General Sherman's Advance on Atlanta

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 29, 1864

This site features our collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection is an invaluable archive for those interested in developing a more complete understanding of the war. Reading news on pages printed within days of the battles give a new perspective on the war.

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Cavalry Officers

Cavalry Officers

Soldiers Support Lincoln

Sherman's Advance

Sherman's Advance on Atlanta, Georgia

Voting

Soldiers Voting

Battle of Darbytown

Battle of Darbytown Road

Albert Durer

Albert Durer

Fleet Mobile Bay

Fleet in Mobile Bay

Women's Clothes

Women's Clothes in the 1800's

Cartoon

McClellan Cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 29, 1864.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

691

(Previous Page) ernment, why does every threat of resistance to the result of the election proceed from their supporters ?

If they are so zealous for order and free speech, why are all the disturbers of Union meetings for political discussion their vehement partisans?

The reply is very simple. They are not uncompromising Union men. Mr. PENDLETON is of the political school of JEFFERSON DAVIS by his own confession, and General McCLELLAN accepts, without a word of rebuke, the nomination of men who call for an immediate armistice.

In a word, Mr. PENDLETON is an advocate of supreme State sovereignty, and consequently believes in a " Confederacy" and not in a Union ; while General McCLELLAN shirks the question, and tells Mr. VALLANDIGHAM that they probably mean the same thing.

The October elections show that the great body of the people fully understand what patriotism requires of them, and that is to vote for candidates who are openly, by their words, by their acts, and by the characters and acts of their supporters, unconditional Union men.

THE COPPERHEAD CONSPIRACY,

JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL HOLT has given the country an astounding illustration of the methods of Copperhead "Conservatism" to secure " peace" by armed insurrection at the North in aid of the rebels, and to maintain the national honor by forcibly overthrowing the Government constitutionally elected. The publication of this report is a great and timely service ; for it is prepared with the utmost care, from a vast mass of testimony collected during many months and all over the country.

The main points in this extraordinary and startling revelation are, that there was established a large secret association, bound by oaths, armed, extending throughout the West and into the rebel section, with careful forms and principles, for the purpose of promoting desertions from the Union. armies ; discouraging enlistments and resisting the draft ; circulating treasonable documents ; giving intelligence to the enemy; recruiting for the rebels ; furnishing the rebels with arms, ammunition, etc. ; co-operating in rebel raids and invasions ; destroying private property; assassinating Union men; and establishing a Northwestern Confederacy.

The head of this conspiracy is CLEMENT L. VALLANDIGHAM, one of the authors of the Chicago platform, and the seconder of General McCLELLAN for the Presidency. Every leading member of it is a supporter of the McCLELLAN-PENDLETON ticket. Every member of it hates ABRAHAM LINCOLN and ANDREW JOHNSON as the rebels hate them. That every member understands the whole scope of its intention is, of course, impossible. That every member would deliberately resist the result of a constitutional election we do not believe. But it is managed and officered by men who would, and who hope to persuade and bully others to follow them.

Thanks to the steady fidelity of our civil and military officers in every degree, this atrocious secret has been revealed, and the vast and wicked conspiracy exposed, American citizens will not fail to remark that the chief conspirator is the chief apostle of" Peace;" which means simply bloody civil war in the Free States. They will reflect that it was conceived by men who have constantly denounced and maligned the Administration, and have always extenuated the rebels and, the rebellion. They will remember that these men went to Chicago and sat in convention with the chief conspirator; that together they set forth their principles and nominated their candidates ; and that at this moment they are straining every nerve to secure the election of those candidates, McCLELLAN and PENDLETON.

These conspirators are the men who talk loudest of "Conservatism" and "Peace" The people will teach them in November that "Conservatism" is the unconditional maintenance of the Government, and " Peace" is the armed overthrow of rebellion and the unqualified assent of rebels to the Constitution and the laws.

REBEL TREATMENT OF UNION
PRISONERS.

ON the 14th of June, 1864, the rebel Congress issued a manifesto concluding as follows " We commit our cause to the enlightened judgment of the world, to the sober reflections of our adversaries themselves, and to the solemn and righteous arbitrament of Heaven." The people, in whose name this was said, profess to be peculiarly "chivalric" and " high-toned." Their leader, who said that he would rather associate with hyenas than Yankees, was declared by Mr. GLADSTONE to have " created a nation," He and his confederates claim to be especially generous, gentlemanly, and humane. Yet in all the annals of war, conduct so base, cruel, and loathsome as theirs is without parallel, The more the secret rebel history of this struggle is exposed the more inhuman and barbarous it appears ; and if any justification were yet wanting of the truth of all that has ever been said of the imbruting influence of slavery upon the master class, it is found in the story of their treatment of their prisoners of war.

