“Arrival of the Union Army at the Defenses of Atlanta”

new york herald

July 16, 1864

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The New York Herald
Date: July 16, 1864
Title: SHERMAN
SHERMAN.
Arrival of the Union Army at the Defences of Atlanta.
Newspaper Accounts.
THE PASSAGE OF THE CHATTAHOOCHEE – THE REBELS
DESTROY THREE OF THEIR PONTOONS – THEIR WORKS THE
STRONGEST NORTH OF ATLANTA – THEY ARE OVER FIVE MILES
IN LENGTH.
(From the Nashville Union, July 13.)

 
We have further particulars relating to the crossing of the
Chattahoochee, which are highly interesting. The rebels on
Sunday, finding Sherman had effected a lodgment south ofthe
river, burned the railroad and turnpike bridges, together with
three pontoons.

 
Their work were the strongest found on the whole line from
Dalton, and were protected by abattis, so that a direct assault
would have been an impossibility. The stream is at present
shallow and the bottom rocky; but no men could have forded it
and charged up the embankments to their works.
The intrenchments extended along the river bank for five
miles, and were located in a position to sweep the surrounding
country. Johnston had evidently been months in preparing them.
After the flank movement commenced the rebel general
offered no resistance, but fell back, we pursued, to the
fortifications around Atlanta, which were but eight miles
distant. We know of no other point at which a stand can be
made.

 
Johnston is thus Sherman on; “when he will be
ready to take the offensive and redeem his promise to clean out
theUnionarmy is yet a problem.
A TRUCE TO BURY THE DEAD – AN INCIDENT OF WHAT
TRANSPIRES DURING SUCH INTERVALS – WHISKEY IN THE
FRONT, ETC., ETC.

 
(Extract of a letter from an officer is General Sherman
Army.)
I witnessed a strange scene yesterday in front of Davis’
division, during the burial of the dead, who were killed in the
terrific and disastrous charge ofthe 27th. Grouped together
in seemingly fraternal unity were officers and men of both
contending armies, who but five minutes before were engaged in
the work of slaughter and death. These were Generals Cleburne,
Cheatham, Hindman and Masey, in busy converse with, as I
subsequently learned, the officers ofthe Fourteenth Michigan
infantry, who, it seemed, were well acquainted with the
families of many ofthe Tennessee officers and soldiers in
Cheathamdivision. Cheatham looked rugged and healthy,
though seemingly sad and despondent. He wore his ”
dress, a blue flannel shirt, black neck tie, gray homespun
pantaloons, and slouch black hat. At first he was not
disposed to be either inquisitive or communicative, but after
putting himself outside a few heavy jorums of commissary
whiskey from the bottle of one of our officers, he himself
again,”and made many inquiries about Nashvillians and the Rock
City. General Maney was less reserved. He was elegantly
dressed, as were also Lieutenant Colonel House, Captains McLean
and Alkinson. Captain Lee, from Columbia, being introduced to
Captain Nixon, ofthe Fourteenth Michigan, asked: -
“Do you belong to Miznerregiment, for some time
stationed at Franklin and Columbia?”
“Yes, sir; I do.”
“Then you are the man who was provost marshal?”
“Yes sir.”
“It is well for you”said the coxcombish Captain Lee,
we didn get possession of that place and you – I would
have hung you!”
“No you wouldn, “interposed a red haired, red eyed Major
Hawkins (formerly deputy sheriff of Nashville), “For the boys
say their folks were better treated by these Michigan men than
by any troops ever stationed there.”"That so,”said Major
Vaulse, of Cheatham staff; , that better whiskey than
we got”(reaching for the [ ]).
Colonel House was in charge ofthe burying party, and was
courteous and affable, putting on his most insinuating smiles.
Being reminded of the antagonistic attitude of himself and
his brother (Sam, of Franklin), who was reported as making
speeches”and being a loyal man, he remarked: -
“Well, Sam was always a conservative man, but I don think he
is very loyal.”
Colonel Cook, from Franklin, Tennessee, who was wounded a
few days since, died yesterday. Colonel Clancy, ofthe
Fifty-second Ohio, in talking to Generals Maney and Hindman,
remarked that it was a sad state of affairs to witness human
beings of a common origin and nationality dig two hours every
day to bury the dead of twenty minutes fighting. “Yes, yes,
indeed,”said one; if the settlement of this thing were
left to our armies there would be peace and good fellowship
established in two hours.”"General,”said a Union officer,
addressing long haired Hindman, do you think if the
result of this contest were left to your division and ours in a
fair field.”"I abide the result, and would as soon fight
Davis’ division as any other, “quoth Hindman. “I would want,”
said General Maney, our forces should be equalized;
Davis’division may be stronger than ours.”"Oh it matters
little as to superiority of numbers on our side, “said the
federal officer, can whip us, one rebel to five Yankees.”
Maney, applying the flask to his mouth and complimenting our
commissary department, said – “Bosh! if any of our people ever
believed that, I think by this time that idea is damned well
played out! “The Tennessee regiments are woefully decimated,
suffering heavily in every skirmish and battle. I think we
shall certainly have news by tomorrow; perhaps by this
evening.

 
REBEL ACCOUNTS.
(From the Atlanta Appeal, July 4)
A more probable solution of General Sherman policy is
that he will make a detour southward from Marietta, with the
view of crossing the river and reaching the railroad somewhere
between this city and West Point. Such a movement on his part
would compel General Johnston to move to the left, and thus
have Atlanta uncovered. But if such really be the designs of
the wily Yankee commander, we have an abiding faith that he
will be foiled in his purposes and brought to grief in advance
of its accomplishment. We are not without the hope, however,
that re-enforcements will yet come to the aid of our army in
sufficient strength to enable it to drive back the invader of
our soil. The trans-Mississippi army is now lying idle, with
no enemy to annoy it, and there is no reason why it might not
be transferred to this side ofthe river, where its services
are so much needed. While the enemy are concentrating all
their forces it behooves us to do the same then, otherwise
there is no alternative left but to continue to surrender the
country to the domination ofthe invading foe.

 

 

From Accessible Archives
For more information:
http://www.accessible.com.ezproxy.gsu.edu/accessible/docButton?AAWhat=gotoJSP&AAWhere=42&AABeanName=toc1&AANextPage=/printerFriendlyDoc.jsp&AACheck=2.97.42.0.10