November 26, 1864: Now how will we know where Sherman is?

Sherman's march

The Richmond Daily Dispatch takes the advice from a letter published the previous day, and resolves not to give any more information about Sherman’s movements.


From Georgia.

Seeing that Sherman is now cut off from all communication with his own country, and that the military authorities of his nation can only hear from him through the medium of the Southern press, did we publish the intelligence concerning him and his movements that reaches us, we should be guilty of the offence known as “giving information to the enemy,” and would, in no respect, except in motive, differ from the man who should collect information here, and committing it to writing, send it direct to General Grant’s headquarters; therefore we have concluded, until such time as reticence shall certainly be no longer necessary, to ignore the Georgia campaign. So far as we are concerned, the Yankees shall be thrown upon their own resources to obtain intelligence from their adventurous general. When he shall, as it was boasted he would do, “exchange signals with Commodore Porter on the Atlantic coast, ” or when his attempt to reach that coast shall have proved the grandest failure of the war, it will be time enough for us to advert to his operations.

Posted in Sherman's March, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

November 25, 1864: Sherman reports, and the Dispatch clams up

Sherman in Atlanta, 1864

From Sherman’s official report:

I accompanied the Twentieth Corps from Milledgeville to Sandersville, approaching which place, on the 25th, we found the bridges across Buffalo Creek burned, which delayed us three hours. The next day we entered Sandersville, skirmishing with Wheeler’s cavalry, which offered little opposition to the advance of the Twentieth and Fourteenth Corps, entering the place almost at the same moment.

General Slocum was then ordered to tear up and destroy the Georgia Central Railroad, from Station 13 (Tennille) to Station 10, near the crossing of Ogeechee-one of his corps substantially following the railroad, the other by way of Louisville, in support of Kilpatrick’s cavalry. In person I shifted to the Right Wing, and accompanied the Seventeenth Corps (General Blair) on the south of the railroad, till abreast of Station 91/2 (Barton), General Howard, in person, with the Fifteenth Corps, keeping farther to the right, and about one day’s march ahead, ready to turn against the flank of any enemy who should oppose our progress.

At Barton I learned that Kilpatrick’s cavalry had reached the Augusta railroad about Waynesborough, where he ascertained that our prisoners had been removed from Millen, and therefore the purpose of rescuing them, upon which we had set our hearts, was an impossibility. But as Wheeler’s cavalry had hung around him, and as he had retired to Louisville to meet our infantry, in pursuance of my instructions not to risk battle unless at great advantage, I ordered him to leave his wagons and all incumbrances with the Left Wing, and moving in the direction of Augusta, if Wheeler gave him the opportunity to indulge him with all the fighting he wanted.

General Kilpatrick, supported by Baird’s division of infantry of the Fourteenth Corps, again moved in the direction of Waynesborough, and encountering Wheeler in the neighborhood of Thomas’ Station, attacked him in position, driving him from three successive lines of barricades handsomely through Waynesborough and across Brier Creek, the bridges over which he burned; and then, with Baird’s division, rejoined the Left Wing, which in the meantime had been marching by easy stages of ten miles a day in the direction of Lumpkin’s Station and Jacksonborough.

The Seventeenth Corps took up the destruction of the railroad at the Ogeechee, near Station 10, and continued it to Millen, the enemy offering little or no opposition, although preparations had seemingly been made at Millen.

Savannah Campaign

Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes a letter urging them not to publish about Sherman’s movements. A good idea, but unfortunate for me trying to find contemporary reports.


To the Editor of the Richmond Dispatch:

Without reference to your own course, permit me to suggest that the newspapers of Richmond, and of the country generally, publish nothing in regard to the condition of military affairs in Georgia. The enemy has no means of hearing anything as to the progress or result of Sherman’s advance except through our own newspapers. Thus far, they have furnished him all the information necessary (if continued) to enable him to take his measures to co-operate with Sherman from the sea and to checkmate any move that might be contemplated by ourselves, either in Virginia or Tennessee. Indeed, the enemy can well afford to pay one million of dollars in gold per day for the information which the Richmond newspapers furnish free of charge. –Some of them preface their daily instalments of news with the remark that they are in possession of important intelligence, which, for prudential reasons, they withhold from the public; and then, like a child bursting with desire to tell some wonderful news he has been instructed to keep to himself, they go on, and by hints and innuendoes, and by arguments against this or that move, finally let out the whole thing.

