May 20, 1864
Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Charleston Mercury
Date: May 20, 1864
The flanking movement of SHERMAN, southward, still
continues. Both armies are across the Oostanaula, and JOHNSTON
has burnt the bridge in his rear at Resaca. We hardly think it
probable that a general fight will come on before the enemy get
to the neighborhood of the Etowah river and the line of the
Rome Railroad, which we believe JOHNSTON will hold. His
progress southward is far more easily made than that by the
enemy, through the exceeding rugged country in their line of
march. A private letter dated at Atlanta, May 17, says:
The truth is, no general engagement has taken place.
Johnston is falling back gradually, drawing the enemy along,
waiting for — , and trying to get a good battle ground. Our
loss, so far, is said to be six thousand – one thousand killed,
three or four thousand wounded, and the balance missing.
Oostanaula Bridge is burnt, and our army on this side. You can
say that the wounded are going from, as well as coming, here.
The army, from General Johnston down, is said to be in the
highest spirits, and confident of the issue.
All this goes to sustain what we have said upon the
subject. A game of strategy is going on in which JOHNSTON is
acting simply upon the defensive. He has no objection that the
enemy should transfer the grand fight as far South as
consistent with his own plans and the national defences of the
State. Every foot of rugged soil the enemy places between
himself and Chattanooga – every day that he protracts his march
- every pound that he diminishes his stores of subsistence,
goes to secure the completeness of his overthrow if defeated.
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