to cope with Hood, should he carry into effect his threatened invasion of Tennessee and Kentucky. I estimated Hood's force at 35,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry.
I moved the Army of the Tennessee by slow and easy marches on the south of the Coosa back to the neighborhood of Smyrna Camp-Ground, and the Fourteenth Corps, General Jeff. C. Davis, to Kingston whither I repaired in person on the 2nd of November. From that point I directed all surplus artillery, all baggage not needed for my contemplated march, all the sick and wounded, refugees, &c., to be sent back to Chattanooga, and the four corps above mentioned with Kilpatrick's cavalry, were put in the most efficient condition possible for a long and difficult march. This operations consumed the time until the 11th of November, when, everything being ready, I ordered General Cross, who still remained at Rome to destroy the bridges there, all foundries, mills, shops, warehouses, or other property that could be useful to an enemy, and to move to Kingston. At the same time the railroad in and about Atlanta, and between the Etowah and the Chattahoochee, was ordered to be utterly destroyed. The garrisons from Kingston northward were also ordered to draw back to Chattanooga, taking with them all public property and all railroad stock, and to take up the rails from Resaca back, saying them, ready to be replaced whenever future interests should demand. The railroad between the Etowah and the Oostenaula was left untouched, because I thought it more than probable we would find it necessary to reoccupy the country as far forward as the line of the Etowah. Atlanta itself is only of strategic value as long as it is a railroad center; and as all the railroads leading to it are destroyed, as well as all its foundries, machine-shops, warehouses, depots, &c., it is of no more value than any other point in North Georgia; whereas the line of the Etowah, by reason of its rivers and natural features, possesses an importance which will always continue. From it all parts of Georgia and Alabama can be reached by armies marching with trains down the Coosa or the Chattahoochee Valleys. *
All of which is respectfully submitted, by your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, Washington City, D. C.
Numbers 2. Report of Major General George H. Thomas, U. S. Army commanding Department of the Cumberland.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Eastport, Miss., January 20, 1865
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the operations of my command from the date of the occupation of Atlanta, Ga., as follows:
From the 7th to the 30th of September the Fourth, Fourteenth, and Twentieth Army Corps, composing the Army of the Cumberland, remained quietly in camp around the city of Atlanta. The enemy was reported posted in the neighborhood of Jonesborough. During the greater portion of the above-mentioned period an armistice existed between the two armies for the purpose of exchanging prisoners captured on both sides during the preceding campaign.
*For continuation of report, relating to the Savannah campaign, see Vol. XLIV, Part I.