Tuesday, September 20, 1864

Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff, Washington D.C.:

I have the honor herewith to submit copies of a correspondence between General Hood, of the Confederate Army, the Mayor of Atlanta, and myself, touching the removal of the inhabitants of Atlanta.

In explanation of the tone which marks some of these letters, I will only call your attention to the fact that, after I had announced my determination, General Hood took upon himself to question my motives. I could not tamely submit to such impertinence; and I have also seen that, in violation of all official usage, he has published in the Macon newspapers such parts of the correspondence as suited his purpose. This could have had no other object than to create a feeling on the part of the people; but if he expects to resort to such artifices, I think I can meet him there too.

It is sufficient for my Government to know that the removal of the inhabitants has been made with liberality and fairness, that it has been attended with no force, and that no women or children have suffered, unless for want of provisions by their natural protectors and friends.

My real reasons for this step were:
We want all the houses of Atlanta for military storage and occupation.

We want to contract the lines of defense, so as to diminish the garrison to the limit necessary to defend its narrow and vital parts, instead of embracing, as the lines now do, the vast suburbs. This contraction of the lines, with the necessary citadels and redoubts, will make it necessary to destroy the very houses used by families as residences.

Atlanta is a fortified town, was stubbornly defended, and fairly captured. As captors, we have a right to it.

The residence here of a poor population would compel us, sooner or later, to feed them or to see them starve under our eyes.

The residence here of the families of our enemies would be a temptation and a means to keep up a correspondence dangerous and hurtful to our cause; a civil population calls for provost-guards, and absorbs the attention of officers in listening to everlasting complaints and special grievances that are not military.

These are my reasons; and, if satisfactory to the Government of the United States, it makes no difference whether it pleases General Hood and his people or not.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General Commanding

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Tuesday, September 20, 1864

Atlanta, Georgia

Grant sent a staff officer with the following message:

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi

GENERAL: I send Lieutenant-Colonel Horace Porter, of my staff, with this. Colonel Porter will explain to you the exact condition of affairs here, better than I can do in the limits of a letter. Although I feel myself strong enough now for offensive operations, I am holding on quietly, to get advantage of recruits and convalescents, who are coming forward very rapidly. My lines are necessarily very long, extending from Deep Bottom, north of the James, across the peninsula formed by the Appomattox and the James, and south of the Appomattox to the Weldon road. This line is very strongly fortified, and can be held with comparatively few men; but, from its great length, necessarily takes many in the aggregate.

I propose, when I do move, to extend my left so as to control what is known as the Southside, or Lynchburg & Petersburg road; then, if possible, to keep the Danville road out. At the same time this move is made, I want to send a force of from six to ten thousand men against Wilmington. The way I propose to do this is to land the men north of Fort Fisher, and hold that point. At the same time a large naval fleet will be assembled there, and the iron-clads will run the batteries as they did at Mobile. This will give us the same control of the harbor of Wilmington that we now have of the harbor of Mobile.

What you are to do with the forces at your command, I do not exactly see. The difficulties of supplying your army, except when they are constantly moving beyond where you are, I plainly see. If it had not been for Price’s movement, Canby could have sent twelve thousand more men to Mobile. From your command on the Mississippi, an equal number could have been taken. With these forces, my idea would have been to divide them, sending one-half to Mobile, and the other half to Savannah. You could then move as proposed in your telegram, so as to threaten Macon and Augusta equally. Whichever one should be abandoned by the enemy, you could take and open up a new base of supplies.

My object now in sending a staff-officer to you is not so much to suggest operations for you as to get your views, and to have plans matured by the time every thing can be got ready. It would probably be the 5th of October before any of the plans here indicated will be executed. If you have any promotions to recommend, send the names forward, and I will approve them.

In conclusion, it is hardly necessary for me to say that I feel you have accomplished the most gigantic undertaking given to any general in this war, and with a skill and ability that will be acknowledged in history as unsurpassed, if not unequaled. It gives me as much pleasure to record this in your favor as it would in favor of any living man, myself included.