The Sanitary Commission of the United States appointed in May, 1864, a sub-commission of inquiry, consisting of Dr. VALENTINE MOTT, Chairman, Doctors EDWARD DELAFIELD and ELLERSLIE WALLACE,, Hon. J. I. CLARK HARE, GOUVERNEUR MORRIS WILKINS, Esquire, and Rev. TREADWELL WALDEN, the four last of Philadelphia, to ascertain the real condition of the Union prisoners while in rebel hands. The commission has just made a copious, scientific, and descriptive Report, which is certainly one of the most astounding chapters of modern history.

It exposes the treatment of all Union prisoners from the moment of their capture to their exchange, especially in the Libey prison and on Belle Isle at Richmond. The narrative is derived from the testimony of the prisoners themselves, substantiated by the medical investigations of scientific experts ; and such a hideous and revolting tale was never told. Its value is completed by an equally careful report of the condition and treatment of rebel prisoners in Union hands at Fort Delaware, Point Lookout, and elsewhere. The verbal testimony of the Union sufferers is appended to the Report.

The harrowing and sickening details we can not reproduce. They are sad beyond belief, and they are incontestably established. Nor ought any man who would truly understand the scope of this war, and the spirit from which it springs and in which it is conducted upon the rebel side, fail to ponder this terrible revelation. The narrative of the Report, simply and cogently prepared by the Rev. Mr WALDEN, presents the case, of which the Appendix furnishes the testimony ; and the whole is neatly printed and issued by the Sanitary Commission.

We are glad to know that a large number of copies have been sent to England. They will furnish some authentic refutation of the foul slanders upon the Union cause and conduct which are statedly prepared for the London Times by CHARLES MACKAY, and devoured with delight' by the British party which exults over the Chicago nominations. They will reveal to our friends in England the spirit of the social system against whose armed assault upon the Government the American people are contending. Our friends abroad will wince and shudder as they read. Yet the painful revelation will but nerve them to a more persistent support of out cause, if possible, than ever, while they will agree with the Commission that, " until an excuse or an explanation comes, the Government by which such things are authorized, and the people by whose public sentiment such things are encouraged, will stand arraigned for immeasurable inhumanity and criminality before the civilized world."

THE WRECK OF SECESSION.

UPON page 697 of this paper is a vivid picture of the wreck of the great pirate ship Secession, She is dashed upon the rocks, and is rapidly going to pieces in the terrible storm of Patriotism which beats upon her. Smitten by the fatal thunder-bolts of LINCOLN, GRANT, SHERMAN, FARRAGUT, and SHERIDAN, she lies a helpless bulk amidst the waves. One ray of hope STEPHENS'S " Hail, holy light !"—shines to cheer her from the Chicago Light house, on whose summit blows the national flag, union down. But the foundation of the Light-house itself is fast crumbling away, dashed to pieces by the irresistible waves of popular indignation.

Meanwhile the copper-bound boat, Peace-at-any- Price, is launched by the famous Chicago wreckers, SEYMOUR, BELMONT, VALLANDIGHAM, WOOD, COX, and VOORHEES, while PENDLETON strains at the stern to shove her off, and p gentleman in a Major-General's uniform, upon a prancing war horse that seems to recoil in disgust--cheers them and waves them on. Among the crowd the most conspicuous wrecker carries under his arm a huge plank--Immediate Cessation of Hostilities over which they hope the pirate crew may safely escape, to ship for another voyage. But the storm is overwhelming. Escape is impossible ; and the ship Secession, " built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark," is going down forever.

LOYAL PUBLICATION SOCIETY.

WE have too long omitted to speak of the valuable series of pamphlets, large and small, issued by the Loyal Publication Society of this city at 380 Broadway. They are generally brief and trenchant treatises upon every point of the great question, prepared by the most accomplished hands, furnished at the most reasonable rates, and they form an invaluable collection of authentic references and impregnable arguments. Whoever wishes to aid the noble enterprise may be very sure that it is under the best management, a fact which the issues prove, and may confidently send his contributions to MORRIS KETCHUM, Treasurer, 40 Exchange Place.

