Fairburn, with the loss of but one man. There I spent one day and broke twelve miles of that road good. I then moved rapidly so that my right flank was within half a mile of the Macon road at Jonesborough, and the left two miles and a half from Rough and Ready. Hood had first sent Lee's corps to Jonesborough and Hardee's to Rough and Ready, but the Army of the Tennessee (my right) approached Jonesborough so rapidly that Hardee's corps was shifted at night also to that flank. Seeing his mistake I ordered Howard rapidly to intrench and hold his position, "threatening," and threw the balance of my army on the road from Rough and Ready to within four miles of Jonesborough. The moment that was done, I ordered Thomas and Schofield to rapidly break up that road, and without rest to turn on Jonesborough and crush that part. My plan was partially, but not thoroughly, executed. Hardee assaulted Howard, but made no progress; left his dead, about 400, and wounded in our hands, and feel behind his own works. I expected Thomas to be ready by 11 a.m., but it was near 4 when he got in; but one corps, Davis', charged down and captured the flank with 10 guns and many prisoners, but for some reason Stanley and Schofield were slow,and night came to Hardee's relief, and he escaped to the south. Hood finding me twenty miles below him on his only railroad, and Hardee defeated, was forced to abandon Atlanta, and retreated eastward, and by a circuit has got his men below me on the line to Macon. I ought to have reaped larger fruits of victory. A part of my army is too slow, but I feel my part was skillful and well executed. Though I ought to have been taken 10,000 of Hardee's men and all his artillery, I must content myself with 500 dead, 2,000 wounded, 2,000 prisoners, 10 guns on the field and 14 in Atlanta, 7 trains of cars captured and burned, many stragglers fleeing in disorder and the town of Atlanta, which after all, was the prize I fought for.
The army is in magnificent heart, and I could go on, but it would not be prudent. Wheeler is still somewhere to my rear, and every mile costs me detachments which I can illy spare. This country is so easily fortified that an enemy can stop an army every few miles. All the roads run on ridges,so that a hundred yards of parapet, with abatis, closes it and gives the wings time to extend as fast as we can reconnoiter and cut roads. Our men will charge the parapet without fear, but they cannot the abatis and entanglements, which catch them at close range. I stay here a few days for effect, and then will fall back and occupy Atlanta, giving my command some rest. They need it. The untold labor they have done is herculean, and if ever your pass our route you will say honestly that we have achieved success by industry and courage. I hope the administration will be satisfied, for I have studied hard to serve it faithfully.
I hope anything I may have said or done will not be construed unfriendly to Mr. Lincoln or Stanton. That negro letter of mine I never designed for publication, but I am, honest in my belief that it is not fair to our men to count negroes as equals. Can't we at this day drop theories, and be reasonable men? Let us capture of course, and use them to the best advantage. My quartermaster now could give employment to 3,200, and relieve that number of soldier who are now used to unload and dispatch trains, whereas those recruiting agents take them back to Nashville, where, so far as my experience goes, they disappear. When I call for expeditions at distant points, the answer invariably comes that they have not sufficient troops. All count the negroes out. On the Mississippi, where Thomas talked about 100,000 negro troops, I find I cannot draw away a white soldier, be-