our
enemies used their slaves for a similar purpose, but usually kept
them out of the range of fire by employing them to fortify and
strengthen the position to their rear next to be occupied in their
general retrograde.  During this campaign hundreds if not thousands
of miles of similar intrenchments were built by both armies, and,
as a rule, whichever party attacked got the worst of it.

On the 19th of June the rebel army again fell back on its flanks,
to such an extent that for a time I supposed it had retreated to
the Chattahoochee River, fifteen miles distant; but as we pressed
forward we were soon undeceived, for we found it still more
concentrated, covering Marietta and the railroad.  These successive
contractions of the enemy's line encouraged us and discouraged him,
but were doubtless justified by sound reasons.  On the 20th
Johnston's position was unusually strong.  Kenesaw Mountain was his
salient; his two flanks were refused and covered by parapets and by
Noonday and Nose's Creeks.  His left flank was his weak point, so
long as he acted on the "defensive," whereas, had he designed to
contract the extent of his line for the purpose of getting in
reserve a force with which to strike "offensively" from his right,
he would have done a wise act, and I was compelled to presume that
such was his object: We were also so far from Nashville and
Chattanooga that we were naturally sensitive for the safety of our
railroad and depots, so that the left (McPherson) was held very

About this time came reports that a large cavalry force of the
enemy had passed around our left flank, evidently to strike this
very railroad somewhere below Chattanooga.  I therefore reenforced
the cavalry stationed from Resaca to Casaville, and ordered forward
from Huntsville, Alabama, the infantry division of General John E.
Smith, to hold Kingston securely.

While we were thus engaged about Kenesaw, General Grant had his
hands full with Lee, in Virginia.  General Halleck was the chief of
staff at Washington, and to him I communicated almost daily.  I
find from my letter-book that on the 21st of June I reported to him
tersely and truly the condition of facts on that day: "This is the
nineteenth day of rain, and the prospect of fair weather is as far
off as ever.  The roads are impassable; the fields and woods become
quagmire's after a few wagons have crossed over.  Yet we are at
work all the time.  The left flank is across Noonday Creek, and the
right is across Nose's Creek.  The enemy still holds Kenesaw, a
conical mountain, with Marietta behind it, and has his flanks
retired, to cover that town and the railroad behind.  I am all
ready to attack the moment the weather and roads will permit troops
and artillery to move with any thing like life."

The weather has a wonderful effect on troops: in action and on the
march, rain is favorable; but in the woods, where all is blind and
uncertain, it seems almost impossible for an army covering ten
miles of front to act in concert during wet and stormy weather.
Still I pressed operations with the utmost earnestness, aiming
always to keep our fortified lines in absolute contact with the
enemy, while with the surplus force we felt forward, from one flank
or the other, for his line of communication and retreat.  On the
22d of June I rode the whole line, and ordered General Thomas in
person to advance his extreme right corps (Hooker's); and
instructed General Schofield, by letter, to keep his entire army,
viz., the Twenty-third Corps, as a strong right flank in close
support of Hooker's deployed line.  During this day the sun came
out, with some promise of clear weather, and I had got back to my
bivouac about dark, when a signal message was received, dated--


General SHERMAN:
We have repulsed two heavy attacks, and feel confident, our only
apprehension being from our extreme right flank.  Three entire
corps are in front of us.

Major-General HOOKER.

Hooker's corps (the Twentieth) belonged to Thomas's army; Thomas's
headquarters were two miles nearer to Hooker than mine; and Hooker,
being an old army officer, knew that he should have reported this
fact to Thomas and not to me; I was, moreover, specially disturbed
by the assertion in his report that he was uneasy about his right
flank, when Schofield had been specially ordered to protect that.
I first inquired of my adjutant, Dayton, if he were certain that
General Schofield had received his orders, and he answered that the
envelope in which he had sent them was receipted by General
Schofield himself.  I knew, therefore, that General Schofield must
be near by, in close support of Hooker's right flank.  General
Thomas had before this occasion complained to me of General
Hooker's disposition to "switch off," leaving wide gaps in his
line, so as to be independent, and to make glory on his own
account.  I therefore resolved not to overlook this breach of
discipline and propriety.  The rebel army was only composed of
three corps; I had that very day ridden six miles of their lines,
found them everywhere strongly occupied, and therefore Hooker could
not have encountered "three entire corps."  Both McPherson and
Schofield had also complained to me of this same tendency of Hooker
to widen the gap between his own corps and his proper army
(Thomas's), so as to come into closer contact with one or other of
the wings, asserting that he was the senior by commission to both
McPherson and Schofield, and that in the event of battle he should
assume command over them, by virtue of his older commission.

They appealed to me to protect them.  I had heard during that day
some cannonading and heavy firing down toward the "Kulp House,"
which was about five miles southeast of where I was, but this was
nothing unusual, for at the same moment there was firing along our
lines full ten miles in extent.  Early the next day (23d) I rode
down to the "Kulp House," which was on a road leading from Powder
Springs to Marietta, about three miles distant from the latter.  On
the way I passed through General Butterfield's division of Hooker's
corps, which I learned had not been engaged at all in the battle of
the day before; then I rode along Geary's and Williams's divisions,
which occupied the field of battle, and the men were engaged in
burying the dead.  I found General Schofield's corps on the Powder
Springs road, its head of column abreast of Hooker's right,
therefore constituting "a strong right flank," and I met Generale
Schofield and Hooker together.  As rain was falling at the moment,
we passed into a little church standing by the road-side, and I
there showed General Schofield Hooker's signal-message of the day
before.  He was very angry, and pretty sharp words passed between
them, Schofield saying that his head of column (Hascall's division)
had been, at the time of the battle, actually in advance of
Hooker's line; that the attack or sally of the enemy struck his
troops before it did Hooker's; that General Hooker knew of it at
the time; and he offered to go out and show me that the dead men of
his advance division (Hascall's) were lying farther out than any of
Hooker's.  General Hooker pretended not to have known this fact.  I
then asked him why he had called on me for help, until he had used
all of his own troops; asserting that I had just seen Butterfield's
division, and had learned from him that he had not been engaged the
day before at all; and I asserted that the enemy's sally must have
been made by one corps (Hood's), in place of three, and that it had
fallen on Geary's and Williams's divisions, which had repulsed the
attack handsomely.  As we rode away from that church General Hooker
was by my side, and I told him that such a thing must not occur
again; in other words, I reproved him more gently than the occasion
demanded, and from that time he began to sulk.  General Hooker had
come from the East with great fame as a "fighter," and at
Chattanooga he was glorified by his "battle above the clouds,"
which I fear turned his head.  He seemed jealous of all the army
commanders, because in years, former rank, and experience, he
thought he was our superior.

On the 23d of June I telegraphed to General Halleck this summary,
which I cannot again better state:

We continue to press forward on the principle of an advance against
fortified positions.  The whole country is one vast fort, and
Johnston must have at least fifty miles of connected trenches, with
abatis and finished batteries.  We gain ground daily, fighting all
the time.  On the 21st General Stanley gained a position near the
south end of Kenesaw, from which the enemy attempted in vain to
drive him; and the same day General T. J. Wood's division took a
hill, which the enemy assaulted three times at night without
success, leaving more than a hundred dead on the ground.  Yesterday
the extreme right (Hooker and Schofield) advanced on the Powder
Springs road to within three miles of Marietta.  The enemy made a
strong effort to drive them away, but failed signally, leaving more
than two hundred dead on the field.  Our lines are now in close
contact, and the fighting is incessant, with a good deal of
artillery-fire.  As fast as we gain one position the enemy has
another all ready, but I think he will soon have to let go Kenesaw,
which is the key to the whole country.  The weather is now better,
and the roads are drying up fast. Our losses are light, and,
not-withstanding the repeated breaks of the road to our rear,
supplies are ample.

During the 24th and 25th of June General Schofield extended his
right as far as prudent, so as to compel the enemy to thin out his
lines correspondingly, with the intention to make two strong
assaults at points where success would give us the greatest
advantage.  I had consulted Generals Thomas, McPherson, and
Schofield, and we all agreed that we could not with prudence
stretch out any more, and therefore there was no alternative but to
attack "fortified lines," a thing carefully avoided up to that
time.  I reasoned, if we could make a breach anywhere near the
rebel centre, and thrust in a strong head of column, that with the
one moiety of our army we could hold in check the corresponding
wing of the enemy, and with the other sweep in flank and overwhelm
the other half.  The 27th of June was fixed as the day for the
attempt, and in order to oversee the whole, and to be in close
communication with all parts of the army, I had a place cleared on
the top of a hill to the rear of Thomas's centre, and had the
telegraph-wires laid to it.  The points of attack were chosen, and
the troops were all prepared with as little demonstration as
possible.  About 9 A.M.  Of the day appointed, the troops moved to
the assault, and all along our lines for ten miles a furious fire
of artillery and musketry was kept up.  At all points the enemy met
us with determined courage and in great force.  McPherson's
attacking column fought up the face of the lesser Kenesaw, but
could not reach the summit.  About a mile to the right (just below
the Dallas road) Thomas's assaulting column reached the parapet,
where Brigadier-General Barker was shot down mortally wounded, and
Brigadier-General Daniel McCook (my old law-partner) was
desperately wounded, from the effects of which he afterward died.
By 11.30 the assault was in fact over, and had failed.  We had not
broken the rebel line at either point, but our assaulting columns
held their ground within a few yards of the rebel trenches, and
there covered themselves with parapet.  McPherson lost about five
hundred men and several valuable officers, and Thomas lost nearly
two thousand men.  This was the hardest fight of the campaign up to
that date, and it is well described by Johnston in his "Narrative"
(pages 342, 343), where he admits his loss in killed and wounded

        Total ............. 808

This, no doubt, is a true and fair statement; but, as usual,
Johnston overestimates our loss, putting it at six thousand,
whereas our entire loss was about twenty-five hundred, killed and

While the battle was in progress at the centre, Schofield crossed
Olley's Creek on the right, and gained a position threatening
Johnston's line of retreat; and, to increase the effect, I ordered
Stoneman's cavalry to proceed rapidly still farther to the right,
to Sweetwater.  Satisfied of the bloody cost of attacking
intrenched lines, I at once thought of moving the whole army to the
railroad at a point (Fulton) about ten miles below Marietta, or to
the Chattahoochee River itself, a movement similar to the one
afterward so successfully practised at Atlanta.  All the orders
were issued to bring forward supplies enough to fill our wagons,
intending to strip the railroad back to Allatoona, and leave that
place as our depot, to be covered as well as possible by Garrard's
cavalry.  General Thomas, as usual, shook his head, deeming it
risky to leave the railroad; but something had to be done, and I
had resolved on this move, as reported in my dispatch to General
Halleck on July 1st:

General Schofield is now south of Olley's Creek, and on the head of
Nickajack.  I have been hurrying down provisions and forage, and
tomorrow night propose to move McPherson from the left to the
extreme right, back of General Thomas.  This will bring my right
within three miles of the Chattahoochee River, and about five miles
from the railroad.  By this movement I think I can force Johnston
to move his whole army down from Kenesaw to defend his railroad and
the Chattahoochee, when I will (by the left flank) reach the
railroad below Marietta; but in this I must cut loose from the
railroad with ten days' supplies in wagons.  Johnston may come out
of his intrenchments to attack Thomas, which is exactly what I
want, for General Thomas is well intrenched on a line parallel with
the enemy south of Kenesaw.  I think that Allatoona and the line of
the Etowah are strong enough for me to venture on this move.  The
movement is substantially down the Sandtown road straight for

McPherson drew out of his lines during the night of July 2d,
leaving Garrard's cavalry, dismounted, occupying his trenches, and
moved to the rear of the Army of the Cumberland, stretching down
the Nickajack; but Johnston detected the movement, and promptly
abandoned Marietta and Kenesaw.  I expected as much, for, by the
earliest dawn of the 3d of July, I was up at a large spy-glass
mounted on a tripod, which Colonel Poe, United States Engineers,
had at his bivouac close by our camp.  I directed the glass on
Kenesaw, and saw some of our pickets crawling up the hill
cautiously; soon they stood upon the very top, and I could plainly
see their movements as they ran along the crest just abandoned by
the enemy.  In a minute I roused my staff, and started them off
with orders in every direction for a pursuit by every possible
road, hoping to catch Johnston in the confusion of retreat,
especially at the crossing of the Chattahoochee River.

I must close this chapter here, so as to give the actual losses
during June, which are compiled from the official returns by
months.  These losses, from June 1st to July 3d, were all
substantially sustained about Kenesaw and Marietta, and it was
really a continuous battle, lasting from the 10th day of June till
the 3d of July, when the rebel army fell back from Marietta toward
the Chattahoochee River.  Our losses were:

                      Killed and Missing      Wounded     Total
Loss in June Aggregate      1,790              5,740      7,530

Johnston makes his statement of losses from the report of his
surgeon Foard, for pretty much the same period, viz., from June 4th
to July 4th (page 576):
                            Killed           Wounded     Total
         Total............   468               3,480      3,948

In the tabular statement the "missing" embraces the prisoners; and,
giving two thousand as a fair proportion of prisoners captured by
us for the month of June (twelve thousand nine hundred and
eighty-three in all the campaign), makes an aggregate loss in the
rebel army of fifty-nine hundred and forty-eight, to ours of
seventy-five hundred and thirty--a less proportion than in the
relative strength of our two armies, viz., as six to ten, thus
maintaining our relative superiority, which the desperate game
of war justified.



JULY, 1864.

As before explained, on the 3d of July, by moving McPherson's
entire army from the extreme left, at the base of Kenesaw to the
right, below Olley's Creek, and stretching it down the Nickajack
toward Turner's Ferry of the Chattahoochee, we forced Johnston to
choose between a direct assault on Thomas's intrenched position, or
to permit us to make a lodgment on his railroad below Marietta, or
even to cross the Chattahoochee.  Of course, he chose to let go
Kenesaw and Marietta, and fall back on an intrenched camp prepared
by his orders in advance on the north and west bank of the
Chattahoochee, covering the railroad-crossing and his several
pontoon-bridges.  I confess I had not learned beforehand of the
existence of this strong place, in the nature of a tete-du-pont,
and had counted on striking him an effectual blow in the expected
confusion of his crossing the Chattahoochee, a broad and deep river
then to his rear.  Ordering every part of the army to pursue
vigorously on the morning of the 3d of July, I rode into Marietta,
just quitted by the rebel rear-guard, and was terribly angry at the
cautious pursuit by Garrard's cavalry, and even by the head of our
infantry columns.  But Johnston had in advance cleared and
multiplied his roads, whereas ours had to cross at right angles
from the direction of Powder Springs toward Marrietta, producing
delay and confusion.  By night Thomas's head of column ran up
against a strong rear-guard intrenched at Smyrna camp-ground, six
miles below Marietta, and there on the next day we celebrated our
Fourth of July, by a noisy but not a desperate battle, designed
chiefly to hold the enemy there till Generals McPherson and
Schofield could get well into position below him, near the
Chattahoochee crossings.

It was here that General Noyes, late Governor of Ohio, lost his
leg.  I came very near being shot myself while reconnoitring in the
second story of a house on our picket-line, which was struck
several times by cannon-shot, and perfectly riddled with

During the night Johnston drew back all his army and trains inside
the tete-du-pont at the Chattahoochee, which proved one of the
strongest pieces of field-fortification I ever saw.  We closed up
against it, and were promptly met by a heavy and severe fire.
Thomas was on the main road in immediate pursuit; next on his right
was Schofield; and McPherson on the extreme right, reaching the
Chattahoochee River below Turner's Ferry.  Stoneman's cavalry was
still farther to the right, along down the Chattahoochee River as
far as opposite Sandtown; and on that day I ordered Garrard's
division of cavalry up the river eighteen miles, to secure
possession of the factories at Roswell, as well as to hold an
important bridge and ford at that place.

About three miles out from the Chattahoochee the main road forked,
the right branch following substantially the railroad, and the left
one leading straight for Atlanta, via Paice's Ferry and Buckhead.
We found the latter unoccupied and unguarded, and the Fourth Corps
(Howard's) reached the river at Paice's Ferry.  The right-hand road
was perfectly covered by the tete-du-pont before described, where
the resistance was very severe, and for some time deceived me, for
I was pushing Thomas with orders to fiercely assault his enemy,
supposing that he was merely opposing us to gain time to get his
trains and troops across the Chattahoochee; but, on personally
reconnoitring, I saw the abatis and the strong redoubts, which
satisfied me of the preparations that had been made by Johnston in
anticipation of this very event.  While I was with General Jeff. C.
Davis, a poor negro came out of the abatis, blanched with fright,
said he had been hidden under a log all day, with a perfect storm
of shot, shells, and musket-balls, passing over him, till a short
lull had enabled him to creep out and make himself known to our
skirmishers, who in turn had sent him back to where we were.  This
negro explained that he with about a thousand slaves had been at
work a month or more on these very lines, which, as he explained,
extended from the river about a mile above the railroad-bridge to
Turner's Ferry below,--being in extent from five to six miles.

Therefore, on the 5th of July we had driven our enemy to cover in
the valley of the Chattahoochee, and we held possession of the
river above for eighteen miles, as far as Roswell, and below ten
miles to the mouth of the Sweetwater.  Moreover, we held the high
ground and could overlook his movements, instead of his looking
down on us, as was the case at Kenesaw.

From a hill just back of Mining's Station I could see the houses in
Atlanta, nine miles distant, and the whole intervening valley of
the Chattahoochee; could observe the preparations for our reception
on the other side, the camps of men and large trains of covered
wagons; and supposed, as a matter of course, that Johnston had
passed the river with the bulk of his army, and that he had only
left on our side a corps to cover his bridges; but in fact he had
only sent across his cavalry and trains.  Between Howard's corps at
Paice's Ferry and the rest of Thomas's army pressing up against
this tete-du-pont, was a space concealed by dense woods, in
crossing which I came near riding into a detachment of the enemy's
cavalry; and later in the same day Colonel Frank Sherman, of
Chicago, then on General Howard's staff, did actually ride straight
into the enemy's camp, supposing that our lines were continuous.
He was carried to Atlanta, and for some time the enemy supposed
they were in possession of the commander-in-chief of the opposing

I knew that Johnston would not remain long on the west bank of the
Chattahoochee, for I could easily practise on that ground to better
advantage our former tactics of intrenching a moiety in his front,
and with the rest of our army cross the river and threaten either
his rear or the city of Atlanta itself, which city was of vital
importance to the existence not only of his own army, but of the
Confederacy itself.  In my dispatch of July 6th to General Halleck,
at Washington, I state that:

Johnston (in his retreat from Kenesaw) has left two breaks in the
railroad--one above Marietta and one near Mining's Station.  The
former is already repaired, and Johnston's army has heard the sound
of our locomotives.  The telegraph is finished to Mining's Station,
and the field-wire has just reached my bivouac, and will be ready
to convey this message as soon as it is written and translated into

I propose to study the crossings of the Chattahoochee, and, when
all is ready, to move quickly.  As a beginning, I will keep the
troops and wagons well back from the river, and only display to the
enemy our picket-line, with a few field-batteries along at random.
I have already shifted Schofield to a point in our left rear,
whence he can in a single move reach the Chattahoochee at a point
above the railroad-bridge, where there is a ford.  At present the
waters are turbid and swollen from recent rains; but if the present
hot weather lasts, the water will run down very fast. We have
pontoons enough for four bridges, but, as our crossing will be
resisted, we must manoeuvre some.  All the regular crossing-places
are covered by forts, apparently of long construction; but we shall
cross in due time, and, instead of attacking Atlanta direct, or any
of its forts, I propose to make a circuit, destroying all its
railroads.  This is a delicate movement, and must be done with
caution.  Our army is in good condition and full of confidence; but
the weather is intensely hot, and a good many men have fallen with
sunstroke.  The country is high and healthy, and the sanitary
condition of the army is good.

At this time Stoneman was very active on our extreme right,
pretending to be searching the river below Turner's Ferry for a
crossing, and was watched closely by the enemy's cavalry on the
other side, McPherson, on the right, was equally demonstrative at
and near Turner's Ferry.  Thomas faced substantially the intrenched
tete-du-pont, and had his left on the Chattahoochee River, at
Paice's Ferry.  Garrard's cavalry was up at Roswell, and McCook's
small division of cavalry was intermediate, above Soap's Creek.
Meantime, also, the railroad-construction party was hard at work,
repairing the railroad up to our camp at Vining's Station.

Of course, I expected every possible resistance in crossing the
Chattahoochee River, and had made up my mind to feign on the right,
but actually to cross over by the left.  We had already secured a
crossing place at Roswell, but one nearer was advisable; General
Schofield had examined the river well, found a place just below the
mouth of Soap's Creek which he deemed advantageous, and was
instructed to effect an early crossing there, and to intrench a
good position on the other side, viz., the east bank.  But,
preliminary thereto, I had ordered General Rousseau, at Nashville,
to collect, out of the scattered detachments of cavalry in
Tennessee, a force of a couple of thousand men, to rendezvous at
Decatur, Alabama, thence to make a rapid march for Opelika, to
break up the railroad links between Georgia and Alabama, and then
to make junction with me about Atlanta; or, if forced, to go on to
Pensacola, or even to swing across to some of our posts in
Mississippi.  General Rousseau asked leave to command this
expedition himself, to which I consented, and on the 6th of July he
reported that he was all ready at Decatur, and I gave him orders to
start.  He moved promptly on the 9th, crossed the Coosa below the
"Ten Islands" and the Tallapoosa below "Horseshoe Bend," having
passed through Talladega.  He struck the railroad west of Opelika,
tore it up for twenty miles, then turned north and came to Marietta
on the 22d of July, whence he reported to me.  This expedition was
in the nature of a raid, and must have disturbed the enemy
somewhat; but, as usual, the cavalry did not work hard, and their
destruction of the railroad was soon repaired.  Rousseau, when he
reported to me in person before Atlanta, on the 28d of July, stated
his entire loss to have been only twelve killed and thirty wounded.
He brought in four hundred captured mules and three hundred horses,
and also told me a good story.  He said he was far down in Alabama,
below Talladega, one hot, dusty day, when the blue clothing of his
men was gray with dust; he had halted his column along a road, and
he in person, with his staff, had gone to the house of a planter,
who met him kindly on the front-porch.  He asked for water, which
was brought, and as the party sat on the porch in conversation he
saw, in a stable-yard across the road, quite a number of good
mules. He remarked to the planter, "My good sir, I fear I must take
some of your mules."  The planter remonstrated, saying he had
already contributed liberally to the good cause; that it was only
last week he had given to General Roddy ten mules.  Rousseau
replied, "Well, in this war you should be at least neutral--that
is, you should be as liberal to us as to Roddy" (a rebel cavalry
general).  "Well, ain't you on our side?"  "No," said Rousseau; "I
am General Rousseau, and all these men you see are Yanks."  "Great
God! is it possible!  Are these Yanks!  Who ever supposed they
would come away down here in Alabama?"   Of course, Rousseau took
his ten mules.

Schofield effected his crossing at Soap's Creek very handsomely on
the 9th, capturing the small guard that was watching the crossing.
By night he was on the high ground beyond, strongly intrenched,
with two good pontoon-bridges finished, and was prepared, if
necessary, for an assault by the whole Confederate army.  The same
day Garrard's cavalry also crossed over at Roswell, drove away the
cavalry-pickets, and held its ground till relieved by Newton's
division of Howard's corps, which was sent up temporarily, till it
in turn was relieved by Dodge's corps (Sixteenth) of the Army of
the Tennessee, which was the advance of the whole of that army.

That night Johnston evacuated his trenches, crossed over the
Chattahoochee, burned the railroad bridge and his pontoon and
trestle bridges, and left us in full possession of the north or
west bank-besides which, we had already secured possession of the
two good crossings at Roswell and Soap's Creek.  I have always
thought Johnston neglected his opportunity there, for he had lain
comparatively idle while we got control of both banks of the river
above him.

On the 13th I ordered McPherson, with the Fifteenth Corps, to move
up to Roswell, to cross over, prepare good bridges, and to make a
strong tete-du-pont on the farther side.  Stoneman had been sent
down to Campbellton, with orders to cross over and to threaten the
railroad below Atlanta, if he could do so without too much risk;
and General Blair, with the Seventeenth Corps, was to remain at
Turner's Ferry, demonstrating as much as possible, thus keeping up
the feint below while we were actually crossing above.  Thomas was
also ordered to prepare his bridges at Powers's and Paice's
Ferries.  By crossing the Chattahoochee above the railroad bridge,
we were better placed to  cover our railroad and depots than below,
though a movement across the river below the railroad, to the south
of Atlanta, might have been more decisive.  But we were already so
far from home, and would be compelled to accept battle whenever
offered, with the Chattahoochee to our rear, that it became
imperative for me to take all prudential measures the case admitted
of, and I therefore determined to pass the river above the
railroad-bridge-McPherson on the left, Schofield in the  centre,
and Thomas on the right. On the 13th I reported to General Halleck
as follows:

All is well.  I have now accumulated stores at Allatoona and
Marietta, both fortified and garrisoned points.  Have also three
places at which to cross the Chattahoochee in our possession, and
only await General Stoneman's return from a trip down the river, to
cross the army in force and move on Atlanta.

Stoneman is now out two days, and had orders to be back on the
fourth or fifth day at furthest.

From the 10th to the 15th we were all busy in strengthening the
several points for the proposed passage of the Chattahoochee, in
increasing the number and capacity of the bridges, rearranging the
garrisons to our rear, and in bringing forward supplies.  On the
15th General Stoneman got back to Powder Springs, and was ordered
to replace General Blair at Turner's Ferry, and Blair, with the
Seventeenth Corps, was ordered up to Roswell to join McPherson.  On
the 17th we began the general movement against Atlanta, Thomas
crossing the Chattahoochee at Powers's and Paice's, by pontoon-
bridges; Schofield moving out toward Cross Keys, and McPherson
toward Stone Mountain.  We encountered but little opposition except
by cavalry.  On the 18th all the armies moved on a general right
wheel, Thomas to Buckhead, forming line of  battle facing
Peach-Tree Creek; Schofield was on his left, and McPherson well
over toward the railroad between Stone Mountain and Decatur, which
he reached at 2 p.m.  of that day, about four miles from Stone
Mountain, and seven miles east of Decatur, and there he turned
toward Atlanta, breaking up the railroad as he progressed, his
advance-guard reaching Ecatur about night, where he came into
communication with Schofield's troops, which had also reached
Decatur.  About 10 A.M. of that day (July 18th), when the armies
were all in motion, one of General Thomas's staff-officers brought
me a citizen, one of our spies, who had just come out of Atlanta,
and had brought a newspaper of the same day, or of the day before,
containing Johnston's order relinquishing the command of the
Confederate forces in Atlanta, and Hood's order assuming the
command.  I immediately inquired of General Schofield, who was his
classmate at West Point, about Hood, as to his general character,
etc., and learned that he was bold even to rashness, and courageous
in the extreme; I inferred that the change of commanders meant
"fight."  Notice of this important change was at once sent to all
parts of the army, and every division commander was cautioned to be
always prepared for battle in any shape.  This was just what we
wanted, viz., to fight in open ground, on any thing like equal
terms, instead of being forced to run up against prepared
intrenchments; but, at the same time, the enemy having Atlanta
behind him, could choose the time and place of attack, and could at
pleasure mass a superior force on our weakest points.  Therefore,
we had to be constantly ready for sallies.

On the 19th the three armies were converging toward Atlanta,
meeting such feeble resistance that I really thought the enemy
intended to evacuate the place.  McPherson was moving astride of
the railroad, near Decatur; Schofield along a road leading toward
Atlanta, by Colonel Howard's house and the distillery; and Thomas
was crossing "Peach-Tree" in line of battle, building bridges for
nearly every division as deployed.  There was quite a gap between
Thomas and Schofield, which I endeavored to close by drawing two of
Howard's divisions nearer Schofield.  On the 20th I was with
General Schofield near the centre, and soon after noon heard heavy
firing in front of Thomas's right, which lasted an hour or so, and
then ceased.

I soon learned that the enemy had made a furious sally, the blow
falling on Hooker's corps (the Twentieth), and partially on
Johnson's division of the Fourteenth, and Newton's of the Fourth.
The troops had crossed Peach-Tree Creek, were deployed, but at the
time were resting for noon, when, without notice, the enemy came
pouring out of their trenches down upon them, they became
commingled, and fought in many places hand to hand.  General Thomas
happened to be near the rear of Newton's division, and got some
field-batteries in a good position, on the north side of Peach-Tree
Creek, from which he directed a furious fire on a mass of the
enemy, which was passing around Newton's left and exposed flank.
After a couple of hours of hard and close conflict, the enemy
retired slowly within his trenches, leaving his dead and many
wounded on the field. Johnson's and Newton's losses were light, for
they had partially covered their fronts with light parapet; but
Hooker's whole corps fought in open ground, and lost about fifteen
hundred men.  He reported four hundred rebel dead left on the
ground, and that the rebel wounded would number four thousand; but
this was conjectural, for most of them got back within their own
lines.  We had, however, met successfully a bold sally, had
repelled it handsomely, and were also put on our guard; and the
event illustrated the future tactics of our enemy.  This sally came
from the Peach-Tree line, which General Johnston had carefully
prepared in advance, from which to fight us outside of Atlanta.  We
then advanced our lines in compact order, close up to these
finished intrenchments, overlapping them on our left. From various
parts of our lines the houses inside of Atlanta were plainly
visible, though between us were the strong parapets, with ditch,
fraise, chevaux-de-frise, and abatis, prepared long in advance by
Colonel Jeremy F. Gilmer, formerly of the United States Engineers.
McPherson had the Fifteenth Corps astride the Augusta Railroad, and
the Seventeenth deployed on its left.  Schofield was next on his
right, then came Howard's, Hooker's, and Palmer's corps, on the
extreme right.  Each corps was deployed with strong reserves, and
their trains were parked to their rear.  McPherson's trains were in
Decatur, guarded by a brigade commanded by Colonel Sprague of the
Sixty-third Ohio.  The Sixteenth Corps (Dodge's) was crowded out of
position on the right of McPherson's line, by the contraction of
the circle of investment; and, during the previous afternoon, the
Seventeenth Corps (Blair's) had pushed its operations on the
farther side of the Augusta Railroad, so as to secure possession of
a hill, known as Leggett's Hill, which Leggett's and Force's
divisions had carried by assault.  Giles A. Smith's division was on
Leggett's left, deployed with a weak left flank "in air," in
military phraseology.  The evening before General Gresham, a great
favorite, was badly wounded; and there also Colonel Tom Reynolds,
now of Madison, Wisconsin, was shot through the leg.  When the
surgeons were debating the propriety of amputating it in his
hearing, he begged them to spare the leg, as it was very valuable,
being an "imported leg."  He was of Irish birth, and this
well-timed piece of wit saved his leg, for the surgeons thought, if
he could perpetrate a joke at such a time, they would trust to his
vitality to save his limb.

During the night, I had full reports from all parts of our line,
most of which was partially intrenched as against a sally, and
finding that McPherson was stretching out too much on his left
flank, I wrote him a note early in the morning not to extend so
much by his left; for we had not troops enough to completely invest
the place, and I intended to destroy utterly all parts of the
Augusta Railroad to the east of Atlanta, then to withdraw from the
left flank and add to the right.  In that letter I ordered
McPherson not to extend any farther to the left, but to employ
General Dodge's corps (Sixteenth), then forced out of position, to
destroy every rail and tie of the railroad, from Decatur up to his
skirmish-line, and I wanted him (McPherson) to be ready, as soon as
General Garrard returned from Covington (whither I had sent him),
to move to the extreme right of Thomas, so as to reach if possible
the railroad below Atlanta, viz., the Macon road.  In the morning
we found the strong line of parapet, "Peach-Tree line," to the
front of Schofield and Thomas, abandoned, and our lines were
advanced rapidly close up to Atlanta.  For some moments I supposed
the enemy intended to evacuate, and in person was on horseback at
the head of Schofield's troops, who had advanced in front of the
Howard House to some open ground, from which we could plainly see
the whole rebel line of parapets, and I saw their men dragging up
from the intervening valley, by the distillery, trees and saplings
for abatis.  Our skirmishers found the enemy down in this valley,
and we could see the rebel main line strongly manned, with guns in
position at intervals.  Schofield was dressing forward his lines,
and I could hear Thomas farther to the right engaged, when General
McPherson and his staff rode up.  We went back to the Howard House,
a double frame-building with a porch, and sat on the steps,
discussing the chances of battle, and of Hood's general character.
McPherson had also been of the same class at West Point with Hood,
Schofield, and Sheridan.  We agreed that we ought to be unusually
cautious and prepared at all times for sallies and for hard
fighting, because Hood, though not deemed much of a scholar, or of
great mental capacity, was undoubtedly a brave, determined, and
rash man; and the change of commanders at that particular crisis
argued the displeasure of the Confederate Government with the
cautious but prudent conduct of General Jos. Johnston.

McPherson was in excellent spirits, well pleased at the progress of
events so far, and had come over purposely to see me about the
order I had given him to use Dodge's corps to break up the
railroad, saying that the night before he had gained a position on
Leggett's Hill from which he could look over the rebel parapet, and
see the high smoke-stack of a large foundery in Atlanta; that
before receiving my order he had diverted Dodge's two divisions
(then in motion) from the main road, along a diagonal one that led
to his extreme left flank, then held by Giles A. Smith's division
(Seventeenth Corps), for the purpose of strengthening that flank;
and that he had sent some intrenching-tools there, to erect some
batteries from which he intended to knock down that foundery, and
otherwise to damage the buildings inside of Atlanta.  He said he
could put all his pioneers to work, and do with them in the time
indicated all I had proposed to do with General Dodge's two
divisions.  Of course I assented at once, and we walked down the
road a short distance, sat down by the foot of a tree where I had
my map, and on it pointed out to him Thomas's position and his own.
I then explained minutely that, after we had sufficiently broken up
the Augusta road, I wanted to shift his whole army around by the
rear to Thomas's extreme right, and hoped thus to reach the other
railroad at East Point.  While we sat there we could hear lively
skirmishing going on near us (down about the distillery), and
occasionally round-shot from twelve or twenty-four pound guns came
through the trees in reply to those of Schofield, and we could hear
similar sounds all along down the lines of Thomas to our right, and
his own to the left; but presently the firing appeared a little
more brisk (especially over about Giles G. Smith's division), and
then we heard an occasional gun back toward Decatur.  I asked him
what it meant.  We took my pocket-compass (which I always carried),
and by noting the direction of the sound, we became satisfied that
the firing was too far to our left rear to be explained by known
facts, and he hastily called for his horse, his staff, and his

McPherson was then in his prime (about thirty-four years old), over
six feet high, and a very handsome man in every way, was
universally liked, and had many noble qualities.  He had on his
boots outside his pantaloons, gauntlets on his hands, had on his
major-general's uniform, and wore a sword-belt, but no sword.  He
hastily gathered his papers (save one, which I now possess) into a
pocket-book, put it in his breast-pocket, and jumped on his horse,
saying he would hurry down his line and send me back word what
these sounds meant.  His adjutant-general, Clark, Inspector-General
Strong, and his aides, Captains Steele and Gile, were with him.
Although the sound of musketry on our left grew in volume, I was
not so much disturbed by it as by the sound of artillery back
toward Decatur.  I ordered Schofield at once to send a brigade back
to Decatur (some five miles) and was walking up and down the porch
of the Howard House, listening, when one of McPherson's staff, with
his horse covered with sweat, dashed up to the porch, and reported
that General McPherson was either "killed or a prisoner."  He
explained that when they had left me a few minutes before, they had
ridden rapidly across to the railroad, the sounds of battle
increasing as they neared the position occupied by General Giles A.
Smith's division, and that McPherson had sent first one, then
another of his staff to bring some of the reserve brigades of the
Fifteenth Corps over to the exposed left flank; that he had reached
the head of Dodge's corps (marching by the flank on the diagonal
road as described), and had ordered it to hurry forward to the same
point; that then, almost if not entirely alone, he had followed
this road leading across the wooded valley behind the Seventeenth
Corps, and had disappeared in these woods, doubtless with a sense
of absolute security.  The sound of musketry was there heard, and
McPherson's horse came back, bleeding, wounded, and riderless.  I
ordered the staff-officer who brought this message to return at
once, to find General Logan (the senior officer present with the
Army of the Tennessee), to report the same facts to him, and to
instruct him to drive back this supposed small force, which had
evidently got around the Seventeenth Corps through the blind woods
in rear of our left flank.  I soon dispatched one of my own staff
(McCoy, I think) to General Logan with similar orders, telling him
to refuse his left flank, and to fight the battle (holding fast to
Leggett's Hill) with the Army of the Tennessee; that I would
personally look to Decatur and to the safety of his rear, and would
reenforce him if he needed it.  I dispatched orders to General
Thomas on our right, telling him of this strong sally, and my
inference that the lines in his front had evidently been weakened
by reason thereof, and that he ought to take advantage of the
opportunity to make a lodgment in Atlanta, if possible.

Meantime the sounds of the battle rose on our extreme left more and
more furious, extending to the place where I stood, at the Howard
House.  Within an hour an ambulance came in (attended by Colonels
Clark and Strong, and Captains Steele and Gile), bearing
McPherson's body.  I had it carried inside of the Howard House, and
laid on a door wrenched from its hinges.  Dr. Hewitt, of the army,
was there, and I asked him to examine the wound.  He opened the
coat and shirt, saw where the ball had entered and where it came
out, or rather lodged under the skin, and he reported that
McPherson must have died in a few seconds after being hit; that the
ball had ranged upward across his body, and passed near the heart.
He was dressed just as he left me, with gauntlets and boots on, but
his pocket-book was gone.  On further inquiry I learned that his
body must have been in possession of the enemy some minutes, during
which time it was rifled of the pocket-book, and I was much
concerned lest the letter I had written him that morning should
have fallen into the hands of some one who could read and
understand its meaning.  Fortunately the spot in the woods where
McPherson was shot was regained by our troops in a few minutes, and
the pocket-book found in the haversack of a prisoner of war
captured at the time, and it and its contents were secured by one
of McPherson's staff.

While we were examining the body inside the house, the battle was
progressing outside, and many shots struck the building, which I
feared would take fire; so I ordered Captains Steele and Gile to
carry the body to Marietta.  They reached that place the same
night, and, on application, I ordered his personal staff to go on
and escort the body to his home, in Clyde, Ohio, where it was
received with great honor, and it is now buried in a small
cemetery, close by his mother's house, which cemetery is composed
in part of the family orchard, in which he used to play when a boy.
The foundation is ready laid for the equestrian monument now in
progress, under the auspices of the Society of the Army of the

The reports that came to me from all parts of the field revealed
clearly what was the game of my antagonist, and the ground somewhat
favored him.  The railroad and wagon-road from Decatur to Atlanta
lie along the summit, from which the waters flow, by short, steep
valleys, into the "Peach-Tree" and Chattahoochee, to the west, and
by other valleys, of gentler declivity, toward the east (Ocmulgee).
The ridges and level ground were mostly cleared, and had been
cultivated as corn or cotton fields; but where the valleys were
broken, they were left in a state of nature--wooded, and full of
undergrowth.  McPherson's line of battle was across this railroad,
along a general ridge, with a gentle but cleared valley to his
front, between him and the defenses of Atlanta; and another valley,
behind him, was clear of timber in part, but to his left rear the
country was heavily wooded.  Hood, during the night of July 21st,
had withdrawn from his Peach-Tree line, had occupied the fortified
line of Atlanta, facing north and east, with Stewart's--formerly
Polk's--corps and part of Hardee's, and with G. W. Smith's division
of militia.  His own corps, and part of Hardee's, had marched out
to the road leading from McDonough to Decatur, and had turned so as
to strike the left and, rear of McPherson's line "in air."  At the
same time he had sent Wheeler's division of cavalry against the
trains parked in Decatur.  Unluckily for us, I had sent away the
whole of Garrard's division of cavalry during the night of the
20th, with orders to proceed to Covington, thirty miles east, to
burn two important bridges across the Ulcofauhatchee and Yellow
Rivers, to tear up the railroad, to damage it as much as possible
from Stone Mountain eastward, and to be gone four days; so that
McPherson had no cavalry in hand to guard that flank.

The enemy was therefore enabled, under cover or the forest, to
approach quite near before he was discovered; indeed, his
skirmish-line had worked through the timber and got into the field to
the rear of Giles A. Smith's division of the Seventeenth Corps
unseen, had captured Murray's battery of regular artillery, moving
through these woods entirely unguarded, and had got possession of
several of the hospital camps.  The right of this rebel line struck
Dodge's troops in motion; but, fortunately, this corps (Sixteenth)
had only to halt, face to the left, and was in line of battle; and
this corps not only held in check the enemy, but drove him back
through the woods.  About the same time this same force had struck
General Giles A. Smith's left flank, doubled it back, captured four
guns in position and the party engaged in building the very battery
which was the special object of McPherson's visit to me, and almost
enveloped the entire left flank.  The men, however, were skillful and
brave, and fought for a time with their backs to Atlanta.  They
gradually fell back, compressing their own line, and gaining strength
by making junction with Leggett's division of the Seventeenth Corps,
well and strongly posted on the hill.  One or two brigades of the
Fifteenth Corps, ordered by McPherson, came rapidly across the open
field to the rear, from the direction of the railroad, filled up the
gap from Blair's new left to the head of Dodge's column--now facing
to the general left--thus forming a strong left flank, at right
angles to the original line of battle. The enemy attacked, boldly and
repeatedly, the whole of this flank, but met an equally fierce
resistance; and on that ground a bloody battle raged from little
after noon till into the night.  A part of Hood's plan of action was
to sally from Atlanta at the same moment; but this sally was not, for
some reason, simultaneous, for the first attack on our extreme left
flank had been checked and repulsed before the sally came from the
direction of Atlanta. Meantime, Colonel Sprague, in Decatur, had got
his teams harnessed up, and safely conducted his train to the rear of
Schofield's position, holding in check Wheeler's cavalry till he had
got off all his trains, with the exception of three or four wagons.
I remained near the Howard House, receiving reports and sending
orders, urging Generals Thomas and Schofield to take advantage of the
absence from their front of so considerable a body as was evidently
engaged on our left, and, if possible, to make a lodgment in Atlanta
itself; but they reported that the lines to their front, at all
accessible points, were strong, by nature and by art, and were fully
manned.  About 4 p.m. the expected, sally came from Atlanta, directed
mainly against Leggett's Hill and along the Decatur road.  At
Leggett's Hill they were met and bloodily repulsed.  Along the
railroad they were more successful.  Sweeping over a small force with
two guns, they reached our main line, broke through it, and got
possession of De Gress's battery of four twenty-pound Parrotts,
killing every horse, and turning the guns against us.  General
Charles R. Wood's division of the Fifteenth Corps was on the extreme
right of the Army of the Tennessee, between the railroad and the
Howard House, where he connected with Schofield's troops.  He
reported to me in person that the line on his left had been swept
back, and that his connection with General Logan, on Leggett's Hill,
was broken.  I ordered him to wheel his brigades to the left, to
advance in echelon, and to catch the enemy in flank.  General
Schofield brought forward all his available batteries, to the number
of twenty guns, to a position to the left front of the Howard House,
whence we could overlook the field of action, and directed a heavy
fire over the heads of General Wood's men against the enemy; and we
saw Wood's troops advance and encounter the enemy, who had secured
possession of the old line of parapet which had been held by our men.
His right crossed this parapet, which he swept back, taking it in
flank; and, at the same time, the division which had been driven back
along the railroad was rallied by General Logan in person, and fought
for their former ground.  These combined forces drove the enemy into
Atlanta, recovering the twenty pound Parrott guns but one of them was
found "bursted" while in the possession of the enemy.  The two
six-pounders farther in advance were, however, lost, and had been
hauled back by the enemy into Atlanta.  Poor Captain de Gress came to
me in tears, lamenting the loss of his favorite guns; when they were
regained he had only a few men left, and not a single horse. He asked
an order for a reequipment, but I told him he must beg and borrow of
others till he could restore his battery, now reduced to three guns.
How he did so I do not know, but in a short time he did get horses,
men, and finally another gun, of the same special pattern, and served
them with splendid effect till the very close of the war.  This
battery had also been with me from Shiloh till that time.

The battle of July 22d is usually called the battle of Atlanta.  It
extended from the Howard House to General Giles A. Smith's
position, about a mile beyond the Augusta Railroad, and then back
toward Decatur, the whole extent of ground being fully seven miles.
In part the ground was clear and in part densely wooded.  I rode
over the whole of it the next day, and it bore the marks of a
bloody conflict.  The enemy had retired during the night inside of
Atlanta, and we remained masters of the situation outside.  I
purposely allowed the Army of the Tennessee to fight this battle
almost unaided, save by demonstrations on the part of General
Schofield and Thomas against the fortified lines to their immediate
fronts, and by detaching, as described, one of Schofield's brigades
to Decatur, because I knew that the attacking force could only be a
part of Hood's army, and that, if any assistance were rendered by
either of the other armies, the Army of the Tennessee would be
jealous.  Nobly did they do their work that day, and terrible was
the slaughter done to our enemy, though at sad cost to ourselves,
as shown by the following reports:


General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.

Yesterday morning the enemy fell back to the intrenchments proper
of the city of Atlanta, which are in a general circle, with a
radius of one and a half miles, and we closed in.  While we were
forming our lines, and selecting positions for our batteries, the
enemy appeared suddenly out of the dense woods in heavy masses on
our extreme left, and struck the Seventeenth Corps (General Blair)
in flank, and was forcing it back, when the Sixteenth Corps
(General Dodge) came up and checked the movement, but the enemy's
cavalry got well to our rear, and into Decatur, and for some hours
our left flank was completely enveloped.  The fight that resulted
was continuous until night, with heavy loss on both sides.  The
enemy took one of our batteries (Murray's, of the Regular Army)
that was marching in its place in column in the road, unconscious
of danger.  About 4 p.m. the enemy sallied against the division of
General Morgan L. Smith, of the Fifteenth Corps, which occupied an
abandoned line of rifle-trench near the railroad east of the city,
and forced it back some four hundred yards, leaving in his hands
for the time two batteries, but the ground and batteries were
immediately after recovered by the same troops reenforced.  I
cannot well approximate our loss, which fell heavily on the
Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps, but count it as three thousand; I
know that, being on the defensive, we have inflicted equally heavy
loss on the enemy.

General McPherson, when arranging his troops about 11.00 A.M., and
passing from one column to another, incautiously rode upon an
ambuscade without apprehension, at some distance ahead of his staff
and orderlies, and was shot dead.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I find it difficult to make prompt report of results,
coupled with some data or information, without occasionally making
mistakes.  McPherson's sudden death, and Logan succeeding to the
command as it were in the midst of battle, made some confusion on
our extreme left; but it soon recovered and made sad havoc with the
enemy, who had practised one of his favorite games of attacking our
left when in motion, and before it had time to cover its weak
flank.  After riding over the ground and hearing the varying
statements of the actors, I directed General Logan to make an
official report of the actual result, and I herewith inclose it.

Though the number of dead rebels seems excessive, I am disposed to
give full credit to the report that our loss, though only
thirty-five hundred and twenty-one killed, wounded, and missing, the
enemy's dead alone on the field nearly equaled that number, viz.,
thirty-two hundred and twenty.  Happening at that point of the line
when a flag of truce was sent in to ask permission for each party to
bury its dead, I gave General Logan authority to permit a temporary
truce on that flank alone, while our labors and fighting proceeded at
all others.

I also send you a copy of General Garrard's report of the breaking
of the railroad toward Augusta.  I am now grouping my command to
attack the Macon road, and with that view will intrench a strong
line of circumvallation with flanks, so as to have as large an
infantry column as possible, with all the cavalry to swing round to
the south and east, to strike that road at or below East Point.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following general summary
of the result of the attack of the enemy on this army on the 22d

Total loss, killed, wounded, and missing, thirty-five hundred and
twenty-one, and ten pieces of artillery.

We have buried and delivered to the enemy, under a flag of truce
sent in by them, in front of the Third Division, Seventeenth Corps,
one thousand of their killed.

The number of their dead in front of the Fourth Division of the
same corps, including those on the ground not now occupied by our
troops, General Blair reports, will swell the number of their dead
on his front to two thousand.

The number of their dead buried in front of the Fifteenth Corps, up
to this hour, is three hundred and sixty, and the commanding
officer reports that at least as many more are yet unburied;
burying-parties being still at work.

The number of dead buried in front of the Sixteenth Corps is four
hundred and twenty-two.  We have over one thousand of their wounded
in our hands, the larger number of the wounded being carried off
during the night, after the engagement, by them.

We captured eighteen stands of colors, and have them now.  We also
captured five thousand stands of arms.

The attack was made on our lines seven times, and was seven times
repulsed.  Hood's and Hardee's corps and Wheeler's cavalry engaged

We have sent to the rear one thousand prisoners, including
thirty-three commissioned officers of high rank.

We still occupy the field, and the troops are in fine spirits.  A
detailed and full report will be furnished as soon as completed.


Our total loss............................ 3,521
Enemy's dead, thus far reported, buried,
and delivered to them..................... 3,220
Total prisoners sent North................ 1,017
Total prisoners, wounded, in our hands.... 1,000
Estimated loss of the enemy, at least.... 10,000

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Joan A.  Logan, Major-General.

On the 22d of July General Rousseau reached Marietta, having
returned from his raid on the Alabama road at Opelika, and on the
next day General Garrard also returned from Covington, both having
been measurably successful.  The former was about twenty-five
hundred strong, the latter about four thousand, and both reported
that their horses were jaded and tired, needing shoes and rest.
But, about this time, I was advised by General Grant (then
investing Richmond) that the rebel Government had become aroused to
the critical condition of things about Atlanta, and that I must
look out for Hood being greatly reenforced.  I therefore was
resolved to push matters, and at once set about the original
purpose of transferring the whole of the Army of the Tennessee to
our right flank, leaving Schofield to stretch out so as to rest his
left on the Augusta road, then torn up for thirty miles eastward;
and, as auxiliary thereto, I ordered all the cavalry to be ready to
pass around Atlanta on both flanks, to break up the Macon road at
some point below, so as to cut off all supplies to the rebel army
inside, and thus to force it to evacuate, or come out and fight us
on equal terms.

But it first became necessary to settle the important question of
who should succeed General McPherson?  General Logan had taken
command of the Army of the Tennessee by virtue of his seniority,
and had done well; but I did not consider him equal to the command
of three corps.  Between him and General Blair there existed a
natural rivalry.  Both were men of great courage and talent, but
were politicians by nature and experience, and it may be that for
this reason they were mistrusted by regular officers like Generals
Schofield, Thomas, and myself.  It was all-important that there
should exist a perfect understanding among the army commanders, and
at a conference with General George H. Thomas at the headquarters
of General Thomas J. Woods, commanding a division in the Fourth
Corps, he (Thomas) remonstrated warmly against my recommending that
General Logan should be regularly assigned to the command of the
Army of the Tennessee by reason of his accidental seniority.  We
discussed fully the merits and qualities of every officer of high
rank in the army, and finally settled on Major-General O. O. Howard
as the best officer who was present and available for the purpose;
on the 24th of July I telegraphed to General Halleck this
preference, and it was promptly ratified by the President.  General
Howard's place in command of the Fourth Corps was filled by General
Stanley, one of his division commanders, on the recommendation of
General Thomas.  All these promotions happened to fall upon
West-Pointers, and doubtless Logan and Blair had some reason to
believe that we intended to monopolize the higher honors of the war
for the regular officers.  I remember well my own thoughts and
feelings at the time, and feel sure that I was not intentionally
partial to any class, I wanted to succeed in taking Atlanta, and
needed commanders who were purely and technically soldiers, men who
would obey orders and execute them promptly and on time; for I knew
that we would have to execute some most delicate manoeuvres,
requiring the utmost skill, nicety, and precision.  I believed that
General Howard would do all these faithfully and well, and I think
the result has justified my choice.  I regarded both Generals Logan
and Blair as "volunteers," that looked to personal fame and glory
as auxiliary and secondary to their political ambition, and not as
professional soldiers.

As soon as it was known that General Howard had been chosen to
command the Army of the Tennessee; General Hooker applied to
General Thomas to be relieved of the command of the Twentieth
Corps, and General Thomas forwarded his application to me approved
and heartily recommended.  I at once telegraphed to General
Halleck, recommending General Slocum (then at Vicksburg) to be his
successor, because Slocum had been displaced from the command of
his corps at the time when the Eleventh and Twelfth were united and
made the Twentieth.

General Hooker was offended because he was not chosen to succeed
McPherson; but his chances were not even considered; indeed, I had
never been satisfied with him since his affair at the Gulp House,
and had been more than once disposed to relieve him of his corps,
because of his repeated attempts to interfere with Generals
McPherson and Schofield.  I had known Hooker since 1836, and was
intimately associated with him in California, where we served
together on the staff of General Persifer F. Smith.  He had come to
us from the East with a high reputation as a "fighter," which he
had fully justified at Chattanooga and Peach-Tree Creek; at which
latter battle I complimented him on the field for special
gallantry, and afterward in official reports.  Still, I did feel a
sense of relief when he left us.  We were then two hundred and
fifty miles in advance of our base, dependent on a single line of
railroad for our daily food.  We had a bold, determined foe in our
immediate front, strongly intrenched, with communication open to
his rear for supplies and reenforcements, and every soldier
realized that we had plenty of hard fighting ahead, and that all
honors had to be fairly earned.

Until General Slocum joined (in the latter part of August), the
Twentieth Corps was commanded by General A. S. Williams, the senior
division commander present.  On the 25th of July the army,
therefore, stood thus: the Army of the Tennessee (General O. O.
Howard commanding) was on the left, pretty much on the same ground
it had occupied during the battle of the 22d, all ready to move
rapidly by the rear to the extreme right beyond Proctor's Creek;
the Army of the Ohio (General Schofield) was next in order, with
its left flank reaching the Augusta Railroad; next in order,
conforming closely with the rebel intrenchments of Atlanta, was
General Thomas's Army of the Cumberland, in the order of--the
Fourth Corps (Stanley's), the Twentieth Corps (Williams's), and the
Fourteenth Corps (Palmer's).  Palmer's right division (Jefferson C.
Davis's) was strongly refused along Proctor's Creek.  This line was
about five miles long, and was intrenched as against a sally about
as strong as was our enemy.  The cavalry was assembled in two
strong divisions; that of McCook (including the brigade of Harrison
which had been brought in from Opelika by General Rousseau)
numbered about thirty-five hundred effective cavalry, and was
posted to our right rear, at Turner's Ferry, where we had a good
pontoon-bridge; and to our left rear, at and about Decatur, were
the two cavalry divisions of Stoneman, twenty-five hundred, and
Garrard, four thousand, united for the time and occasion under the
command of Major-General George Stoneman, a cavalry-officer of high
repute.  My plan of action was to move the Army of the Tennessee to
the right rapidly and boldly against the railroad below Atlanta,
and at the same time to send all the cavalry around by the right
and left to make a lodgment on the Macon road about Jonesboro.

All the orders were given, and the morning of the 27th was fixed
for commencing the movement.  On the 26th I received from General
Stoneman a note asking permission (after having accomplished his
orders to break up the railroad at Jonesboro) to go on to Macon to
rescue our prisoners of war known to be held there, and then to
push on to Andersonville, where was the great depot of Union
prisoners, in which were penned at one time as many as twenty-three
thousand of our men, badly fed and harshly treated.  I wrote him an
answer consenting substantially to his proposition, only modifying
it by requiring him to send back General Garrard's division to its
position on our left flank after he had broken up the railroad at
Jonesboro.  Promptly, and on time, all got off, and General Dodge's
corps (the Sixteenth, of the Army of the Tennessee) reached its
position across Proctor's Creek the same evening, and early the
next morning (the 28th) Blair's corps (the Seventeenth) deployed on
his right, both corps covering their front with the usual parapet;
the Fifteenth Corps (General Logan's) came up that morning on the
right of Blair, strongly refused, and began to prepare the usual
cover.  As General Jeff. C. Davis's division was, as it were, left
out of line, I ordered it on the evening before to march down
toward Turner's Ferry, and then to take a road laid down on our
maps which led from there toward East Point, ready to engage any
enemy that might attack our general right flank, after the same
manner as had been done to the left flank on the 22d.

Personally on the morning of the 28th I followed the movement, and
rode to the extreme right, where we could hear some skirmishing and
an occasional cannon-shot.  As we approached the ground held by the
Fifteenth Corps, a cannon-ball passed over my shoulder and killed
the horse of an orderly behind; and seeing that this gun enfiladed
the road by which we were riding, we turned out of it and rode down
into a valley, where we left our horses and walked up to the hill
held by Morgan L. Smith's division of the Fifteenth Corps.  Near a
house I met Generals Howard and Logan, who explained that there was
an intrenched battery to their front, with the appearance of a
strong infantry support.  I then walked up to the ridge, where I
found General Morgan L. Smith.  His men were deployed and engaged
in rolling logs and fence-rails, preparing a hasty cover.  From
this ridge we could overlook the open fields near a meeting-house
known as "Ezra Church," close by the Poor-House.  We could see the
fresh earth of a parapet covering some guns (that fired an
occasional shot), and there was also an appearance of activity
beyond.  General Smith was in the act of sending forward a regiment
from, his right flank to feel the position of the enemy, when I
explained to him and to Generals Logan and Howard that they must
look out for General Jeff. C. Davis's division, which was coming
up from the direction of Turner's Ferry.

As the skirmish-fire warmed up along the front of Blair's corps, as
well as along the Fifteenth Corps (Logan's), I became convinced
that Hood designed to attack this right flank, to prevent, if
possible, the extension of our line in that direction.  I regained
my horse, and rode rapidly back to see that Davis's division had
been dispatched as ordered.  I found General Davis in person, who
was unwell, and had sent his division that morning early, under the
command of his senior brigadier, Morgan; but, as I attached great
importance to the movement, he mounted his horse, and rode away to
overtake and to hurry forward the movement, so as to come up on the
left rear of the enemy, during the expected battle.

By this time the sound of cannon and musketry denoted a severe
battle as in progress, which began seriously at 11.30 a.m., and
ended substantially by 4 p.m.  It was a fierce attack by the enemy
on our extreme right flank, well posted and partially covered.  The
most authentic account of the battle is given by General Logan, who
commanded the Fifteenth Corps, in his official report to the
Adjutant-General of the Army of the Tennessee, thus:


Lieutenant-Colonel WILLIAM T. CLARK, Assistant Adjutant-General,
Army of the Tennessee, present.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of orders, I
moved my command into position on the right of the Seventeenth
Corps, which was the extreme right of the army in the field, during
the night of the 27th and morning of the 28th; and, while advancing
in line of battle to a more favorable position, we were met by the
rebel infantry of Hardee's and Lee's corps, who made a determined
and desperate attack on us at 11 A.M. of the 28th (yesterday).

My lines were only protected by logs and rails, hastily thrown up
in front of them.

The first onset was received and checked, and the battle commenced
and lasted until about three o'clock in the evening.  During that
time six successive charges were made, which were six times
gallantly repulsed, each time with fearful loss to the enemy.

Later in the evening my lines were several times assaulted
vigorously, but each time with like result.  The worst of the
fighting occurred on General Harrow's and Morgan L. Smith's fronts,
which formed the centre and right of the corps.  The troops could
not have displayed greater courage, nor greater determination not
to give ground; had they shown less, they would have been driven
from their position.

Brigadier-Generals C. R. Woods, Harrow, and Morgan L. Smith,
division commanders, are entitled to equal credit for gallant
conduct and skill in repelling the assault.  My thanks are due to
Major-Generals Blair and Dodge for sending me reenforeements at a
time when they were much needed.  My losses were fifty killed, four
hundred and forty-nine wounded, and seventy-three missing:
aggregate, five hundred and seventy-two.

The division of General Harrow captured five battle-flags.  There
were about fifteen hundred or two thousand muskets left on the
ground. One hundred and six prisoners were captured, exclusive of
seventy-three wounded, who were sent to our hospital, and are being
cared for by our surgeons.  Five hundred and sixty-five rebels have
up to this time been buried, and about two hundred are supposed to
be yet unburied.  A large number of their wounded were undoubtedly
carried away in the night, as the enemy did not withdraw till near
daylight.  The enemy's loss could not have been less than six or
seven thousand men.  A more detailed report will hereafter be made.

I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

Major-General, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.

General Howard, in transmitting this report, added:

I wish to express my high gratification with the conduct of the
troops engaged.  I never saw better conduct in battle.  General
Logan, though ill and much worn out, was indefatigable, and the
success of the day is as much attributable to him as to any one

This was, of coarse, the first fight in which General Howard had
commanded the Army of the Tennessee, and he evidently aimed to
reconcile General Logan in his disappointment, and to gain the
heart of his army, to which he was a stranger.  He very properly
left General Logan to fight his own corps, but exposed himself
freely; and, after the firing had ceased, in the afternoon he
walked the lines; the men, as reported to me, gathered about him in
the most affectionate way, and he at once gained their respect and
confidence.  To this fact I at the time attached much importance,
for it put me at ease as to the future conduct of that most
important army.

At no instant of time did I feel the least uneasiness about the
result on the 28th, but wanted to reap fuller results, hoping that
Davis's division would come up at the instant of defeat, and catch
the enemy in flank; but the woods were dense, the roads obscure,
and as usual this division got on the wrong road, and did not come
into position until about dark.  In like manner, I thought that
Hood had greatly weakened his main lines inside of Atlanta, and
accordingly sent repeated orders to Schofield and Thomas to make an
attempt to break in; but both reported that they found the parapets
very strong and full manned.

Our men were unusually encouraged by this day's work, for they
realized that we could compel Hood to come out from behind his
fortified lines to attack us at a disadvantage.  In conversation
with me, the soldiers of the Fifteenth Corps, with whom I was on
the most familiar terms, spoke of the affair of the 28th as the
easiest thing in the world; that, in fact, it was a common
slaughter of the enemy; they pointed out where the rebel lines had
been, and how they themselves had fired deliberately, had shot down
their antagonists, whose bodies still lay unburied, and marked
plainly their lines of battle, which must have halted within easy
musket-range of our men, who were partially protected by their
improvised line of logs and fence-rails.  All bore willing
testimony to the courage and spirit of the foe, who, though
repeatedly repulsed, came back with increased determination some
six or more times.

The next morning the Fifteenth Corps wheeled forward to the left
over the battle-field of the day before, and Davis's division still
farther prolonged the line, which reached nearly to the
ever-to-be-remembered "Sandtown road."

Then, by further thinning out Thomas's line, which was well
entrenched, I drew another division of Palmer's corps (Baird's)
around to the right, to further strengthen that flank.  I was
impatient to hear from the cavalry raid, then four days out, and
was watching for its effect, ready to make a bold push for the
possession of East Point.  General Garrard's division returned to
Decatur on the 31st, and reported that General Stoneman had posted
him at Flat Rock, while he (Stoneman) went on.  The month of July
therefore closed with our infantry line strongly entrenched, but
drawn out from the Augusta road on the left to the Sandtown road on
the right, a distance of full ten measured miles.

The enemy, though evidently somewhat intimidated by the results of
their defeats on the 22d and 28th, still presented a bold front at
all points, with fortified lines that defied a direct assault.  Our
railroad was done to the rear of our camps, Colonel W. P. Wright
having reconstructed the bridge across the Chattahoochee in six
days; and our garrisons and detachments to the rear had so
effectually guarded the railroad that the trains from Nashville
arrived daily, and our substantial wants were well supplied.

The month, though hot in the extreme, had been one of constant
conflict, without intermission, and on four several occasions
--viz., July 4th, 20th, 22d, and 28th--these affairs had amounted to
real battles, with casualty lists by the thousands.  Assuming the
correctness of the rebel surgeon Foard's report, on page 577 of
Johnston's "Narrative," commencing with July 4th and terminating
with July 31st, we have:

        Aggregate loss of the enemy......... 10,841

Our losses, as compiled from the official returns for July,
1864, are:
                     Killed and Missing.    Wounded.    Total.

Aggregate loss of July....... 3,804          5,915      9,719

In this table the column of "killed and missing" embraces the
prisoners that fell into the hands of the enemy, mostly lost in the
Seventeenth Corps, on the 22d of July, and does not embrace the
losses in the cavalry divisions of Garrard and McCook, which,
however, were small for July.  In all other respects the statement
is absolutely correct.  I am satisfied, however, that Surgeon Foard
could not have been in possession of data sufficiently accurate to
enable him to report the losses in actual battle of men who never
saw the hospital.  During the whole campaign I had rendered to me
tri-monthly statements of "effective strength," from which I
carefully eliminated the figures not essential for my conduct, so
that at all times I knew the exact fighting-strength of each corps,
division, and brigade, of the whole army, and also endeavored to
bear in mind our losses both on the several fields of battle and by
sickness, and well remember that I always estimated that during the
month of July we had inflicted heavier loss on the enemy than we
had sustained ourselves, and the above figures prove it
conclusively.  Before closing this chapter, I must record one or
two minor events that occurred about this time, that may prove of

On the 24th of July I received a dispatch from Inspector-General
James A. Hardie, then on duty at the War Department in Washington,
to the effect that Generals Osterhaus and Alvan P. Hovey had been
appointed major-generals.  Both of these had begun the campaign
with us in command of divisions, but had gone to the rear--the
former by reason of sickness, and the latter dissatisfied with
General Schofield and myself about the composition of his division
of the Twenty-third Corps.  Both were esteemed as first-class
officers, who had gained special distinction in the Vicksburg
campaign.  But up to that time, when the newspapers announced daily
promotions elsewhere, no prominent officers serving with me had
been advanced a peg, and I felt hurt.  I answered Hardie on the
25th, in a dispatch which has been made public, closing with this
language: "If the rear be the post of honor, then we had better all
change front on Washington."  To my amazement, in a few days I
received from President Lincoln himself an answer, in which he
caught me fairly.  I have not preserved a copy of that dispatch,
and suppose it was burned up in the Chicago fire; but it was
characteristic of Mr. Lincoln, and was dated the 26th or 27th day
of July, contained unequivocal expressions of respect for those who
were fighting hard and unselfishly, offering us a full share of the
honors and rewards of the war, and saying that, in the cases of
Hovey and Osterhaus, he was influenced mainly by the
recommendations of Generals Grant and Sherman.  On the 27th I
replied direct, apologizing somewhat for my message to General
Hardie, saying that I did not suppose such messages ever reached
him personally, explaining that General Grant's and Sherman's
recommendations for Hovey and Osterhaus had been made when the
events of the Vicksburg campaign were fresh with us, and that my
dispatch of the 25th to General Hardie had reflected chiefly the
feelings of the officers then present with me before Atlanta.  The
result of all this, however, was good, for another dispatch from
General Hardie, of the 28th, called on me to nominate eight
colonels for promotion as brigadier-generals.  I at once sent a
circular note to the army-commanders to nominate two colonels from
the Army of the Ohio and three from each of the others; and the
result was, that on the 29th of July I telegraphed the names of--

Colonel William Gross, Thirty-sixth Indiana; Colonel Charles C.
Walcutt, Forty-sixth Ohio; Colonel James W. Riley, One Hundred and
Fourth Ohio; Colonel L. P. Bradley, Fifty-first Illinois; Colonel
J. W. Sprague, Sixty-third Ohio; Colonel Joseph A. Cooper, Sixth
East Tennessee; Colonel John T. Croxton, Fourth Kentucky; Colonel
William W. Belknap, Fifteenth Iowa.  These were promptly appointed
brigadier-generals, were already in command of brigades or
divisions; and I doubt if eight promotions were ever made fairer,
or were more honestly earned, during the whole war.




The month of August opened hot and sultry, but our position before
Atlanta was healthy, with ample supply of wood, water, and
provisions.  The troops had become habituated to the slow and
steady progress of the siege; the skirmish-lines were held close up
to the enemy, were covered by rifle-trenches or logs, and kept up a
continuous clatter of musketry.  The mainlines were held farther
back, adapted to the shape of the ground, with muskets loaded and
stacked for instant use.  The field-batteries were in select
positions, covered by handsome parapets, and occasional shots from
them gave life and animation to the scene.  The men loitered about
the trenches carelessly, or busied themselves in constructing
ingenious huts out of the abundant timber, and seemed as snug,
comfortable, and happy, as though they were at home.  General
Schofield was still on the extreme left, Thomas in the centre, and
Howard on the right.  Two divisions of the Fourteenth Corps
(Baird's and Jeff.  C. Davis's) were detached to the right rear,
and held in reserve.

I thus awaited the effect of the cavalry movement against the
railroad about Jonesboro, and had heard from General Garrard that
Stoneman had gone on to Mason; during that day (August 1st) Colonel
Brownlow, of a Tennessee cavalry regiment, came in to Marietta from
General McCook, and reported that McCook's whole division had been
overwhelmed, defeated, and captured at Newnan.  Of course, I was
disturbed by this wild report, though I discredited it, but made
all possible preparations to strengthen our guards along the
railroad to the rear, on the theory that the force of cavalry which
had defeated McCook would at once be on the railroad about
Marietta.  At the same time Garrard was ordered to occupy the
trenches on our left, while Schofield's whole army moved to the
extreme right, and extended the line toward East Point.  Thomas was
also ordered still further to thin out his lines, so as to set free
the other division (Johnson's) of the Fourteenth Corps (Palmer's),
which was moved to the extreme right rear, and held in reserve
ready to make a bold push from that flank to secure a footing on
the Mason Railroad at or below East Point.

These changes were effected during the 2d and 3d days of August,
when General McCook came in and reported the actual results of his
cavalry expedition.  He had crossed the Chattahoochee River below
Campbellton, by his pontoon-bridge; had then marched rapidly across
to the Mason Railroad at Lovejoy's Station, where he had reason to
expect General Stoneman; but, not hearing of him, he set to work,
tore up two miles of track, burned two trains of cars, and cut away
five miles of telegraph-wire.  He also found the wagon-train
belonging to the rebel army in Atlanta, burned five hundred wagons,
killed eight hundred mules; and captured seventy-two officers and
three hundred and fifty men.  Finding his progress eastward, toward
McDonough, barred by a superior force, he turned back to Newnan,
where he found himself completely surrounded by infantry and
cavalry.  He had to drop his prisoners and fight his way out,
losing about six hundred men in killed and captured, and then
returned with the remainder to his position at Turner's Ferry.
This was bad enough, but not so bad as had been reported by Colonel
Brownlow.  Meantime, rumors came that General Stoneman was down
about Mason, on the east bank of the Ocmulgee.  On the 4th of
August Colonel Adams got to Marietta with his small brigade of nine
hundred men belonging to Stoneman's cavalry, reporting, as usual,
all the rest lost, and this was partially confirmed by a report
which came to me all the way round by General Grant's headquarters
before Richmond.  A few days afterward Colonel Capron also got in,
with another small brigade perfectly demoralized, and confirmed the
report that General Stoneman had covered the escape of these two
small brigades, himself standing with a reserve of seven hundred
men, with which he surrendered to a Colonel Iverson.  Thus another
of my cavalry divisions was badly damaged, and out of the fragments
we hastily reorganized three small divisions under
Brigadier-Generals Garrard, McCook, and Kilpatrick.

Stoneman had not obeyed his orders to attack the railroad first
before going to Macon and Andersonville, but had crossed the
Ocmulgee River high up near Covington, and had gone down that river
on the east bank.  He reached Clinton, and sent out detachments
which struck the railroad leading from Macon to Savannah at
Griswold Station, where they found and destroyed seventeen
locomotives and over a hundred cars; then went on and burned the
bridge across the Oconee, and reunited the division before Macon.
Stoneman shelled the town across the river, but could not cross
over by the bridge, and returned to Clinton, where he found his
retreat obstructed, as he supposed, by a superior force.  There he
became bewildered, and sacrificed himself for the safety of his
command.  He occupied the attention of his enemy by a small force
of seven hundred men, giving Colonels Adams and Capron leave, with
their brigades, to cut their way back to me at Atlanta.  The former
reached us entire, but the latter was struck and scattered at some
place farther north, and came in by detachments.  Stoneman
surrendered, and remained a prisoner until he was exchanged some
time after, late in September, at Rough and Ready.

I now became satisfied that cavalry could not, or would not, make a
sufficient lodgment on the railroad below Atlanta, and that nothing
would suffice but for us to reach it with the main army.  Therefore
the most urgent efforts to that end were made, and to Schofield, on
the right, was committed the charge of this special object.  He had
his own corps (the Twenty-third), composed of eleven thousand and
seventy-five infantry and eight hundred and eighty-five artillery,
with McCook's broken division of cavalry, seventeen hundred and
fifty-four men and horses.  For this purpose I also placed the
Fourteenth Corps (Palmer) under his orders.  This corps numbered at
the time seventeen thousand two hundred and eighty-eight infantry
and eight hundred and twenty-six artillery; but General Palmer
claimed to rank General Schofield in the date of his commission as
major-general, and denied the latter's right to exercise command
over him.  General Palmer was a man of ability, but was not
enterprising.  His three divisions were compact and strong, well
commanded, admirable on the defensive, but slow to move or to act
on the offensive.  His corps (the Fourteenth) had sustained, up to
that time, fewer hard knocks than any other corps in the whole
army, and I was anxious to give it a chance.  I always expected to
have a desperate fight to get possession of the Macon road, which
was then the vital objective of the campaign.  Its possession by us
would, in my judgment, result in the capture of Atlanta, and give
us the fruits of victory, although the destruction of Hood's army
was the real object to be desired.  Yet Atlanta was known as the
"Gate-City of the South," was full of founderies, arsenals, and
machine-shops, and I knew that its capture would be the death-knell
of the Southern Confederacy.

On the 4th of August I ordered General Schofield to make a bold
attack on the railroad, anywhere about East Point, and ordered
General Palmer to report to him for duty.  He at once denied
General Schofield's right to command him; but, after examining the
dates of their respective commissions, and hearing their arguments,
I wrote to General Palmer.

August 4th.-10.45 p.m.

From the statements made by yourself and General Schofield to-day,
my decision is, that he ranks you as a major-general, being of the
same date of present commission, by reason of his previous superior
rank as brigadier-general.  The movements of to-morrow are so
important that the orders of the superior on that flank must be
regarded as military orders, and not in the nature of cooperation.
I did hope that there would be no necessity for my making this
decision; but it is better for all parties interested that no
question of rank should occur in actual battle.  The Sandtown road,
and the railroad, if possible, must be gained to-morrow, if it
costs half your command.  I regard the loss of time this afternoon
as equal to the loss of two thousand men.

I also communicated the substance of this to General Thomas, to
whose army Palmer's corps belonged, who replied on the 5th:

I regret to hear that Palmer has taken the course he has, and I
know that he intends to offer his resignation as soon as he can
properly do so.  I recommend that his application be granted.

And on the 5th I again wrote to General Palmer, arguing the point
with him, advising him, as a friend, not to resign at that crisis
lest his motives might be misconstrued, and because it might damage
his future career in civil life; but, at the same time, I felt it
my duty to say to him that the operations on that flank, during the
4th and 5th, had not been satisfactory--not imputing to him,
however, any want of energy or skill, but insisting that "the
events did not keep pace with my desires."  General Schofield had
reported to me that night:

I am compelled to acknowledge that I have totally failed to make
any aggressive movement with the Fourteenth Corps.  I have ordered
General Johnson's division to replace General Hascall's this
evening, and I propose to-morrow to take my own troops
(Twenty-third Corps) to the right, and try to recover what has been
lost by two days' delay.  The force may likely be too small.

I sanctioned the movement, and ordered two of Palmers divisions
--Davis's and Baird's--to follow en echelon in support of Schofield,
and summoned General Palmer to meet me in person: He came on the
6th to my headquarters, and insisted on his resignation being
accepted, for which formal act I referred him to General Thomas.
He then rode to General Thomas's camp, where he made a written
resignation of his office as commander of the Fourteenth Corps, and
was granted the usual leave of absence to go to his home in
Illinois, there to await further orders.  General Thomas
recommended that the resignation be accepted; that Johnson, the
senior division commander of the corps, should be ordered back to
Nashville as chief of cavalry, and that Brigadier-General Jefferson
C. Davis, the next in order, should be promoted major general, and
assigned to command the corps.  These changes had to be referred to
the President, in Washington, and were, in due time, approved and
executed; and thenceforward I had no reason to complain of the
slowness or inactivity of that splendid corps. It had been
originally formed by General George H. Thomas, had been commanded
by him in person, and had imbibed some what his personal character,
viz., steadiness, good order, and deliberation nothing hasty or
rash, but always safe, "slow, and sure."  On August 7th I
telegraphed to General Halleck:

Have received to-day the dispatches of the Secretary of War and of
General Grant, which are very satisfactory.  We keep hammering away
all the time, and there is no peace, inside or outside of Atlanta.
To-day General Schofield got round the line which was assaulted
yesterday by General Reilly's brigade, turned it and gained the
ground where the assault had been made, and got possession of all
our dead and wounded.  He continued to press on that flank, and
brought on a noisy but not a bloody battle.  He drove the enemy
behind his main breastworks, which cover the railroad from Atlanta
to East Point, and captured a good many of the skirmishers, who are
of his best troops--for the militia hug the breastworks close.  I
do not deem it prudent to extend any more to the right, but will
push forward daily by parallels, and make the inside of Atlanta too
hot to be endured.  I have sent back to Chattanooga for two
thirty-pound Parrotts, with which we can pick out almost any house in
town.  I am too impatient for a siege, and don't know but this is as
good a place to fight it out on, as farther inland.  One thing is
certain, whether we get inside of Atlanta or not, it will be a
used-up community when we are done with it.

In Schofield's extension on the 5th, General Reilly's brigade had
struck an outwork, which he promptly attacked, but, as usual, got
entangled in the trees and bushes which had been felled, and lost
about five hundred men, in killed and wounded; but, as above
reported, this outwork was found abandoned the next day, and we
could see from it that the rebels were extending their lines,
parallel with the railroad, about as fast as we could add to our
line of investment.  On the 10th of August the Parrott
thirty-pounders were received and placed in Position; for a couple
of days we kept up a sharp fire from all our batteries converging
on Atlanta, and at every available point we advanced our
infantry-lines, thereby shortening and strengthening the
investment; but I was not willing to order a direct assault, unless
some accident or positive neglect on the part of our antagonist
should reveal an opening.  However, it was manifest that no such
opening was intended by Hood, who felt secure behind his strong
defenses.  He had repelled our cavalry attacks on his railroad, and
had damaged us seriously thereby, so I expected that he would
attempt the same game against our rear.  Therefore I made
extraordinary exertions to recompose our cavalry divisions, which
were so essential, both for defense and offense.  Kilpatrick was
given that on our right rear, in support of Schofield's exposed
flank; Garrard retained that on our general left; and McCook's
division was held somewhat in reserve, about Marietta and the
railroad.  On the 10th, having occasion to telegraph to General
Grant, then in Washington, I used this language:

Since July 28th Hood has not attempted to meet us outside his
parapets.  In order to possess and destroy effectually his
communications, I may have to leave a corps at the railroad-bridge,
well intrenched, and cut loose with the balance to make a circle of
desolation around Atlanta.  I do not propose to assault the works,
which are too strong, nor to proceed by regular approaches.  I have
lost a good many regiments, and will lose more, by the expiration
of service; and this is the only reason why I want reenforcements.
We have killed, crippled, and captured more of the enemy than we
have lost by his acts.

On the 12th of August I heard of the success of Admiral Farragut in
entering Mobile Bay, which was regarded as a most valuable
auxiliary to our operations at Atlanta; and learned that I had been
commissioned a major-general in the regular army, which was
unexpected, and not desired until successful in the capture of
Atlanta.  These did not change the fact that we were held in check
by the stubborn defense of the place, and a conviction was forced
on my mind that our enemy would hold fast, even though every house
in the town should be battered down by our artillery.  It was
evident that we most decoy him out to fight us on something like
equal terms, or else, with the whole army, raise the siege and
attack his communications.  Accordingly, on the 13th of August, I
gave general orders for the Twentieth Corps to draw back to the
railroad-bridge at the Chattahoochee, to protect our trains,
hospitals, spare artillery, and the railroad-depot, while the rest
of the army should move bodily to some point on the Macon Railroad
below East Point.

Luckily, I learned just then that the enemy's cavalry, under
General Wheeler, had made a wide circuit around our left flank, and
had actually reached our railroad at Tilton Station, above Resaca,
captured a drove of one thousand of our beef-cattle, and was strong
enough to appear before Dalton, and demand of its commander,
Colonel Raum, the surrender of the place.  General John E. Smith,
who was at Kingston, collected together a couple of thousand men,
and proceeded in cars to the relief of Dalton when Wheeler
retreated northward toward Cleveland.  On the 16th another
detachment of the enemy's cavalry appeared in force about Allatoona
and the Etowah bridge, when I became fully convinced that Hood had
sent all of his cavalry to raid upon our railroads.  For some days
our communication with Nashville was interrupted by the destruction
of the telegraph-lines, as well as railroad.  I at once ordered
strong reconnoissances forward from our flanks on the left by
Garrard, and on the right by Kilpatrick.  The former moved with so
much caution that I was displeased; but Kilpatrick, on the
contrary, displayed so much zeal and activity that I was attracted
to him at once.  He reached Fairburn Station, on the West Point
road, and tore it up, returning safely to his position on our right
flank.  I summoned him to me, and was so pleased with his spirit
and confidence, that I concluded to suspend the general movement of
the main army, and to send him with his small division of cavalry
to break up the Macon road about Jonesboro, in the hopes that it
would force Hood to evacuate Atlanta, and that I should thereby not
only secure possession of the city itself, but probably could catch
Hood in the confusion of retreat; and, further to increase the
chances of success.

I ordered General Thomas to detach two brigades of Garrard's
division of cavalry from the left to the right rear, to act as a
reserve in support of General Kilpatrick.  Meantime, also, the
utmost activity was ordered along our whole front by the infantry
and artillery.  Kilpatrick got off during the night of the 18th,
and returned to us on the 22d, having made the complete circuit of
Atlanta.  He reported that he had destroyed three miles of the
railroad about Jonesboro, which he reckoned would take ten days to
repair; that he had encountered a division of infantry and a
brigade of cavalry (Ross's); that he had captured a battery and
destroyed three of its guns, bringing one in as a trophy, and he
also brought in three battle-flags and seventy prisoners.  On the
23d, however, we saw trains coming into Atlanta from the south,
when I became more than ever convinced that cavalry could not or
would not work hard enough to disable a railroad properly, and
therefore resolved at once to proceed to the execution of my
original plan.  Meantime, the damage done to our own railroad and
telegraph by Wheeler, about Resaca and Dalton, had been repaired,
and Wheeler himself was too far away to be of any service to his
own army, and where he could not do us much harm, viz., up about
the Hiawaesee.  On the 24th I rode down to the Chattahoochee
bridge, to see in person that it could be properly defended by the
single corps proposed to be left there for that purpose, and found
that the rebel works, which had been built by Johnston to resist
us, could be easily utilized against themselves; and on returning
to my camp, at   that same evening, I telegraphed to General
Halleck as follows:

Heavy fires in Atlanta all day, caused by our artillery.  I will be
all ready, and will commence the movement around Atlanta by the
south, tomorrow night, and for some time you will hear little of
us.  I will keep open a courier line back to the Chattahoochee
bridge, by way of Sandtown.  The Twentieth Corps will hold the
railroad-bridge, and I will move with the balance of the army,
provisioned for twenty days.

Meantime General Dodge (commanding the Sixteenth Corps) had been
wounded in the forehead, had gone to the rear, and his two
divisions were distributed to the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps.
The real movement commenced on the 25th, at night.  The Twentieth
Corps drew back and took post at the railroad-bridge, and the
Fourth Corps (Stanley) moved to his right rear, closing up with the
Fourteenth Corps (Jeff. C. Davis) near Utoy Creek; at the same time
Garrard's cavalry, leaving their horses out of sight, occupied the
vacant trenches, so that the enemy did not detect the change at
all.  The next night (26th) the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps,
composing the Army of the Tennessee (Howard), drew out of their
trenches, made a wide circuit, and came up on the extreme right of
the Fourth and Fourteenth Corps of the Army of the Cumberland
(Thomas) along Utoy Creek, facing south.  The enemy seemed to
suspect something that night, using his artillery pretty freely;
but I think he supposed we were going to retreat altogether.  An
artillery-shot, fired at random, killed one man and wounded
another, and the next morning some of his infantry came out of
Atlanta and found our camps abandoned.  It was afterward related
that there was great rejoicing in Atlanta "that the Yankees were
gone;" the fact was telegraphed all over the South, and several
trains of cars (with ladies) came up from Macon to assist in the
celebration of their grand victory.

On the 28th (making a general left-wheel, pivoting on Schofield)
both Thomas and Howard reached the West Point Railroad, extending
from East Point to Red-Oak Station and Fairburn, where we spent the
next day (29th) in breaking it up thoroughly.  The track was heaved
up in sections the length of a regiment, then separated rail by
rail; bonfires were made of the ties and of fence-rails on which
the rails were heated, carried to trees or telegraph-poles, wrapped
around and left to cool.  Such rails could not be used again; and,
to be still more certain, we filled up many deep cuts with trees,
brush, and earth, and commingled with them loaded shells, so
arranged that they would explode on an attempt to haul out the
bushes.  The explosion of one such shell would have demoralized a
gang of negroes, and thus would have prevented even the attempt to
clear the road.

Meantime Schofield, with the Twenty-third Corps, presented a bold
front toward East Point, daring and inviting the enemy to sally out
to attack him in position.  His first movement was on the 30th, to
Mount Gilead Church, then to Morrow's Mills, facing Rough and
Ready.  Thomas was on his right, within easy support, moving by
cross-roads from Red Oak to the Fayetteville road, extending from
Couch's to Renfrew's; and Howard was aiming for Jonesboro.

I was with General Thomas that day, which was hot but otherwise
very pleasant.  We stopped for a short noon-rest near a little
church (marked on our maps as Shoal-Creek Church), which stood back
about a hundred yards from the road, in a grove of native oaks.
The infantry column had halted in the road, stacked their arms, and
the men were scattered about--some lying in the shade of the trees,
and others were bringing corn-stalks from a large corn-field across
the road to feed our horses, while still others had arms full of
the roasting-ears, then in their prime.  Hundreds of fires were
soon started with the fence-rails, and the men were busy roasting
the ears.  Thomas and I were walking up and down the road which led
to the church, discussing the chances of the movement, which he
thought were extra-hazardous, and our path carried us by a fire at
which a soldier was roasting his corn.  The fire was built
artistically; the man was stripping the ears of their husks,
standing them in front of his fire, watching them carefully, and
turning each ear little by little, so as to roast it nicely.  He
was down on his knees intent on his business, paying little heed to
the stately and serious deliberations of his leaders.  Thomas's
mind was running on the fact that we had cut loose from our base of
supplies, and that seventy thousand men were then dependent for
their food on the chance supplies of the country (already
impoverished by the requisitions of the enemy), and on the contents
of our wagons.  Between Thomas and his men there existed a most
kindly relation, and he frequently talked with them in the most
familiar way.  Pausing awhile, and watching the operations of this
man roasting his corn, he said, "What are you doing?"  The man
looked up smilingly "Why, general, I am laying in a supply of
provisions."  "That is right, my man, but don't waste your
provisions."  As we resumed our walk, the man remarked, in a sort
of musing way, but loud enough for me to hear: "There he goes,
there goes the old man, economizing as usual."  "Economizing" with
corn, which cost only the labor of gathering and roasting!

As we walked, we could hear General Howard's guns at intervals,
away off to our right front, but an ominous silence continued
toward our left, where I was expecting at each moment to hear the
sound of battle.  That night we reached Renfrew's, and had reports
from left to right (from General Schofield, about Morrow's Mills,
to General Howard, within a couple of miles of Jonesboro).  The
next morning (August 31st) all moved straight for the railroad.
Schofield reached it near Rough and Ready, and Thomas at two points
between there and Jonesboro.  Howard found an intrenched foe
(Hardee's corps) covering Jonesboro, and his men began at once to
dig their accustomed rifle-pits.  Orders were sent to Generals
Thomas and Schofield to turn straight for Jonesboro, tearing up the
railroad-track as they advanced.  About 3.00 p.m.  the enemy
sallied from Jonesboro against the Fifteenth corps, but was easily
repulsed, and driven back within his lines.  All hands were kept
busy tearing up the railroad, and it was not until toward evening
of the 1st day of September that the Fourteenth Corps (Davis)
closed down on the north front of Jonesboro, connecting on his
right with Howard, and his left reaching the railroad, along which
General Stanley was moving, followed by Schofield.  General Davis
formed his divisions in line about 4 p.m., swept forward over some
old cotton-fields in full view, and went over the rebel parapet
handsomely, capturing the whole of Govan's brigade, with two
field-batteries of ten guns.  Being on the spot, I checked Davis's
movement, and ordered General Howard to send the two divisions of
the Seventeenth Corps (Blair) round by his right rear, to get below
Jonesboro, and to reach the railroad, so as to cut off retreat in
that direction.  I also dispatched orders after orders to hurry
forward Stanley, so as to lap around Jonesboro on the east, hoping
thus to capture the whole of Hardee's corps.  I sent first Captain
Audenried (aide-de-camp), then Colonel Poe, of the Engineers, and
lastly General Thomas himself (and that is the only time during the
campaign I can recall seeing General Thomas urge his horse into a
gallop).  Night was approaching, and the country on the farther
side of the railroad was densely wooded.  General Stanley had come
up on the left of Davis, and was deploying, though there could not
have been on his front more than a skirmish-line.  Had he moved
straight on by the flank, or by a slight circuit to his left, he
would have inclosed the whole ground occupied by Hardee's corps,
and that corps could not have escaped us; but night came on, and
Hardee did escape.