Sherman may be turned back, or he may be compelled to strike for the sea at Brunswick, Savannah, Port Royal, Charleston, or Wilmington. He may follow the Central railway to Savannah, or the South Carolina railway to Charleston; or he may move between the two to Port Royal, avoiding Augusta. Or, taking Augusta, he may strike sixty miles across the country to Columbia, and on to Wilmington. We do not know what are his plans; the Federal Government does, and intends to meet him on the seacoast with supplies, and otherwise to co-operate with him. But if we can force him to change his plans, his Government cannot know it except through our own indiscretion, and cannot, therefore, in anywise co-operate with or assist him.

The newspapers in Petersburg, Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah should be equally reticent with those in Richmond; for their issues reach the enemy as well as those from this city.

I am a newspaper man myself. Let us show the world that the mere desire to print important news shall not betray us into the publication of intelligence which, without our assistance, the enemy cannot possibly get, and for which he would willingly pay millions of dollars.

Silence.

Posted in Georgia, Sherman's March | Leave a comment

November 24, 1864: News of Milledgeville

Gates of old Milledgeville, GA state capitol
Gate of Milledgeville state capitol building

*****************************************

You know things are getting bad when even the Richmond Daily Dispatch admits that Sherman has taken the capital of Georgia.


From Georgia.

We are still without official advices from Georgia. Some intelligence, considered good, is said, to have been received at headquarters here on yesterday; but we are unable to form the remotest idea of what it is.

It is the general opinion, and we have no doubt a correct one, in well-informed circles, that Sherman took possession of Milledgeville on yesterday. Whether he met with resistance, or was permitted to take quiet possession, we have no means of knowing.

It will be seen from the extracts from Northern papers, published in another part of this paper, that the programme we chalked out for Sherman is now to capture Macon and Augusta, and then to march on Savannah. The thing is a world easier to do on paper than in fact.

A private telegram from Augusta, yesterday morning, announced that all seemed safe there at that time.

Posted in Georgia, Sherman's March, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

November 23, 1864: Sherman’s progress

Savannah Campaign

The Richmond Daily Dispatch gives a report on Sherman’s progress in Georgia, with a helpful description of the territory and railroads. While he is “laying waste the country with fire and sword”, the correspondent is certain that he can’t support his army by foraging.


From Georgia.

We have no official information from Georgia. From such intelligence as reaches us through what we deem trustworthy sources, we conclude that Sherman’s main army is operating in the country embraced between the railroads running from Atlanta to Augusta, from Atlanta to Macon, and the Georgia Central railroad. He is in the very heart and centre of the State, his infantry columns advancing on Milledgeville.–While this is the direction of his main column, one body of his cavalry has advanced to within a short distance of Augusta, and the other has struck the Georgia Central road, leading from Macon to Savannah at two points — within a few miles of Macon, and at Gordon, the junction of the Georgia Central and Gordon and Milledgeville branch railroads.

On Sunday, a body of our cavalry, under Wheeler, attacked his cavalry at Gordon, but with what result we have not been able to ascertain.

Sherman is everywhere laying waste the country with fire and sword, showing clearly that it is his determination to take no step backward. His force, cavalry included, is not believed to exceed thirty thousand men; and it seems certain that, if vigorous measures are taken by our generals, he must be checked and destroyed. It is impossible he should be able to support his army on the country — a fact which alone must very soon embarrass him sorely.

Most persons seem to have very little idea of the situation of the railroads in the country in which Sherman is now operating. We will endeavor to make it as clear as we can:

Two railroads, besides the Chattanooga, which runs north, have their rise in Atlanta. The Georgia railroad runs nearly due east, strikes the South Carolina boundary at Hamburg; becomes thence the South Carolina railroad, and terminates in Charleston. The Macon railroad runs from Atlanta due south to Barneville; thence at right angles to its former course in an easterly direction to Macon. Thence to Savannah, pursuing a nearly southeastern course, runs the Central railroad. At Gordon, on the Central railroad, about fifteen miles east of Macon, a branch railroad runs through Milledgeville to a place called Eatendon.

This place is about fifteen miles from Madison, on the Georgia railroad. It is said that a portion of Sherman’s army went out as far as Madison, on the Georgia railroad, and leaving it, struck across to Eatendon, the immediate object being Milledgeville, the capital of the State. It is believed that Sherman himself pursued the Macon railroad until he came to Griffin, several miles above Barneville, and thence struck across to Gordon, avoiding Macon altogether, and by this movement placing his whole force in the rear of it. The Georgia railroad terminates at Augusta. Hamburg, the South Carolina town, is on the opposite side of the river.

