War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0700 SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., &. N. GA. Chapter LXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

furnsihing them recrs was guarded strongly against all attack. Under these circumstances the commanding geneal determined to move upon the enemy's railroad with the main body of his army. All preparations having been completed, ont he 26th of August the movement commenced, the Twentieth Corps withdrawing to the Chattahoochee bridge, while the remainder of the army made a detour around the rebel left and arrived at Jonesborough September 1. After some severe fighting, during which the enemy were evacuating ATlanta, they retreated south. The Twentieth Corps entered Atlanta September 2, and the main army on the 8th. As soon as information reached me at Jonesborough that the enemy were out of Atlanta, I ordered my chief depot officer in the field, Captain John Stewart, to bring forward all stores at Marietta and the Chattahoochee bridge to Atlanta. The facilities at this place in the way of railroaddepots, side-tracks, and storehouses were most complete, it having been the largest depot for the supply of the rebel armies in the West. I was directed tot ake possession of all buildings and all staplearticles, such as cotton, animals, hardware, &c., found int hecity or vicinity. All such property was collected, and in accordance with instructions from the commanding general my depot officers gave receipts for everything, but made no payments, as the loyalty of any of the claimants was at least doubtful, and it was judged best to let the Government decide in the future whether any of the captured property should be paid for.

The whole army remained about Atlanta until the 4th of October, at which time the rebel army, having made a detour completely around our right, crossing the chattahoochee below Campbellton, struck the railroad at Big Shanty, and immediately commenced tearing it up and destroying the ties and rails. Our army immediately started north in pursuit, except the Twentieth Corps, which was left to garrison Atlanta. The enemy destroyed the road up to Allatoona, and assaulted that place on the 5th, but were repulsed with severe loss. This saved 2,000 cattle and fifteen days' bread for our army, and other stores. The enemy were reported to have very few wagons and to be carrying with them scarcely anything except ammunition. At any rate, they moved with great rapidity, and, marching around Rome, reached Resaca about the 12th. This place they were unable to capture, but destroyed the railroadfrom Tilton to Tunnel Hill. From this vicinity they retreated into Northern Alabama, pursued by General Sherman as far as Gaylesville. The distance of railroad and telegraph broken was about twenty-three miles, and the work of destruction was most thorough. Until it was repaired the garrison at Atlanta received nothing from thenorth until about the 25th of October, when some grain was brought around the break in wagons. The garrison in the town and at the Chattahoochee bridge numbered 20,100 men; the number of animals was 9,400. There was stored in the town more than a month's subsistence for the troops, but very little forage. When that was consumed the animals suffered a good deal. Parties were sent out southeast of Atlanta who brought in much forage, but the amount to be procured in this way was not sufficient, for besides the animals of the Twentieth Corps there were in Atlanta the depot teams and many unserviceable animals that had been turned in from the army. The parties had a long distance to go (thirty miles), and the enemy had a force hovering about Atlanta, which made it necessary to have very large guards for the trains. One thousand of the unserviceable animals were ordered to be driven to Chattanooga, and were started October 12. Only men enough to control the