Meantime General Slocum had reached his corps (the Twentieth),
stationed at the Chattahoochee bridge, had relieved General A. S.
Williams in command, and orders had been sent back to him to feel
forward occasionally toward Atlanta, to observe the effect when we
had reached the railroad.  That night I was so restless and
impatient that I could not sleep, and about midnight there arose
toward Atlanta sounds of shells exploding, and other sound like
that of musketry.  I walked to the house of a farmer close by my
bivouac, called him out to listen to the reverberations which came
from the direction of Atlanta (twenty miles to the north of us),
and inquired of him if he had resided there long.  He said he had,
and that these sounds were just like those of a battle.  An
interval of quiet then ensued, when again, about 4 a.m., arose
other similar explosions, but I still remained in doubt whether the
enemy was engaged in blowing up his own magazines, or whether
General Slocum had not felt forward, and become engaged in a real

The next morning General Hardee was gone, and we all pushed forward
along the railroad south, in close pursuit, till we ran up against
his lines at a point just above Lovejoy's Station.  While bringing
forward troops and feeling the new position of our adversary,
rumors came from the rear that the enemy had evacuated Atlanta, and
that General Slocum was in the city.  Later in the day I received a
note in Slocum's own handwriting, stating that he had heard during
the night the very sounds that I have referred to; that he had
moved rapidly up from the bridge about daylight, and had entered
Atlanta unopposed.  His letter was dated inside the city, so there
was no doubt of the fact.  General Thomas's bivouac was but a short
distance from mine, and, before giving notice to the army in
general orders, I sent one of my staff-officers to show him the
note.  In a few minutes the officer returned, soon followed by
Thomas himself, who again examined the note, so as to be perfectly
certain that it was genuine.  The news seemed to him too good to be
true.  He snapped his fingers, whistled, and almost danced, and, as
the news spread to the army, the shouts that arose from our men,
the wild hallooing and glorious laughter, were to us a full
recompense for the labor and toils and hardships through which we
had passed in the previous three months.

A courier-line was at once organized, messages were sent back and
forth from our camp at Lovejoy's to Atlanta, and to our
telegraph-station at the Chattahoochee bridge.  Of course, the glad
tidings flew on the wings of electricity to all parts of the North,
where the people had patiently awaited news of their husbands, sons,
and brothers, away down in "Dixie Land;" and congratulations came
pouring back full of good-will and patriotism.  This victory was most
opportune; Mr. Lincoln himself told me afterward that even he had
previously felt in doubt, for the summer was fast passing away; that
General Grant seemed to be checkmated about Richmond and Petersburg,
and my army seemed to have run up against an impassable barrier,
when, suddenly and unexpectedly, came the news that "Atlanta was
ours, and fairly won."  On this text many a fine speech was made, but
none more eloquent than that by Edward Everett, in Boston.  A
presidential election then agitated the North.  Mr. Lincoln
represented the national cause, and General McClellan had accepted
the nomination of the Democratic party, whose platform was that the
war was a failure, and that it was better to allow the South to go
free to establish a separate government, whose corner-stone should be
slavery.  Success to our arms at that instant was therefore a
political necessity; and it was all-important that something
startling in our interest should occur before the election in
November.  The brilliant success at Atlanta filled that requirement,
and made the election of Mr. Lincoln certain.  Among the many letters
of congratulation received, those of Mr. Lincoln and General Grant
seem most important:

WASHINGTON, D.C. September 3, 1864.

The national thanks are rendered by the President to Major-General
W. T. Sherman and the gallant officers and soldiers of his command
before Atlanta, for the distinguished ability and perseverance
displayed in the campaign in Georgia, which, under Divine favor,
has resulted in the capture of Atlanta.  The marches, battles,
sieges, and other military operations, that have signalized the
campaign, must render it famous in the annals of war, and have
entitled those who have participated therein to the applause and
thanks of the nation.

President of the United States

CITY POINT VIRGINIA, September 4, 1864-9 P.M.

Major-General SHERMAN:
I have just received your dispatch announcing the capture of
Atlanta.  In honor of your great victory, I have ordered a salute
to be fired with shotted guns from every battery bearing upon the
enemy.  The salute will be fired within an hour, amid great

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

These dispatches were communicated to the army in general orders,
and we all felt duly encouraged and elated by the praise of those
competent to bestow it.

The army still remained where the news of success had first found
us, viz., Lovejoy's; but, after due refection, I resolved not to
attempt at that time a further pursuit of Hood's army, but slowly
and deliberately to move back, occupy Atlanta, enjoy a short period
of rest, and to think well over the next step required in the
progress of events.  Orders for this movement were made on the 5th
September, and three days were given for each army to reach the
place assigned it, viz.: the Army of the Cumberland in and about
Atlanta; the Army of the Tennessee at East Point; and the Army of
the Ohio at Decatur.

Personally I rode back to Jonesboro on the 6th, and there inspected
the rebel hospital, full of wounded officers and men left by Hardee
in his retreat.  The next night we stopped at Rough and Ready, and
on the 8th of September we rode into Atlanta, then occupied by the
Twentieth Corps (General Slocum).  In the Court-House Square was
encamped a brigade, embracing the Massachusetts Second and
Thirty-third Regiments, which had two of the finest bands of the
army, and their music was to us all a source of infinite pleasure
during our sojourn in that city.  I took up my headquarters in the
house of Judge Lyons, which stood opposite one corner of the
Court-House Square, and at once set about a measure already ordered,
of which I had thought much and long, viz., to remove the entire
civil population, and to deny to all civilians from the rear the
expected profits of civil trade.  Hundreds of sutlers and traders
were waiting at Nashville and Chattanooga, greedy to reach Atlanta
with their wares and goods, with, which to drive a profitable trade
with the inhabitants.  I gave positive orders that none of these
traders, except three (one for each separate army), should be
permitted to come nearer than Chattanooga; and, moreover, I
peremptorily required that all the citizens and families resident in
Atlanta should go away, giving to each the option to go south or
north, as their interests or feelings dictated.  I was resolved to
make Atlanta a pure military garrison or depot, with no civil
population to influence military measures.  I had seen Memphis,
Vicksburg, Natchez, and New Orleans, all captured from the enemy, and
each at once was garrisoned by a full division of troops, if not
more; so that success was actually crippling our armies in the field
by detachments to guard and protect the interests of a hostile

I gave notice of this purpose, as early as the 4th of September, to
General Halleck, in a letter concluding with these words:

If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will
answer that war is war, and not popularity-seeking.  If they want
peace, they and their relatives most stop the war.

I knew, of course, that such a measure would be strongly
criticised, but made up my mind to do it with the absolute
certainty of its justness, and that time would sanction its wisdom.
I knew that the people of the South would read in this measure two
important conclusions: one, that we were in earnest; and the other,
if they were sincere in their common and popular clamor "to die in
the last ditch," that the opportunity would soon come.

Soon after our reaching Atlanta, General Hood had sent in by a flag
of truce a proposition, offering a general exchange of prisoners,
saying that he was authorized to make such an exchange by the
Richmond authorities, out of the vast number of our men then held
captive at Andersonville, the same whom General Stoneman had hoped
to rescue at the time of his raid.  Some of these prisoners had
already escaped and got in, had described the pitiable condition of
the remainder, and, although I felt a sympathy for their hardships
and sufferings as deeply as any man could, yet as nearly all the
prisoners who had been captured by us during the campaign had been
sent, as fast as taken, to the usual depots North, they were then
beyond my control.  There were still about two thousand, mostly
captured at Jonesboro, who had been sent back by cars, but had not
passed Chattanooga.  These I ordered back, and offered General Hood
to exchange them for Stoneman, Buell, and such of my own army as
would make up the equivalent; but I would not exchange for his
prisoners generally, because I knew these would have to be sent to
their own regiments, away from my army, whereas all we could give
him could at once be put to duty in his immediate army.  Quite an
angry correspondence grew up between us, which was published at the
time in the newspapers, but it is not to be found in any book of
which I have present knowledge, and therefore is given here, as
illustrative of the events referred to, and of the feelings of the
actors in the game of war at that particular crisis, together with
certain other original letters of Generals Grant and Halleck, never
hitherto published.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, September 12, 1864

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: I send Lieutenant-Colonel Horace Porter, of my staff, with
this.  Colonel Porter will explain to you the exact condition of
affairs here, better than I can do in the limits of a letter.
Although I feel myself strong enough now for offensive operations,
I am holding on quietly, to get advantage of recruits and
convalescents, who are coming forward very rapidly.  My lines are
necessarily very long, extending from Deep Bottom, north of the
James, across the peninsula formed by the Appomattox and the James,
and south of the Appomattox to the Weldon road.  This line is very
strongly fortified, and can be held with comparatively few men;
but, from its great length, necessarily takes many in the
aggregate.  I propose, when I do move, to extend my left so as to
control what is known as the Southside, or Lynchburg & Petersburg
road; then, if possible, to keep the Danville road out.  At the
same time this move is made, I want to send a force of from six to
ten thousand men against Wilmington.  The way I propose to do this
is to land the men north of Fort Fisher, and hold that point.  At
the same time a large naval fleet will be assembled there, and the
iron-clads will run the batteries as they did at Mobile.  This will
give us the same control of the harbor of Wilmington that we now
have of the harbor of Mobile.  What you are to do with the forces
at your command, I do not exactly see.  The difficulties of
supplying your army, except when they are constantly moving beyond
where you are, I plainly see.  If it had not been for Price's
movement, Canby could have sent twelve thousand more men to Mobile.
From your command on the Mississippi, an equal number could have
been taken.  With these forces, my idea would have been to divide
them, sending one-half to Mobile, and the other half to Savannah.
You could then move as proposed in your telegram, so as to threaten
Macon and Augusta equally.  Whichever one should be abandoned by
the enemy, you could take and open up a new base of supplies.  My
object now in sending a staff-officer to you is not so much to
suggest operations for you as to get your views, and to have plans
matured by the time every thing can be got ready.  It would
probably be the 5th of October before any of the plans here
indicated will be executed.  If you have any promotions to
recommend, send the names forward, and I will approve them.

In conclusion, it is hardly necessary for me to say that I feel you
have accomplished the most gigantic undertaking given to any
general in this war, and with a skill and ability that will be
acknowledged in history as unsurpassed, if not unequaled.  It gives
me as much pleasure to record this in your favor as it world in
favor of any living man, myself included.
Truly yours,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 20, 1864.

Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, City Point,

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge, at the hands of
Lieutenant  Colonel Porter, of your staff, your letter of September
12th, and accept with thanks the honorable and kindly mention
of the services of this army in the great cause in which we are all

I send by Colonel Porter all official reports which are completed,
and will in a few days submit a list of names which are deemed
worthy of promotion.

I think we owe it to the President to save him the invidious task
of selection among the vast number of worthy applicants, and have
ordered my army commanders to prepare their lists with great care,
and to express their preferences, based upon claims of actual
capacity and services rendered.

These I will consolidate, and submit in such a form that, if
mistakes are made, they will at least be sanctioned by the best
contemporaneous evidence of merit, for I know that vacancies do not
exist equal in number to that of the officers who really deserve

As to the future, I am pleased to know that your army is being
steadily reinforced by a good class of men, and I hope it will go
on until you have a force that is numerically double that of your
antagonist, so that with one part you can watch him, and with the
other push out boldly from your left flank, occupy the Southside
Railroad, compel him to attack you in position, or accept battle on
your own terms.

We ought to ask our country for the largest possible armies that
can be raised, as so important a thing as the self-existence of a
great nation should not be left to the fickle chances of war.

Now that Mobile is shut out to the commerce of our enemy, it calls
for no further effort on our part, unless the capture of the city
can be followed by the occupation of the Alabama River and the
railroad to Columbus, Georgia, when that place would be a
magnificent auxiliary to my further progress into Georgia; but,
until General Canby is much reinforced, and until he can more
thoroughly subdue the scattered armies west of the Mississippi, I
suppose that much cannot be attempted by him against the Alabama
River and Columbus, Georgia.

The utter destruction of Wilmington, North Carolina, is of
importance only in connection with the necessity of cutting off all
foreign trade to our enemy, and if Admiral Farragut can get across
the bar, and move quickly, I suppose he will succeed.  From my
knowledge of the mouth of Cape Fear River, I anticipate more
difficulty in getting the heavy ships across the bar than in
reaching the town of Wilmington; but, of course, the soundings of
the channel are well known at Washington, as well as the draught of
his iron-clads, so that it must be demonstrated to be feasible, or
else it would not be attempted.  If successful, I suppose that Fort
Caswell will be occupied, and the fleet at once sent to the
Savannah River.  Then the reduction of that city is the next
question.  It once in our possession, and the river open to us, I
would not hesitate to cross the State of Georgia with sixty
thousand men, hauling some stores, and depending on the country for
the balance.  Where a million of people find subsistence, my army
won't starve; but, as you know, in a country like Georgia, with few
roads and innumerable streams, an inferior force can so delay an
army and harass it, that it would not be a formidable object; but
if the enemy knew that we had our boats in the Savannah River I
could rapidly move to Milledgeville, where there is abundance of
corn and meat, and could so threaten Macon and Augusta that the
enemy world doubtless give up Macon for Augusta; then I would move
so as to interpose between Augusta and Savannah, and force him to
give us Augusta, with the only powder-mills and factories remaining
in the South, or let us have the use of the Savannah River.  Either
horn of the dilemma will be worth a battle.  I would prefer his
holding Augusta (as the probabilities are); for then, with the
Savannah River in our possession, the taking of Augusta would be a
mere matter of time.  This campaign can be made in the winter.

But the more I study the game, the more am I convinced that it
would be wrong for us to penetrate farther into Georgia without an
objective beyond.  It would not be productive of much good.  I can
start east and make a circuit south and back, doing vast damage to
the State, but resulting in no permanent good; and by mere
threatening to do so, I hold a rod over the Georgians, who are not
over-loyal to the South.  I will therefore give it as my opinion
that your army and Canby's should be reinforced to the maximum;
that, after you get Wilmington, you should strike for Savannah and
its river; that General Canby should hold the Mississippi River,
and send a force to take Columbus, Georgia, either by way of the
Alabama or Appalachicola River; that I should keep Hood employed
and put my army in fine order for a march on Augusta, Columbia, and
Charleston; and start as soon as Wilmington is sealed to commerce,
and the city of Savannah is in our possession.

I think it will be found that the movements of Price and Shelby,
west of the Mississippi, are mere diversions.  They cannot hope to
enter Missouri except as raiders; and the truth is, that General
Rosecrans should be ashamed to take my troops for such a purpose.
If you will secure Wilmington and the city of Savannah from your
centre, and let General Canby leave command over the Mississippi
River and country west of it, I will send a force to the Alabama
and Appalachicola, provided you give me one hundred thousand of the
drafted men to fill up my old regiments; and if you will fix a day
to be in Savannah, I will insure our possession of Macon and a
point on the river below Augusta.  The possession of the Savannah
River is more than fatal to the possibility of Southern
independence.  They may stand the fall of Richmond, but not of all

I will have a long talk with Colonel Porter, and tell him every
thing that may occur to me of interest to you.

In the mean time, know that I admire your dogged perseverance and
pluck more than ever.  If you can whip Lee and I can march to the
Atlantic, I think Uncle Abe will give us a twenty days' leave of
absence to see the young folks.

Yours as ever,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

WASHINGTON, September 16, 1864.

General W. T. SHERMAN, Atlanta, Georgia.

My DEAR GENERAL: Your very interesting letter of the 4th is just
received.  Its perusal has given me the greatest pleasure.  I have
not written before to congratulate you on the capture of Atlanta,
the objective point of your brilliant campaign, for the reason that
I have been suffering from my annual attack of "coryza," or
hay-cold.  It affects my eyes so much that I can scarcely see to
write.  As you suppose, I have watched your movements most
attentively and critically, and I do not hesitate to say that your
campaign has been the most brilliant of the war.  Its results are
less striking and less complete than those of General Grant at
Vicksburg, but then you have had greater difficulties to encounter,
a longer line of communications to keep up, and a longer and more
continuous strain upon yourself and upon your army.

You must have been very considerably annoyed by the State negro
recruiting-agents.  Your letter was a capital one, and did much
good.  The law was a ridiculous one; it was opposed by the War
Department, but passed through the influence of Eastern
manufacturers, who hoped to escape the draft in that way.  They
were making immense fortunes out of the war, and could well afford
to purchase negro recruits, and thus save their employees at home.

I fully agree with you in regard to the policy of a stringent
draft; but, unfortunately, political influences are against us, and
I fear it will not amount to much.  Mr. Seward's speech at Auburn,
again prophesying, for the twentieth time, that the rebellion would
be crushed in a few months, and saying that there would be no
draft, as we now had enough soldiers to end the war, etc., has done
much harm, in a military point of view.  I have seen enough of
politics here to last me for life.  You are right in avoiding them.
McClellan may possibly reach the White House, but he will lose the
respect of all honest, high-minded patriots, by his affiliation
with such traitors and Copperheads as B---, V---, W---, S---, & Co.
He would not stand upon the traitorous Chicago platform, but he had
not the manliness to oppose it.  A major-general in the United
States Army, and yet not one word to utter against rebels or the
rebellion!  I had much respect for McClellan before he became a
politician, but very little after reading his letter accepting the

Hooker certainly made a mistake in leaving before the capture of
Atlanta.  I understand that, when here, he said that you would
fail; your army was discouraged and dissatisfied, etc., etc.  He is
most unmeasured in his abuse of me.  I inclose you a specimen of
what he publishes in Northern papers, wherever he goes.  They are
dictated by himself and written by W. B.  and such worthies.  The
funny part of the business is, that I had nothing whatever to do
with his being relieved on either occasion.  Moreover, I have never
said any thing to the President or Secretary of War to injure him
in the slightest degree, and he knows that perfectly well.  His
animosity arises from another source.  He is aware that I know some
things about his character and conduct in California, and, fearing
that I may use that information against him, he seeks to ward off
its effect by making it appear that I am his personal enemy, am
jealous of him, etc.  I know of no other reason for his hostility
to me.  He is welcome to abuse me as much as he pleases; I don't
think it will do him much good, or me much harm.  I know very
little of General Howard, but believe him to be a true, honorable
man.  Thomas is also a noble old war-horse.  It is true, as you
say, that he is slow, but he is always sure.

I have not seen General Grant since the fall of Atlanta, and do not
know what instructions he has sent you.  I fear that Canby has not
the means to do much by way of Mobile.  The military effects of
Banks's disaster are now showing themselves by the threatened
operations of Price & Co. toward Missouri, thus keeping in check
our armies west of the Mississippi.

With many thanks for your kind letter, and wishes for your future
success, yours truly,


ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 20, 1864.

Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff, Washington D.C.

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit copies of a
correspondence between General Hood, of the Confederate Army, the
Mayor of Atlanta, and myself, touching the removal of the
inhabitants of Atlanta.

In explanation of the tone which marks some of these letters, I
will only call your attention to the fact that, after I had
announced my determination, General Hood took upon himself to
question my motives.  I could not tamely submit to such
impertinence; and I have also seen that, in violation of all
official usage, he has published in the Macon newspapers such parts
of the correspondence as suited his purpose.  This could have had
no other object than to create a feeling on the part of the people;
but if he expects to resort to such artifices, I think I can meet
him there too.

It is sufficient for my Government to know that the removal of the
inhabitants has been made with liberality and fairness, that it has
been attended with no force, and that no women or children have
suffered, unless for want of provisions by their natural protectors
and friends.

My real reasons for this step were:

We want all the houses of Atlanta for military storage and

We want to contract the lines of defense, so as to diminish the
garrison to the limit necessary to defend its narrow and vital
parts, instead of embracing, as the lines now do, the vast suburbs.
This contraction of the lines, with the necessary citadels and
redoubts, will make it necessary to destroy the very houses used by
families as residences.

Atlanta is a fortified town, was stubbornly defended, and fairly
captured.  As captors, we have a right to it.

The residence here of a poor population would compel us, sooner or
later, to feed them or to see them starve under our eyes.

The residence here of the families of our enemies would be a
temptation and a means to keep up a correspondence dangerous and
hurtful to our cause; a civil population calls for provost-guards,
and absorbs the attention of officers in listening to everlasting
complaints and special grievances that are not military.

These are my reasons; and, if satisfactory to the Government of the
United States, it makes no difference whether it pleases General
Hood and his people or not.  I am, with respect, your obedient

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 7, 1864.

General HOOD, commanding Confederate Army.

GENERAL: I have deemed it to the interest of the United States that
the citizens now residing in Atlanta should remove, those who
prefer it to go south, and the rest north.  For the latter I can
provide food and transportation to points of their election in
Tennessee, Kentucky, or farther north.  For the former I can
provide transportation by cars as far as Rough and Ready, and also
wagons; but, that their removal may be made with as little
discomfort as possible, it will be necessary for you to help the
families from Rough and Ready to the care at Lovejoy's.  If you
consent, I will undertake to remove all the families in Atlanta who
prefer to go south to Rough and Ready, with all their movable
effects, viz., clothing, trunks, reasonable furniture, bedding,
etc., with their servants, white and black, with the proviso that
no force shall be used toward the blacks, one way or the other.  If
they want to go with their masters or mistresses, they may do so;
otherwise they will be sent away, unless they be men, when they may
be employed by our quartermaster.  Atlanta is no place for families
or non-combatants, and I have no desire to send them north if you
will assist in conveying them south.  If this proposition meets
your views, I will consent to a truce in the neighborhood of Rough
and Ready, stipulating that any wagons, horses, animals, or persons
sent there for the purposes herein stated, shall in no manner be
harmed or molested; you in your turn agreeing that any care,
wagons, or carriages, persons or animals sent to the same point,
shall not be interfered with.  Each of us might send a guard of,
say, one hundred men, to maintain order, and limit the truce to,
say, two days after a certain time appointed.

I have authorized the mayor to choose two citizens to convey to you
this letter, with such documents as the mayor may forward in
explanation, and shall await your reply.  I have the honor to be
your obedient servant.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding United States Forces in

GENERAL: Your letter of yesterday's date, borne by James M. Ball
and James R. Crew, citizens of Atlanta, is received.  You say
therein, "I deem it to be to the interest of the United States that
the citizens now residing in Atlanta should remove," etc.  I do not
consider that I have any alternative in this matter.  I therefore
accept your proposition to declare a truce of two days, or such
time as may be necessary to accomplish the purpose mentioned, and
shall render all assistance in my power to expedite the
transportation of citizens in this direction.  I suggest that a
staff-officer be appointed by you to superintend the removal from
the city to Rough and Ready, while I appoint a like officer to
control their removal farther south; that a guard of one hundred
men be sent by either party as you propose, to maintain order at
that place, and that the removal begin on Monday next.

And now, sir, permit me to say that the unprecedented measure you
propose transcends, in studied and ingenious cruelty, all acts ever
before brought to my attention in the dark history of war.

In the name of God and humanity, I protest, believing that you will
find that you are expelling from their homes and firesides the
wives and children of a brave people.  I am, general, very
respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. HOOD, General.

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 10, 1864.

General J. B. HOOD, commanding Army of Tennessee, Confederate Army.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
of this date, at the hands of Messrs.  Ball and Crew, consenting to
the arrangements I had proposed to facilitate the removal south of
the people of Atlanta, who prefer to go in that direction.  I
inclose you a copy of my orders, which will, I am satisfied,
accomplish my purpose perfectly.

You style the measures proposed "unprecedented," and appeal to the
dark history of war for a parallel, as an act of "studied and
ingenious cruelty."  It is not unprecedented; for General Johnston
himself very wisely and properly removed the families all the way
from Dalton down, and I see no reason why Atlanta should be
excepted.  Nor is it necessary to appeal to the dark history of
war, when recent and modern examples are so handy.  You yourself
burned dwelling-houses along your parapet, and I have seen to-day
fifty houses that you have rendered uninhabitable because they
stood in the way of your forts and men.  You defended Atlanta on a
line so close to town that every cannon-shot and many musket-shots
from our line of investment, that overshot their mark, went into
the habitations of women and children.  General Hardee did the same
at Jonesboro, and General Johnston did the same, last summer, at
Jackson, Mississippi.  I have not accused you of heartless cruelty,
but merely instance these cases of very recent occurrence, and
could go on and enumerate hundreds of others, and challenge any
fair man to judge which of us has the heart of pity for the
families of a "brave people."

I say that it is kindness to these families of Atlanta to remove
them now, at once, from scenes that women and children should not
be exposed to, and the "brave people" should scorn to commit their
wives and children to the rude barbarians who thus, as you say,
violate the laws of war, as illustrated in the pages of its dark

In the name of common-sense, I ask you not to appeal to a just God
in such a sacrilegious manner.  You who, in the midst of peace and
prosperity, have plunged a nation into war--dark and cruel war--who
dared and badgered us to battle, insulted our flag, seized our
arsenals and forts that were left in the honorable custody of
peaceful ordnance-sergeants, seized and made "prisoners of war" the
very garrisons sent to protect your people against negroes and
Indians, long before any overt act was committed by the (to you)
hated Lincoln Government; tried to force Kentucky and Missouri into
rebellion, spite of themselves; falsified the vote of Louisiana;
turned loose your privateers to plunder unarmed ships; expelled
Union families by the thousands, burned their houses, and declared,
by an act of your Congress, the confiscation of all debts due
Northern men for goods had and received!  Talk thus to the marines,
but not to me, who have seen these things, and who will this day
make as much sacrifice for the peace and honor of the South as the
best-born Southerner among you! If we must be enemies, let us be
men, and fight it out as we propose to do, and not deal in arch
hypocritical appeals to God and humanity.  God will judge us in due
time, and he will pronounce whether it be more humane to fight with
a town full of women and the families of a brave people at our back
or to remove them in time to places of safety among their own
friends and people.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

September 12, 1864

Major-General W. T, SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
of the 9th inst., with its inclosure in reference to the women,
children, and others, whom you have thought proper to expel from
their homes in the city of Atlanta.  Had you seen proper to let the
matter rest there, I would gladly have allowed your letter to close
this correspondence, and, without your expressing it in words,
would have been willing to believe that, while "the interests of
the United States," in your opinion, compelled you to an act of
barbarous cruelty, you regretted the necessity, and we would have
dropped the subject; but you have chosen to indulge in statements
which I feel compelled to notice, at least so far as to signify my
dissent, and not allow silence in regard to them to be construed as

I see nothing in your communication which induces me to modify the
language of condemnation with which I characterized your order.  It
but strengthens me in the opinion that it stands "preeminent in the
dark history of war for studied and ingenious cruelty."  Your
original order was stripped of all pretenses; you announced the
edict for the sole reason that it was "to the interest of the
United States."  This alone you offered to us and the civilized
world as an all-sufficient reason for disregarding the laws of God
and man.  You say that "General Johnston himself very wisely and
properly removed the families all the way from Dalton down."  It is
due to that gallant soldier and gentleman to say that no act of his
distinguished career gives the least color to your unfounded
aspersions upon his conduct.  He depopulated no villages, nor
towns, nor cities, either friendly or hostile.  He offered and
extended friendly aid to his unfortunate fellow-citizens who
desired to flee from your fraternal embraces.  You are equally
unfortunate in your attempt to find a justification for this act of
cruelty, either in the defense of Jonesboro, by General Hardee, or
of Atlanta, by myself.  General Hardee defended his position in
front of Jonesboro at the expense of injury to the houses; an
ordinary, proper, and justifiable act of war.  I defended Atlanta
at the same risk and cost. If there was any fault in either case,
it was your own, in not giving notice, especially in the case of
Atlanta, of your purpose to shell the town, which is usual in war
among civilized nations.  No inhabitant was expelled from his home
and fireside by the orders of General Hardee or myself, and
therefore your recent order can find no support from the conduct of
either of us.  I feel no other emotion other than pain in reading
that portion of your letter which attempts to justify your shelling
Atlanta without notice under pretense that I defended Atlanta upon
a line so close to town that every cannon-shot and many
musket-balls from your line of investment, that overshot their mark,
went into the habitations of women and children.  I made no complaint
of your firing into Atlanta in any way you thought proper.  I make
none now, but there are a hundred thousand witnesses that you fired
into the habitations of women and children for weeks, firing far
above and miles beyond my line of defense.  I have too good an
opinion, founded both upon observation and experience, of the skill
of your artillerists, to credit the insinuation that they for several
weeks unintentionally fired too high for my modest field-works, and
slaughtered women and children by accident and want of skill.

The residue of your letter is rather discussion.  It opens a wide
field for the discussion of questions which I do not feel are
committed to me.  I am only a general of one of the armies of the
Confederate States, charged with military operations in the field,
under the direction of my superior officers, and I am not called
upon to discuss with you the causes of the present war, or the
political questions which led to or resulted from it.  These grave
and important questions have been committed to far abler hands than
mine, and I shall only refer to them so far as to repel any unjust
conclusion which might be drawn from my silence.  You charge my
country with "daring and badgering you to battle."  The truth is,
we sent commissioners to you, respectfully offering a peaceful
separation, before the first gun was fired on either aide.  You say
we insulted your flag.  The truth is, we fired upon it, and those
who fought under it, when you came to our doors upon the mission of
subjugation.  You say we seized upon your forts and arsenals, and
made prisoners of the garrisons sent to protect us against negroes
and Indians.  The truth is, we, by force of arms, drove out
insolent intruders and took possession of our own forts and
arsenals, to resist your claims to dominion over masters, slaves,
and Indians, all of whom are to this day, with a unanimity
unexampled in the history of the world, warring against your
attempts to become their masters.  You say that we tried to force
Missouri and Kentucky into rebellion in spite of themselves.  The
truth is, my Government, from the beginning of this struggle to
this hour, has again and again offered, before the whole world, to
leave it to the unbiased will of these States, and all others, to
determine for themselves whether they will cast their destiny with
your Government or ours; and your Government has resisted this
fundamental principle of free institutions with the bayonet, and
labors daily, by force and fraud, to fasten its hateful tyranny
upon the unfortunate freemen of these States.  You say we falsified
the vote of Louisiana.  The truth is, Louisiana not only separated
herself from your Government by nearly a unanimous vote of her
people, but has vindicated the act upon every battle-field from
Gettysburg to the Sabine, and has exhibited an heroic devotion to
her decision which challenges the admiration and respect of every
man capable of feeling sympathy for the oppressed or admiration for
heroic valor.  You say that we turned loose pirates to plunder your
unarmed ships.  The truth is, when you robbed us of our part of the
navy, we built and bought a few vessels, hoisted the flag of our
country, and swept the seas, in defiance of your navy, around the
whole circumference of the globe.  You say we have expelled Union
families by thousands.  The truth is, not a single family has been
expelled from the Confederate States, that I am aware of; but, on
the contrary, the moderation of our Government toward traitors has
been a fruitful theme of denunciation by its enemies and
well-meaning friends of our cause.  You say my Government, by acts
of Congress, has confiscated "all debts due Northern men for goods
sold and delivered."  The truth is, our Congress gave due and ample
time to your merchants and traders to depart from our shores with
their ships, goods, and effects, and only sequestrated the property
of our enemies in retaliation for their acts--declaring us
traitors, and confiscating our property wherever their power
extended, either in their country or our own.  Such are your
accusations, and such are the facts known of all men to be true.

You order into exile the whole population of a city; drive men,
women and children from their homes at the point of the bayonet,
under the plea that it is to the interest of your Government, and
on the claim that it is "an act of kindness to these families of
Atlanta."  Butler only banished from New Orleans the registered
enemies of his Government, and acknowledged that he did it as a
punishment.  You issue a sweeping edict, covering all the
inhabitants of a city, and add insult to the injury heaped upon the
defenseless by assuming that you have done them a kindness.  This
you follow by the assertion that you will "make as much sacrifice
for the peace and honor of the South as the best-born Southerner."
And, because I characterize what you call as kindness as being real
cruelty, you presume to sit in judgment between me and my God; and
you decide that my earnest prayer to the Almighty Father to save
our women and children from what you call kindness, is a
"sacrilegious, hypocritical appeal."

You came into our country with your army, avowedly for the purpose
of subjugating free white men, women, and children, and not only
intend to rule over them, but you make negroes your allies, and
desire to place over us an inferior race, which we have raised from
barbarism to its present position, which is the highest ever
attained by that race, in any country, in all time.  I must,
therefore, decline to accept your statements in reference to your
kindness toward the people of Atlanta, and your willingness to
sacrifice every thing for the peace and honor of the South, and
refuse to be governed by your decision in regard to matters between
myself, my country, and my God.

You say, "Let us fight it out like men."  To this my reply is--for
myself, and I believe for all the free men, ay, and women and
children, in my country--we will fight you to the death!  Better
die a thousand deaths than submit to live under you or your
Government and your negro allies!

Having answered the points forced upon me by your letter of the 9th
of September, I close this correspondence with you; and,
notwithstanding your comments upon my appeal to God in the cause of
humanity, I again humbly and reverently invoke his almighty aid in
defense of justice and right. Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. HOOD, General.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 11, 1864
Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.

Sir: We the undersigned, Mayor and two of the Council for the city
of Atlanta, for the time being the only legal organ of the people
of the said city, to express their wants and wishes, ask leave most
earnestly but respectfully to petition you to reconsider the order
requiring them to leave Atlanta.

At first view, it struck us that the measure world involve
extraordinary hardship and loss, but since we have seen the
practical execution of it so far as it has progressed, and the
individual condition of the people, and heard their statements as
to the inconveniences, loss, and suffering attending it, we are
satisfied that the amount of it will involve in the aggregate
consequences appalling and heart-rending.

Many poor women are in advanced state of pregnancy, others now
having young children, and whose husbands for the greater part are
either in the army, prisoners, or dead.  Some say: "I have such a
one sick at my house; who will wait on them when I am gone?"
Others say: "What are we to do? We have no house to go to, and no
means to buy, build, or rent any; no parents, relatives, or
friends, to go to."  Another says: "I will try and take this or
that article of property, but such and such things I must leave
behind, though I need them much."  We reply to them: "General
Sherman will carry your property to Rough and Ready, and General
Hood will take it thence on."  And they will reply to that: "But I
want to leave the railroad at such a place, and cannot get
conveyance from there on."

We only refer to a few facts, to try to illustrate in part how this
measure will operate in practice.  As you advanced, the people
north of this fell back; and before your arrival here, a large
portion of the people had retired south, so that the country south
of this is already crowded, and without houses enough to
accommodate the people, and we are informed that many are now
staying in churches and other out-buildings.

This being so, how is it possible for the people still here (mostly
women and children) to find any shelter?  And how can they live
through the winter in the woods--no shelter or subsistence, in the
midst of strangers who know them not, and without the power to
assist them much, if they were willing to do so?

This is but a feeble picture of the consequences of this measure.
You know the woe, the horrors, and the suffering, cannot be
described by words; imagination can only conceive of it, and we ask
you to take these things into consideration.

We know your mind and time are constantly occupied with the duties
of your command, which almost deters us from asking your attention
to this matter, but thought it might be that you had not considered
this subject in all of its awful consequences, and that on more
reflection you, we hope, would not make this people an exception to
all mankind, for we know of no such instance ever having occurred
--surely never in the United States--and what has this helpless
people done, that they should be driven from their homes, to wander
strangers and outcasts, and exiles, and to subsist on charity?

We do not know as yet the number of people still here; of those who
are here, we are satisfied a respectable number, if allowed to
remain at home, could subsist for several months without
assistance, and a respectable number for a much longer time, and
who might not need assistance at any time.

In conclusion, we most earnestly and solemnly petition you to
reconsider this order, or modify it, and suffer this unfortunate
people to remain at home, and enjoy what little means they have.
Respectfully submitted
E.  E.  RAWSON, Councilman.
S.  C.  Warns, Councilman.

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 12, 1864.

JAMES M. CALHOUN, Mayor, E. E. RAWSON and S. C. Wares, representing
City Council of Atlanta.

GENTLEMEN: I have your letter of the 11th, in the nature of a
petition to revoke my orders removing all the inhabitants from
Atlanta.  I have read it carefully, and give full credit to your
statements of the distress that will be occasioned, and yet shall
not revoke my orders, because they were not designed to meet the
humanities of the case, but to prepare for the future struggles in
which millions of good people outside of Atlanta have a deep
interest. We must have peace, not only at Atlanta, but in all
America.  To secure this, we must stop the war that now desolates
our once happy and favored country.  To stop war, we must defeat
the rebel armies which are arrayed against the laws and
Constitution that all must respect and obey.  To defeat those
armies, we must prepare the way to reach them in their recesses,
provided with the arms and instruments which enable us to
accomplish our purpose.  Now, I know the vindictive nature of our
enemy, that we may have many years of military operations from this
quarter; and, therefore, deem it wise and prudent to prepare in
time.  The use of Atlanta for warlike purposes is inconsistent with
its character as a home for families.  There will be no
manufactures, commerce, or agriculture here, for the maintenance of
families, and sooner or later want will compel the inhabitants to
go.  Why not go now, when all the arrangements are completed for
the transfer,--instead of waiting till the plunging shot of
contending armies will renew the scenes of the past months.  Of
course, I do not apprehend any such thing at this moment, but you
do not suppose this army will be here until the war is over.  I
cannot discuss this subject with you fairly, because I cannot
impart to you what we propose to do, but I assert that our military
plans make it necessary for the inhabitants to go away, and I can
only renew my offer of services to make their exodus in any
direction as easy and comfortable as possible.

You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will.  War is
cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into
our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can
pour out.  I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I
will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.
But you cannot have peace and a division of our country.  If the
United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will
go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war.  The
United States does and must assert its authority, wherever it once
had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and
I believe that such is the national feeling.  This feeling assumes
various shapes, but always comes back to that of Union.  Once admit
the Union, once more acknowledge the authority of the national
Government, and, instead of devoting your houses and streets and
roads to the dread uses of war, I and this army become at once your
protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come
from what quarter it may.  I know that a few individuals cannot
resist a torrent of error and passion, such as swept the South into
rebellion, but you can point out, so that we may know those who
desire a government, and those who insist on war and its

You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these
terrible hardships of war.  They are inevitable, and the only way
the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet
at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting
that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.

We don't want your negroes, or your horses, or your houses, or your
lands, or any thing you have, but we do want and will have a just
obedience to the laws of the United States.  That we will have,
and, if it involves the destruction of your improvements, we cannot
help it.

You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers, that
live by falsehood and excitement; and the quicker you seek for
truth in other quarters, the better.  I repeat then that, by the
original compact of Government, the United States had certain
rights in Georgia, which have never been relinquished and never
will be; that the South began war by seizing forts, arsenals,
mints, custom-houses, etc., etc., long before Mr. Lincoln was
installed, and before the South had one jot or tittle of
provocation.  I myself have seen in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee,
and Mississippi, hundreds and thousands of women and children
fleeing from your armies and desperadoes, hungry and with bleeding
feet.  In Memphis, Vicksburg, and Mississippi, we fed thousands
upon thousands of the families of rebel soldiers left on our hands,
and whom we could not see starve.  Now that war comes home to you;
you feel very different.  You deprecate its horrors, but did not
feel them when you sent car-loads of soldiers and ammunition, and
moulded shells and shot, to carry war into Kentucky and Tennessee,
to desolate the homes of hundreds and thousands of good people who
only asked to live in peace at their old homes, and under the
Government of their inheritance.  But these comparisons are idle.
I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and
war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect and early

But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any
thing.  Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with
you to shield your homes and families against danger from every

Now you must go, and take with you the old and feeble, feed and
nurse them, and build for them, in more quiet places, proper
habitations to shield them against the weather until the mad
passions of men cool down, and allow the Union and peace once more
to settle over your old homes at Atlanta.  Yours in haste,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 14, 1864.

General J. B. HOOD, commanding Army of the Tennessee, Confederate

GENERAL: Yours of September 12th is received, and has been
carefully perused.  I agree with you that this discussion by two
soldiers is out of place, and profitless; but you must admit that
you began the controversy by characterizing an official act of mine
in unfair and improper terms.  I reiterate my former answer, and to
the only new matter contained in your rejoinder add: We have no
"negro allies" in this army; not a single negro soldier left
Chattanooga with this army, or is with it now.  There are a few
guarding Chattanooga, which General Steedman sent at one time to
drive Wheeler out of Dalton.

I was not bound by the laws of war to give notice of the shelling
of Atlanta, a "fortified town, with magazines, arsenals,
founderies, and public stores;" you were bound to take notice.  See
the books.

This is the conclusion of our correspondence, which I did not
begin, and terminate with satisfaction.  I am, with respect, your
obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

WASHINGTON, September 28, 1864,

Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta, Georgia.

GENERAL: Your communications of the 20th in regard to the removal
of families from Atlanta, and the exchange of prisoners, and also
the official report of your campaign, are just received.  I have
not had time as yet to examine your report.  The course which you
have pursued in removing rebel families from Atlanta, and in the
exchange of prisoners, is fully approved by the War Department.
Not only are you justified by the laws and usages of war in
removing these people, but I think it was your duty to your own
army to do so.  Moreover, I am fully of opinion that the nature of
your position, the character of the war, the conduct of the enemy
(and especially of non-combatants and women of the territory which
we have heretofore conquered and occupied), will justify you in
gathering up all the forage and provisions which your army may
require, both for a siege of Atlanta and for your supply in your
march farther into the enemy's country.  Let the disloyal families
of the country, thus stripped, go to their husbands, fathers, and
natural protectors, in the rebel ranks; we have tried three years
of conciliation and kindness without any reciprocation; on the
contrary, those thus treated have acted as spies and guerrillas in
our rear and within our lines.  The safety of our armies, and a
proper regard for the lives of our soldiers, require that we apply
to our inexorable foes the severe rules of war.  We certainly are
not required to treat the so-called non-combatant rebels better
than they themselves treat each other.  Even herein Virginia,
within fifty miles of Washington, they strip their own families of
provisions, leaving them, as our army advances, to be fed by us, or
to starve within our lines.  We have fed this class of people long
enough.  Let them go with their husbands and fathers in the rebel
ranks; and if they won't go, we must send them to their friends and
natural protectors.  I would destroy every mill and factory within
reach which I did not want for my own use.  This the rebels have
done, not only in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but also in Virginia
and other rebel States, when compelled to fall back before our
armies.  In many sections of the country they have not left a mill
to grind grain for their own suffering families, lest we might use
them to supply our armies.  We most do the same.

I have endeavored to impress these views upon our commanders for
the last two years.  You are almost the only one who has properly
applied them.  I do not approve of General Hunter's course in
burning private homes or uselessly destroying private property.
That is barbarous.  But I approve of taking or destroying whatever
may serve as supplies to us or to the enemy's army.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General, Chief of Staff

In order to effect the exchange of prisoners, to facilitate the
exodus of the people of Atlanta, and to keep open communication
with the South, we established a neutral camp, at and about the
railroad-station next south of Atlanta, known as "Rough and Ready,"
to which point I dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Willard Warner, of
my staff, with a guard of one hundred men, and General Hood sent
Colonel Clare, of his staff, with a similar guard; these officers
and men harmonized perfectly, and parted good friends when their
work was done.  In the mean time I also had reconnoitred the entire
rebel lines about Atlanta, which were well built, but were entirely
too extensive to be held by a single corps or division of troops,
so I instructed Colonel Poe, United States Engineers, on my staff,
to lay off an inner and shorter line, susceptible of defense by a
smaller garrison.

By the middle of September all these matters were in progress, the
reports of the past campaign were written up and dispatched to
Washington, and our thoughts began to turn toward the future.
Admiral Farragut had boldly and successfully run the forts at the
entrance to Mobile Bay, which resulted in the capture of Fort
Morgan, so that General Canby was enabled to begin his regular
operations against Mobile City, with a view to open the Alabama
River to navigation.  My first thoughts were to concert operations
with him, either by way of Montgomery, Alabama, or by the
Appalachicula; but so long a line, to be used as a base for further
operations eastward, was not advisable, and I concluded to await
the initiative of the enemy, supposing that he would be forced to
resort to some desperate campaign by the clamor raised at the South
on account of the great loss to them of the city of Atlanta.

General Thomas occupied a house on Marietta Streets which had a
veranda with high pillars.  We were sitting there one evening,
talking about things generally, when General Thomas asked leave to
send his trains back to Chattanooga, for the convenience and
economy of forage.  I inquired of him if he supposed we would be
allowed much rest at Atlanta, and he said he thought we would, or
that at all events it would not be prudent for us to go much
farther into Georgia because of our already long line of
communication, viz., three hundred miles from Nashville.  This was
true; but there we were, and we could not afford to remain on the
defensive, simply holding Atlanta and fighting for the safety of
its railroad.  I insisted on his retaining all trains, and on
keeping all his divisions ready to move at a moment's warning.  All
the army, officers and men, seemed to relax more or less, and sink
into a condition of idleness.  General Schofield was permitted to
go to Knoxville, to look after matters in his Department of the
Ohio; and Generals Blair and Logan went home to look after
politics.  Many of the regiments were entitled to, and claimed,
their discharge, by reason of the expiration of their term of
service; so that with victory and success came also many causes of

The rebel General Wheeler was still in Middle Tennessee,
threatening our railroads, and rumors came that Forrest was on his
way from Mississippi to the same theatre, for the avowed purpose of
breaking up our railroads and compelling us to fall back from our
conquest. To prepare for this, or any other emergency, I ordered
Newton's division of the Fourth Corps back to Chattanooga, and
Corse's division of the Seventeenth Corps to Rome, and instructed
General Rousseau at Nashville, Granger at Decatur, and Steadman at
Chattanooga, to adopt the most active measures to protect and
insure the safety of our roads.

Hood still remained about Lovejoy's Station, and, up to the 15th of
September, had given no signs of his future plans; so that with
this date I close the campaign of Atlanta, with the following
review of our relative losses during the months of August and
September, with a summary of those for the whole campaign,
beginning May 6 and ending September 15, 1864.  The losses for
August and September are added together, so as to include those
about Jonesboro:

                       Killed and Missing    Wounded    Total
        Grand Aggregate..... 1,408             3,731    5,139

Hood's losses, as reported for the same period, page 577,
Johnston's "Narrative:"

                         Killed             Wounded     Total
                           482               3,223      3,705

To which should be added:

       Prisoners captured by us:............ 3,738

       Giving his total loss ............... 7,440

On recapitulating the entire losses of each army during the entire
campaign, from May to September, inclusive, we have, in the Union
army, as per table appended:

Killed ........................  4,423
Wounded ....................... 22,822
Missing........................  4,442
       Aggregate Loss ......... 31,627

In the Southern army, according to the reports of Surgeon Foard
(pp.  576, 577, Johnston's "Narrative ")

        Total killed ................  3,044
        Total killed and wounded..... 21,996
        Prisoners captured by us .... 12,983

        Aggregate loss to the
             Southern Army .......... 34,979

The foregoing figures are official, and are very nearly correct.  I
see no room for error save in the cavalry, which was very much
scattered, and whose reports are much less reliable than of the
infantry and artillery; but as Surgeon Foard's tables do not
embrace Wheeler's, Jackson's, and Martin's divisions of cavalry, I
infer that the comparison, as to cavalry losses, is a "stand-off."

I have no doubt that the Southern officers flattered themselves
that they had filled and crippled of us two and even six to one, as
stated by Johnston; but they were simply mistaken, and I herewith
submit official tabular statements made up from the archives of the
War Department, in proof thereof.

I have also had a careful tabular statement compiled from official
records in the adjutant-general's office, giving the "effective
strength" of the army under my command for each of the months of
May, June, July, August, and September, 1864, which enumerate every
man (infantry, artillery, and cavalry) for duty.  The
recapitulation clearly exhibits the actual truth.  We opened the
campaign with 98,797 (ninety-eight thousand seven hundred and
ninety-seven) men.  Blair's two divisions joined us early in June,
giving 112,819 (one hundred and twelve thousand eight hundred and
nineteen), which number gradually became reduced to 106,070 (one
hundred and six thousand and seventy men), 91,675 (ninety-one
thousand six hundred and seventy-five), and 81,758 (eighty-one
thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight) at the end of the campaign.
This gradual reduction was not altogether owing to death and
wounds, but to the expiration of service, or by detachments sent to
points at the rear.




By the middle of September, matters and things had settled down in
Atlanta, so that we felt perfectly at home.  The telegraph and
railroads were repaired, and we had uninterrupted communication to
the rear.  The trains arrived with regularity and dispatch, and
brought us ample supplies.  General Wheeler had been driven out of
Middle Tennessee, escaping south across the Tennessee River at
Bainbridge; and things looked as though we were to have a period of

One day, two citizens, Messrs. Hill and Foster, came into our lines
at Decatur, and were sent to my headquarters.  They represented
themselves as former members of Congress, and particular friends of
my brother John Sherman; that Mr. Hill had a son killed in the
rebel army as it fell back before us somewhere near Cassville, and
they wanted to obtain the body, having learned from a comrade where
it was buried.  I gave them permission to go by rail to the rear,
with a note to the commanding officer, General John E. Smith, at
Cartersville, requiring him to furnish them an escort and an
ambulance for the purpose.  I invited them to take dinner with our
mess, and we naturally ran into a general conversation about
politics and the devastation and ruin caused by the war.  They had
seen a part of the country over which the army had passed, and
could easily apply its measure of desolation to the remainder of
the State, if necessity should compel us to go ahead.

Mr. Hill resided at Madison, on the main road to Augusta, and
seemed to realize fully the danger; said that further resistance on
the part of the South was madness, that he hoped Governor Brown, of
Georgia, would so proclaim it, and withdraw his people from the
rebellion, in pursuance of what was known as the policy of
"separate State action."  I told him, if he saw Governor Brown, to
describe to him fully what he had seen, and to say that if he
remained inert, I would be compelled to go ahead, devastating the
State in its whole length and breadth; that there was no adequate
force to stop us, etc.; but if he would issue his proclamation
withdrawing his State troops from the armies of the Confederacy, I
would spare the State, and in our passage across it confine the
troops to the main roads, and would, moreover, pay for all the corn
and food we needed.  I also told Mr. Hill that he might, in my
name, invite Governor Brown to visit Atlanta; that I would give him
a safeguard, and that if he wanted to make a speech, I would
guarantee him as full and respectable an audience as any he had
ever spoken to.  I believe that Mr. Hill, after reaching his home
at Madison, went to Milledgeville, the capital of the State, and
delivered the message to Governor Brown.  I had also sent similar
messages by Judge Wright of Rome, Georgia, and by Mr. King, of
Marietta.  On the 15th of September I telegraphed to General
Halleck as follows:

My report is done, and will be forwarded as soon as I get in a few
more of the subordinate reports.  I am awaiting a courier from
General Grant.  All well; the troops are in good, healthy camps,
and supplies are coming forward finely.  Governor Brown has
disbanded his militia, to gather the corn and sorghum of the State.
I have reason to believe that he and Stephens want to visit me, and
have sent them hearty invitation.  I will exchange two thousand
prisoners with Hood, but no more.

Governor Brown's action at that time is fully explained by the
following letter, since made public, which was then only known to
us in part by hearsay:

MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA, September 10, 1864

General J. B. HOOD, commanding army of Tennessee.

GENERAL: As the militia of the State were called out for the
defense of Atlanta during the campaign against it, which has
terminated by the fall of the city into the hands of the enemy, and
as many of these left their homes without preparation (expecting to
be gone but a few weeks), who have remained in service over three
months (most of the time in the trenches), justice requires that
they be permitted, while the enemy are preparing for the winter
campaign, to return to their homes, and look for a time after
important interests, and prepare themselves for such service as may
be required when another campaign commences against other important
points in the State.  I therefore hereby withdraw said organization
from your command .  .  .  .


This militia had composed a division under command of Major-General
Gustavus W.  Smith, and were thus dispersed to their homes, to
gather the corn and sorghum, then ripe and ready for the

On the 17th I received by telegraph from President Lincoln this

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 17, 1864

Major-General SHERMAN:

I feel great interest in the subjects of your dispatch, mentioning
corn and sorghum, and the contemplated visit to you.

A. LINCOLN, President of the United States.

I replied at once:

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 17, 1864.

President LINCOLN, Washington., D. C.:

I will keep the department fully advised of all developments
connected with the subject in which you feel interested.

Mr. Wright, former member of Congress from Rome, Georgia, and Mr.
King, of Marietta, are now going between Governor Brown and myself.
I have said to them that some of the people of Georgia are engaged
in rebellion, began in error and perpetuated in pride, but that
Georgia can now save herself from the devastations of war preparing
for her, only by withdrawing her quota out of the Confederate Army,
and aiding me to expel Hood from the borders of the State; in which
event, instead of desolating the land as we progress, I will keep
our men to the high-roads and commons, and pay for the corn and
meat we need and take.

I am fully conscious of the delicate nature of such assertions, but
it would be a magnificent stroke of policy if we could, without
surrendering principle or a foot of ground, arouse the latent
enmity of Georgia against Davis.

The people do not hesitate to say that Mr. Stephens was and is a
Union man at heart; and they say that Davis will not trust him or
let him have a share in his Government.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

I have not the least doubt that Governor Brown, at that time,
seriously entertained the proposition; but he hardly felt ready to
act, and simply gave a furlough to the militia, and called a
special session of the Legislature, to meet at Milledgeville, to
take into consideration the critical condition of affairs in the

On the 20th of September Colonel Horace Porter arrived from General
Grant, at City Point, bringing me the letter of September 12th,
asking my general views as to what should next be done.  He staid
several days at Atlanta, and on his return carried back to
Washington my full reports of the past campaign, and my letter of
September 20th to General Grant in answer to his of the 12th.

About this time we detected signs of activity on the part of the
enemy.  On the 21st Hood shifted his army across from the Mason
road, at Lovejoy's, to the West Point road, at Palmetto Station,
and his cavalry appeared on the west side of the Chattahoochee,
toward Powder Springs; thus, as it were, stepping aside, and
opening wide the door for us to enter Central Georgia.  I inferred,
however, that his real purpose was to assume the offensive against
our railroads, and on the 24th a heavy force of cavalry from
Mississippi, under General Forrest, made its appearance at Athena,
Alabama, and captured its garrison.

General Newton's division (of the Fourth Corps), and Corse's (of
the Seventeenth), were sent back by rail, the former to
Chattanooga, and the latter to Rome.  On the 25th I telegraphed to
General Halleck:

Hood seems to be moving, as it were, to the Alabama line, leaving
open the road to Mason, as also to Augusta; but his cavalry is busy
on all our roads.  A force, number estimated as high as eight
thousand, are reported to have captured Athena, Alabama; and a
regiment of three hundred and fifty men sent to its relief.  I have
sent Newton's division up to Chattanooga in cars, and will send
another division to Rome.  If I were sure that Savannah would soon
be in our possession, I should be tempted to march for
Milledgeville and Augusta; but I must first secure what I have.
Jeff. Davis is at Macon.

On the next day I telegraphed further that Jeff. Davis was with
Hood at Palmetto Station.  One of our spies was there at the time,
who came in the next night, and reported to me the substance of his
speech to the soldiers.  It was a repetition of those he had made
at Colombia, South Carolina, and Mason, Georgia, on his way out,
which I had seen in the newspapers.  Davis seemed to be perfectly
upset by the fall of Atlanta, and to have lost all sense and
reason.  He denounced General Jos. Johnston and Governor Brown as
little better than traitors; attributed to them personally the many
misfortunes which had befallen their cause, and informed the
soldiers that now the tables were to be turned; that General
Forrest was already on our roads in Middle Tennessee; and that
Hood's army would soon be there.  He asserted that the Yankee army
would have to retreat or starve, and that the retreat would prove
more disastrous than was that of Napoleon from Moscow.  He promised
his Tennessee and Kentucky soldiers that their feet should soon
tread their "native soil," etc., etc.  He made no concealment of
these vainglorious boasts, and thus gave us the full key to his
future designs.  To be forewarned was to be forearmed, and I think
we took full advantage of the occasion.

On the 26th I received this dispatch.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA,September 26,1864-10 a.m.

Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta
It will be better to drive Forrest out of Middle Tennessee as a
first step, and do any thing else you may feel your force
sufficient for.  When a movement is made on any part of the
sea-coast, I will advise you.  If Hood goes to the Alabama line,
will it not be impossible for him to subsist his army?
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 26, 1864.

GENERAL: I have your dispatch of to-day. I have already sent one
division (Newton's) to Chattanooga, and another (Corse's) to Rome.

Our armies are much reduced, and if I send back any more, I will
not be able to threaten Georgia much.  There are men enough to the
rear to whip Forrest, but they are necessarily scattered to defend
the roads.

Can you expedite the sending to Nashville of the recruits that are
in Indiana and Ohio? They could occupy the forts.

Hood is now on the West Point road, twenty-four miles south of
this, and draws his supplies by that road.  Jefferson Davis is
there to-day, and superhuman efforts will be made to break my road.

Forrest is now lieutenant-general, and commands all the enemy's

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

General Grant first thought I was in error in supposing that Jeff.
Davis was at Macon and Palmetto, but on the 27th I received a
printed copy of his speech made at Macon on the 22d, which was so
significant that I ordered it to be telegraphed entire as far as
Louisville, to be sent thence by mail to Washington, and on the
same day received this dispatch:

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 27, 1864-9 a.m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta:
You say Jeff Davis is on a visit to General Hood.  I judge that
Brown and Stephens are the objects of his visit.
A. LINCOLN, President of the United States.

To which I replied:

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 28, 1864.

President LINCOLN, Washington, D. C.:

I have positive knowledge that Mr. Davis made a speech at Macon, on
the 22d, which I mailed to General Halleck yesterday.  It was
bitter against General Jos. Johnston and Governor Brown.  The
militia are on furlough.  Brown is at Milledgeville, trying to get
a Legislature to meet next month, but he is afraid to act unless in
concert with other Governors, Judge Wright, of Rome, has been here,
and Messrs. Hill and Nelson, former members of Congress, are here
now, and will go to meet Wright at Rome, and then go back to
Madison and Milledgeville.

Great efforts are being made to reenforce Hood's army, and to break
up my railroads, and I should have at once a good reserve force at
Nashville.  It would have a bad effect, if I were forced to send
back any considerable part of my army to guard roads, so as to
weaken me to an extent that I could not act offensively if the
occasion calls for it.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

All this time Hood and I were carrying on the foregoing
correspondence relating to the exchange of prisoners, the removal
of the people from Atlanta, and the relief of our prisoners of war
at Andersonville.  Notwithstanding the severity of their
imprisonment, some of these men escaped from Andersonville, and got
to me at Atlanta.  They described their sad condition: more than
twenty-five thousand prisoners confined in a stockade designed for
only ten thousand; debarred the privilege of gathering wood out of
which to make huts; deprived of sufficient healthy food, and the
little stream that ran through their prison pen poisoned and
polluted by the offal from their cooking and butchering houses
above.  On the 22d of September I wrote to General Hood, describing
the condition of our men at Andersonville, purposely refraining
from casting odium on him or his associates for the treatment of
these men, but asking his consent for me to procure from our
generous friends at the North the articles of clothing and comfort
which they wanted, viz., under-clothing, soap, combs, scissors,
etc.--all needed to keep them in health--and to send these stores
with a train, and an officer to issue them.  General Hood, on the
24th, promptly consented, and I telegraphed to my friend Mr. James
E. Yeatman, Vice-President of the Sanitary Commission at St. Louis,
to send us all the under-clothing and soap he could spare,
specifying twelve hundred fine-tooth combs, and four hundred pairs
of shears to cut hair.  These articles indicate the plague that
most afflicted our prisoners at Andersonville.

Mr. Yeatman promptly responded to my request, expressed the
articles, but they did not reach Andersonville in time, for the
prisoners were soon after removed; these supplies did, however,
finally overtake them at Jacksonville, Florida, just before the war

On the 28th I received from General Grant two dispatches

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA; September 27, 1864-8.30 a.m.
Major-General SHERMAN:
It is evident, from the tone of the Richmond press and from other
sources of information, that the enemy intend making a desperate
effort to drive you from where you are.  I have directed all new
troops from the West, and from the East too, if necessary, in case
none are ready in the West, to be sent to you.  If General
Burbridge is not too far on his way to Abingdon, I think he had
better be recalled and his surplus troops sent into Tennessee.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA; September 27, 1864-10.30 a.m.
Major-General SHERMAN:
I have directed all recruits and new troops from all the Western
States to be sent to Nashville, to receive their further orders
from you.  I was mistaken about Jeff. Davis being in Richmond on
Thursday last.  He was then on his way to Macon.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Forrest having already made his appearance in Middle Tennessee, and
Hood evidently edging off in that direction, satisfied me that the
general movement against our roads had begun.  I therefore
determined to send General Thomas back to Chattanooga, with another
division (Morgan's, of the Fourteenth Corps), to meet the danger in
Tennessee.  General Thomas went up on the 29th, and Morgan's
division followed the same day, also by rail.  And I telegraphed to
General Halleck

I take it for granted that Forrest will cut our road, but think we
can prevent him from making a serious lodgment.  His cavalry will
travel a hundred miles where ours will ten.  I have sent two
divisions up to Chattanooga and one to Rome, and General Thomas
started to-day to drive Forrest out of Tennessee.  Our roads should
be watched from the rear, and I am glad that General Grant has
ordered reserves to Nashville.  I prefer for the future to make the
movement on Milledgeville, Millen, and Savannah.  Hood now rests
twenty-four miles south, on the Chattahoochee, with his right on
the West Point road.  He is removing the iron of the Macon road.  I
can whip his infantry, but his cavalry is to be feared.

There was great difficulty in obtaining correct information about
Hood's movements from Palmetto Station.  I could not get spies to
penetrate his camps, but on the 1st of October I was satisfied that
the bulk of his infantry was at and across the Chattahoochee River,
near Campbellton, and that his cavalry was on the west side, at
Powder Springs.  On that day I telegraphed to General Grant:

Hood is evidently across the Chattahoochee, below Sweetwater.  If
he tries to get on our road, this side of the Etowah, I shall
attack him; but if he goes to the Selma & Talladega road, why will
it not do to leave Tennessee to the forces which Thomas has, and
the reserves soon to come to Nashville, and for me to destroy
Atlanta and march across Georgia to Savannah or Charleston,
breaking roads and doing irreparable damage? We cannot remain on
the defensive.

The Selma & Talladega road herein referred to was an unfinished
railroad from Selma, Alabama, through Talladega, to Blue Mountain,
a terminus sixty-five miles southwest of Rome and about fifteen
miles southeast of Gadsden, where the rebel army could be supplied
from the direction of Montgomery and Mobile, and from which point
Hood could easily threaten Middle Tennessee.  My first impression
was, that Hood would make for that point; but by the 3d of October
the indications were that he would strike our railroad nearer us,
viz., about Kingston or Marietta.

Orders were at once made for the Twentieth Corps (Slocum's) to hold
Atlanta and the bridges of the Chattahoochee, and the other corps
were put in motion for Marietta.

The army had undergone many changes since the capture of Atlanta.
General Schofield had gone to the rear, leaving General J. D. Cog
in command of the Army of the Ohio (Twenty-third Corps).  General
Thomas, also, had been dispatched to Chattanooga, with Newton's
division of the Fourth Corps and Morgan's of the Fourteenth Corps,
leaving General D. S. Stanley, the senior major-general of the two
corps of his Army of the Cumberland, remaining and available for
this movement, viz., the Fourth and Fourteenth, commanded by
himself and Major-General Jeff. C. Davis; and after General Dodge
was wounded, his corps (the Sixteenth) had been broken up, and its
two divisions were added to the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps,
constituting the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Major-General
O. O. Howard.  Generals Logan and Blair had gone home to assist in
the political canvass, leaving their corps, viz., the Fifteenth and
Seventeenth, under the command of Major-Generals Osterhaus and T.
E. G. Ransom.

These five corps were very much reduced in strength, by detachments
and by discharges, so that for the purpose of fighting Hood I had
only about sixty thousand infantry and artillery, with two small
divisions of cavalry (Kilpatrick's and Garrard's).  General Elliott
was the chief of cavalry to the Army of the Cumberland, and was the
senior officer of that arm of service present for duty with me.

We had strong railroad guards at Marietta and Kenesaw, Allatoona,
Etowah Bridge, Kingston, Rome, Resaca, Dalton, Ringgold, and
Chattanooga.  All the important bridges were likewise protected by
good block-houses, admirably constructed, and capable of a strong
defense against cavalry or infantry; and at nearly all the regular
railroad-stations we had smaller detachments intrenched.  I had
little fear of the enemy's cavalry damaging our roads seriously,
for they rarely made a break which could not be repaired in a few
days; but it was absolutely necessary to keep General Hood's
infantry off our main route of communication and supply.  Forrest
had with him in Middle Tennessee about eight thousand cavalry, and
Hood's army was estimated at from thirty-five to forty thousand
men, infantry and artillery, including Wheeler's cavalry, then
about three thousand strong.

We crossed the Chattahoochee River during the 3d and 4th of
October, rendezvoused at the old battle-field of Smyrna Camp, and
the next day reached Marietta and Kenesaw.  The telegraph-wires had
been cut above Marietta, and learning that heavy masses of
infantry, artillery, and cavalry, had been seen from Kenesaw
(marching north), I inferred that Allatoona was their objective
point; and on the 4th of October I signaled from Mining's Station
to Kenesaw, and from Kenesaw to Allatoona, over the heads of the
enemy, a message for General Corse, at Rome, to hurry back to the
assistance of the garrison at Allatoona.  Allatoona was held by, a
small brigade, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Tourtellotte, my
present aide-de-camp.  He had two small redoubts on either side of
the railroad, overlooking the village of Allatoona, and the
warehouses, in which were stored over a million rations of bread.

Reaching Kenesaw Mountain about 8 a.m. of October 5th (a beautiful
day), I had a superb view of the vast panorama to the north and
west.  To the southwest, about Dallas, could be seen the smoke of
camp-fires, indicating the presence of a large force of the enemy,
and the whole line of railroad from Big Shanty up to Allatoona
(full fifteen miles) was marked by the fires of the burning
railroad.  We could plainly see the smoke of battle about,
Allatoona, and hear the faint reverberation of the cannon.

From Kenesaw I ordered the Twenty-third Corps (General Cox) to
march due west on the Burnt Hickory road, and to burn houses or
piles of brush as it progressed, to indicate the head of column,
hoping to interpose this corps between Hood's main army at Dallas
and the detachment then assailing Allatoona.  The rest of the army
was directed straight for Allatoona, northwest, distant eighteen
miles.  The signal-officer on Kenesaw reported that since daylight
he had failed to obtain any answer to his call for Allatoona; but,
while I was with him, he caught a faint glimpse of the tell-tale
flag through an embrasure, and after much time he made out these
letters-" C.," "R.," "S.," "E.," "H.," "E.," "R.," and translated
the message--"Corse is here."  It was a source of great relief, for
it gave me the first assurance that General Corse had received his
orders, and that the place was adequately garrisoned.

I watched with painful suspense the indications of the battle
raging there, and was dreadfully impatient at the slow progress of
the relieving column, whose advance was marked by the smokes which
were made according to orders, but about 2 p.m.  I noticed with
satisfaction that the smoke of battle about Allatoona grew less and
less, and ceased altogether about 4 p.m.  For a time I attributed
this result to the effect of General Cog's march, but later in the
afternoon the signal-flag announced the welcome tidings that the
attack had been fairly repulsed, but that General Corse was
wounded.  The next day my aide, Colonel Dayton, received this
characteristic dispatch:

ALLATOONA, GEORGIA, October 6, 1884-2 P.M.
Captain L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp:
I am short a cheek-bone and an ear, but am able to whip all h--l
yet!  My losses are very heavy.  A force moving from Stilesboro' to
Kingston gives me some anxiety.  Tell me where Sherman is.
JOHN M. CORSE, Brigadier-General.

Inasmuch as the enemy had retreated southwest, and would probably
next appear at Rome, I answered General Corse with orders to get
back to Rome with his troops as quickly as possible.

General Corse's report of this fight at Allatoona is very full and
graphic.  It is dated Rome, October 27, 1864; recites the fact that
he received his orders by signal to go to the assistance of
Allatoona on the 4th, when he telegraphed to Kingston for cars, and
a train of thirty empty cars was started for him, but about ten of
them got off the track and caused delay.  By 7 p.m. he had at Rome
a train of twenty cars, which he loaded up with Colonel Rowett's
brigade, and part of the Twelfth Illinois Infantry; started at 8
p.m., reached  Allatoona (distant thirty-five miles) at 1 a.m.  of
the 5th, and sent the train back for more men; but the road was in
bad order, and no more men came in time.  He found Colonel
Tourtellotte's garrison composed of eight hundred and ninety men;
his reenforcement was one thousand and fifty-four: total for the
defense, nineteen hundred and forty-four.  The outposts were
already engaged, and as soon as daylight came he drew back the men
from the village to the ridge on which the redoubts were built.

The enemy was composed of French's division of three brigades,
variously reported from four to five thousand strong.  This force
gradually surrounded the place by 8 a.m., when General French sent
in by flag of truce this note:

AROUND ALLATOONA, October 5, 1884.

Commanding Officer, United States Forces, Allatoona:

I have placed the forces under my command in such positions that
you are surrounded, and to avoid a needless effusion of blood I
call on you to surrender your forces at once, and unconditionally.

Five minutes will be allowed you to decide.  Should you accede to
this, you will be treated in the most honorable manner as prisoners
of war.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully yours,

Major-General commanding forces Confederate States.

General Corse answered immediately:

ALLATOONA, GEORGIA, October 5, 1864.

Major-General S. G. FRENCH, Confederate States, etc:

Your communication demanding surrender of my command I acknowledge
receipt of, and respectfully reply that we are prepared for the
"needless effusion of blood" whenever it is agreeable to you.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General commanding forces United States.

Of course the attack began at once, coming from front, flank, and
rear.  There were two small redoubts, with slight parapets and
ditches, one on each side of the deep railroad-cut.  These redoubts
had been located by Colonel Poe, United States Engineers, at the
time of our advance on Kenesaw, the previous June.  Each redoubt
overlooked the storehouses close by the railroad, and each could
aid the other defensively by catching in flank the attacking force
of the other.  Our troops at first endeavored to hold some ground
outside the redoubts, but were soon driven inside, when the enemy
made repeated assaults, but were always driven back.  About 11 a.m.,
Colonel Redfield, of the Thirty-ninth Iowa, was killed, and Colonel
Rowett was wounded, but never ceased to fight and encourage his
men.  Colonel Tourtellotte was shot through the hips, but continued
to command.  General Corse was, at 1 p.m., shot across the face,
the ball cutting his ear, which stunned him, but he continued to
encourage his men and to give orders.  The enemy (about 1.30 p.m.)
made a last and desperate effort to carry one of the redoubts, but
was badly cut to pieces by the artillery and infantry fire from the
other, when he began to draw off, leaving his dead and wounded on
the ground.

Before finally withdrawing, General French converged a heavy fire
of his cannon on the block-house at Allatoona Creek, about two
miles from the depot, set it on fire, and captured its garrison,
consisting of four officers and eighty-five men.  By 4 p.m.  he was
in full retreat south, on the Dallas road, and got by before the
head of General Cox's column had reached it; still several
ambulances and stragglers were picked up by this command on that
road.  General Corse reported two hundred and thirty-one rebel
dead, four hundred and eleven prisoners, three regimental colors,
and eight hundred muskets captured.

Among the prisoners was a Brigadier-General Young, who thought that
French's aggregate loss would reach two thousand.  Colonel
Tourtellotte says that, for days after General Corse had returned
to Rome, his men found and buried at least a hundred more dead
rebels, who had doubtless been wounded, and died in the woods near
Allatoona.  I know that when I reached Allatoona, on the 9th, I saw
a good many dead men, which had been collected for burial.

Corse's entire loss, officially reported, was:

        Killed.    Wounded.    Missing.     Total.
         142         353         212         707

I esteemed this defense of Allatoona so handsome and important,
that I made it the subject of a general order, viz., No. 86, of
October 7, 1864:

The general commanding avails himself of the opportunity, in the
handsome defense made of Allatoona, to illustrate the most
important principle in war, that fortified posts should be defended
to the last, regardless of the relative numbers of the party
attacking and attacked .  .  .  .  The thanks of this army are due
and are hereby accorded to General Corse, Colonel Tourtellotte,
Colonel Rowett, officers, and men, for their determined and gallant
defense of Allatoona, and it is made an example to illustrate the
importance of preparing in time, and meeting the danger, when
present, boldly, manfully, and well.

Commanders and garrisons of the posts along our railroad are hereby
instructed that they must hold their posts to the last minute, sure
that the time gained is valuable and necessary to their comrades at
the front.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,
L.  M.  DAYTON, Aide-A-Camp.

The rebels had struck our railroad a heavy blow, burning every tie,
bending the rails for eight miles, from Big Shanty to above
Acworth, so that the estimate for repairs called for thirty-five
thousand new ties, and six miles of iron.  Ten thousand men were
distributed along the break to replace the ties, and to prepare the
road-bed, while the regular repair-party, under Colonel W. W.
Wright, came down from Chattanooga with iron, spikes, etc., and in
about seven days the road was all right again.  It was by such acts
of extraordinary energy that we discouraged our adversaries, for
the rebel soldiers felt that it was a waste of labor for them to
march hurriedly, on wide circuits, day and night, to burn a bridge
and tear up a mile or so of track, when they knew that we could lay
it back so quickly.  They supposed that we had men and money
without limit, and that we always kept on hand, distributed along
the road, duplicates of every bridge and culvert of any importance.

A good story is told of one who was on Kenesaw Mountain during our
advance in the previous June or July.  A group of rebels lay in the
shade of a tree, one hot day, overlooking our camps about Big
Shanty.  One soldier remarked to his fellows:

"Well, the Yanks will have to git up and git now, for I heard
General Johnston himself say that General Wheeler had blown up the
tunnel near Dalton, and that the Yanks would have to retreat,
because they could get no more rations."

"Oh, hell!" said a listener, "don't you know that old Sherman
carries a duplicate tunnel along?"

After the war was over, General Johnston inquired of me who was our
chief railroad-engineer.  When I told him that it was Colonel W. W.
Wright, a civilian, he was much surprised, said that our feats of
bridge-building and repairs of roads had excited his admiration;
and he instanced the occasion at Kenesaw in June, when an officer
from Wheeler's cavalry had reported to him in person that he had
come from General Wheeler, who had made a bad break in our road
about Triton Station, which he said would take at least a fortnight
to repair; and, while they were talking, a train was seen coming
down the road which had passed that very break, and had reached me
at Big Shanty as soon as the fleet horseman had reached him
(General Johnston) at Marietta

I doubt whether the history of war can furnish more examples of
skill and bravery than attended the defense of the railroad from
Nashville to Atlanta during the year 1864.

In person I reached Allatoona on the 9th of October, still in doubt
as to Hood's immediate intentions.  Our cavalry could do little
against his infantry in the rough and wooded country about Dallas,
which masked the enemy's movements; but General Corse, at Rome,
with Spencer's First Alabama Cavalry and a mounted regiment of
Illinois Infantry, could feel the country south of Rome about
Cedartown and Villa Rica; and reported the enemy to be in force at
both places.  On the 9th I telegraphed to General Thomas, at
Nashville, as follows:

I came up here to relieve our road.  The Twentieth Corps remains at
Atlanta.  Hood reached the road and broke it up between Big Shanty
and Acworth.  He attacked Allatoona, but was repulsed.  We have
plenty of bread and meat, but forage is scarce.  I want to destroy
all the road below Chattanooga, including Atlanta, and to make for
the sea-coast. We cannot defend this long line of road.

And on the same day I telegraphed to General Grant, at City Point:

It will be a physical impossibility to protect the roads, now that
Hood, Forrest, Wheeler, and the whole batch of devils, are turned
loose without home or habitation.  I think Hood's movements
indicate a diversion to the end of the Selma & Talladega road, at
Blue Mountain, about sixty miles southwest of Rome, from which he
will threaten Kingston, Bridgeport, and Decatur, Alabama.  I
propose that we break up the railroad from Ohattanooga forward, and
that we strike out with our wagons for Milledgeville, Millen, and
Savannah.  Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless for us to
occupy it; but the utter destruction of its roads, houses, and
people, will cripple their military resources.  By attempting to
hold the roads, we will lose a thousand men each month, and will
gain no result.  I can make this march, and make Georgia howl!  We
have on hand over eight thousand head of cattle and three million
rations of bread, but no corn.  We can find plenty of forage in the
interior of the State.

Meantime the rebel General Forrest had made a bold circuit in
Middle Tennessee, avoiding all fortified points, and breaking up
the railroad at several places; but, as usual, he did his work so
hastily and carelessly that our engineers soon repaired the
damage--then, retreating before General Rousseau, he left the State
of Tennessee, crossing the river near Florence, Alabama, and got
off unharmed.

On the 10th of October the enemy appeared south of the Etowah River
at Rome, when I ordered all the armies to march to Kingston, rode
myself to Cartersville with the Twenty-third Corps (General Cox),
and telegraphed from there to General Thomas at Nashville:

It looks to me as though Hood was bound for Tuscumbia.  He is now
crossing the Coosa River below Rome, looking west. Let me know if
you can hold him with your forces now in Tennessee and the expected
reenforeements, as, in that event, you know what I propose to do.

I will be at Kingston to-morrow.  I think Rome is strong enough to
resist any attack, and the rivers are all high. If he turns up by
Summerville, I will get in behind him.

And on the same day to General Grant, at City Point:

Hood is now crossing the Coosa, twelve miles below Rome, bound
west. If he passes over to the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, had I not
better execute the plan of my letter sent you by Colonel Porter,
and leave General Thomas, with the troops now in Tennessee, to
defend the State? He will have an ample force when the
reenforcements ordered reach Nashville.

I found General John E.  Smith at Cartersville, and on the 11th
rode on to Kingston, where I had telegraphic communications in all

From General Corse, at Rome, I learned that Hood's army had
disappeared, but in what direction he was still in doubt; and I was
so strongly convinced of the wisdom of my proposition to change the
whole tactics of the campaign, to leave Hood to General Thomas, and
to march across Georgia for Savannah or Charleston, that I again
telegraphed to General Grant:

We cannot now remain on the defensive.  With twenty-five thousand
infantry and the bold cavalry he has, Hood can constantly break my
road.  I would infinitely prefer to make a wreck of the road and of
the country from Chattanooga to Atlanta, including the latter city;
send back all my wounded and unserviceable men, and with my
effective army move through Georgia, smashing things to the sea.
Hood may turn into Tennessee and Kentucky, but I believe he will be
forced to follow me.  Instead of being on the defensive, I will be
on the offensive.  Instead of my guessing at what he means to do,
he will have to guess at my plans.  The difference in war would be
fully twenty-five per pent.  I can make Savannah, Charleston, or
the month of the Chattahoochee (Appalachicola).  Answer quick, as I
know we will not have the telegraph long.

I received no answer to this at the time, and the next day went on
to Rome, where the news came that Hood had made his appearance at
Resaca, and had demanded the surrender of the place, which was
commanded by Colonel Weaver, reenforced by Brevet Brigadier-General
Raum.  General Hood had evidently marched with rapidity up the
Chattooga Valley, by Summerville, Lafayette, Ship's Gap, and
Snake-Creek Gap, and had with him his whole army, except a small
force left behind to watch Rome.  I ordered Resaca to be further
reenforced by rail from Kingston, and ordered General Cox to make a
bold reconnoissance down the Coosa Valley, which captured and
brought into Rome some cavalrymen and a couple of field-guns, with
their horses and men.  At first I thought of interposing my whole
army in the Chattooga Valley, so as to prevent Hood's escape south;
but I saw at a glance that he did not mean to fight, and in that
event, after damaging the road all he could, he would be likely to
retreat eastward by Spring Place, which I did not want him to do;
and, hearing from General Raum that he still held Resaca safe, and
that General Edward McCook had also got there with some cavalry
reenforcements, I turned all the heads of columns for Resaca, viz.,
General Cox's, from Rome; General Stanley's, from McGuire's; and
General Howard's, from Kingston.  We all reached Resaca during that
night, and the next morning (13th) learned that Hood's whole army
had passed up the valley toward Dalton, burning the railroad and
doing all the damage possible.

On the 12th he had demanded the surrender of Resaca in the
following letter:

IN THE FIELD, October 12,1861.

To the officer commanding the United Stales Forces at Resaca,

SIR: I demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of the post
and garrison under your command, and, should this be acceded to,
all white officers and soldiers will be parolled in a few days.  If
the place is carried by assault, no prisoners will be taken.  Most
respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.  B.  HOOD, General.

To this Colonel Weaver, then in command, replied:

RESACA, GEORGIA,  October 12, 1884.

To General J. B. HOOD

Your communication of this date just received.  In reply, I have to
state that I am somewhat surprised at the concluding paragraph, to
the effect that, if the place is carried by assault, no prisoners
will be taken.  In my opinion I can hold this post. If you want it,
come and take it.

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

CLARK R. WEAVER, Commanding Officer.

This brigade  was very small, and as Hood's investment extended
only from the Oostenaula, below the town, to the Connesauga above,
he left open the approach from the south, which enabled General
Raum and the cavalry of Generals McCook and Watkins to reenforce
from Kingston.  In fact, Hood, admonished by his losses at
Allatoona, did not attempt an assault at all, but limited his
attack to the above threat, and to some skirmishing, giving his
attention chiefly to the destruction of the railroad, which he
accomplished all the way up to Tunnel Hill, nearly twenty miles,
capturing en route the regiment of black troops at Dalton
(Johnson's Forty-fourth United States colored).  On the 14th, I
turned General Howard through Snake-Creek Gap, and sent General
Stanley around by Tilton, with orders to cross the mountain to the
west, so as to capture, if possible, the force left by the enemy in
Snake-Creek Gap.  We found this gap very badly obstructed by fallen
timber, but got through that night, and the next day the main army
was at Villanow.  On the morning of the 16th, the leading division
of General Howard's column, commanded by General Charles R. Woods,
carried Ship's Gap, taking prisoners part of the Twenty-fourth
South Carolina Regiment, which had been left there to hold us in

The best information there obtained located Hood's army at
Lafayette, near which place I hoped to catch him and force him to
battle; but, by the time we had got enough troops across the
mountain at Ship's Gap, Hood had escaped down the valley of the
Chattooga, and all we could do was to follow him as closely as
possible.  From Ship's Gap I dispatched couriers to Chattanooga,
and received word back that General Schofield was there,
endeavoring to cooperate with me, but Hood had broken up the
telegraph, and thus had prevented quick communication.  General
Schofield did not reach me till the army had got down to
Gaylesville, about the 21st of October.

It was at Ship's Gap that a courier brought me the cipher message
from General Halleck which intimated that the authorities in
Washington were willing I should undertake the march across Georgia
to the sea.  The translated dispatch named "Horse-i-bar Sound" as
the point where the fleet would await my arrival.  After much time
I construed it to mean, "Ossabaw Sound," below Savannah, which was

On the 16th I telegraphed to General Thomas, at Nashville:

Send me Morgan's and Newton's old divisions.  Reestablish the road,
and I will follow Hood wherever he may go.  I think he will move to
Blue Mountain.  We can maintain our men and animals on the country.

General Thomas's reply was:

NASHVILLE, October 17, 1864--10.30 a.m.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Your dispatch from Ship's Gap, 5 p.m. of the 16th, just received.
Schofield, whom I placed in command of the two divisions (Wagner's
and Morgan's), was to move up Lookout Valley this A.M., to
intercept Hood, should he be marching for Bridgeport.  I will order
him to join you with the two divisions, and will reconstruct the
road as soon as possible.  Will also reorganize the guards for
posts and block-houses ....  Mower and Wilson have arrived, and are
on their way to join you.  I hope you will adopt Grant's idea of
turning Wilson loose, rather than undertake the plan of a march
with the whole force through Georgia to the sea, inasmuch as
General Grant cannot cooperate with you as at first arranged.

GEORGE H.  THOMAS, Major-General.

So it is clear that at that date neither General Grant nor General
Thomas heartily favored my proposed plan of campaign.  On the same
day, I wrote to General Schofield at Chattanooga:

Hood is not at Dear Head Cove.  We occupy Ship's Gap and Lafayette.
Hood is moving south via Summerville, Alpine, and Gadsden.  If he
enters Tennessee, it will be to the west of Huntsville, but I think
he has given up all such idea.  I want the road repaired to
Atlanta; the sick and wounded men sent north of the Tennessee; my
army recomposed; and I will then make the interior of Georgia feel
the weight of war.  It is folly for us to be moving our armies on
the reports of scouts and citizens.  We must maintain the
offensive.  Your first move on Trenton and Valley Head was right
--the move to defend Caperton's Ferry is wrong.  Notify General
Thomas of these my views.  We must follow Hood till he is beyond
the reach of mischief, and then resume the offensive.

The correspondence between me and the authorities at Washington, as
well as with the several army commanders, given at length in the
report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, is full on all
these points.

After striking our road at Dalton, Hood was compelled to go on to
Chattanooga and Bridgeport, or to pass around by Decatur and
abandon altogether his attempt to make us let go our hold of
Atlanta by attacking our communications.  It was clear to me that
he had no intention to meet us in open battle, and the lightness
and celerity of his army convinced me that I could not possibly
catch him on a stern-chase.  We therefore quietly followed him down
the Chattooga Valley to the neighborhood of Gadsden, but halted the
main armies near the Coosa River, at the mouth of the Chattooga,
drawing our supplies of corn and meat from the farms of that
comparatively rich valley and of the neighborhood.

General Slocum, in Atlanta, had likewise sent out, under strong
escort, large trains of wagons to the east, and brought back corn,
bacon, and all kinds of provisions, so that Hood's efforts to cut
off our supplies only reacted on his own people.  So long as the
railroads were in good order, our supplies came full and regular
from the North; but when the enemy broke our railroads we were
perfectly justified in stripping the inhabitants of all they had.
I remember well the appeal of a very respectable farmer against our
men driving away his fine flock of sheep.  I explained to him that
General Hood had broken our railroad; that we were a strong, hungry
crowd, and needed plenty of food; that Uncle Sam was deeply
interested in our continued health and would soon repair these
roads, but meantime we must eat; we preferred Illinois beef, but
mutton would have to answer.  Poor fellow!  I don't believe he was
convinced of the wisdom or wit of my explanation.  Very soon after
reaching Lafayette we organized a line of supply from Chattanooga
to Ringgold by rail, and thence by wagons to our camps about
Gaylesville.  Meantime, also, Hood had reached the neighborhood of
Gadsden, and drew his supplies from the railroad at Blue Mountain.

On the 19th of October I telegraphed to General Halleck, at

Hood has retreated rapidly by all the roads leading south.  Our
advance columns are now at Alpine and Melville Post-Office.  I
shall pursue him as far as Gaylesville.  The enemy will not venture
toward Tennessee except around by Decatur.  I propose to send the
Fourth Corps back to General Thomas, and leave him, with that
corps, the garrisons, and new troops, to defend the line of the
Tennessee River; and with the rest I will push into the heart of
Georgia and come out at Savannah, destroying all the railroads of
the State.  The break in our railroad at Big Shanty is almost
repaired, and that about Dalton should be done in ten days.  We
find abundance of forage in the country.

On the same day I telegraphed to General L. C. Easton,
chief-quartermaster, who had been absent on a visit to Missouri,
but had got back to Chattanooga:

Go in person to superintend the repairs of the railroad, and make
all orders in my name that will expedite its completion.  I want it
finished, to bring back from Atlanta to Chattanooga the sick and
wounded men and surplus stores.  On the 1st of November I want
nothing in front of Chattanooga except what we can use as food and
clothing and haul in our wagons.  There is plenty of corn in the
country, and we only want forage for the posts.  I allow ten days
for all this to be done, by which time I expect to be at or near

I telegraphed also to General Amos Beckwith, chief-commissary in
Atlanta, who was acting as chief-quartermaster during the absence
of General Easton:

Hood will escape me.  I want to prepare for my big raid.  On the
1st of November I want nothing in Atlanta but what is necessary for
war.  Send all trash to the rear at once, and have on hand thirty
days' food and but little forage.  I propose to abandon Atlanta,
and the railroad back to Chattanooga, to sally forth to ruin
Georgia and bring up on the seashore.  Make all dispositions
accordingly.  I will go down the Coosa until I am sure that Hood
has gone to Blue Mountain.

On the 21st of October I reached Gaylesville, had my bivouac in an
open field back of the village, and remained there till the 28th.
During that time General Schofield arrived, with the two divisions
of Generals Wagner (formerly Newton's) and Morgan, which were
returned to their respective corps (the Fourth and Fourteenth), and
General Schofield resumed his own command of the Army of the Ohio,
then on the Coosa River, near Cedar Bluff.  General Joseph A. Mower
also arrived, and was assigned to command a division in the
Seventeenth Corps; and General J. H. Wilson came, having been sent
from Virginia by General Grant, for the purpose of commanding all
my cavalry.  I first intended to organize this cavalry into a corps
of three small divisions, to be commanded by General Wilson; but
the horses were well run down, and, at Wilson's instance, I
concluded to retain only one division of four thousand five hundred
men, with selected horses, under General Kilpatrick, and to send
General Wilson back with all the rest to Nashville, to be
reorganized and to act under General Thomas in the defense of
Tennessee.  Orders to this effect were made on the 24th of October.