Truly yours,
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, City Point, Virgina.
I have the honor to acknowledge, at the hands of Lieutenant Colonel Porter, of your staff, your letter of September 12th, and accept with thanks the honorable and kindly mention of the services of this army in the great cause in which we are all engaged.

I send by Colonel Porter all official reports which are completed, and will in a few days submit a list of names which are deemed worthy of promotion.

I think we owe it to the President to save him the invidious task of selection among the vast number of worthy applicants, and have ordered my army commanders to prepare their lists with great care, and to express their preferences, based upon claims of actual capacity and services rendered.

These I will consolidate, and submit in such a form that, if mistakes are made, they will at least be sanctioned by the best contemporaneous evidence of merit, for I know that vacancies do not exist equal in number to that of the officers who really deserve promotion.

As to the future, I am pleased to know that your army is being steadily reinforced by a good class of men, and I hope it will go on until you have a force that is numerically double that of your antagonist, so that with one part you can watch him, and with the other push out boldly from your left flank, occupy the Southside Railroad, compel him to attack you in position, or accept battle on your own terms.

We ought to ask our country for the largest possible armies that can be raised, as so important a thing as the self-existence of a great nation should not be left to the fickle chances of war.

Now that Mobile is shut out to the commerce of our enemy, it calls for no further effort on our part, unless the capture of the city can be followed by the occupation of the Alabama River and the railroad to Columbus, Georgia, when that place would be a magnificent auxiliary to my further progress into Georgia. Until General Canby is much reinforced, and until he can more thoroughly subdue the scattered armies west of the Mississippi, I suppose that much cannot be attempted by him against the Alabama River and Columbus, Georgia.

The utter destruction of Wilmington, North Carolina, is of importance only in connection with the necessity of cutting off all foreign trade to our enemy. If Admiral Farragut can get across the bar, and move quickly, I suppose he will succeed. From my knowledge of the mouth of Cape Fear River, I anticipate more difficulty in getting the heavy ships across the bar than in reaching the town of Wilmington; but, of course, the soundings of the channel are well known at Washington, as well as the draught of his iron-clads, so that it must be demonstrated to be feasible, or else it would not be attempted. If successful, I suppose that Fort Caswell will be occupied, and the fleet at once sent to the Savannah River. Then the reduction of that city is the next question. It once in our possession, and the river open to us, I would not hesitate to cross the State of Georgia with sixty thousand men, hauling some stores, and depending on the country for the balance.

Where a million of people find subsistence, my army won’t starve; but, as you know, in a country like Georgia, with few roads and innumerable streams, an inferior force can so delay an army and harass it, that it would not be a formidable object; but if the enemy knew that we had our boats in the Savannah River I could rapidly move to Milledgeville, where there is abundance of corn and meat, and could so threaten Macon and Augusta that the enemy would doubtless give up Macon for Augusta; then I would move so as to interpose between Augusta and Savannah, and force him to give us Augusta, with the only powder-mills and factories remaining in the South, or let us have the use of the Savannah River. Either horn of the dilemma will be worth a battle. I would prefer his holding Augusta (as the probabilities are); for then, with the Savannah River in our possession, the taking of Augusta would be a mere matter of time. This campaign can be made in the winter.

But the more I study the game, the more am I convinced that it would be wrong for us to penetrate farther into Georgia without an objective beyond. It would not be productive of much good. I can start east and make a circuit south and back, doing vast damage to the State, but resulting in no permanent good; and by mere threatening to do so, I hold a rod over the Georgians, who are not over-loyal to the South.

I will therefore give it as my opinion that your army and Canby’s should be reinforced to the maximum; that, after you get Wilmington, you should strike for Savannah and its river; that General Canby should hold the Mississippi River, and send a force to take Columbus, Georgia, either by way of the Alabama or Appalachicola River; that I should keep Hood employed and put my army in fine order for a march on Augusta, Columbia, and Charleston; and start as soon as Wilmington is sealed to commerce, and the city of Savannah is in our possession.