We give these positions merely that the reader may be enabled to judge between the conflicting accounts he will find in the newspapers.

Posted in Sherman's March | Leave a comment

November 22, 1864: Sherman takes Milledgeville

Crossing the Little River

Sherman’s troops cross the Little River to Milledgeville.

Savannah Campaign

From Sherman’s report:

The enemy came out of Macon [22d] and attacked Walcutt in position, but was so roughly handled that he never repeated the experiment.

On the eighth day after leaving Atlanta (namely, on the 23rd [22d]) General Slocum occupied Milledgeville and the important bridge across the Oconee there, and Generals Howard and Kilpatrick were in and about Gordon.

General Howard was then ordered to move eastward, destroying the railroad thoroughly in his progress as far as Tennille Station, opposite Sandersville, and General Slocum to move to Sandersville by two roads. General Kilpatrick was ordered to Milledgeville, and thence move rapidly eastward, to break the railroad which leads from Millen to Augusta, then to turn upon Millen and rescue our prisoners of war supposed to be confined at that place.

Sherman’s men sack the Georgia capital of Milledgeville, and repel an attack by Wheeler’s cavalry outside Macon in what is known as the Battle of Griswoldville. Sherman disposed of this battle in one line in his report. Fortunately, General Ostenhaus’ report gives a bit more detail.


From the report of General Ostenhaus:

Your orders for the 22nd of November were to make a demonstration against Griswoldville, while our trains were to be pushed on toward Gordon with all the dispatch the terrible condition of the rutted roads permitted. I consequently ordered one brigade (General Walcutt’s) of General Wood’s division to move early on the south side of the railroad in the direction of Griswoldville. When I joined General Walcutt to accompany the expedition, General Kilpatrick’s in his front, and a portion of it, which had tried to drive back the rebel advance line, had just come back without having succeeded.

General Walcutt was ordered at once to relieve the cavalry, and the advance was sounded. A strong line of skirmishers, supported by two regiments and some cavalry, which General Kilpatrick had kindly furnished, soon struck the rebels, who were in line behind a creek, or rather swamp, in an open pine land, and caused them, with that peculiar spirit of our troops, to look for their horses and run.

General Walcutt kept pushing forward, and his men pursued in double-quick with cheers and laughter the fleeing horsemen, waded the creek, marched through the belt of timber beyond until they reached an open prairie like field, which was in possession of large rebel cavalry forces. General Walcutt halted here just long enough to correct his line, caution his skirmishers and supports to be prepared for a cavalry dash, and then they emerged into the open field and made for the rebels, who, throwing away the best chance that can be desired by an intrepid cavalry, fled in confusion.

General Walcutt followed rapidly, capturing many horses, equipments, &c. When beyond Griswoldville the rebels, who were commanded by General Wheeler in person, took different roads; and as I had some knowledge of Wheeler’s way of maneuvering- which is not formidable in the dash of arms, but sometimes successful by great activity and circumspection-I ordered General Woods to have General Walcutt’s command rallied and take a defensive position near the open field mentioned above. The position selected was in the edge of the timber and along a slight rise in the ground, at the base of which a kind of marshy swamp formed a natural obstruction to the approach; the right and left of the position was pretty well secured by swamps, &c. Light breast-works, built of rails, were put up to cover our men, and a section of artillery of Captain Arndt’s (First Michigan) battery was ordered there. These preparations were considered sufficient to meet any of General Wheeler’s reconnaissances, which he might undertake after finding out that he was no longer pressed, but had to stand a more severe trial.

In the afternoon the rebel commander brought forward four brigades of infantry and a battery of artillery, supported by a strong cavalry force, to dislodge General Walcutt from his position. For several hours their attempts were repeated with the greatest impetuosity. Their artillery threw a terrific fire into the frail works of Walcutt, while their columns of infantry marched in heroic style to within fifty yards of our line.

It was all in vain! Walcutt and his brave brigade proved that superior skill, coolness, and valor made up for the great disparity in numbers. When night came the enemy retired, leaving over 300 dead on the battle-field and a number of wounded, who were taken care of by our medical corps; also a number of prisoners were taken. Our loss was comparatively light. The brave General Walcutt was wounded by a piece of shell during the fight, and Colonel Catterson assumed the command of the brigade.

The New York Times reports that Sherman is doing well, and assures the readers that they’re not giving away any vital information. Meanwhile, as the editor says, “…the Richmond rebel newspapers will cut Sherman’s army all to pieces from six to twelve times before he fetches it up triumphantly on the Atlantic coast.”