General Grant, in designating General Wilson to command my cavalry,
predicted that he would, by his personal activity, increase the
effect of that arm "fifty per cent.," and he advised that he should
be sent south, to accomplish all that I had proposed to do with the
main army; but I had not so much faith in cavalry as he had, and
preferred to adhere to my original intention of going myself with a
competent force.

About this time I learned that General Beauregard had reached
Hood's army at Gadsden; that, without assuming direct command of
that army, he had authority from the Confederate Government to
direct all its movements, and to call to his assistance the whole
strength of the South.  His orders, on assuming command, were full
of alarm and desperation, dated:

October 17, 1864

In assuming command, at this critical juncture, of the Military
Division of the West, I appeal to my countrymen, of all classes and
sections, for their generous support.  In assigning me to this
responsible position, the President of the Confederate States has
extended to me the assurance of his earnest support.  The
Executives of your States meet me with similar expressions of their
devotion to our cause.  The noble army in the field, composed of
brave men and gallant officers, are strangers to me, but I know
they will do all that patriots can achieve.....

The army of Sherman still defiantly holds Atlanta.  He can and must
be driven from it.  It is only for the good people of Georgia and
surrounding states to speak the word, and the work is done, we have
abundant provisions.  There are men enough in the country, liable
to and able for service, to accomplish the result.....

My countrymen, respond to this call as you have done in days that
are past, and, with the blessing of a kind and overruling
Providence, the enemy shall be driven from your soil.  The security
of your wives and daughters from the insults and outrages of a
brutal foe shall be established soon, and be followed by a
permanent and honorable peace.  The claims of home and country,
wife and children, uniting with the demands of honor and
patriotism, summon us to the field.  We cannot, dare not, will not
fail to respond.  Full of hope and confidence, I come to join you
in your struggles, sharing your privations, and, with your brave
and true men, to strike the blow that shall bring success to our
arms, triumph to our cause, and peace to our country! . . .

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General.

Notwithstanding this somewhat boastful order or appeal, General
Beauregard did not actually accompany General Hood on his
disastrous march to Nashville, but took post at Corinth,
Mississippi, to control the movement of his supplies and to watch

At Gaylesville the pursuit of Hood by the army under my immediate
command may be said to have ceased.  During this pursuit, the
Fifteenth Corps was commanded by its senior major-general present,
P. J. Osterhaus, in the absence of General John A. Logan; and the
Seventeenth Corps was commanded by Brigadier-General T. E. G.
Ransom, the senior officer present, in the absence of General Frank
P.  Blair.

General Ransom was a young, most gallant, and promising officer,
son of the Colonel Ransom who was killed at Chapultepec, in the
Mexican War.  He had served with the Army of the Tennessee in 1862
and 1863, at Vicksburg, where he was severely wounded.  He was not
well at the time we started from Atlanta, but he insisted on going
along with his command.  His symptoms became more aggravated on the
march, and when we were encamped near Gaylesville, I visited him in
company with Surgeon John Moors, United States Army, who said that
the case was one of typhoid fever, which would likely prove fatal.
A few days after, viz., the 28th, he was being carried on a litter
toward Rome; and as I rode from Gaylesville to Rome, I passed him
by the way, stopped, and spoke with him, but did not then suppose
he was so near his end.  The next day, however, his escort reached
Rome, bearing his dead body.  The officer in charge reported that,
shortly after I had passed, his symptoms became so much worse that
they stopped at a farmhouse by the road-side, where he died that
evening.  His body was at once sent to Chicago for burial, and a
monument has been ordered by the Society of the Army of the
Tennessee to be erected in his memory.

On the 26th of October I learned that Hood's whole army had made
its appearance about Decatur, Alabama, and at once caused a strong
reconnoissance to be made down the Coosa to near Gadsden, which
revealed the truth that the enemy was gone except a small force of
cavalry, commanded by General Wheeler, which had been left to watch
us.  I then finally resolved on my future course, which was to
leave Hood to be encountered by General Thomas, while I should
carry into full effect the long-contemplated project of marching
for the sea-coast, and thence to operate toward Richmond.  But it
was all-important to me and to our cause that General Thomas should
have an ample force, equal to any and every emergency.

He then had at Nashville about eight or ten thousand new troops,
and as many more civil employs of the Quartermaster's Department,
which were not suited for the field, but would be most useful in
manning the excellent forts that already covered Nashville.  At
Chattanooga, he had General Steedman's division, about five
thousand men, besides garrisons for Chattanooga, Bridgeport, and
Stevenson; at Murfreesboro' he also had General Rousseau's
division, which was full five thousand strong, independent of the
necessary garrisons for the railroad.  At Decatur and Huntsville,
Alabama, was the infantry division of General R. S. Granger,
estimated at four thousand; and near Florence, Alabama, watching
the crossings of the Tennessee, were General Edward Hatch's
division of cavalry, four thousand; General Croxton's brigade,
twenty-five hundred; and Colonel Capron's brigade, twelve hundred;
besides which, General J.  H.  Wilson had collected in Nashville
about ten thousand dismounted cavalry, for which he was rapidly
collecting the necessary horses for a remount.  All these
aggregated about forty-five thousand men.  General A. J. Smith at
that time was in Missouri, with the two divisions of the Sixteenth
Corps which had been diverted to that quarter to assist General
Rosecrans in driving the rebel General Price out of Missouri.  This
object had been accomplished, and these troops, numbering from
eight to ten thousand, had been ordered to Nashville.  To these I
proposed at first to add only the Fourth Corps (General Stanley),
fifteen thousand; and that corps was ordered from Gaylesville to
march to Chattanooga, and thence report for orders to General
Thomas; but subsequently, on the 30th of October, at Rome, Georgia,
learning from General Thomas that the new troops promised by
General Grant were coming forward very slowly, I concluded to
further reenforce him by General Schofield's corps (Twenty-third),
twelve thousand, which corps accordingly marched for Resaca, and
there took the cars for Chattanooga.  I then knew that General
Thomas would have an ample force with which to encounter General
Hood anywhere in the open field, besides garrisons to secure the
railroad to his rear and as far forward as Chattanooga.  And,
moreover, I was more than convinced that he would have ample time
for preparation; for, on that very day, General R. S. Granger had
telegraphed me from Decatur, Alabama:

I omitted to mention another reason why Hood will go to Tusomnbia
before crossing the Tennessee River.  He was evidently out of
supplies.  His men were all grumbling; the first thing the
prisoners asked for was something to eat.  Hood could not get any
thing if he should cross this side of Rogersville.

I knew that the country about Decatur and Tuscumbia, Alabama, was
bare of provisions, and inferred that General Hood would have to
draw his supplies, not only of food, but of stores, clothing, and
ammunition, from Mobile, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama, by the
railroad around by Meridian and Corinth, Mississippi, which we had
most effectually disabled the previous winter.

General Hood did not make a serious attack on Decatur, but hung
around it from October 26th to the 30th, when he drew off and
marched for a point on the south side of the Tennessee River,
opposite Florence, where he was compelled to remain nearly a month,
to collect the necessary supplies for his contemplated invasion of
Tennessee and Kentucky.

The Fourth Corps (Stanley) had already reached Chattanooga, and had
been transported by rail to Pulaski, Tennessee; and General Thomas
ordered General Schofield, with the Twenty-third Corps, to
Columbia, Tennessee, a place intermediate between Hood (then on the
Tennessee River, opposite Florence) and Forrest, opposite

On the 31st of October General Croxton, of the cavalry, reported
that the enemy had crossed the Tennessee River four miles above
Florence, and that he had endeavored to stop him, but without
success.  Still, I was convinced that Hood's army was in no
condition to march for Nashville, and that a good deal of further
delay might reasonably be counted on.  I also rested with much
confidence on the fact that the Tennessee River below Muscle Shoals
was strongly patrolled by gunboats, and that the reach of the river
above Muscle Shoals, from Decatur as high up as our railroad at
Bridgeport, was also guarded by gunboats, so that Hood, to cross
over, would be compelled to select a point inaccessible to these
gunboats.  He actually did choose such a place, at the old
railroad-piers, four miles above Florence, Alabama, which is below
Muscle Shoals and above Colbert Shoals.

On the 31st of October Forrest made his appearance on the Tennessee
River opposite Johnsonville (whence a new railroad led to
Nashville), and with his cavalry and field pieces actually crippled
and captured two gunboats with five of our transports, a feat of
arms which, I confess, excited my admiration.

There is no doubt that the month of October closed to us looking
decidedly squally; but, somehow, I was sustained in the belief that
in a very few days the tide would turn.

On the 1st of November I telegraphed very fully to General Grant,
at City Point, who must have been disturbed by the wild rumors that
filled the country, and on the 2d of November received (at Rome)
this dispatch:

CITY POINT,  November 1, 1864--6 P.M.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Do you not think it advisable, now that Hood has gone so far north,
to entirely ruin him before starting on your proposed campaign?
With Hood's army destroyed, you can go where you please with
impunity.  I believed and still believe, if you had started south
while Hood was in the neighborhood of you, he would have been
forced to go after you.  Now that he is far away he might look upon
the chase as useless, and he will go in one direction while you are
pushing in the other.  If you can see a chance of destroying Hood's
army, attend to that first, and make your other move secondary.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

My answer is dated

ROME, GEORGIA, November 2, 1864.
Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, City Point, Virginia:

Your dispatch is received.  If I could hope to overhaul Hood, I
would turn against him with my whole force; then he would retreat
to the south west, drawing me as a decoy away from Georgia, which
is his chief object. If he ventures north of the Tennessee River, I
may turn in that direction, and endeavor to get below him on his
line of retreat; but thus far he has not gone above the Tennessee
River.  General Thomas will have a force strong enough to prevent
his reaching any country in which we have an interest; and he has
orders, if Hood turns to follow me, to push for Selma, Alabama.  No
single army can catch Hood, and I am convinced the best results
will follow from our defeating Jeff. Davis's cherished plea of
making me leave Georgia by manoeuvring.  Thus far I have confined
my efforts to thwart this plan, and have reduced baggage so that I
can pick up and start in any direction; but I regard the pursuit of
Hood as useless.  Still, if he attempts to invade Middle Tennessee,
I will hold Decatur, and be prepared to move in that direction;
but, unless I let go of Atlanta, my force will not be equal to his.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

By this date, under the intelligent and energetic action of Colonel
W. W. Wright, and with the labor of fifteen hundred men, the
railroad break of fifteen miles about Dalton was repaired so far as
to admit of the passage of cars, and I transferred my headquarters
to Kingston as more central; and from that place, on the same day
(November 2d), again telegraphed to General Grant:

KINGSTON, GEORGIA, November 2, 1884.
Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, City Point, Virginia:
If I turn back, the whole effect of my campaign will be lost. By my
movements I have thrown Beauregard (Hood) well to the west, and
Thomas will have ample time and sufficient troops to hold him until
the reenforcements from Missouri reach him.  We have now ample
supplies at Chattanooga and Atlanta, and can stand a month's
interruption to our communications.  I do not believe the
Confederate army can reach our railroad-lines except by
cavalry-raids, and Wilson will have cavalry enough to checkmate
them.  I am clearly of opinion that the best results will follow my
contemplated movement through Georgia.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

That same day I received, in answer to the Rome dispatch, the

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, November 2,1864--11.30 a.m.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Your dispatch of 9 A.M. yesterday is just received.  I dispatched
you the same date, advising that Hood's army, now that it had
worked so far north, ought to be looked upon now as the "object."
With the force, however, that you have left with General Thomas, he
must be able to take care of Hood and destroy him.

I do not see that you can withdraw from where you are to follow
Hood, without giving up all we have gained in territory.  I say,
then, go on as you propose.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General,

This was the first time that General Grant ordered the "march to
the sea," and, although many of his warm friends and admirers
insist that he was the author and projector of that march, and that
I simply executed his plans, General Grant has never, in my
opinion, thought so or said so.  The truth is fully given in an
original letter of President Lincoln, which I received at Savannah,
Georgia, and have at this instant before me, every word of which is
in his own familiar handwriting.  It is dated--

WASHINGTON, December 26, 1864.

When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was
anxious, if not fearful; but, feeling that you were the better
judge, and remembering "nothing risked, nothing gained," I did not
interfere.  Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all
yours; for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce;
and, taking the work of General Thomas into account, as it should
be taken, it is indeed a great success.  Not only does it afford
the obvious and immediate military advantages, but, in showing to
the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger
part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to
vanquish the old opposing force of the whole, Hood's army, it
brings those who sat in darkness to see a great light.  But what
next?  I suppose it will be safer if I leave General Grant and
yourself to decide.


Of course, this judgment; made after the event, was extremely
flattering and was all I ever expected, a recognition of the truth
and of its importance.  I have often been asked, by well-meaning
friends, when the thought of that march first entered my mind.  I
knew that an army which had penetrated Georgia as far as Atlanta
could not turn back.  It must go ahead, but when, how, and where,
depended on many considerations.  As soon as Hood had shifted
across from Lovejoy's to Palmetto, I saw the move in my "mind's
eye;" and, after Jeff. Davis's speech at Palmetto, of September
26th, I was more positive in my conviction, but was in doubt as to
the time and manner.  When General Hood first struck our railroad
above Marietta, we were not ready, and I was forced to watch his
movements further, till he had "carromed" off to the west of
Decatur.  Then I was perfectly convinced, and had no longer a
shadow of doubt.  The only possible question was as to Thomas's
strength and ability to meet Hood in the open field.  I did not
suppose that General Hood, though rash, would venture to attack
fortified places like Allatoona, Resaca, Decatur, and Nashville;
but he did so, and in so doing he played into our hands perfectly.

On the 2d of November I was at Kingston, Georgia, and my four
corps--the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Fourteenth, and Twentieth--with
one division of cavalry, were strung from Rome to Atlanta.  Our
railroads and telegraph had been repaired, and I deliberately
prepared for the march to Savannah, distant three hundred miles
from Atlanta.  All the sick and wounded men had been sent back by
rail to Chattanooga; all our wagon-trains had been carefully
overhauled and loaded, so as to be ready to start on an hour's
notice, and there was no serious enemy in our front.

General Hood remained still at Florence, Alabama, occupying both
banks of the Tennessee River, busy in collecting shoes and clothing
for his men, and the necessary ammunition and stores with which to
invade Tennessee, most of which had to come from Mobile, Selma, and
Montgomery, Alabama, over railroads that were still broken.
Beauregard was at Corinth, hastening forward these necessary

General Thomas was at Nashville, with Wilson's dismounted cavalry
and a mass of new troops and quartermaster's employs amply
sufficient to defend the place.  The Fourth and Twenty-third Corps,
under Generals Stanley and Schofield were posted at Pulaski,
Tennessee, and the cavalry of Hatch, Croxton, and Capron, were
about Florence, watching Hood.  Smith's (A. J.) two divisions of
the Sixteenth Corps were still in Missouri, but were reported as
ready to embark at Lexington for the Cumberland River and
Nashville.  Of course, General Thomas saw that on him would likely
fall the real blow, and was naturally anxious.  He still kept
Granger's division at Decatur, Rousseau's at Murfreesboro', and
Steedman's at Chattanooga, with strong railroad guards at all the
essential points intermediate, confident that by means of this very
railroad he could make his concentration sooner than Hood could
possibly march up from Florence.

Meantime, General F. P. Blair had rejoined his corps (Seventeenth),
and we were receiving at Kingston recruits and returned
furlough-men, distributing them to their proper companies.
Paymasters had come down to pay off our men before their departure to
a new sphere of action, and commissioners were also on hand from the
several States to take the vote of our men in the presidential
election then agitating the country.

On the 6th of November, at Kingston, I wrote and telegraphed to
General Grant, reviewing the whole situation, gave him my full plan
of action, stated that I was ready to march as soon as the election
was over, and appointed November 10th as the day for starting.  On
the 8th I received this dispatch:

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, November 7, 1864-10.30 P.M.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Your dispatch of this evening received.  I see no present reason
for changing your plan.  Should any arise, you will see it, or if I
do I will inform you.  I think everything here is favorable now.
Great good fortune attend you! I believe you will be eminently
successful, and, at worst, can only make a march less fruitful of
results than hoped for.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Meantime trains of cars were whirling by, carrying to the rear an
immense amount of stores which had accumulated at Atlanta, and at
the other stations along the railroad; and General Steedman had
come down to Kingston, to take charge of the final evacuation and
withdrawal of the several garrisons below Chattanooga.

On the 10th of November the movement may be said to have fairly
begun.  All the troops designed for the campaign were ordered to
march for Atlanta, and General Corse, before evacuating his post at
Rome, was ordered to burn all the mills, factories, etc., etc.,
that could be useful to the enemy, should he undertake to pursue
us, or resume military possession of the country.  This was done on
the night of the 10th, and next day Corse reached Kingston.  On the
11th General Thomas and I interchanged full dispatches.  He had
heard of the arrival of General A. J. Smith's two divisions at
Paducah, which would surely reach Nashville much sooner than
General Hood could possibly do from Florence, so that he was
perfectly satisfied with his share of the army.

On the 12th, with a full staff, I started from Kingston for
Atlanta; and about noon of that day we reached Cartersville, and
sat on the edge of a porch to rest, when the telegraph operator,
Mr. Van Valkenburg, or Eddy, got the wire down from the poles to
his lap, in which he held a small pocket instrument.  Calling
"Chattanooga," he received this message from General Thomas,

NASHVILLE, November 12, 1884--8.80 A.M.

Major-General SHERMAN:

Your dispatch of twelve o'clock last night is received.  I have no
fears that Beauregard can do us any harm now, and, if he attempts
to follow you, I will follow him as far as possible.  If he does
not follow you, I will then thoroughly organize my troops, and
believe I shall have men enough to ruin him unless he gets out of
the way very rapidly.

The country of Middle Alabama, I learn, is teeming with supplies
this year, which will be greatly to our advantage.  I have no
additional news to report from the direction of Florence.
I am now convinced that the greater part of Beauregard's army is
near Florence and Tuscumbia, and that you will have at least a
clear road before you for several days, and that your success will
fully equal your expectations.

George H.  THOMAS, Major-General.

I answered simply: "Dispatch received--all right."  About that
instant of time, some of our men burnt a bridge, which severed the
telegraph-wire, and all communication with the rear ceased

As we rode on toward Atlanta that night, I remember the railroad-
trains going to the rear with a furious speed; the engineers and
the few men about the trains waving us an affectionate adieu.  It
surely was a strange event--two hostile armies marching in opposite
directions, each in the full belief that it was achieving a final
and conclusive result in a great war; and I was strongly inspired
with the feeling that the movement on our part was a direct attack
upon the rebel army and the rebel capital at Richmond, though a
full thousand miles of hostile country intervened, and that, for
better or worse, it would end the war.




On the 12th of November the railroad and telegraph communications
with the rear were broken, and the army stood detached from all
friends, dependent on its own resources and supplies.  No time was
to be lost; all the detachments were ordered to march rapidly for
Atlanta, breaking up the railroad en route, and generally to so
damage the country as to make it untenable to the enemy.  By the
14th all the troops had arrived at or near Atlanta, and were,
according to orders, grouped into two wings, the right and left,
commanded respectively by Major-Generals O. O. Howard and H. W.
Slocum, both comparatively young men, but educated and experienced
officers, fully competent to their command.

The right wing was composed of the Fifteenth Corps, Major-General
P. J. Osterhaus commanding, and the Seventeenth Corps,
Major-General Frank P. Blair commanding.

The left wing was composed of the Fourteenth Corps, Major-General
Jefferson C. Davis commanding, and the Twentieth Corps,
Brigadier-General A. S. Williams commanding.

The Fifteenth Corps had four divisions, commanded by
Brigadier-Generals Charles R. Woods, W. B. Hazen, John E. Smith,
and John M. Gorse.

The Seventeenth Corps had three divisions, commanded by
Major-General J. A. Mower, and Brigadier-Generals M. D. Leggett
and Giles A. Smith.

The Fourteenth Corps had three divisions, commanded by
Brigadier-Generals W. P. Carlin, James D. Morgan, and A. Baird.

The Twentieth Corps had also three divisions, commanded by
Brigadier-Generals N. J. Jackson, John W. Geary, and W. T. Ward.

The cavalry division was held separate, subject to my own orders.
It was commanded by Brigadier-General Judson Kilpatrick, and was
composed of two brigades, commanded by Colonels Eli H. Murray, of
Kentucky, and Smith D. Atkins, of Illinois.

The strength of the army, as officially reported, is given in the
following tables, and shows an aggregate of fifty-five thousand
three hundred and twenty-nine infantry, five thousand and
sixty-three cavalry, and eighteen hundred and twelve artillery in
all, sixty-two thousand two hundred and four officers and men.

The most extraordinary efforts had been made to purge this army of
non-combatants and of sick men, for we knew well that there was to
be no place of safety save with the army itself; our wagons were
loaded with ammunition, provisions, and forage, and we could ill
afford to haul even sick men in the ambulances, so that all on this
exhibit may be assumed to have been able-bodied, experienced
soldiers, well armed, well equipped and provided, as far as human
foresight could, with all the essentials of life, strength, and
vigorous action.

The two general orders made for this march appear to me, even at
this late day, so clear, emphatic, and well-digested, that no
account of that historic event is perfect without them, and I give
them entire, even at the seeming appearance of repetition; and,
though they called for great sacrifice and labor on the part of the
officers and men, I insist that these orders were obeyed as well as
any similar orders ever were, by an army operating wholly in an
enemy's country, and dispersed, as we necessarily were, during the
subsequent period of nearly six months.

[Special Field Orders, No. 119.]


The general commanding deems it proper at this time to inform the
officers and men of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and
Twentieth Corps, that he has organized them into an army for a
special purpose, well known to the War Department and to General
Grant.  It is sufficient for you to know that it involves a
departure from our present base, and a long and difficult march to
a new one.  All the chances of war have been considered and
provided for, as far as human sagacity can.  All he asks of you is
to maintain that discipline, patience, and courage, which have
characterized you in the past; and he hopes, through you, to strike
a blow at our enemy that will have a material effect in producing
what we all so much desire, his complete overthrow.  Of all things,
the most important is, that the men, during marches and in camp,
keep their places and do not scatter about as stragglers or
foragers, to be picked up by a hostile people in detail.  It is
also of the utmost importance that our wagons should not be loaded
with any thing but provisions and ammunition.  All surplus
servants, noncombatants, and refugees, should now go to the rear,
and none should be encouraged to encumber us on the march.  At some
future time we will be able to provide for the poor whites and
blacks who seek to escape the bondage under which they are now
suffering.  With these few simple cautions, he hopes to lead you to
achievements equal in importance to those of the past.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

[Special Field Orders, No. 120.]


1.  For the purpose of military operations, this army is divided
into two wings viz.:

The right wing, Major-General O. O. Howard commanding, composed of
the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps; the left wing, Major-General
H. W. Slocum commanding, composed of the Fourteenth and Twentieth

2.  The habitual order of march will be, wherever practicable, by
four roads, as nearly parallel as possible, and converging at
points hereafter to be indicated in orders.  The cavalry,
Brigadier-General Kilpatrick commanding, will receive special
orders from the commander-in-chief.

3.  There will be no general train of supplies, but each corps will
have its ammunition-train and provision-train, distributed
habitually as follows: Behind each regiment should follow one wagon
and one ambulance; behind each brigade should follow a due
proportion of ammunition-wagons, provision-wagons, and ambulances.
In case of danger, each corps commander should change this order of
march, by having his advance and rear brigades unencumbered by
wheels.  The separate columns will start habitually at 7 a.m., and
make about fifteen miles per day, unless otherwise fixed in orders.

4.  The army will forage liberally on the country during the march.
To this end, each brigade commander will organize a good and
sufficient foraging party, under the command of one or more
discreet officers, who will gather, near the route traveled, corn
or forage of any kind, meat of any kind, vegetables, corn-meal, or
whatever is needed by the command, aiming at all times to keep in
the wagons at least ten days' provisions for his command, and three
days' forage.  Soldiers must not enter the dwellings of the
inhabitants, or commit any trespass; but, during a halt or camp,
they may be permitted to gather turnips, potatoes, and other
vegetables, and to drive in stock in sight of their camp.  To
regular foraging-parties must be intrusted the gathering of
provisions and forage, at any distance from the road traveled.

6.  To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy
mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general
principle is laid down:

In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no
destruction of each property should be permitted; but should
guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the
inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest
local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a
devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of
such hostility.

6.  As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the
inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and
without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are
usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or
friendly.  Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to
replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as
pack-mules for the regiments or brigades.  In all foraging, of
whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or
threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks
proper, give written certificates of the facts, but no receipts;
and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable
portion for their maintenance,

7.  Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the
several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will
bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one,
and that his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8.  The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each
army corps, composed if possible of negroes, should be attended to.
This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and
double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed
after reaching bad places.  Also, army commanders should practise
the habit of giving the artillery and wagons the road, marching
their troops on one side, and instruct their troops to assist
wagons at steep hills or bad crossings of streams.

9.  Captain O. M. Poe, chief-engineer, will assign to each wing of
the army a pontoon-train, fully equipped and organized; and the
commanders thereof will see to their being properly protected at
all times.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

The greatest possible attention had been given to the artillery and
wagon trains.  The number of guns had been reduced to sixty-five,
or about one gun to each thousand men, and these were generally in
batteries of four guns each.

Each gun, caisson, and forges was drawn by four teams of horses.
We had in all about twenty-five hundred wagons, with teams of six
mules to each, and six hundred ambulances, with two horses to each.
The loads were made comparatively light, about twenty-five hundred
pounds net; each wagon carrying in addition the forage needed by
its own team: Each soldier carried on his person forty rounds of
ammunition, and in the wagons were enough cartridges to make up
about two hundred rounds per man, and in like manner two hundred
rounds of assorted ammunition were carried for each gun.

The wagon-trains were divided equally between the four corps, so
that each had about eight hundred wagons, and these usually on the
march occupied five miles or more of road.  Each corps commander
managed his own train; and habitually the artillery and wagons had
the road, while the men, with the exception of the advance and rear
guards, pursued paths improvised by the aide of the wagons, unless
they were forced to use a bridge or causeway in common.

I reached Atlanta during the afternoon of the 14th, and found that
all preparations had been made-Colonel Beckwith, chief commissary,
reporting one million two hundred thousand rations in possession of
the troops, which was about twenty days' supply, and he had on hand
a good supply of beef-cattle to be driven along on the hoof.  Of
forage, the supply was limited, being of oats and corn enough for
five days, but I knew that within that time we would reach a
country well stocked with corn, which had been gathered and stored
in cribs, seemingly for our use, by Governor Brown's militia.

Colonel Poe, United States Engineers, of my staff, had been busy in
his special task of destruction.  He had a large force at work, had
leveled the great depot, round house, and the machine-shops of the
Georgia Railroad, and had applied fire to the wreck.  One of these
machine-shops had been used by the rebels as an arsenal, and in it
were stored piles of shot and shell, some of which proved to be
loaded, and that night was made hideous by the bursting of shells,
whose fragments came uncomfortably, near Judge Lyon's house, in
which I was quartered. The fire also reached the block of stores
near the depot, and the heart of the city was in flames all night,
but the fire did not reach the parts of Atlanta where the
court-house was, or the great mass of dwelling houses.

The march from Atlanta began on the morning of November 15th, the
right wing and cavalry following the railroad southeast toward
Jonesboro', and General Slocum with the Twentieth Corps leading off
to the east by Decatur and Stone Mountain, toward Madison.  These
were divergent lines, designed to threaten both Mason and Augusta
at the same time, so as to prevent a concentration at our intended
destination, or "objective," Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia,
distant southeast about one hundred miles.  The time allowed each
column for reaching Milledgeville was seven days.  I remained in
Atlanta during the 15th with the Fourteenth Corps, and the
rear-guard of the right wing, to complete the loading of the trains,
and the destruction of the buildings of Atlanta which could be
converted to hostile uses, and on the morning of the 16th started
with my personal staff, a company of Alabama cavalry, commanded by
Lieutenant Snelling, and an infantry company, commanded by Lieutenant
McCrory, which guarded our small train of wagons.

My staff was then composed of Major L. M. Dayton, aide-de-camp and
acting adjutant-general, Major J. C. McCoy, and Major J. C.
Audenried, aides.  Major Ward Nichols had joined some weeks before
at Gaylesville, Alabama, and was attached as an acting
aide-de-camp.  Also Major Henry Hitchcock had joined at the same
time as judge-advocate.  Colonel Charles Ewing was
inspector-general, and Surgeon John Moore medical director.  These
constituted our mess.  We had no tents, only the flies, with which
we nightly made bivouacs with the assistance of the abundant
pine-boughs, which made excellent shelter, as well as beds.

Colonel L. C. Easton was chief-quartermaster; Colonel Amos
Beckwith, chief-commissary; Colonel O. M. Poe, chief-engineer; and
Colonel T. G. Baylor, chief of ordnance.  These invariably rode
with us during the day, but they had a separate camp and mess at

General William F.  Barry had been chief of artillery in the
previous campaign, but at Kingston his face was so swollen with
erysipelas that he was reluctantly compelled to leave us for the
rear; and he could not, on recovering, rejoin us till we had
reached Savannah.

About 7 a.m. of November 16th we rode out of Atlanta by the Decatur
road, filled by the marching troops and wagons of the Fourteenth
Corps; and reaching the hill, just outside of the old rebel works,
we naturally paused to look back upon the scenes of our past
battles.  We stood upon the very ground whereon was fought the
bloody battle of July 22d, and could see the copse of wood where
McPherson fell.  Behind us lay Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins,
the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over
the ruined city.  Away off in the distance, on the McDonough road,
was the rear of Howard's column, the gun-barrels glistening in the
sun, the white-topped wagons stretching away to the south; and
right before us the Fourteenth Corps, marching steadily and
rapidly, with a cheery look and swinging pace, that made light of
the thousand miles that lay between us and Richmond.  Some band, by
accident, struck up the anthem of "John Brown's soul goes marching
on;" the men caught up the strain, and never before or since have I
heard the chorus of "Glory, glory, hallelujah!" done with more
spirit, or in better harmony of time and place.

Then we turned our horses' heads to the east; Atlanta was soon lost
behind the screen of trees, and became a thing of the past.  Around
it clings many a thought of desperate battle, of hope and fear,
that now seem like the memory of a dream; and I have never seen the
place since.  The day was extremely beautiful, clear sunlight, with
bracing air, and an unusual feeling of exhilaration seemed to
pervade all minds--a feeling of something to come, vague and
undefined, still full of venture and intense interest.  Even the
common soldiers caught the inspiration, and many a group called out
to me as I worked my way past them, "Uncle Billy, I guess Grant is
waiting for us at Richmond!"  Indeed, the general sentiment was
that we were marching for Richmond, and that there we should end
the war, but how and when they seemed to care not; nor did they
measure the distance, or count the cost in life, or bother their
brains about the great rivers to be crossed, and the food required
for man and beast, that had to be gathered by the way.  There was a
"devil-may-care" feeling pervading officers and men, that made me
feel the full load of responsibility, for success would be accepted
as a matter of course, whereas, should we fail, this "march" would
be adjudged the wild adventure of a crazy fool.  I had no purpose
to march direct for Richmond by way of Augusta and Charlotte, but
always designed to reach the sea-coast first at Savannah or Port
Royal, South Carolina, and even kept in mind the alternative of

The first night out we camped by the road-side near Lithonia.
Stone Mountain, a mass of granite, was in plain view, cut out in
clear outline against the blue sky; the whole horizon was lurid
with the bonfires of rail-ties, and groups of men all night were
carrying the heated rails to the nearest trees, and bending them
around the trunks.  Colonel Poe had provided tools for ripping up
the rails and twisting them when hot; but the best and easiest way
is the one I have described, of heating the middle of the
iron-rails on bonfires made of the cross-ties, and then winding
them around a telegraph-pole or the trunk of some convenient
sapling.  I attached much importance to this destruction of the
railroad, gave it my own personal attention, and made reiterated
orders to others on the subject.

The next day we passed through the handsome town of Covington, the
soldiers closing up their ranks, the color-bearers unfurling their
flags, and the bands striking up patriotic airs.  The white people
came out of their houses to behold the sight, spite of their deep
hatred of the invaders, and the negroes were simply frantic with
joy.  Whenever they heard my name, they clustered about my horse,
shouted and prayed in their peculiar style, which had a natural
eloquence that would have moved a stone.  I have witnessed
hundreds, if not thousands, of such scenes; and can now see a poor
girl, in the very ecstasy of the Methodist "shout," hugging the
banner of one of the regiments, and jumping up to the "feet of

I remember, when riding around by a by-street in Covington, to
avoid the crowd that followed the marching column, that some one
brought me an invitation to dine with a sister of Sam. Anderson,
who was a cadet at West Point with me; but the messenger reached me
after we had passed the main part of the town.  I asked to be
excused, and rode on to a place designated for camp, at the
crossing of the Ulcofauhachee River, about four miles to the east
of the town.  Here we made our bivouac, and I walked up to a
plantation-house close by, where were assembled many negroes, among
them an old, gray-haired man, of as fine a head as I ever saw.  I
asked him if he understood about the war and its progress.  He said
he did; that he had been looking for the "angel of the Lord" ever
since he was knee-high, and, though we professed to be fighting for
the Union, he supposed that slavery was the cause, and that our
success was to be his freedom.  I asked him if all the negro slaves
comprehended this fact, and he said they surely did.  I then
explained to him that we wanted the slaves to remain where they
were, and not to load us down with useless mouths, which would eat
up the food needed for our fighting men; that our success was their
assured freedom; that we could receive a few of their young, hearty
men as pioneers; but that, if they followed us in swarms of old and
young, feeble and helpless, it would simply load us down and
cripple us in our great task.  I think Major Henry Hitchcock was
with me on that occasion, and made a note of the conversation, and
I believe that old man spread this message to the slaves, which was
carried from mouth to mouth, to the very end of our journey, and
that it in part saved us from the great danger we incurred of
swelling our numbers so that famine would have attended our
progress.  It was at this very plantation that a soldier passed me
with a ham on his musket, a jug of sorghum-molasses under his arm,
and a big piece of honey in his hand, from which he was eating,
and, catching my eye, he remarked sotto voce and carelessly to a
comrade, "Forage liberally on the country," quoting from my general
orders.  On this occasion, as on many others that fell under my
personal observation, I reproved the man, explained that foraging
must be limited to the regular parties properly detailed, and that
all provisions thus obtained must be delivered to the regular
commissaries, to be fairly distributed to the men who kept their

From Covington the Fourteenth Corps (Davis's), with which I was
traveling, turned to the right for Milledgeville, via Shady Dale.
General Slocum was ahead at Madison, with the Twentieth Corps,
having torn up the railroad as far as that place, and thence had
sent Geary's division on to the Oconee, to burn the bridges across
that stream, when this corps turned south by Eatonton, for
Milledgeville, the common "objective" for the first stage of the
"march."  We found abundance of corn, molasses, meal, bacon, and
sweet-potatoes.  We also took a good many cows and oxen, and a
large number of mules.  In all these the country was quite rich,
never before having been visited by a hostile army; the recent crop
had been excellent, had been just gathered and laid by for the
winter.  As a rule, we destroyed none, but kept our wagons full,
and fed our teams bountifully.

The skill and success of the men in collecting forage was one of
the features of this march.  Each brigade commander had authority
to detail a company of foragers, usually about fifty men, with one
or two commissioned officers selected for their boldness and
enterprise.  This party would be dispatched before daylight with a
knowledge of the intended day's march and camp; would proceed on
foot five or six miles from the route traveled by their brigade,
and then visit every plantation and farm within range.  They would
usually procure a wagon or family carriage, load it with bacon,
corn-meal, turkeys, chickens, ducks, and every thing that could be
used as food or forage, and would then regain the main road,
usually in advance of their train.  When this came up, they would
deliver to the brigade commissary the supplies thus gathered by the
way.  Often would I pass these foraging-parties at the roadside,
waiting for their wagons to come up, and was amused at their
strange collections--mules, horses, even cattle, packed with old
saddles and loaded with hams, bacon, bags of cornmeal, and poultry
of every character and description.  Although this foraging was
attended with great danger and hard work, there seemed to be a
charm about it that attracted the soldiers, and it was a privilege
to be detailed on such a party.  Daily they returned mounted on all
sorts of beasts, which were at once taken from them and
appropriated to the general use; but the next day they would start
out again on foot, only to repeat the experience of the day before.
No doubt, many acts of pillage, robbery, and violence, were
committed by these parties of foragers, usually called "bummers;"
for I have since heard of jewelry taken from women, and the plunder
of articles that never reached the commissary; but these acts were
exceptional and incidental.  I never heard of any cases of murder
or rape; and no army could have carried along sufficient food and
forage for a march of three hundred miles; so that foraging in some
shape was necessary.  The country was sparsely settled, with no
magistrates or civil authorities who could respond to requisitions,
as is done in all the wars of Europe; so that this system of
foraging was simply indispensable to our success.  By it our men
were well supplied with all the essentials of life and health,
while the wagons retained enough in case of unexpected delay, and
our animals were well fed.  Indeed, when we reached Savannah, the
trains were pronounced by experts to be the finest in flesh and
appearance ever seen with any army.

Habitually each corps followed some main road, and the foragers,
being kept out on the exposed flank, served all the military uses
of flankers.  The main columns gathered, by the roads traveled,
much forage and food, chiefly meat, corn, and sweet-potatoes, and
it was the duty of each division and brigade quartermaster to fill
his wagons as fast as the contents were issued to the troops.  The
wagon-trains had the right to the road always, but each wagon was
required to keep closed up, so as to leave no gaps in the column.
If for any purpose any wagon or group of wagons dropped out of
place, they had to wait for the rear.  And this was always dreaded,
for each brigade commander wanted his train up at camp as soon
after reaching it with his men as possible.

I have seen much skill and industry displayed by these
quarter-masters on the march, in trying to load their wagons with
corn and fodder by the way without losing their place in column.
They would, while marching, shift the loads of wagons, so as to have
six or ten of them empty.  Then, riding well ahead, they would secure
possession of certain stacks of fodder near the road, or cribs of
corn, leave some men in charge, then open fences and a road back for
a couple of miles, return to their trains, divert the empty wagons
out of column, and conduct them rapidly to their forage, load up and
regain their place in column without losing distance. On one occasion
I remember to have seen ten or a dozen wagons thus loaded with corn
from two or three full cribs, almost without halting.  These cribs
were built of logs, and roofed.  The train-guard, by a lever, had
raised the whole side of the crib a foot or two; the wagons drove
close alongside, and the men in the cribs, lying on their backs,
kicked out a wagon-load of corn in the time I have taken to describe

In a well-ordered and well-disciplined army, these things might be
deemed irregular, but I am convinced that the ingenuity of these
younger officers accomplished many things far better than I could
have ordered, and the marches were thus made, and the distances
were accomplished, in the most admirable way.  Habitually we
started from camp at the earliest break of dawn, and usually
reached camp soon after noon.  The marches varied from ten to
fifteen miles a day, though sometimes on extreme flanks it was
necessary to make as much as twenty, but the rate of travel was
regulated by the wagons; and, considering the nature of the roads,
fifteen miles per day was deemed the limit.

The pontoon-trains were in like manner distributed in about equal
proportions to the four corps, giving each a section of about nine
hundred feet.  The pontoons were of the skeleton pattern, with
cotton-canvas covers, each boat, with its proportion of balks and
cheeses, constituting a load for one wagon.  By uniting two such
sections together, we could make a bridge of eighteen hundred feet,
enough for any river we had to traverse; but habitually the leading
brigade would, out of the abundant timber, improvise a bridge
before the pontoon-train could come up, unless in the cases of
rivers of considerable magnitude, such as the Ocmulgee, Oconee,
Ogeechee, Savannah, etc.

On the 20th of November I was still with the Fourteenth Corps, near
Eatonton Factory, waiting to hear of the Twentieth Corps; and on
the 21st we camped near the house of a man named Mann; the next
day, about 4 p.m., General Davis had halted his head of column on a
wooded ridge, overlooking an extensive slope of cultivated country,
about ten miles short of Milledgeville, and was deploying his
troops for camp when I got up.  There was a high, raw wind blowing,
and I asked him why he had chosen so cold and bleak a position.  He
explained that he had accomplished his full distance for the day,
and had there an abundance of wood and water.  He explained further
that his advance-guard was a mile or so ahead; so I rode on, asking
him to let his rear division, as it came up, move some distance
ahead into the depression or valley beyond.  Riding on some
distance to the border of a plantation, I turned out of the main
road into a cluster of wild-plum bushes, that broke the force of
the cold November wind, dismounted, and instructed the staff to
pick out the place for our camp.

The afternoon was unusually raw and cold.  My orderly was at hand
with his invariable saddle-bags, which contained a change of
under-clothing, my maps, a flask of whiskey, and bunch of cigars.
Taking a drink and lighting a cigar, I walked to a row of
negro-huts close by, entered one and found a soldier or two warming
themselves by a wood-fire.  I took their place by the fire,
intending to wait there till our wagons had got up, and a camp made
for the night.  I was talking to the old negro woman, when some one
came and explained to me that, if I would come farther down the
road, I could find a better place.  So I started on foot, and found
on the main road a good double-hewed-log house, in one room of
which Colonel Poe, Dr. Moore, and others, had started a fire.  I
sent back orders to the "plum-bushes" to bring our horses and
saddles up to this house, and an orderly to conduct our headquarter
wagons to the same place.  In looking around the room, I saw a
small box, like a candle-box, marked "Howell Cobb," and, on
inquiring of a negro, found that we were at the plantation of
General Howell Cobb, of Georgia, one of the leading rebels of the
South, then a general in the Southern army, and who had been
Secretary of the United States Treasury in Mr. Buchanan's time.  Of
course, we confiscated his property, and found it rich in corn,
beans, pea-nuts, and sorghum-molasses.  Extensive fields were all
round the house; I sent word back to General David to explain whose
plantation it was, and instructed him to spare nothing.  That night
huge bonfires consumed the fence-rails, kept our soldiers warm, and
the teamsters and men, as well as the slaves, carried off an
immense quantity of corn and provisions of all sorts.

In due season the headquarter wagons came up, and we got supper.
After supper I sat on a chair astride, with my back to a good fire,
musing, and became conscious that an old negro, with a
tallow-candle in his hand, was scanning my face closely.  I inquired,
"What do you want, old man!"  He answered, "Dey say you is Massa
Sherman."  I answered that such was the case, and inquired what he
wanted.  He only wanted to look at me, and kept muttering, "Dis
nigger can't sleep dis night."  I asked him why he trembled so, and
he said that he wanted to be sure that we were in fact "Yankees,"
for on a former occasion some rebel cavalry had put on light-blue
overcoats, personating Yankee troops, and many of the negroes were
deceived thereby, himself among the number had shown them sympathy,
and had in consequence been unmercifully beaten therefor.  This
time he wanted to be certain before committing himself; so I told
him to go out on the porch, from which he could see the whole
horizon lit up with camp-fires, and he could then judge whether he
had ever seen any thing like it before.  The old man became
convinced that the "Yankees" had come at last, about whom he had
been dreaming all his life; and some of the staff officers gave him
a strong drink of whiskey, which set his tongue going.  Lieutenant
Spelling, who commanded my escort, was a Georgian, and recognized
in this old negro a favorite slave of his uncle, who resided about
six miles off; but the old slave did not at first recognize his
young master in our uniform.  One of my staff-officers asked him
what had become of his young master, George.  He did not know, only
that he had gone off to the war, and he supposed him killed, as a
matter of course.  His attention was then drawn to Spelling's face,
when he fell on his knees and thanked God that he had found his
young master alive and along with the Yankees.  Spelling inquired
all about his uncle and the family, asked my permission to go and
pay his uncle a visit, which I granted, of course, and the next
morning he described to me his visit.  The uncle was not cordial,
by any means, to find his nephew in the ranks of the host that was
desolating the land, and Spelling came back, having exchanged his
tired horse for a fresher one out of his uncle's stables,
explaining that surely some of the "bummers" would have got the
horse had he not.

The next morning, November 23d, we rode into Milledgeville, the
capital of the State, whither the Twentieth Corps had preceded us;
and during that day the left wing was all united, in and around
Milledgeville.  From the inhabitants we learned that some of
Kilpatrick's cavalry had preceded us by a couple of days, and that
all of the right wing was at and near Gordon, twelve miles off,
viz., the place where the branch railroad came to Milledgeville
from the Mason & Savannah road.  The first stage of the journey
was, therefore, complete, and absolutely successful.

General Howard soon reported by letter the operations of his right
wing, which, on leaving Atlanta, had substantially followed the two
roads toward Mason, by Jonesboro' and McDonough, and reached the
Ocmulgee at Planters' Factory, which they crossed, by the aid of
the pontoon-train, during the 18th and 19th of November.  Thence,
with the Seventeenth Corps (General Blair's) he (General Howard)
had marched via Monticello toward Gordon, having dispatched
Kilpatrick's cavalry, supported by the Fifteenth Corps
(Osterhaus's), to feign on Mason.  Kilpatrick met the enemy's
cavalry about four miles out of Mason, and drove them rapidly back
into the bridge-defenses held by infantry.  Kilpatrick charged
these, got inside the parapet, but could not hold it, and retired
to his infantry supports, near Griswold Station.  The Fifteenth
Corps tore up the railroad-track eastward from Griswold, leaving
Charles R.  Wood's division behind as a rear-guard-one brigade of
which was intrenched across the road, with some of Kilpatrick's
cavalry on the flanks.  On the 22d of November General G. W. Smith,
with a division of troops, came out of Mason, attacked this brigade
(Walcutt's) in position, and was handsomely repulsed and driven
back into Mason.  This brigade was in part armed with Spencer
repeating-rifles, and its fire was so rapid that General Smith
insists to this day that he encountered a whole division; but he is
mistaken; he was beaten by one brigade (Walcutt's), and made no
further effort to molest our operations from that direction.
General Walcutt was wounded in the leg, and had to ride the rest of
the distance to Savannah in a carriage.

Therefore, by the 23d, I was in Milledgeville with the left wing,
and was in full communication with the right wing at Gordon.  The
people of Milledgeville remained at home, except the Governor
(Brown), the State officers, and Legislature, who had ignominiously
fled, in the utmost disorder and confusion; standing not on the
order of their going, but going at once--some by rail, some by
carriages, and many on foot.  Some of the citizens who remained
behind described this flight of the "brave and patriotic" Governor
Brown.  He had occupied a public building known as the "Governor's
Mansion," and had hastily stripped it of carpets, curtains, and
furniture of all sorts, which were removed to a train of
freight-cars, which carried away these things--even the cabbages and
vegetables from his kitchen and cellar--leaving behind muskets,
ammunition, and the public archives.  On arrival at Milledgeville I
occupied the same public mansion, and was soon overwhelmed with
appeals for protection.  General Slocum had previously arrived with
the Twentieth Corps, had taken up his quarters at the Milledgeville
Hotel, established a good provost-guard, and excellent order was
maintained.  The most frantic appeals had been made by the Governor
and Legislature for help from every quarter, and the people of the
State had been called out en masse to resist and destroy the invaders
of their homes and firesides.  Even the prisoners and convicts of the
penitentiary were released on condition of serving as soldiers, and
the cadets were taken from their military college for the same
purpose.  These constituted a small battalion, under General Harry
Wayne, a former officer of the United States Army, and son of the
then Justice Wayne of the Supreme Court.  But these hastily retreated
east across the Oconee River, leaving us a good bridge, which we
promptly secured.

At Milledgeville we found newspapers from all the South, and
learned the consternation which had filled the Southern mind at our
temerity; many charging that we were actually fleeing for our lives
and seeking safety at the hands of our fleet on the sea-coast.  All
demanded that we should be assailed, "front, flank, and rear;" that
provisions should be destroyed in advance, so that we would starve;
that bridges should be burned, roads obstructed, and no mercy shown
us.  Judging from the tone of the Southern press of that day, the
outside world must have supposed us ruined and lost.  I give a few
of these appeals as samples, which to-day must sound strange to the
parties who made them:

Corinth, Mississippi, November 18, 1884.

To the People of Georgia:

Arise for the defense of your native soil!  Rally around your
patriotic Governor and gallant soldiers!  Obstruct and destroy all
the roads in Sherman's front, flank, and rear, and his army will
soon starve in your midst. Be confident.  Be resolute.  Trust in an
overruling Providence, and success will soon crown your efforts.  I
hasten to join you in the defense of your homes and firesides.


RICHMOND, November 18, 1884.

To the People of Georgia:

You have now the best opportunity ever yet presented to destroy the
enemy.  Put every thing at the disposal of our generals; remove all
provisions from the path of the invader, and put all obstructions
in his path.

Every citizen with his gun, and every negro with his spade and axe,
can do the work of a soldier.  You can destroy the enemy by
retarding his march.

Georgians, be firm!  Act promptly, and fear not!

B. H. Hill, Senator.

I most cordially approve the above.
James A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

Richmond, November 19,1864.

To the People of Georgia:

We have had a special conference with President Davis and the
Secretary of War, and are able to assure you that they have done
and are still doing all that can be done to meet the emergency that
presses upon you.  Let every man fly to arms! Remove your negroes,
horses, cattle, and provisions from Sherman's army, and burn what
you cannot carry.  Burn all bridges, and block up the roads in his
route.  Assail the invader in front, flank, and rear, by night and
by day.  Let him have no rest.


Members of Congress.

Of course, we were rather amused than alarmed at these threats, and
made light of the feeble opposition offered to our progress.  Some
of the officers (in the spirit of mischief) gathered together in
the vacant hall of Representatives, elected a Speaker, and
constituted themselves the Legislature of the State of Georgia!  A
proposition was made to repeal the ordinance of secession, which
was well debated, and resulted in its repeal by a fair vote!  I was
not present at these frolics, but heard of them at the time, and
enjoyed the joke.

Meantime orders were made for the total destruction of the arsenal
and its contents, and of such public buildings as could be easily
converted to hostile uses.  But little or no damage was done to
private property, and General Slocum, with my approval, spared
several mills, and many thousands of bales of cotton, taking what
he knew to be worthless bonds, that the cotton should not be used
for the Confederacy.  Meantime the right wing continued its
movement along the railroad toward Savannah, tearing up the track
and destroying its iron.  At the Oconee was met a feeble resistance
from Harry Wayne's troops, but soon the pontoon-bridge was laid,
and that wing crossed over.  Gilpatrick's cavalry was brought into
Milledgeville, and crossed the Oconee by the bridge near the town;
and on the 23d I made the general orders for the next stage of the
march as far as Millen.  These were, substantially, for the right
wing to follow the Savannah Railroad, by roads on its south; the
left wing was to move to Sandersville, by Davisboro' and
Louisville, while the cavalry was ordered by a circuit to the
north, and to march rapidly for Millen, to rescue our prisoners of
war confined there.  The distance was about a hundred miles.

General Wheeler, with his division of rebel cavalry, had succeeded
in getting ahead of us between Milledgeville and Augusta, and
General P. J. Hardee had been dispatched by General Beauregard from
Hood's army to oppose our progress directly in front.  He had,
however, brought with him no troops, but relied on his influence
with the Georgians (of whose State he was a native) to arouse the
people, and with them to annihilate Sherman's army!

On the 24th we renewed the march, and I accompanied the Twentieth
Corps, which took the direct road to Sandersville, which we reached
simultaneously with the Fourteenth Corps, on the 26th.  A brigade
of rebel cavalry was deployed before the town, and was driven in
and through it by our skirmish-line.  I myself saw the rebel cavalry
apply fire to stacks of fodder standing in the fields at
Sandersville, and gave orders to burn some unoccupied dwellings
close by.  On entering the town, I told certain citizens (who would
be sure to spread the report) that, if the enemy attempted to carry
out their threat to burn their food, corn, and fodder, in our
route, I would most undoubtedly execute to the letter the general
orders of devastation made at the outset of the campaign.  With
this exception, and one or two minor cases near Savannah, the
people did not destroy food, for they saw clearly that it would be
ruin to themselves.

At Sandersville I halted the left wing until I heard that the right
wing was abreast of us on the railroad.  During the evening a negro
was brought to me, who had that day been to the station (Tenille),
about six miles south of the town.  I inquired of him if there were
any Yankees there, and he answered, "Yes."  He described in his own
way what he had seen.

"First, there come along some cavalry-men, and they burned the
depot; then come along some infantry-men, and they tore up the
track, and burned it;" and just before he left they had "sot fire
to the well."

The next morning, viz., the 27th, I rode down to the station, and
found General Corse's division (of the Fifteenth Corps) engaged in
destroying the railroad, and saw the well which my negro informant
had seen "burnt."  It was a square pit about twenty-five feet deep,
boarded up, with wooden steps leading to the bottom, wherein was a
fine copper pump, to lift the water to a tank above.  The soldiers
had broken up the pump, heaved in the steps and lining, and set
fire to the mass of lumber in the bottom of the well, which
corroborated the negro's description.

From this point Blair's corps, the Seventeenth, took up the work of
destroying the railroad, the Fifteenth Corps following another road
leading eastward, farther to the south of the railroad.  While the
left wing was marching toward Louisville, north of the railroad,
General Kilpatrick had, with his cavalry division, moved rapidly
toward Waynesboro', on the branch railroad leading from Millen to
Augusta.  He found Wheeler's division of rebel cavalry there, and
had considerable skirmishing with it; but, learning that our
prisoners had been removed two days before from Millen, he returned
to Louisville on the 29th, where he found the left wing.  Here he
remained a couple of days to rest his horses, and, receiving orders
from me to engage Wheeler and give him all the fighting he wanted,
he procured from General Slocum the assistance of the infantry
division of General Baird, and moved back for Waynesboro' on the 2d
of December, the remainder of the left wing continuing its march on
toward Millers.  Near Waynesboro' Wheeler was again encountered,
and driven through the town and beyond Brier Creek, toward Augusta,
thus keeping up the delusion that the main army was moving toward
Augusta.  General Kilpatrick's fighting and movements about
Waynesboro' and Brier Creek were spirited, and produced a good
effect by relieving the infantry column and the wagon-trains of all
molestation during their march on Millen.  Having thus covered that
flank, he turned south and followed the movement of the Fourteenth
Corps to Buckhead Church, north of Millen and near it.

On the 3d of December I entered Millen with the Seventeenth Corps
(General Frank P.  Blair), and there paused one day, to communicate
with all parts of the army.  General Howard was south of the
Ogeechee River, with the Fifteenth Corps, opposite Scarboro'.
General Slocum was at Buckhead Church, four miles north of Millen,
with the Twentieth Corps.  The Fourteenth (General Davis) was at
Lumpkin's Station, on the Augusta road, about ten miles north of
Millen, and the cavalry division was within easy support of this
wing.  Thus the whole army was in good position and in good
condition.  We had largely subsisted on the country; our wagons
were full of forage and provisions; but, as we approached the
sea-coast, the country became more sandy and barren, and food
became more scarce; still, with little or no loss, we had traveled
two-thirds of our distance, and I concluded to push on for
Savannah.  At Millen I learned that General Bragg was in Augusta,
and that General Wade Hampton had been ordered there from Richmond,
to organize a large cavalry force with which to resist our

General Hardee was ahead, between us and Savannah, with McLaw's
division, and other irregular troops, that could not, I felt
assured, exceed ten thousand men.  I caused the fine depot at
Millen to be destroyed, and other damage done, and then resumed the
march directly on Savannah, by the four main roads.  The Seventeenth
Corps (General Blair) followed substantially the railroad,
and, along with it, on the 5th of December, I reached Ogeechee
Church, about fifty miles from Savannah, and found there fresh
earthworks, which had been thrown up by McLaw's division; but he
must have seen that both his flanks were being turned, and
prudently retreated to Savannah without a fight.  All the columns
then pursued leisurely their march toward Savannah, corn and forage
becoming more and more scarce, but rice-fields beginning to occur
along the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers, which proved a good
substitute, both as food and forage.  The weather was fine, the
roads good, and every thing seemed to favor us.  Never do I recall
a more agreeable sensation than the sight of our camps by night,
lit up by the fires of fragrant pine-knots.  The trains were all in
good order, and the men seemed to march their fifteen miles a day
as though it were nothing.  No enemy opposed us, and we could only
occasionally hear the faint reverberation of a gun to our left
rear, where we knew that General Kilpatrick was skirmishing with
Wheeler's cavalry, which persistently followed him.  But the
infantry columns had met with no opposition whatsoever.  McLaw's
division was falling back before us, and we occasionally picked up
a few of his men as prisoners, who insisted that we would meet with
strong opposition at Savannah.

On the 8th, as I rode along, I found the column turned out of the
main road, marching through the fields.  Close by, in the corner of
a fence, was a group of men standing around a handsome young
officer, whose foot had been blown to pieces by a torpedo planted
in the road.  He was waiting for a surgeon to amputate his leg, and
told me that he was riding along with the rest of his brigade-staff
of the Seventeenth Corps, when a torpedo trodden on by his horse
had exploded, killing the horse and literally blowing off all the
flesh from one of his legs.  I saw the terrible wound, and made
full inquiry into the facts.  There had been no resistance at that
point, nothing to give warning of danger, and the rebels had
planted eight-inch shells in the road, with friction-matches to
explode them by being trodden on.  This was not war, but murder,
and it made me very angry.  I immediately ordered a lot of rebel
prisoners to be brought from the provost-guard, armed with picks
and spades, and made them march in close order along the road, so
as to explode their own torpedoes, or to discover and dig them up.
They begged hard, but I reiterated the order, and could hardly help
laughing at their stepping so gingerly along the road, where it was
supposed sunken torpedoes might explode at each step, but they
found no other torpedoes till near Fort McAllister.  That night we
reached Pooler's Station, eight miles from Savannah, and during the
next two days, December 9th and 10th, the several corps reached the
defenses of Savannah--the Fourteenth Corps on the left, touching
the river; the Twentieth Corps next; then the Seventeenth; and the
Fifteenth on the extreme right; thus completely investing the city.
Wishing to reconnoitre the place in person, I rode forward by the
Louisville road, into a dense wood of oak, pine, and cypress, left
the horses, and walked down to the railroad-track, at a place where
there was a side-track, and a cut about four feet deep.  From that
point the railroad was straight, leading into Savannah, and about
eight hundred yards off were a rebel parapet and battery.  I could
see the cannoneers preparing to fire, and cautioned the officers
near me to scatter, as we would likely attract a shot.  Very soon I
saw the white puff of smoke, and, watching close, caught sight of
the ball as it rose in its flight, and, finding it coming pretty
straight, I stepped a short distance to one side, but noticed a
negro very near me in the act of crossing the track at right
angles.  Some one called to him to look out; but, before the poor
fellow understood his danger, the ball (a thirty-two-pound round
shot) struck the ground, and rose in its first ricochet, caught the
negro under the right jaw, and literally carried away his head,
scattering blood and brains about.  A soldier close by spread an
overcoat over the body, and we all concluded to get out of that
railroad-cut.  Meantime, General Mower's division of the Seventeenth
Corps had crossed the canal to the right of the Louisville
road, and had found the line of parapet continuous; so at Savannah
we had again run up against the old familiar parapet, with its deep
ditches, canals, and bayous, full of water; and it looked as though
another siege was inevitable.  I accordingly made a camp or bivouac
near the Louisville road, about five miles from Savannah, and
proceeded to invest the place closely, pushing forward
reconnoissances at every available point.

As soon as it was demonstrated that Savannah was well fortified,
with a good garrison, commanded by General William J. Hardee, a
competent soldier, I saw that the first step was to open
communication with our fleet, supposed to be waiting for us with
supplies and clothing in Ossabaw Sound.

General Howard had, some nights previously, sent one of his best
scouts, Captain Duncan, with two men, in a canoe, to drift past
Fort McAllister, and to convey to the fleet a knowledge of our
approach.  General Kilpatrick's cavalry had also been transferred
to the south bank of the Ogeechee, with orders to open
communication with the fleet.  Leaving orders with General Slocum
to press the siege, I instructed General Howard to send a division
with all his engineers to Grog's Bridge, fourteen and a half miles
southwest from Savannah, to rebuild it.  On the evening of the 12th
I rode over myself, and spent the night at Mr. King's house, where
I found General Howard, with General Hazen's division of the
Fifteenth Corps.  His engineers were hard at work on the bridge,
which they finished that night, and at sunrise Hazen's division
passed over.  I gave General Hazen, in person, his orders to march
rapidly down the right bank of the Ogeechee, and without hesitation
to assault and carry Fort McAllister by storm.  I knew it to be
strong in heavy artillery, as against an approach from the sea, but
believed it open and weak to the rear.  I explained to General
Hazen, fully, that on his action depended the safety of the whole
army, and the success of the campaign.  Kilpatrick had already felt
the fort, and had gone farther down the coast to Kilkenny Bluff, or
St. Catharine's Sound, where, on the same day, he had communication
with a vessel belonging to the blockading fleet; but, at the time,
I was not aware of this fact, and trusted entirely to General Hazen
and his division of infantry, the Second of the Fifteenth Corps,
the same old division which I had commanded at Shiloh and
Vicksburg, in which I felt a special pride and confidence.

Having seen General Hazen fairly off, accompanied by General
Howard, I rode with my staff down the left bank of the Ogeechee,
ten miles to the rice-plantation of a Mr. Cheevea, where General
Howard had established a signal-station to overlook the lower
river, and to watch for any vessel of the blockading squadron,
which the negroes reported to be expecting us, because they nightly
sent up rockets, and daily dispatched a steamboat up the Ogeechee
as near to Fort McAllister as it was safe.

On reaching the rice-mill at Cheevea's, I found a guard and a
couple of twenty-pound Parrott gone, of De Gres's battery, which
fired an occasional shot toward Fort McAllister, plainly seen over
the salt-marsh, about three miles distant.  Fort McAllister had the
rebel flag flying, and occasionally sent a heavy shot back across
the marsh to where we were, but otherwise every thing about the
place looked as peaceable and quiet as on the Sabbath.

The signal-officer had built a platform on the ridge-pole of
the rice-mill.  Leaving our horses behind the stacks of rice-straw,
we all got on the roof of a shed attached to the mill, wherefrom I
could communicate with the signal-officer above, and at the same
time look out toward Ossabaw Sound, and across the Ogeechee River
at Fort McAllister.  About 2 p.m.  we observed signs of commotion
in the fort, and noticed one or two guns fired inland, and some
musket-skirmishing in the woods close by.

This betokened the approach of Hazen's division, which had been
anxiously expected, and soon thereafter the signal-officer
discovered about three miles above the fort a signal-flag, with
which he conversed, and found it to belong to General Hazen, who
was preparing to assault the fort, and wanted to know if I were
there.  On being assured of this fact, and that I expected the fort
to be carried before night, I received by signal the assurance of
General Hazen that he was making his preparations, and would soon
attempt the assault.  The sun was rapidly declining, and I was
dreadfully impatient.  At that very moment some one discovered a
faint cloud of smoke, and an object gliding, as it were, along the
horizon above the tops of the sedge toward the sea, which little by
little grew till it was pronounced to be the smoke-stack of a
steamer coming up the river.  "It must be one of our squadron!"
Soon the flag of the United States was plainly visible, and our
attention was divided between this approaching steamer and the
expected assault.  When the sun was about an hour high, another
signal-message came from General Hazen that he was all ready, and I
replied to go ahead, as a friendly steamer was approaching from
below.  Soon we made out a group of officers on the deck of this
vessel, signaling with a flag, "Who are you!"  The answer went back
promptly, "General Sherman."  Then followed the question, "Is Fort
McAllister taken?"  "Not yet, but it will be in a minute!"  Almost
at that instant of time, we saw Hazen's troops come out of the dark
fringe of woods that encompassed the fort, the lines dressed as on
parade, with colors flying, and moving forward with a quick, steady
pace.  Fort McAllister was then all alive, its big guns belching
forth dense clouds of smoke, which soon enveloped our assaulting
lines.  One color went down, but was up in a moment.  On the lines
advanced, faintly seen in the white, sulphurous smoke; there was a
pause, a cessation of fire; the smoke cleared away, and the
parapets were blue with our men, who fired their muskets in the
air, and shouted so that we actually heard them, or felt that we
did.  Fort McAllister was taken, and the good news was instantly
sent by the signal-officer to our navy friends on the approaching
gunboat, for a point of timber had shut out Fort McAllister from
their view, and they had not seen the action at all, but must have
heard the cannonading.

During the progress of the assault, our little group on Cheeves's
mill hardly breathed; but no sooner did we see our flags on the
parapet than I exclaimed, in the language of the poor negro at
Cobb's plantation, "This nigger will have no sleep this night!"

I was resolved to communicate with our fleet that night, which
happened to be a beautiful moonlight one.  At the wharf belonging
to Cheeves's mill was a small skiff, that had been used by our men
in fishing or in gathering oysters.  I was there in a minute,
called for a volunteer crew, when several young officers, Nichols
and Merritt among the number; said they were good oarsmen, and
volunteered to pull the boat down to Fort McAllister.  General
Howard asked to accompany me; so we took seats in the stern of the
boat, and our crew of officers pulled out with a will.  The tide
was setting in strong, and they had a hard pull, for, though the
distance was but three miles in an air-line, the river was so
crooked that the actual distance was fully six miles.  On the way
down we passed the wreck of a steamer which had been sunk some
years before, during a naval attack on Fort McAllister.

Night had fairly set in when we discovered a soldier on the beach.
I hailed him, and inquired if he knew where General Hazen was.  He
answered that the general was at the house of the overseer of the
plantation (McAllister's), and that he could guide me to it.  We
accordingly landed, tied our boat to a driftlog, and followed our
guide through bushes to a frame-house, standing in a grove of
live-oaks, near a row of negro quarters.

General Hazen was there with his staff, in the act of getting
supper; he invited us to join them, which we accepted promptly, for
we were really very hungry.  Of course, I congratulated Hazen most
heartily on his brilliant success, and praised its execution very
highly, as it deserved, and he explained to me more in detail the
exact results.  The fort was an inclosed work, and its land-front
was in the nature of a bastion and curtains, with good parapet,
ditch, fraise, and chevaux-de-frise, made out of the large branches
of live-oaks.  Luckily, the rebels had left the larger and unwieldy
trunks on the ground, which served as a good cover for the
skirmish-line, which crept behind these logs, and from them kept
the artillerists from loading and firing their guns accurately.

The assault had been made by three parties in line, one from below,
one from above the fort, and the third directly in rear, along the
capital.  All were simultaneous, and had to pass a good abatis and
line of torpedoes, which actually killed more of the assailants
than the heavy guns of the fort, which generally overshot the mark.
Hazen's entire loss was reported, killed and wounded, ninety-two.
Each party reached the parapet about the same time, and the
garrison inside, of about two hundred and fifty men (about fifty of
them killed or wounded), were in his power.  The commanding
officer, Major Anderson, was at that moment a prisoner, and
General Hazen invited him in to take supper with us, which he did.

Up to this time General Hazen did not know that a gunboat was in
the river below the fort; for it was shut off from sight by a point
of timber, and I was determined to board her that night, at
whatever risk or cost, as I wanted some news of what was going on
in the outer world.  Accordingly, after supper, we all walked down
to the fort, nearly a mile from the house where we had been,
entered Fort McAllister, held by a regiment of Hazen's troops, and
the sentinel cautioned us to be very careful, as the ground outside
the fort was full of torpedoes.  Indeed, while we were there, a
torpedo exploded, tearing to pieces a poor fellow who was hunting
for a dead comrade.  Inside the fort lay the dead as they had
fallen, and they could hardly be distinguished from their living
comrades, sleeping soundly side by side in the pale moonlight.  In
the river, close by the fort, was a good yawl tied to a stake, but
the tide was high, and it required some time to get it in to the
bank; the commanding officer, whose name I cannot recall, manned
the boat with a good crew of his men, and, with General Howard, I
entered, and pulled down-stream, regardless of the warnings all
about the torpedoes.

The night was unusually bright, and we expected to find the gunboat
within a mile or so; but, after pulling down the river fully three
miles, and not seeing the gunboat, I began to think she had turned
and gone back to the sound; but we kept on, following the bends of
the river, and about six miles below McAllister we saw her light,
and soon were hailed by the vessel at anchor.  Pulling alongside,
we announced ourselves, and were received with great warmth and
enthusiasm on deck by half a dozen naval officers, among them
Captain Williamson, United States Navy.  She proved to be the
Dandelion, a tender of the regular gunboat Flag, posted at the
mouth of the Ogeechee.  All sorts of questions were made and
answered, and we learned that Captain Duncan had safely reached the
squadron, had communicated the good news of our approach, and they
had been expecting us for some days.  They explained that Admiral
Dahlgren commanded the South-Atlantic Squadron, which was then
engaged in blockading the coast from Charleston south, and was on
his flag-ship, the Harvest Moon, lying in Wassaw Sound; that
General J. G. Foster was in command of the Department of the South,
with his headquarters at Hilton Head; and that several ships loaded
with stores for the army were lying in Tybee Roads and in Port
Royal Sound.  From these officers I also learned that General Grant
was still besieging Petersburg and Richmond, and that matters and
things generally remained pretty much the same as when we had left
Atlanta.  All thoughts seemed to have been turned to us in Georgia,
cut off from all communication with our friends; and the rebel
papers had reported us to be harassed, defeated, starving, and
fleeing for safety to the coast.  I then asked for pen and paper,
and wrote several hasty notes to General Foster, Admiral Dahlgren,
General Grant, and the Secretary of War, giving in general terms
the actual state of affairs, the fact of the capture of Fort
McAllister, and of my desire that means should be taken to
establish a line of supply from the vessels in port up the Ogeechee
to the rear of the army.  As a sample, I give one of these notes,
addressed to the Secretary of War, intended for publication to
relieve the anxiety of our friends at the North generally:

ON BOARD DANDELION, OSSABAW SOUND, December 13, 1864--11.50 p.m.

To Hon. E.  M.  STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

To-day, at 6 p. m., General Hazen's division of the Fifteenth Corps
carried Fort McAllister by assault, capturing its entire garrison
and stores.  This opened to us Ossabaw Sound, and I pushed down to
this gunboat to communicate with the fleet.  Before opening
communication we had completely destroyed all the railroads leading
into Savannah, and invested the city.  The left of the army is on
the Savannah River three miles above the city, and the right on the
Ogeechee, at King's Bridge.  The army is in splendid order, and
equal to any thing.  The weather has been fine, and supplies were
abundant.  Our march was most agreeable, and we were not at all
molested by guerrillas.

We reached Savannah three days ago, but, owing to Fort McAllister,
could not communicate; but, now that we have McAllister, we can go

We have already captured two boats on the Savannah river and
prevented their gunboats from coming down.

I estimate the population of Savannah at twenty-five thousand, and
the garrison at fifteen thousand.  General Hardee commands.

We have not lost a wagon on the trip; but have gathered a large
supply of negroes, mules, horses, etc., and our teams are in far
better condition than when we started.

My first duty will be to clear the army of surplus negroes, mules,
and horses.  We have utterly destroyed over two hundred miles of
rails, and consumed stores and provisions that were essential to
Lee's and Hood's armies.

The quick work made with McAllister, the opening of communication
with our fleet, and our consequent independence as to supplies,
dissipate all their boasted threats to head us off and starve the

I regard Savannah as already gained.
Yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

By this time the night was well advanced, and the tide was running
ebb-strong; so I asked.  Captain Williamson to tow us up as near
Fort McAllister as he would venture for the torpedoes, of which the
navy-officers had a wholesome dread.  The Dandelion steamed up some
three or four miles, till the lights of Fort McAllister could be
seen, when she anchored, and we pulled to the fort in our own boat.
General Howard and I then walked up to the McAllister House, where
we found General Hazen and his officers asleep on the floor of one
of the rooms.  Lying down on the floor, I was soon fast asleep, but
shortly became conscious that some one in the room was inquiring
for me among the sleepers.  Calling out, I was told that an officer
of General Fosters staff had just arrived from a steamboat anchored
below McAllister; that the general was extremely anxious to see me
on important business, but that he was lame from an old Mexican-War
wound, and could not possibly come to me.  I was extremely weary
from the incessant labor of the day and night before, but got up,
and again walked down the sandy road to McAllister, where I found a
boat awaiting us, which carried us some three miles down the river,
to the steamer W.  W.  Coit (I think), on board of which we found
General Foster.  He had just come from Port Royal, expecting to
find Admiral Dahlgren in Ossabaw Sound, and, hearing of the capture
of Fort McAllister, he had come up to see me.  He described fully
the condition of affairs with his own command in South Carolina.
He had made several serious efforts to effect a lodgment on the
railroad which connects Savannah with Charleston near Pocotaligo,
but had not succeeded in reaching the railroad itself, though he
had a full division of troops, strongly intrenched, near Broad
River, within cannon-range of the railroad.  He explained,
moreover, that there were at Port Royal abundant supplies of bread
and provisions, as well as of clothing, designed for our use.  We
still had in our wagons and in camp abundance of meat, but we
needed bread, sugar, and coffee, and it was all-important that a
route of supply should at once be opened, for which purpose the
assistance of the navy were indispensable.  We accordingly
steamed down the Ogeechee River to Ossabaw Sound, in hopes to meet
Admiral Dahlgren, but he was not there, and we continued on by the
inland channel to Warsaw Sound, where we found the Harvest Moon,
and Admiral Dahlgren.  I was not personally acquainted with him at
the time, but he was so extremely kind and courteous that I was at
once attracted to him.  There was nothing in his power, he said,
which he would not do to assist us, to make our campaign absolutely
successful.  He undertook at once to find vessels of light draught
to carry our supplies from Port Royal to Cheeves's Mill, or to
Grog's Bridge above, whence they could be hauled by wagons to our
several camps; he offered to return with me to Fort McAllister, to
superintend the removal of the torpedoes, and to relieve me of all
the details of this most difficult work.  General Foster then
concluded to go on to Port Royal, to send back to us six hundred
thousand rations, and all the rifled guns of heavy calibre, and
ammunition on hand, with which I thought we could reach the city of
Savannah, from the positions already secured.  Admiral Dahlgren
then returned with me in the Harvest Moon to Fort McAllister.  This
consumed all of the 14th of December; and by the 15th I had again
reached Cheeves's Mill, where my horse awaited me, and rode on to
General Howard's headquarters at Anderson's plantation, on the
plank-road, about eight miles back of Savannah.  I reached this
place about noon, and immediately sent orders to my own
head-quarters, on the Louisville road, to have them brought over to
the plank-road, as a place more central and convenient; gave written
notice to Generals Slocum and Howard of all the steps taken, and
ordered them to get ready to receive the siege-guns, to put them in
position to bombard Savannah, and to prepare for the general assault.
The country back of Savannah is very low, and intersected with
innumerable saltwater creeks, swamps, and rice-fields. Fortunately
the weather was good and the roads were passable, but, should the
winter rains set in, I knew that we would be much embarrassed.
Therefore, heavy details of men were at once put to work to prepare a
wharf and depot at Grog's Bridge, and the roads leading thereto were
corduroyed in advance.  The Ogeechee Canal was also cleared out for
use; and boats, such as were common on the river plantations, were
collected, in which to float stores from our proposed base on the
Ogeechee to the points most convenient to the several camps.

Slocum's wing extended from the Savannah River to the canal, and
Howard's wing from the canal to the extreme right, along down the
Little Ogeechee.  The enemy occupied not only the city itself, with
its long line of outer works, but the many forts which had been
built to guard the approaches from the sea-such as at Beaulieu,
Rosedew, White Bluff, Bonaventura, Thunderbolt, Cansten's Bluff,
Forts Tatnall, Boggs, etc., etc.  I knew that General Hardee could
not have a garrison strong enough for all these purposes, and I was
therefore anxious to break his lines before he could receive
reenforcements from Virginia or Augusta.  General Slocum had
already captured a couple of steamboats trying to pass down the
Savannah River from Augusta, and had established some of his men on
Argyle and Hutchinson Islands above the city, and wanted to
transfer a whole corps to the South Carolina bank; but, as the
enemy had iron-clad gunboats in the river, I did not deem it
prudent, because the same result could be better accomplished from
General Fosters position at Broad River.

Fort McAllister was captured as described, late in the evening of
December 13th, and by the 16th many steamboats had passed up as
high as King's Bridge; among them one which General Grant had
dispatched with the mails for the army, which had accumulated since
our departure from Atlanta, under charge of Colonel A. H. Markland.
These mails were most welcome to all the officers and soldiers of
the army, which had been cut off from friends and the world for two
months, and this prompt receipt of letters from home had an
excellent effect, making us feel that home was near.  By this
vessel also came Lieutenant Dune, aide-de-camp, with the following
letter of December 3d, from General Grant, and on the next day
Colonel Babcock, United States Engineers, arrived with the letter
of December 6th, both of which are in General Grant's own
handwriting, and are given entire:

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA,  December 3, 1864.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Armies near Savannah,

GENERAL: The little information gleaned from the Southern press
indicating no great obstacle to your progress, I have directed your
mails (which had been previously collected in Baltimore by Colonel
Markland, special-agent of the Post-Office Department) to be sent
as far as the blockading squadron off Savannah, to be forwarded to
you as soon as heard from on the coast.

Not liking to rejoice before the victory is assured, I abstain from
congratulating you and those under your command, until bottom has
been struck.  I have never had a fear, however, for the result.

Since you left Atlanta no very great progress has been made here.
The enemy has been closely watched, though, and prevented from
detaching against you.  I think not one man has gone from here,
except some twelve or fifteen hundred dismounted cavalry.  Bragg
has gone from Wilmington.  I am trying to take advantage of his
absence to get possession of that place.  Owing to some
preparations Admiral Porter and General Butler are making to blow
up Fort Fisher (which, while hoping for the best, I do not believe
a particle in), there is a delay in getting this expedition off.  I
hope they will be ready to start by the 7th, and that Bragg will
not have started back by that time.

In this letter I do not intend to give you any thing like
directions for future action, but will state a general idea I have,
and will get your views after you have established yourself on the
sea-coast.  With your veteran army I hope to get control of the only
two through routes from east to west possessed by the enemy before
the fall of Atlanta.  The condition will be filled by holding
Savannah and Augusta, or by holding any other port to the east of
Savannah and Branchville.  If Wilmington falls, a force from there
can cooperate with you.

Thomas has got back into the defenses of Nashville, with Hood close
upon him.  Decatur has been abandoned, and so have all the roads,
except the main one leading to Chattanooga.  Part of this falling
back was undoubtedly necessary, and all of it may have been.  It
did not look so, however, to me.  In my opinion, Thomas far
outnumbers Hood in infantry.  In cavalry Hood has the advantage in
morale and numbers.  I hope yet that Hood will be badly crippled,
if not destroyed.  The general news you will learn from the papers
better than I can give it.

After all becomes quiet, and roads become so bad up here that there
is likely to be a week or two when nothing can be done, I will run
down the coast to see you.  If you desire it, I will ask Mrs.
Sherman to go with me.
Yours truly,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, December 6, 1864.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: On reflection since sending my letter by the hands of
Lieutenant Dunn, I have concluded that the most important operation
toward closing out the rebellion will be to close out Lee and his

You have now destroyed the roads of the South so that it will
probably take them three months without interruption to reestablish
a through line from east to west.  In that time I think the job here
will be effectually completed.

My idea now is that you establish a base on the sea-coast, fortify
and leave in it all your artillery and cavalry, and enough infantry
to protect them, and at the same time so threaten the interior that
the militia of the South will have to be kept at home.  With the
balance of your command come here by water with all dispatch.
Select yourself the officer to leave in command, but you I want in
person.  Unless you see objections to this plan which I cannot see,
use every vessel going to you for purposes of transportation.

Hood has Thomas close in Nashville.  I have said all I can to force
him to attack, without giving the positive order until to-day.
To-day, however, I could stand it no longer, and gave the order
without any reserve.  I think the battle will take place to-morrow.
The result will probably be known in New York before Colonel
Babcock (the bearer of this) will leave it.  Colonel Babcock will
give you full information of all operations now in progress.
Very respectfully your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

The contents of these letters gave me great uneasiness, for I had
set my heart on the capture of Savannah, which I believed to be
practicable, and to be near; for me to embark for Virginia by sea
was so complete a change from what I had supposed would be the
course of events that I was very much concerned.  I supposed, as a
matter of course, that a fleet of vessels would soon pour in, ready
to convey the army to Virginia, and as General Grant's orders
contemplated my leaving the cavalry, trains, and artillery, behind,
I judged Fort McAllister to be the best place for the purpose, and
sent my chief-engineer, Colonel Poe, to that fort, to reconnoitre
the ground, and to prepare it so as to make a fortified camp large
enough to accommodate the vast herd of mules and horses that would
thus be left behind.  And as some time might be required to collect
the necessary shipping, which I estimated at little less than a
hundred steamers and sailing-vessels, I determined to push
operations, in hopes to secure the city of Savannah before the
necessary fleet could be available.  All these ideas are given in
my answer to General Grant's letters (dated December 16, 1864)
herewith, which is a little more full than the one printed in the
report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, because in that
copy I omitted the matter concerning General Thomas, which now need
no longer be withheld:

IN THE FIELD, NEAR SAVANNAH, December 16, 1864.

Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, City Point,

GENERAL: I received, day before yesterday, at the hands of
Lieutenant Dunn, your letter of December 8d, and last night, at the
hands of Colonel Babcock, that of December 6th.  I had previously
made you a hasty scrawl from the tugboat Dandelion, in Ogeechee
River, advising you that the army had reached the sea-coast,
destroying all the railroads across the State of Georgia, investing
closely the city of Savannah, and had made connection with the

Since writing that note, I have in person met and conferred with
General Foster and Admiral Dahlgren, and made all the arrangements
which were deemed essential for reducing the city of Savannah to
our possession.  But, since the receipt of yours of the 6th, I have
initiated measures looking principally to coming to you with fifty
or Sixty thousand infantry, and incidentally to capture Savannah,
if time will allow.

At the time we carried Fort McAllister by assault so handsomely,
with its twenty-two guns and entire garrison, I was hardly aware
of its importance; but, since passing down the river with General
Foster and up with Admiral Dahlgren, I realize how admirably
adapted are Ossabaw Sound and Ogeechee River to supply an army
operating against Savannah.  Seagoing vessels can easily come to
King's Bridge, a point on Ogeechee River, fourteen and a half miles
due west of Savannah, from which point we have roads leading to all
our camps.  The country is low and sandy, and cut up with marshes,
which in wet weather will be very bad, but we have been so favored
with weather that they are all now comparatively good, and heavy
details are constantly employed in double-corduroying the marshes,
so that I have no fears even of bad weather.  Fortunately, also, by
liberal and judicious foraging, we reached the sea-coast abundantly
supplied with forage and provisions, needing nothing on arrival
except bread.  Of this we started from Atlanta, with from eight to
twenty days' supply per corps and some of the troops only had one
day's issue of bread during the trip of thirty days; yet they did
not want, for sweet-potatoes were very abundant, as well as
corn-meal, and our soldiers took to them naturally.  We started
with about five thousand head of cattle, and arrived with over ten
thousand, of course consuming mostly turkeys, chickens, sheep,
hogs, and the cattle of the country.  As to our mules and horses,
we left Atlanta with about twenty-five hundred wagons, many of
which were drawn by mules which had not recovered from the
Chattanooga starvation, all of which were replaced, the poor mules
shot, and our transportation is now in superb condition.  I have no
doubt the State of Georgia has lost, by our operations, fifteen
thousand first-rate mules.  As to horses, Kilpatrick collected all
his remounts, and it looks to me, in riding along our
columns, as though every officer had three or four led horses, and
each regiment seems to be followed by at least fifty negroes and
foot-sore soldiers, riding on horses and mules.  The custom was for
each brigade to send out daily a foraging-party of about fifty men,
on foot, who invariably returned mounted, with several wagons
loaded with poultry, potatoes, etc., and as the army is composed of
about forty brigades, you can estimate approximately the number of
horses collected.  Great numbers of these were shot by my order,
because of the disorganizing effect on our infantry of having too
many idlers mounted.  General Euston is now engaged in collecting
statistics on this subject, but I know the Government will never
receive full accounts of our captures, although the result aimed at
was fully attained, viz., to deprive our enemy of them.  All these
animals I will have sent to Port Royal, or collected behind Fort
McAllister, to be used by General Saxton in his farming operations,
or by the Quartermaster's Department, after they are systematically
accounted for.  While General Easton is collecting transportation
for my troops to James River, I will throw to Port Royal Island all
our means of transportation I can, and collect the rest near Fort
McAllister, covered by the Ogeeehee River and intrenchments to be
erected, and for which Captain Poe, my chief-engineer, is now
reconnoitring the ground, but in the mean time will act as I have
begun, as though the city of Savannah were my objective: namely,
the troops will continue to invest Savannah closely, making attacks
and feints wherever we have fair ground to stand upon, and I will
place some thirty-pound Parrotts, which I have got from General
Foster, in position, near enough to reach the centre of the city,
and then will demand its surrender.  If General Hardee is alarmed,
or fears starvation, he may surrender; otherwise I will bombard the
city, but not risk the lives of our men by assaults across the
narrow causeways, by which alone I can now reach it.

If I had time, Savannah, with all its dependent fortifications,
would surely fall into our possession, for we hold all its avenues
of supply.

The enemy has made two desperate efforts to get boats from above to
the city, in both of which he has been foiled-General Slocum (whose
left flank rests on the river) capturing and burning the first
boat, and in the second instance driving back two gunboats and
capturing the steamer Resolute, with seven naval officers and a
crew of twenty-five seamen.  General Slocum occupies Argyle Island
and the upper end of Hutchinson Inland, and has a brigade on the
South Carolina shore opposite, and is very urgent to pass one of
his corps over to that shore.  But, in view of the change of plan
made necessary by your order of the 6th, I will maintain things in
statu quo till I have got all my transportation to the rear and out
of the way, and until I have sea-transportation for the troops you
require at James River, which I will accompany and command in
person.  Of course, I will leave Kilpatrick, with his cavalry (say
five thousand three hundred), and, it may be, a division of the
Fifteenth Corps; but, before determining on this, I must see
General Foster, and may arrange to shift his force (now over above
the Charleston Railroad, at the head of Broad River) to the
Ogeeohee, where, in cooperation with Kilpatrick's cavalry, he can
better threaten the State of Georgia than from the direction of
Port Royal.  Besides, I would much prefer not to detach from my
regular corps any of its veteran divisions, and would even prefer
that other less valuable troops should be sent to reenforce Foster
from some other quarter.  My four corps, full of experience and
full of ardor, coming to you en masse, equal to sixty thousand
fighting men, will be a reenforcement that Lee cannot disregard.
Indeed, with my present command, I had expected, after reducing
Savannah, instantly to march to Columbia, South Carolina; thence to
Raleigh, and thence to report to you.  But this would consume, it
may be, six weeks' time after the fall of Savannah; whereas, by
sea, I can probably reach you with my men and arms before the
middle of January.

I myself am somewhat astonished at the attitude of things in
Tennessee.  I purposely delayed at Kingston until General Thomas
assured me that he was all ready, and my last dispatch from him of
the 12th of November was full of confidence, in which he promised
me that he would ruin Hood if he dared to advance from Florence,
urging me to go ahead, and give myself no concern about Hood's army
in Tennessee.

Why he did not turn on him at Franklin, after checking and
discomfiting him, surpasses my understanding.  Indeed, I do not
approve of his evacuating Decatur, but think he should have assumed
the offensive against Hood from Pulaski, in the direction of
I know full well that General Thomas is slow in mind and in action;
but he is judicious and brave and the troops feel great confidence
in him.  I still hope he will out-manoeuvre and destroy Hood.

As to matters in the Southeast, I think Hardee, in Savannah, has
good  artillerists, some five or six thousand good infantry, and,
it may be, a mongrel mass of eight to ten thousand militia.  In all
our marching through Georgia, he has not forced us to use any thing
but a skirmish-line, though at several points he had erected
fortifications and tried to alarm us by bombastic threats.  In
Savannah he has taken refuge in a line constructed behind swamps
and overflowed rice-fields, extending from a point on the Savannah
River about three miles above the city, around by a branch of the
Little Ogeechee, which stream is impassable from its salt-marshes
and boggy swamps, crossed only by narrow causeways or common

There must be twenty-five thousand citizens, men, women, and
children, in Savannah, that must also be fed, and how he is to feed
them beyond a few days I cannot imagine.  I know that his
requisitions for corn on the interior counties were not filled, and
we are in possession of the rice-fields and mills, which could
alone be of service to him in this neighborhood.  He can draw
nothing from South Carolina, save from a small corner down in the
southeast, and that by a disused wagon-road.  I could easily get
possession of this, but hardly deem it worth the risk of making a
detachment, which would be in danger by its isolation from the main
army.  Our whole army is in fine condition as to health, and the
weather is splendid.  For that reason alone I feel a personal
dislike to turning northward.  I will keep Lieutenant Dunn here
until I know the result of my demand for the surrender of Savannah,
but, whether successful or not, shall not delay my execution of
your order of the 6th, which will depend alone upon the time it
will require to obtain transportation by sea.