I think it will be found that the movements of Price and Shelby, west of the Mississippi, are mere diversions. They cannot hope to enter Missouri except as raiders; and the truth is, that General Rosecrans should be ashamed to take my troops for such a purpose. If you will secure Wilmington and the city of Savannah from your centre, and let General Canby leave command over the Mississippi River and country west of it, I will send a force to the Alabama and Appalachicola, provided you give me one hundred thousand of the drafted men to fill up my old regiments. If you will fix a day to be in Savannah, I will insure our possession of Macon and a point on the river below Augusta. The possession of the Savannah River is more than fatal to the possibility of Southern independence. They may stand the fall of Richmond, but not of all Georgia.

I will have a long talk with Colonel Porter, and tell him every thing that may occur to me of interest to you. In the mean time, know that I admire your dogged perseverance and pluck more than ever. If you can whip Lee and I can march to the Atlantic, I think Uncle Abe will give us a twenty days’ leave of absence to see the young folks.

Yours as ever,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Halleck Writes:

WASHINGTON, September 20, 1864: 2:55 p.m.

Major-General SHERMAN,Atlanta, Ga.:
General Schofield asks for permission to purchase mares in Kentucky for his cavalry. That would seriously injure the horse stock of the country, and is against the fixed policy of the Government. But all mares in Georgia, Alabama, and MISSISSIPPI should be seized as military supplies, and those not fit for cavalry or the quartermaster’s department sent North and sold. In parts of Tennessee and Kentucky liable to raids mares may be seized and appraised, but not purchased on contract or in open market. The objection purchasing is, that mares will be immediately run down there from Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan for a market. Please impress these views on General Thomas and Schofield in regard to their departments.
Major-General and Chief of Staff

Webster Reports from Nashville:

General Washburn telegraphs that on the 10th Forrest was at Okolona with all his force for a movement, he thinks, into Middle Tennessee. If he should come, joined by Wheeler and Roddey, they might be rather heavy for us here. At the present stage of water they could get across the river.

The War Department Writes:

Yesterday, Monday, the 19th Major-General Sheridan, attacked the rebel forces under General Breckinridge and Early, and Bunker Hill, in the Shenandoah Valley, fought a hard battle all day and a brilliant victory was won by our forces. The enemy were driven off twelve miles, 2, 500 prisoners were captured, 9 stand of colors, 5 pieces of artillery were taken, and the rebel killed and wounded left in our hands. The rebel Generals Rodes and Gordon were killed, 4 other rebel generals wounded.

It is reported the enemy has sent a pontoon train, of about 100 wagons, from Griffin toward Jonesborough, and that rebel troops are moving from Lovejoy’s, in what direction is not yet known. Kilpatrick will ascertain, if possible, the movements of the enemy by a reconnaissance on the left bank of the Chattahoochee. He will also send Aldridge out again and gain all the information possible. General Garrard has been directed to make a reconnaissance on the right of the Chattahoochee for the same purpose. I will have spies tonight at Macon to watch way Hood goes. I think he will move back to Macon and send some men to Richmond.

Howard Forwards General Logan’s concern about parts of his army left on the Mississippi. This note was attached.

I am aware that measures have been already taken to make block- houses and relieve a part of our forces. But I call especial attention to General Logan’s representations. This army has between Atlanta and Dalton over 8,000 men on the railroad.

I Reply:
General Thomas has on the railroad to our rear more than five times the detachments of the Army of the Tennessee.