The new facts which we were yesterday enabled to give about the character and progress of the heretofore inscrutable campaign of Gen. SHERMAN, furnished abundant material to the public for thought, speculation and excitement. And we may remark here, for the advantage of those who are troubled lest the revelations we have made should be of service to the enemy, that the publication of the facts did not trouble in the slightest the military soul of Lieut.-Gen. GRANT, who was present in this City on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but who is by this hour pretty near to the front. And if it did in no wise perturb him, we do not see why it should any one else, unless it be our journalistic contemporaries who have been so signally behind-hand in the publication of intelligence concerning this most remarkable of all the campaigns of the war.

The short telegram of this morning adds nothing of importance to four comprehensive account of yesterday. The Chief of Artillery of SHERMAN’s army reports that the troops who set out on the great march, were in the best of spirits, and that the morale of the entire force was unequaled. The outfit of the men was especially adapted to a hard and rapid campaign, and they had all received eight months’ pay before setting out. To all this, Gen. BARRY adds that SHERMAN had every cavalry, infantry and artillery soldier that he wanted.

The accounts we have from the Southern papers show that the rebels are greatly exercised as to SHERMAN’s purpose. They cannot divine what is his real object. But they assert he will meet with more opposition than he calculated upon. We shall soon see about that. But it may safely be prognosticated that the Richmond rebel newspapers will cut SHERMAN’s army all to pieces from six to twelve times before he fetches it up triumphantly on the Atlantic coast.

Posted in Georgia, Sherman's March, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

November 21, 1864: Dispatch gets one right

Savannah Campaign

For once, the Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes some pretty accurate information about Sherman’s march, without any claims that he’s about to be destroyed at any moment.

Richmond Daily Dispatch


The two armies at the South.

There is not much to be gathered from the Georgia papers about the armies of Sherman or Hood. The assault upon Atlanta on the 8th seems to have been made under the mistake[n impression?] that the city was weakly defended. This mistake being set right by finding a vigorous resistance, the assault was given up. Our troops attacked, under General Iverson, about sunrise, and drove the enemy from a redoubt on the south side of the town, but were in turn forced back. On the east side, General Lewis drove the enemy into their fortifications; but, as they showed a good line, the assault was not pressed. It turned out, after the skirmishing was over, that the enemy had about twenty thousand men under General Slocum. The Yankees were about evacuating the city preparatory to Sherman’s great march, and some of the Yankees said they were going to Montgomery.

General Hood was at Columbia, Tennessee, on the 2d, with Thomas’s troops ninety-eight miles in his rear. Forrest is said to be at Paducah.

From Sherman’s army we have the intelligence that it is moving in two columns — as the report says, one upon Augusta, and the other upon Macon. It is not likely that he is about to separate his columns for any length of time; and his line of march will, probably, be as follows: “The column marching on the Georgia State road for Augusta will go as far as Madison, sixty miles, and there turning to the right, march on Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia. The column marching on Macon will probably go to Crawford’s, within fifteen miles of the town, and there turn off to Milledgeville and form a junction with the other body. By this movement, Macon falls, and the enemy are at liberty to move on Augusta by following the Georgia Central railroad to Brinsonville, and then marching north, or on Savannah, by following the railroad to its terminus there. We shall soon hear of their cavalry around Macon and very near possibly, to Augusta. Sherman is moving rapidly, and is not much troubled with transportation. He has burned several stations at the depots he has passed, and is devastating the country generally in foraging.

We give a list of the distances from Atlanta to Augusta, on the State railroad, where one column is marching: From Atlanta to Decatur, 7 miles; Stone mountain, 16; Lithonia, 24; Conyer’s, 31; Covington, 41; Social Circle, 52; Rutledge, 59; Madison, 67; Buckhead, 75; Greensboro’, 88; Union Point, 95; Crawfordville, 106; Barnett, 118; Camak, 124; Thomson, 134; Dearing, 142; Sawdust, 145; Berrelia, 151; Belair, 161; Augusta, 171.

The distances from Atlanta to Macon, on the Macon and Western railroad, are: From Atlanta to East Point, 6 miles; Rough and Ready, 11; Morrow’s, 17; Jonesboro’, 22; Lovejoy’s, 29; Fayette, 36; Griffin, 48; Thornton, 49; Milner, 54; Barnesville, 61; (there is a branch line from this point to Thomaston, 10 miles); Goggin’s, 66; Collier’s, 71; Forsyth, 77; Smart’s, 82; Crawford’s, 88; Howard’s, 95; Macon, 103.