I am, with respect, etc., your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General United States Army.

Having concluded all needful preparations, I rode from my
headquarters, on the plank-road, over to General Slocum's
headquarters, on the Macon road, and thence dispatched (by flag of
truce) into Savannah, by the hands of Colonel Ewing,
inspector-general, a demand for the surrender of the place.  The
following letters give the result.  General Hardee refused to
surrender, and I then resolved to make the attempt to break his
line of defense at several places, trusting that some one would

IN THE FIELD, NEAR SAVANNAH, December 17, 1864.

General WILLIAM J. HARDEE, commanding Confederate Forces in

GENERAL: You have doubtless observed, from your station at Rosedew
that sea-going vessels now come through Ossabaw Sound and up the
Ogeechee to the rear of my army, giving me abundant supplies of all
kinds, and more especially heavy ordnance necessary for the
reduction of Savannah.  I have already received guns that can cast
heavy and destructive shot as far as the heart of your city; also,
I have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the
people and garrison of Savannah can be supplied, and I am therefore
justified in demanding the surrender of the city of Savannah, and
its dependent forts, and shall wait a reasonable time for your
answer, before opening with heavy ordnance.  Should you entertain
the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the
inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to
assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall
then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and
shall make little effort to restrain my army--burning to avenge the
national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities
which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil
war.  I inclose you a copy of General Hood's demand for the
surrender of the town of Resaoa, to be used by you for what it is
worth. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, December 17, 1864

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Federal Forces near
Savannah, Georgia.

GENERAL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of a communication from
you of this date, in which you demand "the surrender of Savannah
and its dependent forts," on the ground that you "have received
guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot into the heart of the
city," and for the further reason that you "have, for some days,
held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison
can be supplied."  You add that, should you be "forced to resort to
assault, or to the slower and surer process of starvation, you will
then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and will
make little effort to restrain your army," etc., etc.  The position
of your forces (a half-mile beyond the outer line for the
land-defense of Savannah) is, at the nearest point, at least four
miles from the heart of the city.  That and the interior line are
both intact.

Your statement that you have, for some days, held and controlled
every avenue by which the people and garrison can be supplied, is
incorrect.  I am in free and constant communication with my

Your demand for the surrender of Savannah and its dependent forts
is refused.

With respect to the threats conveyed in the closing paragraphs of
your letter (of what may be expected in case your demand is not
complied with), I have to say that I have hitherto conducted the
military operations intrusted to my direction in strict accordance
with the rules of civilized warfare, and I should deeply regret the
adoption of any course by you that may force me to deviate from
them in future.  I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your
obedient servant,

W.  J.  HARDEE, Lieutenant-General.

IN THE FIELD, NEAR SAVANNAH, December 18, 1864 8 p.m.

Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, City Point, Virginia.

GENERAL: I wrote you at length (by Colonel Babcock) on the 16th
instant.  As I therein explained my purpose, yesterday I made a
demand on General Hardee for the surrender of the city of Savannah,
and to-day received his answer--refusing; copies of both letters
are herewith inclosed.  You will notice that I claim that my lines
are within easy cannon-range of the heart of Savannah; but General
Hardee asserts that we are four and a half miles distant.  But I
myself have been to the intersection of the Charleston and Georgia
Central Railroads, and the three-mile post is but a few yards
beyond, within the line of our pickets.  The enemy has no pickets
outside of his fortified line (which is a full quarter of a mile
within the three-mile post), and I have the evidence of Mr. R. R.
Cuyler, President of the Georgia Central Railroad (who was a
prisoner in our hands), that the mile-posts are measured from the
Exchange, which is but two squares back from the river.  By
to-morrow morning I will have six thirty-pound Parrotts in
position, and General Hardee will learn whether I am right or not.
From the left of our line, which is on the Savannah River, the
spires can be plainly seen; but the country is so densely wooded
with pine and live-oak, and lies so flat, that we can see nothing
from any other portion of our lines.  General Slocum feels
confident that he can make a successful assault at one or two
points in front of General Davis's (Fourteenth) corps.  All of
General Howard's troops (the right wing) lie behind the Little
Ogeechee, and I doubt if it can be passed by troops in the face of
an enemy.  Still, we can make strong feints, and if I can get a
sufficient number of boats, I shall make a cooperative
demonstration up Vernon River or Wassaw Sound.  I should like very
much indeed to take Savannah before coming to you; but, as I wrote
to you before, I will do nothing rash or hasty, and will embark for
the James River as soon as General Easton (who is gone to Port
Royal for that purpose) reports to me that he has an approximate
number of vessels for the transportation of the contemplated force.
I fear even this will cost more delay than you anticipate, for
already the movement of our transports and the gunboats has
required more time than I had expected.  We have had dense fogs;
there are more mud-banks in the Ogeechee than were reported, and
there are no pilots whatever.  Admiral Dahlgren promised to have
the channel buoyed and staked, but it is not done yet.  We find
only six feet of water up to King's Bridge at low tide, about ten
feet up to the rice-mill, and sixteen to Fort McAllister.  All
these points may be used by us, and we have a good, strong bridge
across Ogeechee at King's, by which our wagons can go to Fort
McAllister, to which point I am sending all wagons not absolutely
necessary for daily use, the negroes, prisoners of war, sick, etc.,
en route for Port Royal.  In relation to Savannah, you will remark
that General Hardee refers to his still being in communication with
his department.  This language he thought would deceive me; but I
am confirmed in the belief that the route to which he refers (the
Union Plank-road on the South Carolina shore) is inadequate to feed
his army and the people of Savannah, and General Foster assures me
that he has his force on that very road, near the head of Broad
River, so that cars no longer run between Charleston and Savannah.
We hold this end of the Charleston Railroad, and have destroyed it
from the three-mile post back to the bridge (about twelve miles).
In anticipation of leaving this country, I am continuing the
destruction of their railroads, and at this moment have two
divisions and the cavalry at work breaking up the Gulf Railroad
from the Ogeechee to the Altamaha; so that, even if I do not take
Savannah, I will leave it in a bad way.  But I still hope that
events will give me time to take Savannah, even if I have to
assault with some loss.  I am satisfied that, unless we take it,
the gunboats never will, for they can make no impression upon the
batteries which guard every approach from the sea.  I have a faint
belief that, when Colonel Babcock reaches you, you will delay
operations long enough to enable me to succeed here.  With Savannah
in our possession, at some future time if not now, we can punish
South Carolina as she deserves, and as thousands of the people in
Georgia hoped we would do.  I do sincerely believe that the whole
United States, North and South, would rejoice to have this army
turned loose on South Carolina, to devastate that State in the
manner we have done in Georgia, and it would have a direst and
immediate bearing on your campaign in Virginia.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General United States Army.

As soon as the army had reached Savannah, and had opened
communication with the fleet, I endeavored to ascertain what had
transpired in Tennessee since our departure.  We received our
letters and files of newspapers, which contained full accounts of
all the events there up to about the 1st of December.  As before
described, General Hood had three full corps of infantry--S. D.
Lee's, A. P. Stewart's, and Cheatham's, at Florence, Alabama--with
Forrest's corps of cavalry, numbering in the aggregate about
forty-five thousand men.  General Thomas was in Nashville, Tennessee,
quietly engaged in reorganizing his army out of the somewhat broken
forces at his disposal.  He had posted his only two regular corps,
the Fourth and Twenty-third, under the general command of
Major-General J. M. Schofield, at Pulaski, directly in front of
Florence, with the three brigades of cavalry (Hatch, Croxton, and
Capron), commanded by Major-General Wilson, watching closely for
Hood's initiative.

This force aggregated about thirty thousand men, was therefore
inferior to the enemy; and General Schofield was instructed, in
case the enemy made a general advance, to fall back slowly toward
Nashville, fighting, till he should be reenforced by General Thomas
in person.  Hood's movement was probably hurried by reason of my
advance into Georgia; for on the 17th his infantry columns marched
from Florence in the direction of Waynesboro', turning, Schofield's
position at Pulaski.  The latter at once sent his trains to the
rear, and on the 21st fell back to Columbia, Tennessee.  General
Hood  followed up this movement, skirmished lightly with Schofield
at Columbia, began the passage of Duck River, below the town, and
Cheatham's corps reached the vicinity of Spring Hill, whither
General Schofield had sent General Stanley, with two of his
divisions, to cover the movement of his trains.  During the night
of November 29th General Schofield passed Spring Hill with his
trains and army, and took post at Franklin, on the south aide of
Harpeth River.  General Hood now attaches serious blame to General
Cheatham for not attacking General Schofield in flank while in
motion at Spring Hill, for he was bivouacked within eight hundred
yards of the road at the time of the passage of our army.  General
Schofield reached Franklin on the morning of November 30th, and
posted his army in front of the town, where some
rifle-intrenchments had been constructed in advance.  He had the
two corps of Stanley and Cox (Fourth and Twenty-third), with
Wilson's cavalry on his flanks, and sent his trains behind the

General Hood closed upon him the same day, and assaulted his
position with vehemence, at one time breaking the line and wounding
General Stanley seriously; but our men were veterans, cool and
determined, and fought magnificently.  The rebel officers led their
men in person to the several persistent assaults, continuing the
battle far into the night, when they drew off, beaten and

Their loss was very severe, especially in general officers; among
them Generals Cleburn and Adams, division commanders.  Hood's loss
on that day was afterward ascertained to be (Thomas's report):
Buried on the field, seventeen hundred and fifty; left in hospital
at Franklin, thirty-eight hundred; and seven hundred and two
prisoners captured and held: aggregate, six thousand two hundred
and fifty-two.  General Schofields lose, reported officially, was
one hundred and eighty-nine killed, one thousand and thirty-three
wounded, and eleven hundred and four prisoners or missing:
aggregate, twenty-three hundred and twenty-six.  The next day
General Schofield crossed the Harpeth without trouble, and fell
back to the defenses of Nashville.

Meantime General Thomas had organized the employees of the
Quartermaster's Department into a corps, commanded by the
chief-quartermaster, General J. Z. Donaldson, and placed them in the
fortifications of Nashville, under the general direction of
Major-General Z. B. Tower, now of the United States Engineers.  He
had also received the two veteran divisions of the Sixteenth Corps,
under General A. J. Smith, long absent and long expected; and he
had drawn from Chattanooga and Decatur (Alabama) the divisions of
Steedman and of R. S. Granger.  These, with General Schofields army
and about ten thousand good cavalry, under General J.  H.  Wilson,
constituted a strong army, capable not only of defending Nashville,
but of beating Hood in the open field.  Yet Thomas remained inside
of Nashville, seemingly passive, until General Hood had closed upon
him and had entrenched his position.

General Thomas had furthermore held fast to the railroad leading
from Nashville to Chattanooga, leaving strong guards at its
principal points, as at Murfreesboro', Deckerd, Stevenson,
Bridgeport, Whitesides, and Chattanooga.  At Murfreesboro' the
division of Rousseau was reenforced and strengthened up to about
eight thousand men.

At that time the weather was cold and sleety, the ground was
covered with ice and snow, and both parties for a time rested on
the defensive.  Those matters stood at Nashville, while we were
closing down on Savannah, in the early part of December, 1864; and
the country, as well as General Grant, was alarmed at the seeming
passive conduct of General Thomas; and General Grant at one time
considered the situation so dangerous that he thought of going to
Nashville in person, but General John A. Logan, happening to be at
City Point, was sent out to supersede General Thomas; luckily for
the latter, he acted in time, gained a magnificent victory, and
thus escaped so terrible a fate.

On the 18th of December, at my camp by the side of the plank-road,
eight miles back of Savannah, I received General Hardee's letter
declining to surrender, when nothing remained but to assault.  The
ground was difficult, and, as all former assaults had proved so
bloody, I concluded to make one more effort to completely surround
Savannah on all aides, so as further to excite Hardee's fears, and,
in case of success, to capture the whole of his army.  We had
already completely invested the place on the north, west, and
south, but there remained to the enemy, on the east, the use of the
old dike or plank-road leading into South Carolina, and I knew that
Hardee would have a pontoon-bridge across the river.  On examining
my maps, I thought that the division of John P. Hatch, belonging to
General Fosters command, might be moved from its then position at
Broad River, by water, down to Bluffton, from which it could reach
this plank-road, fortify and hold it--at some risk, of course,
because Hardee could avail himself of his central position to fall
on this detachment with his whole army.  I did not want to make a
mistake like "Ball's Bluff" at that period of the war; so, taking
one or two of my personal staff, I rode back to Grog's Bridge,
leaving with Generals Howard and Slocum orders to make all
possible preparations, but not to attack, during my two or three
days' absence; and there I took a boat for Wassaw Sound, whence
Admiral Dahlgren conveyed me in his own boat (the Harvest Moon) to
Hilton Head, where I represented the matter to General Foster, and
he promptly agreed to give his personal attention to it.  During
the night of the 20th we started back, the wind blowing strong,
Admiral Dahlgren ordered the pilot of the Harvest Moon to run into
Tybee, and to work his way through to Wassaw Sound and the Ogeechee
River by the Romney Marshes.  We were caught by a low tide and
stuck in the mud.  After laboring some time, the admiral ordered
out his barge; in it we pulled through this intricate and shallow
channel, and toward evening of December 21st we discovered, coming
toward us, a tug, called the Red Legs, belonging to the
Quarter-master's Department, with a staff-officer on board, bearing
letters from Colonel Dayton to myself and the admiral, reporting that
the city of Savannah had been found evacuated on the morning of
December 21st, and was then in our possession.  General Hardee had
crossed the Savannah River by a pontoon-bridge, carrying off his men
and light artillery, blowing up his iron-clads and navy-yard, but
leaving for us all the heavy guns, stores, cotton, railway-cars,
steamboats, and an immense amount of public and private property.
Admiral Dahlgren concluded to go toward a vessel (the Sonoma) of his
blockading fleet, which lay at anchor near Beaulieu, and I
transferred to the Red Legs, and hastened up the Ogeechee River to
Grog's Bridge, whence I rode to my camp that same night. I there
learned that, early on the morning of December 21st, the skirmishers
had detected the absence of the enemy, and had occupied his lines
simultaneously along their whole extent; but the left flank (Slocum),
especially Geary's division of the Twentieth Corps, claimed to have
been the first to reach the heart of the city.

Generals Slocum and Howard moved their headquarters at once into
the city, leaving the bulk of their troops in camps outside.  On
the morning of December 22d I followed with my own headquarters,
and rode down Bull Street to the custom-house, from the roof of
which we had an extensive view over the city, the river, and the
vast extent of marsh and rice-fields on the South Carolina side.
The navy-yard, and the wreck of the iron-clad ram Savannah, were
still smouldering, but all else looked quiet enough.  Turning back,
we rode to the Pulaski Hotel, which I had known in years long gone,
and found it kept by a Vermont man with a lame leg, who used to be
a clerk in the St. Louis Hotel, New Orleans, and I inquired about
the capacity of his hotel for headquarters.  He was very anxious to
have us for boarders, but I soon explained to him that we had a
full mess equipment along, and that we were not in the habit of
paying board; that one wing of the building would suffice for our
use, while I would allow him to keep an hotel for the accommodation
of officers and gentlemen in the remainder.  I then dispatched an
officer to look around for a livery-stable that could accommodate
our horses, and, while waiting there, an English gentleman, Mr.
Charles Green, came and said that he had a fine house completely
furnished, for which he had no use, and offered it as headquarters.
He explained, moreover, that General Howard had informed him, the
day before, that I would want his house for headquarters.  At first
I felt strongly disinclined to make use of any private dwelling,
lest complaints should arise of damage and lose of furniture, and
so expressed myself to Mr. Green; but, after riding about the city,
and finding his house so spacious, so convenient, with large yard
and stabling, I accepted his offer, and occupied that house during
our stay in Savannah.  He only reserved for himself the use of a
couple of rooms above the dining-room, and we had all else, and a
most excellent house it was in all respects.

I was disappointed that Hardee had escaped with his army, but on
the whole we had reason to be content with the substantial fruits
of victory.  The Savannah River was found to be badly obstructed by
torpedoes, and by log piers stretched across the channel below the
city, which piers were filled with the cobble stones that formerly
paved the streets.  Admiral Dahlgren was extremely active, visited
me repeatedly in the city, while his fleet still watched
Charleston, and all the avenues, for the blockade-runners that
infested the coast, which were notoriously owned and managed by
Englishmen, who used the island of New Providence (Nassau) as a
sort of entrepot.  One of these small blockade-runners came into
Savannah after we were in full possession, and the master did not
discover his mistake till he came ashore to visit the custom-house.
Of coarse his vessel fell a prize to the navy.  A heavy force was
at once set to work to remove the torpedoes and obstructions in the
main channel of the river, and, from that time forth, Savannah
became the great depot of supply for the troops operating in that

Meantime, on the 15th and 16th of December, were fought, in front
of Nashville, the great battles in which General Thomas so nobly
fulfilled his promise to ruin Hood, the details of which are fully
given in his own official reports, long-since published.  Rumors of
these great victories reached us at Savannah by piecemeal, but his
official report came on the 24th of December, with a letter from
General Grant, giving in general terms the events up to the 18th,
and I wrote at once through my chief of staff, General Webster, to
General Thomas, complimenting him in the highest terms.  His
brilliant victory at Nashville was necessary to mine at Savannah to
make a complete whole, and this fact was perfectly comprehended by
Mr. Lincoln, who recognized it fully in his personal letter of
December 26th, hereinbefore quoted at length, and which is also
claimed at the time, in my Special Field Order No. 6, of January 8,
1865, here given:

(Special Field Order No. 6.)


The general commanding announces to the troops composing the
Military Division of the Mississippi that he has received from the
President of the United States, and from Lieutenant-General Grant,
letters conveying their high sense and appreciation of the campaign
just closed, resulting in the capture of Savannah and the defeat of
Hood's army in Tennessee.

In order that all may understand the importance of events, it is
proper to revert to the situation of affairs in September last.  We
held Atlanta, a city of little value to us, but so important to the
enemy that Mr. Davis, the head of the rebellious faction in the
South, visited his army near Palmetto, and commanded it to regain
the place and also to ruin and destroy us, by a series of measures
which he thought would be effectual.  That army, by a rapid march,
gained our railroad near Big Shanty, and afterward about Dalton.
We pursued it, but it moved so rapidly that we could not overtake
it, and General Hood led his army successfully far over toward
Mississippi, in hope to decoy us out of Georgia.  But we were not
thus to be led away by him, and preferred to lead and control
events ourselves.  Generals Thomas and Schofield, commanding the
departments to our rear, returned to their posts and prepared to
decoy General Hood into their meshes, while we came on to complete
the original journey.  We quietly and deliberately destroyed
Atlanta, and all the railroads which the enemy had used to carry on
war against us, occupied his State capital, and then captured his
commercial capital, which had been so strongly fortified from the
sea as to defy approach from that quarter.  Almost at the moment of
our victorious entry into Savannah came the welcome and expected
news that our comrades in Tennessee had also fulfilled nobly and
well their part, had decoyed General Hood to Nashville and then
turned on him, defeating his army thoroughly, capturing all his
artillery, great numbers of prisoners, and were still pursuing the
fragments down in Alabama.  So complete success in military
operations, extending over half a continent, is an achievement that
entitles it to a place in the military history of the world.  The
armies serving in Georgia and Tennessee, as well as the local
garrisons of Decatur, Bridgeport, Chattanooga, and Murfreesboro',
are alike entitled to the common honors, and each regiment may
inscribe on its colors, at pleasure, the word "Savannah" or
"Nashville."  The general commanding embraces, in the same general
success, the operations of the cavalry under Generals Stoneman,
Burbridge, and Gillem, that penetrated into Southwest Virginia, and
paralyzed the efforts of the enemy to disturb the peace and safety
of East Tennessee.  Instead of being put on the defensive, we have
at all points assumed the bold offensive, and have completely
thwarted the designs of the enemies of our country.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,
L.  M.  DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

Here terminated the "March to the Sea," and I only add a few
letters, selected out of many, to illustrate the general feeling of
rejoicing throughout the country at the time.  I only regarded the
march from Atlanta to Savannah as a "shift of base," as the
transfer of a strong army, which had no opponent, and had finished
its then work, from the interior to a point on the sea-coast, from
which it could achieve other important results.  I considered this
march as a means to an end, and not as an essential act of war.
Still, then, as now, the march to the sea was generally regarded as
something extraordinary, something anomalous, something out of the
usual order of events; whereas, in fact, I simply moved from
Atlanta to Savannah, as one step in the direction of Richmond, a
movement that had to be met and defeated, or the war was
necessarily at an end.

Were I to express my measure of the relative importance of the
march to the sea, and of that from Savannah northward, I would
place the former at one, and the latter at ten, or the maximum.

I now close this long chapter by giving a tabular statement of the
losses during the march, and the number of prisoners captured.  The
property captured consisted of horses and mules by the thousand,
and of quantities of subsistence stores that aggregate very large,
but may be measured with sufficient accuracy by assuming that
sixty-five thousand men obtained abundant food for about forty
days, and thirty-five thousand animals were fed for a like period,
so as to reach Savannah in splendid flesh and condition.  I also
add a few of the more important letters that passed between
Generals Grant, Halleck, and myself, which illustrate our opinions
at that stage of the war:


   Killed        Wounded         Missing       Captured
Officers/Men   Officers/Men   Officers/Men   Officers/Men
   10    93        24   404       1    277       77  1,261

WASHINGTON, December 16, 1864

Major-General SHERMAN (via Hilton Head).

GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Grant informs me that, in his last
dispatch sent to you, he suggested the transfer of your infantry to
Richmond.  He now wishes me to say that you will retain your entire
force, at least for the present, and, with such assistance as may
be given you by General Foster and Admiral Dahlgren, operate from
such base as you may establish on the coast.  General Foster will
obey such instructions as may be given by you.

Should you have captured Savannah, it is thought that by
transferring the water-batteries to the land side that place may be
made a good depot and base of operations on Augusta, Branchville,
or Charleston.  If Savannah should not be captured, or if captured
and not deemed suitable for this purpose, perhaps Beaufort would
serve as a depot.  As the rebels have probably removed their most
valuable property from Augusta, perhaps Branchville would be the
most important point at which to strike in order to sever all
connection between Virginia and the Southwestern Railroad.

General Grant's wishes, however, are, that this whole matter of
your future actions should be entirely left to your discretion.

We can send you from here a number of complete batteries of
field-artillery, with or without horses, as you may desire; also, as
soon as General Thomas can spare them, all the fragments,
convalescents, and furloughed men of your army.  It is reported that
Thomas defeated Hood yesterday, near Nashville, but we have no
particulars nor official reports, telegraphic communication being
interrupted by a heavy storm.

Our last advises from you was General Howard's note, announcing his
approach to Savannah.  Yours truly,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General, Chief-of-Staff.

WASHINGTON, December 18, 1864.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, Savannah (via Hilton Head).

My DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 13th, by Major Anderson, is just
received.  I congratulate you on your splendid success, and shall
very soon expect to hear of the crowning work of your campaign--the
capture of Savannah.  Your march will stand out prominently as the
great one of this great war.  When Savannah falls, then for another
wide swath through the centre of the Confederacy.  But I will not
anticipate.  General Grant is expected here this morning, and will
probably write you his own views.

I do not learn from your letter, or from Major Anderson, that you
are in want of any thing which we have not provided at Hilton Head.
Thinking it probable that you might want more field-artillery, I
had prepared several batteries, but the great difficulty of
foraging horses on the sea-coast will prevent our sending any
unless you actually need them.  The hay-crop this year is short,
and the Quartermaster's Department has great difficulty in
procuring a supply for our animals.

General Thomas has defeated Hood, near Nashville, and it is hoped
that he will completely, crush his army.  Breckenridge, at last
accounts, was trying to form a junction near Murfreesboro', but, as
Thomas is between them, Breckenridge must either retreat or be

General Rosecrans made very bad work of it in Missouri, allowing
Price with a small force to overrun the State and destroy millions
of property.

Orders have been issued for all officers and detachments having
three months or more to serve, to rejoin your army via Savannah.
Those having less than three months to serve, will be retained by
General Thomas.

Should you capture Charleston, I hope that by some accident the
place may be destroyed, and, if a little salt should be sown upon
its site, it may prevent the growth of future crops of
nullification and secession.
Yours truly,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General, Chief-of-Staff.

WASHINGTON, December 18, 1864.

To Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

My DEAR GENERAL: I have just received and read, I need not tell you
with how mush gratification, your letter to General Halleck.  I
congratulate you and the brave officers and men under your command
on the successful termination of your most brilliant campaign.  I
never had a doubt of the result.  When apprehensions for your
safety were expressed by the President, I assured him with the army
you had, and you in command of it, there was no danger but you
would strike bottom on salt-water some place; that I would not feel
the same security--in fact, would not have intrusted the expedition
to any other living commander.

It has been very hard work to get Thomas to attack Hood.  I gave
him the most peremptory order, and had started to go there myself,
before he got off.  He has done magnificently, however, since he
started.  Up to last night, five thousand prisoners and forty-nine
pieces of captured artillery, besides many wagons and innumerable
small-arms, had been received in Nashville.  This is exclusive of
the enemy's loss at Franklin, which amounted to thirteen general
officers killed, wounded, and captured.  The enemy probably lost
five thousand men at Franklin, and ten thousand in the last three
days' operations.  Breckenridge is said to be making for

I think he is in a most excellent place.  Stoneman has nearly wiped
out John Morgan's old command, and five days ago entered Bristol.
I did think the best thing to do was to bring the greater part of
your army here, and wipe out Lee.  The turn affairs now seem to be
taking has shaken me in that opinion.  I doubt whether you may not
accomplish more toward that result where you are than if brought
here, especially as I am informed, since my arrival in the city,
that it would take about two months to get you here with all the
other calls there are for ocean transportation.

I want to get your views about what ought to be done, and what can
be done.  If you capture the garrison of Savannah, it certainly
will compel Lee to detach from Richmond, or give us nearly the
whole South.  My own opinion is that Lee is averse to going out of
Virginia, and if the cause of the South is lost he wants Richmond
to be the last place surrendered.  If he has such views, it may be
well to indulge him until we get every thing else in our hands.

Congratulating you and the army again upon the splendid results of
your campaign, the like of which is not read of in past history, I
subscribe myself, more than ever, if possible, your friend,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, December 26, 1864.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, Savannah, Georgia.

GENERAL: Your very interesting letter of the 22d inst., brought by
Major Grey of General Foster's staff; is fast at hand.  As the
major starts back at once, I can do no more at present than simply
acknowledge its receipt.  The capture of Savannah, with all its
immense stores, must tell upon the people of the South.  All well
Yours truly,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, December 24, 1864.

Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, City Point, Virginia.

GENERAL: Your letter of December 18th is just received.  I feel
very much gratified at receiving the handsome commendation you pay
my army.  I will, in general orders, convey to the officers and men
the substance of your note.

I am also pleased that you have modified your former orders, for I
feared that the transportation by sea would very much disturb the
unity and morale of my army, now so perfect.

The occupation of Savannah, which I have heretofore reported,
completes the first part of our game, and fulfills a great part of
your instructions; and we are now engaged in dismantling the rebel
forts which bear upon the sea-channels, and transferring the heavy
ordnance and ammunition to Fort Pulaski and Hilton Head, where they
can be more easily guarded than if left in the city.

The rebel inner lines are well adapted to our purpose, and with
slight modifications can be held by a comparatively small force;
and in about ten days I expect to be ready to sally forth again.  I
feel no doubt whatever as to our future plans.  I have thought them
over so long and well that they appear as clear as daylight.  I
left Augusta untouched on purpose, because the enemy will be in
doubt as to my objective point, after we cross the Savannah River,
whether it be Augusta or Charleston, and will naturally divide his
forces.  I will then move either on Branchville or Colombia, by any
curved line that gives us the best supplies, breaking up in our
course as much railroad as possible; then, ignoring Charleston and
Augusta both, I would occupy Columbia and Camden, pausing there
long enough to observe the effect.  I would then strike for the
Charleston & Wilmington Railroad, somewhere between the Santee and
Cape Fear Rivers, and, if possible, communicate with the fleet
under Admiral Dahlgren (whom I find a most agreeable gentleman,
accommodating himself to our wishes and plans).  Then I would favor
an attack on Wilmington, in the belief that Porter and Butler will
fail in their present undertaking.  Charleston is now a mere
desolated wreck, and is hardly worth the time it would take to
starve it out.  Still, I am aware that, historically and
politically, much importance is attached to the place, and it may
be that, apart from its military importance, both you and the
Administration may prefer I should give it more attention; and it
would be well for you to give me some general idea on that subject,
for otherwise I would treat it as I have expressed, as a point of
little importance, after all its railroads leading into the
interior have been destroyed or occupied by us.  But, on the
hypothesis of ignoring Charleston and taking Wilmington, I would
then favor a movement direct on Raleigh.  The game is then up with
Lee, unless he comes out of Richmond, avoids you and fights me; in
which case I should reckon on your being on his heels.  Now that
Hood is used up by Thomas, I feel disposed to bring the matter to
an issue as quick as possible.  I feel confident that I can break
up the whole railroad system of South Carolina and North Carolina,
and be on the Roanoke, either at Raleigh or Weldon, by the time
spring fairly opens; and, if you feel confident that you can whip
Lee outside of his intrenchments, I feel equally confident that I
can handle him in the open country.

One reason why I would ignore Charleston is this: that I believe
Hardee will reduce the garrison to a small force, with plenty of
provisions; I know that the neck back of Charleston can be made
impregnable to assault, and we will hardly have time for siege

I will have to leave in Savannah a garrison, and, if Thomas can
spare them, I would like to have all detachments, convalescents,
etc., belonging to these four corps, sent forward at once.  I do
not want to cripple Thomas, because I regard his operations as
all-important, and I have ordered him to pursue Hood down into
Alabama, trusting to the country for supplies.

I reviewed one of my corps to-day, and shall continue to review the
whole army.  I do not like to boast, but believe this army has a
confidence in itself that makes it almost invincible.  I wish you
could run down and see us; it would have a good effect, and show to
both armies that they are acting on a common plan.  The weather is
now cool and pleasant, and the general health very good. Your true

W. T. SHERMAN Major-General.


Major-General H. W. HALLECK, Chief-of-Staff; Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I had the pleasure of receiving your two letters of the
16th and 18th instant to-day, and feel more than usually flattered
by the high encomiums you have passed on our recent campaign, which
is now complete by the occupation of Savannah.

I am also very glad that General Grant has changed his mind about
embarking my troops for James River, leaving me free to make the
broad swath you describe through South and North Carolina; and
still more gratified at the news from Thomas, in Tennessee, because
it fulfills my plans, which contemplated his being able to dispose
of Hood, in case he ventured north of the Tennessee River.  So, I
think, on the whole, I can chuckle over Jeff. Davis's
disappointment in not turning my Atlanta campaign into a "Moscow

I have just finished a long letter to General Grant, and have
explained to him that we are engaged in shifting our base from the
Ogeeohee to the Savannah River, dismantling all the forts made by
the enemy to bear upon the salt-water channels, transferring the
heavy ordnance, etc., to Fort Pulaski and Hilton Head, and in
remodeling the enemy's interior lines to suit our future plans and
purposes.  I have also laid down the programme for a campaign which
I can make this winter, and which will put me in the spring on the
Roanoke, in direct communication with General Grant on James River.
In general terms, my plan is to turn over to General Foster the
city of Savannah, to sally forth with my army resupplied, cross the
Savannah, feign on Charleston and Augusta, but strike between,
breaking en route the Charleston & Augusta Railroad, also a large
part of that from Branchville and Camden toward North Carolina, and
then rapidly to move for some point of the railroad from Charleston
to Wilmington, between the Santee and Cape Fear Rivers; then,
communicating with the fleet in the neighborhood of Georgetown, I
would turn upon Wilmington or Charleston, according to the
importance of either.  I rather prefer Wilmington, as a live place,
over Charleston, which is dead and unimportant when its railroad
communications are broken.  I take it for granted that the present
movement on Wilmington will fail.  If I should determine to take
Charleston, I would turn across the country (which I have hunted
over many a time) from Santee to Mount Pleasant, throwing one wing
on the peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper.  After
accomplishing one or other of these ends, I would make a bee-line
for Raleigh or Weldon, when Lee world be forced to come out of
Richmond, or acknowledge himself beaten. He would, I think, by the
use of the Danville Railroad, throw himself rapidly between me and
Grant, leaving Richmond in the hands of the latter.  This would not
alarm me, for I have an army which I think can maneuver, and I
world force him to attack me at a disadvantage, always under the
supposition that Grant would be on his heels; and, if the worst
come to the worst, I can fight my way down to Albermarle Sound, or

I think the time has come now when we should attempt the boldest
moves, and my experience is, that they are easier of execution than
more timid ones, because the enemy is disconcerted by them--as, for
instance, my recent campaign.

I also doubt the wisdom of concentration beyond a certain extent,
for the roads of this country limit the amount of men that can be
brought to bear in any one battle, and I do not believe that any
one general can handle more than sixty thousand men in battle.

I think our campaign of the last month, as well as every step I
take from this point northward, is as much a direct attack upon
Lee's army as though we were operating within the sound of his

I am very anxious that Thomas should follow up his success to the
very utmost point. My orders to him before I left Kingston were,
after beating Hood, to follow him as far as Columbus, Mississippi,
or Selma, Alabama, both of which lie in districts of country which
are rich in corn and meat.

I attach more importance to these deep incisions into the enemy's
country, because this war differs from European wars in this
particular: we are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile
people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard
hand of war, as well as their organized armies.  I know that this
recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect
in this respect.  Thousands who had been deceived by their lying
newspapers to believe that we were being whipped all the time now
realize the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the
same experience.  To be sure, Jeff. Davis has his people under
pretty good discipline, but I think faith in him is much shaken in
Georgia, and before we have done with her South Carolina will not
be quite so tempestuous.

I will bear in mind your hint as to Charleston, and do not think
"salt" will be necessary.  When I move, the Fifteenth Corps will be
on the right of the right wing, and their position will naturally
bring them into Charleston first; and, if you have watched the
history of that corps, you will have remarked that they generally
do their work pretty well.  The truth is, the whole army is burning
with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina.
I almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she deserves all that
seems in store for her.

Many and many a person in Georgia asked me why we did not go to
South Carolina; and, when I answered that we were enroute for that
State, the invariable reply was, "Well, if you will make those
people feel the utmost severities of war, we will pardon you for
your desolation of Georgia."

I look upon Colombia as quite as bad as Charleston, and I doubt if
we shall spare the public buildings there as we did at

I have been so busy lately that I have not yet made my official
report, and I think I had better wait until I get my subordinate
reports before attempting it, as I am anxious to explain clearly
not only the reasons for every step, but the amount of execution
done, and this I cannot do until I get the subordinate reports; for
we marched the whole distance in four or more columns, and, of
course, I could only be present with one, and generally that one
engaged in destroying railroads.  This work of destruction was
performed better than usual, because I had an engineer-regiment,
provided with claws to twist the bars after being heated.  Such
bars can never be used again, and the only way in which a railroad
line can be reconstructed across Georgia is, to make a new road
from Fairburn Station (twenty-four miles southwest of Atlanta) to
Madison, a distance of one hundred miles; and, before that can be
done, I propose to be on the road from Augusta to Charleston, which
is a continuation of the same.  I felt somewhat disappointed at
Hardee's escape, but really am not to blame.  I moved as quickly as
possible to close up the "Union Causeway," but intervening
obstacles were such that, before I could get troops on the road,
Hardee had slipped out.  Still, I know that the men that were in
Savannah will be lost in a measure to Jeff. Davis, for the Georgia
troops, under G. W. Smith, declared they would not fight in South
Carolina, and they have gone north, en route for Augusta, and I
have reason to believe the North Carolina troops have gone to
Wilmington; in other words, they are scattered.  I have reason to
believe that Beauregard was present in Savannah at the time of its
evacuation, and think that he and Hardee are now in Charleston,
making preparations for what they suppose will be my next step.

Please say to the President that I have received his kind message
(through Colonel Markland), and feel thankful for his high favor.
If I disappoint him in the future, it shall not be from want of
zeal or love to the cause.

From you I expect a full and frank criticism of my plans for the
future, which may enable me to correct errors before it is too
late.  I do not wish to be rash, but want to give my rebel friends
no chance to accuse us of want of enterprise or courage.

Assuring you of my high personal respect, I remain, as ever, your

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

[General Order No. 3.]

WASHINGTON, January 14, 1865.

The following resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives
is published to the army:


Joint resolution tendering the thanks of the people and of Congress
to Major-General William T. Sherman, and the officers and soldiers
of his command, for their gallant conduct in their late brilliant
movement through Georgia.

Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, That the thanks of
the people and of the Congress of the United States are due and are
hereby tendered to Major-General William T. Sherman, and through
him to the officers and men under his command, for their gallantry
and good conduct in their late campaign from Chattanooga to
Atlanta, and the triumphal march thence through Georgia to
Savannah, terminating in the capture and occupation of that city;
and that the President cause a copy of this joint resolution to be
engrossed and forwarded to Major-General Sherman.

Approved, January 10, 1865.

By order of the Secretary of War,
W. A. NICHOLS, Assistant Adjutant-General.




The city of Savannah was an old place, and usually accounted a
handsome one.  Its houses were of brick or frame, with large yards,
ornamented with shrubbery and flowers; its streets perfectly
regular, crossing each other at right angles; and at many of the
intersections were small inclosures in the nature of parks.  These
streets and parks were lined with the handsomest shade-trees of
which I have knowledge, viz., the Willow-leaf live-oak, evergreens
of exquisite beauty; and these certainly entitled Savannah to its
reputation as a handsome town more than the houses, which, though
comfortable, would hardly make a display on Fifth Avenue or the
Boulevard Haussmann of Paris.  The city was built on a plateau of
sand about forty feet above the level of the sea, abutting against
the river, leaving room along its margin for a street of stores and
warehouses.  The customhouse, court-house, post-office, etc., were
on the plateau above.  In rear of Savannah was a large park, with a
fountain, and between it and the court-house was a handsome
monument, erected to the memory of Count Pulaski, who fell in 1779
in the assault made on the city at the time it was held by the
English during the Revolutionary War.  Outside of Savannah there
was very little to interest a stranger, except the cemetery of
Bonaventura, and the ride along the Wilmington Channel by way of
Thunderbolt, where might be seen some groves of the majestic
live-oak trees, covered with gray and funereal moss, which were
truly sublime in grandeur, but gloomy after a few days' camping
under them:

Within an hour of taking up my quarters in Mr. Green's house, Mr.
A. G. Browne, of Salem, Massachusetts, United States Treasury agent
for the Department of the South, made his appearance to claim
possession, in the name of the Treasury Department, of all captured
cotton, rice, buildings, etc.  Having use for these articles
ourselves, and having fairly earned them, I did not feel inclined
to surrender possession, and explained to him that the
quartermaster and commissary could manage them more to my liking
than he; but I agreed, after the proper inventories had been
prepared, if there remained any thing for which we had no special
use, I would turn it over to him.  It was then known that in the
warehouses were stored at least twenty-five thousand bales of
cotton, and in the forts one hundred and fifty large, heavy
sea-coast guns: although afterward, on a more careful count, there
proved to be more than two hundred and fifty sea-coast or siege
guns, and thirty-one thousand bales of cotton.  At that interview
Mr. Browne, who was a shrewd, clever Yankee, told me that a vessel
was on the point of starting for Old Point Comfort, and, if she had
good weather off Cape Hatteras, would reach Fortress Monroe by
Christmas-day, and he suggested that I might make it the occasion
of sending a welcome Christmas gift to the President, Mr. Lincoln,
who peculiarly enjoyed such pleasantry.  I accordingly sat down and
wrote on a slip of paper, to be left at the telegraph-office at
Fortress Monroe for transmission, the following:

SAVANNAH GEORGIA, December 22, 1884.
To His Excellency President Lincoln, Washington, D. C.:

I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah, with
one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, also
about twenty five thousand bales of cotton.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

This message actually reached him on Christmas-eve, was extensively
published in the newspapers, and made many a household unusually
happy on that festive day; and it was in the answer to this
dispatch that Mr. Lincoln wrote me the letter of December 28th,
already given, beginning with the words, "many, many thanks," etc.,
which he sent at the hands of General John A.  Logan, who happened
to be in Washington, and was coming to Savannah, to rejoin his

On the 23d of December were made the following general orders for
the disposition of the troops in and about Savannah:

[Special Field Order No. 139.]


Savannah, being now in our possession, the river partially cleared
out, and measures having been taken to remove all obstructions,
will at once be made a grand depot for future operations:

1.  The chief-quartermaster, General Euston, will, after giving the
necessary orders touching the transports in Ogeechee River and
Oasabaw Sound, come in person to Savannah, and take possession of
all public buildings, vacant storerooms, warehouses, etc., that may
be now or hereafter needed for any department of the army.  No
rents will be paid by the Government of the United States during
the war, and all buildings must be distributed according to the
accustomed rates of the Quartermaster's Department, as though they
were public property.

2.  The chief commissary of subsistence, Colonel A.  Beckwith, will
transfer the grand depot of the army to the city of Savannah,
secure possession of the needful buildings and offices, and give
the necessary orders, to the end that the army may be supplied
abundantly and well.

S.  The chief-engineer, Captain Poe, will at once direct which of
the enemy's forts are to be retained for our use, and which
dismantled and destroyed.  The chief ordnance-officer, Captain
Baylor, will in like manner take possession of all property
pertaining to his department captured from the enemy, and cause the
same to be collected and conveyed to points of security; all the
heavy coast-guns will be dismounted and carried to Fort Pulaski.

4.  The troops, for the present, will be grouped about the city of
Savannah, looking to convenience of camps; General Slocum taking
from the Savannah River around to the seven-mile post on the Canal,
and General Howard thence to the sea; General Kilpatrick will hold
King's Bridge until Fort McAllister is dismantled, and the troops
withdrawn from the south side of the Ogeechee, when he will take
post about Anderson's plantation, on the plank-road, and picket all
the roads leading from the north and west.

5.  General Howard will keep a small guard at Forts Rosedale,
Beaulieu, Wimberley, Thunderbolt, and Bonaventura, and he will
cause that shore and Skidaway Island to be examined very closely,
with a view to finding many and convenient points for the
embarkation of troops and wagons on seagoing vessels.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

L.  M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

[Special Field Order No. 143.]


The city of Savannah and surrounding country will be held as a
military post, and adapted to future military uses, but, as it
contains a population of some twenty thousand people, who must be
provided for, and as other citizens may come, it is proper to lay
down certain general principles, that all within its military
jurisdiction may understand their relative duties and obligations.

1.  During war, the military is superior to civil authority, and,
where interests clash, the civil must give way; yet, where there is
no conflict, every encouragement should be given to well-disposed
and peaceful inhabitants to resume their usual pursuits.  Families
should be disturbed as little as possible in their residences, and
tradesmen allowed the free use of their shops, tools, etc.;
churches, schools, and all places of amusement and recreation,
should be encouraged, and streets and roads made perfectly safe to
persons in their pursuits.  Passes should not be exacted within the
line of outer pickets, but if any person shall abuse these
privileges by communicating with the enemy, or doing any act of
hostility to the Government of the United States, he or she will be
punished with the utmost rigor of the law.  Commerce with the outer
world will be resumed to an extent commensurate with the wants of
the citizens, governed by the restrictions and rules of the
Treasury Department.

2.  The chief quartermaster and commissary of the army may give
suitable employment to the people, white and black, or transport
them to such points as they may choose where employment can be had;
and may extend temporary relief in the way of provisions and vacant
houses to the worthy and needy, until such time as they can help
themselves.  They will select first the buildings for the necessary
uses of the army; next, a sufficient number of stores, to be turned
over to the Treasury agent for trade-stores.  All vacant
store-houses or dwellings, and all buildings belonging to absent
rebels, will be construed and used as belonging to the United States,
until such time as their titles can be settled by the courts of the
United States.

8.  The Mayor and City Council of Savannah will continue to
exercise their functions, and will, in concert with the commanding
officer of the post and the chief-quartermaster, see that the
fire-companies are kept in organization, the streets cleaned and
lighted, and keep up a good understanding between the citizens and
soldiers.  They will ascertain and report to the chief commissary
of subsistence, as soon as possible, the names and number of worthy
families that need assistance and support.  The mayor will forth
with give public notice that the time has come when all must choose
their course, viz., remain within our lines, and conduct themselves
as good citizens, or depart in peace.  He will ascertain the names
of all who choose to leave Savannah, and report their names and
residence to the chief-quartermaster, that measures may be taken to
transport them beyond our lines.

4.  Not more than two newspapers will be published in Savannah;
their editors and proprietors will be held to the strictest
accountability, and will be punished severely, in person and
property, for any libelous publication, mischievous matter,
premature news, exaggerated statements, or any comments whatever
upon the acts of the constituted authorities; they will be held
accountable for such articles, even though copied from other

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

L.  M.  DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

It was estimated that there were about twenty thousand inhabitants
in Savannah, all of whom had participated more or less in the war,
and had no special claims to our favor, but I regarded the war as
rapidly drawing to a close, and it was becoming a political
question as to what was to be done with the people of the South,
both white and black, when the war was actually over.  I concluded
to give them the option to remain or to join their friends in
Charleston or Augusta, and so announced in general orders.  The
mayor, Dr. Arnold, was completely "subjugated," and, after
consulting with him, I authorized him to assemble his City Council
to take charge generally of the interests of the people; but warned
all who remained that they must be strictly subordinate to the
military law, and to the interests of the General Government.
About two hundred persona, mostly the families of men in the
Confederate army, prepared to follow the fortunes of their husbands
and fathers, and these were sent in a steamboat under a flag of
truce, in charge of my aide Captain Audenried, to Charleston
harbor, and there delivered to an officer of the Confederate army.
But the great bulk of the inhabitants chose to remain in Savannah,
generally behaved with propriety, and good social relations at once
arose between them and the army.  Shortly after our occupation of
Savannah, a lady was announced at my headquarters by the orderly or
sentinel at the front-door, who was ushered into the parlor, and
proved to be the wife of General G. W. Smith, whom I had known
about 1850, when Smith was on duty at West Point.  She was a native
of New London, Connecticut, and very handsome.  She began her
interview by presenting me a letter from her husband, who then
commanded a division of the Georgia militia in the rebel army,
which had just quitted Savannah, which letter began, "DEAR SHERMAN:
The fortunes of war, etc-., compel me to leave my wife in Savannah,
and I beg for her your courteous protection," etc., etc.  I
inquired where she lived, and if anybody was troubling her.  She
said she was boarding with a lady whose husband had, in like manner
with her own, gone off with Hardee's army; that a part of the house
had been taken for the use of Major-General Ward, of Kentucky; that
her landlady was approaching her confinement, and was nervous at
the noise which the younger staff-officers made at night; etc.  I
explained to her that I could give but little personal attention to
such matters, and referred her to General Slocum, whose troops
occupied the city.  I afterward visited her house, and saw,
personally, that she had no reason to complain.  Shortly afterward
Mr. Hardee, a merchant of Savannah, came to me and presented a
letter from his brother, the general, to the same effect, alleging
that his brother was a civilian, had never taken up arms, and asked
of me protection for his family, his cotton, etc.  To him I gave
the general assurance that no harm was designed to any of the
people of Savannah who would remain quiet and peaceable, but that I
could give him no guarantee as to his cotton, for over it I had no
absolute control; and yet still later I received a note from the
wife of General A. P. Stewart (who commanded a corps in Hood's
army), asking me to come to see her.  This I did, and found her to
be a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, wanting protection, and who was
naturally anxious about the fate of her husband, known to be with
General Hood, in Tennessee, retreating before General Thomas.  I
remember that I was able to assure her that he had not been killed
or captured, up to that date, and think that I advised her, instead
of attempting to go in pursuit of her husband, to go to Cincinnati,
to her uncle, Judge Storer, there await the issue of events.

Before I had reached Savannah, and during our stay there, the rebel
officers and newspapers represented the conduct of the men of our
army as simply infamous; that we respected neither age nor sex;
that we burned every thing we came across--barns, stables,
cotton-gins, and even dwelling-houses; that we ravished the women
and killed the men, and perpetrated all manner of outrages on the
inhabitants.  Therefore it struck me as strange that Generals
Hardee and Smith should commit their, families to our custody, and
even bespeak our personal care and attention.  These officers knew
well that these reports were exaggerated in the extreme, and yet
tacitly assented to these publications, to arouse the drooping
energies of the people of the South.

As the division of Major-General John W. Geary, of the Twentieth
Corps, was the first to enter Savannah, that officer was appointed
to command the place, or to act as a sort of governor.  He very
soon established a good police, maintained admirable order, and I
doubt if Savannah, either before or since, has had a better
government than during our stay.  The guard-mountings and parades,
as well as the greater reviews, became the daily resorts of the
ladies, to hear the music of our excellent bands; schools were
opened, and the churches every Sunday were well filled with most
devout and respectful congregations; stores were reopened, and
markets for provisions, meat, wood, etc., were established, so that
each family, regardless of race, color, or opinion, could procure
all the necessaries and even luxuries of life, provided they had
money.  Of course, many families were actually destitute of this,
and to these were issued stores from our own stock of supplies.  I
remember to have given to Dr. Arnold, the mayor, an order for the
contents of a large warehouse of rice, which he confided to a
committee of gentlemen, who went North (to Boston), and soon
returned with one or more cargoes of flour, hams, sugar, coffee,
etc., for gratuitous distribution, which relieved the most pressing
wants until the revival of trade and business enabled the people to
provide for themselves.

A lady, whom I had known in former years as Miss Josephine Goodwin,
told me that, with a barrel of flour and some sugar which she had
received gratuitously from the commissary, she had baked cakes and
pies, in the sale of which she realized a profit of fifty-six

Meantime Colonel Poe had reconnoitred and laid off new lines of
parapet, which would enable a comparatively small garrison to hold
the place, and a heavy detail of soldiers was put to work thereon;
Generals Easton and Beckwith had organized a complete depot of
supplies; and, though vessels arrived almost daily with mails and
provisions, we were hardly ready to initiate a new and hazardous
campaign.  I had not yet received from General Grant or General
Halleck any modification of the orders of December 6,1864, to
embark my command for Virginia by sea; but on the 2d of January,
1865, General J. G. Barnard, United States Engineers, arrived
direct from General Grant's headquarters, bearing the following
letter, in the general's own handwriting, which, with my answer, is
here given:

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, December 27, 1864.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: Before writing you definite instructions for the next
campaign, I wanted to receive your answer to my letter written from
Washington.  Your confidence in being able to march up and join
this army pleases me, and I believe it can be done.  The effect of
such a campaign will be to disorganize the South, and prevent the
organization of new armies from their broken fragments.  Hood is
now retreating, with his army broken and demoralized.  His loss in
men has probably not been far from twenty thousand, besides
deserters.  If time is given, the fragments may be collected
together and many of the deserters reassembled.  If we can, we
should act to prevent this.  Your spare army, as it were, moving as
proposed, will do it.

In addition to holding Savannah, it looks to me that an intrenched
camp ought to be held on the railroad between Savannah and
Charleston.  Your movement toward Branchville will probably enable
Foster to reach this with his own force.  This will give us a
position in the South from which we can threaten the interior
without marching over long, narrow causeways, easily defended, as
we have heretofore been compelled to do.  Could not such a camp be
established about Pocotaligo or Coosawhatchie?

I have thought that, Hood being so completely wiped out for present
harm, I might bring A. J. Smith here, with fourteen to fifteen
thousand men.  With this increase I could hold my lines, and move
out with a greater force than Lee has.  It would compel Lee to
retain all his present force in the defenses of Richmond or abandon
them entirely.  This latter contingency is probably the only danger
to the easy success of your expedition.  In the event you should
meet Lee's army, you would be compelled to beat it or find the
sea-coast.  Of course, I shall not let Lee's army escape if I can
help it, and will not let it go without following to the best of my

Without waiting further directions, than, you may make your
preparations to start on your northern expedition without delay.
Break up the railroads in South and North Carolina, and join the
armies operating against Richmond as soon as you can.  I will leave
out all suggestions about the route you should take, knowing that
your information, gained daily in the course of events, will be
better than any that can be obtained now.

It may not be possible for you to march to the rear of Petersburg;
but, failing in this, you could strike either of the sea-coast
ports in North Carolina held by us.  From there you could take
shipping.  It would be decidedly preferable, however, if you could
march the whole distance.

From the best information I have, you will find no difficulty in
supplying your army until you cross the Roanoke.  From there here
is but a few days' march, and supplies could be collected south of
the river to bring you through.  I shall establish communication
with you there, by steamboat and gunboat.  By this means your wants
can be partially supplied.  I shall hope to hear from you soon, and
to hear your plan, and about the time of starting.

Please instruct Foster to hold on to all the property in Savannah,
and especially the cotton.  Do not turn it over to citizens or
Treasury agents, without orders of the War Department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, City Point.

GENERAL: I have received, by the hands of General Barnard, your
note of 26th and letter of 27th December.

I herewith inclose to you a copy of a projet which I have this
morning, in strict confidence, discussed with my immediate

I shall need, however, larger supplies of stores, especially grain.
I will inclose to you, with this, letters from General Easton,
quartermaster, and Colonel Beckwith, commissary of subsistence,
setting forth what will be required, and trust you will forward
them to Washington with your sanction, so that the necessary steps
may be taken at once to enable me to carry out this plan on time.

I wrote you very fully on the 24th, and have nothing to add.  Every
thing here is quiet, and if I can get the necessary supplies in our
wagons, shall be ready to start at the time indicated in my projet
(January 15th).  But, until those supplies are in hand, I can do
nothing; after they are, I shall be ready to move with great

I have heard of the affair at Cape Fear.  It has turned out as you
will remember I expected.

I have furnished General Easton a copy of the dispatch from the
Secretary of War.  He will retain possession of all cotton here,
and ship it as fast as vessels can be had to New York.

I shall immediately send the Seventeenth Corps over to Port Royal,
by boats, to be furnished by Admiral Dahlgren and General Foster
(without interfering with General Easton's vessels), to make a
lodgment on the railroad at Pocotaligo.

General Barnard will remain with me a few days, and I send this by
a staff-officer, who can return on one of the vessels of the
supply-fleet.  I suppose that, now that General Butler has got
through with them, you can spare them to us.

My report of recent operations is nearly ready, and will be sent
you in a day or two, as soon as some farther subordinate reports
come in.

I am, with great respect, very truly, your friend,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

[Entirely confidential]


1.  Right wing to move men and artillery by transports to head of
Broad River and Beaufort; reestablish Port Royal Ferry, and mass
the wing at or in the neighborhood of Pocotaligo.

Left wing and cavalry to work slowly across the causeway toward
Hardeeville, to open a road by which wagons can reach their corps
about Broad River; also, by a rapid movement of the left, to secure
Sister's Ferry, and Augusta road out to Robertsville.

In the mean time, all guns, shot, shell, cotton, etc., to be moved
to a safe place, easy to guard, and provisions and wagons got ready
for another swath, aiming to have our army in hand about the head
of Broad River, say Pocotaligo, Robertsville, and Coosawhatchie, by
the 15th January.

2.  The whole army to move with loaded wagons by the roads leading
in the direction of Columbia, which afford the best chance of
forage and provisions.  Howard to be at Pocotaligo by the 15th
January, and Slocum to be at Robertsville, and Kilpatrick at or
near Coosawhatchie about the same date.  General Fosters troops to
occupy Savannah, and gunboats to protect the rivers as soon as
Howard gets Pocotaligo.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Therefore, on the 2d of January, I was authorized to march with my
entire army north by land, and concluded at once to secure a
foothold or starting-point on the South Carolina side, selecting
Pocotaligo and Hardeeville as the points of rendezvous for the two
wings; but I still remained in doubt as to the wishes of the
Administration, whether I should take Charleston en route, or
confine my whole attention to the incidental advantages of breaking
up the railways of South and North Carolina, and the greater object
of uniting my army with that of General Grant before Richmond.

General Barnard remained with me several days, and was regarded
then, as now, one of the first engineers of the age, perfectly
competent to advise me on the strategy and objects of the new
campaign.  He expressed himself delighted with the high spirit of
the army, the steps already taken, by which we had captured
Savannah, and he personally inspected some of the forts, such as
Thunderbolt and Causten's Bluff, by which the enemy had so long
held at bay the whole of our navy, and had defeated the previous
attempts made in April, 1862, by the army of General Gillmore,
which had bombarded and captured Fort Pulaski, but had failed to
reach the city of Savannah.  I think General Barnard expected me to
invite him to accompany us northward in his official capacity; but
Colonel Poe, of my staff, had done so well, and was so perfectly
competent, that I thought it unjust to supersede him by a senior in
his own corps.  I therefore said nothing of this to General
Barnard, and soon after he returned to his post with General Grant,
at City Point, bearing letters and full personal messages of our
situation and wants.

We were very much in want of light-draught steamers for navigating
the shallow waters of the coast, so that it took the Seventeenth
Corps more than a week to transfer from Thunderbolt to Beaufort,
South Carolina.  Admiral Dahlgren had supplied the Harvest Moon and
the Pontiac, and General Foster gave us a couple of hired steamers;
I was really amused at the effect this short sea-voyage had on our
men, most of whom had never before looked upon the ocean.  Of
course, they were fit subjects for sea-sickness, and afterward they
begged me never again to send them to sea, saying they would rather
march a thousand miles on the worst roads of the South than to
spend a single night on the ocean.  By the 10th General Howard had
collected the bulk of the Seventeenth Corps (General Blair) on
Beaufort Island, and began his march for Pocotaligo, twenty-five
miles inland.  They crossed the channel between the island and
main-land during Saturday, the 14th of January, by a pontoon-
bridge, and marched out to Garden's Corners, where there was some
light skirmishing; the next day, Sunday, they continued on to
Pocotaligo, finding the strong fort there abandoned, and
accordingly made a lodgment on the railroad, having lost only two
officers and eight men.

About the same time General Slocum crossed two divisions of the
Twentieth Corps over the Savannah River, above the city, occupied
Hardeeville by one division and Purysburg by another.  Thus, by the
middle of January, we had effected a lodgment in South Carolina,
and were ready to resume the march northward; but we had not yet
accumulated enough provisions and forage to fill the wagons, and
other causes of delay occurred, of which I will make mention in due

On the last day of December, 1864, Captain Breese, United States
Navy, flag-officer to Admiral Porter, reached Savannah, bringing
the first news of General Butler's failure at Fort Fisher, and that
the general had returned to James River with his land-forces,
leaving Admiral Porter's fleet anchored off Cape Fear, in that
tempestuous season.  Captain Breese brought me a letter from the
admiral, dated December 29th, asking me to send him from Savannah
one of my old divisions, with which he said he would make short
work of Fort Fisher; that he had already bombarded and silenced its
guns, and that General Butler had failed because he was afraid to
attack, or even give the order to attack, after (as Porter
insisted) the guns of Fort Fisher had been actually silenced by the

I answered him promptly on the 31st of December, that I proposed to
march north inland, and that I would prefer to leave the rebel
garrisons on the coast, instead of dislodging and piling them up in
my front as we progressed.  From the chances, as I then understood
them, I supposed that Fort Fisher was garrisoned by a comparatively
small force, while the whole division of General Hoke remained
about the city of Wilmington; and that, if Fort Fisher were
captured, it would leave General Hoke free to join the larger force
that would naturally be collected to oppose my progress northward.
I accordingly answered  Admiral Porter to this effect, declining to
loan him the use of one of my divisions.  It subsequently
transpired, however, that, as soon as General Butler reached City
Point, General Grant was unwilling to rest under a sense of
failure, and accordingly dispatched back the same troops,
reenforced and commanded by General A. H. Terry, who, on the 15th
day of January, successfully assaulted and captured Fort Fisher,
with its entire garrison.  After the war was over, about the 20th
of May, when I was giving my testimony before the Congressional
Committee on the Conduct of the War, the chairman of the committee,
Senator B. F. Wade, of Ohio, told me that General Butler had been
summoned before that committee during the previous January, and had
just finished his demonstration to their entire satisfaction that
Fort Fisher could not be carried by assault, when they heard the
newsboy in the hall crying out an "extra" Calling him in, they
inquired the news, and he answered, "Fort Fisher done took!"  Of
course, they all laughed, and none more heartily than General
Butler himself.

On the 11th of January there arrived at Savannah a revenue-cutter,
having on board Simeon Draper, Esq., of New York City, the Hon. E.
M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Quartermaster-General Meigs,
Adjutant-General Townsend, and a retinue of civilians, who had come
down from the North to regulate the civil affairs of Savannah....

I was instructed by Mr. Stanton to transfer to Mr. Draper the
custom house, post-office, and such other public buildings as these
civilians needed in the execution of their office, and to cause to
be delivered into their custody the captured cotton.  This was
accomplished by--

[Special Field Orders, No. 10.]


1.  Brevet Brigadier-General Euston, chief-quartermaster, will turn
over to Simeon Draper, Esq., agent of the United States Treasury
Department, all cotton now in the city of Savannah, prize of war,
taking his receipt for the same in gross, and returning for it to
the quartermaster-general.  He will also afford Mr. Draper all the
facilities in his power in the way of transportation, labor, etc.,
to enable him to handle the cotton with expedition.

2.  General Euston will also turn over to Mr. Draper the
custom-house, and such other buildings in the city of Savannah as
he may need in the execution of his office.

By order of General W. T. Sherman,

L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

Up to this time all the cotton had been carefully guarded, with
orders to General Euston to ship it by the return-vessels to New
York, for the adjudication of the nearest prize-court, accompanied
with invoices and all evidence of title to ownership.  Marks,
numbers, and other figures, were carefully preserved on the bales,
so that the court might know the history of each bale.  But Mr.
Stanton, who surely was an able lawyer, changed all this, and
ordered the obliteration of all the marks; so that no man, friend
or foe, could trace his identical cotton.  I thought it strange at
the time, and think it more so now; for I am assured that claims,
real and fictitious, have been proved up against this identical
cotton of three times the quantity actually captured, and that
reclamations on the Treasury have been allowed for more than the
actual quantity captured, viz., thirty-one thousand bales.

Mr. Stanton staid in Savannah several days, and seemed very curious
about matters and things in general.  I walked with him through the
city, especially the bivouacs of the several regiments that
occupied the vacant squares, and he seemed particularly pleased at
the ingenuity of the men in constructing their temporary huts.
Four of the "dog-tents," or tentes d'abri, buttoned together,
served for a roof, and the sides were made of clapboards, or rough
boards brought from demolished houses or fences.  I remember his
marked admiration for the hut of a soldier who had made his door
out of a handsome parlor mirror, the glass gone and its gilt frame
serving for his door.

He talked to me a great deal about the negroes, the former slaves,
and I told him of many interesting incidents, illustrating their
simple character and faith in our arms and progress.  He inquired
particularly about General Jeff. C. Davis, who, he said, was a
Democrat, and hostile to the negro.  I assured him that General
Davis was an excellent soldier, and I did not believe he had any
hostility to the negro; that in our army we had no negro soldiers,
and, as a rule, we preferred white soldiers, but that we employed a
large force of them as servants, teamsters, and pioneers, who had
rendered admirable service.  He then showed me a newspaper account
of General Davis taking up his pontoon-bridge across Ebenezer
Creek, leaving sleeping negro men, women, and children, on the
other side, to be slaughtered by Wheeler's cavalry.  I had heard
such a rumor, and advised Mr. Stanton, before becoming prejudiced,
to allow me to send for General Davis, which he did, and General
Davis explained the matter to his entire satisfaction.  The truth
was, that, as we approached the seaboard, the freedmen in droves,
old and young, followed the several columns to reach a place of
safety.  It so happened that General Davis's route into Savannah
followed what was known as the "River-road," and he had to make
constant use of his pontoon-train--the head of his column reaching
some deep, impassable creek before the rear was fairly over
another.  He had occasionally to use the pontoons both day and
night.  On the occasion referred to, the bridge was taken up from
Ebenezer Creek while some of the camp-followers remained asleep on
the farther side, and these were picked up by Wheeler's cavalry.
Some of them, in their fright, were drowned in trying to swim over,
and others may have been cruelly killed by Wheeler's men, but this
was a mere supposition.  At all events, the same thing might have
resulted to General Howard, or to any other of the many most humane
commanders who filled the army.  General Jeff. C. Davis was
strictly a soldier, and doubtless hated to have his wagons and
columns encumbered by these poor negroes, for whom we all felt
sympathy, but a sympathy of a different sort from that of Mr.
Stanton, which was not of pure humanity, but of politics.  The
negro question was beginning to loom up among the political
eventualities of the day, and many foresaw that not only would the
slaves secure their freedom, but that they would also have votes.
I did not dream of such a result then, but knew that slavery, as
such, was dead forever, and did not suppose that the former slaves
would be suddenly, without preparation, manufactured into voters,
equal to all others, politically and socially.  Mr. Stanton seemed
desirous of coming into contact with the negroes to confer with
them, and he asked me to arrange an interview for him.  I
accordingly sent out and invited the most intelligent of the
negroes, mostly Baptist and Methodist preachers, to come to my
rooms to meet the Secretary of War.  Twenty responded, and were
received in my room up-stairs in Mr. Green's house, where Mr.
Stanton and Adjutant-General Townsend took down the conversation in
the form of questions and answers.  Each of the twenty gave his
name and partial history, and then selected Garrison Frazier as
their spokesman:

First Question.  State what your understanding is in regard to the
acts of Congress and President Lincoln's proclamation touching the
colored people in the rebel States?

Answer.  So far as I understand President Lincoln's proclamation to
the rebel States, it is, that if they will lay down their arms and
submit to the laws of the United States, before the 1st of January,
1863, all should be well; but if they did not, then all the slaves
in the Southern States should be free, henceforth and forever.
That is what I understood.

Second Question.  State what you understand by slavery, and the
freedom that was to be given by the President's proclamation?

Answer.  Slavery is receiving by irresistible power the work of
another man, and not by his consent.  The freedom, as I understand
it, promised by the proclamation, is taking us from under the yoke
of bondage and placing us where we can reap the fruit of our own
labor, and take care of ourselves and assist the Government in
maintaining our freedom.

Fourth Question.  State in what manner you would rather live
--whether scattered among the whites, or in colonies by yourselves?

Answer.  I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a
prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over;
but I do not know that I can answer for my brethren.

(All but Mr. Lynch, a missionary from the North, agreed with
Frazier, but he thought they ought to live together, along with the

Eighth Question.  If the rebel leaders were to arm the slaves, what
would be its effect?

Answer.  I think they would fight as long as they were before the
"bayonet," and just as soon as they could get away they would
desert, in my opinion.

Tenth Question.  Do you understand the mode of enlistment of
colored persons in the rebel States by State agents, under the act
of Congress; if yea, what is your understanding?

Answer.  My understanding is, that colored persons enlisted by
State agents are enlisted as substitutes, and give credit to the
State and do not swell the army, because every black man enlisted
by a State agent leaves a white man at home; and also that larger
bounties are given, or promised, by the State agents than are given
by the United States.  The great object should be to push through
this rebellion the shortest way; and there seems to be something
wanting in the enlistment by State agents, for it don't strengthen
the army, but takes one away for every colored man enlisted.

Eleventh Question.  State what, in your opinion, is the best way to
enlist colored men as soldiers?

Answer.  I think, sir, that all compulsory operations should be put
a stop to.  The ministers would talk to them, and the young men
would enlist.  It is my opinion that it world be far better for the
State agents to stay at home and the enlistments be made for the
United States under the direction of General Sherman.

Up to this time I was present, and, on Mr. Stanton's intimating
that he wanted to ask some questions affecting me, I withdrew, and
then he put the twelfth and last question.

Twelfth Question.  State what is the feeling of the colored people
toward General Sherman, and how far do they regard his sentiments
and actions as friendly to their rights and interests, or

Answer.  We looked upon General Sherman, prior to his arrival, as a
man, in the providence of God, specially set apart to accomplish
this work, and we unanimously felt inexpressible gratitude to him,
looking upon him as a man who should be honored for the faithful
performance of his duty.  Some of us called upon him immediately
upon his arrival, and it is probable he did not meet the secretary
with more courtesy than he did us.  His conduct and deportment
toward us characterized him as a friend and gentleman.  We have
confidence in General Sherman, and think what concerns us could not
be in better hands.  This is our opinion now, from the short
acquaintance and intercourse we have had.

It certainly was a strange fact that the great War Secretary should
have catechized negroes concerning the character of a general who
had commanded a hundred thousand men in battle, had captured cities
conducted sixty-five thousand men successfully across four hundred
miles of hostile territory, and had just brought tens of thousands
of freedmen to a place of security; but because I had not loaded
down my army by other hundreds of thousands of poor negroes, I was
construed by others as hostile to the black race.  I had received
from General Halleck, at Washington, a letter warning me that there
were certain influential parties near the President who were
torturing him with suspicions of my fidelity to him and his negro
policy; but I shall always believe that Mr. Lincoln, though a
civilian, knew better, and appreciated my motives and character.
Though this letter of General Halleck has always been treated by me
as confidential, I now insert it here at length:

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 30, 1864.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, Savannah.

MY DEAR GENERAL: I take the liberty of calling your attention, in
this private and friendly way, to a matter which may possibly
hereafter be of more importance to you than either of us may now

While almost every one is praising your great march through
Georgia, and the capture of Savannah, there is a certain class
having now great influence with the President, and very probably
anticipating still more on a change of cabinet, who are decidedly
disposed to make a point against you.  I mean in regard to
"inevitable Sambo."  They say that you have manifested an almost
criminal dislike to the negro, and that you are not willing to
carry out the wishes of the Government in regard to him, but
repulse him with contempt! They say you might have brought with you
to Savannah more than fifty thousand, thus stripping Georgia of
that number of laborers, and opening a road by which as many more
could have escaped from their masters; but that, instead of this,
you drove them from your ranks, prevented their following you by
cutting the bridges in your rear, and thus caused the massacre of
large numbers by Wheeler's cavalry.

To those who know you as I do, such accusation will pass as the
idle winds, for we presume that you discouraged the negroes from
following you because you had not the means of supporting them, and
feared they might seriously embarrass your march.  But there are
others, and among them some in high authority, who think or pretend
to think otherwise, and they are decidedly disposed to make a point
against you.

I do not write this to induce you to conciliate this class of men
by doing any thing which you do not deem right and proper, and for
the interest of the Government and the country; but simply to call
your attention to certain things which are viewed here somewhat
differently than from your stand-point.  I will explain as briefly
as possible:

Some here think that, in view of the scarcity of labor in the
South, and the probability that a part, at least, of the
able-bodied slaves will be called into the military service of the
rebels, it is of the greatest importance to open outlets by which
these slaves can escape into our lines, and they say that the route
you have passed over should be made the route of escape, and
Savannah the great place of refuge.  These, I know, are the views
of some of the leading men in the Administration, and they now
express dissatisfaction that you did not carry them out in your
great raid.

Now that you are in possession of Savannah, and there can be no
further fears about supplies, would it not be possible for you to
reopen these avenues of escape for the negroes, without interfering
with your military operations? Could not such escaped slaves find
at least a partial supply of food in the rice-fields about
Savannah, and cotton plantations on the coast?

I merely throw out these suggestions.  I know that such a course
would be approved by the Government, and I believe that a
manifestation on your part of a desire to bring the slaves within
our lines will do much to silence your opponents.  You will
appreciate my motives in writing this private letter.
Yours truly,


There is no doubt that Mr. Stanton, when he reached Savannah,
shared these thoughts, but luckily the negroes themselves convinced
him that he was in error, and that they understood their own
interests far better than did the men in Washington, who tried to
make political capital out of this negro question.  The idea that
such men should have been permitted to hang around Mr. Lincoln, to
torture his life by suspicions of the officers who were toiling
with the single purpose to bring the war to a successful end, and
thereby to liberate all slaves, is a fair illustration of the
influences that poison a political capital.

My aim then was, to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to
follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread
us.  "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."  I did not want
them to cast in our teeth what General Hood had once done in
Atlanta, that we had to call on their slaves to help us to subdue
them.  But, as regards kindness to the race, encouraging them to
patience and forbearance, procuring them food and clothing, and
providing them with land whereon to labor, I assert that no army
ever did more for that race than the one I commanded in Savannah.
When we reached Savannah, we were beset by ravenous State agents
from Hilton Head, who enticed and carried away our servants, and
the corps of pioneers which we had organized, and which had done
such excellent service.  On one occasion, my own aide-de-camp,
Colonel Audenried, found at least a hundred poor negroes shut up in
a house and pen, waiting for the night, to be conveyed stealthily
to Hilton Head.  They appealed to him for protection, alleging that
they had been told that they must be soldiers, that "Massa Lincoln"
wanted them, etc.  I never denied the slaves a full opportunity for
voluntary enlistment, but I did prohibit force to be used, for I
knew that the State agents were more influenced by the profit they
derived from the large bounties then being paid than by any love of
country or of the colored race.  In the language of Mr. Frazier,
the enlistment of every black man "did not strengthen the army, but
took away one white man from the ranks."

During Mr. Stanton's stay in Savannah we discussed this negro
question very fully; he asked me to draft an order on the subject,
in accordance with my own views, that would meet the pressing
necessities of the case, and I did so.  We went over this order,
No. 15, of January 16, 1865, very carefully.  The secretary made
some verbal modifications, when it was approved by him in all its
details, I published it, and it went into operation at once.  It
provided fully for the enlistment of colored troops, and gave the
freedmen certain possessory rights to land, which afterward became
matters of judicial inquiry and decision.  Of course, the military
authorities at that day, when war prevailed, had a perfect right to
grant the possession of any vacant land to which they could extend
military protection, but we did not undertake to give a fee-simple
title; and all that was designed by these special field orders was
to make temporary provisions for the freedmen and their families
during the rest of the war, or until Congress should take action in
the premises.  All that I now propose to assert is, that Mr.
Stanton, Secretary of War, saw these orders in the rough, and
approved every paragraph thereof, before they were made public:

[Special Field Orders, No. 15.]


1.  The islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice-fields
along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the
country bordering the St. John's River, Florida, are reserved and
set apart for the settlement of the negroes now made free by the
acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United

2.  At Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah, Fernandina, St. Augustine,
and Jacksonville, the blacks may remain in their chosen or
accustomed vocations; but on the islands, and in the settlements
hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless
military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted
to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be
left to the freed people themselves, subject only to the United
States military authority, and the acts of Congress.  By the laws
of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro
is free, and must be dealt with as such.  He cannot be subjected to
conscription, or forced military service, save by the written
orders of the highest military authority of the department, under
such regulations as the President or Congress may prescribe.
Domestic servants, blacksmiths, carpenters, and other mechanics,
will be free to select their own work and residence, but the young
and able-bodied negroes must be encouraged to enlist as soldiery in
the service of the United States, to contribute their share toward
maintaining their own freedom, and securing their rights as
citizens of the United States.

Negroes so enlisted will be organized into companies, battalions,
and regiments, under the orders of the United States military
authorities, and will be paid, fed, and clothed; according to law.
The bounties paid on enlistment may, with the consent of the
recruit, go to assist his family and settlement in procuring
agricultural implements, seed, tools, boots, clothing, and other
articles necessary for their livelihood.

8.  Whenever three respectable negroes, heads of families, shall
desire to settle on land, and shall have selected for that purpose
an island or a locality clearly defined within the limits above
designated, the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations will
himself, or, by such subordinate officer as he may appoint, give
them a license to settle such island or district, and afford them
such assistance as he can to enable them to establish a peaceable
agricultural settlement.  The three parties named will subdivide
the land, under the supervision of the inspector, among themselves,
and such others as may choose to settle near them, so that each
family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable
ground, and, when it borders on some water-channel, with not more
than eight hundred feet water-front, in the possession of which
land the military authorities will afford them protection until
such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall
regulate their title.  The quartermaster may, on the requisition of
the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, place at the disposal
of the inspector one or more of the captured steamers to ply
between the settlements and one or more of the commercial points
heretofore named, in order to afford the settlers the opportunity
to supply their necessary wants, and to sell the products of their
land and labor.

4.  Whenever a negro has enlisted in the military service of the
United States, he may locate his family in any one of the
settlements at pleasure, and acquire a homestead, and all other
rights and privileges of a settler, as though present in person.
In like manner, negroes may settle their families and engage on
board the gunboats, or in fishing, or in the navigation of the
inland waters, without losing any claim to land or other advantages
derived from this system.  But no one, unless an actual settler as
above defined, or unless absent on Government service, will be
entitled to claim any right to land or property in any settlement
by virtue of these orders.

5.  In order to carry out this system of settlement, a general
officer will be detailed as Inspector of Settlements and
Plantations, whose duty it shall be to visit the settlements, to
regulate their police and general arrangement, and who will furnish
personally to each head of a family, subject to the approval of the
President of the United States, a possessory title in writing,
giving as near as possible the description of boundaries; and who
shall adjust all claims or conflicts that may arise under the same,
subject to the like approval, treating such titles altogether as
possessory.  The same general officer will also be charged with the
enlistment and organization of the negro recruits, and protecting
their interests while absent from their settlements; and will be
governed by the rules and regulations prescribed by the War
Department for such purposes.

6.  Brigadier-General R.  Saxton is hereby appointed Inspector of
Settlements and Plantations, and will at once enter on the
performance of his duties.  No change is intended or desired in the
settlement now on Beaufort Island, nor will any rights to property
heretofore acquired be affected thereby.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,
L.  M.  DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

I saw a good deal of the secretary socially, during the time of his
visit to Savannah.  He kept his quarters on the revenue-cutter with
Simeon Draper, Esq., which cutter lay at a wharf in the river, but
he came very often to my quarters at Mr. Green's house.  Though
appearing robust and strong, he complained a good deal of internal
pains, which he said threatened his life, and would compel him soon
to quit public office.  He professed to have come from Washington
purposely for rest and recreation, and he spoke unreservedly of the
bickerings and jealousies at the national capital; of the
interminable quarrels of the State Governors about their quotas,
and more particularly of the financial troubles that threatened the
very existence of the Government itself.  He said that the price of
every thing had so risen in comparison with the depreciated money,
that there was danger of national bankruptcy, and he appealed to
me, as a soldier and patriot, to hurry up matters so as to bring
the war to a close.

He left for Port Royal about the 15th of January, and promised to
go North without delay, so as to hurry back to me the supplies I
had called for, as indispensable for the prosecution of the next
stage of the campaign.  I was quite impatient to get off myself,
for a city-life had become dull and tame, and we were all anxious
to get into the pine-woods again, free from the importunities of
rebel women asking for protection, and of the civilians from the
North who were coming to Savannah for cotton and all sorts of

On the 18th of January General Slocum was ordered to turn over the
city of Savannah to General J. G. Foster, commanding the Department
of the South, who proposed to retain his own headquarters at Hilton
Head, and to occupy Savannah by General Grovers division of the
Nineteenth Corps, just arrived from James River; and on the next
day, viz., January 19th, I made the first general orders for the

These were substantially to group the right wing of the army at
Pocotaligo, already held by the Seventeenth Corps, and the left
wing and cavalry at or near Robertsville, in South Carolina.  The
army remained substantially the same as during the march from
Atlanta, with the exception of a few changes in the commanders of
brigades and divisions, the addition of some men who had joined
from furlough, and the loss of others from the expiration of their
term of service.  My own personal staff remained the same, with the
exception that General W. F. Barry had rejoined us at Savannah,
perfectly recovered from his attack of erysipelas, and continued
with us to the end of the war.  Generals Easton and Beckwith
remained at Savannah, in charge of their respective depots, with
orders to follow and meet us by sea with supplies when we should
reach the coast at Wilmington or Newbern, North Carolina.

Of course, I gave out with some ostentation, especially among the
rebels, that we were going to Charleston or Augusta; but I had long
before made up my mind to waste no time on either, further than to
play off on their fears, thus to retain for their protection a
force of the enemy which would otherwise concentrate in our front,
and make the passage of some of the great rivers that crossed our
route more difficult and bloody.

Having accomplished all that seemed necessary, on the 21st of
January, with my entire headquarters, officers, clerks, orderlies,
etc., with wagons and horses, I embarked in a steamer for Beaufort,
South Carolina, touching at Hilton Head, to see General Foster.
The weather was rainy and bad, but we reached Beaufort safely on
the 23d, and found some of General Blair's troops there.  The pink
of his corps (Seventeenth) was, however, up on the railroad about
Pocotaligo, near the head of Broad River, to which their supplies
were carried from Hilton Head by steamboats.  General Hatch's
division (of General Foster's command) was still at Coosawhatchie
or Tullafinny, where the Charleston & Savannah Railroad crosses the
river of that name.  All the country between Beaufort and
Pocotaligo was low alluvial land, cut up by an infinite number of
salt-water sloughs and freshwater creeks, easily susceptible of
defense by a small force; and why the enemy had allowed us to make
a lodgment at Pocotaligo so easily I did not understand, unless it
resulted from fear or ignorance.  It seemed to me then that the
terrible energy they had displayed in the earlier stages of the war
was beginning to yield to the slower but more certain industry and
discipline of our Northern men.  It was to me manifest that the
soldiers and people of the South entertained an undue fear of our
Western men, and, like children, they had invented such ghostlike
stories of our prowess in Georgia, that they were scared by their
own inventions.  Still, this was a power, and I intended to utilize
it.  Somehow, our men had got the idea that South Carolina was the
cause of all our troubles; her people were the first to fire on
Fort Sumter, had been in a great hurry to precipitate the country
into civil war; and therefore on them should fall the scourge of
war in its worst form.  Taunting messages had also come to us, when
in Georgia, to the effect that, when we should reach South
Carolina, we would find a people less passive, who would fight us
to the bitter end, daring us to come over, etc.; so that I saw and
felt that we would not be able longer to restrain our men as we had
done in Georgia.

Personally I had many friends in Charleston, to whom I would gladly
have extended protection and mercy, but they were beyond my
personal reach, and I would not restrain the army lest its vigor
and energy should be impaired; and I had every reason to expect
bold and strong resistance at the many broad and deep rivers that
lay across our path.

General Foster's Department of the South had been enlarged to
embrace the coast of North Carolina, so that the few troops serving
there, under the command of General Innis N. Palmer, at Newbern,
became subject to my command.  General A. H. Terry held Fort
Fisher, and a rumor came that he had taken the city of Wilmington;
but this was premature.  He had about eight thousand men.  General
Schofield was also known to be en route from Nashville for North
Carolina, with the entire Twenty-third Corps, so that I had every
reason to be satisfied that I would receive additional strength as
we progressed northward, and before I should need it.

General W. J. Hardee commanded the Confederate forces in
Charleston, with the Salkiehatchie River as his line of defense.
It was also known that General Beauregard had come from the
direction of Tennessee, and had assumed the general command of all
the troops designed to resist our progress.

The heavy winter rains had begun early in January, rendered the
roads execrable, and the Savannah River became so swollen that it
filled its many channels, overflowing the vast extent of
rice-fields that lay on the east bank.  This flood delayed our
departure two weeks; for it swept away our pontoon-bridge at
Savannah, and came near drowning John E. Smith's division of the
Fifteenth Corps, with several heavy trains of wagons that were en
route from Savannah to Pocotaligo by the old causeway.

General Slocum had already ferried two of his divisions across the
river, when Sister's Ferry, about forty miles above Savannah, was
selected for the passage of the rest of his wing and of
Kilpatrick's cavalry.  The troops were in motion for that point
before I quitted Savannah, and Captain S. B. Luce, United States
Navy, had reported to me with a gunboat (the Pontiac) and a couple
of transports, which I requested him to use in protecting Sister's
Ferry during the passage of Slocum's wing, and to facilitate the
passage of the troops all he could.  The utmost activity prevailed
at all points, but it was manifest we could not get off much before
the 1st day of February; so I determined to go in person to
Pocotaligo, and there act as though we were bound for Charleston.
On the 24th of January I started from Beaufort with a part of my
staff, leaving the rest to follow at leisure, rode across the
island to a pontoon-bridge that spanned the channel between it and
the main-land, and thence rode by Garden's Corners to a plantation
not far from Pocotaligo, occupied by General Blair.  There we found
a house, with a majestic avenue of live-oaks, whose limbs had been
cut away by the troops for firewood, and desolation marked one of
those splendid South Carolina estates where the proprietors
formerly had dispensed a hospitality that distinguished the old
regime of that proud State.  I slept on the floor of the house, but
the night was so bitter cold that I got up by the fire several
times, and when it burned low I rekindled it with an old
mantel-clock and the wreck of a bedstead which stood in a corner of
the room--the only act of vandalism that I recall done by myself
personally during the war.

The next morning I rode to Pocotaligo, and thence reconnoitred our
entire line down to Coosawhatchie.  Pocotaligo Fort was on low,
alluvial ground, and near it began the sandy pine-land which
connected with the firm ground extending inland, constituting the
chief reason for its capture at the very first stage of the
campaign.  Hatch's division was ordered to that point from
Coosawhatchie, and the whole of Howard's right wing was brought
near by, ready to start by the 1st of February.  I also
reconnoitred the point of the Salkiehatchie River, where the
Charleston Railroad crossed it, found the bridge protected by a
rebel battery on the farther side, and could see a few men about
it; but the stream itself was absolutely impassable, for the whole
bottom was overflowed by its swollen waters to the breadth of a
full mile.  Nevertheless, Force's and Mower's divisions of the
Seventeenth Corps were kept active, seemingly with the intention to
cross over in the direction of Charleston, and thus to keep up the
delusion that that city was our immediate "objective."  Meantime, I
had reports from General Slocum of the terrible difficulties he had
encountered about Sister's Ferry, where the Savannah River was
reported nearly three miles wide, and it seemed for a time almost
impossible for him to span it at all with his frail pontoons.
About this time (January 25th), the weather cleared away bright and
cold, and I inferred that the river would soon run down, and enable
Slocum to pass the river before February 1st.  One of the divisions
of the Fifteenth Corps (Corse's) had also been cut off by the loss
of the pontoon-bridge at Savannah, so that General Slocum had with
him, not only his own two corps, but Corse's division and
Kilpatrick's cavalry, without which it was not prudent for me to
inaugurate the campaign.  We therefore rested quietly about
Pocotaligo, collecting stores and making final preparations, until
the 1st of February, when I learned that the cavalry and two
divisions of the Twentieth Corps were fairly across the river, and
then gave the necessary orders for the march northward.

Before closing this chapter, I will add a few original letters that
bear directly on the subject, and tend to illustrate it:

WASHINGTON, D. C.  January 21, 1866.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: Your letters brought by General Barnard were received at
City Point, and read with interest. Not having them with me,
however, I cannot say that in this I will be able to satisfy you on
all points of recommendation.  As I arrived here at 1 p.m., and
must leave at 6 p.m., having in the mean time spent over three
hours with the secretary and General Halleck, I must be brief.
Before your last request to have Thomas make a campaign into the
heart of Alabama, I had ordered Schofield to Annapolis, Maryland,
with his corps.  The advance (six thousand) will reach the seaboard
by the 23d, the remainder following as rapidly as railroad
transportation can be procured from Cincinnati.  The corps numbers
over twenty-one thousand men.

Thomas is still left with a sufficient force, surplus to go to
Selma under an energetic leader.  He has been telegraphed to, to
know whether he could go, and, if so, by which of several routes he
would select.  No reply is yet received.  Canby has been ordered to
set offensively from the seacoast to the interior, toward
Montgomery and Selma.  Thomas's forces will move from the north at
an early day, or some of his troops will be sent to Canby.  Without
further reenforcement Canby will have a moving column of twenty
thousand men.

Fort Fisher, you are aware, has been captured.  We have a force
there of eight thousand effective.  At Newbern about half the
number.  It is rumored, through deserters, that Wilmington also has
fallen.  I am inclined to believe the rumor, because on the 17th we
knew the enemy were blowing up their works about Fort Caswell, and
that on the 18th Terry moved on Wilmington.

If Wilmington is captured, Schofield will go there.  If not, he
will be sent to Newbern.  In either event, all the surplus forces
at the two points will move to the interior, toward Goldsboro', in
cooperation with your movements.  From either point, railroad
communications can be run out, there being here abundance of
rolling-stock suited to the gauge of those roads.

There have been about sixteen thousand men sent from Lee's army
south.  Of these, you will have fourteen thousand against you, if
Wilmington is not held by the enemy, casualties at Fort Fisher
having overtaken about two thousand.

All other troops are subject to your orders as you come in
communication with them.  They will be so instructed.  From about
Richmond I will watch Lee closely, and if he detaches many men, or
attempts to evacuate, will pitch in.  In the meantime, should you
be brought to a halt anywhere, I can send two corps of thirty
thousand effective men to your support, from the troops about

To resume: Canby is ordered to operate to the interior from the
Gulf.  A. J. Smith may go from the north, but I think it doubtful.
A force of twenty-eight or thirty thousand will cooperate with you
from Newbern or Wilmington, or both.  You can call for

This will be handed you by Captain Hudson, of my staff, who will
return with any message you may have for me.  If there is any thing
I can do for you in the way of having supplies on shipboard, at any
point on the seacoast, ready for you, let me know it.

Yours truly,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, City Point, Virginia.