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Monday, September 19, 1864

In the Field, Atlanta, Georgia

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT, City Point, Va.:
Your messenger has not yet arrived. Things remain status quo. Most of the inhabitants are gone, and I am exchanging 2,000 prisoners with Hood on a special exchange, with the understanding that I get an equal number of my own men back whom I can put right away to duty. He raised the question of humanity, but I am not to be moved by such tricks of the enemy. I have taken high ground with Hood on purpose. A deserter just in says Stewart’s corps is moving back to Macon with a view of going to Virginia. I have ordered one of my female scouts from New Orleans to Augusta, and will send some out from here and give you prompt notice of any of Hood’s army going East. I can quickly bounce him out of Lovejoy’s, but think him better there where I can watch him than farther off. I await the arrival of your messenger with impatience. All well, but large numbers of our men and officers are being discharged-time out-and we must have recruits.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Secretary Stanton Writes:

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, September 19, 1864: 9 p. m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta:
Your telegram of this date just received. Lieutenant Coverdale has been appointed assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain. The appointment will be forwarded to you. General Sheridan attacked Early this morning. A general engagement has been going on all day. At 1 o’clock Breckinridge, on the right, had been driven seven miles; on the left and center the enemy had been driven about three miles. The engagement is near Bunker Hill, between Martinsburg and Winchester. Draft commenced to-day in all the States.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War

General Schofield Writes

LOUISVILLE, KY., September 19, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military DIVISION of the Mississippi, Atlanta, Ga.:
After consulting with General Burbridge, I have concluded to let him make his expedition into Southwest Virginia, and have arranged with General Ammen and General Gillem to co-operate with him. Burbridge will take three old regiments and the remainder twelve-months’ Kentucky troops. After the expedition is ended the old regiments will be sent, via Knoxville, to Atlanta. Meanwhile I will have my other regiments here remounted and ready to go to the front. If General Gillem is to operate in my department, I think he should be ordered to report to me.
J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General, Commanding

I showed the telegram to Thomas, I he did not object, but wants the cavalry left on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad.

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Sunday, September 18, 1864

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Atlanta

Dr. T. S. Bell, Louisville:
Gen. Whitaker has handed me your kind letter of September 12, with the parcel of newspapers with the Sept. no. of the U.S. Service Magazine. I have read the resolutions at the Court House Meeting and fear you have piled up the praise a little too high. I fear Elevation as a fall would be the harder, but if the Draft ordered for tomorrow be made thoroughly it does seem that with present advantages we should make big strides to that end, for which I know the loudest Peace men of the land do not yearn with more solicitude than you and I. I have met many confederates who want Peace, on the terms of Vallandigham of Southern independence. I have asked them fairly if they could have the impudence to ask us to give up Memphis, and Vicksburg, and New Orleans, and the Forts of the Seashore, and Louisville and Nashville and Chattanooga and Atlanta and hundreds of other places that we have paid for with human lives. The uniform answer is that Southern Independence without these points would be a mere sham. But not one dared to ask us to give up these places as it would be an insult to Common decency and Common sense.

No. We must have a Country Embracing all these & more too, and the only question is who is to govern it. We offer them a fair share, but not the weight of the feather more than they are entitled to. When this only question of sovereignty is settled by war, and nothing else can settle it, all else is easy, and may be dispatched by congresses, committees, caucuses or any other of the devices of civilians. I am always glad to hear of the Steadfastness of our Kentucky Friends, and that they are not led astray by false issues. If our Country is not good & great enough to command universal love & veneration let us make it so, instead of pulling it to pieces which would make us the despised and hated of all People. Don’t fear that I shall falter in my energies, for you know that I began war with my fellow countrymen with pain & sorrow. But when it could not be avoided, I began in earnest, and have only warmed to the work. Months & years are as nothing in the Past, and we must not measure a Cause by Time. The end we seek will justify a century of labor and toil and when the enemies of our country, be they at home or abroad see that we can and will persevere to the end, they will shrink from the encounter, and like Beelzebub of old go forth and Seek congenial space elsewhere, to work out their devilish anarchy.

