War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0178 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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can enable one to form an idea of its character. In consequence of the difficulty of procuring forage on a line so distant from its base as that on which this army operated, it was deemed necessary to cut down the amount of transportation to the lowest possible estimate. This induced the leaving at the rear not only superfluous articles, but in many cases what might be actually regarded as necessary ones.

The expectation that the campaign would be a short and decisive one, as well as the orders issued to the effect, caused both officers and men with them in as light marching order as possible; but few had more with them than was actually carried on their persons. All cooking apparatus, save coffee-pots and frying-pans, with here and there a mess pan or camp kettle, were left behind at Chattanooga. The result of this was that the cooking was of the worst character and least conducive to digestion. This dearth of culinary apparatus entirely precluded all cooking by messes of companies, which is the only proper manner of preparing food furnished troops. The commissary supplies furnished until the occupation of Marietta consisted almost entirely of hard bread, salt pork or bacon, and fresh beef, with coffee and sugar. But little if any beans, rice, soap, vinegar, or other small rations were issued. After the occupation of Marietta, which was made the main depot, the commissary department had ready for issue an abundance of all kinds of supplies, but, owing to the indolence or ignorance of the commissaries, even then many of the troops were not furnished more freely than before.

The weather in the early part of June was pleasant and comparatively cool. On the evening of the 10th of that month it commenced raining and continued so to do for ten successive days with but little intermission. The country became one vast bog, the roads were rendered almost impassable and their condition rendered any movements requiring accompanying transportation almost impracticable. At this time the Twentieth Corps on the extreme right had not as large a supply of medical stores as might have been desired, but was short of nothing absolutely required. This was, however, owing to the fact that the condition of the roads to Acworth, where the field medical purveyor then was, rendered the transportation of them almost impossible. After the cessation of the June rains the weather continued pleasant, with light summer showers until the middle of August, when heavy rains came on once more and continued for several days. The heat during the summer showers until the middle of August, when heavy rains came on once more and continued for several days. The heat during the summer was at no time oppressive, nor did the thermometer show over 90^ in the shade on the hottest days. The nights were delightfully cool and pleasant, and with but few exceptions a blanket was necessary to be used before morning.

The country from Chattanooga to Acworth is mountainous, thence to Atlanta high and rolling, densely wooded, with but a small portion under cultivation. Small streams are numerous and several rives cross the line of the campaign. The water from Chattanooga to the Etowah River is good, but much impregnated with lime. South of that stream the water is soft, clear, and delicious. Water on the whole line is abundant, and in few portions of the United States can more numerous springs of clear, cold, soft water be found than between the Etowah River and Atlanta.

The health of the troops when entering upon the campaign was good, comparatively speaking. During the previous winter they had been encamped in the vicinity of Chattanooga with but few vegetables furnished them. Some, too, of the troops had been campaign-