Posted in Georgia, Sherman's March, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

November 20, 1864: Kilpatrick feints on Macon, Blair’s men plunder plantations

Foraging

From Sherman’s official report:

During the 22nd [20th] General Kilpatrick made a good feint on Macon, driving the enemy within his intrenchments, and then drew back to Griswoldville, where Walcutt’s brigade of infantry joined him to cover that flank, whilst Howard’s trains were closing up, and his men scattered, breaking up railroads.

Savannah Campaign

While Kilpatrick was feinting, Blair’s column apparently was foraging liberally on plantations in Clinton, GA, a little northeast of Macon. Note the litany of outrages in this southern newspaper account begins with appropriation of property, mentioning violation of black women as sort of an afterthought. While there were virtually no reports of rape of white women during Sherman’s march, the same can’t be said for black women. Though the accounts of Southern slaveholders in his path are not necessarily reliable, there are enough reports like this, as well as some from union soldiers who were disgusted by their peers’ behavior, to indicate that there is some underlying truth.


SAVANNAH [GA] REPUBLICAN, December 2, 1864, p. 1, c. 1

From Clinton.

The following is an extract from a private letter dated Clinton, Nov. 20:

“I snatch a moment to advise you of the destruction committed by the enemy here. Many of us are utterly ruined; hundreds of our people are without anything to eat; their stock of cattle, hogs, are killed; horses and mules with wagons taken off; all through our streets and commons are to be seen dead horses and mules; entrails of hogs and cattle killed, and in many instances, the hams only taken; oxen and carts even taken away, so that we are not able to remove this offensive matter; our school houses and most of the churches burned; Captain Romen’s beautiful residence in ashes, together with everything of his that could be found, destroyed. He was from home. Atrocities most heinous were committed; Morgan’s Tannery with a quantity of government leather destroyed and his family, like many others, deprived of all food; clothes taken off the backs of some of the contrabands, and female servants taken and violated without mercy, by their officers, and in some instances when they were reared as tenderly as whites. But I cannot recapitulate in detail the many outrages; residences of J. McGray, Dr. Blount, J. H. Blunt and others, burned.” 

Posted in Francis Preston Blair, Georgia, Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, Sherman's March, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

November 19, 1864: More on Sherman’s folly

Sherman leaves Atlanta

The Richmond Daily Dispatch continues to publish a variety of reports about Sherman. Today, there are three claims: first, the country can’t support Sherman’s army, so he’ll starve. Second, it’s just a raid, since he can’t spare garrisons to hold the territory he passes through. Third, the Georgia militia will stop him anyway.


From Georgia.

We have nothing from Georgia in addition to the reports stated yesterday morning. We have no doubt that Sherman, with an army of at least thirty thousand men, has moved south from Atlanta, with the design of attacking Macon.–If the Georgians are true to themselves, they, not being prepared to undertake a protracted siege, must hurry past the city to open communication with some new base of supplies. The country cannot support him, and it is impossible he should carry more than ten or fifteen days supplies. During the Revolution, Burgoyne, meeting with an unexpected check and delay in attempting a movement very similar to Sherman’s, lost himself and his army — a consummation which, more than any other one thing, led to the recognition by Great Britain of the independence of the Colonies.

***********************************************************

Saturday morning…..November 19, 1864.

We should be inclined to believe that Sherman’s movement from Atlanta to the south was designed to draw Beauregard from Tennessee, where his presence must be a serious inconvenience, at least, to the Yankees, were it not that such a theory does not correspond with the tearing up of the track from Chattanooga to Atlanta. The better opinion seems to be, that he designs to obtain possession of a base upon the Atlantic or the Gulf, from whence, with renewed resources and increased strength, he may prosecute a winter and early spring campaign. In the former view, he will make for Augusta and Savannah; in the latter, we may hear of him moving in the direction of Selma and Mobile. In either case, his journey is a long one, and we do not see that his success will decide any great question.

By withdrawing from Atlanta, and tearing up the railroad, he gives us all the country between the two places. By going either to Mobile or Savannah, he likewise abandons all the intermediate country; for it cannot be expected that his force is large enough to spare garrisons, all along the route, sufficiently large to keep the country; and such garrisons must inevitably be captured, wherever they may be left.

This movement, it is very possible, may be regarded as formidable only because it is novel. In such a light we are disposed to regard it, for we cannot see any great object it would accomplish without losing something equally valuable in the attempt to secure it. The similar movement made by Sherman last spring ended in nothing except the injury inflicted on the population as he passed along.