I will gladly help Colonel Barry, who is young and sure of advancement if he perseveres as he has so well begun, and your little Nephew Harper must come and see me and for his Mother’s and your sake I will cheerfully notice and encourage him. I have a big family and it takes nearly all my time to feed & clothe them.
With great respect,
W. T. Sherman, Major General

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Atlanta

Dear Minnie,
I have your letter from Notre Dame telling me you are again at your studies and that Lizzie is with you. I am very glad of it and you can always steal a little time to tell me all about your present studies. I have much to occupy my time as even you can understand, and neither you or Lizzie must expect me to be even on the score of Letters. You will hear so much about Atlanta and the Battles that I need not speak of them to you, but I hope some day we will all sit round the Fire when I can tell you all many stories about the Battles. Atlanta is a town which once had 20,000 people, with large foundries and work shops, but these are all gone and nothing remains but the dwelling houses, which are empty. There is a Depot as large as that at Indianapolis or Cincinati with some large locomotive buildings. My Engineer officer Captain Poe has just brought me some daguerreotypes of the Locomotive House and of the track when the Rebels burned up seven trains of cars on leaving. I send them to you for they are very pretty pictures, and after awhile I will send you more. Give one to Lizzie and keep one yourself.

Tell Sister Angela, that it is hard to have you away off in the North part of Indiana where there is no chance of my ever seeing you till you are out of school, for it is off away from all Roads, that I can have any chance to travel. But time slips along very fast and your few years of school will soon be over and by that time the war may be over and we may then have a home.

Give my love to Agnes and Elly & to Cousin Tom. I suppose the latter is almost a young Gent. Tell Lizzie I will Soon write to her also.
Your loving father,
W. T. Sherman

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Saturday, September 17, 1864

Atlanta, Georgia

I write my family:


Dear Tom,
Charley has shown me your letter of Aug. 30, in which you foreshadow for me great things in case I take Atlanta. Atlanta is “took,” but I only see harder work before me. As to being a rival of Lincoln or McClellan or any aspirants to such honor, I think I have too much sense to trouble myself about it. The People of the U.S. have too much sense to make me their President. Men old & young and women too would be organized & armed and you would have the damndest fight ever read of. Xerxes armies would be Corporal Guards to mine, and the Old & best Government of the World would expire in a Grand Raid.

But to be serious I have taken Atlanta steadily & purposely and have reason to believe separate and apart from its intrinsic value, it has illustrated what we may & can do to the enemy. I see from where I am, like all the operations of our Government, just as I reach our Goal, from which vital blows might be inflicted, my Army vanishes from purely American causes. Every General Officer wants to go home & glorify; half my men’s times are out and Lincoln is trembling about the draft. In other words do what we may, we lose its natural effect by want of national traits of weakness. The idea of the enervated & delicate South, beating us in the Northern virtues of perseverance & eye on the bottom line, but that is the real danger.

You have called to Missouri one of my Divisions, A. J. Smith’s, to head off Price, when I’ll bet that there are loafers enough about St. Louis today to make four such Divisions. If a Census were to ask me honestly a question about the Presidency, I would answer, Grant and I can manage your Armies, but not in a manner as Jeff Davis or Napoleon.

Atlanta is a very important place and Hood has fortified it beautifully to our very hands but the fortifications even have too much ground. I have expellled the People, and will contract the Lines to a comparatively small circle embracing the vital points and of course do not expect to be idle long.

Tell Rosecrans to raise the hue & cry, go down & clean out Shelby & Price, and do not take my troops to defend Missouri. It is ridiculous & absurd. If Missouri can’t at this day keep Price out, then Price ought to capture you all, and send you as Slaves down to take the places of the freed negroes. What is the Free State of Arkansas doing? And the reorganised State of Louisiana? that they do not stand as a shield against the frightened people of Missouri.

I am almost tired of playing war and consider an abdication in favor of some of some more persistent and plucky Lieutenants. I now comprehend why Cromwell scattered the House, and Louis Napoleon sent the Council of Five Hundred back to their wives.

I am no fit subject for a Democratic or Republican Candidate for any office. Charley is well, and we are all enjoying the rest, for the first time in five months without the luxury of cannon & musket shots breakfast dinner & supper.

Minnie & Lizzie are now at school up in Indiana and Ellen really contemplates spending much of her time with them, but years are so fleet that both the misses will be independent & off on their own voyage of Life before Ellen is fairly awake to the fact that they have begun the school.