DEAR GENERAL: Captain Hudson has this moment arrived with your
letter of January 21st, which I have read with interest.

The capture of Fort Fisher has a most important bearing on my
campaign, and I rejoice in it for many reasons, because of its
intrinsic importance, and because it gives me another point of
security on the seaboard.  I hope General Terry will follow it up
by the capture of Wilmington, although I do not look for it, from
Admiral Porter's dispatch to me.  I rejoice that Terry was not a
West-Pointer, that he belonged to your army, and that he had the
same troops with which Butler feared to make the attempt.

Admiral Dahlgren, whose fleet is reenforced by some more ironclads,
wants to make an assault a la Fisher on Fort Moultrie, but I
withhold my consent, for the reason that the capture of all
Sullivan's Island is not conclusive as to Charleston; the capture
of James Island would be, but all pronounce that impossible at this
time.  Therefore, I am moving (as hitherto designed) for the
railroad west of Branchville, then will swing across to Orangeburg,
which will interpose my army between Charleston and the interior.
Contemporaneous with this, Foster will demonstrate up the Edisto,
and afterward make a lodgment at Bull's Bay, and occupy the common
road which leads from Mount Pleasant toward Georgetown.  When I get
to Columbia, I think I shall move straight for Goldsboro', via
Fayetteville.  By this circuit I cut all roads, and devastate the
land; and the forces along the coast, commanded by Foster, will
follow my movement, taking any thing the enemy lets go, or so
occupy his attention that he cannot detach all his forces against
me.  I feel sure of getting Wilmington, and may be Charleston, and
being at Goldsboro', with its railroads finished back to Morehead
City and Wilmington, I can easily take Raleigh, when it seems that
Lee must come out.  If Schofield comes to Beaufort, he should be
pushed out to Kinston, on the Neuse, and may be Goldsboro' (or,
rather, a point on the Wilmington road, south of Goldsboro').  It
is not necessary to storm Goldsboro', because it is in a distant
region, of no importance in itself, and, if its garrison is forced
to draw supplies from its north, it, will be eating up the same
stores on which Lee depends for his command.

I have no doubt Hood will bring his army to Augusta.  Canby and
Thomas should penetrate Alabama as far as possible, to keep
employed at least a part of Hood's army; or, what would accomplish
the same thing, Thomas might reoccupy the railroad from Chattanooga
forward to the Etowah, viz., Rome, Kingston, and Allatoona, thereby
threatening Georgia.  I know that the Georgia troops are
disaffected.  At Savannah I met delegates from several counties of
the southwest, who manifested a decidedly hostile spirit to the
Confederate cause.  I nursed the feeling as far as possible, and
instructed Grower to keep it up.

My left wing must now be at Sister's Ferry, crossing the Savannah
River to the east bank.  Slocum has orders to be at Robertsville
to-morrow, prepared to move on Barnwell.  Howard is here, all ready
to start for the Augusta Railroad at Midway.

We find the enemy on the east aide of the Salkiehatchie, and
cavalry in our front; but all give ground on our approach, and seem
to be merely watching us.  If we start on Tuesday, in one week we
shall be near Orangeburg, having broken up the Augusta road from
the Edisto westward twenty or twenty-five miles.  I will be sure
that every rail is twisted.  Should we encounter too much
opposition near Orangeburg, then I will for a time neglect that
branch, and rapidly move on Columbia, and fill up the triangle
formed by the Congaree and Wateree (tributaries of the Santee),
breaking up that great centre of the Carolina roads.  Up to that
point I feel full confidence, but from there may have to manoeuvre
some, and will be guided by the questions of weather and supplies.

You remember we had fine weather last February for our Meridian
trip, and my memory of the weather at Charleston is, that February
is usually a fine month.  Before the March storms come we should be
within striking distance of the coast. The months of April and May
will be the best for operations from Goldsboro' to Raleigh and the
Roanoke.  You may rest assured that I will keep my troops well in
hand, and, if I get worsted, will aim to make the enemy pay so
dearly that you will have less to do.  I know that this trip is
necessary; it must be made sooner or later; I am on time, and in
the right position for it.  My army is large enough for the
purpose, and I ask no reinforcement, but simply wish the utmost
activity to be kept up at all other points, so that concentration
against me may not be universal.

I suspect that Jeff. Davis will move heaven and earth to catch me,
for success to this column is fatal to his dream of empire.
Richmond is not more vital to his cause than Columbia and the heart
of South Carolina.

If Thomas will not move on Selma, order him to occupy Rome,
Kingston, and Allatoona, and again threaten Georgia in the
direction of Athena.

I think the "poor white trash" of the South are falling out of
their ranks by sickness, desertion, and every available means; but
there is a large class of vindictive Southerners who will fight to
the last.  The squabbles in Richmond, the howls in Charleston, and
the disintegration elsewhere, are all good omens for us; we must
not relax one iota, but, on the contrary, pile up our efforts: I
world, ere this, have been off, but we had terrific rains, which
caught us in motion, and nearly drowned some of the troops in the
rice-fields of the Savannah, swept away our causeway (which had
been carefully corduroyed), and made the swamps hereabout mere
lakes of slimy mud.  The weather is now good, and I have the army
on terra firma.  Supplies, too, came for a long time by daily
driblets instead of in bulk; this is now all remedied, and I hope
to start on Tuesday.

I will issue instructions to General Foster, based on the
reenforcements of North Carolina; but if Schofield comes, you had
better relieve Foster, who cannot take the field, and needs an
operation on his leg.  Let Schofield take command, with his
headquarters at Beaufort, North Carolina, and with orders to secure
Goldsboro' (with its railroad communication back to Beaufort and
Wilmington).  If Lee lets us get that position, he is gone up.

I will start with my Atlanta army (sixty thousand), supplied as
before, depending on the country for all food in excess of thirty
days.  I will have less cattle on the hoof, but I hear of hogs,
cows, and calves, in Barnwell and the Colombia districts.  Even
here we have found some forage.  Of course, the enemy will carry
off and destroy some forage, but I will burn the houses where the
people burn their forage, and they will get tired of it.

I must risk Hood, and trust to you to hold Lee or be on his heels
if he comes south.  I observe that the enemy has some respect for
my name, for they gave up Pocotaligo without a fight when they
heard that the attacking force belonged to my army.  I will try and
keep up that feeling, which is a real power.  With respect, your

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-general commanding.

P. S.--I leave my chief-quartermaster and commissary behind to
follow coastwise.
W. T. S.

[Dispatch No. 6.]

SAVANNAH RIVER, January 4, 1865.

HON. GIDEON WELLS, Secretary of the Navy.

SIR: I have already apprised the Department that the army of
General Sherman occupied the city of Savannah on the 21st of

The rebel army, hardly respectable in numbers or condition, escaped
by crossing the river and taking the Union Causeway toward the

I have walked about the city several times, and can affirm that its
tranquillity is undisturbed.  The Union soldiers who are stationed
within its limits are as orderly as if they were in New York or
Boston....  One effect of the march of General Sherman through
Georgia has been to satisfy the people that their credulity has
been imposed upon by the lying assertions of the rebel Government,
affirming the inability of the United States Government to
withstand the armies of rebeldom.  They have seen the old flag of
the United States carried by its victorious legions through their
State, almost unopposed, and placed in their principal city without
a blow.

Since the occupation of the city General Sherman has been occupied
in making arrangements for its security after he leaves it for the
march that he meditates.  My attention has been directed to such
measures of cooperation as the number and quality of my force

On the 2d I arrived here from Charleston, whither, as I stated in
my dispatch of the 29th of December, I had gone in consequence of
information from the senior officer there that the rebels
contemplated issuing from the harbor, and his request for my
presence.  Having placed a force there of seven monitors,
sufficient to meet each an emergency, and not perceiving any sign
of the expected raid, I returned to Savannah, to keep in
communication with General Sherman and be ready to render any
assistance that might be desired.  General Sherman has fully
informed me of his plans, and, so far as my means permit, they
shall not lack assistance by water.

On the 3d the transfer of the right wing to Beaufort was began, and
the only suitable vessel I had at hand (the Harvest Moon) was sent
to Thunderbolt to receive the first embarkation.  This took place
about 3 p.m., and was witnessed by General Sherman and General
Bernard (United States Engineers) and myself.  The Pontiac is
ordered around to assist, and the army transports also followed the
first move by the Harvest Moon.

I could not help remarking the unbroken silence that prevailed in
the large array of troops; not a voice was to be heard, as they
gathered in masses on the bluff to look at the vessels.  The notes
of a solitary bugle alone came from their midst.

General Barnard made a brief visit to one of the rebel works
(Cansten's Bluff) that dominated this water-course--the best
approach of the kind to Savannah.

I am collecting data that will fully exhibit to the Department the
powerful character of the defenses of the city and its approaches.
General Sherman will not retain the extended limits they embrace.
but will contract the line very much.

General Foster still holds the position near the Tullifinny.  With
his concurrence I have detached the fleet brigade, and the men
belonging to it have returned to their vessels.  The excellent
service performed by this detachment has fully realized my wishes,
and exemplified the efficiency of the organization--infantry and
light artillery handled as skirmishers.  The howitzers were always
landed as quickly as the men, and were brought into action before
the light pieces of the land-service could be got ashore.

I regret very much that the reduced complements of the vessels
prevent me from maintaining the force in constant organization.
With three hundred more marines and five hundred seamen I could
frequently operate to great advantage, at the present time, when
the attention of the rebels is so engrossed by General Sherman.

It is said that they have a force at Hardeeville, the pickets of
which were retained on the Union Causeway until a few days since,
when some of our troops crossed the river and pushed them back.
Concurrently with this, I caused the Sonoma to anchor so as to
sweep the ground in the direction of the causeway.

The transfer of the right-wing (thirty thousand men) to Beaufort
will so imperil the rebel force at Hardeeville that it will be cut
off or dispersed, if not moved in season.

Meanwhile I will send the Dai-Ching to St. Helena, to meet any want
that may arise in that quarter, while the Mingo and Pontiac will be
ready to act from Broad River.

The general route of the army will be northward; but the exact
direction must be decided more or less by circumstances which it
may not be possible to foresee....

My cooperation will be confined to assistance in attacking
Charleston, or in establishing communication at Georgetown, in case
the army pushes on without attacking Charleston, and time alone
will show which of these will eventuate.

The weather of the winter first, and the condition of the ground in
spring, would permit little advantage to be derived from the
presence of the army at Richmond until the middle of May.  So that
General Sherman has no reason to move in haste, but can choose such
objects as he prefers, and take as much time as their attainment
may demand.  The Department will learn the objects in view of
General Sherman more precisely from a letter addressed by him to
General Halleck, which he read to me a few days since.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Rear-Admiral, commanding South-Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


Major-General J. G. FOSTER, commanding Department of the South.

GENERAL: I have just received dispatches from General Grant,
stating that Schofield's corps (the Twenty-third), twenty-one
thousand strong, is ordered east from Tennessee, and will be sent
to Beaufort, North Carolina.  That is well; I want that force to
secure a point on the railroad about Goldsboro', and then to build
the railroad out to that point.  If Goldsboro' be too strong to
carry by a rapid movement, then a point near the Neuse, south of
Goldsboro', will answer, but the bridge and position about Kinston,
should be held and fortified strong.  The movement should be masked
by the troops already at Newbern.  Please notify General Palmer
that these troops are coming, and to be prepared to receive them.
Major-General Schofield will command in person, and is admirably
adapted for the work.  If it is possible, I want him to secure
Goldsboro', with the railroad back to Morehead City and Wilmington.
As soon as General Schofield reaches Fort Macon, have him to meet
some one of your staff, to explain in full the details of the
situation of affairs with me; and you can give him the chief
command of all troops at Cape Fear and in North Carolina.  If he
finds the enemy has all turned south against me, he need not
follow, but turn his attention against Raleigh; if he can secure
Goldsboro' and Wilmington, it will be as much as I expect before I
have passed the Santee.  Send him all detachments of men that have
come to join my army.  They can be so organized and officered as to
be efficient, for they are nearly all old soldiers who have been
detached or on furlough.  Until I pass the Santee, you can better
use these detachments at Bull's Bay, Georgetown, etc.

I will instruct General McCallum, of the Railroad Department, to
take his men up to Beaufort, North Carolina, and employ them on the
road out.  I do not know that he can use them on any road here.  I
did instruct him, while awaiting information from North Carolina,
to have them build a good trestle-bridge across Port Royal ferry;
but I now suppose the pontoon-bridge will do.  If you move the
pontoons, be sure to make a good road out to Garden's Corners, and
mark it with sign-boards--obstructing the old road, so that, should
I send back any detachments, they would not be misled.

I prefer that Hatch's force should not be materially weakened until
I am near Columbia, when you may be governed by the situation of
affairs about Charleston.  If you can break the railroad between
this and Charleston, then this force could be reduced.

I am, with respect, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

SIR: When you left Savannah a few days ago, you forgot the map
which General Geary had prepared for you, showing the route by
which his division entered the city of Savannah, being the first
troops to occupy that city.  I now send it to you.

I avail myself of the opportunity also to inclose you copies of all
my official orders touching trade and intercourse with the people
of Georgia, as well as for the establishment of the negro

Delegations of the people of Georgia continue to come in, and I am
satisfied that, by judicious handling and by a little respect shown
to their prejudices, we can create a schism in Jeff. Davis's
dominions.  All that I have conversed with realize the truth that
slavery as an institution is defunct, and the only questions that
remain are what disposition shall be made of the negroes
themselves.  I confess myself unable to offer a complete solution
for these questions, and prefer to leave it to the slower
operations of time.  We have given the initiative, and can afford
to await the working of the experiment.

As to trade-matters, I also think it is to our interest to keep the
Southern people somewhat dependent on the articles of commerce to
which they have hitherto been accustomed.  General Grover is now
here, and will, I think, be able to handle this matter judiciously,
and may gradually relax, and invite cotton to come in in large
quantities.  But at first we should manifest no undue anxiety on
that score; for the rebels would at once make use of it as a power
against us.  We should assume, a tone of perfect contempt for
cotton and every thing else in comparison with the great object of
the war--the restoration of the Union, with all its rights and
power.  It the rebels burn cotton as a war measure, they simply
play into our hands by taking away the only product of value they
have to exchange in foreign ports for war-ships and munitions.  By
such a course, also, they alienate the feelings of a large class of
small farmers who look to their little parcels of cotton to
exchange for food and clothing for their families.  I hope the
Government will not manifest too much anxiety to obtain cotton in
large quantities, and especially that the President will not
indorse the contracts for the purchase of large quantities of
cotton.  Several contracts, involving from six to ten thousand
bales, indorsed by Mr. Lincoln, have been shown me, but were not in
such a form as to amount to an order to compel me to facilitate
their execution.

As to Treasury agents, and agents to take charge of confiscated and
abandoned property, whose salaries depend on their fees, I can only
say that, as a general rule, they are mischievous and disturbing
elements to a military government, and it is almost impossible for
us to study the law and regulations so as to understand fully their
powers and duties.  I rather think the Quartermaster's Department
of the army could better fulfill all their duties and accomplish
all that is aimed at by the law.  Yet on this subject I will leave
Generals Foster and Grover to do the best they can.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have just received from Lieutenant-General Grant a copy of
that part of your telegram to him of December 26th relating to
cotton, a copy of which has been immediately furnished to General
Easton, chief-quartermaster, who will be strictly governed by it.

I had already been approached by all the consuls and half the
people of Savannah on this cotton question, and my invariable
answer was that all the cotton in Savannah was prize of war,
belonged to the United States, and nobody should recover a bale of
it with my consent; that, as cotton had been one of the chief
causes of this war, it should help to pay its expenses; that all
cotton became tainted with treason from the hour the first act of
hostility was committed against the United States some time in
December, 1860; and that no bill of sale subsequent to that date
could convey title.

My orders were that an officer of the Quartermaster's Department,
United States Army, might furnish the holder, agent, or attorney, a
mere certificate of the fact of seizure, with description of the
bales' marks, etc., the cotton then to be turned over to the agent
of the Treasury Department, to be shipped to New York for sale.
But, since the receipt of your dispatch, I have ordered General
Easton to make the shipment himself to the quartermaster at New
York, where you can dispose of it at pleasure.  I do not think the
Treasury Department ought to bother itself with the prizes or
captures of war.

Mr. Barclay, former consul at New York, representing Mr. Molyneux,
former consul here, but absent a long time, called on me with
reference to cotton claimed by English subjects.  He seemed amazed
when I told him I should pay no respect to consular certificates,
that in no event would I treat an English subject with more favor
than one of our own deluded citizens, and that for my part I was
unwilling to fight for cotton for the benefit of Englishmen openly
engaged in smuggling arms and instruments of war to kill us; that,
on the contrary, it would afford me great satisfaction to conduct
my army to Nassau, and wipe out that nest of pirates.  I explained
to him, however, that I was not a diplomatic agent of the General
Government of the United States, but that my opinion, so frankly
expressed, was that of a soldier, which it would be well for him to
heed.  It appeared, also, that he owned a plantation on the line of
investment of Savannah, which, of course, was pillaged, and for
which he expected me to give some certificate entitling him to
indemnification, which I declined emphatically.

I have adopted in Savannah rules concerning property--severe but
just--founded upon the laws of nations and the practice of
civilized governments, and am clearly of opinion that we should
claim all the belligerent rights over conquered countries, that the
people may realize the truth that war is no child's play.

I embrace in this a copy of a letter, dated December 31, 1864, in
answer to one from Solomon Cohen (a rich lawyer) to General Blair,
his personal friend, as follows:

Major-General F. P. BLAIR, commanding Seventeenth Army Corps.

GENERAL: Your note, inclosing Mr. Cohen's of this date, is
received, and I answer frankly through you his inquiries.

1.  No one can practise law as an attorney in the United States
without acknowledging the supremacy of our Government.  If I am not
in error, an attorney is as much an officer of the court as the
clerk, and it would be a novel thing in a government to have a
court to administer law which denied the supremacy of the
government itself.

2.  No one will be allowed the privileges of a merchant, or,
rather, to trade is a privilege which no one should seek of the
Government without in like manner acknowledging its supremacy.

3.  If Mr. Cohen remains in Savannah as a denizen, his property,
real and personal, will not be disturbed unless its temporary use
be necessary for the military authorities of the city.  The title
to property will not be disturbed in any event, until adjudicated
by the courts of the United States.

4.  If Mr. Cohen leaves Savannah under my Special Order No. 148, it
is a public acknowledgment that he "adheres to the enemies of the
United States," and all his property becomes forfeited to the
United States.  But, as a matter of favor, he will be allowed to
carry with him clothing and furniture for the use of himself, his
family, and servants, and will be trans ported within the enemy's
lines, but not by way of Port Royal.

These rules will apply to all parties, and from them no exception
will be made.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

This letter was in answer to specific inquiries; it is clear, and
covers all the points, and, should I leave before my orders are
executed, I will endeavor to impress upon my successor, General
Foster, their wisdom and propriety.

I hope the course I have taken in these matters will meet your
approbation, and that the President will not refund to parties
claiming cotton or other property, without the strongest evidence
of loyalty and friendship on the part of the claimant, or unless
some other positive end is to be gained.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.




On the 1st day of February, as before explained, the army designed
for the active campaign from Savannah northward was composed of two
wings, commanded respectively by Major-Generals Howard and Slocum,
and was substantially the same that had marched from Atlanta to
Savannah.  The same general orders were in force, and this campaign
may properly be classed as a continuance of the former.

The right wing, less Corse's division, Fifteenth Corps, was grouped
at or near Pocotaligo, South Carolina, with its wagons filled with
food, ammunition, and forage, all ready to start, and only waiting
for the left wing, which was detained by the flood in the Savannah
River.  It was composed as follows:

Fifteenth Corps, Major-General JOHN A. LOGAN.

First Division, Brigadier-General Charles R. Woods;
Second Division, Major-General W. B. Hazen;
Third Division, Brigadier-General John E. Smith;
Fourth Division, Brigadier-General John M. Corse.
Artillery brigade, eighteen guns, Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Ross,
First Michigan Artillery.

Seventeenth.  Corps, Major-General FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.

First Division, Major-General Joseph A.  Mower;
Second Division, Brigadier-General M.  F.  Force;
Fourth Division, Brigadier-General Giles A.  Smith.
Artillery brigade, fourteen guns, Major A.  C.  Waterhouse, First
Illinois Artillery.

The left wing, with Corse's division and Kilpatrick's cavalry,
was at and near Sister's Ferry, forty miles above the city of
Savannah, engaged in crossing the river, then much swollen.
It was composed as follows:

Fourteenth Corps, Major-General JEFF. C. DAVIS.

First Division, Brigadier-General W.  P.  Carlin;
Second Division, Brigadier-General John D.  Morgan;
Third Division, Brigadier-General A.  Baird.
Artillery brigade, sixteen guns, Major Charles Houghtaling, First
Illinois Artillery.

Twentieth Corps, Brigadier-General A. S. WILLIAMS.

First Division, Brigadier-General N. I. Jackson;
Second Division, Brigadier-General J. W. Geary;
Third Division, Brigadier-General W. T. Ward.
Artillery brigade, Sixteen gnus, Major J. A. Reynolds, First New
York Artillery.

Cavalry Division, Brigadier-General JUDSON KILPATRICK.

First Brigade, Colonel T. J. Jordan, Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry;
Second Brigade, Colonel S. D. Atkins, Ninety-second Illinois Vol.;
Third Brigade, Colonel George E.  Spencer, First Alabama Cavalry.
One battery of four guns.

The actual strength of the army, as given in the following official
tabular statements, was at the time sixty thousand and seventy-nine
men, and sixty-eight guns.  The trains were made up of about
twenty-five hundred wagons, with six mules to each wagon, and about
six hundred ambulances, with two horses each.  The contents of the
wagons embraced an ample supply of ammunition for a great battle;
forage for about seven days, and provisions for twenty days, mostly
of bread, sugar, coffee, and salt, depending largely for fresh meat
on beeves driven on the hoof and such cattle, hogs, and poultry, as
we expected to gather along our line of march.


      February 1.    March 1.    April 1.    April 10
Pers:  60,079         57,676      81,150      88,948

The enemy occupied the cities of Charleston and Augusta, with
garrisons capable of making a respectable if not successful
defense, but utterly unable to meet our veteran columns in the open
field.  To resist or delay our progress north, General Wheeler had
his division of cavalry (reduced to the size of a brigade by his
hard and persistent fighting ever since the beginning of the
Atlanta campaign), and General Wade Hampton had been dispatched
from the Army of Virginia to his native State of South Carolina,
with a great flourish of trumpets, and extraordinary powers to
raise men, money, and horses, with which "to stay the progress of
the invader," and "to punish us for our insolent attempt to invade
the glorious State of South Carolina!"  He was supposed at the time
to have, at and near Columbia, two small divisions of cavalry
commanded by himself and General Butler.

Of course, I had a species of contempt for these scattered and
inconsiderable forces, knew that they could hardly delay us an
hour; and the only serious question that occurred to me was, would
General Lee sit down in Richmond (besieged by General Grant), and
permit us, almost unopposed, to pass through the States of South
and North Carolina, cutting off and consuming the very supplies on
which he depended to feed his army in Virginia, or would he make an
effort to escape from General Grant, and endeavor to catch us
inland somewhere between Columbia and Raleigh?  I knew full well at
the time that the broken fragments of Hood's army (which had
escaped from Tennessee) were being hurried rapidly across Georgia,
by Augusta, to make junction in my front; estimating them at the
maximum twenty-five thousand men, and Hardee's, Wheeler's, and
Hampton's forces at fifteen thousand, made forty thousand; which,
if handled with spirit and energy, would constitute a formidable
force, and might make the passage of such rivers as the Santee and
Cape Fear a difficult undertaking.  Therefore, I took all possible
precautions, and arranged with Admiral Dahlgren and General Foster
to watch our progress inland by all the means possible, and to
provide for us points of security along the coast; as, at Bull's
Bay, Georgetown, and the mouth of Cape Fear River.  Still, it was
extremely desirable in one march to reach Goldsboro' in the State
of North Carolina (distant four hundred and twenty-five miles), a
point of great convenience for ulterior operations, by reason of
the two railroads which meet there, coming from the seacoast at
Wilmington and Newbern.  Before leaving Savannah I had sent to
Newbern Colonel W. W. Wright, of the Engineers, with orders to look
to these railroads, to collect rolling-stock, and to have the roads
repaired out as far as possible in six weeks--the time estimated as
necessary for us to march that distance.

The question of supplies remained still the one of vital
importance, and I reasoned that we might safely rely on the country
for a considerable quantity of forage and provisions, and that, if
the worst came to the worst, we could live several months on the
mules and horses of our trains.  Nevertheless, time was equally
material, and the moment I heard that General Slocum had finished
his pontoon-bridge at Sister's Ferry, and that Kilpatrick's cavalry
was over the river, I gave the general orders to march, and
instructed all the columns to aim for the South Carolina Railroad
to the west of Branchville, about Blackville and Midway.

The right wing moved up the Salkiehatchie, the Seventeenth Corps on
the right, with orders on reaching Rivers's Bridge to cross over,
and the Fifteenth Corps by Hickory Hill to Beaufort's Bridge.
Kilpatrick was instructed to march by way of Barnwell; Corse's
division and the Twentieth Corps to take such roads as would bring
them into communication with the Fifteenth Corps about Beaufort's
Bridge.  All these columns started promptly on the 1st of February.
We encountered Wheeler's cavalry, which had obstructed the road by
felling trees, but our men picked these up and threw them aside, so
that this obstruction hardly delayed us an hour.  In person I
accompanied the Fifteenth Corps (General Logan) by McPhersonville
and Hickory Hill, and kept couriers going to and fro to General
Slocum with instructions to hurry as much as possible, so as to
make a junction of the whole army on the South Carolina Railroad
about Blackville.

I spent the night of February 1st at Hickory Hill Post-Office, and
that of the 2d at Duck Branch Post-Office, thirty-one miles out
from Pocotaligo.  On the 3d the Seventeenth Corps was opposite
Rivers's Bridge, and the Fifteenth approached Beaufort's Bridge.
The Salkiehatchie was still over its banks, and presented a most
formidable obstacle.  The enemy appeared in some force on the
opposite bank, had cut away all the bridges which spanned the many
deep channels of the swollen river, and the only available passage
seemed to be along the narrow causeways which constituted the
common roads.  At Rivers's Bridge Generals Mower and Giles A.
Smith led, their heads of column through this swamp, the water up
to their shoulders, crossed over to the pine-land, turned upon the
rebel brigade which defended the passage, and routed it in utter
disorder.  It was in this attack that General Wager Swayne lost his
leg, and he had to be conveyed back to Pocotaligo.  Still, the loss
of life was very small, in proportion to the advantages gained, for
the enemy at once abandoned the whole line of the Salkiehatchie,
and the Fifteenth Corps passed over at Beaufort's Bridge, without

On the 5th of February I was at Beaufort's Bridge, by which time
General A. S. Williams had got up with five brigades' of the
Twentieth Corps; I also heard of General Kilpatrick's being abreast
of us, at Barnwell, and then gave orders for the march straight for
the railroad at Midway.  I still remained with the Fifteenth Corps,
which, on the 6th of February, was five miles from Bamberg.  As a
matter of course, I expected severe resistance at this railroad,
for its loss would sever all the communications of the enemy in
Charleston with those in Augusta.

Early on the 7th, in the midst of a rain-storm, we reached the
railroad; almost unopposed, striking it at several points.  General
Howard told me a good story concerning this, which will bear
repeating: He was with the Seventeenth Corps, marching straight for
Midway, and when about five miles distant he began to deploy the
leading division, so as to be ready for battle.  Sitting on his
horse by the road-side, while the deployment was making, he saw a
man coming down the road, riding as hard as he could, and as he
approached he recognized him as one of his own "foragers," mounted
on a white horse, with a rope bridle and a blanket for saddle.  As
he came near he called out, "Hurry up, general; we have got the
railroad!"  So, while we, the generals, were proceeding
deliberately to prepare for a serious battle, a parcel of our
foragers, in search of plunder, had got ahead and actually captured
the South Carolina Railroad, a line of vital importance to the
rebel Government.

As soon as we struck the railroad, details of men were set to work
to tear up the rails, to burn the ties and twist the bars.  This
was a most important railroad, and I proposed to destroy it
completely for fifty miles, partly to prevent a possibility of its
restoration and partly to utilize the time necessary for General
Slocum to get up.

The country thereabouts was very poor, but the inhabitants mostly
remained at home.  Indeed, they knew not where to go.  The enemy's
cavalry had retreated before us, but his infantry was reported in
some strength at Branchville, on the farther side of the Edisto;
yet on the appearance of a mere squad of our men they burned their
own bridges the very thing I wanted, for we had no use for them,
and they had.

We all remained strung along this railroad till the 9th of
February--the Seventeenth Corps on the right, then the Fifteenth,
Twentieth, and cavalry, at Blackville.  General Slocum reached
Blackville that day, with Geary's division of the Twentieth Corps,
and reported the Fourteenth Corps (General Jeff. C. Davis's) to be
following by way of Barnwell.  On the 10th I rode up to Blackville,
where I conferred with Generals Slocum and Kilpatrick, became
satisfied that the whole army would be ready within a day, and
accordingly made orders for the next movement north to Columbia,
the right wing to strike Orangeburg en route.  Kilpatrick was
ordered to demonstrate strongly toward Aiken, to keep up the
delusion that we might turn to Augusta; but he was notified that
Columbia was the next objective, and that he should cover the left
flank against Wheeler, who hung around it.  I wanted to reach
Columbia before any part of Hood's army could possibly get there.
Some of them were reported as having reached Augusta, under the
command of General Dick Taylor.

Having sufficiently damaged the railroad, and effected the junction
of the entire army, the general march was resumed on the 11th, each
corps crossing the South Edisto by separate bridges, with orders to
pause on the road leading from Orangeberg to Augusta, till it was
certain that the Seventeenth Corps had got possession of
Orangeburg.  This place was simply important as its occupation
would sever the communications between Charleston and Columbia.
All the heads of column reached this road, known as the Edgefield
road, during the 12th, and the Seventeenth Corps turned to the
right, against Orangeburg.  When I reached the head of column
opposite Orangeburg, I found Giles A. Smith's division halted, with
a battery unlimbered, exchanging shots with a party on the opposite
side of the Edisto.  He reported that the bridge was gone, and that
the river was deep and impassable.  I then directed General Blair
to send a strong division below the town, some four or five miles,
to effect a crossing there.  He laid his pontoon-bridge, but the
bottom on the other side was overflowed, and the men had to wade
through it, in places as deep as their waists.  I was with this
division at the time, on foot, trying to pick my way across the
overflowed bottom; but, as soon as the head of column reached the
sand-hills, I knew that the enemy would not long remain in
Orangeburg, and accordingly returned to my horse, on the west bank,
and rode rapidly up to where I had left Giles A. Smith.  I found
him in possession of the broken bridge, abreast of the town, which
he was repairing, and I was among the first to cross over and enter
the town.  By and before the time either Force's or Giles A.
Smith's skirmishers entered the place, several stores were on fire,
and I am sure that some of the towns-people told me that a Jew
merchant had set fire to his own cotton and store, and from this
the fire had spread.  This, however, was soon put out, and the
Seventeenth Corps (General Blair) occupied the place during that
night.  I remember to have visited a large hospital, on the hill
near the railroad depot, which was occupied by the orphan children
who had been removed from the asylum in Charleston.  We gave them
protection, and, I think, some provisions.  The railroad and depot
were destroyed by order, and no doubt a good deal of cotton was
burned, for we all regarded cotton as hostile property, a thing to
be destroyed.  General Blair was ordered to break up this railroad,
forward to the point where it crossed the Santee, and then to turn
for Columbia.  On the morning of the 13th I again joined the
Fifteenth Corps, which crossed the North Edisto by Snilling's
Bridge, and moved straight for Columbia, around the head of Caw-Caw
Swamp.  Orders were sent to all the columns to turn for Columbia,
where it was supposed the enemy had concentrated all the men they
could from Charleston, Augusta, and even from Virginia.  That night
I was with the Fifteenth Corps, twenty-one miles from Columbia,
where my aide, Colonel Audenried, picked up a rebel officer on the
road, who, supposing him to be of the same service with himself,
answered all his questions frankly, and revealed the truth that
there was nothing in Columbia except Hampton's cavalry.  The fact
was, that General Hardee, in Charleston, took it for granted that
we were after Charleston; the rebel troops in Augusta supposed they
were "our objective;" so they abandoned poor Columbia to the care
of Hampton's cavalry, which was confused by the rumors that poured
in on it, so that both Beauregard and Wade Hampton, who were in
Columbia, seem to have lost their heads.

On the 14th the head of the Fifteenth Corps, Charles R. Woods's
division, approached the Little Congaree, a broad, deep stream,
tributary to the Main Congaree; six or eight miles below Columbia.
On the opposite side of this stream was a newly-constructed fort,
and on our side--a wide extent of old cotton-fields, which, had been
overflowed, and was covered with a deep slime.  General Woods had
deployed his leading brigade, which was skirmishing forward, but he
reported that the bridge was gone, and that a considerable force of
the enemy was on the other side.  I directed General Howard or
Logan to send a brigade by a circuit to the left, to see if this
stream could not be crossed higher up, but at the same time knew
that General Slocum's route world bring him to Colombia behind this
stream, and that his approach would uncover it.  Therefore, there
was no need of exposing much life.  The brigade, however, found
means to cross the Little Congaree, and thus uncovered the passage
by the main road, so that General Woods's skirmishers at once
passed over, and a party was set to work to repair the bridge,
which occupied less than an hour, when I passed over with my whole
staff.  I found the new fort unfinished and unoccupied, but from
its parapet could see over some old fields bounded to the north and
west by hills skirted with timber.  There was a plantation to our
left, about half a mile, and on the edge of the timber was drawn up
a force of rebel cavalry of about a regiment, which advanced, and
charged upon some, of our foragers, who were plundering the
plantation; my aide, Colonel Audenried, who had ridden forward,
came back somewhat hurt and bruised, for, observing this charge of
cavalry, he had turned for us, and his horse fell with him in
attempting to leap a ditch.  General Woods's skirmish-line met this
charge of cavalry, and drove it back into the woods and beyond.  We
remained on that ground during the night of the 15th, and I camped
on the nearest dry ground behind the Little Congaree, where on the
next morning were made the written' orders for the government of
the troops while occupying Columbia.  These are dated February 16,
1865, in these words:

General Howard will cross the Saluda and Broad Rivers as near their
mouths as possible, occupy Columbia, destroy the public buildings,
railroad property, manufacturing and machine shops; but will spare
libraries, asylums, and private dwellings.  He will then move to
Winnsboro', destroying en route utterly that section of the
railroad.  He will also cause all bridges, trestles, water-tanks,
and depots on the railroad back to the Wateree to be burned,
switches broken, and such other destruction as he can find time to
accomplish consistent with proper celerity.

These instructions were embraced in General Order No. 26, which
prescribed the routes of march for the several columns as far as
Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is conclusive that I then
regarded Columbia as simply one point on our general route of
march, and not as an important conquest.

During the 16th of February the Fifteenth Corps reached the point
opposite Columbia, and pushed on for the Saluda Factory three miles
above, crossed that stream, and the head of column reached Broad
River just in time to find its bridge in flames, Butler's cavalry
having just passed over into Columbia.  The head of Slocum's column
also reached the point opposite Columbia the same morning, but the
bulk of his army was back at Lexington.  I reached this place early
in the morning of the 16th, met General Slocum there; and explained
to him the purport of General Order No. 26, which contemplated the
passage of his army across Broad River at Alston, fifteen miles
above Columbia.  Riding down to the river-bank, I saw the wreck of
the large bridge which had been burned by the enemy, with its many
stone piers still standing, but the superstructure gone.  Across
the Congaree River lay the city of Columbia, in plain, easy view.
I could see the unfinished State-House, a handsome granite
structure, and the ruins of the railroad depot, which were still
smouldering.  Occasionally a few citizens or cavalry could be seen
running across the streets, and quite a number of negroes were
seemingly busy in carrying off bags of grain or meal, which were
piled up near the burned depot.

Captain De Gres had a section of his twenty-pound Parrott guns
unlimbered, firing into the town.  I asked him what he was firing
for; he said he could see some rebel cavalry occasionally at the
intersections of the streets, and he had an idea that there was a
large force of infantry concealed on the opposite bank, lying low,
in case we should attempt to cross over directly into the town.  I
instructed him not to fire any more into the town, but consented to
his bursting a few shells near the depot, to scare away the negroes
who were appropriating the bags of corn and meal which we wanted,
also to fire three shots at the unoccupied State-House.  I stood by
and saw these fired, and then all firing ceased.  Although this
matter of firing into Columbia has been the subject of much abuse
and investigation, I have yet to hear of any single person having
been killed in Columbia by our cannon.  On the other hand, the
night before, when Woods's division was in camp in the open fields
at Little Congaree, it was shelled all night by a rebel battery
from the other aide of the river.  This provoked me much at the
time, for it was wanton mischief, as Generals Beauregard and
Hampton must have been convinced that they could not prevent our
entrance into Columbia.  I have always contended that I would have
been justified in retaliating for this unnecessary act of war, but
did not, though I always characterized it as it deserved.

The night of the 16th I camped near an old prison bivouac opposite
Columbia, known to our prisoners of war as "Camp Sorghum," where
remained the mud-hovels and holes in the ground which our prisoners
had made to shelter themselves from the winter's cold and the
summer's heat.  The Fifteenth Corps was then ahead, reaching to
Broad River, about four miles above Columbia; the Seventeenth Corps
was behind, on the river-bank opposite Columbia; and the left wing
and cavalry had turned north toward Alston.

The next morning, viz., February 17th, I rode to the head of
General Howard's column, and found that during the night he had
ferried Stone's brigade of Woods's division of the Fifteenth
Corps across by rafts made of the pontoons, and that brigade was
then deployed on the opposite bank to cover the construction of a
pontoon-bridge nearly finished.

I sat with General Howard on a log, watching the men lay this
bridge; and about 9 or 10 A.M.  a messenger came from Colonel Stone
on the other aide, saying that the Mayor of Columbia had come out
of the city to surrender the place, and asking for orders.  I
simply remarked to General Howard that he had his orders, to let
Colonel Stone go on into the city, and that we would follow as soon
as the bridge was ready.  By this same messenger I received a note
in pencil from the Lady Superioress of a convent or school in
Columbia, in which she claimed to have been a teacher in a convent
in Brown County, Ohio, at the time my daughter Minnie was a pupil
there, and therefore asking special protection.  My recollection
is, that I gave the note to my brother-in-law, Colonel Ewing, then
inspector-general on my staff, with instructions to see this lady,
and assure her that we contemplated no destruction of any private
property in Columbia at all.

As soon as the bridge was done, I led my horse over it, followed by
my whole staff.  General Howard accompanied me with his, and
General Logan was next in order, followed by General C.  R.  Woods,
and the whole of the Fifteenth Corps.  Ascending the hill, we soon
emerged into a broad road leading into Columbia, between old fields
of corn and cotton, and, entering the city, we found seemingly all
its population, white and black, in the streets.  A high and
boisterous wind was prevailing from the north, and flakes of cotton
were flying about in the air and lodging in the limbs of the trees,
reminding us of a Northern snow-storm.  Near the market-square we
found Stone's brigade halted, with arms stacked, and a large detail
of his men, along with some citizens, engaged with an old
fire-engine, trying to put out the fire in a long pile of burning
cotton-bales, which I was told had been fired by the rebel cavalry
on withdrawing from the city that morning.  I know that, to avoid
this row of burning cotton-bales, I had to ride my horse on the
sidewalk.  In the market-square had collected a large crowd of
whites and blacks, among whom was the mayor of the city, Dr.
Goodwin, quite a respectable old gentleman, who was extremely
anxious to protect the interests of the citizens.  He was on foot,
and I on horseback, and it is probable I told him then not to be
uneasy, that we did not intend to stay long, and had no purpose to
injure the private citizens or private property.  About this time I
noticed several men trying to get through the crowd to speak with
me, and called to some black people to make room for them; when
they reached me, they explained that they were officers of our
army, who had been prisoners, had escaped from the rebel prison and
guard, and were of course overjoyed to find themselves safe with
us.  I told them that, as soon as things settled down, they should
report to General Howard, who would provide for their safety, and
enable them to travel with us.  One of them handed me a paper,
asking me to read it at my leisure; I put it in my breast-pocket
and rode on.  General Howard was still with me, and, riding down
the street which led by the right to the Charleston depot, we found
it and a large storehouse burned to the ground, but there were, on
the platform and ground near by, piles of cotton bags filled with
corn and corn-meal, partially burned.

A detachment of Stone's brigade was guarding this, and separating
the good from the bad.  We rode along the railroad-track, some
three or four hundred yards, to a large foundery, when some man
rode up and said the rebel cavalry were close by, and he warned us
that we might get shot.  We accordingly turned back to the
market-square, and en route noticed that, several of the men were
evidently in liquor, when I called General Howard's attention to
it.  He left me and rode toward General Woods's head of column,
which was defiling through the town.  On reaching the
market-square, I again met Dr. Goodwin, and inquired where he
proposed to quarter me, and he said that he had selected the house
of Blanton Duncan, Esq., a citizen of Louisville, Kentucky, then a
resident there, who had the contract for manufacturing the
Confederate money, and had fled with Hampton's cavalry.  We all
rode some six or eight squares back from the new State-House, and
found a very good modern house, completely furnished, with stabling
and a large yard, took it as our headquarters, and occupied it
during our stay.  I considered General Howard as in command of the
place, and referred the many applicants for guards and protection
to him.  Before our headquarters-wagons had got up, I strolled
through the streets of Columbia, found sentinels posted at the
principal intersections, and generally good order prevailing, but
did not again return to the main street, because it was filled with
a crowd of citizens watching the soldiers marching by.

During the afternoon of that day, February 17th, the whole of the
Fifteenth Corps passed through the town and out on the Camden and
Winnsboro' roads.  The Seventeenth Corps did not enter the city at
all, but crossed directly over to the Winnsboro' road from the
pontoon bridge at Broad River, which was about four miles above the

After we had got, as it were, settled in Blanton Duncan's house,
say about 2 p.m., I overhauled my pocket according to custom, to
read more carefully the various notes and memoranda received during
the day, and found the paper which had been given me, as described,
by one of our escaped prisoners.  It proved to be the song of
"Sherman's March to the Sea," which had been composed by Adjutant
S. H. M. Byers, of the Fifth Iowa Infantry, when a prisoner in the
asylum at Columbia, which had been beautifully written off by a
fellow-prisoner, and handed to me in person.  This appeared to me
so good that I at once sent for Byers, attached him to my staff,
provided him with horse and equipment, and took him as far as
Fayetteville, North Carolina, whence he was sent to Washington as
bearer of dispatches.  He is now United States consul at Zurich,
Switzerland, where I have since been his guest. I insert the song
here for convenient reference and preservation.  Byers said that
there was an excellent glee-club among the prisoners in Columbia,
who used to sing it well, with an audience often of rebel ladies:


Composed by Adjutant Byers, Fifth Iowa Infantry.  Arranged and sung
by the Prisoners in Columbia Prison.


Our camp-fires shone bright on the mountain
That frowned on the river below,
As we stood by our guns in the morning,
And eagerly watched for the foe;
When a rider came out of the darkness
That hung over mountain and tree,
And shouted, "Boys, up and be ready!
For Sherman will march to the sea!"


Then sang we a song of our chieftain,
That echoed over river and lea;
And the stars of our banner shone brighter
When Sherman marched down to the sea!


Then cheer upon cheer for bold Sherman
Went up from each valley and glen,
And the bugles reechoed the music
That came from the lips of the men;
For we knew that the stars in our banner
More bright in their splendor would be,
And that blessings from Northland world greet us,
When Sherman marched down to the sea!
             Then sang we a song, etc.


Then forward, boys! forward to battle!
We marched on our wearisome way,
We stormed the wild hills of Resacar
God bless those who fell on that day!
Then Kenesaw frowned in its glory,
Frowned down on the flag of the free;
But the East and the West bore our standard,
And Sherman marched on to the sea!
        Then sang we a song, etc.


Still onward we pressed, till our banners
Swept out from Atlanta's grim walls,
And the blood of the patriot dampened
The soil where the traitor-flag falls;
But we paused not to weep for the fallen,
Who slept by each river and tree,
Yet we twined them a wreath of the laurel,
As Sherman marched down to the sea!
        Then sang we a song, etc.


Oh, proud was our army that morning,
That stood where the pine darkly towers,
When Sherman said, "Boys, you are weary,
But to-day fair Savannah is ours!"
Then sang we the song of our chieftain,
That echoed over river and lea,
And the stars in our banner shone brighter
When Sherman camped down by the sea!

Toward evening of February 17th, the mayor, Dr. Goodwin, came to my
quarters at Duncan's house, and remarked that there was a lady in
Columbia who professed to be a special friend of mine.  On his
giving her name, I could not recall it, but inquired as to her
maiden or family name.  He answered Poyas.  It so happened that,
when I was a lieutenant at Fort Moultrie, in 1842-'46, I used very
often to visit a family of that name on the east branch of Cooper
River, about forty miles from Fort Moultrie, and to hunt with the
son, Mr. James Poyas, an elegant young fellow and a fine sportsman.
His father, mother, and several sisters, composed the family, and
were extremely hospitable.  One of the ladies was very fond of
painting in water-colors, which was one of my weaknesses, and on
one occasion I had presented her with a volume treating of
water-colors.  Of course, I was glad to renew the acquaintance, and
proposed to Dr. Goodwin that we should walk to her house and visit
this lady, which we did.  The house stood beyond the Charlotte
depot, in a large lot, was of frame, with a high porch, which was
reached by a set of steps outside.  Entering this yard, I noticed
ducks and chickens, and a general air of peace and comfort that was
really pleasant to behold at that time of universal desolation; the
lady in question met us at the head of the steps and invited us
into a parlor which was perfectly neat and well furnished.  After
inquiring about her father, mother, sisters, and especially her
brother James, my special friend, I could not help saying that I
was pleased to notice that our men had not handled her house and
premises as roughly as was their wont.  "I owe it to you, general,"
she answered.  "Not at all.  I did not know you were here till a
few minutes ago."  She reiterated that she was indebted to me for
the perfect safety of her house and property, and added, "You
remember, when you were at our house on Cooper River in 1845, you
gave me a book;" and she handed me the book in question, on the fly
leaf of which was written: "To Miss Poyas, with the compliments of
W. T. Sherman, First-lieutenant Third Artillery."  She then
explained that, as our army approached Columbia, there was a doubt
in her mind whether the terrible Sherman who was devastating the
land were W. T. Sherman or T. W. Sherman, both known to be generals
in the Northern army; but, on the supposition that he was her old
acquaintance, when Wade Hampton's cavalry drew out of the city,
calling out that the Yankees were coming, she armed herself with
this book, and awaited the crisis.  Soon the shouts about the
markethouse announced that the Yankees had come; very soon men were
seen running up and down the streets; a parcel of them poured over
the fence, began to chase the chickens and ducks, and to enter her
house.  She observed one large man, with full beard, who exercised
some authority, and to him she appealed in the name of "his
general."  "What do you know of Uncle Billy?"  "Why," she said,
"when he was a young man he used to be our friend in Charleston,
and here is a book he gave me."  The officer or soldier took the
book, looked at the inscription, and, turning to his fellows, said:
"Boys, that's so; that's Uncle Billy's writing, for I have seen it
often before."  He at once commanded the party to stop pillaging,
and left a man in charge of the house, to protect her until the
regular provost-guard should be established.  I then asked her if
the regular guard or sentinel had been as good to her.  She assured
me that he was a very nice young man; that he had been telling her
all about his family in Iowa; and that at that very instant of time
he was in another room minding her baby.  Now, this lady had good
sense and tact, and had thus turned aside a party who, in five
minutes more, would have rifled her premises of all that was good
to eat or wear.  I made her a long social visit, and, before
leaving Columbia, gave her a half-tierce of rice and about one
hundred pounds of ham from our own mess-stores.

In like manner, that same evening I found in Mrs. Simons another
acquaintance--the wife of the brother of Hon. James Simons, of
Charleston, who had been Miss Wragg.  When Columbia was on fire
that night, and her house in danger, I had her family and effects
carried to my own headquarters, gave them my own room and bed, and,
on leaving Columbia the next day, supplied her with a half-barrel
of hams and a half-tierce of rice.  I mention these specific facts
to show that, personally, I had no malice or desire to destroy that
city or its inhabitants, as is generally believed at the South.

Having walked over much of the suburbs of Columbia in the
afternoon, and being tired, I lay down on a bed in Blanton Duncan's
house to rest. Soon after dark I became conscious that a bright
light was shining on the walls; and, calling some one of my staff
(Major Nichols, I think) to inquire the cause, he said there seemed
to be a house on fire down about the market-house.  The same high
wind still prevailed, and, fearing the consequences, I bade him go
in person to see if the provost-guard were doing its duty.  He soon
returned, and reported that the block of buildings directly
opposite the burning cotton of that morning was on fire, and that
it was spreading; but he had found General Woods on the ground,
with plenty of men trying to put the fire out, or, at least, to
prevent its extension.  The fire continued to increase, and the
whole heavens became lurid.  I dispatched messenger after messenger
to Generals Howard, Logan, and Woods, and received from them
repeated assurances that all was being done that could be done, but
that the high wind was spreading the flames beyond all control.
These general officers were on the ground all night, and Hazen's
division had been brought into the city to assist Woods's division,
already there.  About eleven o'clock at night I went down-town
myself, Colonel Dayton with me; we walked to Mr. Simons's house,
from which I could see the flames rising high in the air, and could
hear the roaring of the fire.  I advised the ladies to move to my
headquarters, had our own headquarter-wagons hitched up, and their
effects carried there, as a place of greater safety.  The whole air
was full of sparks and of flying masses of cotton, shingles, etc.,
some of which were carried four or five blocks, and started new
fires.  The men seemed generally under good control, and certainly
labored hard to girdle the fire, to prevent its spreading; but, so
long as the high wind prevailed, it was simply beyond human
possibility.  Fortunately, about 3 or 4 a.m., the wind moderated,
and gradually the fire was got under control; but it had burned out
the very heart of the city, embracing several churches, the old
State-House, and the school or asylum of that very Sister of
Charity who had appealed for my personal protection.  Nickerson's
Hotel, in which several of my staff were quartered, was burned
down, but the houses occupied by myself, Generals Howard and Logan,
were not burned at all.  Many of the people thought that this fire
was deliberately planned and executed.  This is not true.  It was
accidental, and in my judgment began with the cotton which General
Hampton's men had set fire to on leaving the city (whether by his
orders or not is not material), which fire was partially subdued
early in the day by our men; but, when night came, the high wind
fanned it again into full blaze, carried it against the
frame-houses, which caught like tinder, and soon spread beyond our

This whole subject has since been thoroughly and judicially
investigated, in some cotton cases, by the mixed commission on
American and British claims, under the Treaty of Washington, which
commission failed to award a verdict in favor of the English
claimants, and thereby settled the fact that the destruction of
property in Columbia, during that night, did not result from the
acts of the General Government of the United States--that is to
say, from my army.  In my official report of this conflagration, I
distinctly charged it to General Wade Hampton, and confess I did so
pointedly, to shake the faith of his people in him, for he was in
my opinion boastful, and professed to be the special champion of
South Carolina.

The morning sun of February 18th rose bright and clear over a
ruined city.  About half of it was in ashes and in smouldering
heaps.  Many of the people were houseless, and gathered in groups
in the suburbs, or in the open parks and spaces, around their
scanty piles of furniture.  General Howard, in concert with the
mayor, did all that was possible to provide other houses for them;
and by my authority he turned over to the Sisters of Charity the
Methodist College, and to the mayor five hundred beef-cattle; to
help feed the people; I also gave the mayor (Dr.  Goodwin) one
hundred muskets, with which to arm a guard to maintain order after
we should leave the neighborhood.  During the 18th and 19th we
remained in Columbia, General Howard's troops engaged in tearing up
and destroying the railroad, back toward the Wateree, while a
strong detail, under the immediate supervision of Colonel O. M.
Poe, United States Engineers, destroyed the State Arsenal, which
was found to be well supplied with shot, shell, and ammunition.
These were hauled in wagons to the Saluda River, under the
supervision of Colonel Baylor, chief of ordnance, and emptied into
deep water, causing a very serious accident by the bursting of a
percussion-shell, as it struck another on the margin of the water.
The flame followed back a train of powder which had sifted out,
reached the wagons, still partially loaded, and exploded them,
killing sixteen men and destroying several wagons and teams of
mules.  We also destroyed several valuable founderies and the
factory of Confederate money.  The dies had been carried away, but
about sixty handpresses remained.  There was also found an immense
quantity of money, in various stages of manufacture, which our men
spent and gambled with in the most lavish manner.

Having utterly ruined Columbia, the right wing began its march
northward, toward Winnsboro', on the 20th, which we reached on the
21st, and found General Slocum, with the left wing, who had come by
the way of Alston.  Thence the right wing was turned eastward,
toward Cheraw, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, to cross the
Catawba River at Peay's Ferry.  The cavalry was ordered to follow
the railroad north as far as Chester, and then to turn east to
Rocky Mount, the point indicated for the passage of the left wing.
In person I reached Rocky Mount on the 22d, with the Twentieth
Corps, which laid its pontoon-bridge and crossed over during the
23d.  Kilpatrick arrived the next day, in the midst of heavy rain,
and was instructed to cross the Catawba at once, by night, and to
move up to Lancaster, to make believe we were bound for Charlotte,
to which point I heard that Beauregard had directed all his
detachments, including a corps of Hood's old army, which had been
marching parallel with us, but had failed to make junction with,
the forces immediately opposing us.  Of course, I had no purpose of
going to Charlotte, for the right wing was already moving rapidly
toward Fayetteville, North Carolina.  The rain was so heavy and
persistent that the Catawba, River rose fast, and soon after I had
crossed the pontoon bridge at Rocky Mount it was carried away,
leaving General Davis, with the Fourteenth Corps, on the west bank.
The roads were infamous, so I halted the Twentieth Corps at Hanging
Rock for some days, to allow time for the Fourteenth to get over.

General Davis had infinite difficulty in reconstructing his bridge,
and was compelled to use the fifth chains of his wagons for
anchor-chains, so that we were delayed nearly a week in that
neighborhood. While in camp at Hanging Rock two prisoners were
brought to me--one a chaplain, the other a boy, son of Richard Bacot,
of Charleston, whom I had known as a cadet at West Point.  They were
just from Charleston, and had been sent away by General Hardee in
advance, because he was, they said, evacuating Charleston.  Rumors to
the same effect had reached me through the negroes, and it was,
moreover, reported that Wilmington, North Carolina, was in possession
of the Yankee troops; so that I had every reason to be satisfied that
our march was fully reaping all the fruits we could possibly ask for.
Charleston was, in fact, evacuated by General Hardee on the 18th of
February, and was taken possession of by a brigade of General Fosters
troops, commanded by General Schimmelpfennig, the same day.  Hardee
had availed himself of his only remaining railroad, by Florence to
Cheraw; had sent there much of his ammunition and stores, and reached
it with the effective part of the garrison in time to escape across
the Pedee River before our arrival.  Wilmington was captured by
General Terry on the 22d of February; but of this important event we
only knew by the vague rumors which reached us through rebel sources.

General Jeff. C. Davis got across the Catawba during the 27th, and
the general march was resumed on Cheraw.  Kilpatrick remained near
Lancaster, skirmishing with Wheeler's and Hampton's cavalry,
keeping up the delusion that we proposed to move on Charlotte and
Salisbury, but with orders to watch the progress of the Fourteenth
Corps, and to act in concert with it, on its left rear.  On the 1st
of March I was at Finlay's Bridge across Lynch's Creek, the roads
so bad that we had to corduroy nearly every foot of the way; but I
was in communication with all parts of the army, which had met no
serious opposition from the enemy.  On the 2d of March we entered
the village of Chesterfield, skirmishing with Butler's cavalry,
which gave ground rapidly.  There I received a message from General
Howard, who, reported that he was already in Cheraw with the
Seventeenth Corps, and that the Fifteenth was near at hand.

General Hardee had retreated eastward across the Pedee, burning the
bridge.  I therefore directed the left wing to march for
Sneedsboro', about ten miles above Cheraw, to cross the Pedee
there, while I in person proposed to cross over and join the right
wing in Cheraw.  Early in the morning of the 3d of March I rode out
of Chesterfield along with the Twentieth Corps, which filled the
road, forded Thompson's Creek, and, at the top of the hill beyond,
found a road branching off to the right, which corresponded with
the one, on my map leading to Cheraw.  Seeing a negro standing by
the roadside, looking at the troops passing, I inquired of him what
road that was.  "Him lead to Cheraw, master!"  "Is it a good road,
and how far?"  "A very good road, and eight or ten miles."  "Any

"Oh! no, master, dey is gone two days ago; you could have played
cards on der coat-tails, dey was in sich a hurry!"  I was on my
Lexington horse, who was very handsome and restive, so I made
signal to my staff to follow, as I proposed to go without escort.
I turned my horse down the road, and the rest of the staff
followed.  General Barry took up the questions about the road, and
asked the same negro what he was doing there.  He answered, "Dey
say Massa Sherman will be along soon!"  "Why," said General Barry,
"that was General Sherman you were talking to."  The poor negro,
almost in the attitude of prayer, exclaimed: "De great God! just
look at his horse!"  He ran up and trotted by my side for a mile or
so, and gave me all the information he possessed, but he seemed to
admire the horse more than the rider.

We reached Cheraw in a couple of hours in a drizzling rain, and,
while waiting for our wagons to come up, I staid with General Blair
in a large house, the property of a blockade-runner, whose family
remained.  General Howard occupied another house farther down-town.
He had already ordered his pontoon-bridge to be laid across the
Pedee, there a large, deep, navigable stream, and Mower's division
was already across, skirmishing with the enemy about two miles out.
Cheraw was found to be full of stores which had been sent up from
Charleston prior to its evacuation, and which could not be removed.
I was satisfied, from inquiries, that General Hardee had with him
only the Charleston garrison, that the enemy had not divined our
movements, and that consequently they were still scattered from
Charlotte around to Florence, then behind us.  Having thus secured
the passage of the Pedee, I felt no uneasiness about the future,
because there remained no further great impediment between us and
Cape Fear River, which I felt assured was by that time in
possession of our friends.  The day was so wet that we all kept
in-doors; and about noon General Blair invited us to take lunch
with him.  We passed down into the basement dining-room, where the
regular family table was spread with an excellent meal; and during
its progress I was asked to take some wine, which stood upon the
table in venerable bottles.  It was so very good that I inquired
where it came from.  General Blair simply asked, "Do you like it?"
but I insisted upon knowing where he had got it; he only replied by
asking if I liked it, and wanted some.  He afterward sent to my
bivouac a case containing a dozen bottles of the finest madeira I
ever tasted; and I learned that he had captured, in Cheraw, the
wine of some of the old aristocratic families of Charleston, who
had sent it up to Cheraw for safety, and heard afterward that Blair
had found about eight wagon-loads of this wine, which he
distributed to the army generally, in very fair proportions.

After finishing our lunch, as we passed out of the dining room,
General Blair asked me, if I did not want some saddle-blankets, or
a rug for my tent, and, leading me into the hall to a space under
the stairway, he pointed out a pile of carpets which had also been
sent up from Charleston for safety.  After our headquarter-wagons
got up, and our bivouac was established in a field near by, I sent
my orderly (Walter) over to General Blair, and he came back
staggering under a load of carpets, out of which the officers and
escort made excellent tent-rugs, saddle-cloths, and blankets.
There was an immense amount of stores in Cheraw, which were used or
destroyed; among them twenty-four guns, two thousand muskets, and
thirty-six hundred barrels of gunpowder.  By the carelessness of a
soldier, an immense pile of this powder was exploded, which shook
the town badly; and killed and maimed several of our men.

We remained in or near Cheraw till the 6th of March, by which time
the army was mostly across the Pedee River, and was prepared to
resume the march on Fayetteville.  In a house where General Hardee
had been, I found a late New York Tribune, of fully a month later
date than any I had seen.  It contained a mass of news of great
interest to us, and one short paragraph which I thought extremely
mischievous.  I think it was an editorial, to the effect that at
last the editor had the satisfaction to inform his readers that
General Sherman would next be heard from about Goldsboro', because
his supply-vessels from Savannah were known to be rendezvousing at
Morehead City:--Now, I knew that General Hardee had read that same
paper, and that he would be perfectly able to draw his own
inferences.  Up to, that moment I had endeavored so to feign to our
left that we had completely, misled our antagonists; but this was
no longer possible, and I concluded that we must be ready, for the
concentration in our front of all the force subject to General Jos.
Johnston's orders, for I was there also informed that he had been
restored to the full command of the Confederate forces in South and
North Carolina.

On the 6th of March I crossed the Pedee, and all the army marched
for Fayetteville: the Seventeenth Corps kept well to the right, to
make room; the Fifteenth Corps marched by a direct road; the
Fourteenth Corps also followed a direct road from Sneedsboro',
where it had crossed the Pedee; and the Twentieth Corps, which had
come into Cheraw for the convenience of the pontoon-bridge,
diverged to the left, so as to enter Fayetteville next after the
Fourteenth Corps, which was appointed to lead into Fayetteville.
Kilpatrick held his cavalry still farther to the left rear on the
roads from Lancaster, by way of Wadesboro' and New Gilead, so as to
cover our trains from Hampton's and Wheeler's cavalry, who had
first retreated toward the north.  I traveled with the Fifteenth
Corps, and on the 8th of March reached Laurel Hill, North Carolina.
Satisfied that our troops must be at Wilmington, I determined to
send a message there; I called for my man, Corporal Pike, whom I
had rescued as before described, at Columbia, who was then
traveling with our escort, and instructed him in disguise to work
his way to the Cape Fear River, secure a boat, and float down to
Wilmington to convey a letter, and to report our approach.  I also
called on General Howard for another volunteer, and he brought me a
very clever young sergeant, who is now a commissioned officer in
the regular army.  Each of these got off during the night by
separate routes, bearing the following message, reduced to the same
cipher we used in telegraphic messages:

IN THE FIELD, LAUREL HILL, Wednesday, March 8, 1865.

Commanding Officer, Wilmington, North Carolina:

We are marching for Fayetteville, will be there Saturday, Sunday,
and Monday, and will then march for Goldsboro'.

If possible, send a boat up Cape Fear River, and have word conveyed
to General Schofield that I expect to meet him about Goldsboro'.
We are all well and have done finely.  The rains make our roads
difficult, and may delay us about Fayetteville, in which case I
would like to have some bread, sugar, and coffee.  We have
abundance of all else.  I expect to reach Goldsboro' by the 20th

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

On the 9th I was with the Fifteenth Corps, and toward evening
reached a little church called Bethel, in the woods, in which we
took refuge in a terrible storm of rain, which poured all night,
making the roads awful.  All the men were at work corduroying the
roads, using fence-rails and split saplings, and every foot of the
way had thus to be corduroyed to enable the artillery and wagons to
pass.  On the 10th we made some little progress; on the 11th I
reached Fayetteville, and found that General Hardee, followed by
Wade Hampton's cavalry, had barely escaped across Cape Fear River,
burning the bridge which I had hoped to save.  On reaching
Fayetteville I found General Slocum already in possession with the
Fourteenth Corps, and all the rest of the army was near at hand.  A
day or two before, General Kilpatrick, to our left rear, had
divided his force into two parts, occupying roads behind the
Twentieth Corps, interposing between our infantry columns and Wade
Hampton's cavalry.  The latter, doubtless to make junction with
General Hardee, in Fayetteville, broke across this line, captured
the house in which General Kilpatrick and the brigade-commander,
General Spencer, were, and for a time held possession of the camp
and artillery of the brigade.  However, General Kilpatrick and most
of his men escaped into a swamp with their arms, reorganized and
returned, catching Hampton's men--in turn, scattered and drove them
away, recovering most of his camp and artillery; but Hampton got
off with Kilpatrick's private horses and a couple hundred
prisoners, of which he boasted much in passing through

It was also reported that, in the morning after Hardee's army was
all across the bridge at Cape Fear River, Hampton, with a small
bodyguard, had remained in town, ready to retreat and burn the
bridge as soon as our forces made their appearance.  He was getting
breakfast at the hotel when the alarm was given, when he and his
escort took saddle, but soon realized that the alarm came from a
set of our foragers, who, as usual, were extremely bold and rash.
On these he turned, scattered them, killing some and making others
prisoners; among them General Howard's favorite scout, Captain
Duncan.  Hampton then crossed the bridge and burned it.

I took up my quarters at the old United States Arsenal, which was
in fine order, and had been much enlarged by the Confederate
authorities, who never dreamed that an invading army would reach it
from the west; and I also found in Fayetteville the widow and
daughter of my first captain (General Childs), of the Third
Artillery, learned that her son Fred had been the ordnance-officer
in charge of the arsenal, and had of course fled with Hardee's

During the 11th. the whole army closed down upon Fayetteville, and
immediate preparations were made to lay two pontoon bridges, one
near the burned bridge, and another about four miles lower down.

Sunday, March 12th, was a day of Sabbath stillness in Fayetteville.
The people generally attended their churches, for they were a very
pious people, descended in a large measure from the old Scotch
Covenanters, and our men too were resting from the toils and labors
of six weeks of as hard marching as ever fell to the lot of
soldiers.  Shortly after noon was heard in the distance the shrill
whistle of a steamboat, which came nearer and nearer, and soon a
shout, long and continuous, was raised down by the river, which
spread farther and farther, and we all felt that it meant a
messenger from home.  The effect was electric, and no one can
realize the feeling unless, like us, he has been for months cut off
from all communication with friends, and compelled to listen to the
croakings and prognostications of open enemies.  But in a very few
minutes came up through the town to the arsenal on the plateau
behind a group of officers, among whom was a large, florid
seafaring man, named Ainsworth, bearing a small mail-bag from
General Terry, at Wilmington, having left at 2 p.m.  the day
before.  Our couriers had got through safe from Laurel Hill, and
this was the prompt reply.

As in the case of our former march from Atlanta, intense anxiety
had been felt for our safety, and General Terry had been prompt to
open communication.  After a few minutes' conference with Captain
Ainsworth about the capacity of his boat, and the state of facts
along the river, I instructed him to be ready to start back at 6
p.m., and ordered Captain Byers to get ready to carry dispatches to
Washington.  I also authorized General Howard to send back by this
opportunity some of the fugitives who had traveled with his army
all the way from Columbia, among whom were Mrs. Feaster and her two
beautiful daughters.

I immediately prepared letters for Secretary Stanton, Generals
Halleck and Grant, and Generals Schofield, Foster, Easton, and
Beckwith, all of which have been published, but I include here only
those to the Secretary of War, and Generals Grant and Terry, as
samples of the whole:

FAYETTVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, Sunday, March.  12, 1885.

Hon. E.  M.  STANTON, Secretary of War.

DEAR SIR: I know you will be pleased to hear that my army has
reached this point, and has opened communication with Wilmington.
A tug-boat came up this morning, and will start back at 6 P. M.

I have written a letter to General Grant, the substance of which he
will doubtless communicate, and it must suffice for me to tell you
what I know will give you pleasure--that I have done all that I
proposed, and the fruits seem to me ample for the time employed.
Charleston, Georgetown, and Wilmington, are incidents, while the
utter demolition of the railroad system of South Carolina, and the
utter destruction of the enemy's arsenals of Columbia, Cheraw, and
Fayetteville, are the principals of the movement.  These points
were regarded as inaccessible to us, and now no place in the
Confederacy is safe against the army of the West.  Let Lee hold on
to Richmond, and we will destroy his country; and then of what use
is Richmond.  He must come out and fight us on open ground, and for
that we must ever be ready.  Let him stick behind his parapets, and
he will perish.

I remember well what you asked me, and think I am on the right
road, though a long one.  My army is as united and cheerful as
ever, and as full of confidence in itself and its leaders.  It is
utterly impossible for me to enumerate what we have done, but I
inclose a slip just handed me, which is but partial.  At Columbia
and Cheraw we destroyed nearly all the gunpowder and cartridges
which the Confederacy had in this part of the country.  This
arsenal is in fine order, and has been much enlarged.  I cannot
leave a detachment to hold it, therefore shall burn it, blow it up
with gunpowder, and then with rams knock down its walls.  I take it
for granted the United States will never again trust North Carolina
with an arsenal to appropriate at her pleasure.

Hoping that good fortune may still attend my army.  I remain your

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

FAYETTVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, Sunday, March.  12, 1885.

Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, commanding United States Army,
City Point, Virginia.

DEAR GENERAL: We reached this place yesterday at noon; Hardee, as
usual, retreating across the Cape Fear, burning his bridges; but
our pontoons will be up to-day, and, with as little delay as
possible, I will be after him toward Goldsboro'.

A tug has just come up from Wilmington, and before I get off from
here, I hope to get from Wilmington some shoes and stockings,
sugar, coffee, and flour.  We are abundantly supplied with all
else, having in a measure lived off the country.

The army is in splendid health, condition, and spirits, though we
have had foul weather, and roads that would have stopped travel to
almost any other body of men I ever heard of.

Our march, was substantially what I designed--straight on Columbia,
feigning on Branchville and Augusta.  We destroyed, in passing, the
railroad from the Edisto nearly up to Aiken; again, from Orangeburg
to the Congaree; again, from Colombia down to Kingsville on the
Wateree, and up toward Charlotte as far as the Chester line; thence
we turned east on Cheraw and Fayetteville.  At Colombia we
destroyed immense arsenals and railroad establishments, among which
wore forty-three cannon.  At Cheraw we found also machinery and
material of war sent from Charleston, among which were twenty-five
guns and thirty-six hundred barrels of powder; and here we find
about twenty guns and a magnificent United States' arsenal.

We cannot afford to leave detachments, and I shall therefore
destroy this valuable arsenal, so the enemy shall not have its use;
and the United States should never again confide such valuable
property to a people who have betrayed a trust.

I could leave here to-morrow, but want to clear my columns of the
vast crowd of refugees and negroes that encumber us.  Some I will
send down the river in boats, and the rest to Wilmington by land,
under small escort, as soon as we are across Cape Fear River.

I hope you have not been uneasy about us, and that the fruits of
this march will be appreciated.  It had to be made not only to
destroy the valuable depots by the way, but for its incidents in
the necessary fall of Charleston, Georgetown, and Wilmington.  If I
can now add Goldsboro' without too much cost, I will be in a
position to aid you materially in the spring campaign.

Jos. Johnston may try to interpose between me here and Schofield
about Newbern; but I think he will not try that, but concentrate
his scattered armies at Raleigh, and I will go straight at him as
soon as I get our men reclothed and our wagons reloaded.

Keep everybody busy, and let Stoneman push toward Greensboro' or
Charlotte from Knoxville; even a feint in that quarter will be most

The railroad from Charlotte to Danville is all that is left to the
enemy, and it will not do for me to go there, on account of the
red-clay hills which are impassable to wheels in wet weather.

I expect to make a junction with General Schofield in ten days.

Yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

FAYETTVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, Sunday, March.  12, 1885.

Major-General TERRY, commanding United States Forces,
Wilmington, North Carolina.

GENERAL: I have just received your message by the tug which left
Wilmington at 2 p.m.  yesterday, which arrived here without
trouble.  The scout who brought me your cipher-message started back
last night with my answers, which are superseded by the fact of
your opening the river.

General Howard just reports that he has secured one of the enemy's
steamboats below the city, General Slocum will try to secure two
others known to be above, and we will load them with refugees
(white and black) who have clung to our skirts, impeded our
movements, and consumed our food.

We have swept the country well from Savannah to here, and the men
and animals are in fine condition.  Had it not been for the foul
weather, I would have caught Hardee at Cheraw or here; but at
Columbia, Cheraw, and here, we have captured immense stores, and
destroyed machinery, guns, ammunition, and property, of inestimable
value to our enemy.  At all points he has fled from us, "standing
not on the order of his going."

The people of South Carolina, instead of feeding Lee's army, will
now call on Lee to feed them.

I want you to send me all the shoes, stockings, drawers, sugar,
coffee, and flour, you can spare; finish the loads with oats or
corn: Have the boats escorted, and let them run at night at any
risk.  We must not give time for Jos. Johnston to concentrate at
Goldsboro'.  We cannot prevent his concentrating at Raleigh, but he
shall have no rest. I want General Schofield to go on with his
railroad from Newbern as far as he can, and you should do the same
from Wilmington.  If we can get the roads to and secure Goldsboro'
by April 10th, it will be soon enough; but every day now is worth a
million of dollars.  I can whip Jos. Johnston provided he does not
catch one of my corps in flank, and I will see that the army
marches hence to Goldsboro' in compact form.

I must rid our army of from twenty to thirty thousand useless
mouths; as many to go down Cape Fear as possible, and the rest to
go in vehicles or on captured horses via Clinton to Wilmington.

I thank you for the energetic action that has marked your course,
and shall be most happy to meet you.  I am, truly your friend,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

In quick succession I received other messages from General Terry,
of older date, and therefore superseded by that brought by the tug
Davidson, viz., by two naval officers, who had come up partly by
canoes and partly by land; General Terry had also sent the
Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry to search for us, under Colonel
Kerwin, who had dispatched Major Berks with fifty men, who reached
us at Fayetteville; so that, by March 12th, I was in full
communication with General Terry and the outside world.  Still, I
was anxious to reach Goldsboro', there to make junction with
General Schofield, so as to be ready for the next and last stage of
the war.  I then knew that my special antagonist, General Jos. E.
Johnston, was back, with part of his old army; that he would not be
misled by feints and false reports, and would somehow compel me to
exercise more caution than I had hitherto done.  I then
over-estimated his force at thirty-seven thousand infantry,
supposed to be made up of S. D.  Lee's corps, four thousand;
Cheatham's, five thousand; Hoke's, eight thousand; Hardee's, ten
thousand; and other detachments, ten thousand; with Hampton's,
Wheeler's, and Butler's cavalry, about eight thousand.  Of these,
only Hardee and the cavalry were immediately in our front, while
the bulk of Johnston's army was supposed to be collecting at or
near Raleigh.  I was determined, however, to give him as little
time for organization as possible, and accordingly crossed Cape
Fear River, with all the army, during the 13th and 14th, leaving
one division as a rearguard, until the arsenal could be completely
destroyed.  This was deliberately and completely leveled on the
14th, when fire was applied to the wreck.  Little other damage was
done at Fayetteville.

On the 14th the tug Davidson again arrived from Wilmington, with
General Dodge, quartermaster, on board, reporting that there was no
clothing to be had at Wilmington; but he brought up some sugar and
coffee, which were most welcome, and some oats.  He was followed by
a couple of gunboats, under command of Captain Young, United States
Navy, who reached Fayetteville after I had left, and undertook to
patrol the river as long as the stage of water would permit; and
General Dodge also promised to use the captured steamboats for a
like purpose.  Meantime, also, I had sent orders to General
Schofield, at Newbern, and to General Terry, at Wilmington, to move
with their effective forces straight for Goldsboro', where I
expected to meet them by the 20th of March.

On the 15th of March the whole army was across Cape Fear River, and
at once began its march for Goldsboro'; the Seventeenth Corps still
on the right, the Fifteenth next in order, then the Fourteenth and
Twentieth on the extreme left; the cavalry, acting in close concert
with the left flank.  With almost a certainty of being attacked on
this flank, I had instructed General Slocum to send his
corps-trains under strong escort by an interior road, holding four
divisions ready for immediate battle.  General Howard was in like
manner ordered to keep his trains well to his right, and to have
four divisions unencumbered, about six miles ahead of General
Slocum, within easy support.

In the mean time, I had dispatched by land to Wilmington a train of
refugees who had followed the army all the way from Columbia, South
Carolina, under an escort of two hundred men, commanded by Major
John A.  Winson (One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry), so
that we were disencumbered, and prepared for instant battle on our
left and exposed flank.

In person I accompanied General Slocum, and during the night of
March 15th was thirteen miles out on the Raleigh road.  This flank
followed substantially a road along Cape Fear River north,
encountered pretty stubborn resistance by Hardee's infantry,
artillery, and cavalry, and the ground favored our enemy; for the
deep river, Cape Fear, was on his right, and North River on his
left, forcing us to attack him square in front.  I proposed to
drive Hardee well beyond Averysboro', and then to turn to the right
by Bentonville for Goldsboro'.  During the day it rained very
hard, and I had taken refuge in an old cooper-shop, where a
prisoner of war was brought to me (sent back from the skirmish-line
by General Kilpatrick), who proved to be Colonel Albert Rhett,
former commander of Fort Sumter.  He was a tall, slender, and
handsome young man, dressed in the most approved rebel uniform,
with high jackboots beautifully stitched, and was dreadfully
mortified to find himself a prisoner in our hands.  General Frank
Blair happened to be with me at the moment, and we were much amused
at Rhett's outspoken disgust at having been captured without a
fight.  He said he was a brigade commander, and that his brigade
that day was Hardee's rear-guard; that his command was composed
mostly of the recent garrisons of the batteries of Charleston
Harbor, and had little experience in woodcraft; that he was giving
ground to us as fast as Hardee's army to his rear moved back, and
during this operation he was with a single aide in the woods, and
was captured by two men of Kilpatrick's skirmish-line that was
following up his retrograde movement.  These men called on him to
surrender, and ordered him, in language more forcible than polite,
to turn and ride back.  He first supposed these men to be of
Hampton's cavalry, and threatened to report them to General Hampton
for disrespectful language; but he was soon undeceived, and was
conducted to Kilpatrick, who sent him back to General Slocum's

The rain was falling heavily, and, our wagons coming up, we went
into camp there, and had Rhett and General Blair to take supper
with us, and our conversation was full and quite interesting.  In
due time, however, Rhett was passed over by General Slocum to his
provost-guard, with orders to be treated with due respect,--and was
furnished with a horse to ride.

The next day (the 16th) the opposition continued stubborn, and near
Averysboro' Hardee had taken up a strong position, before which
General Slocum deployed Jackson's division (of the Twentieth
Corps), with part of Ward's.  Kilpatrick was on his right front.
Coming up, I advised that a brigade should make a wide circuit by
the left, and, if possible, catch this line in flank.  The movement
was completely successful, the first line of the enemy was swept
away, and we captured the larger part of Rhett's brigade, two
hundred and seventeen men, including Captain Macbeth's battery of
three guns, and buried one hundred and eight dead.

The deployed lines (Ward's and Jackson's) pressed on, and found
Hardee again intrenched; but the next morning he was gone, in full
retreat toward Smithfield.  In this action, called the battle of
Averysboro', we lost twelve officers and sixty-five men killed, and
four hundred and seventy-seven men wounded; a serious loss, because
every wounded man had to be carried in an ambulance.  The rebel
wounded (sixty-eight) were carried to a house near by, all surgical
operations necessary were performed by our surgeons, and then these
wounded men were left in care of an officer and four men of the
rebel prisoners, with a scanty supply of food, which was the best
we could do for them.  In person I visited this house while the
surgeons were at work, with arms and legs lying around loose, in
the yard and on the porch; and in a room on a bed lay a pale,
handsome young fellow, whose left arm had just been cut off near
the shoulder.  Some one used my name, when he asked, in a feeble
voice, if I were General Sherman.  He then announced himself as
Captain Macbeth, whose battery had just been captured; and said
that he remembered me when I used to visit his father's house, in
Charleston.  I inquired about his family, and enabled him to write
a note to his mother, which was sent her afterward from Goldsboro'.
I have seen that same young gentleman since in St. Louis, where he
was a clerk in an insurance-office.

While the battle of Averysboro' was in progress, and I was sitting
on my horse, I was approached by a man on foot, without shoes or
coat, and his head bandaged by a handkerchief.  He announced
himself as the Captain Duncan who had been captured by Wade Hampton
in Fayetteville, but had escaped; and, on my inquiring how he
happened to be in that plight, he explained that when he was a
prisoner Wade Hampton's men had made him "get out of his coat, hat,
and shoes," which they appropriated to themselves.  He said Wade
Hampton had seen them do it, and he had appealed to him personally
for protection, as an officer, but Hampton answered him with a
curse.  I sent Duncan to General Kilpatrick, and heard afterward
that Kilpatrick had applied to General Slocum for his prisoner,
Colonel Rhett, whom he made march on foot the rest of the way to
Goldsboro', in retaliation.  There was a story afloat that
Kilpatrick made him get out of those fine boots, but restored them
because none of his own officers had feet delicate enough to wear
them.  Of course, I know nothing of this personally, and have never
seen Rhett since that night by the cooper-shop; and suppose that he
is the editor who recently fought a duel in New Orleans.

From Averysboro' the left wing turned east, toward Goldsboro', the
Fourteenth Corps leading.  I remained with this wing until the
night of the 18th, when we were within twenty-seven miles of
Goldsboro' and five from Bentonsville; and, supposing that all
danger was over, I crossed over to join Howard's column, to the
right, so as to be nearer to Generals Schofield and Terry, known to
be approaching Goldsboro'.  I overtook General Howard at
Falling-Creek Church, and found his column well drawn out, by reason
of the bad roads.  I had heard some cannonading over about Slocum's
head of column, and supposed it to indicate about the same measure of
opposition by Hardee's troops and Hampton's cavalry before
experienced; but during the day a messenger overtook me, and notified
me that near Bentonsville General Slocum had run up against
Johnston's whole army.  I sent back orders for him to fight
defensively to save time, and that I would come up with
reenforcements from the direction of Cog's Bridge, by the road which
we had reached near Falling-Creek Church.  The country was very
obscure, and the maps extremely defective.

By this movement I hoped General Slocum would hold Johnston's army
facing west, while I would come on his rear from the east. The
Fifteenth Corps, less one division (Hazen's), still well to the
rear, was turned at once toward Bentonsville; Hazen's division was
ordered to Slocum's flank, and orders were also sent for General
Blair, with the Seventeenth Corps, to come to the same destination.
Meantime the sound of cannon came from the direction of

The night of the 19th caught us near Falling-Creek Church; but
early the next morning the Fifteenth Corps, General C. R. Woods's
division leading, closed down on Bentonsville, near which it was
brought up by encountering a line of fresh parapet, crossing the
road and extending north, toward Mill Creek.

After deploying, I ordered General Howard to proceed with due
caution, using skirmishers alone, till he had made junction with
General Slocum, on his left.  These deployments occupied all day,
during which two divisions of the Seventeenth Corps also got up.
At that time General Johnston's army occupied the form of a V, the
angle reaching the road leading from Averysboro' to Goldsboro', and
the flanks resting on Mill Creek, his lines embracing the village
of Bentonsville.

General Slocum's wing faced one of these lines and General Howard's
the other; and, in the uncertainty of General Johnston's strength,
I did not feel disposed to invite a general battle, for we had been
out from Savannah since the latter part of January, and our
wagon-trains contained but little food.  I had also received messages
during the day from General Schofield, at Kinston, and General
Terry, at Faison's Depot, approaching Goldsboro', both expecting to
reach it by March 21st.  During the 20th we simply held our ground
and started our trains back to Kinston for provisions, which would
be needed in the event of being forced to fight a general battle at
Bentonsville.  The next day (21st) it began to rain again, and we
remained quiet till about noon, when General Mower, ever rash,
broke through the rebel line on his extreme left flank, and was
pushing straight for Bentonsville and the bridge across Mill Creek.
I ordered him back to connect with his own corps; and, lest the
enemy should concentrate on him, ordered the whole rebel line to be
engaged with a strong skirmish-fire.

I think I made a mistake there, and should rapidly have followed
Mower's lead with the whole of the right wing, which would have
brought on a general battle, and it could not have resulted
otherwise than successfully to us, by reason of our vastly superior
numbers; but at the moment, for the reasons given, I preferred to
make junction with Generals Terry and Schofield, before engaging
Johnston's army, the strength of which was utterly unknown.  The
next day he was gone, and had retreated on Smithfield; and, the
roads all being clear, our army moved to Goldsboro'.  The heaviest
fighting at Bentonsville was on the first day, viz., the 19th, when
Johnston's army struck the head of Slocum's columns, knocking back
Carlin's division; but, as soon as General Slocum had brought up
the rest of the Fourteenth Corps into line, and afterward the
Twentieth on its left, he received and repulsed all attacks, and
held his ground as ordered, to await the coming back of the right
wing.  His loss, as reported, was nine officers and one hundred and
forty-five men killed, eight hundred and sixteen wounded, and two
hundred and twenty-six missing.  He reported having buried of the
rebel dead one hundred and sixty-seven, and captured three hundred
and thirty-eight prisoners.

The loss of the right wing was two officers and thirty-five men
killed, twelve officers and two hundred and eighty-nine men
wounded, and seventy missing.  General Howard reported that he had
buried one hundred of the rebel dead, and had captured twelve
hundred and eighty-seven prisoners.

Our total loss, therefore, at Bentonsville was: 1,604

General Johnston, in his "Narrative" (p. 392), asserts that his
entire force at Bentonsville, omitting Wheeler's and Butler's
cavalry, only amounted to fourteen thousand one hundred infantry
and artillery; and (p. 393) states his losses as: 2,343

Wide discrepancies exist in these figures: for instance, General
Slocum accounts for three hundred and thirty-eight prisoners
captured, and General Howard for twelve hundred and eighty-seven,
making sixteen hundred and twenty-five in all, to Johnston's six
hundred and fifty three--a difference of eight hundred and
seventy-two.  I have always accorded to General Johnston due credit
for boldness in his attack on our exposed flank at Bentonville,
but I think he understates his strength, and doubt whether at the
time he had accurate returns from his miscellaneous army, collected
from Hoke, Bragg, Hardee, Lee, etc.  After the first attack on
Carlin's division, I doubt if the fighting was as desperate as
described by him, p. 385, et seq.  I was close up with the
Fifteenth Corps, on the 20th and 21st, considered the fighting as
mere skirmishing, and know that my orders were to avoid a general
battle, till we could be sure of Goldsboro', and of opening up a
new base of supply.  With the knowledge now possessed of his small
force, of course I committed an error in not overwhelming
Johnston's army on the 21st of March, 1865.  But I was content then
to let him go, and on the 22d of March rode to Cog's Bridge, where
I met General Terry, with his two divisions of the Tenth Corps; and
the next day we rode into Goldsboro', where I found General
Schofield with the Twenty-third Corps, thus effecting a perfect
junction of all the army at that point, as originally contemplated.
During the 23d and 24th the whole army was assembled at Goldsboro';
General Terry's two divisions encamped at Faison's Depot to the
south, and General Kilpatrick's cavalry at Mount Olive Station,
near him, and there we all rested, while I directed my special
attention to replenishing the army for the next and last stage of
the campaign.  Colonel W. W. Wright had been so indefatigable, that
the Newbern Railroad was done, and a locomotive arrived in
Goldsboro' on the 25th of March.

Thus was concluded one of the longest and most important marches
ever made by an organized army in a civilized country.  The
distance from Savannah to Goldsboro' is four hundred and
twenty-five miles, and the route traversed embraced five large
navigable rivers, viz., the Edisto, Broad, Catawba, Pedee, and Cape
Fear, at either of which a comparatively small force, well-handled,
should have made the passage most difficult, if not impossible.
The country generally was in a state of nature, with innumerable
swamps, with simply mud roads, nearly every mile of which had to be
corduroyed.  In our route we had captured Columbia, Cheraw, and
Fayetteville, important cities and depots of supplies, had
compelled the evacuation of Charleston City and Harbor, had utterly
broken up all the railroads of South Carolina, and had consumed a
vast amount of food and forage, essential to the enemy for the
support of his own armies.  We had in mid-winter accomplished the
whole journey of four hundred and twenty-five miles in fifty days,
averaging ten miles per day, allowing ten lay-days, and had reached
Goldsboro' with the army in superb order, and the trains almost as
fresh as when we had started from Atlanta.

It was manifest to me that we could resume our march, and come
within the theatre of General Grant's field of operations in all
April, and that there was no force in existence that could delay
our progress, unless General Lee should succeed in eluding General
Grant at Petersburg, make junction with General Johnston, and thus
united meet me alone; and now that we had effected a junction with
Generals Terry and Schofield, I had no fear even of that event.  On
reaching Goldsboro, I learned from General Schofield all the
details of his operations about Wilmington and Newbern; also of the
fight of the Twenty-third Corps about Kinston, with General Bragg.
I also found Lieutenant Dunn, of General Grant's staff, awaiting
me, with the general's letter of February 7th, covering
instructions to Generals Schofield and Thomas; and his letter of
March 16th, in answer to mine of the 12th, from Fayetteville.

These are all given here to explain the full reasons for the events
of the war then in progress, with two or three letters from myself,
to fill out the picture.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, February 7, 1865

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: Without much expectation of it reaching you in time to be
of any service, I have mailed to you copies of instructions to
Schofield and Thomas.  I had informed Schofield by telegraph of the
departure of Mahone's division, south from the Petersburg front.
These troops marched down the Weldon road, and, as they apparently
went without baggage, it is doubtful whether they have not
returned.  I was absent from here when they left.  Just returned
yesterday morning from Cape Fear River.  I went there to determine
where Schofield's corps had better go to operate against Wilmington
and Goldsboro'.  The instructions with this will inform you of the
conclusion arrived at.