LITERARY,

THE, Peninsular Campaign and its Antecedents, as developed by the Report of General McCLELLAN and other published Documents," by J. G. BARNARD, Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers and Major-General of Volunteers. (D. VAN NOSTRAND, New York.) General BARNARD was Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac from its organization under McCLELLAN to the end of the disastrous Peninsular campaign. He knew every plan; he saw every detail ; and his review of the incompetency of the commanding General is crushing. General BARNARD'S contemptuous impatience of a policy

which almost ruined one of the noblest armies in the world is not concealed; and in this small volume, originally prepared as an article for a review, the reasons of that impatience are plainly stated. The great victory seems to have been almost want only thrown away, and the timid sluggishness of the Commanding General, however pure his intentions may have been, did the work of treason. He was eternally preparing to make the final preparations to prepare for a forward movement ; and in the midst of the preliminaries for his preparations LEE and STONEWALL JACKSON stormed in upon him and drove him away. GRANT'S terrible grip upon LEE, which nothing can shake off, and McCLELLAN'S fears and doubts, and " mud," and " roads," and "immense forces of the enemy," and " at least die with my men," and foolish "push them to the wall" show the difference between the operations of a soldier whose whole heart and soul are vowed to victory and a General who has no conception of the earnestness and vitality of the struggle, and thinks first of his own reputation. It is the difference between SHERMAN and DON CARLOS BUELL, between PATTERSON and HANCOCK. It is not necessary to suppose the hero of the Chickahominy a traitor to understand why he is favorite with the rebels. Any reader who will carefully consider this little volume of General BARNARD'S will see why the advantage won by KEYES, SUMNER, and HEINTZELMAN at Fairoaks was not followed up, and why LEE was allowed a day to retire unmolested from Antietam. It is not McCLELLAN'S fault that he is not a great General; but it will certainly be the fault of the American people if they ever make him Commander-in-Chief.

" Down in Tennessee," by EDMUND KIRK (G, W. CARLETON, New York), is a work which is full of the most timely and melancholy revelations of the war upon the border. The sufferings of Union men at the South and long the line, of which Parson BROWNLOW has told us some harrowing passages, are here related with a graphic detail and dramatic power which burn them into the memory. Mr. GILMORE'S experience of life and character in the Southern States gives a peculiar value to his observations, and his shrewd and humorous eye permits nothing characteristic to escape him. The book has the full flavor of the Southwest, and its portraits of famous Union soldiers are full of interest. Mr. GILMORE argues strongly that the hope of the future Union lies in the middle Mass of the slave States, who are very ignorant, but are sprung of what he thinks the best stock, the Scotch-Irish, that of JACKSON and CALHOUN. The great slave holding class, which has rebelled for its own advantage, must, in Mr. GILMORE's opinion, be entirely overcome. The work ends with the story of his visit to Richmond with Colonel JAQUESS, and the expression of his conviction that the people of the rebel States are weary of the war, but that the leaders, who have staked every thing upon the rebellion, know that nothing remains for them but tc push on to the inevitable end.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

THE MILITARY SITUATION.

Slam our record of last week closed there have been no military movements of consequence. Hood, at last advises, appears to be retreating toward the southwest, without having accomplished his object. On the 12th two divisions of the Tenth Army Corps and a portion of Kautz's cavalry made a reconnoissance on the Darbytown Road. There was some skirmishing; our loss was 350. It was found that the enemy had improved his opportunities for fortification. In the Shenandoah Valley the rebels recently made their appearance in the vicinity of Strasburg, where they were attacked on the 15th by Sheridan and put to rout.

GENERAL SHERMAN'S REPORT.

We are able this week to give a resume of General Sherman's report of his Georgia campaign.

On the 14th of March, 1864, Sherman was notified of General Grant's commission as Lieutenant-General, and of his own succession to the command of the Division of the Mississippi. Having consulted with Grant and given instructions to his subordinates, General Logan at Huntsville, Thomas at Chattanooga, and Schofield at Knoxville, it was determined that the active campaign should begin on the 1st of May. In the mean time, according to his custom, Sherman gave his personal attention to the question of supplies. At Nashville he found the depots well filled, and well ordered preparations for the future. At Knoxville, however, there was this difficulty, namely, that the impoverished loyalists of East Tennessee were too great a drain upon his supplies. He wisely determined to make these people support themselves, which they did without great difficulty.

The campaigns in Virginia and Georgia commenced simultaneously, viz., on the 5th of May. At that time General Sherman had an army of 100,000 men, of which 6000 were cavalry, the horses for which were yet collecting. More than one haft of this force belonged to the Army of the Cumberland under General Thomas, which numbered 60,773 men. The Army of the Tennessee, under McPherson, numbered nearly 25,000; and the Army of the Ohio, under Schofield, nearly 14,000. This force was kept at about the same strength during the entire campaign. It was concentrated in the vicinity of Chattanooga at the close of April.