Yours in haste as usual,
W. T. Sherman

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi. Atlanta Geo. Sept. 17,1864

Dearest Ellen,
I have many letters from you of late some of which seem by an unexplained cause to have laid at Nashville or Chattanooga, but I think the Series is complete up to and including your visit to the School at South Bend. I got last night also Minnie’s letter which you seem to have carried to Lancaster & mailed from there. I have telegraphed you & written short hasty letters to you, to your father & Tommy and cannot add much if any thing of interest not involved in my original Telegraph.

Atlanta is ours & fairly won. I have had some sharp correspondence with Hood about expelling the “poor families of a brave People”, which correspondence in due time will become public. I take the ground that Atlanta is a conquered place and I propose to use it purely for our own military purposes which are inconsistent with its habitation by the families of a Brave People. I am shipping them all and by next Wednesday the Town will be a real Military town with no women boring me every order I give. Hood no doubt thought he would make Capital out of the barbarity &c. but I rather think he will change his mind before he is done. I beat him on the Strategy and fighting, and if my troops had only been as smart as my old Tennessee Army I could have bagged all of Hardee’s Corps at Jonesboro. Still on the whole the Campaign is the best, cleanest and most satisfactory of this war. I have received the most fulsome praise of all from the President down, but I fear the world will jump to the weary conclusion that because I am in Atlanta the work is done. Far from it, we must kill these three hundred thousand I have told you of so often, and the further they run the harder for us to get them.

I will Send you the rough notes of my Report as soon as copied in my letter Book, and you can read it to your father who will be more interested than you.

Do you remember when I was at Belfonte in 1844, I boarded with a man named Martin? Some months ago he found out I was the same & wrote me asking me to enable him to gather his corn and Some hogs. Of course I did So & wrote him very kindly. I Send you his answer, it is a gem in its way. I send you a letter from a Mrs. Biddle also as a sample of the many that come to me, and I really have not time to answer. I already write so hastily & badly that no one but my regular clerks can make it out. Dayton does much of my writing but the truth is I can write a dozen letters before he can one. I find it about as quick work to write as to tell what to write & modify & correct after.

Hill’s time was out July 19, but he staid with me till the day before yesterday when he went to Illinois, to see his brother who has charge of some cows calves, mares and colts. I paid him up, and had a grand settlement, paying him in full $292. He was honest & faithful to the last. I have two negros to take care of my horses, one a boy who now makes up my bed, blacks my shoes and swipes out the Room under the mastery of a very good orderly who Succeeded Boyer, so that the machinery of my household works smooth as possible, We occupy a fine house, that of Judge Lyons, and have a good mess. I enclose you a letter to mail to Mr. Casserly, asking him to Sell that lot. I told Hill to write to you when he got home, and you would Send him a Deed to a Lot in Leavenworth, but I gave him to understand I would not be responsible for the Consequences. He promised to come back to me before the Winter Campaign and I think he will. He turned over to his successor a minute account of Shirts with orders on all points.

Love to all. Yours ever,

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Atlanta Sept. 17,1864.

Dear Brother,
I have your letter of the 5th and would have replied at an earlier date but I knew you would hear all you wanted to know from the public sheets. I have now finished my official Report of Atlanta and am devoting myself to the collating of the addenda or appendix which are the statistics. I did not mean to be severe on your friend Colfax, but it is to me incomprehensible that any one would wish to withdraw nine Regiments from my army actually engaged in Battle, before a strongly fortified town, and to put our already overtaxed Country the Expense of transporting them six hundred miles to vote for a member of Congress. The mere thought is more severe than any commentary I could make.

As to the negro letter I never dreamed it would be printed & made public, and cannot now imagine why the person to whom it was addressed should give it notoriety. I know of course that the negro like all other popular questions would follow the national law & swings from one extreme to the other till it settle down to something like Right, but it was hard to force us to wait so long. I believe the United States are now paying 60,000 negro soldiers many of whom are subject to my command, but we never Count them as anything in our Estimates for the Field. I tried when I went to Meridian to make up a force of 4000 but failed. General Hawkins, though nominally in command of our 20,000 could not raise but 2100 and did not feel disposed to risk them.