Schofield was with me, and the plan of the movement against
Wilmington fully determined before we started back; hence the
absence of more detailed instructions to him.  He will land one
division at Smithville, and move rapidly up the south side of the
river, and secure the Wilmington & Charlotte Railroad, and with his
pontoon train cross over to the island south of the city, if he
can.  With the aid of the gunboats, there is no doubt but this move
will drive the enemy from their position eight miles east of the
city, either back to their line or away altogether.  There will be
a large force on the north bank of Cape Fear River, ready to follow
up and invest the garrison, if they should go inside.

The railroads of North Carolina are four feet eight and one-half
inches gauge.  I have sent large parties of railroad-men there to
build them up, and have ordered stock to run them.  We have
abundance of it idle from the non-use of the Virginia roads.  I
have taken every precaution to have supplies ready for you wherever
you may turn up.  I did this before when you left Atlanta, and
regret that they did not reach you promptly when you reached

Alexander Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, and Judge Campbell, are now at
my headquarters, very desirous of going to Washington to see Mr.
Lincoln, informally, on the subject of peace.  The peace feeling
within the rebel lines is gaining ground rapidly.  This, however,
should not relax our energies in the least, but should stimulate us
to greater activity.

I have received your very kind letters, in which you say you would
decline, or are opposed to, promotion.  No one world be more
pleased at your advancement than I, and if you should be placed in
my position, and I put subordinate, it would not change our
personal relations in the least. I would make the same exertions to
support you that you have ever done to support me, and would do all
in my power to make our cause win.

Yours truly,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, January 81, 1865.

Major-General G. H. THOMAS, commanding Army of the Cumberland.

GENERAL: With this I send you a letter from General Sherman.  At
the time of writing it, General Sherman was not informed of the
depletion of your command by my orders.  It will, be impossible at
present for you to move south as he contemplated, with the force of
infantry indicated.  General Slocum is advised before this of the
changes made, and that for the winter you will be on the defensive.
I think, however, an expedition from East Tennessee, under General
Stoneman might penetrate South Carolina, well down toward Columbia,
destroying the railroad and military resources of the country, thus
visiting a portion of the State which will not be reached by
Sherman's forces.  He might also be able to return to East
Tennessee by way of Salisbury, North Carolina, thus releasing home
our prisoners of war in rebel hands.

Of the practicability of doing this, General Stoneman will have to
be the judge, making up his mind from information obtained while
executing the first part of his instructions.  Sherman's movements
will attract the attention of all the force the enemy can collect,
thus facilitating the execution of this.

Three thousand cavalry would be a sufficient force to take.  This
probably can be raised in the old Department of the Ohio, without
taking any now under General Wilson.  It would require, though, the
reorganization of the two regiments of Kentucky Cavalry, which
Stoneman had in his very successful raid into Southwestern

It will be necessary, probably, for you to send, in addition to the
force now in East Tennessee, a small division of infantry, to
enable General Gillem to hold the upper end of Holston Valley, and
the mountain-passes in rear of Stevenson.

You may order such an expedition.  To save time, I will send a copy
of this to General Stoneman, so that he can begin his preparations
without loss of time, and can commence his correspondence with you
as to these preparations.

As this expedition goes to destroy and not to fight battles, but to
avoid them when practicable, particularly against any thing like
equal forces, or where a great object is to be gained, it should go
as light as possible.  Stoneman's experience, in raiding will teach
him in this matter better than he can be directed.

Let there be no delay in the preparations for this expedition, and
keep me advised of its progress.  Very respectfully, your obedient

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, January 81, 1865.

Major-General J. M. SCHOFIELD, commanding army of the Ohio.

GENERAL: I have requested by telegraph that, for present purposes,
North Carolina be erected into a department, and that you be placed
in command of it, subject to Major-General Sherman's orders.  Of
course, you will receive orders from me direct until such time as
General Sherman gets within communicating distance of you.  This
obviates the necessity of my publishing the order which I informed
you would meet you at Fortress Monroe.  If the order referred to
should not be published from the Adjutant-General's office, you
will read these instructions as your authority to assume command of
all the troops in North Carolina, dating all official
communications, "Headquarters Army of the Ohio."  Your headquarters
will be in the field, and with the portion of the army where you
feel yourself most needed.  In the first move you will go to Cape
Fear River.

Your movements are intended as cooperative with Sherman's movement
through the States of South and North Carolina.  The first point to
be obtained is to secure Wilmington.  Goldsboro' will then be your
objective point, moving either from Wilmington or Newbern, or both,
as you may deem best. Should you not be able to reach Goldsboro',
you will advance on the line or lines of railway connecting that
place with the sea-coast, as near to it as you can, building the
road behind you.  The enterprise under you has two objects: the
first is, to give General Sherman material aid, if needed, in his
march north; the second, to open a base of supplies for him on the
line of his march.  As soon, therefore, as you can determine which
of the two points, Wilmington or Newbern, you can best use for
throwing supplies from to the interior, you will commence the
accumulation of twenty days rations and forage for sixty thousand
men and twenty thousand animals.  You will get of these as many as
you can house and protect, to such point in the interior as you may
be able to occupy.

I believe General Innis N. Palmer has received some instructions
directly from General Sherman, on the subject of securing supplies
for his army.  You can learn what steps he has taken, and be
governed in your requisitions accordingly.  A supply of
ordnance-stores will also be necessary.

Make all your requisitions upon the chiefs of their respective
departments, in the field, with me at City Point.  Communicate with
me by every opportunity, and, should you deem it necessary at any
time, send a special boat to Fortress Monroe, from which point you
can communicate by telegraph.

The supplies referred to in these instructions are exclusive of
those required by your own command.

The movements of the enemy may justify you, or even make it your
imperative duty, to cut loose from your base and strike for the
interior, to aid Sherman.  In such case you will act on your own
judgment, without waiting for instructions.  You will report,
however, what you propose doing.  The details for carrying out
these instructions are necessarily left to you.  I would urge,
however, if I did not know that you are already fully alive to the
importance of it, prompt action.  Sherman may be looked for in the
neighborhood of Goldsboro' any time from the 22d to the 28th of
February.  This limits your time very materially.

If rolling-stock is not secured in the capture of Wilmington, it
can be supplied from Washington: A large force of railroad-men has
already been sent to Beaufort, and other mechanics will go to Fort
Fisher in a day or two.  On this point I have informed you by

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 16, 1865.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding military Division of the

GENERAL: Your interesting letter of the 12th inst. is just
received.  I have never felt any uneasiness for your safety, but I
have felt great anxiety to know just how you were progressing.  I
knew, or thought I did, that, with the magnificent army with you,
you would come out safely somewhere.

To secure certain success, I deemed the capture of Wilmington of
the greatest importance.  Butler came near losing that prize to us.
But Terry and Schofield have since retrieved his blunders, and I do
not know but the first failure has been as valuable a success for
the country as the capture of Fort Fisher.  Butler may not see it
in that light.

Ever since you started on the last campaign, and before, I have
been attempting to get something done in the West, both to
cooperate with you and to take advantage of the enemy's weakness
there--to accomplish results favorable to us.  Knowing Thomas to be
slow beyond excuse, I depleted his army to reinforce Canby, so that
he might act from Mobile Bay on the interior.  With all I have
said, he has not moved at last advices.  Canby was sending a
cavalry force, of about seven thousand, from Vicksburg toward
Selma.  I ordered Thomas to send Wilson from Eastport toward the
same point, and to get him off as soon after the 20th of February
as possible.  He telegraphed me that he would be off by that date.
He has not yet started, or had not at last advices.  I ordered him
to send Stoneman from East Tennessee into Northwest South Carolina,
to be there about the time you would reach Columbia.  He would
either have drawn off the enemy's cavalry from you, or would have
succeeded in destroying railroads, supplies, and other material,
which you could not reach.  At that time the Richmond papers were
full of the accounts of your movements, and gave daily accounts of
movements in West North Carolina.  I supposed all the time it was
Stoneman.  You may judge my surprise when I afterward learned that
Stoneman was still in Louisville, Kentucky, and that the troops in
North Carolina were Kirk's forces!  In order that Stoneman might
get off without delay, I told Thomas that three thousand men would
be sufficient for him to take.  In the mean time I had directed
Sheridan to get his cavalry ready, and, as soon as the snow in the
mountains melted sufficiently, to start for Staunton, and go on and
destroy the Virginia Central Railroad and canal.  Time advanced,
until he set the 28th of February for starting.  I informed Thomas,
and directed him to change the course of Stoneman toward Lynchburg,
to destroy the road in Virginia up as near to that place as
possible.  Not hearing from Thomas, I telegraphed to him about the
12th, to know if Stoneman was yet off.  He replied not, but that he
(Thomas) would start that day for Knoxville, to get him off as soon
as possible.

Sheridan has made his raid, and with splendid success, so far as
heard.  I am looking for him at "White House" to-day.  Since about
the 20th of last month the Richmond papers have been prohibited
from publishing accounts of army movements.  We are left to our own
resources, therefore, for information.  You will see from the
papers what Sheridan has done; if you do not, the officer who bears
this will tell you all.

Lee has depleted his army but very little recently, and I learn of
none going south.  Some regiments may have been detached, but I
think no division or brigade.  The determination seems to be to
hold Richmond as long as possible.  I have a force sufficient to
leave enough to hold our lines (all that is necessary of them), and
move out with plenty to whip his whole army.  But the roads are
entirely impassable.  Until they improve, I shall content myself
with watching Lee, and be prepared to pitch into him if he attempts
to evacuate the place.  I may bring Sheridan over--think I will
--and break up the Danville and Southside Railroads.  These are the
last avenues left to the enemy.

Recruits have come in so rapidly at the West that Thomas has now
about as much force as he had when he attacked Hood.  I have
stopped all who, under previous orders, would go to him, except
those from Illinois.

Fearing the possibility of the enemy falling back to Lynchburg, and
afterward attempting to go into East Tennessee or Kentucky, I have
ordered Thomas to move the Fourth Corps to Bull's Gap, and to
fortify there, and to hold out to the Virginia line, if he can.  He
has accumulated a large amount of supplies in Knoxville, and has
been ordered not to destroy any of the railroad west of the
Virginia Hue.  I told him to get ready for a campaign toward
Lynchburg, if it became necessary.  He never can make one there or
elsewhere; but the steps taken will prepare for any one else to
take his troops and come east or go toward Rome, whichever may be
necessary.  I do not believe either will.

When I hear that you and Schofield are together, with your back
upon the coast, I shall feel that you are entirely safe against any
thing the enemy can do.  Lee may evacuate Richmond, but he cannot
get there with force enough to touch you.  His army is now
demoralized and deserting very fast, both to us and to their homes.
A retrograde movement would cost him thousands of men, even if we
did not follow.

Five thousand men, belonging to the corps with you, are now on
their way to join you.  If more reenforcements are necessary, I
will send them.  My notion is, that you should get Raleigh as soon
as possible, and hold the railroad from there back.  This may take
more force than you now have.

From that point all North Carolina roads can be made useless to the
enemy, without keeping up communications with the rear.

Hoping to hear soon of your junction with the forces from
Wilmington and Newborn, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, City Point,

GENERAL: I wrote you from Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Tuesday,
the 14th instant, that I was all ready to start for Goldsboro', to
which point I had also ordered General Schofield, from Newborn, and
General Terry, from Wilmington.  I knew that General Jos. Johnston
was supreme in command against me, and that he would have time to
concentrate a respectable army to oppose the last stage of this
march.  Accordingly, General Slocum was ordered to send his main
supply-train, under escort of two divisions, straight for
Bentonsville, while he, with his other four divisions,
disencumbered of all unnecessary wagons, should march toward
Raleigh, by way of threat, as far as Averysboro'.  General Howard,
in like manner, sent his trains with the Seventeenth Corps, well to
the right, and, with the four divisions of the Fifteenth Corps,
took roads which would enable him to come promptly to the exposed
left flank.  We started on the 16th, but again the rains set in,
and the roads, already bad enough, became horrible.

On Tuesday, the 16th, General Slocum found Hardee's army, from
Charleston, which had retreated before us from Cheraw, in position
across the narrow, swampy neck between Cape Fear and North Rivers,
where the road branches off to Goldsboro'.  There a pretty severe
fight occurred, in which General Slocum's troops carried handsomely
the advanced line, held by a South Carolina brigade, commanded by a
Colonel Butler.  Its Commander, Colonel Rhett, of Fort Sumter
notoriety, with one of his staff, had the night before been
captured, by Kilpatrick's scouts, from his very skirmish-line.  The
next morning Hardee was found gone, and was pursued through and
beyond Averysboro'.  General Slocum buried one hundred and eight
dead rebels, and captured and destroyed three guns.  Some eighty
wounded rebels were left in our hands, and, after dressing their
wounds, we left them in a house, attended by a Confederate officer
and four privates, detailed out of our prisoners and paroled for
the purpose.

We resumed the march toward Goldsboro'.  I was with the left wing
until I supposed all danger had passed; but, when General Slocum's
head of column was within four miles of Bentonsville, after
skirmishing as usual with cavalry, he became aware that there was
infantry in his front.  He deployed a couple of brigades, which, on
advancing, sustained a partial repulse, but soon rallied, when he
formed a line of the two leading divisions (Morgan's and Carlin's)
of Jeff. C. Davis's corps.  The enemy attacked these with violence,
but was repulsed.  This was in the forenoon of Sunday, the 19th.
General Slocum brought forward the two divisions of the Twentieth
Corps, hastily disposed of them for defense, and General Kilpatrick
massed his cavalry on the left.

General Jos. Johnston had, the night before, marched his whole army
(Bragg, Cheatham, S. D. Lee, Hardee, and all the troops he had
drawn from every quarter), determined, as he told his men, to crash
one of our corps, and then defeat us in detail.  He attacked
General Slocum in position from 3 P. M.  on the 19th till dark; but
was everywhere repulsed, and lost heavily.  At the time, I was with
the Fifteenth Corps, marching on a road more to the right; but, on
hearing of General Slocum's danger, directed that corps toward
Cox's Bridge, in the night brought Blair's corps over, and on the
20th marched rapidly on Johnston's flank and rear.  We struck him
about noon, forced him to assume the defensive, and to fortify.
Yesterday we pushed him hard, and came very near crushing him, the
right division of the Seventeenth Corps (Mower's) having broken in
to within a hundred yards of where Johnston himself was, at the
bridge across Mill Creek.  Last night he retreated, leaving us in
possession of the field, dead, and wounded.  We have over two
thousand prisoners from this affair and the one at Averysboro', and
I am satisfied that Johnston's army was so roughly handled
yesterday that we could march right on to Raleigh; but we have now
been out six weeks, living precariously upon the collections of our
foragers, our men dirty, ragged, and saucy, and we must rest and
fix up a little.  Our entire losses thus far (killed, wounded, and
prisoners) will be covered by twenty-five hundred, a great part of
which are, as usual, slight wounds.  The enemy has lost more than
double as many, and we have in prisoners alone full two thousand.

I limited the pursuit, this morning, to Mill Creek, and will
forthwith march the army to Goldsboro', there to rest, reclothe,
and get some rations.

Our combinations were such that General Schofield entered
Goldsboro' from Newborn; General Terry got Cox's Bridge, with
pontoons laid, and a brigade across Neuse River intrenched; and we
whipped Jos. Johnston--all on the same day.

After riding over the field of battle to-day, near Bentonsville,
and making the necessary orders, I have ridden down to this place
(Cox's Bridge) to see General Terry, and to-morrow shall ride into

I propose to collect there my army proper; shall post General Terry
about Faison's Depot, and General Schofield about Kinston, partly
to protect the road, but more to collect such food and forage as
the country affords, until the railroads are repaired leading into

I fear these have not been pushed with the vigor I had expected;
but I will soon have them both going.  I shall proceed at once to
organize three armies of twenty-five thousand men each, and will
try and be all ready to march to Raleigh or Weldon, as we may
determine, by or before April 10th.

I inclose you a copy of my orders of to-day.  I would like to be
more specific, but have not the data.  We have lost no general
officers nor any organization.  General Slocum took three guns at
Averysboro', and lost three others at the first dash on him at
Bentonsville.  We have all our wagons and trains in good order.

Yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, commanding the Armies of the United
States, City Point, Virginia.

GENERAL:  On reaching Goldsboro' this morning, I found Lieutenant
Dunn awaiting me with your letter of March 18th and dispatch of the
17th.  I wrote you fully from Cox's Bridge yesterday, and since
reaching Goldsboro' have learned that my letter was sent punctually
to Newborn, whence it will be dispatched to you.

I am very glad to hear that General Sheridan did such good service
between Richmond and Lynchburg, and hope he will keep the ball
moving, I know that these raids and dashes disconcert our enemy and
discourage him much.

General Slocum's two corps (Fourteenth and Twentieth) are now
coming in.  I will dispose of them north of Goldsboro', between the
Weldon road and Little River.  General Howard to-day is marching
south of the Nenae, and to-morrow will come in and occupy ground
north of Goldsboro', extending from the Weldon Railroad to that
leading to Kinston.

I have ordered all the provisional divisions, made up of troops
belonging to the regular corps, to be broken up, and the men to
join their proper regiments and organizations; and have ordered
General Schofield to guard the railroads back to Newborn and
Wilmington, and to make up a movable column equal to twenty-five
thousand men, with which to take the field.  His army will be the
centre, as on the Atlanta campaign.  I do not think I want any more
troops (other than absentees and recruits) to fill up the present
regiments, and I can make up an army of eighty thousand men by
April 10th.  I will post General Kilpatrick at Mount Olive Station
on the Wilmington road, and then allow the army some rest.

We have sent all our empty wagons, under escort, with the proper
staff-officers, to bring up from Kinston clothing and provisions.
As long as we move we can gather food and forage; but, the moment
we stop, trouble begins.

I feel sadly disappointed that our railroads are not done.  I do
not like to say there has been any neglect until I make inquiries;
but it does seem to me the repairs should have been made ere this,
and the road properly stocked.  I can only hear of one locomotive
(besides the four old ones) on the Newbern road, and two damaged
locomotives (found by General Terry) on the Wilmington road.  I
left Generals Easton and Beckwith purposely to make arrangements in
anticipation of my arrival, and have heard from neither, though I
suppose them both to be at Morehead City.

At all events, we have now made a junction of all the armies, and
if we can maintain them, will, in a short time, be in a position to
march against Raleigh, Gaston, Weldon, or even Richmond, as you may

If I get the troops all well planed, and the supplies working well,
I may run up to see you for a day or two before diving again into
the bowels of the country.

I will make, in a very short time, accurate reports of our
operations for the past two months.  Yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, City Point, Virginia.

GENERAL: I have kept Lieutenant Dunn over to-day that I might
report farther.  All the army is now in, save the cavalry (which I
have posted at Mount Olive Station, south of the Nenae) and General
Terry's command (which--to-morrow will move from Cog's Ferry to
Faison's Depot, also on the Wilmington road).  I send you a copy of
my orders of this morning, the operation of which will, I think,
soon complete our roads.  The telegraph is now done to Morehead
City, and by it I learn that stores have been sent to Kinston in
boats, and that our wagons are loading with rations and clothing.
By using the Neuse as high up as Kinston, hauling from there
twenty-six miles, and by equipping the two roads to Morehead City
and Wilmington, I feel certain we can not only feed and equip the
army, but in a short time fill our wagons for another start.  I
feel certain, from the character of the fighting, that we have got
Johnston's army afraid of us.  He himself acts with timidity and
caution.  His cavalry alone manifests spirit, but limits its
operations to our stragglers and foraging-parties.  My marching
columns of infantry do not pay the cavalry any attention, but walk
right through it.

I think I see pretty clearly how, in one more move, we can
checkmate Lee, forcing him to unite Johnston with him in the defense
of Richmond, or to abandon the cause.  I feel certain, if he leaves
Richmond, Virginia leaves the Confederacy.  I will study my maps a
little more before giving my positive views.  I want all possible
information of the Roanoke as to navigability, how far up, and with
what draught.

We find the country sandy, dry, with good roads, and more corn and
forage than I had expected.  The families remain, but I will
gradually push them all out to Raleigh or Wilmington.  We will need
every house in the town.  Lieutenant Dunn can tell you of many
things of which I need not write.  Yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.


Major-General George H. Thomas, commanding Department of the

DEAR GENERAL: I can hardly help smiling when I contemplate my
command--it is decidedly mixed.  I believe, but am not certain,
that you are in my jurisdiction, but I certainly cannot help you in
the way of orders or men; nor do I think you need either.  General
Cruft has just arrived with his provisional division, which will at
once be broken up and the men sent to their proper regiments, as
that of Meagher was on my arrival here.

You may have some feeling about my asking that General Slocum
should have command of the two corps that properly belong to you,
viz., the Fourteenth and Twentieth, but you can recall that he was
but a corps commander, and could not legally make orders of
discharge, transfer, etc., which was imperatively necessary.  I
therefore asked that General Slocum should be assigned to command
"an army in the field," called the Army of Georgia, composed of the
Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps.  The order is not yet made by the
President, though I have recognized it because both, General Grant
and the President have sanctioned it, and promised to have the
order made.

My army is now here, pretty well clad and provided, divided into
three parts, of two corps each--much as our old Atlanta army was.

I expect to move on in a few days, and propose (if Lee remains in
Richmond) to pass the Roanoke, and open communication with the
Chowan and Norfolk.  This will bring me in direct communication
with General Grant.

This is an admirable point--country open, and the two railroads in
good order back to Wilmington and Beaufort.  We have already
brought up stores enough to fill our wagons, and only await some
few articles, and the arrival of some men who are marching up from
the coast, to be off.

General Grant explained to me his orders to you, which, of course,
are all right.  You can make reports direct to Washington or to
General Grant, but keep me advised occasionally of the general
state of affairs, that I may know what is happening.  I must give
my undivided attention to matters here.  You will hear from a
thousand sources pretty fair accounts of our next march.  Yours

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.



Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Armies of the Tennessee,
Georgia, and Mississippi.

Mr DEAR GENERAL: I was much gratified by a sight of your
handwriting, which has just reached me from Goldsboro'; it was very
suggestive of a past to me, when these regions were the scene of
your operations.

As you progressed through South Carolina, there was no
manifestation of weakness or of an intention to abandon Charleston,
until within a few hours of the fact.  On the 11th of February I
was at Stono, and a spirited demonstration was made by General
Schimmel-pfennig and the vessels.  He drove the rebels from their
rifle-pits in front of the lines, extending from Fort Pringle, and
pushed them vigorously.  The next day I was at Bull's Bay, with a
dozen steamers, among them the finest of the squadron.  General
Potter had twelve to fifteen hundred men, the object being to carry
out your views.  We made as much fuss as possible, and with better
success than I anticipated, for it seems that the rebs conceived
Stono to be a feint, and the real object at Bull's Bay, supposing,
from the number of steamers and boats, that we had several thousand
men.  Now came an aide from General Gillmore, at Port Royal, with
your cipher-dispatch from Midway, so I steamed down to Port Royal
to see him.  Next day was spent in vain efforts to decipher-finally
it was accomplished.  You thought that the state of the roads might
force you to turn upon Charleston; so I went there on the 15th, but
there was no sign yet of flinching.  Then I went to Bull's Bay next
day (16th), and found that the troops were not yet ashore, owing to
the difficulties of shoal water.  One of the gunboats had contrived
to get up to within shelling range, and both soldiers and sailors
were working hard.  On the evening of the 18th I steamed down to
Stono to see how matters were going there.  Passing Charleston, I
noticed two large fires, well inside--probably preparing to leave.
On the 17th, in Stono, rumors were flying about loose of
evacuation.  In course of the morning, General Schimmelpfennig
telegraphed me, from Morris Island, that there were symptoms of
leaving; that he would again make a push at Stono, and asked for
monitors.  General Schimmelpfennig came down in the afternoon, and
we met in the Folly Branch, near Secessionville.  He was sore that
the rebs would be off that night, so he was to assault them in
front, while a monitor and gunboats stung their flanks both sides.
I also sent an aide to order my battery of five eleven-inch guns,
at Cumming's Point, to fire steadily all night on Sullivan's
Island, and two monitors to close up to the island for the same
object.  Next morning (18th) the rascals were found to be off, and
we broke in from all directions, by land and water.  The main
bodies had left at eight or nine in the evening, leaving
detachments to keep up a fire from the batteries.  I steamed round
quickly, and soon got into the city, threading the streets with a
large group of naval captains who had joined me.  All was silent as
the grave.  No one to be seen but a few firemen.

No one can question the excellence of your judgment in taking the
track you did, and I never had any misgivings, but it was natural
to desire to go into the place with a strong hand, for, if any one
spot in the land was foremost in the trouble, it was Charleston.

Your campaign was the final blow, grand in conception, complete in
execution; and now it is yours to secure the last army which
rebeldom possesses.  I hear of your being in motion by the 9th, and
hope that the result may be all that you wish.

Tidings of the murder of the President have just come, and shocked
every mind.  Can it be that such a resort finds root in any stratum
of American opinion?  Evidently it has not been the act of one man,
nor of a madman.  Who have prompted him?

I am grateful for your remembrance of my boy; the thought of him is
ever nearest to my heart.  Generous, brave, and noble, as I ever
knew him to be, that he should close his young life so early, even
under the accepted conditions of a soldier's life, as a son of the
Union, would have been grief sufficient for me to bear; but that
his precious remains should have been so treated by the brutes into
whose hands they fell, adds even to the bitterness of death.  I am
now awaiting the hour when I can pay my last duties to his memory.

With my best and sincere wishes, my dear general, for your success
and happiness, I am, most truly, your friend,


[General Order No.  50.]

WASHINGTON, March 27, 1865

Ordered--1.  That at the hour of noon, on the 14th day of April,
1885, Brevet Major-General Anderson will raise and plant upon the
ruins of Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, the same United States
flag which floated over the battlements of that fort during the
rebel assault, and which was lowered and saluted by him and the
small force of his command when the works were evacuated on the
14th day of April, 1861.

2.  That the flag, when raised, be saluted by one hundred guns from
Fort Sumter, and by a national salute from every fort and rebel
battery that fired upon Fort Sumter.

3.  That suitable ceremonies be had upon the occasion, under the
direction of Major-General William T. Sherman, whose military
operations compelled the rebels to evacuate Charleston, or, in his
absence, under the charge of Major-General Q. A. Gilmore,
commanding the department.  Among the ceremonies will be the
delivery of a public address by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher.

4.  That the naval forces at Charleston, and their commander on
that station, be invited to participate in the ceremonies of the

By order of the President of the United States,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

[General Order No. 41.]


Friday next, the 14th inst., will be the fourth anniversary of the
capture of Fort Sumter by the rebels.  A befitting celebration on
that day, in honor of its reoccupation by the national forces, has
been ordered by the President, in pursuance of which Brevet Major-
General Robert Anderson, United States Army, will restore to its
original place on the fort the identical flag which, after an
honorable and gallant defense, he was compelled to lower to the
insurgents in South Carolina, in April, 1861.

The ceremonies for the occasion will commence with prayer, at
thirty minutes past eleven o'clock a.m.

At noon precisely, the flag will be raised and saluted with one
hundred guns from Fort Sumter, and with a national salute from Fort
Moultrie and Battery Bee on Sullivan's Island, Fort Putnam on
Morris Island, and Fort Johnson on James's Island; it being
eminently appropriate that the places which were so conspicuous in
the inauguration of the rebellion should take a part not less
prominent in this national rejoicing over the restoration of the
national authority.

After the salutes, the Rev.  Henry Ward Beecher will deliver an

The ceremonies will close with prayer and a benediction.

Colonel Stewart L.  Woodford, chief of staff, under such verbal
instructions as he may receive, is hereby charged with the details
of the celebration, comprising all the arrangements that it may be
necessary to make for the accommodation of the orator of the day,
and the comfort and safety of the invited guests from the army and
navy, and from civil life.

By command of Major-General Q. A. Gillmore,
W. L. M. BURGER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Copy of Major ANDERSON's Dispatch, announcing the Surrender of Fort
Sumter, April 14, 1861.

April 10, 1861, 10.30 a.m.  via New York

Honorable S.  Cameron, Secretary of War, Washington

Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until the
quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire,
the gorge-walls seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by
flames, and its door closed from the effect of heat, four barrels
and three cartridges of powder only being available, and no
provisions remaining but pork, I accepted terms of evacuation
offered by General Beauregard, being the same offered by him on the
11th inst., prior to the commencement of hostilities, and marched
out of the fort, Sunday afternoon, the 14th inst., with colors
flying and drums beating, bringing away company and private
property, and saluting my flag with fifty guns.

ROBERT ANDERSON, Major First Artillery, commanding.




As before described, the armies commanded respectively by Generals
J. M. Schofield, A. H. Terry, and myself, effected a junction in
and about Goldsboro', North Carolina, during the 22d and 23d of
March, 1865, but it required a few days for all the troops and
trains of wagons to reach their respective camps.  In person I
reached Goldsboro' on the 23d, and met General Schofield, who
described fully his operations in North Carolina up to that date;
and I also found Lieutenant Dunn, aide-de-camp to General Grant,
with a letter from him of March 16th, giving a general description
of the state of facts about City Point.  The next day I received
another letter, more full, dated the 22d, which I give herewith.

Nevertheless, I deemed it of great importance that I should have a
personal interview with the general, and determined to go in person
to City Point as soon as the repairs of the railroad, then in
progress under the personal direction of Colonel W. W. Wright,
would permit:

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 22, 1865

Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: Although the Richmond papers do not communicate the fact,
yet I saw enough in them to satisfy me that you occupied Goldsboro'
on the 19th inst. I congratulate you and the army on what may be
regarded as the successful termination of the third campaign since
leaving the Tennessee River, less than one year ago.

Since Sheridan's very successful raid north of the James, the enemy
are left dependent on the Southside and Danville roads for all
their supplies.  These I hope to cut next week.  Sheridan is at
White House, "shoeing up" and resting his cavalry.  I expect him to
finish by Friday night and to start the following morning, raid
Long Bridge, Newmarket, Bermuda Hundred, and the extreme left of
the army around Petersburg.  He will make no halt with the armies
operating here, but will be joined by a division of cavalry, five
thousand five hundred strong, from the Army of the Potomac, and
will proceed directly to the Southside and Danville roads.  His
instructions will be to strike the Southside road as near
Petersburg as he can, and destroy it so that it cannot be repaired
for three or four days, and push on to the Danville road, as near
to the Appomattox as he can get.  Then I want him to destroy the
road toward Burkesville as far as he can; then push on to the
Southside road, west of Burkesville, and destroy it effectually.
From that point I shall probably leave it to his discretion either
to return to this army, crossing the Danville road south of
Burkesville, or go and join you, passing between Danville and
Greensboro'.  When this movement commences I shall move out by my
left, with all the force I can, holding present intrenched lines.
I shall start with no distinct view, further than holding Lee's
forces from following Sheridan.  But I shall be along myself, and
will take advantage of any thing that turns up.  If Lee detaches, I
will attack; or if he comes out of his lines I will endeavor to
repulse him, and follow it up to the best advantage.

It is most difficult to understand what the rebels intend to do; so
far but few troops have been detached from Lee's army.  Much
machinery has been removed, and material has been sent to
Lynchburg, showing a disposition to go there.  Points, too, have
been fortified on the Danville road.

Lee's army is much demoralized, and great numbers are deserting.
Probably, from returned prisoners, and such conscripts as can be
picked up, his numbers may be kept up.  I estimate his force now at
about sixty-five thousand men.

Wilson started on Monday, with twelve thousand cavalry, from
Eastport.  Stoneman started on the same day, from East Tennessee,
toward Lynchburg.  Thomas is moving the Fourth Corps to Bull's Gap.
Canby is moving with a formidable force on Mobile and the interior
of Alabama.

I ordered Gilmore, as soon as the fall of Charleston was known, to
hold all important posts on the sea-coast, and to send to
Wilmington all surplus forces.  Thomas was also directed to forward
to Newbern all troops belonging to the corps with you.  I
understand this will give you about five thousand men, besides
those brought east by Meagher.

I have been telegraphing General Meigs to hasten up locomotives and
cars for you.  General McCallum, he informs me, is attending to it.
I fear they are not going forward as fast as I world like.

Let me know if you want more troops, or any thing else.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S.  GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

The railroad was repaired to Goldsboro' by the evening of March
25th, when, leaving General Schofield in chief command, with a
couple of staff-officers I started for City Point, Virginia, in a
locomotive, in company with Colonel Wright, the constructing
engineer.  We reached Newbern that evening, which was passed in the
company of General Palmer and his accomplished lady, and early the
next morning we continued on to Morehead City, where General Easton
had provided for us the small captured steamer Russia, Captain
Smith.  We put to sea at once and steamed up the coast, reaching
Fortress Monroe on the morning of the 27th, where I landed and
telegraphed to my brother, Senator Sherman, at Washington, inviting
him to come down and return with me to Goldsboro.  We proceeded on
up James River to City Point, which we reached the same afternoon.
I found General Grant, with his family and staff, occupying a
pretty group of huts on the bank of James River, overlooking the
harbor, which was full of vessels of all classes, both war and
merchant, with wharves and warehouses on an extensive scale.  The
general received me most heartily, and we talked over matters very
fully.  After I had been with him an hour or so, he remarked that
the President, Mr. Lincoln, was then on board the steamer River
Queen, lying at the wharf, and he proposed that we should call and
see him.  We walked down to the wharf, went on board, and found Mr.
Lincoln alone, in the after-cabin.  He remembered me perfectly, and
at once engaged in a most interesting conversation.  He was full of
curiosity about the many incidents of our great march, which had
reached him officially and through the newspapers, and seemed to
enjoy very much the more ludicrous parts-about the "bummers," and
their devices to collect food and forage when the outside world
supposed us to be starving; but at the same time he expressed a
good deal of anxiety lest some accident might happen to the army in
North Carolina during my absence.  I explained to him that that
army was snug and comfortable, in good camps, at Goldsboro'; that
it would require some days to collect forage and food for another
march; and that General Schofield was fully competent to command it
in my absence.  Having made a good, long, social visit, we took our
leave and returned to General Grant's quarters, where Mrs. Grant
had provided tea.  While at the table, Mrs. Grant inquired if we
had seen Mrs. Lincoln.  "No," said the general, "I did not ask for
her;" and I added that I did not even know that she was on board.
Mrs. Grant then exclaimed, "Well, you are a pretty pair!" and added
that our neglect was unpardonable; when the general said we would
call again the next day, and make amends for the unintended slight.

Early the next day, March 28th, all the principal officers of the
army and navy called to see me, Generals Meade, Ord, Ingalls, etc.,
and Admiral Porter.  At this time the River Queen was at anchor out
in the river, abreast of the wharf, and we again started to visit
Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.  Admiral Porter accompanied us.  We took a
small, tug at the wharf, which conveyed us on board, where we were
again received most courteously by the President, who conducted us
to the after-cabin.  After the general compliments, General Grant
inquired after Mrs. Lincoln, when the President went to her state-
room, returned, and begged us to excuse her, as she was not well.
We then again entered upon a general conversation, during which
General Grant explained to the President that at that very instant
of time General Sheridan was crossing James River from the north,
by a pontoon-bridge below City Point; that he had a large,
well-appointed force of cavalry, with which he proposed to strike
the Southside and Danville Railroads, by which alone General Lee,
in Richmond, supplied his army; and that, in his judgment, matters
were drawing to a crisis, his only apprehension being that General
Lee would not wait long enough.  I also explained that my army at
Goldsboro' was strong enough to fight Lee's army and Johnston's
combined, provided that General Grant could come up within a day or
so; that if Lee would only remain in Richmond another fortnight, I
could march up to Burkesville, when Lee would have to starve inside
of his lines, or come out from his intrenchments and fight us on
equal terms.

Both General Grant and myself supposed that one or the other of us
would have to fight one more bloody battle, and that it would be
the last.  Mr. Lincoln exclaimed, more than once, that there had
been blood enough shed, and asked us if another battle could not be
avoided.  I remember well to have said that we could not control
that event; that this necessarily rested with our enemy; and I
inferred that both Jeff. Davis and General Lee would be forced to
fight one more desperate and bloody battle.  I rather supposed it
would fall on me, somewhere near Raleigh; and General Grant added
that, if Lee would only wait a few more days, he would have his
army so disposed that if the enemy should abandon Richmond, and
attempt to make junction with General Jos. Johnston in North
Carolina, he (General Grant) would be on his heels.  Mr. Lincoln
more than once expressed uneasiness that I was not with my army at
Goldsboro', when I again assured him that General Schofield was
fully competent to command in my absence; that I was going to start
back that very day, and that Admiral Porter had kindly provided for
me the steamer Bat, which he said was much swifter than my own
vessel, the Russia.  During this interview I inquired of the
President if he was all ready for the end of the war.  What was to
be done with the rebel armies when defeated?  And what should be
done with the political leaders, such as Jeff. Davis, etc.?  Should
we allow them to escape, etc.?  He said he was all ready; all he
wanted of us was to defeat the opposing armies, and to get the men
composing the Confederate armies back to their homes, at work on
their farms and in their shops.  As to Jeff. Davis, he was hardly
at liberty to speak his mind fully, but intimated that he ought to
clear out, "escape the country," only it would not do for him to
say so openly.  As usual, he illustrated his meaning by a story:

A man once had taken the total-abstinence pledge. When visiting a
friend, he was invited to take a drink, but declined, on the score
of his pledge; when his friend suggested lemonade, which was
accepted.  In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the
brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he
were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could
do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object."  From which
illustration I inferred that Mr. Lincoln wanted Davis to escape,
"unbeknown" to him.

I made no notes of this conversation at the time, but Admiral
Porter, who was present, did, and in 1866 he furnished me an
account thereof, which I insert below, but the admiral describes
the first visit, of the 27th, whereas my memory puts Admiral
Porter's presence on the following day.  Still he may be right, and
he may have been with us the day before, as I write this chiefly
from memory.  There were two distinct interviews; the first was
late in the afternoon of March 27th, and the other about noon of
the 28th, both in the after-cabin of the steamer River Queen; on
both occasions Mr. Lincoln was full and frank in his conversation,
assuring me that in his mind he was all ready for the civil
reorganization of affairs at the South as soon as the war was over;
and he distinctly authorized me to assure Governor Vance and the
people of North Carolina that, as soon as the rebel armies laid
down their arms, and resumed their civil pursuits, they would at
once be guaranteed all their rights as citizens of a common
country; and that to avoid anarchy the State governments then in
existence, with their civil functionaries, would be recognized by
him as the government de facto till Congress could provide others.

I know, when I left him, that I was more than ever impressed by his
kindly nature, his deep and earnest sympathy with the afflictions
of the whole people, resulting from the war, and by the march of
hostile armies through the South; and that his earnest desire
seemed to be to end the war speedily, without more bloodshed or
devastation, and to restore all the men of both sections to their
homes. In the language of his second inaugural address, he seemed
to have "charity for all, malice toward none," and, above all, an
absolute faith in the courage, manliness, and integrity of the
armies in the field.  When at rest or listening, his legs and arms
seemed to hang almost lifeless, and his face was care-worn and
haggard; but, the moment he began to talk, his face lightened up,
his tall form, as it were, unfolded, and he was the very
impersonation of good-humor and fellowship.  The last words I
recall as addressed to me were that he would feel better when I was
back at Goldsboro'.  We parted at the gangway of the River Queen,
about noon of March 28th, and I never saw him again.  Of all the
men I ever met, he seemed to possess more of the elements of
greatness, combined with goodness, than any other.


The day of General Sherman's arrival at City Point (I think the
27th of March, 1866), I accompanied him and General Grant on board
the President's flagship, the Queen, where the President received
us in the upper saloon, no one but ourselves being present.

The President was in an exceedingly pleasant mood, and delighted to
meet General Sherman, whom he cordially greeted.

It seems that this was the first time he had met Sherman, to
remember him, since the beginning of the war, and did not remember
when he had seen him before, until the general reminded him of the
circumstances of their first meeting.

This was rather singular on the part of Mr. Lincoln, who was, I
think, remarkable for remembering people, having that kingly
quality in an eminent degree.  Indeed, such was the power of his
memory, that he seemed never to forget the most minute

The conversation soon turned on the events of Sherman's campaign
through the South, with every movement of which the President
seemed familiar.

He laughed over some of the stories Sherman told of his "bummers,"
and told others in return, which illustrated in a striking manner
the ideas he wanted to convey.  For example, he would often express
his wishes by telling an apt story, which was quite a habit with
him, and one that I think he adopted to prevent his committing
himself seriously.

The interview between the two generals and the President lasted
about an hour and a half, and, as it was a remarkable one, I jotted
down what I remembered of the conversation, as I have made a
practice of doing during the rebellion, when any thing interesting

I don't regret having done so, as circumstances afterward occurred
(Stanton's ill conduct toward Sherman) which tended to cast odium
on General Sherman for allowing such liberal terms to Jos.

Could the conversation that occurred on board the Queen, between
the President and General Sherman, have been known, Sherman would
not, and could not, have been censored.  Mr. Lincoln, had he lived,
would have acquitted the general of any blame, for he was only
carrying out the President's wishes.

My opinion is, that Mr. Lincoln came down to City Point with the
most liberal views toward the rebels.  He felt confident that we
would be successful, and was willing that the enemy should
capitulate on the most favorable terms.

I don't know what the President would have done had he been left to
himself, and had our army been unsuccessful, but he was than
wrought up to a high state of excitement.  He wanted peace on
almost any terms, and there is no knowing what proposals he might
have been willing to listen to.  His heart was tenderness
throughout, and, as long as the rebels laid down their arms, he did
not care how it was done.  I do not know how far he was influenced
by General Grant, but I presume, from their long conferences, that
they must have understood each other perfectly, and that the terms
given to Lee after his surrender were authorized by Mr. Lincoln.  I
know that the latter was delighted when he heard that they had been
given, and exclaimed, a dozen times, "Good!"  "All right!"
"Exactly the thing!" and other similar expressions.  Indeed, the
President more than once told me what he supposed the terms would
be: if Lee and Johnston surrendered, he considered the war ended,
and that all the other rebel forces world lay down their arms at

In this he proved to be right.  Grant and Sherman were both of the
same opinion, and so was everyone else who knew anything about the

What signified the terms to them, so long as we obtained the actual
surrender of people who only wanted a good opportunity to give up
gracefully?  The rebels had fought "to the last ditch," and all
that they had left them was the hope of being handed down in
history as having received honorable terms.

After hearing General Sherman's account of his own position, and
that of Johnston, at that time, the President expressed fears that
the rebel general would escape south again by the railroads, and
that General Sherman would have to chase him anew, over the same
ground; but the general pronounced this to be impracticable.  He
remarked: "I have him where he cannot move without breaking up his
army, which, once disbanded, can never again be got together; and I
have destroyed the Southern railroads, so that they cannot be used
again for a long time."  General Grant remarked, "What is to
prevent their laying the rails again?"  "Why," said General
Sherman, "my bummers  don't do things by halves.  Every rail, after
having been placed over a hot fire, has been twisted as crooked as
a ram's-horn, and they never can be used again."

This was the only remark made by General Grant during the
interview, as he sat smoking a short distance from the President,
intent, no doubt, on his own plans, which were being brought to a
successful termination.

The conversation between the President and General Sherman, about
the terms of surrender to be allowed Jos. Johnston, continued.
Sherman energetically insisted that he could command his own terms,
and that Johnston would have to yield to his demands; but the
President was very decided about the matter, and insisted that the
surrender of Johnston's army most be obtained on any terms.

General Grant was evidently of the same way of thinking, for,
although he did not join in the conversation to any extent, yet he
made no objections, and I presume had made up his mind to allow the
best terms himself.

He was also anxious that Johnston should not be driven into
Richmond, to reenforce the rebels there, who, from behind their
strong intrenchments, would have given us incalculable trouble.

Sherman, as a subordinate officer, yielded his views to those of
the President, and the terms of capitulation between himself and
Johnston were exactly in accordance with Mr. Lincoln's wishes.  He
could not have done any thing which would have pleased the
President better.

Mr. Lincoln did, in fact, arrange the (so considered) liberal terms
offered General Jos. Johnston, and, whatever may have been General
Sherman's private views, I feel sure that he yielded to the wishes
of the President in every respect.  It was Mr. Lincoln's policy
that was carried out, and, had he lived long enough, he would have
been but too glad to have acknowledged it.  Had Mr. Lincoln lived,
Secretary Stanton would have issued no false telegraphic
dispatches, in the hope of killing off another general in the
regular army, one who by his success had placed himself in the way
of his own succession.

The disbanding of Jos. Johnston's army was so complete, that the
pens and ink used in the discussion of the matter were all wasted.

It was asserted, by the rabid ones, that General Sherman had given
up all that we had been fighting for, had conceded every thing to
Jos. Johnston, and had, as the boys say, "knocked the fat into the
fire;" but sober reflection soon overruled these harsh expressions,
and, with those who knew General Sherman, and appreciated him, he
was still the great soldier, patriot, and gentleman.  In future
times this matter will be looked at more calmly and
dispassionately.  The bitter animosities that have been engendered
during the rebellion will have died out for want of food on which
to live, and the very course Grant, Sherman, and others pursued, in
granting liberal terms to the defeated rebels, will be applauded.
The fact is, they met an old beggar in the road, whose crutches had
broken from under him: they let him have only the broken crutches
to get home with!

I sent General Sherman back to Newbern, North Carolina, in the
steamer Bat.

While he was absent from his command he was losing no time, for he
was getting his army fully equipped with stores and clothing; and,
when he returned, he had a rested and regenerated army, ready to
swallow up Jos. Johnston and all his ragamuffins.

Johnston was cornered, could not move without leaving every thing
behind him, and could not go to Richmond without bringing on a
famine in that destitute city.

I was with Mr. Lincoln all the time he was at City Point, and until
he left for Washington.  He was more than delighted with the
surrender of Lee, and with the terms Grant gave the rebel general;
and would have given Jos. Johnston twice as much, had the latter
asked for it, and could he have been certain that the rebel world
have surrendered without a fight.  I again repeat that, had Mr.
Lincoln lived, he would have shouldered all the responsibility.

One thing is certain: had Jos. Johnston escaped and got into
Richmond, and caused a larger list of killed and wounded than we
had, General Sherman would have been blamed.  Then why not give him
the full credit of capturing on the best terms the enemy's last
important army and its best general, and putting an end to the

It was a finale worthy of Sherman's great march through the swamps
and deserts of the South, a march not excelled by any thing we read
of in modern military history.

D. D. PORTER, Vice-Admiral.

(Written by the admiral in 1866, at the United States Naval Academy
at Annapolis, Md., and mailed to General Sherman at St. Louis, Mo.)

As soon as possible, I arranged with General Grant for certain
changes in the organization of my army; and the general also
undertook to send to North Carolina some tug-boat and barges to
carry stores from Newbern up as far as Kinston, whence they could
be hauled in wagons to our camps, thus relieving our railroads to
that extent.  I undertook to be ready to march north by April 10th,
and then embarked on the steamer Bat, Captain Barnes, for North
Carolina.  We steamed down James River, and at Old Point Comfort
took on board my brother, Senator Sherman, and Mr. Edwin Stanton,
son of the Secretary of War, and proceeded at once to our
destination.  On our way down the river, Captain Barnes expressed
himself extremely obliged to me for taking his vessel, as it had
relieved him of a most painful dilemma.  He explained that he had
been detailed by Admiral Porter to escort the President's unarmed
boat, the River Queen, in which capacity it became his special duty
to look after Mrs. Lincoln.  The day before my arrival at City
Point, there had been a grand review of a part of the Army of the
James, then commanded by General Ord.  The President rode out from
City Point with General Grant on horseback, accompanied by a
numerous staff, including Captain Barnes and Mrs. Ord; but Mrs.
Lincoln and Mrs. Grant had followed in a carriage.

The cavalcade reached the review-ground some five or six miles out
from City Point, found the troops all ready, drawn up in line, and
after the usual presentation of arms, the President and party,
followed by Mrs. Ord and Captain Barnes on horseback, rode the
lines, and returned to the reviewing stand, which meantime had been
reached by Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Grant in their carriage, which had
been delayed by the driver taking a wrong road.  Mrs. Lincoln,
seeing Mrs. Ord and Captain Barnes riding with the retinue, and
supposing that Mrs. Ord had personated her, turned on Captain
Barnes and gave him a fearful scolding; and even indulged in some
pretty sharp upbraidings to Mrs. Ord.

This made Barne's position very unpleasant, so that he felt much
relieved when he was sent with me to North Carolina.  The Bat was
very fast, and on the morning of the 29th we were near Cape
Hatteras; Captain Barnes, noticing a propeller coming out of
Hatteras Inlet, made her turn back and pilot us in.  We entered
safely, steamed up Pamlico Sound into Neuse River, and the next
morning,--by reason of some derangement of machinery, we anchored
about seven miles below Newbern, whence we went up in Captain
Barnes's barge.  As soon as we arrived at Newbern, I telegraphed up
to General Schofield at Goldsboro' the fact of my return, and that
I had arranged with General Grant for the changes made necessary in
the reorganization of the army, and for the boats necessary to
carry up the provisions and stores we needed, prior to the renewal
of our march northward.

These changes amounted to constituting the left wing a distinct
army, under the title of "the Army of Georgia," under command of
General Slocum, with his two corps commanded by General Jeff. C.
Davis and General Joseph A. Mower; the Tenth and Twenty-third Corps
already constituted another army, "of the Ohio," under the command
of Major-General Schofield, and his two corps were commanded by
Generals J. D. Cox and A. H. Terry.  These changes were necessary,
because army commanders only could order courts-martial, grant
discharges, and perform many other matters of discipline and
administration which were indispensable; but my chief purpose was
to prepare the whole army for what seemed among the probabilities
of the time--to fight both Lee's and Johnston's armies combined, in
case their junction could be formed before General Grant could
possibly follow Lee to North Carolina.

General George H. Thomas, who still remained at Nashville, was not
pleased with these changes, for the two corps with General Slocum,
viz., the Fourteenth and Twentieth, up to that time, had remained
technically a part of his "Army of the Cumberland;" but he was so
far away, that I had to act to the best advantage with the troops
and general officers actually present.  I had specially asked for
General Mower to command the Twentieth Corps, because I regarded
him as one of the boldest and best fighting generals in the whole
army.  His predecessor, General A. S. Williams, the senior division
commander present, had commanded the corps well from Atlanta to
Goldsboro', and it may have seemed unjust to replace him at that
precise moment; but I was resolved to be prepared for a most
desperate and, as then expected, a final battle, should it fall on

I returned to Goldsboro' from Newbern by rail the evening of March
30th, and at once addressed myself to the task of reorganization
and replenishment of stores, so as to be ready to march by April
10th, the day agreed on with General Grant.

The army was divided into the usual three parts, right and left
wings, and centre.  The tabular statements herewith will give the
exact composition of these separate armies, which by the 10th of
April gave the following effective strength:

        Infantry ................... 80,968
        Artillery ..................  2,448
        Cavalry ....................  5,587

              Aggregate ............ 88,948
        Total number of guns, 91

The railroads to our rear had also been repaired, so that stores
were arriving very fast, both from Morehead City and Wilmington.
The country was so level that a single locomotive could haul
twenty-five and thirty cars to a train, instead of only ten, as was
the case in Tennessee and Upper Georgia.

By the 5th of April such progress had been made, that I issued the
following Special Field Orders, No. 48, prescribing the time and
manner of the next march

[Special Field Orders, No. 48.]


Confidential to Army Commanders, Corps Commanders, and Chiefs of
Staff Departments:

The next grand objective is to place this army (with its full
equipment) north of Roanoke River, facing west, with a base for
supplies at Norfolk, and at Winton or Murfreesboro' on the Chowan,
and in full communication with the Army of the Potomac, about
Petersburg; and also to do the enemy as much harm as possible en

1.  To accomplish this result the following general plan will be
followed, or modified only by written orders from these
headquarters, should events require a change:

(1.) On Monday, the 10th of April, all preparations are presumed to
be complete, and the outlying detachments will be called in, or
given directions to meet on the next march.  All preparations will
also be complete to place the railroad-stock back of Kinston on the
one road, and below the Northeast Branch on the other.

(2.) On Tuesday, the 11th, the columns will draw out on their lines
of march, say, about seven miles, and close up.

(3.) On Wednesday the march will begin in earnest, and will be kept
up at the rate, say, of about twelve miles a day, or according to
the amount of resistance.  All the columns will dress to the left
(which is the exposed flank), and commanders will study always to
find roads by which they can, if necessary, perform a general left
wheel, the wagons to be escorted to some place of security on the
direct route of march.  Foraging and other details may continue as
heretofore, only more caution and prudence should be observed; and
foragers should not go in advance of the advance-guard, but look
more to our right rear for corn, bacon, and meal.

2.  The left wing (Major-General Slocum commanding) will aim
straight for the railroad-bridge near Smithfield; thence along up
the Neuse River to the railroad-bridge over Neuse River, northeast
of Raleigh (Powell's); thence to Warrenton, the general point of

The centre (Major-General Schofield commanding) will move to
Whitley's Mill, ready to support the left until it is past
Smithfield, when it will follow up (substantially) Little River to
about Rolesville, ready at all times to move to the support of the
left; after passing Tar River, to move to Warrenton.

The right wing (Major-General Howard commanding), preceded by the
cavalry, will move rapidly on Pikeville and Nahunta, then swing
across to Bulah to Folk's Bridge, ready to make junction with the
other armies in case the enemy offers battle this side of Neuse
River, about Smithfield; thence, in case of no serious opposition
on the left, will work up toward Earpsboro', Andrews, B----, and

The cavalry (General Kilpatrick commanding), leaving its
encumbrances with the right wing, will push as though straight for
Weldon, until the enemy is across Tar River, and that bridge
burned; then it will deflect toward Nashville and Warrenton,
keeping up communication with general headquarters.

3.  As soon as the army starts, the chief-quartermaster and
commissary will prepare a resupply of stores at some point on
Pamlico or Albemarle Sounds, ready to be conveyed to Kinston or
Winton and Murfreesboro', according to developments.  As soon as
they have satisfactory information that the army is north of the
Roanoke, they will forthwith establish a depot at Winton, with a
sub-depot at Murfreesboro'.  Major-General Schofield will hold, as
heretofore, Wilmington (with the bridge across Northern Branch as
an outpost), Newborn (and Kinston as its outpost), and will be
prepared to hold Winton and Murfreesboro' as soon as the time
arrives for that move.  The navy has instructions from Admiral
Porter to cooperate, and any commanding officer is authorized to
call on the navy for assistance and cooperation, always in writing,
setting forth the reasons, of which necessarily the naval
commander must be the judge.

4.  The general-in-chief will be with the centre habitually, but
may in person shift to either flank where his presence may be
needed, leaving a staff-officer to receive reports.  He requires,
absolutely, a report of each army or grand detachment each night,
whether any thing material has occurred or not, for often the
absence of an enemy is a very important fact in military

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

But the whole problem became suddenly changed by the news of the
fall of Richmond and Petersburg, which reached as at Goldsboro', on
the 6th of April.  The Confederate Government, with Lee's army, had
hastily abandoned Richmond, fled in great disorder toward Danville,
and General Grant's whole army was in close pursuit.  Of course, I
inferred that General Lee would succeed in making junction with
General Johnston, with at least a fraction of his army, somewhere
to my front.  I at once altered the foregoing orders, and prepared
on the day appointed, viz., April 10th, to move straight on
Raleigh, against the army of General Johnston, known to be at
Smithfield, and supposed to have about thirty-five thousand men.
Wade Hampton's cavalry was on his left front and Wheeler's on his
right front, simply watching us and awaiting our initiative.
Meantime the details of the great victories in Virginia came thick
and fast, and on the 8th I received from General Grant this
communication, in the form of a cipher-dispatch:

WILSON'S STATION, April 5, 1865

Major-General SHERMAN, Goldsboro', North Carolina:

All indications now are that Lee will attempt to reach Danville
with the remnant of his force.  Sheridan, who was up with him last
night, reports all that is left with him--horse, foot, and
dragoons--at twenty thousand, much demoralized.  We hope to reduce
this number one-half.  I will push on to Burkesville, and, if a
stand is made at Danville, will, in a very few days, go there.  If
you can possibly do so, push on from where you are, and let us see
if we cannot finish the job with Lee's and Johnston's armies.
Whether it will be better for you to strike for Greensboro' or
nearer to Danville, you will be better able to judge when you
receive this.  Rebel armies now are the only strategic points to
strike at.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

I answered immediately that we would move on the 10th, prepared to
follow Johnston wherever he might go.  Promptly on Monday morning,
April 10th, the army moved straight on Smithfield; the right wing
making a circuit by the right, and the left wing, supported by the
centre, moving on the two direct roads toward Raleigh, distant
fifty miles.  General Terry's and General Kilpatrick's troops moved
from their positions on the south or west bank of the Neuse River
in the same general direction, by Cox's Bridge.  On the 11th we
reached Smithfield, and found it abandoned by Johnston's army,
which had retreated hastily on Raleigh, burning the bridges.  To
restore these consumed the remainder of the day, and during that
night I received a message from General Grant, at Appomattox, that
General Lee had surrendered to him his whole army, which I at once
announced to the troops in orders:

[Special Field Orders, No.  54]


The general commanding announces to the army that he has official
notice from General Grant that General Lee surrendered to him his
entire army, on the 9th inst., at Appomattox Court-House, Virginia.

Glory to God and our country, and all honor to our comrades in
arms, toward whom we are marching!

A little more labor, a little more toil on our part, the great race
is won, and our Government stands regenerated, after four long
years of war.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

Of course, this created a perfect furore, of rejoicing, and we all
regarded the war as over, for I knew well that General Johnston had
no army with which to oppose mine.  So that the only questions that
remained were, would he surrender at Raleigh?  or would he allow
his army to disperse into guerrilla bands, to "die in the last
ditch," and entail on his country an indefinite and prolonged
military occupation, and of consequent desolation?  I knew well
that Johnston's army could not be caught; the country was too open;
and, without wagons, the men could escape us, disperse, and
assemble again at some place agreed on, and thus the war might be
prolonged indefinitely.

I then remembered Mr. Lincoln's repeated expression that he wanted
the rebel soldiers not only defeated, but "back at their homes,
engaged in their civil pursuits."  On the evening of the 12th I was
with the head of Slocum's column, at Gulley's, and General
Kilpatrick's cavalry was still ahead, fighting Wade Hampton's
rear-guard, with orders to push it through Raleigh, while I would
give a more southerly course to the infantry columns, so as, if
possible, to prevent a retreat southward.  On the 13th, early, I
entered Raleigh, and ordered the several heads of column toward
Ashville in the direction of Salisbury or Charlotte.  Before
reaching Raleigh, a locomotive came down the road to meet me,
passing through both Wade Hampton's and Kilpatrick's cavalry,
bringing four gentlemen, with a letter from Governor Vance to me,
asking protection for the citizens of Raleigh.  These gentlemen
were, of course, dreadfully excited at the dangers through which
they had passed.  Among them were ex-Senator Graham, Mr. Swain,
president of Chapel Hill University, and a Surgeon Warren, of the
Confederate army.  They had come with a flag of truce, to which
they were not entitled; still, in the interest of peace, I
respected it, and permitted them to return to Raleigh with their
locomotive, to assure the Governor and the people that the war was
substantially over, and that I wanted the civil authorities to
remain in the execution of their office till the pleasure of the
President could be ascertained.  On reaching Raleigh I found these
same gentlemen, with Messrs. Badger, Bragg, Holden, and others, but
Governor Vance had fled, and could not be prevailed on to return,
because he feared an arrest and imprisonment.  From the Raleigh
newspapers of the 10th I learned that General Stoneman, with his
division of cavalry, had come across the mountains from East
Tennessee, had destroyed the railroad at Salisbury, and was then
supposed to be approaching Greensboro'.  I also learned that
General Wilson's cavalry corps was "smashing things" down about
Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, and was pushing for Columbus and
Macon, Georgia; and I also had reason to expect that General
Sheridan would come down from Appomattox to join us at Raleigh with
his superb cavalry corps.  I needed more cavalry to check
Johnston's retreat, so that I could come up to him with my
infantry, and therefore had good reason to delay.  I ordered the
railroad to be finished up to Raleigh, so that I could operate from
it as a base, and then made:

[Special Field Orders, No. 55]


The next movement will be on Ashboro', to turn the position of the
enemy at the "Company's Shops" in rear of Haw River Bridge, and at
Greensboro', and to cut off his only available line of retreat by
Salisbury and Charlotte:

1.  General Kilpatrick will keep up a show of pursuit in the
direction of Hillsboro' and Graham, but be ready to cross Haw River
on General Howard's bridge, near Pittsboro', and thence will
operate toward Greensboro', on the right front of the right wing.

2.  The right wing, Major-General Howard commanding, will move out
on the Chapel Hill road, and send a light division up in the
direction of Chapel Hill University to act in connection with the
cavalry; but the main columns and trains will move via Hackney's
Cross-Roads, and Trader's Hill, Pittsboro', St. Lawrence, etc., to
be followed by the cavalry and light division, as soon as the
bridge is laid over Haw River.

8.  The centre, Major-General Schofield commanding, will move via
Holly Springs, New Hill, Haywood, and Moffitt's Mills.

4.  The left wing, Major-General Slocum commanding, will move
rapidly by the Aven's Ferry road, Carthage, Caledonia, and Cox's

5.  All the troops will draw well out on the roads designated
during today and to-morrow, and on the following day will move with
all possible rapidity for Ashboro'.  No further destruction of
railroads, mills, cotton, and produce, will be made without the
specific orders of an army commander, and the inhabitants will be
dealt with kindly, looking to an early reconciliation.  The troops
will be permitted, however, to gather forage and provisions as
heretofore; only more care should be taken not to strip the poorer
classes too closely.

By order of General W. T. Sherman,

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Thus matters stood, when on the morning of the 14th General
Kilpatrick reported from Durham's Station, twenty-six miles up the
railroad toward Hillsboro', that a flag of truce had come in from
the enemy with a package from General Johnston addressed to me.
Taking it for granted that this was preliminary to a surrender, I
ordered the message to be sent me at Raleigh, and on the 14th
received from General Johnston a letter dated April 13, 1865, in
these words:

The results of the recent campaign in Virginia have changed the
relative military condition of the belligerents.  I am, therefore,
induced to address you in this form the inquiry whether, to stop
the further effusion of blood and devastation of property, you are
willing to make a temporary suspension of active operations, and to
communicate to Lieutenant-General Grant, commanding the armies of
the United States, the request that he will take like action in
regard to other armies, the object being to permit the civil
authorities to enter into the needful arrangements to terminate the
existing war.

To which I replied as follows:


General J. E. JOHNSTON, commanding Confederate Army.

GENERAL: I have this moment received your communication of this
date.  I am fully empowered to arrange with you any terms for the
suspension of farther hostilities between the armies commanded by
you and those commanded by myself, and will be willing to confer
with you to that end.  I will limit the advance of my main column,
to-morrow, to Morrisville, and the cavalry to the university, and
expect that you will also maintain the present position of your
forces until each has notice of a failure to agree.

That a basis of action may be had, I undertake to abide by the same
terms and conditions as were made by Generals Grant and Lee at
Appomattox Court-House, on the 9th instant, relative to our two
armies; and, furthermore, to obtain from General Grant an order to
suspend the movements of any troops from the direction of Virginia.
General Stoneman is under my command, and my order will suspend any
devastation or destruction contemplated by him.  I will add that I
really desire to save the people of North Carolina the damage they
would sustain by the march of this army through the central or
western parts of the State.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

I sent my aide-de-camp, Colonel McCoy, up to Durham's Station with
this letter, with instructions to receive the answer, to telegraph
its contents back to me at Raleigh, and to arrange for an
interview.  On the 16th I received a reply from General Johnston,
agreeing to meet me the next day at a point midway between our
advance at Durham and his rear at Hillsboro'.  I ordered a car and
locomotive to be prepared to convey me up to Durham's at eight
o'clock of the morning of April 17th.  Just as we were entering the
car, the telegraph-operator, whose office was up-stairs in the
depot-building, ran down to me and said that he was at that instant
of time receiving a most important dispatch in cipher from Morehead
City, which I ought to see.  I held the train for nearly half an
hour, when he returned with the message translated and written out.
It was from Mr. Stanton, announcing the assassination of Mr.
Lincoln, the attempt on the life of  Mr. Seward and son, and a
suspicion that a like fate was designed for General Grant and all
the principal officers of the Government.  Dreading the effect of
such a message at that critical instant of time, I asked the
operator if any one besides himself had seen it; he answered No!
I then bade him not to reveal the contents by word or look till I
came back, which I proposed to do the same afternoon.  The train
then started, and, as we passed Morris's Station, General Logan,
commanding the Fifteenth Corps, came into my car, and I told him I
wanted to see him on my return, as I had something very important
to communicate.  He knew I was going to meet General Johnston, and
volunteered to say that he hoped I would succeed in obtaining his
surrender, as the whole army dreaded the long march to Charlotte
(one hundred and seventy-five miles), already begun, but which had
been interrupted by the receipt of General Johnston's letter of the
13th.  We reached Durham's, twenty-six miles, about 10 a.m., where
General Kilpatrick had a squadron of cavalry drawn up to receive
me.  We passed into the house in which he had his headquarters, and
soon after mounted some led horses, which he had prepared for
myself and staff.  General Kilpatrick sent a man ahead with a white
flag, followed by a small platoon, behind which we rode, and were
followed by the rest of the escort.  We rode up the Hillsboro' road
for about five miles, when our flag bearer discovered another
coming to meet him: They met, and word was passed back to us that
General Johnston was near at hand, when we rode forward and met
General Johnston on horseback, riding side by side with General
Wade Hampton.  We shook hands, and introduced our respective
attendants.  I asked if there was a place convenient where we could
be private, and General Johnston said he had passed a small
farmhouse a short distance back, when we rode back to it together
side by side, our staff-officers and escorts following.  We had
never met before, though we had been in the regular army together
for thirteen years; but it so happened that we had never before
together.  He was some twelve or more years my senior; but we knew
enough of each other to be well acquainted at once.  We soon
reached the house of a Mr. Bennett, dismounted, and left our horses
with orderlies in the road.  Our officers, on foot, passed into the
yard, and General Johnston and I entered the small frame-house.  We
asked the farmer if we could have the use of his house for a few
minutes, and he and his wife withdrew into a smaller log-house,
which stood close by.

As soon as we were alone together I showed him the dispatch
announcing Mr. Lincoln's assassination, and watched him closely.
The perspiration came out in large drops on his forehead, and he
did not attempt to conceal his distress.  He denounced the act as a
disgrace to the age, and hoped I did not charge it to the
Confederate Government.  I told him I could not believe that he or
General Lee, or the officers of the Confederate army, could
possibly be privy to acts of assassination; but I would not say as
much for Jeff. Davis, George Sanders, and men of that stripe.  We
talked about the effect of this act on the country at large and on
the armies, and he realized that it made my situation extremely
delicate.  I explained to him that I had not yet revealed the news
to my own personal staff or to the army, and that I dreaded the
effect when made known in Raleigh.  Mr. Lincoln was peculiarly
endeared to the soldiers, and I feared that some foolish woman or
man in Raleigh might say something or do something that would
madden our men, and that a fate worse than that of Columbia would
befall the place.

I then told Johnston that he must be convinced that he could not
oppose my army, and that, since Lee had surrendered, he could do
the same with honor and propriety.  He plainly and repeatedly
admitted this, and added that any further fighting would be
"murder;" but he thought that, instead of surrendering piecemeal,
we might arrange terms that would embrace all the Confederate
armies.  I asked him if he could control other armies than his own;
he said, not then, but intimated that he could procure authority
from Mr. Davis.  I then told him that I had recently had an
interview with General Grant and President Lincoln, and that I was
possessed of their views; that with them and the people North there
seemed to be no vindictive feeling against the Confederate armies,
but there was against Davis and his political adherents; and that
the terms that General Grant had given to General Lee's army were
certainly most generous and liberal.  All this he admitted, but
always recurred to the idea of a universal surrender, embracing his
own army, that of Dick Taylor in Louisiana and Texas, and of Maury,
Forrest, and others, in Alabama and Georgia.  General Johnston's
account of our interview in his "Narrative" (page 402, et seq.) is
quite accurate and correct, only I do not recall his naming the
capitulation of Loeben, to which he refers.  Our conversation was
very general and extremely cordial, satisfying me that it could
have but one result, and that which we all desired, viz., to end
the war as quickly as possible; and, being anxious to return to
Raleigh before the news of Mr. Lincoln's assassination could be
divulged, on General Johnston's saying that he thought that, during
the night, he could procure authority to act in the name of all the
Confederate armies in existence we agreed to meet again the next
day at noon at the same place, and parted, he for Hillsboro' and I
for Raleigh.

We rode back to Durham's Station in the order we had come, and then
I showed the dispatch announcing Mr. Lincoln's death.  I cautioned
the officers to watch the soldiers closely, to prevent any violent
retaliation by them, leaving that to the Government at Washington;
and on our way back to Raleigh in the cars I showed the same
dispatch to General Logan and to several of the officers of the
Fifteenth Corps that were posted at Morrisville and Jones's
Station, all of whom were deeply impressed by it; but all gave
their opinion that this sad news should not change our general
course of action.

As soon as I reached Raleigh I published the following orders to
the army, announcing the assassination of the President, and I
doubt if, in the whole land, there were more sincere mourners over
his sad fate than were then in and about Raleigh.  I watched the
effect closely, and was gratified that there was no single act of
retaliation; though I saw and felt that one single word by me would
have laid the city in ashes, and turned its whole population
houseless upon the country, if not worse:

[Special Field Orders, No.  56.]


The general commanding announces, with pain and sorrow, that on the
evening of the 14th instant, at the theatre in Washington city, his
Excellency the President of the United States, Mr. Lincoln, was
assassinated by one who uttered the State motto of Virginia.  At
the same time, the Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, while suffering
from a broken arm, was also stabbed by another murderer in his own
house, but still survives, and his son was wounded, supposed
fatally.  It is believed, by persons capable of judging, that other
high officers were designed to share the same fate.  Thus it seems
that our enemy, despairing of meeting us in open, manly warfare,
begins to resort to the assassin's tools.

Your general does not wish you to infer that this is universal, for
he knows that the great mass of the Confederate army world scorn to
sanction each acts, but he believes it the legitimate consequence
of rebellion against rightful authority.

We have met every phase which this war has assumed, and must now be
prepared for it in its last and worst shape, that of assassins and
guerrillas; but woe onto the people who seek to expend their wild
passions in such a manner, for there is but one dread result!

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

L.  M.  DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

During the evening of the 17th and morning of the 18th I saw nearly
all the general officers of the army (Schofield, Slocum, Howard,
Logan, Blair), and we talked over the matter of the conference at
Bennett's house of the day before, and, without exception, all
advised me to agree to some terms, for they all dreaded the long
and harassing march in pursuit of a dissolving and fleeing army--
a march that might carry us back again over the thousand miles that
we had just accomplished.  We all knew that if we could bring
Johnston's army to bay, we could destroy it in an hour, but that
was simply impossible in the country in which we found ourselves.
We discussed all the probabilities, among which was, whether, if
Johnston made a point of it, I should assent to the escape from the
country of Jeff. Davis and his fugitive cabinet; and some one of my
general officers, either Logan or Blair, insisted that, if asked
for, we should even provide a vessel to carry them to Nassau from

The next morning I again started in the cars to Durham's Station,
accompanied by most of my personal staff, and by Generals Blair,
Barry, Howard, etc., and, reaching General Kilpatrick's
headquarters at Durham's, we again mounted, and rode, with the same
escort of the day, before, to Bennett's house, reaching there
punctually at noon.  General Johnston had not yet arrived, but a
courier shortly came, and reported him as on the way.  It must have
been nearly 2 p.m.  when he arrived, as before, with General Wade
Hampton.  He had halted his escort out of sight, and we again
entered Bennett's house, and I closed the door.  General Johnston
then assured me that he had authority over all the Confederate
armies, so that they would obey his orders to surrender on the same
terms with his own, but he argued that, to obtain so cheaply this
desirable result, I ought to give his men and officers some
assurance of their political rights after their surrender.  I
explained to him that Mr. Lincoln's proclamation of amnesty, of
December 8, 1863, still in force; enabled every Confederate soldier
and officer, below the rank of colonel, to obtain an absolute
pardon, by simply laying down his arms, and taking the common oath
of allegiance, and that General Grant, in accepting the surrender
of General Lee's army, had extended the same principle to all the
officers, General Lee included; such a pardon, I understood, would
restore to them all their rights of citizenship.  But he insisted
that the officers and men of the Confederate army were
unnecessarily alarmed about this matter, as a sort of bugbear.  He
then said that Mr. Breckenridge was near at hand, and he thought
that it would be well for him to be present.  I objected, on the
score that he was then in Davis's cabinet, and our negotiations
should be confined strictly to belligerents.  He then said
Breckenridge was a major-general in the Confederate army, and might
sink his character of Secretary of War.  I consented, and he sent
one of his staff-officers back, who soon returned with
Breckenridge, and he entered the room.  General Johnston and I then
again went over the whole ground, and Breckenridge confirmed what
he had said as to the uneasiness of the Southern officers and
soldiers about their political rights in case of surrender.  While
we were in consultation, a messenger came with a parcel of papers,
which General Johnston said were from Mr. Reagan,
Postmaster-General.  He and Breckenridge looked over them, and,
after some side conversation, he handed one of the papers to me.
It was in Reagan's handwriting, and began with a long preamble and
terms, so general and verbose, that I said they were inadmissible.
Then recalling the conversation of Mr. Lincoln, at City Point, I
sat down at the table, and wrote off the terms, which I thought
concisely expressed his views and wishes, and explained that I was
willing to submit these terms to the new President, Mr. Johnson,
provided that both armies should remain in statu quo until the
truce therein declared should expire.  I had full faith that
General Johnston would religiously respect the truce, which he did;
and that I would be the gainer, for in the few days it would take
to send the papers to Washington, and receive an answer, I could
finish the railroad up to Raleigh, and be the better prepared for a
long chase.

Neither Mr. Breckenridge nor General Johnston wrote one word of
that paper.  I wrote it myself, and announced it as the best I
could do, and they readily assented.

While copies of this paper were being made for signature, the
officers of our staffs commingled in the yard at Bennett's house,
and were all presented to Generals Johnston and Breckenridge.  All
without exception were rejoiced that the war was over, and that in
a very few days we could turn our faces toward home.  I remember
telling Breckenridge that he had better get away, as the feeling of
our people was utterly hostile to the political element of the
South, and to him especially, because he was the Vice-President of
the United States, who had as such announced Mr. Lincoln, of
Illinois, duly and properly elected the President of the United
States, and yet that he had afterward openly rebelled and taken up
arms against the Government.  He answered me that he surely would
give us no more trouble, and intimated that he would speedily leave
the country forever.  I may have also advised him that Mr. Davis
too should get abroad as soon as possible.

The papers were duly signed; we parted about dark, and my party
returned to Raleigh.  Early the next morning, April 19th, I
dispatched by telegraph to Morehead City to prepare a fleet-steamer
to carry a messenger to Washington, and sent Major Henry Hitchcock
down by rail, bearing the following letters, and agreement with
General Johnston, with instructions to be very careful to let
nothing escape him to the greedy newspaper correspondents, but to
submit his papers to General Halleck, General Grant, or the
Secretary of War, and to bring me back with all expedition their
orders and instructions.

On their face they recited that I had no authority to make final
terms involving civil or political questions, but that I submitted
them to the proper quarter in Washington for their action; and the
letters fully explained that the military situation was such that
the delay was an advantage to us.  I cared little whether they were
approved, modified, or disapproved in toto; only I wanted
instructions.  Many of my general officers, among whom, I am almost
positive, were Generals Logan and Blair, urged me to accept the
"terms," without reference at all to Washington, but I preferred
the latter course:


General H.  W.  HALLECK, Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I received your dispatch describing the man Clark,
detailed to assassinate me.  He had better be in a hurry, or he
will be too late.

The news of Mr. Lincoln's death produced a most intense effect on
our troops.  At first I feared it would lead to excesses; but now
it has softened down, and can easily be guided.  None evinced more
feeling than General Johnston, who admitted that the act was
calculated to stain his cause with a dark hue; and he contended
that the loss was most serious to the South, who had begun to
realize that Mr. Lincoln was the best friend they had.

I cannot believe that even Mr. Davis was privy to the diabolical
plot, but think it the emanation of a set of young men of the
South, who are very devils.  I want to throw upon the South the
care of this class of men, who will soon be as obnoxious to their
industrial classes as to us.

Had I pushed Johnston's army to an extremity, it would have
dispersed, and done infinite mischief.  Johnston informed me that
General Stoneman had been at Salisbury, and was now at Statesville.
I have sent him orders to come to me.

General Johnston also informed me that General Wilson was at
Columbia, Georgia, and he wanted me to arrest his progress.  I leave
that to you.

Indeed, if the President sanctions my agreement with Johnston, our
interest is to cease all destruction.

Please give all orders necessary according to the views the
Executive may take, and influence him, if possible, not to vary the
terms at all, for I have considered every thing, and believe that,
the Confederate armies once dispersed, we can adjust all else
fairly and well.  I am, yours, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, or Major-General HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I inclose herewith a copy of an agreement made this day
between General Joseph E. Johnston and myself, which, if approved
by the President of the United States, will produce peace from the
Potomac to the Rio Grande.  Mr. Breckenridge was present at our
conference, in the capacity of major-general, and satisfied me of
the ability of General Johnston to carry out to their full extent
the terms of this agreement; and if you will get the President to
simply indorse the copy, and commission me to carry out the terms,
I will follow them to the conclusion.

You will observe that it is an absolute submission of the enemy to
the lawful authority of the United States, and disperses his armies
absolutely; and the point to which I attach most importance is,
that the dispersion and disbandment of these armies is done in such
a manner as to prevent their breaking up into guerrilla bands.  On
the other hand, we can retain just as much of an army as we please.
I agreed to the mode and manner of the surrender of arms set forth,
as it gives the States the means of repressing guerrillas, which we
could not expect them to do if we stripped them of all arms.

Both Generals Johnston and Breckenridge admitted that slavery was
dead, and I could not insist on embracing it in such a paper,
because it can be made with the States in detail.  I know that all
the men of substance South sincerely want peace, and I do not
believe they will resort to war again during this century.  I have
no doubt that they will in the future be perfectly subordinate to
the laws of the United States.  The moment my action in this matter
is approved, I can spare five corps, and will ask for orders to
leave General Schofield here with the Tenth Corps, and to march
myself with the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Twentieth, and
Twenty-third Corps via Burkesville and Gordonsville to Frederick or
Hagerstown, Maryland, there to be paid and mustered out.

The question of finance is now the chief one, and every soldier and
officer not needed should be got home at work.  I would like to be
able to begin the march north by May 1st.

I urge, on the part of the President, speedy action, as it is
important to get the Confederate armies to their homes as well as
our own.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

Memorandum, or Basis of agreement, made this 18th day of April, A.
D.  1865, near Durham's Station, in the State of North Carolina, by
and between General Joseph E. JOHNSTON, commanding the Confederate
Army, and Major-General William T. SHERMAN, commanding the army of
the United States in North Carolina, both present:

1.  The contending armies now in the field to maintain the statu
quo until notice is given by the commanding general of any one to
its opponent, and reasonable time--say, forty-eight hours--allowed.

2.  The Confederate armies now in existence to be disbanded and
conducted to their several State capitals, there to deposit their
arms and public property in the State Arsenal; and each officer and
man to execute and file an agreement to cease from acts of war, and
to abide the action of the State and Federal authority.  The number
of arms and munitions of war to be reported to the Chief of
Ordnance at Washington City, subject to the future action of the
Congress of the United States, and, in the mean time, to be needed
solely to maintain peace and order within the borders of the States

3.  The recognition, by the Executive of the United States, of the
several State governments, on their officers and Legislatures
taking the oaths prescribed by the Constitution of the United
States, and, where conflicting State governments have resulted from
the war, the legitimacy of all shall be submitted to the Supreme
Court of the United States.

4.  The reestablishment of all the Federal Courts in the several
States, with powers as defined by the Constitution of the United
States and of the States respectively.

5.  The people and inhabitants of all the States to be guaranteed,
so far as the Executive can, their political rights and franchises,
as well as their rights of person sad property, as defined by the
Constitution of the United States and of the States respectively.

6.  The Executive authority of the Government of the United States
not to disturb any of the people by reason of the late war, so long
as they live in peace and quiet, abstain from acts of armed
hostility, and obey the laws in existence at the place of their

7.  In general terms--the war to cease; a general amnesty, so far
as the Executive of the United States can command, on condition of
the disbandment of the Confederate armies, the distribution of the
arms, and the resumption of peaceful pursuits by the officers and
men hitherto composing said armies.

Not being fully empowered by our respective principals to fulfill
these terms, we individually and officially pledge ourselves to
promptly obtain the necessary authority, and to carry out the above

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General,
Commanding Army of the United States in North Carolina.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General,
Commanding Confederate States Army in North Carolina.

Major Hitchcock got off on the morning of the 20th, and I reckoned
that it would take him four or five days to go to Washington and
back.  During that time the repairs on all the railroads and
telegraph-lines were pushed with energy, and we also got possession
of the railroad and telegraph from Raleigh to Weldon, in the
direction of Norfolk.  Meantime the troops remained statu quo, our
cavalry occupying Durham's Station and Chapel Hill.  General
Slocum's head of column was at Aven's Ferry on Cape Fear River, and
General Howard's was strung along the railroad toward Hillsboro';
the rest of the army was in and about Raleigh.

On the 20th I reviewed the Tenth Corps, and was much pleased at the
appearance of General Paines's division of black troops, the first
I had ever seen as a part of an organized army; and on the 21st I
reviewed the Twenty-third Corps, which had been with me to Atlanta,
but had returned to Nashville had formed an essential part of the
army which fought at Franklin, and with which General Thomas had
defeated General Hood in Tennessee.  It had then been transferred
rapidly by rail to Baltimore and Washington by General Grant's
orders, and thence by sea to North Carolina.  Nothing of interest
happened at Raleigh till the evening of April 23d, when Major
Hitchcock reported by telegraph his return to Morehead City, and
that he would come up by rail during the night.  He arrived at 6
a.m., April 24th, accompanied by General Grant and one or two
officers of his staff, who had not telegraphed the fact of their
being on the train, for prudential reasons.  Of course, I was both
surprised and pleased to see the general, soon learned that my
terms with Johnston had been disapproved, was instructed by him to
give the forty-eight hours' notice required by the terms of the
truce, and afterward to proceed to attack or follow him.  I
immediately telegraphed to General Kilpatrick, at Durham's, to have
a mounted courier ready to carry the following message, then on its
way up by rail, to the rebel lines:


General JOHNSTON, commanding Confederate Army, Greensboro':

You will take notice that the truce or suspension of hostilities
agreed to between us will cease in forty-eight hours after this is
received at your lines, under the first of the articles of

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

At the same time I wrote another short note to General Johnston, of
the same date:

I have replies from Washington to my communications of April 18th.
I am instructed to limit my operations to your immediate command,
and not to attempt civil negotiations.  I therefore demand the
surrender of your army on the same terms as were given to General
Lee at Appomattox, April 9th instant, purely and simply.

Of course, both these papers were shown to General Grant at the
time, before they were sent, and he approved of them.

At the same time orders were sent to all parts of the army to be
ready to resume the pursuit of the enemy on the expiration of the
forty-eight hours' truce, and messages were sent to General
Gillmore (at Hilton Head) to the same effect, with instructions to
get a similar message through to General Wilson, at Macon, by some

General Grant had brought with him, from Washington, written
answers from the Secretary of War, and of himself, to my
communications of the 18th, which I still possess, and here give
the originals.  They embrace the copy of a dispatch made by Mr.
Stanton to General Grant, when he was pressing Lee at Appomattox,
which dispatch, if sent me at the same time (as should have been
done), would have saved a world of trouble.  I did not understand
that General Grant had come down to supersede me in command, nor
did he intimate it, nor did I receive these communications as a
serious reproof, but promptly acted on them, as is already shown;
and in this connection I give my answer made to General Grant, at
Raleigh, before I had received any answer from General Johnston to
the demand for the surrender of his own army, as well as my answer
to Mr. Stanton's letter, of the same date, both written on the
supposition that I might have to start suddenly in pursuit of
Johnston, and have no other chance to explain.


Lieutenant-General GRANT.

GENERAL: The memorandum or basis agreed upon between General
Sherman and General Johnston having been submitted to the
President, they are disapproved.  You will give notice of the
disapproval to General Sherman, and direct him to resume
hostilities at the earliest moment.

The instructions given to you by the late President, Abraham
Lincoln, on the 3d of March, by my telegraph of that date,
addressed to you, express substantially the views of President
Andrew Johnson, and will be observed by General Sherman.  A copy is
herewith appended.

The President desires that you proceed immediately to the
headquarters of Major-General Sherman, and direct operations
against the enemy.

Yours truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

The following telegram was received 2 p.m., City Point, March 4,
1865 (from Washington, 12 M., March 3,1865)



Lieutenant-General GRANT:

The President directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have
no conference with General Lee, unless it be for the capitulation
of Lee's army or on solely minor and purely military matters.

He instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss, or
confer upon any political question; such questions the President
holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no military
conferences or conventions.

Meantime you are to press to the utmost your military advantages.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  April 21, 1865.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the

GENERAL: The basis of agreement entered into between yourself and
General J. E. Johnston, for the disbandment of the Southern army,
and the extension of the authority of the General Government over
all the territory belonging to it, sent for the approval of the
President, is received.

I read it carefully myself before submitting it to the President
and Secretary of War, and felt satisfied that it could not possibly
be approved.  My reason for these views I will give you at another
time, in a more extended letter.

Your agreement touches upon questions of such vital importance
that, as soon as read, I addressed a note to the Secretary of War,
notifying him of their receipt, and the importance of immediate
action by the President; and suggested, in view of their
importance, that the entire Cabinet be called together, that all
might give an expression of their opinions upon the matter.  The
result was a disapproval by the President of the basis laid down; a
disapproval of the negotiations altogether except for the surrender
of the army commanded by General Johnston, and directions to me to
notify you of this decision.  I cannot do no better than by sending
you the inclosed copy of a dispatch (penned by the late President,
though signed by the Secretary of War) in answer to me, on sending
a letter received from General Lee, proposing to meet me for the
purpose of submitting the question of peace to a convention of

Please notify General Johnston, immediately on receipt of this, of
the termination of the truce, and resume hostilities against his
army at the earliest moment you can, acting in good faith.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, present.

GENERAL: I had the honor to receive your letter of April 21st, with
inclosures, yesterday, and was well pleased that you came along, as
you must have observed that I held the military control so as to
adapt it to any phase the case might assume.

It is but just I should record the fact that I made my terms with
General Johnston under the influence of the liberal terms you
extended to the army of General Lee at Appomattox Court-House on
the 9th, and the seeming policy of our Government, as evinced by
the call of the Virginia Legislature and Governor back to Richmond,
under yours and President Lincoln's very eyes.

It now appears this last act was done without any consultation with
you or any knowledge of Mr. Lincoln, but rather in opposition to a
previous policy well considered.

I have not the least desire to interfere in the civil policy of our
Government, but would shun it as something not to my liking; but
occasions do arise when a prompt seizure of results is forced on
military commanders not in immediate communication with the proper
authority.  It is probable that the terms signed by General
Johnston and myself were not clear enough on the point, well
understood between us, that our negotiations did not apply to any
parties outside the officers and men of the Confederate armies,
which could easily have been remedied.

No surrender of any army not actually at the mercy of an antagonist
was ever made without "terms," and these always define the military
status of the surrendered.  Thus you stipulated that the officers
and men of Lee's army should not be molested at their homes so long
as they obeyed the laws at the place of their residence.

I do not wish to discuss these points involved in our recognition
of the State governments in actual existence, but will merely state
my conclusions, to await the solution of the future.

Such action on our part in no manner recognizes for a moment the
so-called Confederate Government, or makes us liable for its debts
or acts.

The laws and acts done by the several States during the period of
rebellion are void, because done without the oath prescribed by our
Constitution of the United States, which is a "condition

We have a right to, use any sort of machinery to produce military
results; and it is the commonest thing for military commanders to
use the civil governments in actual existence as a means to an end.
I do believe we could and can use the present State governments
lawfully, constitutionally, and as the very best possible means to
produce the object desired, viz., entire and complete submission to
the lawful authority of the United States.

As to punishment for past crimes, that is for the judiciary, and
can in no manner of way be disturbed by our acts; and, so far as I
can, I will use my influence that rebels shall suffer all the
personal punishment prescribed by law, as also the civil
liabilities arising from their past acts.

What we now want is the new form of law by which common men may
regain the positions of industry, so long disturbed by the war.

I now apprehend that the rebel armies will disperse; and, instead
of dealing with six or seven States, we will have to deal with
numberless bands of desperadoes, headed by such men as Mosby,
Forrest, Red Jackson, and others, who know not and care not for
danger and its consequences.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.


Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington.