General Johnston's army lay at Dalton, 26 miles south-east of Chattanooga, and in numbers was not much more than half as strong as the Federal army; although superior in cavalry. The three corps of his army were commanded by Hardee, Hood, and Polk. The cavalry, under Wheeler's command numbered about 10,000.

On the morning of May 6 Sherman's army had approached Dalton. The centre, under Thomas, was at Ringgold, on the railroad from Chattanooga, and about 12 miles from Dalton. McPherson's army lay on the right, west of Dalton, at Gordon's Mill, and that of the Ohio on the left, and some distance northeast of Ringgold. Between Sherman's and Johnston's lines stretched the Chattanooga or Rocky Face ridge, running almost directly north and south, and covering all the approaches to Dalton. The railroad passed through the ridge at Tunnel Hill:, but the pass, known as Buzzard's Roost, was too strongly defended to admit of assault. Skirting the railroad on the left this ridge runs six or eight miles south of Dalton, where it abruptly abuts on the valley of the Oostenaula River, which runs southwestwardly to Rome.

On the 7th Thomas moved close up to Buzzard's Roost, while McPherson completely turned the ridge and moved on Resaca, a dozen miles south of Dalton. McPherson, finding Resaca strongly defended, was reinforced by Schofield's army and the greater portion of Thomas's. Thus the whole army, excepting Howard's Corps, was on the 11th moving against the enemy's rear. The movement was much impeded by the impracticable nature of the country, and Johnston was enabled to reach Resaca, so that on the 14th Sherman was confronted by the whole rebel army. Cavalry detachments were sent southward across the river to destroy the road in the enemy's rear, but the main body of the army attacked Resaca, bring-

ing on a battle, May 15th, the result of which was the evacuation of Resaca by Johnston that night. Sherman's army pursued by every available route. Rome was occupied in the mean while by Jeff C. Davis's division. Johnston made a feeble stand at Adairsville, fifteen miles south of Resaca ; but he crossed the Etowah without giving battle. This river runs westwardly to Rome, where it joins the Oostenaula, forming the Coosa.

It was now evident that Johnston would next dispute Sherman at Allatoona Pass, just south of the Etowah. Sherman determined to turn this position, and on the 23d moved on Dallas, fifteen miles west of Marietta and off the railroad. Johnston was aware of Sherman's design, and took measures to dispute the approach to Marietta, by interposing his army between that place and Dallas. The country was favorable for defense. Sherman was just about to change his tactics and approach the railroad on the left, when Johnston made a severe attack on his right at Dallas, which was held by McPherson. The rebels were repulsed. The movement toward the left was carried out June 1, and all the roads by which Johnston could return to Allatoona were held. This movement secured Sherman against a counter attack on his rear, as it planted him safely on the railroad at Ackworth, which was occupied June 6. Big Shanty Station, still further south, was occupied June 9, and Sherman then confronted the Twin Mountain, Kenesaw. On the right was Pine, and more to the westward Lost Mountain. The rebel army occupied this line of mountain defenses.

The approach to Marietta by way of Dallas had failed, but must now be accomplished by a new flank movement. The rebel line, however, was of considerable length, and it was determined, before making another movement, if possible, to break this line. From the 11th of June to the 15th there was sharp skirmishing and a heavy cannonade. On the 14th General Polk was killed ; and the next day Pine Mountain was given up. On the 17th Lost Mountain was abandoned, and the enemy's line contracted, but covering the approach to Marietta and to the rail-road in his rear.

The roads now began to be what Sherman calls "villainously bad," and this caused some delay. On the 22d Hood's Corps attacked Hooker's at Kulp House, and were repulsed. Then General Sherman determined to make an assault on Kenesaw on the enemy's left, which was made Jun 23rd. It resulted unsuccessfully. Generals Harker and M'Cook were killed. The Federal loss was 3000.

Four days afterward, July 1, orders were given for an advance to Nickajack Creek and Turner's Ferry, several miles south of Marietta. McPherson commenced this movement July 2, and Kenesaw was immediately abandoned by the enemy. General Sherman occupied Marietta July 3, and McPherson and Schofield were instructed to cross the Nickajack and attack Johnston while crossing the Chattahoochee. But the latter had prudently guarded the crossing by a vite du pont. On the 5th the Federal army moved to the Chattahoochee River.