I am glad that at last the draft is to be enforced. That is the only legitimate source of supply, and we have a Right to ask the Government to use it to replace our natural and necessary losses. We are all in good condition here and await the next Great Combination, which will carry me deeper & deeper into the heart of Georgia.

Give my love to all & believe me Affectionately,
W. T. Sherman

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Saturday, September 17, 1864


I write the President:

A. LINCOLN, President of the United States:
I will keep the Department fully advised of all developments as connected with the subject in which you fell so interested. A Mr. Wright, former member of Congress, from Rome, Ga., and a Mr. King, of Marietta, are now going between Governor Brown and myself. I have said that some of the people of Georgia are now engaged in rebellion, begun in error and perpetuated in pride, but that Georgia can now save herself from the devastation of war preparing for her only by withdrawing her quota out of the Confederate army and aiding me to repel Hood from the borders of the State. In which event, instead of desolating the land as we progress, I will keep our men to the high roads and commons and pay for the corn and meat we need and take. I am fully conscious of the delicate nature of such assertions, but it would be a magnificent stroke of policy if I could, without surrendering a foot of ground or of principle, arouse the latent enmity to Jeff. Davis of Georgia. The people do not hesitate to say that Mr. Stephens was, and is, a Union man at heart, and they felt that Jeff. Davis will not trust him, or let him have a share in his government.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Genearl Canby writes Halleck:

New Orleans, La., September 17, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, D. C.:
I send for your consideration copies of some correspondence between Admiral Farragut, General Sherman, and myself. If the troubles in Arkansas are ended as soon as I hope they will be, I can then employ 20,000 or 25,000 men in season for Sherman’s movements. If the more important operations in the direction of Montgomery and the Appalachicola River are attempted, a much larger force (not less than 40,000 effectives) will be required, that is 15,000 or 20,000 in addition to the force I can gather here.

I can add somewhat to the strength by employing the militia, but it will have to be done cautiously and at points where they can do no mischief. If any troops can be spared for these objects they should be directed to Pensacola. If they are sent from the north will you advise me as early as possible?
Provision will be made for Sherman’s wants, if he should make his way to the coast.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
E. D. R. S. CANBY, Major-General, Commanding

I wire Halleck:
ATLANTA, GA., September 17, 1864: 8 a. m.

Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
My report is done and copied. Many of the subordinate reports are also ready, and I could send them forward today, but as I expect a special messenger from General Grant every hour, who will return, I will await his arrival, and avail myself of his return to send on the reports. All well. Troops in fine health, but are unusually anxious about paymasters and the draft. Mr. Stanton tells me the draft will be made on Monday next. If Mr. Lincoln modifies it to the extent of one man, or wavers in its execution, he is gone. Even the army would vote against him. Atlanta is pretty well cleared out of the families, so that source of trouble is disposed of. Now, I will build some strong interior redoubts, and then, I suppose, for Augusta?
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

Prisoners intended for exchange with Hood have been sent to Nashville. I asked Dayton to have them halted:

In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 1864.

Brigadier-General WEBSTER, Nashville, Tenn.:
General Sherman has arranged to exchange 2,000 prisoners, and has given orders to hold those en route and at Chattanooga, to be returned, if needed, but cannot get his orders obeyed, and he now directs that you stop and hold at Nashville all prisoners going north until further orders from him. He don’t want any modifications of this order, but to be held to strictly until you get orders from him direct.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

Canby Writes:

New Orleans, La., September 17, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.:
Your dispatch of the 10th has just been received. The operations you suggest have been in contemplation and preparations are now in progress. I think I can give you the assurance that you will find friends in Mobile if the troubles in Arkansas should be soon ended. How far east of that will depend upon the re-enforcement that can be spared for this command.
ED. R. S. CANBY, Major-General, Commanding

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Saturday, September 17, 1864

Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Casserly,
I can hardly treat seriously of property in San Francisco, but do get rid of that lot, and though Gold is something hard to get in this country I will buy and get enough to pay the balance due on that lot.  I know that Captain Welch meant to do Lizzie a kindness in giving that lot.  Still I never intended to commit the folly of paying taxes, but Ellen tells me Mr. Moss has done so, and he must be reimbursed.  Let it be sold if you can make title.  Pay over the proceeds to Mr. Moss and the balance to repay Mr. Moss in full. I will deposit for him with Schuchardt & Gebhard New York.  I can handle an hundred thousand men in battle, and take the “City of the Sun”, but am afraid to manage a lot in the Swamp of San Francisco, with your taxes and street assessments, and Greenbacks at 256.  In taking Atlanta we brought Gold down to 220, so now is the time for me to reimburse Mr. Moss for his advances on account of that unfortunate piece of property.

I have made a short truce with General Hood at a place called Rough & Ready 12 miles out, where I deliver the People of Atlanta and he transports them beyond the break I made in his Road, which made him quit Atlanta in a hurry.  I got a letter from Calhoun Penham who is an officer on some Rebel General’s staff.  He is a pretty “chivalry”.  These fellows have a way of leaving us to take care of their families, but when I took Atlanta I ordered them all to quit and a big howl is raised against my Barbarity: Butler is the Beast; Sherman the Brute; & Grant the Butcher.  This is somewhat on the order of the school bully who if he can’t whip you, can call you hard names or make mouths as you listen.

I think I will make a Record of this campaign that will compare well with that of the European Models. I made two moves that I would like to demonstrate to you at home with the maps but which I cannot now essay: the passage of the Chattahoochee, and the raising the siege & striking Hoods communications before he suspected my movement.

Give my love to Mrs. C. to Dr. Bowie, Mr. Moss and others of my acquaintance if they still remember me.

Your friend,
W. T. Sherman


Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Atlanta Georgia, Sept. 17,1864

Hon. Edward Everett, Boston Mass.
Dear Sir,
The Honorable Secretary of War has been kind enough to enclose me a Copy of the Boston Advertiser which contains your letter addressed to a Public meeting called to celebrate the recent successes to our arms, in which you associate my name honorably with those of Admiral Farragut, and Lt. General Grant.  So high a Compliment, coming from one who looks deep into the Causes of Events, and who foreshadows the judgment of History to which all men must submit, is one which even I must appreciate.  I thank you for such a mark of your esteem, and can only promise to use the physical Force entrusted to my care to the end that our Nation’s honor and Power may stand vindicated, and may serve as the buckler and shield of safety to the thousands of millions of human beings that must succeed us in the Favored Region of Earth, committed to our Custody.

In your letter, I was more than pleased to see revived Mr. Webster’s Magnificent Simile, comparing our political system with that of the Grand Universe, when each little Planet or asteroid if Kept to its place remains in perfect harmony, having an influence upon the whole proportionate to its mass but no more: but if rudely withdrawn the Equilibrium is destroyed, and wreck & chaos sure to follow. How true was his prediction and plain and palpable the only remedy.

Mr. Stephens, to whom you also refer with the predictions made by him of the consequences of Secession, is now living “perdu” in this state, witnessing all the Sad Calamities which he foresaw, but Could not prevent.  I am told by Citizens that he is universally regarded as an Union Man, and has not been permitted to Exercise any influence or power in a Government, in which he is nominally second in Station.  All these things are elements in the Great Problem, that will be worked out in Time, and it were Sacrilegious in us to pronounce the sacrifices made as useless.  Good will come out of their incongruities and complications and our Government will be strengthened that it may fulfill its destiny in a more eminent degree.

I feel the more confidence since men like you heed the passing storm and guide it to its logical end, whilst we mere artizans mould the unsteady Elements of a democratic mass, into a well ordered army, and impress on it a love of country, a Reverence for its Laws & Civil Authorities, and a Courage that will sustain it in these wild struggles of Maddened Strife.

Permit me to subscribe myself as your Friend and humble servant,
W. T. Sherman, Major General

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