its President and Commander- in- Chief, and it now remains only for him who has been with you from the beginning, and who intends to stay all the time, to thank the officers and men for their intelligence, fidelity, and courage as displayed in the campaign of Atlanta.
On the 1st of May our armies were lying in garrison seemingly quiet, from Knoxville to Huntsville, and our enemy lay behind his rocky- faced barrier at Dalton, proud, defiant, and exulting. He had had time since Christmas to recover from his discomfiture on the Mission Ridge, with his ranks filled, and a new commander- in - chief second to none of the Confederacy in reputation for skill, sagacity, and extreme popularity. All at once our armies assumed life and action, an and appeared before Dalton, Threatening Rocky Face, we threw ourselves upon Resaca, and the rebel army only escaped by the rapidity of its retreat, aided by the numerous roads, with which he was familiar, and which were strange to us. Again he took post in Allatoona, but we gave him no rest, and by our circuit toward Dallas and subsequent movement to Acworth we gained the Allatoona Pass. Then followed the eventful battles about Kenesaw and the escape of the enemy across the Chattahoochee River. The crossing of the Chattahoochee and breaking of the Augusta road was most handsomely executed by us, and will be studied as an example in the art of war. At this stage of our game our enemies became dissatisfied with their old and skillful commander and selected one more bold and rash. New tactics were adopted. Hood first boldly and rapidly, on the 20th of July, fell on our right at Peach Tree Creek and lost. Again,on the 22d, he struck our extreme left an was severely punished, and finally, again on the 28th, he repeated the attempt on our right, and that time must have become satisfied, for since that date he has remained on the defensive. We slowly and gradually drew our lines about Atlanta, feeling for the railroad which supplied the rebel army and made Atlanta a place of importance. We must concede to our enemy that he met these efforts patiently and skillfully, but at last he made the mistake we had waited for so long, and sent his cavalry to our rear, far beyond the reach of recall. Instantly our cavalry was on his only remaining road and we followed quickly with our principal army, and Atlanta fell into our possession as the fruit of well- concerted measures, backed by a brave and confident army. This completed the grand task which had been assigned us by our Government, and your general again repeats his personal and official thanks to all the officers and men composing this army for the indomitable courage and perseverance which alone could give success. We have beaten our enemy on every ground he has chose, and have wrested from him his own Gate City, where were located his foundries, arsenals, and work- shops, deemed secure on account of their distance from the base and the seemingly impregnable obstacles intervening.
Nothing is impossible to an army like this, determined to vindicate a Government which has rights wherever our flag has once floated, and is resolved to maintain them at any and all costs.
In our campaign many, yea, very many, of our noble and gallant comrades have preceded uss to our common destination- the grave. But they have left the memory of deeds on which a nation can build a proud history. McPherson, Harker, McCook, an others dear to us all, are now the binding links in our minds that should attach more closely together the living, who have to complete the task which still lays before us in the dim future.