Before the enemy had time to make extensive preparations to oppose his advance, Sherman threw Schofield's Corps across the river at the north of Soap's Creek on the 7th. Garrard at the same time destroyed the factories at Roswell, and held the ford at that point. Here McPherson was to cross. Another crossing was established at Powers's Ferry. Atlanta lay only eight miles distant, but a short rest was afforded the troops. On the 10th Rousseau's cavalry expedition, consisting of 2000 men, broke up the West Point Road, rendering it useless to the enemy.

Until the 16th stores were being collected at Allatoona and Marietta. On the 17th the army advanced. Schofield was already across the river. Now the rest of the army followed, the Army of the Tennessee moving around to Decatur on the Augusta railroad east of Atlanta. Thomas at the same time crossed Peach Tree Creek north of the city. Schofield held the centre; but with a gap between him and Thomas near the Buckhead Road.

On the 20th the enemy came out in the afternoon and attacked Sherman's right centre at its weakest point. He was repulsed; and Sherman estimates his loss to have been 5000, while his own was only 1500, most of which was in Hooker's Corps, General Johnston had been relieved of command and superseded by Hood, The enemy then withdrew to his inner intrenchments. About noon on the 22d the rebel General attacked again, this time on the left, where M'Pherson had obtained a commanding position. Early in the fight McPherson was killed, and Logan took command during the battle. The attack was made by Hardee's Corps in flank and Stewart's in front. The enemy gained considerable success in the early part of the engagement, capturing several guns, but was afterward defeated and driven from the field, having lost, Sherman thinks, 8000 men, while our loss was 3722.

Then followed the unsuccessful raids of Stoneman and McCook. On the 26th Sherman began to move his army from the east to the west side of Atlanta. It was while this movement was being executed that the battle of the 28th occurred, In which, as in the previous assaults, the enemy was repulsed and severely punished. In this battle our loss was less than 600, while that of the enemy was 5000. Sherman then extended his lines so that they reached from the Chattanooga Road, just north of Atlanta, nearly to East Point, the junction of the West Point and Macon railroads. But it was impossible in this way to break the enemy's communications. Therefore Sherman, August 16, issued his orders for the entire army to cut loose from the Chattanooga Road and to raise the siege of Atlanta, the Twentieth Corps alone being left to guard the fords of the Chattahoochee. Wheeler's cavalry being north very much facilitated this movement. The entire army was by the 30th on the Macon Road, between Jonesborough, where Lee and Hardee were, and the rest of the rebel army at Atlanta.

On the 31st the rebels came out from Jonesborough and made an attack, which resulted in their defeat. The next day, September 1, Jonesborough was attacked and taken by General Davis. That same night Hood evacuated Atlanta, which General Sherman immediately occupied, making it a grand military post.

MARYLAND,

Maryland has adopted the new Constitution, abolishing slavery in the State, by a majority of about 1500.

FOREIGN NEWS.

EUROPE,

THERE has been in London great alarm in prospect of a serious money panic. The Spectator says: "The country, despite its prosperity, has been doing a great deal of unsound business, a great deal of paper discounted represents nothing at all but speculators' hopes, the reserve in the Bank seems likely to diminish rapidly, the Continent is unwilling to send over money in the face of a crisis, and should the new banks begin to go we may look out for a crash. Failures are becoming frequent, and the explosion of the Banking Company of Leeds, which will involve an ultimate loss of nearly a million to its shareholders, has not tended to improve matters,"

The London Times regards the victories of Sheridan as certain to insure Lincoln's re-election.

The French-Italian Convention has decided that the capital of Italy shall be transferred from Turin to Florence. This takes away half the income of every citizen of Turin, and on the 22d of September the dissatisfaction caused by the measure broke out in open violence. The troops in San Carlo Square were attacked by the mob and fired upon. Without orders they returned the fire. Several persons were killed.

In regard to the Danish Question the Spectator says: All communication between Jutland and Copenhagen has been forbidden, exports have been prohibited, and fifty thousand men quartered upon the wretched peninsula for the winter. In fact the country is to be gutted in order that the sufferers may by their cries create consternation at Copenhagen. The robber orders his victim's wife to be whipped in order that he may pay up quickly. Nothing so atrocious has been done in Europe since 1815, and the example will exaggerate the obstinacy of every future defense. Had Jutland one range of mountains the Prussians would even now have to face a peasant war.

The Greek Government has decided to abolish its Upper Chamber, which corresponds to our Senate. The Upper House, however, in Greece has not the same necessity or use as in this country; and it has an injurious influence on the Lower Chamber, depriving that body of a great amount of conservative ability.


 

 

  

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