DEAR SIR: I have been furnished a copy of your letter of April 21st
to General Grant, signifying your disapproval of the terms on which
General Johnston proposed to disarm and disperse the insurgents, on
condition of amnesty, etc.  I admit my folly in embracing in a
military convention any civil matters; but, unfortunately, such is
the nature of our situation that they seem inextricably united, and
I understood from you at Savannah that the financial state of the
country demanded military success, and would warrant a little
bending to policy.

When I had my conference with General Johnston I had the public
examples before me of General Grant's terms to Lee's army, and
General Weitzel's invitation to the Virginia Legislature to
assemble at Richmond.

I still believe the General Government of the United States has
made a mistake; but that is none of my business--mine is a
different task; and I had flattered myself that, by four years of
patient, unremitting, and successful labor, I deserved no reminder
such as is contained in the last paragraph of your letter to
General Grant.  You may assure the President that I heed his
suggestion.  I am truly, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

On the same day, but later, I received an answer from General
Johnston, agreeing to meet me again at Bennett's house the next
day, April 26th, at noon.  He did not even know that General Grant
was in Raleigh.

General Grant advised me to meet him, and to accept his surrender
on the same terms as his with General Lee; and on the 26th I again
went up to Durham's Station by rail, and rode out to Bennett's
house, where we again met, and General Johnston, without
hesitation, agreed to, and we executed, the following final terms:

Terms of a Military Convention, entered into this 26th day of
April, 1865, at Bennett's House, near Durham's Station., North
Carolina, between General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, commanding the
Confederate Army, and Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding the
United States Army in North Carolina:

1.  All acts of war on the part of the troops under General
Johnston's command to cease from this date.

2.  All arms and public property to be deposited at Greensboro',
and delivered to an ordnance-officer of the United States Army.

3.  Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate; one
copy to be retained by the commander of the troops, and the other
to be given to an officer to be designated by General Sherman.
Each officer and man to give his individual obligation in writing
not to take up arms against the Government of the United States,
until properly released from this obligation.

4.  The side-arms of officers, and their private horses and
baggage, to be retained by them.

5.  This being done, all the officers and men will be permitted to
return to their homes, not to be disturbed by the United States
authorities, so long as they observe their obligation and the laws
in force where they may reside.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General,
Commanding United States Forces in North Carolina.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General,
Commanding Confederate States Forces in North Carolina.


U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

I returned to Raleigh the same evening, and, at my request, General
Grant wrote on these terms his approval, and then I thought the
matter was surely at an end.  He took the original copy, on the
27th returned to Newbern, and thence went back to Washington.

I immediately made all the orders necessary to carry into effect
the terms of this convention, devolving on General Schofield the
details of granting the parole and making the muster-rolls of
prisoners, inventories of property, etc., of General Johnston's
army at and about Greensboro', North Carolina, and on General
Wilson the same duties in Georgia; but, thus far, I had been
compelled to communicate with the latter through rebel sources, and
General Wilson was necessarily confused by the conflict of orders
and information.  I deemed it of the utmost importance to establish
for him a more reliable base of information and supply, and
accordingly resolved to go in person to Savannah for that purpose.
But, before starting, I received a New York Times, of April 24th,
containing the following extraordinary communications:

[First Bulletin]


Yesterday evening a bearer of dispatches arrived from General
Sherman.  An agreement for a suspension of hostilities, and a
memorandum of what is called a basis for peace, had been entered
into on the 18th inst.   by General Sherman, with the rebel General
Johnston.  Brigadier-General Breckenridge was present at the

A cabinet meeting was held at eight o'clock in the evening, at
which the action of General Sherman was disapproved by the
President, by the Secretary of War, by General Grant, and by every
member of the cabinet.  General Sherman was ordered to resume
hostilities immediately, and was directed that the instructions
given by the late President, in the following telegram, which was
penned by Mr. Lincoln himself, at the Capitol, on the night of the
3d of March, were approved by President Andrew Johnson, and were
reiterated to govern the action of military commanders.

On the night of the 3d of March, while President Lincoln and his
cabinet were at the Capitol, a telegram from General Grant was
brought to the Secretary of War, informing him that General Lee had
requested an interview or conference, to make an arrangement for
terms of peace.  The letter of General Lee was published in a
letter to Davis and to the rebel Congress.  General Grant's
telegram was submitted to Mr. Lincoln, who, after pondering a few
minutes, took up his pen and wrote with his own hand the following
reply, which he submitted to the Secretary of State and Secretary
of War.  It was then dated, addressed, and signed, by the Secretary
of War, and telegraphed to General Grant:

WASHINGTON, March 3, 1865-12 P.M.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

The President directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have
no conference with General Lee, unless it be for the capitulation
of General Lee's army, or on some minor or purely military matter.
He instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss, or
confer upon any political questions.  Such questions the President
holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no military
conferences or conventions.

Meantime you are to press to the utmost your military advantages.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

The orders of General Sherman to General Stoneman to withdraw from
Salisbury and join him will probably open the way for Davis to
escape to Mexico or Europe with his plunder, which is reported to
be very large, including not only the plunder of the Richmond
banks, but previous accumulations.

A dispatch received by this department from Richmond says: "It is
stated here, by respectable parties, that the amount of specie
taken south by Jeff.  Davis and his partisans is very large,
including not only the plunder of the Richmond banks, but previous
accumulations.  They hope, it is said, to make terms with General
Sherman, or some other commander, by which they will be permitted,
with their effects, including this gold plunder, to go to Mexico or
Europe.  Johnston's negotiations look to this end."

After the cabinet meeting last night, General Grant started for
North Carolina, to direct operations against Johnston's army.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Here followed the terms, and Mr. Stanton's ten reasons for
rejecting them.

The publication of this bulletin by authority was an outrage on me,
for Mr. Stanton had failed to communicate to me in advance, as was
his duty, the purpose of the Administration to limit our
negotiations to purely military matters; but, on the contrary, at
Savannah he had authorized me to control all matters, civil and

By this bulletin, he implied that I had previously been furnished
with a copy of his dispatch of March 3d to General Grant, which was
not so; and he gave warrant to the impression, which was sown
broadcast, that I might be bribed by banker's gold to permit Davis
to escape.  Under the influence of this, I wrote General Grant the
following letter of April 28th, which has been published in the
Proceedings of the Committee on the Conduct of the War.

I regarded this bulletin of Mr. Stanton as a personal and official
insult, which I afterward publicly resented.


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: Since you left me yesterday, I have seen the New York
Times of the 24th, containing a budget of military news,
authenticated by the signature of the Secretary of War, Hon. E. M.
Stanton, which is grouped in such a way as to give the public very
erroneous impressions.  It embraces a copy of the basis of
agreement between myself and General Johnston, of April 18th, with
comments, which it will be time enough to discuss two or three
years hence, after the Government has experimented a little more in
the machinery by which power reaches the scattered people of the
vast country known as the "South."

In the mean time, however, I did think that my rank (if not past
services) entitled me at least to trust that the Secretary of War
would keep secret what was communicated for the use of none but the
cabinet, until further inquiry could be made, instead of giving
publicity to it along with documents which I never saw, and drawing
therefrom inferences wide of the truth.  I never saw or had
furnished me a copy of President Lincoln's dispatch to you of the
3d of March, nor did Mr. Stanton or any human being ever convey to
me its substance, or any thing like it.  On the contrary, I had
seen General Weitzel's invitation to the Virginia Legislature, made
in Mr. Lincoln's very presence, and failed to discover any other
official hint of a plan of reconstruction, or any ideas calculated
to allay the fears of the people of the South, after the
destruction of their armies and civil authorities would leave them
without any government whatever.

We should not drive a people into anarchy, and it is simply
impossible for our military power to reach all the masses of their
unhappy country.

I confess I did not desire to drive General Johnston's army into
bands of armed men, going about without purpose, and capable only
of infinite mischief.  But you saw, on your arrival here, that I
had my army so disposed that his escape was only possible in a
disorganized shape; and as you did not choose to "direct military
operations in this quarter," I inferred that you were satisfied
with the military situation; at all events, the instant I learned
what was proper enough, the disapproval of the President, I acted
in such a manner as to compel the surrender of General Johnston's
whole army on the same terms which you had prescribed to General
Lee's army, when you had it surrounded and in your absolute power.

Mr. Stanton, in stating that my orders to General Stoneman were
likely to result in the escape of "Mr. Davis to Mexico or Europe,"
is in deep error.  General Stoneman was not at "Salisbury," but had
gone back to "Statesville."  Davis was between us, and therefore
Stoneman was beyond him.  By turning toward me he was approaching
Davis, and, had he joined me as ordered, I would have had a mounted
force greatly needed for Davis's capture, and for other purposes.
Even now I don't know that Mr. Stanton wants Davis caught, and as
my official papers, deemed sacred, are hastily published to the
world, it will be imprudent for me to state what has been done in
that regard.

As the editor of the Times has (it may be) logically and fairly
drawn from this singular document the conclusion that I am
insubordinate, I can only deny the intention.

I have never in my life questioned or disobeyed an order, though
many and many a time have I risked my life, health, and reputation,
in obeying orders, or even hints to execute plans and purposes, not
to my liking.  It is not fair to withhold from me the plans and
policy of Government (if any there be), and expect me to guess at
them; for facts and events appear quite different from different
stand-points.  For four years I have been in camp dealing with
soldiers, and I can assure you that the conclusion at which the
cabinet arrived with such singular unanimity differs from mine.
I conferred freely with the best officers in this army as to the
points involved in this controversy, and, strange to say, they were
singularly unanimous in the other conclusion.  They will learn with
pain and amazement that I am deemed insubordinate, and wanting in
commonsense; that I, who for four years have labored day and night,
winter and summer, who have brought an army of seventy thousand men
in magnificent condition across a country hitherto deemed
impassable, and placed it just where it was wanted, on the day
appointed, have brought discredit on our Government!  I do not wish
to boast of this, but I do say that it entitled me to the courtesy
of being consulted, before publishing to the world a proposition
rightfully submitted to higher authority for adjudication, and then
accompanied by statements which invited the dogs of the press to be
let loose upon me.  It is true that non-combatants, men who sleep
in comfort and security while we watch on the distant lines, are
better able to judge than we poor soldiers, who rarely see a
newspaper, hardly hear from our families, or stop long enough to
draw our pay.  I envy not the task of "reconstruction," and am
delighted that the Secretary of War has relieved me of it.

As you did not undertake to assume the management of the affairs of
this army, I infer that, on personal inspection, your mind arrived
at a different conclusion from that of the Secretary of War.  I
will therefore go on to execute your orders to the conclusion, and,
when done, will with intense satisfaction leave to the civil
authorities the execution of the task of which they seem so
jealous.  But, as an honest man and soldier, I invite them to go
back to Nashville and follow my path, for they will see some things
and hear some things that may disturb their philosophy.

With sincere respect,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

P. S.--As Mr. Stanton's most singular paper has been published, I
demand that this also be made public, though I am in no manner
responsible to the press, but to the law, and my proper superiors.
W. T. S., Major-General.

On the 28th I summoned all the army and corps commanders together
at my quarters in the Governor's mansion at Raleigh, where every
thing was explained to them, and all orders for the future were
completed.  Generals Schofield, Terry, and Kilpatrick, were to
remain on duty in the Department of North Carolina, already
commanded by General Schofield, and the right and left wings were
ordered to march under their respective commanding generals North
by easy stages to Richmond, Virginia, there to await my return
from the South.

On the 29th of April, with a part of my personal staff, I proceeded
by rail to Wilmington, North Carolina, where I found Generals
Hawley and Potter, and the little steamer Russia, Captain Smith,
awaiting me.  After a short pause in Wilmington, we embarked, and
proceeded down the coast to Port Royal and the Savannah River,
which we reached on the 1st of May.  There Captain Hoses, who had
just come from General Wilson at Macon, met us, bearing letters for
me and General Grant, in which General Wilson gave a brief summary
of his operations up to date.  He had marched from Eastport,
Mississippi, five hundred miles in thirty days, took six thousand
three hundred prisoners, twenty-three colors, and one hundred and
fifty-six guns, defeating Forrest, scattering the militia, and
destroying every railroad, iron establishment, and factory, in
North Alabama and Georgia.

He spoke in the highest terms of his cavalry, as "cavalry,"
claiming that it could not be excelled, and he regarded his corps
as a model for modern cavalry in organization, armament, and
discipline.  Its strength was given at thirteen thousand five
hundred men and horses on reaching Macon.  Of course I was
extremely gratified at his just confidence, and saw that all he
wanted for efficient action was a sure base of supply, so that he
need no longer depend for clothing, ammunition, food, and forage,
on the country, which, now that war had ceased, it was our solemn
duty to protect, instead of plunder.  I accordingly ordered the
captured steamer Jeff. Davis to be loaded with stores, to proceed
at once up the Savannah River to Augusta, with a small detachment
of troops to occupy the arsenal, and to open communication with
General Wilson at Macon; and on the next day, May 2d, this steamer
was followed by another with a fall cargo of clothing, sugar,
coffee, and bread, sent from Hilton Head by the department
commander, General Gillmore, with a stronger guard commanded by
General Molineux.  Leaving to General Gillmore, who was present,
and in whose department General Wilson was, to keep up the supplies
at Augusta, and to facilitate as far as possible General Wilson's
operations inland, I began my return on the 2d of May.  We went
into Charleston Harbor, passing the ruins of old Forts Moultrie and
Sumter without landing.  We reached the city of Charleston, which
was held by part of the division of General John P.  Hatch, the
same that we had left at Pocotaligo.  We walked the old familiar
streets--Broad, King, Meeting, etc.--but desolation and ruin were
everywhere.  The heart of the city had been burned during the
bombardment, and the rebel garrison at the time of its final
evacuation had fired the railroad-depots, which fire had spread,
and was only subdued by our troops after they had reached the city.

I inquired for many of my old friends, but they were dead or gone,
and of them all I only saw a part of the family of Mrs. Pettigru.
I doubt whether any city was ever more terribly punished than
Charleston, but, as her people had for years been agitating for war
and discord, and had finally inaugurated the civil war by an attack
on the small and devoted garrison of Major Anderson, sent there by
the General Government to defend them, the judgment of the world
will be, that Charleston deserved the fate that befell her.
Resuming our voyage, we passed into Cape Fear River by its mouth at
Fort Caswell and Smithville, and out by the new channel at Fort
Fisher, and reached Morehead City on the 4th of May.  We found
there the revenue-cutter Wayanda, on board of which were the Chief-
Justice, Mr. Chase, and his daughter Nettie, now Mrs. Hoyt.  The
Chief-Justice at that moment was absent on a visit to Newbern, but
came back the next day.  Meantime, by means of the telegraph, I was
again in correspondence with General Schofield at Raleigh.  He had
made great progress in paroling the officers and men of Johnston's
army at Greensboro', but was embarrassed by the utter confusion and
anarchy that had resulted from a want of understanding on many
minor points, and on the political questions that had to be met at
the instant.  In order to facilitate the return to their homes of
the Confederate officers and men, he had been forced to make with
General Johnston the following supplemental terms, which were of
course ratified and approved:


1.  The field transportation to be loaned to the troops for their
march to their homes, and for subsequent use in their industrial
pursuits.  Artillery-horses may be used in field-transportation, if

2.  Each brigade or separate body to retain a number of arms equal
to one-seventh of its effective strength, which, when the troops
reach the capitals of their states, will be disposed of as the
general commanding the department may direct.

3.  Private horses, and other private property of both officers and
men, to be retained by them.

4.  The commanding general of the Military Division of West
Mississippi, Major-General Canby, will be requested to give
transportation by water, from Mobile or New Orleans, to the troops
from Arkansas and Texas.

5.  The obligations of officers and soldiers to be signed by their
immediate commanders.

6.  Naval forces within the limits of General Johnston's command to
be included in the terms of this convention.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General,
Commanding United States Forces in North Carolina.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General,
Commanding Confederate States Forces in North Carolina.

The total number of prisoners of war parolled by
General Schofield, at Greensboro', North Carolina,
as afterward officially reported, amounted to ........ 38,817

And the total number who surrendered in Georgia
and Florida, as reported by General J.  H.  Wilson,
was .................................................. 52,458

Aggregate surrendered under the capitulation of
General J. E. Johnston ............................... 89,270

On the morning of the 5th I also received from General Schofield
this dispatch:


To Major-General W: T. SHERMAN, Morehead City:

When General Grant was here, as you doubtless recollect, he said
the lines (for trade and intercourse) had been extended to embrace
this and other States south.  The order, it seems, has been
modified so as to include only Virginia and Tennessee.  I think it
would be an act of wisdom to open this State to trade at once.

I hope the Government will make known its policy as to the organs
of State government without delay.  Affairs must necessarily be in
a very unsettled state until that is done.  The people are now in a
mood to accept almost anything which promises a definite
settlement.  "What is to be done with the freedmen?" is the
question of all, and it is the all important question.  It requires
prompt and wise notion to prevent the negroes from becoming a huge
elephant on our hands.  If I am to govern this State, it is
important for me to know it at once.  If another is to be sent
here, it cannot be done too soon, for he probably will undo the
most that I shall have done.  I shall be glad to hear from you
fully, when you have time to write.  I will send your message to
General Wilson at once.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General.

I was utterly without instructions from any source on the points of
General Schofield's inquiry, and under the existing state of facts
could not even advise him, for by this time I was in possession of
the second bulletin of Mr. Stanton, published in all the Northern
papers, with comments that assumed that I was a common traitor and
a public enemy; and high officials had even instructed my own
subordinates to disobey my lawful orders.  General Halleck, who had
so long been in Washington as the chief of staff, had been sent on
the 21st of April to Richmond, to command the armies of the Potomac
and James, in place of General Grant, who had transferred his
headquarters to the national capital, and he (General Halleck) was
therefore in supreme command in Virginia, while my command over
North Carolina had never been revoked or modified.

[Second Bulletin.]


To Major-General DIX:

The department has received the following dispatch from Major-
General Halleck, commanding the Military Division of the James.
Generals Canby and Thomas were instructed some days ago that
Sherman's arrangements with Johnston were disapproved by the
President, and they were ordered to disregard it and push the enemy
in every direction.

E.  M.  STANTON, Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, April 26-9.30 p.m.

HON. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Generals Meade, Sheridan, and Wright, are acting under orders to
pay no regard to any truce or orders of General Sherman respecting
hostilities, on the ground that Sherman's agreement could bind his
command only, and no other.

They are directed to push forward, regardless of orders from any
one except from General Grant, and cut off Johnston's retreat.

Beauregard has telegraphed to  Danville that a new arrangement has
been made with Sherman, and that the advance of the Sixth Corps was
to be suspended until further orders.

I have telegraphed back to obey no orders of Sherman, but to push
forward as rapidly as possible.

The bankers here have information to-day that Jeff. Davis's specie
is moving south from Goldsboro', in wagons, as fast as possible.

I suggest that orders be telegraphed, through General Thomas, that
Wilson obey no orders from Sherman, and notifying him and Canby,
and all commanders on the Mississippi, to take measures to
intercept the rebel chiefs and their plunder.

The specie taken with them is estimated here at from six to
thirteen million dollars.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General commanding.

Subsequently, before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, in
Washington, on the 22d of May, I testified fully on this whole
matter, and will abide the judgment of the country on the
patriotism and wisdom of my public conduct in this connection.
General Halleck's measures to capture General Johnston's army,
actually surrendered to me at the time, at Greensboro', on the 26th
of April, simply excited my contempt for a judgment such as he was
supposed to possess.  The assertion that Jeff. Davis's specie-
train, of six to thirteen million dollars, was reported to be
moving south from Goldsboro' in wagons as fast as possible, found
plenty of willing ears, though my army of eighty thousand men had
been at Goldsboro' from March 22d to the date of his dispatch,
April 26th; and such a train would have been composed of from
fifteen to thirty-two six-mule teams to have hauled this specie,
even if it all were in gold.  I suppose the exact amount of
treasure which Davis had with him is now known to a cent; some of
it was paid to his escort, when it disbanded at and near
Washington, Georgia, and at the time of his capture he had a small
parcel of gold and silver coin, not to exceed ten thousand dollars,
which is now retained in the United States Treasury-vault at
Washington, and shown to the curious.

The thirteen millions of treasure, with which Jeff. Davis was to
corrupt our armies and buy his escape, dwindled down to the
contents of a hand-valise!

To say that I was merely angry at the tone and substance of these
published bulletins of the War Department, would hardly express the
state of my feelings.  I was outraged beyond measure, and was
resolved to resent the insult, cost what it might.  I went to the
Wayanda and showed them to Mr. Chase, with whom I had a long and
frank conversation, during which he explained to me the confusion
caused in Washington by the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, the
sudden accession to power of Mr. Johnson, who was then supposed to
be bitter and vindictive in his feelings toward the South, and the
wild pressure of every class of politicians to enforce on the new
President their pet schemes.  He showed me a letter of his own,
which was in print, dated Baltimore, April 11th, and another of
April 12th, addressed to the President, urging him to recognize the
freedmen as equal in all respects to the whites.  He was the first
man, of any authority or station, who ever informed me that the
Government of the United States would insist on extending to the
former slaves of the South the elective franchise, and he gave as a
reason the fact that the slaves, grateful for their freedom, for
which they were indebted to the armies and Government of the North,
would, by their votes, offset the disaffected and rebel element of
the white population of the South.  At that time quite a storm was
prevailing at sea, outside, and our two vessels lay snug at the
wharf at Morehead City.  I saw a good deal of Mr. Chase, and
several notes passed between us, of which I have the originals yet.
Always claiming that the South had herself freed all her slaves by
rebellion, and that Mr. Lincoln's proclamation of freedom (of
September 22, 1862) was binding on all officers of the General
Government, I doubted the wisdom of at once clothing them with the
elective franchise, without some previous preparation and
qualification; and then realized the national loss in the death at
that critical moment of Mr. Lincoln, who had long pondered over the
difficult questions involved, who, at all events, would have been
honest and frank, and would not have withheld from his army
commanders at least a hint that would have been to them a guide.
It was plain to me, therefore, that the manner of his assassination
had stampeded the civil authorities in Washington, had unnerved
them, and that they were then undecided as to the measures
indispensably necessary to prevent anarchy at the South.

On the 7th of May the storm subsided, and we put to sea, Mr. Chase
to the south, on his proposed tour as far as New Orleans, and I for
James River.  I reached Fortress Monroe on the 8th, and thence
telegraphed my arrival to General Grant, asking for orders.  I
found at Fortress Monroe a dispatch from General Halleck,
professing great friendship, and inviting me to accept his
hospitality at Richmond.  I answered by a cipher-dispatch that I
had seen his dispatch to Mr. Stanton, of April 26th, embraced in
the second bulletin, which I regarded as insulting, declined his
hospitality, and added that I preferred we should not meet as I
passed through Richmond.  I thence proceeded to City Point in the
Russia, and on to Manchester, opposite Richmond, via Petersburg, by
rail.  I found that both wings of the army had arrived from
Raleigh, and were in camp in and around Manchester, whence I again
telegraphed General Grant, an the 9th of May, for orders, and also
reported my arrival to General Halleck by letter.  I found that
General Halleck had ordered General Davis's corps (the Fourteenth)
for review by himself.  This I forbade.  All the army knew of the
insult that had been made me by the Secretary of War and General
Halleck, and watched me closely to see if I would tamely submit.
During the 9th I made a full and complete report of all these
events, from the last report made at Goldsboro' up to date, and the
next day received orders to continue the march to Alexandria, near

On the morning of the 11th we crossed the pontoon-bridge at
Richmond, marched through that city, and out on the Hanover
Court House road, General Slocum's left wing leading. The right wing
(General Logan) followed the next day, viz., the 12th.  Meantime,
General O. O. Howard had been summoned to Washington to take charge
of the new Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, and,
from that time till the army was finally disbanded, General John A.
Logan was in command of the right wing, and of the Army of the
Tennessee.  The left wing marched through Hanover Court House, and
thence took roads well to the left by Chilesburg; the Fourteenth
Corps by New Market and Culpepper, Manassas, etc.; the Twentieth
Corps by Spotsylvania Court-House and Chancellorsville.  The right
wing followed the more direct road by Fredericksburg.  On my way
north I endeavored to see as much of the battle-fields of the Army
of the Potomac as I could, and therefore shifted from one column to
the other, visiting en route Hanover Court-House, Spotsylvania,
Fredericksburg, Dumfries, etc., reaching Alexandria during the
afternoon of May 19th, and pitched my camp by the road side, about
half-way between Alexandria and the Long Bridge.  During the same
and next day the whole army reached Alexandria, and camped round
about it; General Meade's Army of the Potomac had possession of the
camps above, opposite Washington and Georgetown.  The next day (by
invitation) I went over to Washington and met many friends--among
them General Grant and President Johnson.  The latter occupied
rooms in the house on the corner of Fifteenth and H Streets,
belonging to Mr. Hooper.  He was extremely cordial to me, and
knowing that I was chafing under the censures of the War
Department, especially of the two war bulletins of Mr. Stanton, he
volunteered to say that he knew of neither of them till seen in the
newspapers, and that Mr. Stanton had shown neither to him nor to
any of his associates in the cabinet till they were published.
Nearly all the members of the cabinet made similar assurances to me
afterward, and, as Mr. Stanton made no friendly advances, and
offered no word of explanation or apology, I declined General
Grant's friendly offices for a reconciliation, but, on the
contrary, resolved to resent what I considered an insult, as
publicly as it was made.  My brother, Senator Sherman, who was Mr.
Stanton's neighbor, always insisted that Mr. Stanton had been
frightened by the intended assassination of himself, and had become
embittered thereby.  At all events, I found strong military guards
around his house, as well as all the houses occupied by the cabinet
and by the principal officers of Government; and a sense of
insecurity pervaded Washington, for which no reason existed.

On the 19th I received a copy of War Department Special Order No.
239, Adjutant-General's office, of May 18th, ordering a grand
review, by the President and cabinet, of all the armies then near
Washington; General Meade's to occur on Tuesday, May 23d, mine on
Wednesday, the 24th; and on the 20th I made the necessary orders
for my part.  Meantime I had also arranged (with General Grant's
approval) to remove after the review, my armies from the south side
of the Potomac to the north; both for convenience and because our
men had found that the grounds assigned them had been used so long
for camps that they were foul and unfit.

By invitation I was on the reviewing-stand, and witnessed the
review of the Army of the Potomac (on the 23d), commanded by
General Meade in person.  The day was beautiful, and the pageant
was superb.  Washington was full of strangers, who filled the
streets in holiday-dress, and every house was decorated with flags.
The army marched by divisions in close column around the Capitol,
down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the President and cabinet, who
occupied a large stand prepared for the occasion, directly in front
of the White House.

I had telegraphed to Lancaster for Mrs. Sherman, who arrived that
day, accompanied by her father, the Hon. Thomas Ewing, and my son
Tom, then eight years old.

During the afternoon and night of the 23d, the Fifteenth, Seventeenth,
and Twentieth Corps, crossed Long Bridge, bivouacked in the
streets about the Capitol, and the Fourteenth Corps closed up to
the bridge.  The morning of the 24th was extremely beautiful, and
the ground was in splendid order for our review.  The streets were
filled with people to see the pageant, armed with bouquets of
flowers for their favorite regiments or heroes, and every thing was
propitious.  Punctually at 9 A.M. the signal-gun was fired, when in
person, attended by General Howard and all my staff, I rode slowly
down Pennsylvania Avenue, the crowds of men, women, and children,
densely lining the sidewalks, and almost obstructing the way.  We
were followed close by General Logan and the head of the Fifteenth
Corps.  When I reached the Treasury-building, and looked back, the
sight was simply magnificent.  The column was compact, and the
glittering muskets looked like a solid mass of steel, moving with
the regularity of a pendulum.  We passed the Treasury building, in
front of which and of the White House was an immense throng of
people, for whom extensive stands had been prepared on both sides
of the avenue.  As I neared the brick-house opposite the lower
corner of Lafayette Square, some one asked me to notice Mr. Seward,
who, still feeble and bandaged for his wounds, had been removed
there that he might behold the troops.  I moved in that direction
and took off my hat to Mr. Seward, who sat at an upper window.  He
recognized the salute, returned it, and then we rode on steadily
past the President, saluting with our swords.  All on his stand
arose and acknowledged the salute.  Then, turning into the gate of
the presidential grounds, we left our horses with orderlies, and
went upon the stand, where I found Mrs. Sherman, with her father
and son.  Passing them, I shook hands with the President, General
Grant, and each member of the cabinet.  As I approached Mr.
Stanton, he offered me his hand, but I declined it publicly, and
the fact was universally noticed. I then took my post on the left
of the President, and for six hours and a half stood, while the
army passed in the order of the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Twentieth,
and Fourteenth Corps. It was, in my judgment, the most magnificent
army in existence--sixty-five thousand men, in splendid physique,
who had just completed a march of nearly two thousand miles in a
hostile country, in good drill, and who realized that they were
being closely scrutinized by thousands of their fellow-countrymen
and by foreigners.  Division after division passed, each commander
of an army corps or division coming on the stand during the passage
of his command, to be presented to the President, cabinet, and
spectators.  The steadiness and firmness of the tread, the careful
dress on the guides, the uniform intervals between the companies,
all eyes directly to the front, and the tattered and bullet-ridden
flags, festooned with flowers, all attracted universal notice.
Many good people, up to that time, had looked upon our Western army
as a sort of mob; but the world then saw, and recognized the fact,
that it was an army in the proper sense, well organized, well
commanded and disciplined; and there was no wonder that it had
swept through the South like a tornado.  For six hours and a half
that strong tread of the Army of the West resounded along
Pennsylvania Avenue; not a soul of that vast crowd of spectators
left his place; and, when the rear of the column had passed by,
thousands of the spectators still lingered to express their sense
of confidence in the strength of a Government which could claim
such an army.

Some little scenes enlivened the day, and called for the laughter
and cheers of the crowd.  Each division was followed by six
ambulances, as a representative of its baggage-train.  Some of the
division commanders had added, by way of variety, goats, milch-
cows, and pack-mules, whose loads consisted of game-cocks, poultry,
hams, etc., and some of them had the families of freed slaves
along, with the women leading their children.  Each division was
preceded by its corps of black pioneers, armed with picks and
spades.  These marched abreast in double ranks, keeping perfect
dress and step, and added much to the interest of the occasion.  On
the whole, the grand review was a splendid success, and was a
fitting conclusion to the campaign and the war.

I will now conclude by a copy of my general orders taking leave of
the army, which ended my connection with the war, though I
afterward visited and took a more formal leave of the officers and
men on July 4, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky:



The general commanding announces to the Armies of the Tennessee and
Georgia that the time has come for us to part.  Our work is done,
and armed enemies no longer defy us.  Some of you will go to your
homes, and others will be retained in military service till further

And now that we are all about to separate, to mingle with the civil
world, it becomes a pleasing duty to recall to mind the situation
of national affairs when, but little more than a year ago, we were
gathered about the cliffs of Lookout Mountain, and all the future
was wrapped in doubt and uncertainty.

Three armies had come together from distant fields, with separate
histories, yet bound by one common cause--the union of our country,
and the perpetuation of the Government of our inheritance.  There
is no need to recall to your memories Tunnel Hill, with Rocky-Face
Mountain and Buzzard-Roost Gap, and the ugly forts of Dalton

We were in earnest, and paused not for danger and difficulty, but
dashed through Snake-Creek Gap and fell on Resaca; then on to the
Etowah, to Dallas, Kenesaw; and the heats of summer found us on the
banks of the Chattahoochee, far from home, and dependent on a
single road for supplies.  Again we were not to be held back by any
obstacle, and crossed over and fought four hard battles for the
possession of the citadel of Atlanta.  That was the crisis of our
history.  A doubt still clouded our future, but we solved the
problem, destroyed Atlanta, struck boldly across the State of
Georgia, severed all the main arteries of life to our enemy, and
Christmas found us at Savannah.

Waiting there only long enough to fill our wagons, we again began a
march which, for peril, labor, and results, will compare with any
ever made by an organized army.  The floods of the Savannah, the
swamps of the Combahee and Edisto, the "high hills" and rocks of
the Santee, the flat quagmires of the Pedee and Cape Fear Rivers,
were all passed in midwinter, with its floods and rains, in the
face of an accumulating enemy; and, after the battles of
Averysboro' and Bentonsville, we once more came out of the
wilderness, to meet our friends at Goldsboro'.  Even then we paused
only long enough to get new clothing, to reload our wagons, again
pushed on to Raleigh and beyond, until we met our enemy suing for
peace, instead of war, and offering to submit to the injured laws
of his and our country.  As long as that enemy was defiant, nor
mountains nor rivers, nor swamps, nor hunger, nor cold, had checked
us; but when he, who had fought us hard and persistently, offered
submission, your general thought it wrong to pursue him farther,
and negotiations followed, which resulted, as you all know, in his

How far the operations of this army contributed to the final
overthrow of the Confederacy and the peace which now dawns upon us,
must be judged by others, not by us; but that you have done all
that men could do has been admitted by those in authority, and we
have a right to join in the universal joy that fills our land
because the war is over, and our Government stands vindicated
before the world by the joint action of the volunteer armies and
navy of the United States.

To such as remain in the service, your general need only remind you
that success in the past was due to hard work and discipline, and
that the same work and discipline are equally important in the
future.  To such as go home, he will only say that our favored
country is so grand, so extensive, so diversified in climate, soil,
and productions, that every man may find a home and occupation
suited to his taste; none should yield to the natural impatience
sure to result from our past life of excitement and adventure.  You
will be invited to seek new adventures abroad; do not yield to the
temptation, for it will lead only to death and disappointment.

Your general now bids you farewell, with the full belief that, as
in war you have been good soldiers, so in peace you will make good
citizens; and if, unfortunately, new war should arise in our
country, "Sherman's army" will be the first to buckle on its old
armor, and come forth to defend and maintain the Government of our

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

L.  M.  DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

List of the Average Number of Miles marched by the Different Army
Corps of the United States Forces under Command of Major-General W.
T. SHERMAN, United States Army, during his Campaigns: 1863-'64-'65.

         4th       14th      15th      16th      17th       20th
        Corps.   Corps.    Corps.   Corps    Corps.    Corps.

Miles:   110     1,586     2,289     508     2,076     1,525



Having thus recorded a summary of events, mostly under my own
personal supervision, during the years from 1846 to 1865, it seems
proper that I should add an opinion of some of the useful military
lessons to be derived therefrom.

That civil war, by reason of the existence of slavery, was
apprehended by most of the leading statesmen of the half-century
preceding its outbreak, is a matter of notoriety.  General Scott
told me on my arrival at New York, as early as 1850, that the
country was on the eve of civil war; and the Southern politicians
openly asserted that it was their purpose to accept as a casus
belli the election of General Fremont in 1856; but, fortunately or
unfortunately, he was beaten by Mr. Buchanan, which simply
postponed its occurrence for four years.  Mr. Seward had also
publicly declared that no government could possibly exist half
slave and half free; yet the Government made no military
preparation, and the Northern people generally paid no attention,
took no warning of its coming, and would not realize its existence
till Fort Sumter was fired on by batteries of artillery, handled by
declared enemies, from the surrounding islands and from the city of

General Bragg, who certainly was a man of intelligence, and who, in
early life, ridiculed a thousand times, in my hearing, the threats
of the people of South Carolina to secede from the Federal Union,
said to me in New Orleans, in February, 1861, that he was convinced
that the feeling between the slave and free States had become so
embittered that it was better to part in peace; better to part
anyhow; and, as a separation was inevitable, that the South should
begin at once, because the possibility of a successful effort was
yearly lessened by the rapid and increasing inequality between the
two sections, from the fact that all the European immigrants were
coming to the Northern States and Territories, and none to the

The slave population m 1860 was near four millions, and the money
value thereof not far from twenty-five hundred million dollars.
Now, ignoring the moral side of the question, a cause that
endangered so vast a moneyed interest was an adequate cause of
anxiety and preparation, and the Northern leaders surely ought to
have foreseen the danger and prepared for it.  After the election
of Mr. Lincoln in 1860, there was no concealment of the declaration
and preparation for war in the South.  In Louisiana, as I have
related, men were openly enlisted, officers were appointed, and war
was actually begun, in January, 1861.  The forts at the mouth of
the Mississippi were seized, and occupied by garrisons that hauled
down the United States flag and hoisted that of the State.  The
United States Arsenal at Baton Rouge was captured by New Orleans
militia, its garrison ignominiously sent off, and the contents of
the arsenal distributed.  These were as much acts of war as was the
subsequent firing on Fort Sumter, yet no public notice was taken
thereof; and when, months afterward, I came North, I found not one
single sign of preparation.  It was for this reason, somewhat, that
the people of the South became convinced that those of the North
were pusillanimous and cowardly, and the Southern leaders were
thereby enabled to commit their people to the war, nominally in
defense of their slave property.  Up to the hour of the firing on
Fort Sumter, in April, 1861, it does seem to me that our public
men, our politicians, were blamable for not sounding the note of

Then, when war was actually begun, it was by a call for seventy-
five thousand "ninety-day" men, I suppose to fulfill Mr. Seward's
prophecy that the war would last but ninety days.

The earlier steps by our political Government were extremely
wavering and weak, for which an excuse can be found in the fact
that many of the Southern representatives remained in Congress,
sharing in the public councils, and influencing legislation.  But
as soon as Mr. Lincoln was installed, there was no longer any
reason why Congress and the cabinet should have hesitated.  They
should have measured the cause, provided the means, and left the
Executive to apply the remedy.

At the time of Mr. Lincoln's inauguration, viz., March 4, 1861, the
Regular Army, by law, consisted of two regiments of dragoons, two
regiments of cavalry, one regiment of mounted rifles, four
regiments of artillery, and ten regiments of infantry, admitting of
an aggregate strength of thirteen thousand and twenty-four officers
and men.  On the subsequent 4th of May the President, by his own
orders (afterward sanctioned by Congress), added a regiment of
cavalry, a regiment of artillery, and eight regiments of infantry,
which, with the former army, admitted of a strength of thirty-nine
thousand nine hundred and seventy-three; but at no time during the
war did the Regular Army attain a strength of twenty-five thousand

To the new regiments of infantry was given an organization
differing from any that had heretofore prevailed in this country--
of three battalions of eight companies each; but at no time did
more than one of these regiments attain its full standard; nor in
the vast army of volunteers that was raised during the war were any
of the regiments of infantry formed on the three-battalion system,
but these were universally single battalions of ten companies; so
that, on the reorganization of the Regular Army at the close of the
war, Congress adopted the form of twelve companies for the
regiments of cavalry and artillery, and that of ten companies for
the infantry, which is the present standard.

Inasmuch as the Regular Army will naturally form the standard of
organization for any increase or for new regiments of volunteers,
it becomes important to study this subject in the light of past
experience, and to select that form which is best for peace as well
as war.

A cavalry regiment is now composed of twelve companies, usually
divided into six squadrons, of two companies each, or better
subdivided into three battalions of four companies each.  This is
an excellent form, easily admitting of subdivision as well as union
into larger masses.

A single battalion of four companies, with a field-officer, will
compose a good body for a garrison, for a separate expedition, or
for a detachment; and, in war, three regiments would compose a good
brigade, three brigades a division, and three divisions a strong
cavalry corps, such as was formed and fought by Generals Sheridan
and Wilson during the war.

In the artillery arm, the officers differ widely in their opinion
of the true organization.  A single company forms a battery, and
habitually each battery acts separately, though sometimes several
are united or "massed;" but these always act in concert with
cavalry or infantry.

Nevertheless, the regimental organization for artillery has always
been maintained in this country for classification and promotion.
Twelve companies compose a regiment, and, though probably no
colonel ever commanded his full regiment in the form of twelve
batteries, yet in peace they occupy our heavy sea-coast forts or
act as infantry; then the regimental organization is both necessary
and convenient.

But the infantry composes the great mass of all armies, and the
true form of the regiment or unit has been the subject of infinite
discussion; and, as I have stated, during the civil war the
regiment was a single battalion of ten companies.  In olden times
the regiment was composed of eight battalion companies and two
flank companies.  The first and tenth companies were armed with
rifles, and were styled and used as "skirmishers;" but during 'the
war they were never used exclusively for that special purpose, and
in fact no distinction existed between them and the other eight

The ten-company organization is awkward in practice, and I am
satisfied that the infantry regiment should have the same identical
organization as exists for the cavalry and artillery, viz., twelve
companies, so as to be susceptible of division into three
battalions of four companies each.

These companies should habitually be about a hundred one men
strong, giving twelve hundred to a regiment, which in practice
would settle down to about one thousand men.

Three such regiments would compose a brigade, three brigades a
division, and three divisions a corps.  Then, by allowing to an
infantry corps a brigade of cavalry and six batteries of
field-artillery, we would have an efficient  corps d'armee of
thirty thousand men, whose organization would be simple and most
efficient, and whose strength should never be allowed to fall below
twenty-five thousand men.

The corps is the true unit for grand campaigns and battle, should
have a full and perfect staff, and every thing requisite for
separate action, ready at all times to be detached and sent off for
any nature of service.  The general in command should have the rank
of lieutenant-general, and should be, by experience and education,
equal to any thing in war.  Habitually with us he was a major-
general, specially selected and assigned to the command by an order
of the President, constituting, in fact, a separate grade.

The division is the unit of administration, and is the legitimate
command of a major general.

The brigade is the next subdivision, and is commanded by a

The regiment is the family.  The colonel, as the father, should
have a personal acquaintance with every officer and man, and should
instill a feeling of pride and affection for himself, so that his
officers and men would naturally look to him for personal advice
and instruction.  In war the regiment should never be subdivided,
but should always be maintained entire.  In peace this is

The company is the true unit of discipline, and the captain is the
company.  A good captain makes a good company, and he should have
the power to reward as well as punish.  The fact that soldiers
world naturally like to have a good fellow for their captain is the
best reason why he should be appointed by the colonel, or by some
superior authority, instead of being elected by the men.

In the United States the people are the "sovereign," all power
originally proceeds from them, and therefore the election of
officers by the men is the common rule.  This is wrong, because an
army is not a popular organization, but an animated machine, an
instrument in the hands of the Executive for enforcing the law, and
maintaining the honor and dignity of the nation; and the President,
as the constitutional commander-in-chief of the army and navy,
should exercise the power of appointment (subject to the
confirmation of the Senate) of the officers of "volunteers," as
well as of "regulars."

No army can be efficient unless it be a unit for action; and the
power must come from above, not from below: the President usually
delegates his power to the commander-in-chief, and he to the next,
and so on down to the lowest actual commander of troops, however
small the detachment.  No matter how troops come together, when
once united, the highest officer in rank is held responsible, and
should be consequently armed with the fullest power of the
Executive, subject only to law and existing orders.  The more
simple the principle, the greater the likelihood of determined
action; and the less a commanding officer is circumscribed by
bounds or by precedent, the greater is the probability that he will
make the best use of his command and achieve the best results.

The Regular Army and the Military Academy at West Point have in the
past provided, and doubtless will in the future provide an ample
supply of good officers for future wars; but, should their numbers
be insufficient, we can always safely rely on the great number of
young men of education and force of character throughout the
country, to supplement them.  At the close of our civil war,
lasting four years, some of our best corps and division generals,
as well as staff-officers, were from civil life; but I cannot
recall any of the most successful who did not express a regret that
he had not received in early life instruction in the elementary
principles of the art of war, instead of being forced to acquire
this knowledge in the dangerous and expensive school of actual war.

But the vital difficulty was, and will be again, to obtain an
adequate number of good soldiers.  We tried almost every system
known to modern nations, all with more or less success--voluntary
enlistments, the draft, and bought substitutes--and I think that all
officers of experience will confirm my assertion that the men who
voluntarily enlisted at the outbreak of the war were the best,
better than the conscript, and far better than the bought
substitute.  When a regiment is once organized in a State, and
mustered into the service of the United States, the officers and
men become subject to the same laws of discipline and government as
the regular troops.  They are in no sense "militia," but compose
a part of the Army of the United States, only retain their State
title for convenience, and yet may be principally recruited from
the neighborhood of their original organization: Once organized,
the regiment should be kept full by recruits, and when it becomes
difficult to obtain more recruits the pay should be raised by
Congress, instead of tempting new men by exaggerated bounties.  I
believe it would have been more economical to have raised the pay
of the soldier to thirty or even fifty dollars a month than to have
held out the promise of three hundred and even six hundred dollars
in the form of bounty.  Toward the close of the war, I have often
heard the soldiers complain that the "stay at-home" men got better
pay, bounties, and food, than they who were exposed to all the
dangers and vicissitudes of the battles and marches at the front.
The feeling of the soldier should be that, in every event, the
sympathy and preference of his government is for him who fights,
rather than for him who is on provost or guard duty to the rear,
and, like most men, he measures this by the amount of pay.  Of
course, the soldier must be trained to obedience, and should be
"content with his wages;" but whoever has commanded an army in the
field knows the difference between a willing, contented mass of
men, and one that feels a cause of grievance.  There is a soul to
an army as well as to the individual man, and no general can
accomplish the full work of his army unless he commands the soul of
his men, as well as their bodies and legs.

The greatest mistake made in our civil war was in the mode of
recruitment and promotion.  When a regiment became reduced by the
necessary wear and tear of service, instead of being filled up at
the bottom, and the vacancies among the officers filled from the
best noncommissioned officers and men, the habit was to raise new
regiments, with new colonels, captains, and men, leaving the old
and experienced battalions to dwindle away into mere skeleton
organizations.  I believe with the volunteers this matter was left
to the States exclusively, and I remember that Wisconsin kept her
regiments filled with recruits, whereas other States generally
filled their quotas by new regiments, and the result was that we
estimated a Wisconsin regiment equal to an ordinary brigade.  I
believe that five hundred new men added to an old and experienced
regiment were more valuable than a thousand men in the form of a
new regiment, for the former by association with good, experienced
captains, lieutenants, and non-commissioned officers, soon became
veterans, whereas the latter were generally unavailable for a year.
The German method of recruitment is simply perfect, and there is no
good reason why we should not follow it substantially.

On a road, marching by the flank, it would be considered "good
order" to have five thousand men to a mile, so that a full corps of
thirty thousand men would extend six miles, but with the average
trains and batteries of artillery the probabilities are that it
would draw out to ten miles.  On a long and regular march the
divisions and brigades should alternate in the lead, the leading
division should be on the road by the earliest dawn, and march at
the rate of about two miles, or, at most, two and a half miles an
hour, so as to reach camp by noon.  Even then the rear divisions
and trains will hardly reach camp much before night. Theoretically,
a marching column should preserve such order that by simply halting
and facing to the right or left, it would be in line of battle; but
this is rarely the case, and generally deployments are made
"forward," by conducting each brigade by the flank obliquely to the
right or left to its approximate position in line of battle, and
there deployed.  In such a line of battle, a brigade of three
thousand infantry would occupy a mile of "front;" but for a strong
line of battle five-thousand men with two batteries should be
allowed to each mile, or a division would habitually constitute a
double line with skirmishers and a reserve on a mile of "front."

The "feeding" of an army is a matter of the most vital importance,
and demands the earliest attention of the general intrusted with a
campaign.  To be strong, healthy, and capable of the largest
measure of physical effort, the soldier needs about three pounds
gross of food per day, and the horse or mule about twenty pounds.
When a general first estimates the quantity of food and forage
needed for an army of fifty or one hundred thousand men, he is apt
to be dismayed, and here a good staff is indispensable, though the
general cannot throw off on them the responsibility.  He must give
the subject his personal attention, for the army reposes in him
alone, and should never doubt the fact that their existence
overrides in importance all other considerations.  Once satisfied
of this, and that all has been done that can be, the soldiers are
always willing to bear the largest measure of privation.  Probably
no army ever had a more varied experience in this regard than the
one I commanded in 1864'65.

Our base of supply was at Nashville, supplied by railways and the
Cumberland River, thence by rail to Chattanooga, a "secondary
base," and thence forward a single-track railroad.  The stores came
forward daily, but I endeavored to have on hand a full supply for
twenty days in advance.  These stores were habitually in the
wagon-trains, distributed to corps, divisions, and regiments, in
charge of experienced quartermasters and commissaries, and became
subject to the orders of the generals commanding these bodies.
They were generally issued on provision returns, but these had to
be closely scrutinized, for too often the colonels would make
requisitions for provisions for more men than they reported for
battle.  Of course, there are always a good many non-combatants
with an army, but, after careful study, I limited their amount to
twenty-five per cent. of the "effective strength," and that was
found to be liberal.  An ordinary army-wagon drawn by six mules may
be counted on to carry three thousand pounds net, equal to the food
of a full regiment for one day, but, by driving along beef-cattle,
a commissary may safely count the contents of one wagon as
sufficient for two days' food for a regiment of a thousand men; and
as a corps should have food on hand for twenty days ready for
detachment, it should have three hundred such wagons, as a
provision-train; and for forage, ammunition, clothing, and other
necessary stores, it was found necessary to have three hundred more
wagons, or six hundred wagons in all, for a corps d'armee.

These should be absolutely under the immediate control of the corps
commander, who will, however, find it economical to distribute them
in due proportion to his divisions, brigades, and even regiments.
Each regiment ought usually to have at least one wagon for
convenience to distribute stores, and each company two pack-mules,
so that the regiment may always be certain of a meal on reaching
camp without waiting for the larger trains.

On long marches the artillery and wagon-trains should always have
the right of way, and the troops should improvise roads to one
side, unless forced to use a bridge in common, and all trains
should have escorts to protect them, and to assist them in bad
places.  To this end there is nothing like actual experience, only,
unless the officers in command give the subject their personal
attention, they will find their wagon-trains loaded down with
tents, personal baggage, and even the arms and knapsacks of the
escort.  Each soldier should, if not actually "sick or wounded,"
carry his musket and equipments containing from forty to sixty
rounds of ammunition, his shelter-tent, a blanket or overcoat, and
an extra pair of pants, socks, and drawers, in the form of a scarf,
worn from the left shoulder to the right side in lieu of knapsack,
and in his haversack he should carry some bread, cooked meat, salt,
and coffee.  I do not believe a soldier should be loaded down too
much, but, including his clothing, arms, and equipment, he can
carry about fifty pounds without impairing his health or activity.
A simple calculation will show that by such a distribution a corps
will-thus carry the equivalent of five hundred wagon-loads--an
immense relief to the trains.

Where an army is near one of our many large navigable rivers, or
has the safe use of a railway, it can usually be supplied with the
full army ration, which is by far the best furnished to any army in
America or Europe; but when it is compelled to operate away from
such a base, and is dependent on its own train of wagons, the
commanding officer must exercise a wise discretion in the selection
of his stores.  In my opinion, there is no better food for man than
beef-cattle driven on the hoof, issued liberally, with salt, bacon,
and bread.  Coffee has also become almost indispensable, though
many substitutes were found for it, such as Indian-corn, roasted,
ground, and boiled as coffee; the sweet-potato, and the seed of the
okra plant prepared in the same way.  All these were used by the
people of the South, who for years could procure no coffee, but I
noticed that the women always begged of us some real coffee, which
seems to satisfy a natural yearning or craving more powerful than
can be accounted for on the theory of habit.  Therefore I would
always advise that the coffee and sugar ration be carried along,
even at the expense of bread, for which there are many substitutes.
Of these, Indian-corn is the best and most abundant.  Parched in a
frying-pan, it is excellent food, or if ground, or pounded and
boiled with meat of any sort, it makes a most nutritious meal.  The
potato, both Irish and sweet, forms an excellent substitute for
bread, and at Savannah we found that rice (was) also suitable, both for
men and animals.  For the former it should be cleaned of its husk
in a hominy block, easily prepared out of a log, and sifted with a
coarse corn bag; but for horses it should be fed in the straw.
During the Atlanta campaign we were supplied by our regular
commissaries with all sorts of patent compounds, such as desiccated
vegetables, and concentrated milk, meat-biscuit, and sausages, but
somehow the men preferred the simpler and more familiar forms of
food, and usually styled these "desecrated vegetables and
consecrated milk."  We were also supplied liberally with
lime-juice, sauerkraut, and pickles, as an antidote to scurvy, and
I now recall the extreme anxiety of my medical director, Dr. Kittoe,
about the scurvy, which he reported at one time as spreading and
imperiling the army.  This occurred at a crisis about Kenesaw, when
the railroad was taxed to its utmost capacity to provide the
necessary ammunition, food, and forage, and could not possibly
bring us an adequate supply of potatoes and cabbage, the usual
anti-scorbutics, when providentially the black berries ripened and
proved an admirable antidote, and I have known the skirmish-line,
without orders, to fight a respectable battle for the possession of
some old fields that were full of blackberries.  Soon, thereafter,
the green corn or roasting-ear came into season, and I heard no
more of the scurvy.  Our country abounds with plants which can be
utilized for a prevention to the scurvy; besides the above are the
persimmon, the sassafras root and bud, the wild-mustard, the
"agave," turnip tops, the dandelion cooked as greens, and a
decoction of the ordinary pine-leaf.

For the more delicate and costly articles of food for the sick we
relied mostly on the agents of the Sanitary Commission.  I do not
wish to doubt the value of these organizations, which gained so
much applause during our civil war, for no one can question the
motives of these charitable and generous people; but to be honest I
must record an opinion that the Sanitary Commission should limit
its operations to the hospitals at the rear, and should never
appear at the front.  They were generally local in feeling, aimed
to furnish their personal friends and neighbors with a better class
of food than the Government supplied, and the consequence was, that
one regiment of a brigade would receive potatoes and fruit which
would be denied another regiment close by: Jealousy would be the
inevitable result, and in an army all parts should be equal; there
should be no "partiality, favor, or affection."  The Government
should supply all essential wants, and in the hospitals to the rear
will be found abundant opportunities for the exercise of all
possible charity and generosity.  During the war I several times
gained the ill-will of the agents of the Sanitary Commission
because I forbade their coming to the front unless they would
consent to distribute their stores equally among all, regardless of
the parties who had contributed them.

The sick, wounded, and dead of an army are the subjects of the
greatest possible anxiety, and add an immense amount of labor to
the well men.  Each regiment in an active campaign should have a
surgeon and two assistants always close at hand, and each brigade
and division should have an experienced surgeon as a medical
director.  The great majority of wounds and of sickness should be
treated by the regimental surgeon, on the ground, under the eye of
the colonel.  As few should be sent to the brigade or division
hospital as possible, for the men always receive better care with
their own regiment than with strangers, and as a rule the cure is
more certain; but when men receive disabling wounds, or have
sickness likely to become permanent, the sooner they go far to the
rear the better for all.  The tent or the shelter of a tree is a
better hospital than a house, whose walls absorb fetid and
poisonous emanations, and then give them back to the atmosphere.
To men accustomed to the open air, who live on the plainest food,
wounds seem to give less pain, and are attended with less danger to
life than to ordinary soldiers in barracks.

Wounds which, in 1861, would have sent a man to the hospital for
months, in 1865 were regarded as mere scratches, rather the subject
of a joke than of sorrow.  To new soldiers the sight of blood and
death always has a sickening effect, but soon men become accustomed
to it, and I have heard them exclaim on seeing a dead comrade borne
to the rear, "Well, Bill has turned up his toes to the daisies."
Of course, during a skirmish or battle, armed men should never
leave their ranks to attend a dead or wounded comrade--this should
be seen to in advance by the colonel, who should designate his
musicians or company cooks as hospital attendants, with a white rag
on their arm to indicate their office.  A wounded man should go
himself (if able) to the surgeon near at hand, or, if he need help,
he should receive it from one of the attendants and not a comrade.
It is wonderful how soon the men accustom themselves to these
simple rules.  In great battles these matters call for a more
enlarged attention, and then it becomes the duty of the division
general to see that proper stretchers and field hospitals are ready
for the wounded, and trenches are dug for the dead.  There should
be no real neglect of the dead, because it has a bad effect on the
living; for each soldier values himself and comrade as highly as
though he were living in a good house at home.

The regimental chaplain, if any, usually attends the burials from
the hospital, should make notes and communicate details to the
captain of the company, and to the family at home.  Of course it is
usually impossible to mark the grave with names, dates, etc., and
consequently the names of the "unknown" in our national cemeteries
equal about one-half of all the dead.

Very few of the battles in which I have participated were fought as
described in European text-books, viz., in great masses, in perfect
order, manoeuvring by corps, divisions, and brigades.  We were
generally in a wooded country, and, though our lines were deployed
according to tactics, the men generally fought in strong
skirmish-lines, taking advantage of the shape of ground, and of
every cover.  We were generally the assailants, and in wooded and
broken countries the "defensive" had a positive advantage over us,
for they were always ready, had cover, and always knew the ground
to their immediate front; whereas we, their assailants, had to
grope our way over unknown ground, and generally found a cleared
field or prepared entanglements that held us for a time under a
close and withering fire.  Rarely did the opposing lines in compact
order come into actual contact, but when, as at Peach-Tree Creek
and Atlanta, the lines did become commingled, the men fought
individually in every possible style, more frequently with the
musket clubbed than with the bayonet, and in some instances the men
clinched like wrestlers, and went to the ground together.
Europeans frequently criticised our war, because we did not always
take full advantage of a victory; the true reason was, that
habitually the woods served as a screen, and we often did not
realize the fact that our enemy had retreated till he was already
miles away and was again intrenched, having left a mere
skirmish-line to cover the movement, in turn to fall back to the
new position.

Our war was fought with the muzzle-loading rifle.  Toward the close
I had one brigade (Walcutt's) armed with breech-loading "Spencer's;"
the cavalry generally had breach-loading carbines, "Spencer's" and
"Sharp's," both of which were good arms.

The only change that breech-loading arms will probably make in the
art and practice of war will be to increase the amount of
ammunition to be expended, and necessarily to be carried along; to
still further "thin out" the lines of attack, and to reduce battles
to short, quick, decisive conflicts.  It does not in the least
affect the grand strategy, or the necessity for perfect
organization, drill, and discipline.  The companies and battalions
will be more dispersed, and the men will be less under the
immediate eye of their officers, and therefore a higher order of
intelligence and courage on the part of the individual soldier will
be an element of strength.

When a regiment is deployed as skirmishers, and crosses an open
field or woods, under heavy fire, if each man runs forward from
tree to tree, or stump to stump, and yet preserves a good general
alignment, it gives great confidence to the men themselves, for
they always keep their eyes well to the right and left, and watch
their comrades; but when some few hold back, stick too close or too
long to a comfortable log, it often stops the line and defeats the
whole object.  Therefore, the more we improve the fire-arm the more
will be the necessity for good organization, good discipline and
intelligence on the part of the individual soldier and officer.
There is, of course, such a thing as individual courage, which has
a value in war, but familiarity with danger, experience in war and
its common attendants, and personal habit, are equally valuable
traits, and these are the qualities with which we usually have to
deal in war.  All men naturally shrink from pain and danger, and
only incur their risk from some higher motive, or from habit; so
that I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the
measure of danger, and a mental willingness to incur it, rather
than that insensibility to danger of which I have heard far more
than I have seen.  The most courageous men are generally
unconscious of possessing the quality; therefore, when one
professes it too openly, by words or bearing, there is reason to
mistrust it.  I would further illustrate my meaning by describing a
man of true courage to be one who possesses all his faculties and
senses perfectly when serious danger is actually present.

Modern wars have not materially changed the relative values or
proportions of the several arms of service: infantry, artillery,
cavalry, and engineers.  If any thing, the infantry has been
increased in value.  The danger of cavalry attempting to charge
infantry armed with breech-loading rifles was fully illustrated at
Sedan, and with us very frequently.  So improbable has such a thing
become that we have omitted the infantry-square from our recent
tactics.  Still, cavalry against cavalry, and as auxiliary to
infantry, will always be valuable, while all great wars will, as
heretofore, depend chiefly on the infantry.  Artillery is more
valuable with new and inexperienced troops than with veterans.  In
the early stages of the war the field-guns often bore the
proportion of six to a thousand men; but toward the close of the
war one gun; or at most two, to a thousand men, was deemed enough.
Sieges; such as characterized the wars of the last century, are too
slow for this period of the world, and the Prussians recently
almost ignored them altogether, penetrated France between the
forts, and left a superior force "in observation," to watch the
garrison and accept its surrender when the greater events of the
war ahead made further resistance useless; but earth-forts, and
especially field-works, will hereafter play an important part in
war, because they enable a minor force to hold a superior one in
check for a time, and time is a most valuable element in all wars.
It was one of Prof. Mahan's maxims that the spade was as useful in
war as the musket, and to this I will add the axe.  The habit of
intrenching certainly does have the effect of making new troops
timid.  When a line of battle is once covered by a good parapet,
made by the engineers or by the labor of the men themselves, it
does require an effort to make them leave it in the face of danger;
but when the enemy is intrenched, it becomes absolutely necessary
to permit each brigade and division of the troops immediately
opposed to throw up a corresponding trench for their own protection
in case of a sudden sally.  We invariably did this in all our
recent campaigns, and it had no ill effect, though sometimes our
troops were a little too slow in leaving their well-covered lines
to assail the enemy in position or on retreat.  Even our
skirmishers were in the habit of rolling logs together, or of
making a lunette of rails, with dirt in front, to cover their
bodies; and, though it revealed their position, I cannot say that
it worked a bad effect; so that, as a rule, it may safely be left
to the men themselves: On the "defensive," there is no doubt of the
propriety of fortifying; but in the assailing army the general must
watch closely to see that his men do not neglect an opportunity to
drop his precautionary defenses, and act promptly on the
"offensive" at every chance.

I have many a time crept forward to the skirmish-line to avail
myself of the cover of the pickets "little fort," to observe more
closely some expected result; and always talked familiarly with the
men, and was astonished to see how well they comprehended the
general object, and how accurately they were informed of the sate
of facts existing miles away from their particular corps.  Soldiers
are very quick to catch the general drift and purpose of a
campaign, and are always sensible when they are well commanded or
well cared for.  Once impressed with this fact, and that they are
making progress, they bear cheerfully any amount of labor and

In camp, and especially in the presence of an active enemy, it is
much easier to maintain discipline than in barracks in time of
peace.  Crime and breaches of discipline are much less frequent,
and the necessity for courts-martial far less.  The captain can
usually inflict all the punishment necessary, and the colonel
should always.  The field-officers' court is the best form for war,
viz., one of the field-officers-the lieutenant-colonel or major
--can examine the case and report his verdict, and the colonel
should execute it.  Of course, there are statutory offenses which
demand a general court-martial, and these must be ordered by the
division or corps commander; but, the presence of one of our
regular civilian judge-advocates in an army in the field would be a
first-class nuisance, for technical courts always work mischief.
Too many courts-martial in any command are evidence of poor
discipline and inefficient officers.

For the rapid transmission of orders in an army covering a large
space of ground, the magnetic telegraph is by far the best, though
habitually the paper and pencil, with good mounted orderlies,
answer every purpose.  I have little faith in the signal-service by
flags and torches, though we always used them; because, almost
invariably when they were most needed, the view was cut off by
intervening trees, or by mists and fogs.  There was one notable
instance in my experience, when the signal-flags carried a message.
of vital importance over the heads of Hood's army, which had
interposed between me and Allatoona, and had broken the
telegraph-wires--as recorded in Chapter XIX.; but the value of the
magnetic telegraph in war cannot be exaggerated, as was illustrated
by the perfect concert of action between the armies in Virginia and
Georgia during 1864.  Hardly a day intervened when General Grant
did not know the exact state of facts with me, more than fifteen
hundred miles away as the wires ran.  So on the field a thin
insulated wire may be run on improvised stakes or from tree to tree
for six or more miles in a couple of hours, and I have seen
operators so skillful, that by cutting the wire they would receive
a message with their tongues from a distant station.  As a matter
of course, the ordinary commercial wires along the railways form
the usual telegraph-lines for an army, and these are easily
repaired and extended as the army advances, but each army and wing
should have a small party of skilled men to put up the field-wire,
and take it down when done.  This is far better than the
signal-flags and torches.  Our commercial telegraph-lines will
always supply for war enough skillful operators.

The value of railways is also fully recognized in war quite as much
as, if not more so than, in peace.  The Atlanta campaign would
simply have been impossible without the use of the railroads from
Louisville to Nashville--one hundred and eighty-five miles--from
Nashville to Chattanooga--one hundred and fifty-one miles--and from
Chattanooga to Atlanta--one hundred and thirty-seven miles.  Every
mile of this "single track" was so delicate, that one man could in
a minute have broken or moved a rail, but our trains usually
carried along the tools and means to repair such a break.  We had,
however, to maintain strong guards and garrisons at each important
bridge or trestle--the destruction of which would have necessitated
time for rebuilding.  For the protection of a bridge, one or two
log block houses, two stories high, with a piece of ordnance and a
small infantry guard, usually sufficed.  The block-house had a
small parapet and ditch about it, and the roof was made shot proof
by earth piled on.  These points could usually be reached only by a
dash of the enemy's cavalry, and many of these block houses
successfully resisted serious attacks by both cavalry and
artillery. The only block-house that was actually captured on the
main was the one described near Allatoona.  Our trains from
Nashville forward were operated under military rules, and ran about
ten miles an hour in gangs of four trains of ten cars each.  Four
such groups of trains daily made one hundred and sixty cars, of ten
tons each, carrying sixteen hundred tons, which exceeded the
absolute necessity of the army, and allowed for the accidents that
were common and inevitable.  But, as I have recorded, that single
stem of railroad, four hundred and seventy-three miles long,
supplied an army of one hundred thousand men and thirty-five
thousand animals for the period of one hundred and ninety-six days,
viz., from May 1 to November 12, 1864.  To have delivered regularly
that amount of food and forage by ordinary wagons would have
required thirty-six thousand eight hundred wagons of six mules
each, allowing each wagon to have hauled two tons twenty miles each
day, a simple impossibility in roads such as then existed in that
region of country.  Therefore, I reiterate that the Atlanta
campaign was an impossibility without these railroads; and only
then, because we had the men and means to maintain and defend them,
in addition to what were necessary to overcome the enemy.
Habitually, a passenger-car will carry fifty men with their
necessary baggage.  Box-cars, and even platform-cars, answer the
purpose well enough, but they, should always have rough
board-seats.  For sick and wounded men, box-cars filled with straw
or bushes were usually employed.  Personally, I saw but little of
the practical working of the railroads, for I only turned back once
as far as Resaca; but I had daily reports from the engineer in
charge, and officers who came from the rear often explained to me
the whole thing, with a description of the wrecked trains all the
way from Nashville to Atlanta.  I am convinced that the risk to
life to the engineers and men on that railroad fully equaled that
on the skirmish-line, called for as high an order of courage, and
fully equaled it in importance.  Still, I doubt if there be any
necessity in time of peace to organize a corps specially to work
the military railroads in time of war, because in peace these same
men gain all the necessary experience, possess all the daring and
courage of soldiers, and only need the occasional protection and
assistance of the necessary train-guard, which may be composed of
the furloughed men coming and going, or of details made from the
local garrisons to the rear.

For the transfer of large armies by rail, from one theatre of
action to another by the rear--the cases of the transfer of the
Eleventh and Twelfth Corps--General Hooker, twenty-three thousand
men--from the East to Chattanooga, eleven hundred and ninety-two
miles in seven days, in the fall of 1863; and that of the Army of
the Ohio--General Schofield, fifteen thousand men--from the valley
of the Tennessee to Washington, fourteen hundred miles in eleven
days, en route to North Carolina in January, 1865, are the best
examples of which I have any knowledge, and reference to these is
made in the report of the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, dated
November 22, 1865.

Engineer troops attached to an army are habitually employed in
supervising the construction of forts or field works of a nature
more permanent than the lines need by the troops in motion, and in
repairing roads and making bridges.  I had several regiments of
this kind that were most useful, but as a rule we used the
infantry, or employed parties of freedmen, who worked on the
trenches at night while the soldiers slept, and these in turn
rested by day.  Habitually the repair of the railroad and its
bridges was committed to hired laborers, like the English navies,
under the supervision of Colonel W. W. Wright, a railroad-engineer,
who was in the military service at the time, and his successful
labors were frequently referred to in the official reports of the

For the passage of rivers, each army corps had a pontoon-train with
a detachment of engineers, and, on reaching a river, the leading
infantry division was charged with the labor of putting it down.
Generally the single pontoon-train could provide for nine hundred
feet of bridge, which sufficed; but when the rivers were very wide
two such trains would be brought together, or the single train was
supplemented by a trestle-bridge, or bridges made on crib-work, out
of timber found near the place.  The pontoons in general use were
skeleton frames, made with a hinge, so as to fold back and
constitute a wagon-body.  In this same wagon were carried the
cotton canvas cover, the anchor and chains, and a due proportion of
the balks, cheeses, and lashings.  All the troops became very
familiar with their mechanism and use, and we were rarely delayed
by reason of a river, however broad.  I saw, recently, in
Aldershot, England, a very complete pontoon-train; the boats were
sheathed with wood and felt, made very light; but I think these
were more liable to chafing and damage in rough handling than were
our less expensive and rougher boats.  On the whole, I would prefer
the skeleton frame and canvas cover to any style of pontoon that I
have ever seen.

In relation to guards, pickets, and vedettes, I doubt if any
discoveries or improvements were made during our war, or in any of
the modern wars in Europe.  These precautions vary with the nature
of the country and the situation of each army.  When advancing or
retreating in line of battle, the usual skirmish-line constitutes
the picket-line, and may have "reserves," but usually the main line
of battle constitutes the reserve; and in this connection I will
state that the recent innovation introduced into the new infantry
tactics by General Upton is admirable, for by it each regiment,
brigade, and division deployed, sends forward as "skirmishers" the
one man of each set of fours, to cover its own front, and these can
be recalled or reenforced at pleasure by the bugle-signal.

For flank-guards and rear-guards, one or more companies should be
detached under their own officers, instead of making up the guard
by detailing men from the several companies.

For regimental or camp guards, the details should be made according
to existing army regulations; and all the guards should be posted
early in the evening, so as to afford each sentinel or vedette a
chance to study his ground before it becomes too dark.

In like manner as to the staff.  The more intimately it comes into
contact with the troops, the more useful and valuable it becomes.
The almost entire separation of the staff from the line, as now
practised by us, and hitherto by the French, has proved
mischievous, and the great retinues of staff-officers with which
some of our earlier generals began the war were simply ridiculous.
I don't believe in a chief of staff at all, and any general
commanding an army, corps, or division, that has a staff-officer
who professes to know more than his chief, is to be pitied.  Each
regiment should have a competent adjutant, quartermaster, and
commissary, with two or three medical officers.  Each brigade
commander should have the same staff, with the addition of a couple
of young aides-de-camp, habitually selected from the subalterns of
the brigade, who should be good riders, and intelligent enough to
give and explain the orders of their general.

The same staff will answer for a division.  The general in command
of a separate army, and of a corps d'armee, should have the same
professional assistance, with two or more good engineers, and his
adjutant-general should exercise all the functions usually ascribed
to a chief of staff, viz., he should possess the ability to
comprehend the scope of operations, and to make verbally and in
writing all the orders and details necessary to carry into effect
the views of his general, as well as to keep the returns and
records of events for the information of the next higher authority,
and for history.  A bulky staff implies a division of
responsibility, slowness of action, and indecision, whereas a small
staff implies activity and concentration of purpose.  The smallness
of General Grant's staff throughout the civil war forms the best
model for future imitation.  So of tents, officers furniture, etc.,
etc.  In real war these should all be discarded, and an army is
efficient for action and motion exactly in the inverse ratio of its
impedimenta.  Tents should be omitted altogether, save one to a
regiment for an office, and a few for the division hospital.
Officers should be content with a tent fly, improvising poles and
shelter out of bushes.  The tents d'abri, or shelter-tent, carried
by the soldier himself, is all-sufficient.  Officers should never
seek for houses, but share the condition of their men.

A recent message (July 18, 1874) made to the French Assembly by
Marshal MacMahon, President of the French Republic, submits a
projet de loi, with a report prepared by a board of French generals
on "army administration," which is full of information, and is as
applicable to us as to the French.  I quote from its very
beginning: "The misfortunes of the campaign of 1870 have
demonstrated the inferiority of our system....  Two separate
organizations existed with parallel functions--the 'general' more
occupied in giving direction to his troops than in providing for
their material wants, which he regarded as the special province of
the staff, and the 'intendant' (staff) often working at random,
taking on his shoulders a crushing burden of functions and duties,
exhausting himself with useless efforts, and aiming to accomplish
an insufficient service, to the disappointment of everybody.  This
separation of the administration and command, this coexistence of
two wills, each independent of the other, which paralyzed both and
annulled the dualism, was condemned.  It was decided by the board
that this error should be "proscribed" in the new military system.
The report then goes on at great length discussing the provisions.
of the "new law," which is described to be a radical change from
the old one on the same subject.  While conceding to the Minister
of War in Paris the general control and supervision of the entire
military establishment primarily, especially of the annual
estimates or budget, and the great depots of supply, it distributes
to the commanders of the corps d'armee in time of peace, and to all
army commanders generally in time of war, the absolute command of
the money, provisions, and stores, with the necessary staff-
officers to receive, issue, and account for them.  I quote further:
"The object of this law is to confer on the commander of troops
whatever liberty of action the case demands.  He has the power even
to go beyond the regulations, in circumstances of urgency and
pressing necessity.  The extraordinary measures he may take on
these occasions may require their execution without delay.  The
staff-officer has but one duty before obeying, and that is to
submit his observations to the general, and to ask his orders in

With this formality his responsibility ceases, and the
responsibility for the extraordinary act falls solely on the
general who gives the order.  The officers and agents charged with
supplies are placed under the orders of the general in command of
the troops, that is, they are obliged both in war and peace to
obey, with the single qualification above named, of first making
their observations and securing the written order of the general.

With us, to-day, the law and regulations are that, no matter what
may be the emergency, the commanding general in Texas, New Mexico,
and the remote frontiers, cannot draw from the arsenals a pistol-
cartridge, or any sort of ordnance-stores, without first procuring
an order of the Secretary of War in Washington.  The commanding
general--though intrusted with the lives of his soldiers and with
the safety of a frontier in a condition of chronic war--cannot
touch or be trusted with ordnance-stores or property, and that is
declared to be the law!  Every officer of the old army remembers
how, in 1861, we were hampered with the old blue army regulations,
which  tied our hands, and that to do any thing positive and
necessary we had to tear it all to pieces--cut the red-tape, as it
was called, a dangerous thing for an army to do, for it was
calculated to bring the law and authority into contempt; but war
was upon us, and overwhelming necessity overrides all law.

This French report is well worth the study of our army-officers, of
all grades and classes, and I will only refer again, casually, to
another part, wherein it discusses the subject of military
correspondence: whether the staff-officer should correspond
directly with his chief in Paris, submitting to his general copies,
or whether he should be required to carry on his correspondence
through his general, so that the latter could promptly forward the
communication, indorsed with his own remarks and opinions.  The
latter is declared by the board to be the only safe role, because
"the general should never be ignorant of any thing that is
transpiring that concerns his command."

In this country, as in France, Congress controls the great
questions of war and peace, makes all laws for the creation and
government of armies, and votes the necessary supplies, leaving to
the President to execute and apply these laws, especially the
harder task of limiting the expenditure of public money to the
amount of the annual appropriations.  The executive power is
further subdivided into the seven great departments, and to the
Secretary of War is confided the general care of the military
establishment, and his powers are further subdivided into ten
distinct and separate bureaus.

The chiefs of these bureaus are under the immediate orders of the
Secretary of War, who, through them, in fact commands the army from
"his office," but cannot do so "in the field"--an absurdity in
military if not civil law.

The subordinates of these staff-corps and departments are selected
and chosen from the army itself, or fresh from West Point, and too
commonly construe themselves into the elite, as made of better clay
than the common soldier.  Thus they separate themselves more and
more from their comrades of the line, and in process of time
realize the condition of that old officer of artillery who thought
the army would be a delightful place for a gentleman if it were not
for the d-d soldier; or, better still, the conclusion of the young
lord in "Henry IV.," who told Harry Percy (Hotspur) that "but for
these vile guns he would himself have been a soldier."  This is all
wrong; utterly at variance with our democratic form of government
and of universal experience; and now that the French, from whom we
had copied the system, have utterly "proscribed" it, I hope that
our Congress will follow suit.  I admit, in its fullest force, the
strength of the maxim that the civil law should be superior to the
military in time of peace; that the army should be at all times
subject to the direct control of Congress; and I assert that, from
the formation of our Government to the present day, the Regular
Army has set the highest example of obedience to law and authority;
but, for the very reason that our army is comparatively so very
small, I hold that it should be the best possible, organized and
governed on true military principles, and that in time of peace we
should preserve the "habits and usages of war," so that, when war
does come, we may not again be compelled to suffer the disgrace,
confusion, and disorder of 1861.

The commanding officers of divisions, departments, and posts,
should have the amplest powers, not only to command their troops,
but all the stores designed for their use, and the officers of the
staff necessary to administer them, within the area of their
command; and then with fairness they could be held to the most
perfect responsibility.  The President and Secretary of War can
command the army quite as well through these generals as through
the subordinate staff-officers.  Of course, the Secretary would, as
now, distribute the funds according to the appropriation bills, and
reserve to himself the absolute control and supervision of the
larger arsenals and depots of supply.  The error lies in the law,
or in the judicial interpretation thereof, and no code of army
regulations can be made that meets the case, until Congress, like
the French Corps Legislatif, utterly annihilates and "proscribes"
the old law and the system which has grown up under it.

It is related of Napoleon that his last words were, "Tete d'armee!"
Doubtless, as the shadow of death obscured his memory, the last
thought that remained for speech was of some event when he was
directing an important "head of column."  I believe that every
general who has handled armies in battle most recall from his own
experience the intensity of thought on some similar occasion, when
by a single command he had given the finishing stroke to some
complicated action; but to me recurs another thought that is worthy
of record, and may encourage others who are to follow us in our
profession.  I never saw the rear of an army engaged in battle but
I feared that some calamity had happened at the front the apparent
confusion, broken wagons, crippled horses, men lying about dead and
maimed, parties hastening to and fro in seeming disorder, and a
general apprehension of something dreadful about to ensue; all
these signs, however, lessened as I neared the front, and there the
contrast was complete--perfect order, men and horses--full of
confidence, and it was not unusual for general hilarity, laughing,
and cheering.  Although cannon might be firing, the musketry
clattering, and the enemy's shot hitting close, there reigned a
general feeling of strength and security that bore a marked
contrast to the bloody signs that had drifted rapidly to the rear;
therefore, for comfort and safety, I surely would rather be at the
front than the rear line of battle.  So also on the march, the head
of a column moves on steadily, while the rear is alternately
halting and then rushing forward to close up the gap; and all sorts
of rumors, especially the worst, float back to the rear.  Old
troops invariably deem it a special privilege to be in the front
--to be at the "head of column"--because experience has taught them
that it is the easiest and most comfortable place, and danger only
adds zest and stimulus to this fact.

The hardest task in war is to lie in support of some position or
battery, under fire without the privilege of returning it; or to
guard some train left in the rear, within hearing but out of
danger; or to provide for the wounded and dead of some corps which
is too busy ahead to care for its own.

To be at the head of a strong column of troops, in the execution of
some task that requires brain, is the highest pleasure of war--a
grim one and terrible, but which leaves on the mind and memory the
strongest mark; to detect the weak point of an enemy's line; to
break through with vehemence and thus lead to victory; or to
discover some key-point and hold it with tenacity; or to do some
other distinct act which is afterward recognized as the real cause
of success.  These all become matters that are never forgotten.
Other great difficulties, experienced by every general, are to
measure truly the thousand-and-one reports that come to him in the
midst of conflict; to preserve a clear and well-defined purpose at
every instant of time, and to cause all efforts to converge to that

To do these things he must know perfectly the strength and quality
of each part of his own army, as well as that of his opponent, and
must be where he can personally see and observe with his own eyes,
and judge with his own mind.  No man can properly command an army
from the rear, he must be "at its front;" and when a detachment is
made, the commander thereof should be informed of the object to be
accomplished, and left as free as possible to execute it in his own
way; and when an army is divided up into several parts, the
superior should always attend that one which he regards as most
important.  Some men think that modern armies may be so regulated
that a general can sit in an office and play on his several columns
as on the keys of a piano; this is a fearful mistake.  The
directing mind must be at the very head of the army--must be seen
there, and the effect of his mind and personal energy must be felt
by every officer and man present with it, to secure the best
results.  Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in
humiliation and disaster.

Lastly, mail facilities should be kept up with an army if possible,
that officers and men may receive and send letters to their
friends, thus maintaining the home influence of infinite assistance
to discipline.  Newspaper correspondents with an army, as a rule,
are mischievous.  They are the world's gossips, pick up and retail
the camp scandal, and gradually drift to the headquarters of some
general, who finds it easier to make reputation at home than with
his own corps or division.  They are also tempted to prophesy
events and state facts which, to an enemy, reveal a purpose in time
to guard against it.  Moreover, they are always bound to see facts
colored by the partisan or political character of their own
patrons, and thus bring army officers into the political
controversies of the day, which are always mischievous and wrong.
Yet, so greedy are the people at large for war news, that it is
doubtful whether any army commander can exclude all reporters,
without bringing down on himself a clamor that may imperil his own
safety.  Time and moderation must bring a just solution to this
modern difficulty.



In the foregoing pages I have endeavored to describe the public
events in which I was an actor or spectator before and during the
civil war of 1861-'65, and it now only remains for me to treat of
similar matters of general interest subsequent to the civil war.
Within a few days of the grand review of May 24, 1865, I took leave
of the army at Washington, and with my family went to Chicago to
attend a fair held in the interest of the families of soldiers
impoverished by the war.  I remained there about two weeks; on the
22d of June was at South Bend, Indiana, where two of my children
were at school, and reached my native place, Lancaster, Ohio, on
the 24th.  On the 4th of July I visited at Louisville, Kentucky,
the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Army Corps,
which had come from Washington, under the command of General John
A. Logan, for "muster out," or "further orders."  I then made a
short visit to General George H. Thomas at Nashville, and returned
to Lancaster, where I remained with the family till the receipt of
General Orders No. 118 of June 27, 1865, which divided the whole
territory of the United States into nineteen departments and five
military divisions, the second of which was the military division
of the "Mississippi," afterward changed to "Missouri," Major-
General W. T. Sherman to command, with, headquarters at St. Louis,
to embrace the Departments of the Ohio, Missouri, and Arkansas.

This territorial command included the States north of the Ohio
River, and the States and Territories north of Texas, as far west
as the Rocky Mountains, including Montana, Utah, and New Mexico,
but the part east of the Mississippi was soon transferred to
another division.  The department commanders were General E. O. C.
Ord, at Detroit; General John Pope, at Fort Leavenworth; and
General J. J. Reynolds, at Little Rock, but these also were soon
changed.  I at once assumed command, and ordered my staff and
headquarters from Washington to St. Louis, Missouri, going there in
person on the 16th of July.

My thoughts and feelings at once reverted to the construction of
the great Pacific Railway, which had been chartered by Congress in
the midst of war, and was then in progress.  I put myself in
communication with the parties engaged in the work, visiting them
in person, and assured them that I would afford them all possible
assistance and encouragement.  Dr. Durant, the leading man of the
Union Pacific, seemed to me a person of ardent nature, of great
ability and energy, enthusiastic in his undertaking, and determined
to build the road from Omaha to San Francisco.  He had an able
corps of assistants, collecting materials, letting out contracts
for ties, grading, etc., and I attended the celebration of the
first completed division of sixteen and a half miles, from Omaha to
Papillon.  When the orators spoke so confidently of the
determination to build two thousand miles of railway across the
plains, mountains, and desert, devoid of timber, with no
population, but on the contrary raided by the bold and bloody Sioux
and Cheyennes, who had almost successfully defied our power for
half a century, I was disposed to treat it jocularly, because I
could not help recall our California experience of 1855-'56, when
we celebrated the completion of twenty-two and a half miles of the
same road eastward of Sacramento; on which occasion Edward Baker
had electrified us by his unequalled oratory, painting the glorious
things which would result from uniting the Western coast with the
East by bands of iron.  Baker then, with a poet's imagination, saw
the vision of the mighty future, but not the gulf which meantime
was destined to swallow up half a million of the brightest and best
youth of our land, and that he himself would be one of the first
victims far away on the banks of the Potomac (he was killed in
battle at Balls Bluff, October 21, 1861).

The Kansas Pacific was designed to unite with the main branch about
the 100 deg. meridian, near Fort Kearney.  Mr. Shoemaker was its
general superintendent and building contractor, and this branch in
1865 was finished about forty miles to a point near Lawrence,
Kansas.  I may not be able to refer to these roads again except
incidentally, and will, therefore, record here that the location of
this branch afterward was changed from the Republican to the Smoky
Hill Fork of the Kansas River, and is now the main line to Denver.
The Union and Central Railroads from the beginning were pushed with
a skill, vigor, and courage which always commanded my admiration,
the two meeting at Promontory Point, Utah, July 15, 1869, and in my
judgment constitute one of the greatest and most beneficent
achievements of man on earth.

The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad was deemed so
important that the President, at my suggestion, constituted on the
5th of March, 1866, the new Department of the Platte, General P.
St. George Cooke commanding, succeeded by General C. C. Augur,
headquarters at Omaha, with orders to give ample protection to the
working-parties, and to afford every possible assistance in the
construction of the road; and subsequently in like manner the
Department of Dakota was constituted, General A. H. Terry
commanding, with headquarters at St. Paul, to give similar
protection and encouragement to the Northern Pacific Railroad.
These departments, with changed commanders, have continued up to
the present day, and have fulfilled perfectly the uses for which
they were designed.

During the years 1865 and 1866 the great plains remained almost in
a state of nature, being the pasture-fields of about ten million
buffalo, deer, elk, and antelope, and were in full possession of
the Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and Kiowas, a race of bold
Indians, who saw plainly that the construction of two parallel
railroads right through their country would prove destructive to
the game on which they subsisted, and consequently fatal to

The troops were posted to the best advantage to protect the parties
engaged in building these roads, and in person I reconnoitred well
to the front, traversing the buffalo regions from south to north,
and from east to west, often with a very small escort, mingling
with the Indians whenever safe, and thereby gained personal
knowledge of matters which enabled me to use the troops to the best
advantage.  I am sure that without the courage and activity of the
department commanders with the small bodies of regular troops on
the plains during the years 1866-'69, the Pacific Railroads could
not have been built; but once built and in full operation the fate
of the buffalo and Indian was settled for all time to come.

At the close of the civil war there were one million five hundred
and sixteen names on the muster-rolls, of which seven hundred and
ninety-seven thousand eight hundred and seven were present, and two
hundred and two thousand seven hundred and nine absent, of which
twenty-two thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine were regulars, the
others were volunteers, colored troops, and veteran reserves.  The
regulars consisted of six regiments of cavalry, five of artillery,
and nineteen of infantry.  By the act of July 28, 1866, the peace
establishment was fixed at one general (Grant), one lieutenant-
general (Sherman), five major-generals (Halleck, Meade, Sheridan,
Thomas, and Hancock), ten brigadiers (McDowell, Cooke, Pope,
Hooker, Schofield, Howard, Terry, Ord, Canby, and Rousseau), ten
regiments of cavalry, five of artillery, and forty-five of
infantry, admitting of an aggregate force of fifty-four thousand
six hundred and forty-one men.

All others were mustered out, and thus were remanded to their homes
nearly a million of strong, vigorous men who had imbibed the
somewhat erratic habits of the soldier; these were of every
profession and trade in life, who, on regaining their homes, found
their places occupied by others, that their friends and neighbors
were different, and that they themselves had changed.  They
naturally looked for new homes to the great West, to the new
Territories and States as far as the Pacific coast, and we realize
to-day that the vigorous men who control Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota,
Montana, Colorado, etc., etc., were soldiers of the civil war.
These men flocked to the plains, and were rather stimulated than
retarded by the danger of an Indian war.  This was another potent
agency in producing the result we enjoy to-day, in having in so
short a time replaced the wild buffaloes by more numerous herds of
tame cattle, and by substituting for the useless Indians the
intelligent owners of productive farms and cattle-ranches.

While these great changes were being wrought at the West, in the
East politics had resumed full sway, and all the methods of
anti-war times had been renewed.  President Johnson had differed
with his party as to the best method of reconstructing the State
governments of the South, which had been destroyed and impoverished
by the war, and the press began to agitate the question of the next
President.  Of course, all Union men naturally turned to General
Grant, and the result was jealousy of him by the personal friends
of President Johnson and some of his cabinet.  Mr. Johnson always
seemed very patriotic and friendly, and I believed him honest and
sincere in his declared purpose to follow strictly the Constitution
of the United States in restoring the Southern States to their
normal place in the Union; but the same cordial friendship
subsisted between General Grant and myself, which was the outgrowth
of personal relations dating back to 1839.  So I resolved to keep
out of this conflict.  In September, 1866, I was in the mountains
of New Mexico, when a message reached me that I was wanted at
Washington.  I had with me a couple of officers and half a dozen
soldiers as escort, and traveled down the Arkansas, through the
Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes, all more or less
disaffected, but reached St. Louis in safety, and proceeded to
Washington, where I reported to General Grant.

He explained to me that President Johnson wanted to see me.  He did
not know the why or wherefore, but supposed it had some connection
with an order he (General Grant) had received to escort the newly
appointed Minister, Hon. Lew Campbell, of Ohio, to the court of
Juarez, the President-elect of Mexico, which country was still in
possession of the Emperor Maximilian, supported by a corps of
French troops commanded by General Bazaine.  General Grant denied
the right of the President to order him on a diplomatic mission
unattended by troops; said that he had thought the matter over,
world disobey the order, and stand the consequences.  He manifested
much feeling; and said it was a plot to get rid of him.  I then
went to President Johnson, who treated me with great cordiality,
and said that he was very glad I had come; that General Grant was
about to go to Mexico on business of importance, and he wanted me
at Washington to command the army in General Grant's absence.  I
then informed him that General Grant would not go, and he seemed
amazed; said that it was generally understood that General Grant
construed the occupation of the territories of our neighbor,
Mexico, by French troops, and the establishment of an empire
therein, with an Austrian prince at its head, as hostile to
republican America, and that the Administration had arranged with
the French Government for the withdrawal of Bazaine's troops, which
would leave the country free for the President-elect Juarez to
reoccupy the city of Mexico, etc., etc.; that Mr. Campbell had been
accredited to Juarez, and the fact that he was accompanied by so
distinguished a soldier as General Grant would emphasize the act of
the United States.  I simply reiterated that General Grant would
not go, and that he, Mr. Johnson, could not afford to quarrel with
him at that time.  I further argued that General Grant was at the
moment engaged on the most delicate and difficult task of
reorganizing the army under the act of July 28, 1866; that if the
real object was to put Mr. Campbell in official communication with
President Juarez, supposed to be at El Paso or Monterey, either
General Hancock, whose command embraced New Mexico, or General
Sheridan, whose command included Texas, could fulfill the object
perfectly; or, in the event of neither of these alternates proving
satisfactory to the Secretary of State, that I could be easier
spared than General Grant.  "Certainly," answered the President,
"if you will go, that will answer perfectly."

The instructions of the Secretary of State, W. H. Seward, to Hon.
Lewis D.  Campbell, Minister to Mexico, dated October 25, 1866; a
letter from President Johnson to Secretary of War Stanton, dated
October 26, 1866; and the letter of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of
War, to General Grant, dated October 27th, had been already
prepared and printed, and the originals or copies were furnished
me; but on the 30th of October, 1866, the following letter passed


WASHINGTON, D. C., October 30,1866.

SIR: General Ulysses S. Grant having found it inconvenient to
assume the duties specified in my letter to you of the 26th inst.,
you will please relieve him, and assign them in all respects to
William T. Sherman, Lieutenant-General of the Army of the United
States.  By way of guiding General Sherman in the performance of
his duties, you will furnish him with a copy of your special orders
to General Grant made in compliance with my letter of the 26th
inst., together with a copy of the instructions of the Secretary of
State to Lewis D. Campbell, Esq., therein mentioned.

The lieutenant-general will proceed to the execution of his duties
without delay.

Very respectfully yours,

To the Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

At the Navy Department I learned that the United States ship
Susquehanna, Captain Alden, was fitting out in New York for the use
of this mission, and that there would be time for me to return to
St. Louis to make arrangements for a prolonged absence, as also to
communicate with Mr. Campbell, who was still at his home in
Hamilton, Ohio.  By correspondence we agreed to meet in New York,
November 8th, he accompanied by Mr. Plumb, secretary of legation,
and I by my aide, Colonel Audenried.

We embarked November 10th, and went to sea next day, making for
Havana and Vera Cruz, and, as soon as we were outside of Sandy
Hook, I explained to Captain Alden that my mission was ended,
because I believed by substituting myself for General Grant I had
prevented a serious quarrel between him and the Administration,
which was unnecessary.  We reached Havana on the 18th, with nothing
to vary the monotony of an ordinary sea-voyage, except off Hatteras
we picked up one woman and twenty men from open boats, who had just
abandoned a propeller bound from Baltimore to Charleston which
foundered.  The sea was very rough, but by the personal skill and
supervision of Captain Alden every soul reached our deck safely,
and was carried to our consul at Havana.  At Havana we were very
handsomely entertained, especially by Senor Aldama, who took us by
rail to his sugar-estates at Santa Ross, and back by Matanzas.

We took our departure thence on the 25th, and anchored under Isla
Verde, off Vera Cruz, on the 29th.

Everything about Vera Cruz indicated the purpose of the French to
withdraw, and also that the Emperor Maximilian would precede them,
for the Austrian frigate Dandolo was in port, and an Austrian bark,
on which were received, according to the report of our consul, Mr.
Lane, as many as eleven hundred packages of private furniture to be
transferred to Miramar, Maximilian's home; and Lieutenant Clarin,
of the French navy, who visited the Susquehanna from the French
commodore, Clouet, told me, without reserve, that, if we had
delayed eight days more, we would have found Maximilian gone.
General Bazaine was reported to be in the city of Mexico with about
twenty-eight thousand French troops; but instead of leaving Mexico
in three detachments, viz., November, 1866, March, 1867, and
November, 1867, as described in Mr. Seward's letter to Mr.
Campbell, of October 25, 1866, it looked to me that, as a soldier,
he would evacuate at some time before November, 1867, all at once,
and not by detachments.  Lieutenant Clarin telegraphed Bazaine at
the city of Mexico the fact of our arrival, and he sent me a most
courteous and pressing invitation to come up to the city; but, as
we were accredited to the government of Juarez, it was considered
undiplomatic to establish friendly relations with the existing
authorities.  Meantime we could not hear a word of Juarez, and
concluded to search for him along the coast northward.  When I was
in Versailles, France, July, 1872, learning that General Bazaine
was in arrest for the surrender of his army and post at Metz, in
1870, I wanted to call on him to thank him for his courteous
invitation to me at Vera Cruz in 1866.  I inquired of President
Thiera if I could with propriety call on the marshal.  He answered
that it would be very acceptable, no doubt, but suggested for
form's sake that I should consult the Minister of War, General de
Cissey, which I did, and he promptly assented.  Accordingly, I
called with my aide, Colonel Audenried, on Marshal Bazaine, who
occupied a small, two-story stone house at Versailles, in an
inclosure with a high garden wall, at the front gate or door of
which was a lodge, in which was a military guard.  We were shown to
a good room on the second floor, where was seated the marshal in
military half-dress, with large head, full face, short neck, and
evidently a man of strong physique.  He did not speak English, but
spoke Spanish perfectly.  We managed to carry on a conversation in
which I endeavored to convey my sense of his politeness in inviting
me so cordially up to the city of Mexico, and my regret that the
peculiar duty on which I was engaged did not admit of a compliance,
or even of an intelligent explanation, at the time.  He spoke of
the whole Mexican business as a "sad affair," that the empire
necessarily fell with the result of our civil war, and that poor
Maximilian was sacrificed to his own high sense of honor.

While on board the Susquehanna, on the 1st day of December, 1866,
we received the proclamation made by the Emperor Maximilian at
Orizaba, in which, notwithstanding the near withdrawal of the
French troops, he declared his purpose to remain and "shed the last
drop of his blood in defense of his dear country."  Undoubtedly
many of the most substantial people of Mexico, having lost all
faith in the stability of the native government, had committed
themselves to what they considered the more stable government of
Maximilian, and Maximilian, a man of honor, concluded at the last
moment he could not abandon them; the consequence was his death.

Failing to hear of Juarez, we steamed up the coast to the Island of
Lobos, and on to Tampico, off which we found the United States
steamer Paul Jones, which, drawing less water than the Susquehanna,
carried us over the bar to the city, then in possession of the
Liberal party, which recognized Juarez as their constitutional
President, but of Juarez and his whereabout we could hear not a
word; so we continued up the coast and anchored off Brazos
Santiago, December 7th.  Going ashore in small boats, we found a
railroad, under the management of General J. R. West, now one of
the commissioners of the city of Washington, who sent us up to
Brownsville, Texas.  We met on the way General Sheridan, returning
from a tour of inspection of the Rio Grande frontier.  On Sunday,
December 9th, we were all at Matamoras, Mexico, where we met
General Escobedo, one of Juarez's trusty lieutenants, who developed
to us the general plan agreed on for the overthrow of the empire,
and the reestablishment of the republican government of Mexico.  He
asked of us no assistance, except the loan of some arms,
ammunition, clothing, and camp-equipage.  It was agreed that Mr.
Campbell should, as soon as he could get his baggage off the
Susquehanna, return to Matamoras, and thence proceed to Monterey,
to be received by Juarez in person as, the accredited Minister of
the United States to the Republic of Mexico.  Meantime the weather
off the coast was stormy, and the Susquehanna parted a cable, so
that we were delayed some days at Brazos; but in due time Mr.
Campbell got his baggage, and we regained the deck of the
Susquehanna, which got up steam and started for New Orleans.  We
reached New Orleans December 20th, whence I reported fully
everything to General Grant, and on the 21st received the following

WASHINGTON, December 21,1866.
Lieutenant-General SHERMAN, New Orleans.

Your telegram of yesterday has been submitted to the President.
You are authorized to proceed to St. Louis at your convenience.
Your proceedings in the special and delicate duties assigned you
are cordially approved by the President and Cabinet and this

And on the same day I received this dispatch

GALVESTON, December 21, 1866.
To General SHERMAN, or General SHERIDAN.

Will be in New Orleans to-morrow.  Wish to see you both on arrival,
on matters of importance.
LEWIS D. CAMPBELL, Minister to Mexico.

Mr. Campbell arrived on the 22d, but had nothing to tell of the
least importance, save that he was generally disgusted with the
whole thing, and had not found Juarez at all.  I am sure this whole
movement was got up for the purpose of getting General Grant away
from Washington, on the pretext of his known antagonism to the
French occupation of Mexico, because he was looming up as a
candidate for President, and nobody understood the animus and
purpose better than did Mr. Stanton.  He himself was not then on
good terms with President Johnson, and with several of his
associates in the Cabinet.  By Christmas I was back in St. Louis.

By this time the conflict between President Johnson and Congress
had become open and unconcealed.  Congress passed the bill known as
the "Tenure of Civil Office" on the 2d of March, 1867 (over the
President's veto), the first clause of which, now section 1767 of
the Revised Statutes, reads thus: "Every person who holds any civil
office to which he has been or hereafter may be appointed, by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate, and who shall have
become duly qualified to act therein, shall be entitled to hold
such office during the term for which he was appointed, unless
sooner removed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, or
by the appointment with the like advice and consent of a successor
in his place, except as herein otherwise provided."

General E. D. Townsend, in his "Anecdotes of the Civil War," states
tersely and correctly the preliminary circumstances of which I must
treat.  He says: "On Monday morning, August 5, 1867, President
Johnson invited Mr. Stanton to resign as Secretary of War.  Under
the tenure-of-civil-office law, Mr. Stanton declined.  The President
a week after suspended him, and appointed General Grant, General-
in-Chief of the Army, to exercise the functions.  This continued
until January 13, 1868, when according to the law the Senate passed
a resolution not sustaining the President's action.  The next
morning General Grant came to my office and handed me the key of
the Secretary's room, saying: 'I am to be found over at my office
at army headquarters.  I was served with a copy of the Senate
resolution last evening.'  I then went up-stairs and delivered the
key of his room to Mr. Stanton."

The mode and manner of Mr. Stanton's regaining his office, and of
General Grant's surrendering it, were at the time subjects of
bitter controversy.  Unhappily I was involved, and must bear
testimony.  In all January, 1868, I was a member of a board ordered
to compile a code of articles of war and army regulations, of which
Major-General Sheridan and Brigadier-General C. C. Augur were
associate members.  Our place of meeting was in the room of the old
War Department, second floor, next to the corner room occupied by
the Secretary of War, with a door of communication.  While we were
at work it was common for General Grant and, afterward, for Mr.
Stanton to drop in and chat with us on the social gossip of the

On Saturday, January 11th, General Grant said that he had more
carefully read the law (tenure of civil office), and it was
different from what he had supposed; that in case the Senate did
not consent to the removal of Secretary of War Stanton, and he
(Grant) should hold on, he should incur a liability of ten thousand
dollars and five years' imprisonment.  We all expected the
resolution of Senator Howard, of Michigan, virtually restoring Mr.
Stanton to his office, would pass the Senate, and knowing that the
President expected General Grant to hold on, I inquired if he had
given notice of his change of purpose; he answered that there was
no hurry, because he supposed Mr. Stanton would pursue toward him
(Grant) the same course which he (Stanton) had required of him the
preceding August, viz., would address him a letter claiming the
office, and allow him a couple of days for the change.  Still, he
said he would go to the White House the same day and notify the
President of his intended action.

That afternoon I went over to the White House to present General
Pope, who was on a visit to Washington, and we found the President
and General Grant together.  We made our visit and withdrew,
leaving them still together, and I always supposed the subject of
this conference was the expected decision of the Senate, which
would in effect restore Mr. Stanton to his civil office of
Secretary of War.  That evening I dined with the Hon. Reverdy
Johnson, Senator from Maryland, and suggested to him that the best
way to escape a conflict was for the President to nominate some
good man as Secretary of War whose confirmation by the Senate would
fall within the provisions of the law, and named General J. D. Cox,
then Governor of Ohio, whose term of office was drawing to a close,
who would, I knew, be acceptable to General Grant and the army
generally.  Mr. Johnson was most favorably impressed with this
suggestion, and promised to call on the President the next day
(Sunday), which he did, but President Johnson had made up his mind
to meet the conflict boldly.  I saw General Grant that afternoon at
his house on I Street, and told him what I had done, and so anxious
was he about it that he came to our room at the War Department the
next morning (Monday), the 13th, and asked me to go in person to
the White House to urge the President to send in the name of
General Cox.  I did so, saw the President, and inquired if he had
seen Mr. Reverdy Johnson the day before about General Cox.  He
answered that he had, and thought well of General Cox, but would
say no further.

Tuesday, January 14, 1868, came, and with it Mr. Stanton.  He
resumed possession of his former office; came into that where
General Sheridan, General Augur, and I were at work, and greeted us
very cordially.  He said he wanted to see me when at leisure, and
at half-past 10 A.M.  I went into his office and found him and
General Grant together.  Supposing they had some special matters of
business, I withdrew, with the remark that I was close at hand, and
could come in at any moment.  In the afternoon I went again into
Mr. Stanton's office, and we had a long and most friendly
conversation; but not one word was spoken about the
"tenure-of-office" matter.  I then crossed over Seventeenth Street
to the headquarters of the army, where I found General Grant, who
expressed himself as by no means pleased with the manner in which
Mr. Stanton had regained his office, saying that he had sent a
messenger for him that morning as of old, with word that "he wanted
to see him."  We then arranged to meet at his office the next
morning at half-past nine, and go together to see the President.

That morning the National Intelligencer published an article
accusing General Grant of acting in bad faith to the President, and
of having prevaricated in making his personal explanation to the
Cabinet, so that General Grant at first felt unwilling to go, but
we went.  The President received us promptly and kindly.  Being
seated, General Grant said, "Mr. President, whoever gave the facts
for the article of the Intelligencer of this morning has made some
serious mistakes."  The President: "General Grant, let me interrupt
you just there.  I have not seen the Intelligencer of this morning,
and have no knowledge of the contents of any article therein"
General Grant then went on: "Well, the idea is given there that I
have not kept faith with you.  Now, Mr. President, I remember, when
you spoke to me on this subject last summer, I did say that, like
the case of the Baltimore police commissioners, I did suppose Mr.
Stanton could not regain his office except by a process through the
courts."  To this the President assented, saying he "remembered the
reference to the case of the Baltimore commissioners," when General
Grant resumed: "I said if I changed my opinion I would give you
notice, and put things as they were before my appointment as
Secretary of War ad interim."

We then entered into a general friendly conversation, both parties
professing to be satisfied, the President claiming that he had
always been most friendly to General Grant, and the latter
insisting that he had taken the office, not for honor or profit,
but in the general interests of the army.

As we withdrew, at the very door, General Grant said, "Mr.
President, you should make some order that we of the army are not
bound to obey the orders of Mr. Stanton as Secretary of War," which
the President intimated he would do.

No such "orders" were ever made; many conferences were held, and
the following letters are selected out of a great mass to show the
general feeling at the time:

January 28,1868, Saturday.

To the President:

I neglected this morning to say that I had agreed to go down to
Annapolis to spend Sunday with Admiral Porter.  General Grant also
has to leave for Richmond on Monday morning at 6 A.M.

At a conversation with the General after our interview, wherein I
offered to go with him on Monday morning to Mr. Stanton, and to say
that it was our joint opinion be should resign, it was found
impossible by reason of his (General Grant) going to Richmond and
my going to Annapolis.  The General proposed this course: He will
call on you to-morrow, and offer to go to Mr. Stanton to say, for
the good of the Army and of the country, he ought to resign.  This
on Sunday.  On Monday I will again call on you, and, if you think
it necessary, I will do the same, viz., go to Mr. Stanton and tell
him he should resign.

If he will not, then it will be time to contrive ulterior measures.
In the mean time it so happens that no necessity exists for
precipitating matters.
Yours truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.

DEAR GENERAL: On the point of starting, I have written the above,
and will send a fair copy of it to the President.  Please retain
this, that in case of necessity I may have a copy.  The President
clearly stated to me that he relied on us in this category.

Think of the propriety of your putting in writing what you have to
say tomorrow, even if you have to put it in the form of a letter to
hand him in person, retaining a copy.  I'm afraid that acting as a
go-between for three persons, I may share the usual fate of
meddlers, at last get kinks from all.  We ought not to be involved
in politics, but for the sake of the Army we are justified in
trying at least to cut this Gordian knot, which they do not appear
to have any practicable plan to do.  In haste as usual,


January 29, 1888.

DEAR SHERMAN: I called on the President and Mr. Stanton to-day, but
without any effect.

I soon found that to recommend resignation to Mr. Stanton would
have no effect, unless it was to incur further his displeasure;
and, therefore, did not directly suggest it to him.  I explained to
him, however, the course I supposed he would pursue, and what I
expected to do in that case, namely, to notify the President of his
intentions, and thus leave him to violate the "Tenure-of-Office
Bill" if he chose, instead of having me do it.

I would advise that you say nothing to Mr. Stanton on the subject
unless he asks your advice.  It will do no good, and may embarrass
you.  I did not mention your name to him, at least not in
connection with his position, or what you thought upon it.

All that Mr. Johnson said was pacific and compromising.  While I
think he wanted the constitutionality of the "Tenure Bill" tested,
I think now he would be glad either to get the vacancy of Secretary
of War, or have the office just where it was during suspension.
Yours truly,


WASHINGTON D. C., January 27, 1868.

To the President.

DEAR SIR: As I promised, I saw Mr. Ewing yesterday, and after a
long conversation asked him to put down his opinion in writing,
which he has done and which I now inclose.

I am now at work on these Army Regulations, and in the course of
preparation have laid down the Constitution and laws now in force,
clearer than I find them elsewhere; and beg leave herewith to
inclose you three pages of printed matter for your perusal.  My
opinion is, if you will adopt these rules and make them an
executive order to General Grant, they will so clearly define the
duties of all concerned that no conflict can arise.  I hope to get
through this task in the course of this week, and want very much to
go to St. Louis.  For eleven years I have been tossed about so much
that I really do want to rest, study, and make the acquaintance of
my family.  I do not think, since 1857, I have averaged thirty days
out of three hundred and sixty-five at home.

Next summer also, in fulfillment of our promise to the Sioux, I
must go to Fort Phil Kearney early in the spring, so that, unless I
can spend the next two months at home, I might as well break up my
house at St. Louis, and give up all prospect of taking care of my

For these reasons especially I shall soon ask leave to go to St.
Louis, to resume my proper and legitimate command.  With great

W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 25, 1868.

MY DEAR GENERAL: I am quite clear in the opinion that it is not
expedient for the President to take any action now in the case of
Stanton.  So far as he and his interests are concerned, things are
in the best possible condition.  Stanton is in the Department, got
his secretary, but the secretary of the Senate, who have taken upon
themselves his sins, and who place him there under a large salary
to annoy and obstruct the operations of the Executive.  This the
people well enough understand, and he is a stench in the nostrils
of their own party.

I thought the nomination of Cox at the proper juncture would have
been wise as a peace-offering, but perhaps it would have let off
the Senate too easily from the effect of their arbitrary act.  Now
the dislodging of Stanton and filling the office even temporarily
without the consent of the Senate would raise a question as to the
legality of the President's acts, and he would belong to the
attacked instead of the attacking party.  If the war between
Congress and the President is to go on, as I suppose it is, Stanton
should be ignored by the President, left to perform his clerical
duties which the law requires him to perform, and let the party
bear the odium which is already upon them for placing him where he
is.  So much for the President.

As to yourself, I wish you as far as possible to keep clear of
political complications.  I do not think the President will require
you to do an act of doubtful legality.  Certainly he will not
without sanction of the opinion of his Attorney-General; and you
should have time, in a questionable case, to consult with me before
called upon to act.  The office of Secretary of War is a civil
office, as completely so as that of Secretary of State; and you as
a military officer cannot, I think, be required to assume or
exercise it. This may, if necessary, be a subject for further
consideration.  Such, however, will not, I think, be the case.
The appeal is to the people, and it is better for the President to
persist in the course he has for some time pursued--let the
aggressions all come from the other side; and I think there is no
doubt he will do so.  Affectionately,   T. EWING.

To--Lieutenant-General SHERMAN.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 31, 1868.

To the President:

Since our interview of yesterday I have given the subject of our
conversation all my thoughts, and I beg you will pardon my reducing
the same to writing.

My personal preferences, as expressed, were to be allowed to return
to St. Louis to resume my present command, because my command was
important, large, suited to my rank and inclination, and because my
family was well provided for there in house, facilities, schools,
living, and agreeable society; while, on the other hand, Washington
was for many (to me) good reasons highly objectionable, especially
because it is the political capital of the country; and focus of
intrigue, gossip, and slander.  Your personal preferences were, as
expressed, to make a new department East, adequate to my rank, with
headquarters at Washington, and assign me to its command, to remove
my family here, and to avail myself of its schools, etc.; to remove
Mr. Stanton from his office as Secretary of War, and have me to
discharge the duties.

To effect this removal two modes were indicated: to simply cause
him to quit the War-Office Building, and notify the Treasury
Department and the Army Staff Departments no longer to respect him
as Secretary of War; or to remove him and submit my name to the
Senate for confirmation.

Permit me to discuss these points a little, and I will premise by
saying that I have spoken to no one on the subject, and have not
even seen Mr. Ewing, Mr. Stanbery, or General Grant, since I was
with you.

It has been the rule and custom of our army, since the organization
of the government, that the second officer of the army should be at
the second (in importance) command, and remote from general
headquarters.  To bring me to Washington world put three heads to
an army, yourself, General Grant, and myself, and we would be more
than human if we were not to differ.  In my judgment it world ruin
the army, and would be fatal to one or two of us.

Generals Scott and Taylor proved themselves soldiers and patriots
in the field, but Washington was fatal to both.  This city, and the
influences that centre here, defeated every army that had its
headquarters here from 1861 to 1864, and would have overwhelmed
General Grant at Spottsylvania and Petersburg, had he not been
fortified by a strong reputation, already hard-earned, and because
no one then living coveted the place; whereas, in the West, we made
progress from the start, because there was no political capital
near enough to poison our minds, and kindle into life that craving,
itching for fame which has killed more good men than bullets.  I
have been with General Grant in the midst of death and slaughter
when the howls of people reached him after Shiloh; when messengers
were speeding to and from his army to Washington, bearing slanders,
to induce his removal before he took Vicksburg; in Chattanooga,
when the soldiers were stealing the corn of the starving mules to
satisfy their own hunger; at Nashville, when he was ordered to the
"forlorn hope" to command the Army of the Potomac, so often
defeated--and yet I never saw him more troubled than since he has
been in Washington, and been compelled to read himself a "sneak and
deceiver," based on reports of four of the Cabinet, and apparently
with your knowledge.  If this political atmosphere can disturb the
equanimity of one so guarded and so prudent as he is, what will be
the result with me, so careless, so outspoken as I am?  Therefore,
with my consent, Washington never.

As to the Secretary of War, his office is twofold.  As a Cabinet
officer he should not be there without your hearty, cheerful
assent, and I believe that is the judgment and opinion of every
fair-minded man.  As the holder of a civil office, having the
supervision of moneys appropriated by Congress and of contracts for
army supplies, I do think Congress, or the Senate by delegation
from Congress, has a lawful right to be consulted.  At all events,
I would not risk a suit or contest on that phase of the question.
The law of Congress, of March 2, 1867, prescribing the manner in
which orders and instructions relating to "military movements"
shall reach the army, gives you as constitutional Commander-in-
Chief the very power you want to exercise, and enables you to
prevent the Secretary from making any such orders and instructions;
and consequently he cannot control the army, but is limited and
restricted to a duty that an Auditor of the Treasury could perform.
You certainly can afford to await the result.  The Executive power
is not weakened, but rather strengthened.  Surely he is not such an
obstruction as would warrant violence, or even s show of force,
which would produce the very reaction and clamor that he hopes for
to save him from the absurdity of holding an empty office "for the
safety of the country."

This is so much as I ought to say, and more too, but if it produces
the result I will be more than satisfied, viz., that I be simply
allowed to resume my proper post and duties in St. Louis.  With
great respect, yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.

On the 1st of February, the board of which I was the president
submitted to the adjutant-general our draft of the "Articles of War
and Army Regulations," condensed to a small compass, the result of
our war experience.  But they did not suit the powers that were,
and have ever since slept the sleep that knows no waking, to make
room for the ponderous document now in vogue, which will not stand
the strain of a week's campaign in real war.

I hurried back to St. Louis to escape the political storm I saw
brewing.  The President repeatedly said to me that he wanted me in
Washington, and I as often answered that nothing could tempt me to
live in that center of intrigue and excitement; but soon came the

WASHINGTON, February 10, 1868.

DEAR GENERAL: I have received at last the President's reply to my
last, letter.  He attempts to substantiate his statements by his
Cabinet.  In this view it is important that I should have a letter
from you, if you are willing to give it, of what I said to you
about the effect of the "Tenure-of-Office Bill," and my object in
going to see the President on Saturday before the installment of
Mr. Stanton.  What occurred after the meeting of the Cabinet on the
Tuesday following is not a subject under controversy now;
therefore, if you choose to write down your recollection (and I
would like to have it) on Wednesday, when you and I called on the
President, and your conversation with him the last time you saw
him, make that a separate communication.

Your order to come East was received several days ago, but the
President withdrew it, I supposed to make some alteration, but it
has not been returned.
Yours truly,



WASHINGTON, D. C., February 18, 1868.

Lieutenant-General W. T. SHERMAN, St. Louis.

The order is issued ordering you to Atlantic Division.

U. S. GRANT, General.


St. Louis, February 14, 1868.

General U. S. GRANT, Washington, D. C.

Your dispatch is received informing me that the order for the
Atlantic Division has been issued, and that I am assigned to its
command.  I was in hopes I had escaped the danger, and now were I
prepared I should resign on the spot, as it requires no foresight
to predict such must be the inevitable result in the end.  I will
make one more desperate effort by mail, which please await.

W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.


WASHINGTON, February 14, 1868.
Lieutenant-General W. T. SHERMAN, St. Louis.

I think it due to you that your letter of January 31st to the
President of the United States should be published, to correct
misapprehension in the public mind about your willingness to come
to Washington.  It will not be published against your will.

(Sent in cipher.)


St. Louis, MISSOURI, February 14, 1868.

General U. S. GRANT, Washington, D. C.

Dispatch of to-day received.  Please await a letter I address this
day through you to the President, which will in due time reach the
public, covering the very point you make.

I don't want to come to Washington at all.

W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.


St. Loins, MISSOURI, February 14, 1868.

Hon. John SHERMAN, United States Senate, Washington, D.  C.

Oppose confirmation of myself as brevet general, on ground that it
is unprecedented, and that it is better not to extend the system of
brevets above major-general.  If I can't avoid coming to
Washington, I may have to resign.

W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 12, 1868.

The following orders are published for the information and guidance
of all concerned:

U. S. GRANT, General.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 12, 1868.

GENERAL: You will please issue an order creating a military
division to be styled the Military Division of the Atlantic, to be
composed of the Department of the Lakes, the Department of the
East, and the Department of Washington, to be commanded by
Lieutenant-General W. T. Sherman, with his headquarters at
Washington.  Until further orders from the President, you will
assign no officer to the permanent command of the Military Division
of the Missouri.

Respectfully yours,


Commanding Armies of The United States, Washington, D. C.

Major-General P. H. Sheridan, the senior officer in the Military
Division of the Missouri, will temporarily perform the duties of
commander of the Military Division of the Missouri in addition to
his duties of department commander.  By command of General Grant:

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

This order, if carried into effect, would have grouped in

1.  The President, constitutional Commander-in-Chief.

2.  The Secretary of War, congressional Commander-in-Chief.

3.  The General of the Armies of the United States.

4.  The Lieutenant-General of the Army.

5.  The Commanding General of the Department of Washington.

6.  The commander of the post-of Washington.

At that date the garrison of Washington was a brigade of infantry
and a battery of artillery.  I never doubted Mr. Johnson's
sincerity in wishing to befriend me, but this was the broadest kind
of a farce, or meant mischief.  I therefore appealed to him by
letter to allow me to remain where I was, and where I could do
service, real service, and received his most satisfactory answer.

St. Louis, MISSOURI, February 14, 1868.

General U. S. GRANT, Washington, D. C.

DEAR GENERAL: Last evening, just before leaving my office, I
received your note of the 10th, and had intended answering it
according to your request; but, after I got home, I got your
dispatch of yesterday, announcing that the order I dreaded so much
was issued.  I never felt so troubled in my life.  Were it an order
to go to Sitka, to the devil, to battle with rebels or Indians, I
think you would not hear a whimper from me, but it comes in such a
questionable form that, like Hamlet's ghost, it curdles my blood
and mars my judgment.  My first thoughts were of resignation, and I
had almost made up my mind to ask Dodge for some place on the
Pacific road, or on one of the Iowa roads, and then again various
colleges ran through my memory, but hard times and an expensive
family have brought me back to staring the proposition square in
the face, and I have just written a letter to the President, which
I herewith transmit through you, on which I will hang a hope of
respite till you telegraph me its effect.  The uncertainties ahead
are too great to warrant my incurring the expense of breaking up my
house and family here, and therefore in no event will I do this
till I can be assured of some permanence elsewhere.  If it were at
all certain that you would accept the nomination of President in
May, I would try and kill the intervening time, and then judge of
the chances, but I do not want you to reveal your plans to me till
you choose to do so.

I have telegraphed to John Sherman to oppose the nomination which
the papers announce has been made of me for brevet general.

I have this minute received your cipher dispatch of to-day, which I
have just answered and sent down to the telegraph-office, and the
clerk is just engaged in copying my letter to the President to go
with this.  If the President or his friends pretend that I seek to
go to Washington, it will be fully rebutted by letters I have
written to the President, to you, to John Sherman, to Mr. Ewing,
and to Mr. Stanbery.  You remember that in our last talk you
suggested I should write again to the President.  I thought of it,
and concluded my letter of January 31st, already delivered, was
full and emphatic.  Still, I did write again to Mr. Stanbery,
asking him as a friend to interpose in my behalf.  There are plenty
of people who know my wishes, and I would avoid, if possible, the
publication of a letter so confidential as that of January 31st, in
which I notice I allude to the President's purpose of removing Mr.
Stanton by force, a fact that ought not to be drawn out through me
if it be possible to avoid it.  In the letter herewith I confine
myself to purely private matters, and will not object if it reaches
the public in any proper way.  My opinion is, the President thinks
Mrs. Sherman would like to come to Washington by reason of her
father and brothers being there.  This is true, for Mrs. Sherman
has an idea that St. Louis is unhealthy for our children, and
because most of the Catholics here are tainted with the old secesh
feeling.  But I know better what is to our common interest, and
prefer to judge of the proprieties myself.  What I do object to is
the false position I would occupy as between you and the President.
Were there an actual army at or near Washington, I could be
withdrawn from the most unpleasant attitude of a "go-between," but
there is no army there, nor any military duties which you with a
host of subordinates can not perform.  Therefore I would be there
with naked, informal, and sinecure duties, and utterly out of
place.  This you understand well enough, and the army too, but the
President and the politicians, who flatter themselves they are
saving the country, cannot and will not understand.  My opinion is,
the country is doctored to death, and if President and Congress
would go to sleep like Rip Van Winkle, the country would go on
under natural influences, and recover far faster than under their
joint and several treatment.  This doctrine would be accounted by
Congress, and by the President too, as high treason, and therefore
I don't care about saying so to either of them, but I know you can
hear anything, and give it just what thought or action it merits.

Excuse this long letter, and telegraph me the result of my letter
to the President as early as you can.  If he holds my letter so
long as to make it improper for me to await his answer, also
telegraph me.

The order, when received, will, I suppose, direct me as to whom and
how I am to turn over this command, which should, in my judgment,
not be broken up, as the three departments composing the division
should be under one head.

I expect my staff-officers to be making for me within the hour to
learn their fate, so advise me all you can as quick as possible.

With great respect, yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.

To the President.

DEAR SIR: It is hard for me to conceive you would purposely do me
an unkindness unless under the pressure of a sense of public duty,
or because you do not believe me sincere.  I was in hopes, since my
letter to you of the 31st of January, that you had concluded to
pass over that purpose of yours expressed more than once in
conversation--to organize a new command for me in the East, with
headquarters in Washington; but a telegram from General Grant of
yesterday says that "the order was issued ordering you" (me) "to
Atlantic Division"; and the newspapers of this morning contain the
same information, with the addition that I have been nominated as
brevet general.  I have telegraphed my own brother in the Senate to
oppose my confirmation, on the ground that the two higher grades in
the army ought not to be complicated with brevets, and I trust you
will conceive my motives aright.  If I could see my way clear to
maintain my family, I should not hesitate a moment to resign my
present commission, and seek some business wherein I would be free
from these unhappy complications that seem to be closing about me,
spite of my earnest efforts to avoid them; but necessity ties my
hands, and I must submit with the best grace I can till I make
other arrangements.

In Washington are already the headquarters of a department, and of
the army itself, and it is hard for me to see wherein I can render
military service there.  Any staff-officer with the rank of major
could surely fill any gap left between these two military officers;
and, by being placed in Washington, I will be universally construed
as a rival to the General-in-Chief, a position damaging to me in
the highest degree.  Our relations have always been most
confidential and friendly, and if, unhappily, any cloud of
differences should arise between us, my sense of personal dignity
and duty would leave me no alternative but resignation.  For this I
am not yet prepared, but I shall proceed to arrange for it as
rapidly as possible, so that when the time does come (as it surely
will if this plan is carried into effect) I may act promptly.

Inasmuch as the order is now issued, I cannot expect a full
revocation of it, but I beg the privilege of taking post at New
York, or any point you may name within the new military division
other than Washington.  This privilege is generally granted to all
military commanders, and I see no good reason why I too may not ask
for it, and this simple concession, involving no public interest,
will much soften the blow, which, right or wrong, I construe as one
of the hardest I have sustained in a life somewhat checkered with
adversity.  With great respects yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Lieutenant-General.

WASHINGTON, D. C., 2 p.m., February 19, 1888.
Lieutenant-General W. T. SHERMAN, St. Louis, Missouri:

I have just received, with General Grant's indorsement of
reference, your letter to me of the fourteenth (14th) inst.

The order to which you refer was made in good faith, and with a
view to the best interests of the country and the service; as,
however, your assignment to a new military division seems so
objectionable, you will retain your present command.


On that same 19th of February he appointed Adjutant, General
Lorenzo Thomas to be Secretary of War ad interim, which finally
resulted in the articles of impeachment and trial of President
Johnson before the Senate.  I was a witness on that trial, but of
course the lawyers would not allow me to express any opinion of the
President's motives or intentions, and restricted me to the facts
set forth in the articles of impeachment, of which I was glad to
know nothing.  The final test vote revealed less than two thirds,
and the President was consequently acquitted.  Mr. Stanton
resigned.  General Schofield, previously nominated, was confirmed
as Secretary of War, thus putting an end to what ought never to
have happened at all.


On the 20th of July, 1867, President Johnson approved an act to
establish peace with certain hostile Indian tribes, the first
section of which reads as follows: "Be it enacted, etc., that the
President of the United States be and is hereby authorized to
appoint a commission to consist of three (3) officers of the army
not below the rank of brigadier-general, who, together with N. G.
Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John B.  Henderson,
chairman of the Committee of Indian Affairs of the Senate, S. F.
Tappan, and John B.  Sanborn, shall have power and authority to
call together the chiefs and head men of such bands or tribes of
Indians as are now waging war against the United States, or
committing depredations on the people thereof, to ascertain the
alleged reasons for their acts of hostility, and in their
discretion, under the direction of the President, to make and
conclude with said bands or tribes such treaty stipulations,
subject to the action of the Senate, as may remove all just causes
of complaint on their part, and at the same time establish security
for person and property along the lines of railroad now being
constructed to the Pacific and other thoroughfares of travel to the
Western Territories, and such as will most likely insure
civilization for the Indians, and peace and safety for the whites."

The President named as the military members Lieutenant-General
Sherman, Brigadier-Generals A. H. Terry and W. S. Harney.
Subsequently, to insure a full attendance, Brigadier-General C. C.
Augur was added to the commission, and his name will be found on
most of the treaties.  The commissioners met at St. Louis and
elected N. G. Taylor, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
president; J. B. Sanborn, treasurer; and A. S. H. White, Esq., of
Washington, D. C., secretary.  The year 1867 was too far advanced
to complete the task assigned during that season, and it was agreed
that a steamboat (St. John's) should be chartered to convey the
commission up the Missouri River, and we adjourned to meet at
Omaha.  In the St. John's the commission proceeded up the Missouri
River, holding informal "talks" with the Santees at their agency
near the Niobrara, the Yanktonnais at Fort Thompson, and the
Ogallallas, Minneconjous, Sans Arcs, etc., at Fort Sully.  From
this point runners were sent out to the Sioux occupying the country
west of the Missouri River, to meet us in council at the Forks of
the Platte that fall, and to Sitting Bull's band of outlaw Sioux,
and the Crows on the upper Yellowstone, to meet us in May, 1868, at
Fort Laramie.  We proceeded up the river to the mouth of the
Cheyenne and turned back to Omaha, having ample time on this
steamboat to discuss and deliberate on the problems submitted to
our charge.

We all agreed that the nomad Indians should be removed from the
vicinity of the two great railroads then in rapid construction, and
be localized on one or other of the two great reservations south of
Kansas and north of Nebraska; that agreements not treaties, should
be made for their liberal maintenance as to food, clothing,
schools, and farming implements for ten years, during which time we
believed that these Indians should become self-supporting.  To the
north we proposed to remove the various bands of Sioux, with such
others as could be induced to locate near them; and to the south,
on the Indian Territory already established, we proposed to remove
the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Comanches, and such others as we
could prevail on to move thither.

At that date the Union Pacific construction had reached the Rocky
Mountains at Cheyenne, and the Kansas Pacific to about Fort
Wallace.  We held council with the Ogallallas at the Forks of the
Platte, and arranged to meet them all the next spring, 1868.  In
the spring of 1868 we met the Crows in council at Fort Laramie, the
Sioux at the North Platte, the Shoshones or Snakes at Fort Hall,
the Navajos at Fort Sumner, on the Pecos, and the Cheyennes and
Arapahoes at Medicine Lodge.  To accomplish these results the
commission divided up into committees, General Augur going to the
Shoshones, Mr. Tappan and I to the Navajos, and the remainder to
Medicine Lodge.  In that year we made treaties or arrangements with
all the tribes which before had followed the buffalo in their
annual migrations, and which brought them into constant conflict
with the whites.

Mr. Tappan and I found it impossible to prevail on the Navajos to
remove to the Indian Territory, and had to consent to their return
to their former home, restricted to a limited reservation west of
Santa Fe, about old Fort Defiance, and there they continue unto
this day, rich in the possession of herds of sheep and goats, with
some cattle and horses; and they have remained at peace ever since.

A part of our general plan was to organize the two great
reservations into regular Territorial governments, with Governor,
Council, courts, and civil officers.  General Harney was
temporarily assigned to that of the Sioux at the north, and General
Hazen to that of the Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, etc.,
etc., at the south, but the patronage of the Indian Bureau was too
strong for us, and that part of our labor failed.  Still, the
Indian Peace Commission of 1867-'68 did prepare the way for the
great Pacific Railroads, which, for better or worse, have settled
the fate of the buffalo and Indian forever.  There have been wars
and conflicts since with these Indians up to a recent period too
numerous and complicated in their detail for me to unravel and
record, but they have been the dying struggles of a singular race
of brave men fighting against destiny, each less and less violent,
till now the wild game is gone, the whites too numerous and
powerful; so that the Indian question has become one of sentiment
and charity, but not of war.

The peace, or "Quaker" policy, of which so much has been said,
originated about thus: By the act of Congress, approved March
3,1869, the forty-five regiments of infantry were reduced to
twenty-five, and provision was made for the "muster out" of many of
the surplus officers, and for retaining others to be absorbed by
the usual promotions and casualties.  On the 7th of May of that
year, by authority of an act of Congress approved June 30, 1834,
nine field-officers and fifty-nine captains and subalterns were
detached and ordered to report to the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, to serve as Indian superintendents and agents.  Thus by an
old law surplus army officers were made to displace the usual civil
appointees, undoubtedly a change for the better, but most
distasteful to members of Congress, who looked to these
appointments as part of their proper patronage.  The consequence
was the law of July 15, 1870, which vacated the military commission
of any officer who accepted or exercised the functions of a civil
officer.  I was then told that certain politicians called on
President Grant, informing him that this law was chiefly designed
to prevent his using army officers for Indian agents, "civil
offices," which he believed to be both judicious and wise; army
officers, as a rule, being better qualified to deal with Indians
than the average political appointees.  The President then quietly
replied: "Gentlemen, you have defeated my plan of Indian
management; but you shall not succeed in your purpose, for I will
divide these appointments up among the religious churches, with
which you dare not contend."  The army officers were consequently
relieved of their "civil offices," and the Indian agencies were
apportioned to the several religious churches in about the
proportion of their--supposed strength--some to the Quakers, some
to the Methodists, to the Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians,
etc., etc.--and thus it remains to the present time, these
religious communities selecting the agents to be appointed by the
Secretary of the Interior.  The Quakers, being first named, gave
name to the policy, and it is called the "Quaker" policy to-day.
Meantime railroads and settlements by hardy, bold pioneers have
made the character of Indian agents of small concern, and it
matters little who are the beneficiaries.

As was clearly foreseen, General U. S. Grant was duly nominated,
and on the 7th of November, 1868, was elected President of the
United States for the four years beginning with March 4, 1869.

On the 15th and 16th of December, 1868, the four societies of the
Armies of the Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia, held a
joint reunion at Chicago, at which were present over two thousand
of the surviving officers and soldiers of the war.  The ceremonies
consisted of the joint meeting in Crosby's magnificent opera-house,
at which General George H. Thomas presided.  General W. W. Belknap
was the orator for the Army of the Tennessee, General Charles Cruft
for the Army of the Cumberland, General J. D. Cox for the Army of
the Ohio, and General William Cogswell for the Army of Georgia.
The banquet was held in the vast Chamber of Commerce, at which I
presided.  General Grant, President-elect, General J. M. Schofield,
Secretary of War, General H. W. Slocum, and nearly every general
officer of note was present except General Sheridan, who at the
moment was fighting the Cheyennes in Southern Kansas and the Indian

At that time we discussed the army changes which would necessarily
occur in the following March, and it was generally understood that
I was to succeed General Grant as general-in-chief, but as to my
successor, Meade, Thomas, and Sheridan were candidates.  And here I
will remark that General Grant, afterward famous as the "silent
man," used to be very gossipy, and no one was ever more fond than
he of telling anecdotes of our West Point and early army life.  At
the Chicago reunion he told me that I would have to come to
Washington, that he wanted me to effect a change as to the general
staff, which he had long contemplated, and which was outlined in
his letter to Mr. Stanton of January 29,1866, given hereafter,
which had been repeatedly published, and was well known to the
military world; that on being inaugurated President on the 4th of
March he would retain General Schofield as his Secretary of War
until the change had become habitual; that the modern custom of the
Secretary of War giving military orders to the adjutant-general and
other staff officers was positively wrong and should be stopped.
Speaking of General Grant's personal characteristics at that period
of his life, I recall a conversation in his carriage, when, riding
down Pennsylvania Avenue, he, inquired of me in a humorous way,
"Sherman, what special hobby do you intend to adopt?"  I inquired
what he meant, and he explained that all men had their special
weakness or vanity, and that it was wiser to choose one's own than
to leave the newspapers to affix one less acceptable, and that for
his part he had chosen the "horse," so that when anyone tried to
pump him he would turn the conversation to his "horse."  I answered
that I would stick to the "theatre and balls," for I was always
fond of seeing young people happy, and did actually acquire a
reputation for "dancing," though I had not attempted the waltz, or
anything more than the ordinary cotillon, since the war.

On the 24th of February, 1869, I was summoned to Washington,
arriving on the 26th, taking along my aides, Lieutenant-Colonels
Dayton and Audenried.

On the 4th of March General Grant was duly inaugurated President of
the United States, and I was nominated and confirmed as General of
the Army.

Major-General P. H. Sheridan was at the same time nominated and
confirmed as lieutenant-general, with orders to command the
Military Division of the Missouri, which he did, moving the
headquarters from St. Louis to Chicago; and General Meade was
assigned to command the Military Division of the Atlantic, with
headquarters at Philadelphia.

At that moment General Meade was in Atlanta, Georgia, commanding
the Third Military District under the "Reconstruction Act;" and
General Thomas, whose post was in Nashville, was in Washington on a
court of inquiry investigating certain allegations against General
A. B. Dyer, Chief of Ordnance.  He occupied the room of the second
floor in the building on the corner of H and Fifteenth Streets,
since become Wormley's Hotel.  I at the time was staying with my
brother, Senator Sherman, at his residence, 1321 K Street, and it
was my habit each morning to stop at Thomas's room on my way to the
office in the War Department to tell him the military news, and to
talk over matters of common interest.  We had been intimately
associated as "man and boy" for thirty-odd years, and I profess to
have had better opportunities to know him than any man then living.
His fame as the "Rock of Chickamauga" was perfect, and by the world
at large he was considered as the embodiment of strength, calmness,
and imperturbability.  Yet of all my acquaintances Thomas worried
and fretted over what he construed neglects or acts of favoritism
more than any other.

At that time he was much worried by what he supposed was injustice
in the promotion of General Sheridan, and still more that General
Meade should have an Eastern station, which compelled him to remain
at Nashville or go to the Pacific.  General Thomas claimed that all
his life he had been stationed in the South or remote West, and had
not had a fair share of Eastern posts, whereas that General Meade
had always been there.  I tried to get him to go with me to see
President Grant and talk the matter over frankly, but he would not,
and I had to act as a friendly mediator.  General Grant assured me
at the time that he not only admired and respected General Thomas,
but actually loved him as a man, and he authorized me in making up
commands for the general officers to do anything and everything to
favor him, only he could not recede from his former action in
respect to Generals Sheridan and Meade.

Prior to General Grant's inauguration the army register showed as
major-generals Halleck, Meade, Sheridan, Thomas, and Hancock.
Therefore, the promotion of General Sheridan to be lieutenant-
general did not "overslaugh" Thomas, but it did Meade and Halleck.
The latter did not expect promotion; General Meade did, but was
partially, not wholly, reconciled by being stationed at
Philadelphia, the home of his family; and President Grant assured
me that he knew of his own knowledge that General Sheridan had been
nominated major-general before General Meade, but had waived dates
out of respect for his age and longer service, and that he had
nominated him as lieutenant-general by reason of his special
fitness to command the Military Division of the Missouri, embracing
all the wild Indians, at that very moment in a state of hostility.
I gave General Thomas the choice of every other command in the
army, and of his own choice he went to San Francisco, California,
where he died, March 28, 1870.  The truth is, Congress should have
provided by law for three lieutenant-generals for these three
pre-eminent soldiers, and should have dated their commissions with
"Gettysburg," "Winchester," and "Nashville."  It would have been a
graceful act, and might have prolonged the lives of two most
popular officers, who died soon after, feeling that they had
experienced ingratitude and neglect.

Soon after General Grant's inauguration as President, and, as I
supposed, in fulfilment of his plan divulged in Chicago the
previous December, were made the following:

WASHINGTON, March 8, 1869.

General Orders No. 11:

The following orders of the President of the United States are
published for the information and government of all concerned:

WASHINGTON CITY, March 5, 1869.

By direction of the President, General William T. Sherman will
assume command of the Army of the United States.

The chiefs of staff corps, departments, and bureaus will report to
and act under the immediate orders of the general commanding the

Any official business which by law or regulation requires the
action of the President or Secretary of War will be submitted by
the General of the Army to the Secretary of War, and in general all
orders from the President or Secretary of War to any portion of the
army, line or staff, will be transmitted through the General of the

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Secretary of War.

By command of the General of the Army.

E.  D.  TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

On the same day I issued my General Orders No. 12, assuming command
and naming all the heads of staff departments and bureaus as
members of my staff, adding to my then three aides, Colonels McCoy,
Dayton, and Audenried, the names of Colonels Comstock, Horace
Porter, and Dent, agreeing with President Grant that the two latter
could remain with him till I should need their personal services or
ask their resignations.

I was soon made aware that the heads of several of the staff corps
were restive under this new order of things, for by long usage they
had grown to believe themselves not officers of the army in a
technical sense, but a part of the War Department, the civil branch
of the Government which connects the army with the President and

In a short time General John A. Rawlins, General Grant's former
chief of staff, was nominated and confirmed as Secretary of War;
and soon appeared this order:


WASHINGTON, March 27, 1869.

General Orders No.  28:

The following orders received for the War Department are published
for the government of all concerned:


WASHINGTON CITY, March 26, 1869.

By direction of the President, the order of the Secretary of War,
dated War Department, March 5, 1869, and published in General
Orders No. 11, headquarters of the army, Adjutant-General's Office,
dated March 8, 1869, except so much as directs General W. T.
Sherman to assume command of the Army of the United States, is
hereby rescinded.

All official business which by law or regulations requires the
action of the President or Secretary of War will be submitted by
the chiefs of staff corps, departments, and bureaus to the
Secretary of War.

All orders and instructions relating to military operations issued
by the President or Secretary of War will be issued through the
General of the Army.

JOHN A.  RAWLINS, Secretary of War.

By command of General SHERMAN:

E.  D.  TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Thus we were thrown back on the old method in having a double--if
not a treble-headed machine.  Each head of a bureau in daily
consultation with the Secretary of War, and the general to command
without an adjutant, quartermaster, commissary, or any staff except
his own aides, often reading in the newspapers of military events
and orders before he could be consulted or informed.  This was the
very reverse of what General Grant, after four years' experience in
Washington as general-in-chief, seemed to want, different from what
he had explained to me in Chicago, and totally different from the
demand he had made on Secretary of War Stanton in his complete
letter of January 29, 1866.  I went to him to know the cause: He
said he had been informed by members of Congress that his action,
as defined by his order of March 5th, was regarded as a violation
of laws making provision for the bureaus of the War Department;
that he had repealed his own orders, but not mine, and that he had
no doubt that General Rawlins and I could draw the line of
separation satisfactorily to us both.  General Rawlins was very
conscientious, but a very sick man when appointed Secretary of War.
Several times he made orders through the adjutant-general to
individuals of the army without notifying me, but always when his
attention was called to it he apologized, and repeatedly said to me
that he understood from his experience on General Grant's staff how
almost insulting it was for orders to go to individuals of a
regiment, brigade, division, or an army of any kind without the
commanding officer being consulted or even advised.  This habit is
more common at Washington than any place on earth, unless it be in
London, where nearly the same condition of facts exists.  Members
of Congress daily appeal to the Secretary of War for the discharge
of some soldier on the application of a mother, or some young
officer has to be dry-nursed, withdrawn from his company on the
plains to be stationed near home.  The Secretary of War, sometimes
moved by private reasons, or more likely to oblige the member of
Congress, grants the order, of which the commanding general knows
nothing till he reads it in the newspapers.  Also, an Indian tribe,
goaded by the pressure of white neighbors, breaks out in revolt.
The general-in-chief must reenforce the local garrisons not only
with men, but horses, wagons, ammunition, and food.  All the
necessary information is in the staff bureaus in Washington, but
the general has no right to call for it, and generally finds it
more practicable to ask by telegraph of the distant division or
department commanders for the information before making the formal
orders.  The general in actual command of the army should have a
full staff, subject to his own command.  If not, he cannot be held
responsible for results.

General Rawlins sank away visibly, rapidly, and died in Washington,
September 6,1869, and I was appointed to perform the duties of his
office till a successor could be selected.  I realized how much
easier and better it was to have both offices conjoined.

The army then had one constitutional commander-in-chief of both
army and navy, and one actual commanding general, bringing all
parts into real harmony.  An army to be useful must be a unit, and
out of this has grown the saying, attributed to Napoleon, but
doubtless spoken before the days of Alexander, that an army with an
inefficient commander was better than one with two able heads.  Our
political system and methods, however, demanded a separate
Secretary of War, and in October President Grant asked me to scan
the list of the volunteer generals of good record who had served in
the civil war, preferably from the "West."  I did so, and submitted
to him in writing the names of W. W. Belknap, of Iowa; G.  M.
Dodge, the Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad; and Lucius
Fairchild, of Madison, Wisconsin.  I also named General John W.
Sprague, then employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad in
Washington Territory.  General Grant knew them all personally, and
said if General Dodge were not connected with the Union Pacific
Railroad, with which the Secretary of War must necessarily have
large transactions, he would choose him, but as the case stood, and
remembering the very excellent speech made by General Belknap at
the Chicago reunion of December, 1868, he authorized me to
communicate with him to ascertain if he were willing to come to
Washington as Secretary of War.  General Belknap was then the
collector of internal revenue at Keokuk, Iowa.  I telegraphed him
and received a prompt and favorable answer.  His name was sent to
the Senate, promptly confirmed, and he entered on his duties
October 25,1869.  General Belknap surely had at that date as fair a
fame as any officer of volunteers of my personal acquaintance.  He
took up the business where it was left off, and gradually fell into
the current which led to the command of the army itself as of the
legal and financial matters which properly pertain to the War
Department.  Orders granting leaves of absence to officers,
transfers, discharges of soldiers for favor, and all the old
abuses, which had embittered the life of General Scott in the days
of Secretaries of War Marcy and Davis, were renewed.  I called his
attention to these facts, but without sensible effect.  My office
was under his in the old War Department, and one day I sent my
aide-de-camp, Colonel Audenried, up to him with some message, and
when he returned red as a beet, very much agitated, he asked me as
a personal favor never again to send him to General Belknap.  I
inquired his reason, and he explained that he had been treated with
a rudeness and discourtesy he had never seen displayed by any
officer to a soldier.  Colonel Audenried was one of the most
polished gentlemen in the army, noted for his personal bearing and
deportment, and I had some trouble to impress on him the patience
necessary for the occasion, but I promised on future occasions to
send some other or go myself.  Things went on from bad to worse,
till in 1870 I received from Mr. Hugh Campbell, of St. Louis, a
personal friend and an honorable gentleman, a telegraphic message
complaining that I had removed from his position Mr. Ward, post
trader at Fort Laramie, with only a month in which to dispose of
his large stock of goods, to make room for his successor.

It so happened that we of the Indian Peace Commission had been much
indebted to this same trader, Ward, for advances of flour, sugar,
and coffee, to provide for the Crow Indians, who had come down from
their reservation on the Yellowstone to meet us in 1868, before our
own supplies had been received.  For a time I could not-comprehend
the nature of Mr. Campbell's complaint, so I telegraphed to the
department commander, General C. C. Augur, at Omaha, to know if any
such occurrence had happened, and the reasons therefor.  I received
a prompt answer that it was substantially true, and had been
ordered by The Secretary of War.  It so happened that during
General Grant's command of the army Congress had given to the
general of the army the appointment of "post-traders."  He had
naturally devolved it on the subordinate division and department
commanders, but the legal power remained with the general of the
army.  I went up to the Secretary of War, showed him the
telegraphic correspondence, and pointed out the existing law in the
Revised Statutes.  General Belknap was visibly taken aback, and
explained that he had supposed the right of appointment rested with
him, that Ward was an old rebel Democrat, etc.; whereas Ward had
been in fact the sutler of Fort Laramie, a United States military
post, throughout the civil war.  I told him that I should revoke
his orders, and leave the matter where it belonged, to the local
council of administration and commanding officers.  Ward was
unanimously reelected and reinstated.  He remained the trader of
the post until Congress repealed the law, and gave back the power
of appointment to the Secretary of War, when of course he had to
go.  But meantime he was able to make the necessary business
arrangements which saved him and his partners the sacrifice which
would have been necessary in the first instance.  I never had any
knowledge whatever of General Belknap's transactions with the
traders at Fort Sill and Fort Lincoln which resulted in his
downfall.  I have never sought to ascertain his motives for
breaking with me, because he knew I had always befriended him while
under my military command, and in securing him his office of
Secretary of War.  I spoke frequently to President Grant of the
growing tendency of his Secretary of War to usurp all the powers of
the commanding general, which would surely result in driving me
away.  He as frequently promised to bring us together to agree upon
a just line of separation of our respective offices, but never did.

Determined to bring the matter to an issue, I wrote the following

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 17, 1870.

General W. W. BELKNAP, Secretary of War.

GENERAL: I must urgently and respectfully invite your attention
when at leisure to a matter of deep interest to future commanding
generals of the army more than to myself, of the imperative
necessity of fixing and clearly defining the limits of the powers
and duties of the general of the army or of whomsoever may succeed
to the place of commander-in-chief.

The case is well stated by General Grant in his letter of January
29, 1866, to the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, hereto appended,
and though I find no official answer recorded, I remember that
General Grant told me that the Secretary of War had promptly
assured him in conversation that he fully approved of his views as
expressed in this letter.

At that time the subject was much discussed, and soon after
Congress enacted the bill reviving the grade of general, which bill
was approved July 25, 1866, and provided that the general, when
commissioned, may be authorized under the direction and during the
pleasure of the President to command the armies of the United
States; and a few days after, viz., July 28, 1866, was enacted the
law which defined the military peace establishment.  The enacting
clause reads: "That the military peace establishment of the United
States shall hereafter consist of five regiments of artillery, ten
regiments of cavalry, forty-five regiments of infantry, the
professors and Corps of Cadets of the United States Military
Academy, and such other forces as shall be provided for by this
act, to be known as the army of the United States."

The act then recites in great detail all the parts of the army,
making no distinction between the line and staff, but clearly makes
each and every part an element of the whole.

Section 37 provides for a board to revise the army regulations and
report; and declares that the regulations then in force, viz.,
those of 1863, should remain until Congress "shall act on said
report;" and section 38 and last enacts that all laws and parts of
laws inconsistent with the provisions of this act be and the same
are hereby repealed.

Under the provisions of this law my predecessor, General Grant, did
not hesitate to command and make orders to all parts of the army,
the Military Academy, and staff, and it was under his advice that
the new regulations were compiled in 1868 that drew the line more
clearly between the high and responsible duties of the Secretary of
War and the general of the army.  He assured me many a time before
I was called here to succeed him that he wanted me to perfect the
distinction, and it was by his express orders that on assuming the
command of the army I specifically placed the heads of the staff
corps here in Washington in the exact relation to the army which
they would bear to an army in the field.

I am aware that subsequently, in his orders of March 26th, he
modified his former orders of March 5th, but only as to the heads
of bureaus in Washington, who have, he told me, certain functions
of office imposed on them by special laws of Congress, which laws,
of course, override all orders and regulations, but I did not
either understand from him in person, or from General Rawlins, at
whose instance this order was made, that it was designed in any way
to modify, alter, or change his purposes that division and
department commanders, as well as the general of the army, should
exercise the same command of the staff as they did of the line of
the army.

I need not remind the Secretary that orders and reports are made to
and from the Military Academy which the general does not even see,
though the Military Academy is specifically named as a part of that
army which he is required to command.  Leaves of absence are
granted, the stations of officers are changed, and other orders are
now made directly to the army, not through the general, but direct
through other officials and the adjutant-general.

So long as this is the case I surely do not command the army of the
United States, and am not responsible for it.

I am aware that the confusion results from the fact that the
thirty-seventh section of the act of July 28, 1866, clothes the
army regulations of 1863 with the sanction of law, but the next
section repeals all laws and parts of laws inconsistent with the
provisions of this act.  The regulations of 1863 are but a
compilation of orders made prior to the war, when such men as Davis
and Floyd took pleasure in stripping General Scott of even the
semblance of power, and purposely reduced him to a cipher in the
command of the army.

Not one word can be found in those regulations speaking of the
duties of the lieutenant-general commanding the army, or defining a
single act of authority rightfully devolving on him.  Not a single
mention is made of the rights and duties of a commander-in-chief of
the army.  He is ignored, and purposely, too, as a part of the
programme resulting in the rebellion, that the army without a
legitimate head should pass into the anarchy which these men were
shaping for the whole country.

I invite your attention to the army regulations of 1847, when our
best soldiers lived, among whom was your own father, and see
paragraphs 48 and 49, page 8, and they are so important that I
quote them entire:

"48.  The military establishment is placed under the orders of the
major-general commanding in chief in all that regards its
discipline and military control.  Its fiscal arrangements properly
belong to the administrative departments of the staff and to the
Treasury Department under the direction of the Secretary of War.

"49.  The general of the army will watch over the economy of the
service in all that relates to the expenditure of money, supply of
arms, ordnance and ordnance stores, clothing, equipments,
camp-equipage, medical and hospital stores, barracks, quarters,
transportation, Military Academy, pay, and subsistence: in short,
everything which enters into the expenses of the military
establishment, whether personal or material.  He will also see that
the estimates for the military service are based on proper data,
and made for the objects contemplated by law, and necessary to the
due support and useful employment of the army.  In carrying into
effect these important duties, he will call to his counsel and
assistance the staff, and those officers proper, in his opinion, to
be employed in verifying and inspecting all the objects which may
require attention.  The rules and regulations established for the
government of the army, and the laws relating to the military
establishment, are the guides to the commanding general in the
performance of his duties."

Why was this, or why was all mention of any field of duty for the
head of the army left out of the army regulations?  Simply because
Jefferson Davis had a purpose, and absorbed to himself, as
Secretary of War, as General Grant well says, all the powers of
commander-in-chief.  Floyd succeeded him, and the last regulations
of 1863 were but a new compilation of their orders, hastily
collected and published to supply a vast army with a new edition.

I contend that all parts of these regulations inconsistent with the
law of July 28, 1866, are repealed.

I surely do not ask for any power myself, but I hope and trust, now
when we have a military President and a military Secretary of War,
that in the new regulations to be laid before Congress next session
the functions and duties of the commander-in-chief will be so
clearly marked out and defined that they may be understood by
himself and the army at large.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, General.


WASHINGTON, January 29, 1866.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

From the period of the difficulties between Major-General (now
Lieutenant-General) Scott with Secretary Marcy, during the
administration of President Polk, the command of the army virtually
passed into the hands of the Secretary of War.

From that day to the breaking out of the rebellion the general-
in-chief never kept his headquarters in Washington, and could not,
consequently, with propriety resume his proper functions.  To
administer the affairs of the army properly, headquarters and the
adjutant-general's office must be in the same place.

During the war, while in the field, my functions as commander of
all the armies was never impaired, but were facilitated in all
essential matters by the Administration and by the War Department.
Now, however, that the war is over, and I have brought my head-
quarters to the city, I find my present position embarrassing and,
I think, out of place.  I have been intending, or did intend, to
make the beginning of the New Year the time to bring this matter
before you, with the view of asking to have the old condition of
affairs restored, but from diffidence about mentioning the matter
have delayed.  In a few words I will state what I conceive to be my
duties and my place, and ask respectfully to be restored to them
and it.

The entire adjutant-general's office should be under the entire
control of the general-in-chief of the army.  No orders should go
to the army, or the adjutant-general, except through the general-
in-chief.  Such as require the action of the President would be
laid before the Secretary of War, whose actions would be regarded
as those of the President.  In short, in my opinion, the general-
in-chief stands between the President and the army in all official
matters, and the Secretary of War is between the army (through the
general-in-chief) and the President.

I can very well conceive that a rule so long disregarded could not,
or would not, be restored without the subject being presented, and
I now do so respectfully for your consideration.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

General Belknap never answered that letter.

In August, 1870, was held at Des Moines, Iowa, an encampment of old
soldiers which I attended, en route to the Pacific, and at Omaha
received this letter:

LONG BRANCH, New Jersey, August 18,1870.

General W. T. SHERMAN.

DEAR GENERAL: Your letter of the 7th inst. did not reach Long
Branch until after I had left for St. Louis, and consequently is
just before me for the first time.  I do not know what changes
recent laws, particularly the last army bill passed, make in the
relations between the general of the army and the Secretary of War.

Not having this law or other statutes here, I cannot examine the
subject now, nor would I want to without consultation with the
Secretary of War.  On our return to Washington I have no doubt but
that the relations between the Secretary and yourself can be made
pleasant, and the duties of each be so clearly defined as to leave
no doubt where the authority of one leaves off and the other

My own views, when commanding the army, were that orders to the
army should go through the general.  No changes should be made,
however, either of the location of troops or officers, without the
knowledge of the Secretary of War.

In peace, the general commanded them without reporting to the
Secretary farther than he chose the specific orders he gave from
time to time, but subjected himself to orders from the Secretary,
the latter deriving his authority to give orders from the
President.  As Congress has the right, however, to make rules and
regulations for the government of the army, rules made by them
whether they are as they should be or not, will have to govern.  As
before stated, I have not examined the recent law.

Yours truly,


To which I replied:

OMAHA, NEBRASKA, September 2,1870.

General U. S. GRANT, Washington, D. C.

DEAR GENERAL: I have received your most acceptable letter of August
18th, and assure you that I am perfectly willing to abide by any
decision you may make.  We had a most enthusiastic meeting at Des
Moines, and General Bellknap gave us a fine, finished address.  I
have concluded to go over to San Francisco to attend the annual
celebration of the Pioneers, to be held on the 9th instant; from
there I will make a short tour, aiming to get back to St. Louis by
the 1st of October, and so on to Washington without unnecessary

Conscious of the heavy burdens already on you, I should refrain
from adding one ounce to your load of care, but it seems to me now
is the time to fix clearly and plainly the field of duty for the
Secretary of War and the commanding general of the army, so that we
may escape the unpleasant controversy that gave so much scandal in
General Scott's time, and leave to our successors a clear field.

No matter what the result, I promise to submit to whatever decision
you may make.  I also feel certain that General Belknap thinks he
is simply executing the law as it now stands, but I am equally
certain that he does not interpret the law reviving the grade of
general, and that fixing the "peace establishment" of 1868, as I
construe them.

For instance, I am supposed to control the discipline of the
Military Academy as a part of the army, whereas General Belknap
ordered a court of inquiry in the case of the colored cadet, made
the detail, reviewed the proceedings, and made his order, without
my knowing a word of it, except through the newspapers; and more
recently, when I went to Chicago to attend to some division
business, I found the inspector-general (Hardie) under orders from
the Secretary of War to go to Montana on some claim business.

All I ask is that such orders should go through me.  If all the
staff-officers are subject to receive orders direct from the
Secretary of War it will surely clash with the orders they may be
in the act of executing from me, or from their immediate

I ask that General Belknap draw up some clear, well-defined rules
for my action, that he show them to me before publication, that I
make on them my remarks, and then that you make a final decision.
I promise faithfully to abide by it, or give up my commission.

Please show this to General Belknap, and I will be back early in
October.  With great respect, your friend,


I did return about October 15th, saw President Grant, who said
nothing had been done in the premises, but that he would bring
General Belknap and me together and settle this matter.  Matters
went along pretty much as usual till the month of August, 1871,
when I dined at the Arlington with Admiral Alder and General
Belknap.  The former said he had been promoted to rear-admiral and
appointed to command the European squadron, then at Villa Franca,
near Nice, and that he was going out in the frigate Wabash,
inviting me to go along.  I had never been to Europe, and the
opportunity was too tempting to refuse.  After some preliminaries I
agreed to go along, taking with me as aides-de-camp Colonel
Audenried and Lieutenant Fred Grant.  The Wabash was being
overhauled at the Navy-Yard at Boston, and was not ready to sail
till November, when she came to New-York, where we all embarked
Saturday, November 11th.

I have very full notes of the whole trip, and here need only state
that we went out to the Island of Madeira, and thence to Cadiz and
Gibraltar.  Here my party landed, and the Wabash went on to Villa
Franca.  From Gibraltar we made the general tour of Spain to
Bordeaux, through the south of France to Marseilles, Toulon, etc.,
to Nice, from which place we rejoined the Wabash and brought ashore
our baggage.

From Nice we went to Genoa, Turin, the Mont Cenis Tunnel, Milan,
Venice, etc., to Rome.  Thence to Naples, Messina, and Syracuse,
where we took a steamer to Malta.  From Malta to Egypt and
Constantinople, to Sebastopol, Poti, and Tiflis.  At Constantinople
and Sebastopol my party was increased by Governor Curtin, his son,
and Mr. McGahan.

It was my purpose to have reached the Caspian, and taken boats to
the Volga, and up that river as far as navigation would permit, but
we were dissuaded by the Grand-Duke Michael, Governor-General of
the Caucasas, and took carriages six hundred miles to Taganrog, on
the Sea of Azof, to which point the railroad system of Russia was
completed.  From Taganrog we took cars to Moscow and St.
Petersburg.  Here Mr. Curtin and party remained, he being our
Minister at that court; also Fred Grant left us to visit his aunt
at Copenhagen.  Colonel Audenried and I then completed the tour of
interior Europe, taking in Warsaw, Berlin, Vienna, Switzerland,
France, England, Scotland, and Ireland, embarking for home in the
good steamer Baltic, Saturday, September 7, 1872, reaching
Washington, D. C., September 22d.  I refrain from dwelling on this
trip, because it would swell this chapter beyond my purpose.

When I regained my office I found matters unchanged since my
departure, the Secretary of War exercising all the functions of
commander-in-chief, and I determined to allow things to run to their
necessary conclusion.  In 1873 my daughter Minnie also made a trip
to Europe, and I resolved as soon as she returned that I would
simply move back to St. Louis to execute my office there as best I
could.  But I was embarrassed by being the possessor of a large
piece of property in Washington on I Street, near the corner of
Third, which I could at the time neither sell nor give away.  It
came into my possession as a gift from friends in New York and
Boston, who had purchased it of General Grant and transferred to me
at the price of $65,000.

The house was very large, costly to light, heat, and maintain, and
Congress had reduced my pay four or five thousand dollars a year,
so that I was gradually being impoverished.  Taxes, too, grew
annually, from about four hundred dollars a year to fifteen
hundred, besides all sorts of special taxes.

Finding myself caught in a dilemma, I added a new hall, and made
out of it two houses, one of which I occupied, and the other I
rented, and thus matters stood in 1873-'74.  By the agency of Mr.
Hall, a neighbor and broker, I effected a sale of the property to
the present owner, Mr. Emory, at a fair price, accepting about half
payment in notes, and the other half in a piece of property on E
Street, which I afterward exchanged for a place in Cite Brilliante,
a suburb of St. Louis, which I still own.  Being thus foot-loose,
and having repeatedly notified President Grant of my purpose, I
wrote the Secretary of War on the 8th day of May, 1874, asking the
authority of the President and the War Department to remove my
headquarters to St. Louis.

On the 11th day of May General Belknap replied that I had the
assent of the President and himself, inclosing the rough draft of
an order to accomplish this result, which I answered on the 15th,
expressing my entire satisfaction, only requesting delay in the
publication of the orders till August or September, as I preferred
to make the changes in the month of October.

On the 3d of September these orders were made:


General Orders No. 108.

With the assent of the President, and at the request of the
General, the headquarters of the armies of the United States will
be established at St. Louis, Missouri, in the month of October

The regulations and orders now governing the functions of the
General of the Army, and those in relation to transactions of
business with the War Department and its bureaus, will continue in

By order of the Secretary of War:

E.  D.  TOWNSEND, Adjutant-General.

Our daughter Minnie was married October 1, 1874, to Thomas W.
Fitch, United States Navy, and we all forthwith packed up and
regained our own house at St. Louis, taking an office on the corner
of Tenth and Locust Streets.  The only staff I brought with me were
the aides allowed by law, and, though we went through the forms of
"command," I realized that it was a farce, and it did not need a
prophet to foretell it would end in a tragedy.  We made ourselves
very comfortable, made many pleasant excursions into the interior,
had a large correspondence, and escaped the mortification of being
slighted by men in Washington who were using their temporary power
for selfish ends.

Early in March, 1676, appeared in all the newspapers of the day the
sensational report from Washington that Secretary of War Belknap
had been detected in selling sutlerships in the army; that he had
confessed it to Representative Blackburn, of Kentucky; that he had
tendered his resignation, which had been accepted by the President;
and that he was still subject to impeachment,--would be impeached
and tried by the Senate.  I was surprised to learn that General
Belknap was dishonest in money matters, for I believed him a brave
soldier, and I sorely thought him honest; but the truth was soon
revealed from Washington, and very soon after I received from Judge
Alphonso Taft, of Cincinnati, a letter informing me that he had
been appointed Secretary of War, and should insist on my immediate
return to Washington.  I answered that I was ready to go to
Washington, or anywhere, if assured of decent treatment.

I proceeded to Washington, when, on the 6th of April, were
published these orders:

General Orders No. 28.

The following orders of the President of the United States are
hereby promulgated for the information and guidance of all

The headquarters of the army are hereby reestablished at Washington
City, and all orders and instructions relative to military
operations or affecting the military control and discipline of the
army issued by the President through the Secretary of War, shall be
promulgated through the General of the Army, and the departments of
the Adjutant-General and the Inspector-General shall report to him,
and be under his control in all matters relating thereto.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E.  D.  TOWNSEND, Adjutant-General.

This was all I had ever asked; accordingly my personal staff were
brought back to Washington, where we resumed our old places; only I
did not, for some time, bring back the family, and then only to a
rented house on Fifteenth Street, which we occupied till we left
Washington for good.  During the period from 1876 to 1884 we had as
Secretaries of War in succession, the Hon's. Alphonso Taft, J. D.
Cameron, George W. McCrary, Alexander Ramsey, and R. T. Lincoln,
with each and all of whom I was on terms of the most intimate and
friendly relations.

And here I will record of Washington that I saw it, under the magic
hand of Alexander R. Shepherd, grow from a straggling, ill-paved
city, to one of the cleanest, most beautiful, and attractive cities
of the whole world.  Its climate is salubrious, with as much
sunshine as any city of America.  The country immediately about it
is naturally beautiful and romantic, especially up the Potomac, in
the region of the Great Falls; and, though the soil be poor as
compared with that of my present home, it is susceptible of easy
improvement and embellishment.  The social advantages cannot be
surpassed even in London, Paris, or Vienna; and among the resident
population, the members of the Supreme Court, Senate, House of
Representatives, army, navy, and the several executive departments,
may be found an intellectual class one cannot encounter in our
commercial and manufacturing cities.  The student may, without tax
and without price, have access, in the libraries of Congress and of
the several departments, to books of every nature and kind; and the
museums of natural history are rapidly approaching a standard of
comparison with the best of the world.  Yet it is the usual and
proper center of political intrigue, from which the army especially
should keep aloof, because the army must be true and faithful to
the powers that be, and not be subjected to a temptation to favor
one or other of the great parties into which our people have
divided, and will continue to divide, it may be, with advantage to
the whole.

It would be a labor of love for me, in this connection, to pay a
tribute of respect, by name, to the many able and most patriotic
officers with whom I was so long associated as the commanding
generals of military divisions and departments, as well as
staff-officers; but I must forego the temptation, because of the
magnitude of the subject, certain that each and all of them will
find biographers better posted and more capable than myself; and I
would also like to make recognition of the hundreds of acts of most
graceful hospitality on the part of the officers and families at
our remote military posts in the days, of the "adobe," the "jacal,"
and "dug-out," when a board floor and a shingle roof were luxuries
expected by none except the commanding officer.  I can see, in
memory, a beautiful young city-bred lady, who had married a poor
second-lieutenant, and followed him to his post on the plains,
whose quarters were in a "dug-out" ten feet by about fifteen, seven
feet high, with a dirt roof; four feet of the walls were the
natural earth, the other three of sod, with holes for windows and
corn-sacks for curtains.  This little lady had her Saratoga trunk,
which was the chief article of furniture; yet, by means of a rug on
the ground-floor, a few candle-boxes covered with red cotton calico
for seats, a table improvised out of a barrel-head, and a fireplace
and chimney excavated in the back wall or bank, she had transformed
her "hole in the ground" into a most attractive home for her young
warrior husband; and she entertained me with a supper consisting of
the best of coffee, fried ham, cakes, and jellies from the
commissary, which made on my mind an impression more lasting than
have any one of the hundreds of magnificent banquets I have since
attended in the palaces and mansions of our own and foreign lands.

Still more would I like to go over again the many magnificent trips
made across the interior plains, mountains, and deserts before the
days of the completed Pacific Railroad, with regular "Doughertys"
drawn by four smart mules, one soldier with carbine or loaded
musket in hand seated alongside the driver; two in the back seat
with loaded rifles swung in the loops made for them; the lightest
kind of baggage, and generally a bag of oats to supplement the
grass, and to attach the mules to their camp.  With an outfit of
two, three, or four of such, I have made journeys of as much as
eighteen hundred miles in a single season, usually from post to
post, averaging in distance about two hundred miles a week, with as
much regularity as is done today by the steam-car its five hundred
miles a day; but those days are gone, and, though I recognize the
great national advantages of the more rapid locomotion, I cannot
help occasionally regretting the change.  One instance in 1866
rises in my memory, which I must record: Returning eastward from
Fort Garland, we ascended the Rocky Mountains to the Sangre-de-
Cristo Pass.  The road descending the mountain was very rough and
sidling.  I got out with my rifle, and walked ahead about four
miles, where I awaited my "Dougherty."  After an hour or so I saw,
coming down the road, a wagon; and did not recognize it as my own
till quite near.  It had been upset, the top all mashed in, and no
means at hand for repairs.  I consequently turned aside from the
main road to a camp of cavalry near the Spanish Peaks, where we
were most hospitably received by Major A---- and his accomplished
wife.  They occupied a large hospital-tent, which about a dozen
beautiful greyhounds were free to enter at will.  The ambulance was
repaired, and the next morning we renewed our journey, escorted by
the major and his wife on their fine saddle-horses.

They accompanied us about ten miles of the way; and, though age has
since begun to tell on them, I shall ever remember them in their
pride and strength as they galloped alongside our wagons down the
long slopes of the Spanish Peaks in a driving snow-storm.

And yet again would it be a pleasant task to recall the many
banquets and feasts of the various associations of officers and
soldiers, who had fought the good battles of the civil war, in
which I shared as a guest or host, when we could indulge in a
reasonable amount of glorification at deeds done and recorded, with
wit, humor, and song; these when memory was fresh, and when the old
soldiers were made welcome to the best of cheer and applause in
every city and town of the land.  But no! I must hurry to my
conclusion, for this journey has already been sufficiently

I had always intended to divide time with my natural successor,
General P. H. Sheridan, and early, notified him that I should about
the year 1884 retire from the command of the army, leaving him
about an equal period of time for the highest office in the army.
It so happened that Congress had meantime by successive "enactments"
cut down the army to twenty-five thousand men, the usual strength
of a corps d'armee, the legitimate command of a lieutenant-general.
Up to 1882 officers not disabled by wounds or sickness could only
avail themselves of the privileges of retirement on application,
after thirty years of service, at sixty-two years of age; but on
the 30th of June, 1882, a bill was passed which, by operation of
the law itself, compulsorily retired all army officers, regardless
of rank, at the age of sixty-four years.  At the time this law was
debated in Congress, I was consulted by Senators and others in the
most friendly manner, representing that, if I wanted it, an
exception could justly and easily be made in favor of the general
and lieutenant-general, whose commissions expired with their lives;
but I invariably replied that I did not ask or expect an exception
in my case, because no one could know or realize when his own
mental and physical powers began to decline.  I remembered well the
experience of Gil Blas with the Bishop of Granada, and favored the
passage of the law fixing a positive period for retirement, to
obviate in the future special cases of injustice such as I had seen
in the recent past. The law was passed, and every officer then knew
the very day on which he must retire, and could make his
preparations accordingly.  In my own case the law was liberal in
the extreme, being "without reduction in his current pay and

I would be sixty-four years old on the 8th of February, 1884, a
date inconvenient to move, and not suited to other incidents; so I
resolved to retire on the 1st day of November, 1883, to resume my
former home at St. Louis, and give my successor ample time to meet
the incoming Congress, But, preliminary thereto, I concluded to
make one more tour of the continent, going out to the Pacific by
the Northern route, and returning by that of the thirty-fifth
parallel.  This we accomplished, beginning at Buffalo, June 21st,
and ending at St. Louis, Missouri, September 30, 1883, a full and
most excellent account of which can be found in Colonel Tidball's
"Diary," which forms part of the report of the General of the Army
for the year 1883.

Before retiring also, as was my duty, I desired that my aides-
de-camp who had been so faithful and true to me should not suffer
by my act.  All were to retain the rank of colonels of cavalry till
the last day, February 8, 1884; but meantime each secured places,
as follows:

Colonel O. M. Poe was lieutenant-colonel of the Engineer Corps
United States Army, and was by his own choice assigned to Detroit
in charge of the engineering works on the Upper Lakes, which duty
was most congenial to him.

Colonel J. C. Tidball was assigned to command the Artillery School
at Fort Monroe, by  virtue of his commission as lieutenant-colonel,
Third Artillery, a station for which he was specially qualified.

Colonel John E.  Tourtelotte was then entitled to promotion to
major of the Seventh Cavalry, a rank in which he could be certain
of an honorable command.

The only remaining aide-de-camp was Colonel John M. Bacon, who
utterly ignored self in his personal attachment to me.  He was then
a captain of the Ninth Cavalry, but with almost a certainty of
promotion to be major of the Seventh before the date of my official
retirement, which actually resulted.  The last two accompanied me
to St. Louis, and remained with me to the end.  Having previously
accomplished the removal of my family to St. Louis, and having
completed my last journey to the Pacific, I wrote the following

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 8, 1883.

Hon. R. T. LINCOLN, Secretary of War.

SIR: By the act of Congress, approved June 30, 1882, all
army-officers are retired on reaching the age of sixty-four years.
If living, I will attain that age on the 8th day of February, 1884;
but as that period of the year is not suited for the changes
necessary on my retirement, I have contemplated anticipating the
event by several months, to enable the President to meet these
changes at a more convenient season of the year, and also to enable
my successor to be in office before the assembling of the next

I therefore request authority to turn over the command of the army
to Lieutenant-General Sheridan on the 1st day of November, 1883,
and that I be ordered to my home at St. Louis, Missouri, there to
await the date of my legal retirement; and inasmuch as for a long
time I must have much correspondence about war and official
matters, I also ask the favor to have with me for a time my two
present aides-de-camp, Colonels J. E. Tourtelotte and J. M. Bacon.

The others of my personal staff, viz., Colonels O. M. Poe and J.
C. Tidball, have already been assigned to appropriate duties in
their own branches of the military service, the engineers and
artillery.  All should retain the rank and pay as aides-de-camp
until February 8,1884.  By or before the 1st day of November I can
complete all official reports, and believe I can surrender the army
to my successor in good shape and condition, well provided in all
respects, and distributed for the best interests of the country.

I am grateful that my physical and mental-strength remain
unimpaired by years, and am thankful for the liberal provision made
by Congress for my remaining years, which will enable me to respond
promptly to any call the President may make for my military service
or judgment as long as I live.  I have the honor to be your
obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, General.

The answer was:

WASHINGTON CITY, October 10, 1888.

General W. T. SHERMAN, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I have submitted to the President your letter of the 8th
instant, requesting that you be relieved of the command of the army
on the 1st of November next, as a more convenient time for making
the changes in military commands which must follow your retirement
from active service, than would be the date of your retirement
under the law.

In signifying his approval of your request, the President directs
me to express to you his earnest hope that there may be given you
many years of health and happiness in which to enjoy the gratitude
of your fellow-citizens, well earned by your most distinguished
public services.

It will give me pleasure to comply with your wishes respecting your
aides-de-camp, and the necessary orders will be duly issued.

I have the honor to be, General, your obedient servant,

ROBERT T.  LINCOLN, Secretary of War.

On the 27th day of October I submitted to the Secretary of
War, the Hon. R. T. Lincoln, my last annual report, embracing among
other valuable matters the most interesting and condensed report of
Colonel O. M. Poe, A. D. C., of the "original conception, progress,
and completion" of the four great transcontinental railways, which
have in my judgment done more for the subjugation and civilization
of the Indians than all other causes combined, and have made
possible the utilization of the vast area of pasture lands and
mineral regions which before were almost inaccessible, for my
agency in which I feel as much pride as for my share in any of the
battles in which I took part.

Promptly on the 1st of November were made the following general
orders, and the command of the Army of the United States passed
from me to Lieutenant-General P. H. Sheridan, with as little
ceremony as would attend the succession of the lieutenant-colonel
of a regiment to his colonel about to take a leave of absence:

WASHINGTON, November 1, 1885.

General Orders No. 77:

By and with the consent of the President, as contained in General
Orders No. 71, of October 13, 1883, the undersigned relinquishes
command of the Army of the United States.

In thus severing relations which have hitherto existed between us,
he thanks all officers and men for their fidelity to the high trust
imposed on them during his official life, and will, in his
retirement, watch with parental solicitude their progress upward in
the noble profession to which they have devoted their lives.

W. T. SHERMAN, General.

Official: R. C. DRUM, Adjutant-General.

WASHINGTON, November 1, 1885.

General Orders No. 78:

In obedience to orders of the President, promulgated in General
Orders No. 71, October 13, 1883, from these headquarters, the
undersigned hereby assumes command of the Army of the United

P. H. SHERIDAN, Lieutenant-General.

Official: R.  C.  DRUM, adjutant-General.

After a few days in which to complete my social visits, and after a
short visit to my daughter, Mrs. A. M. Thackara, at Philadelphia, I
quietly departed for St. Louis; and, as I hope, for "good and all,"
the family was again reunited in the same place from which we were
driven by a cruel, unnecessary civil war initiated in Charleston
Harbor in April, 1861.

On the 8th day of February, 1884; I was sixty-four years of age,
and therefore retired by the operation of the act of Congress,
approved June 30, 1882; but the fact was gracefully noticed by
President Arthur in the following general orders:

WASHINGTON, February 8, 1984.

The following order of the President is published to the army:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 8, 1884.

General William T. Sherman, General of the Army, having this day
reached the age of sixty-four years, is, in accordance with the
law, placed upon the retired list of the army, without reduction in
his current pay and allowances.

The announcement of the severance from the command of the army of
one who has been for so many years its distinguished chief, can but
awaken in the minds, not only of the army, but of the people of the
United States, mingled emotions of regret and gratitude--regret at
the withdrawal from active military service of an officer whose
lofty sense of duty has been a model for all soldiers since he
first entered the army in July, 1840; and gratitude, freshly
awakened, for the services of incalculable value rendered by him in
the war for the Union, which his great military genius and daring
did so much to end.

The President deems this a fitting occasion to give expression, in
this manner, to the gratitude felt toward General Sherman by his
fellow-citizens, and to the hope that Providence may grant him many
years of health and happiness in the relief from the active duties
of his profession.

By order of the Secretary of War:


R. C. DRUM, Adjutant-General.

To which I replied:

St. Louis, February 9, 1884.

His Excellency CHESTER A. ARTHUR,
President of the United States.

DEAR SIR: Permit me with a soldier's frankness to thank you
personally for the handsome compliment bestowed in general orders
of yesterday, which are reported in the journals of the day.  To me
it was a surprise and a most agreeable one.  I had supposed the
actual date of my retirement would form a short paragraph in the
common series of special orders of the War Department; but as the
honored Executive of our country has made it the occasion for his
own hand to pen a tribute of respect and affection to an officer
passing from the active stage of life to one of ease and rest, I
can only say I feel highly honored, and congratulate myself in thus
rounding out my record of service in a manner most gratifying to my
family and friends.  Not only this, but I feel sure, when the
orders of yesterday are read on parade to the regiments and
garrisons of the United States, many a young hero will tighten his
belt, and resolve anew to be brave and true to the starry flag,
which we of our day have carried safely through one epoch of
danger, but which may yet be subjected to other trials, which may
demand similar sacrifices, equal fidelity and courage, and a larger
measure of intelligence.  Again thanking you for so marked a
compliment, and reciprocating the kind wishes for the future,

I am, with profound respect, your friend and servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, General.

This I construe as the end of my military career.  In looking back
upon the past I can only say, with millions of others, that I have
done many things I should not have done, and have left undone still
more which ought to have been done; that I can see where hundreds
of opportunities have been neglected, but on the whole am content;
and feel sure that I can travel this broad country of ours, and be
each night the welcome guest in palace or cabin; and, as

               "all the world's stage,
                And all the men and women merely players,"

I claim the privilege to ring down the curtain.

W. T. SHERMAN, General.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman,
Vol. II., by William T. Sherman


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