If the people of the country are only true to themselves, it may be the means of securing us a great triumph. In this connection, we are glad to see that that gallant soldier and true patriot, General Howell Cobb, is in the field, and at the head, we should judge, of quite a considerable force. Gustavus Smith, too, is in the service of the State of Georgia, and we hope the means will be afforded him to show himself that great officer which he has everywhere heretofore had the credit of being. With such men at the head of such a force as we are informed Georgia can still furnish, it will be a very difficult job to march to Savannah, we should think. It cannot, at least, be done with shouldered arms the whole march.

We know not whether this march of Sherman’s was designedly so timed. But we think nothing is more certain than that Grant designs to make a grand attack, all along our lines, at a very early day, both naval and military. That he will be repulsed on both elements whenever he may try it we confidently believe, for we place the most implicit confidence in our brave troops and their officers and the great General by whom they are commanded.

Posted in Sherman's March, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

November 18, 1864: Sherman still doomed.

Sherman's march

The Richmond Daily Dispatch prints an item from the Augusta, GA Chronicle, explaining why Sherman is doomed. He has to have a huge number of wagons to carry provisions, which will slow him down so much that the rebels will be able to concentrate forces against him wherever he goes. Now if there were some way he could feed his men and livestock without hauling the food and fodder with him… But actually, the piece greatly underestimates the size of Sherman’s force and the size of his supply train. He was vulnerable to an attack on the supplies, but the Confederacy would have to figure out where he was going and then exercise coordinated command to get troops concentrated against him. Interesting article by Noah Andre Trudeau about the southern failure here.


The Augusta Chronicle of the 18th says:

The general belief is, that Sherman was yesterday, with part of his army, at Jonesboro’ and McDonough, and part near Covington; that he had burned Rome, Marietta, Atlanta, the bridge over the Chattahoochee, and was tearing up the railroad behind him.

Our careful and thoughtful opinion of this whole matter is, that if General Sherman is advancing with even 30,000 men, his ammunition and provision train, to put it at the lowest calculation, will so encumber him that a force of 10,000 determined men can, before the army advances one hundred miles, make it a retreating and disorganized one. He cannot have in his train, for ammunition alone, less than three hundred wagons, and at least three hundred more for daily forage and provisions, allowing his men to carry all they eat. With this train he must, at all events, move slowly and very carefully.

In the meantime, our troops, scattered everywhere, can be collected. South Carolina, who is threatened if anything is threatened, can send forward her reserves; Florida has troops to spare, and, joining with our twelve or fourteen thousand troops between Macon and the advancing enemy, will make a force able to meet him in the neighborhood of the last named city, or somewhere on the Oconee river.

It is desperation on the part of Sherman; and a desperate man is always readily overcome by calm and determined action.

We say, look at the situation without nervousness or alarm — pray to God, but keep your powder dry — make everything ready for the storm, and meet it like men, if it comes. It is always darkest just before day.

The Augusta Constitutionalist has the following:

Nothing is definitely known as yet in regard to Sherman’s movements, although it is quite certain that he has moved in some direction.

It was rumored on our streets Thursday that he had commenced a march towards Montgomery. –Another rumor states he was moving towards Columbus, and that three corps of his army were already at Jonesboro’. Another rumor says he is marching on Macon.

Whether he intends to advance on either of these places at present, we cannot say. A little fact, however, stated to us, confirms us in the opinion that a movement of some kind has been made. A railroad agent in this city received a telegraphic dispatch from Macon to allow no cars of the road he acted for to come in that direction.

Posted in Georgia, Sherman's March, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

November 17, 1864: Rumors of Sherman

Lincoln with a newspaper

The New York Times publishes a collection of rumors and reports about Sherman’s movements. The government hasn’t heard from him since November 10, as he is completely cut off from communications. Imagine how worrisome it must be for Lincoln and Grant, to have one of their best generals and 60,000 men somewhere deep inside enemy territory with nothing but rumors to tell them where they are or what they’re doing.

[NOTE. -- A dispatch was published in a Cincinnati paper of yesterday, giving some details of the departure of Gen. SHERMAN's columns from Atlanta, on the 9th or 12th, and their probable concentration at Augusta, which the War Department deems contraband, and we therefore refrain from publishing the report. -- ED. TIMES.]

INTELLIGENCE FROM REBEL SOURCES.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.

WASHINGTON, Thursday, Nov. 17.

Richmond papers of Tuesday received here, furnish intelligence from Georgia up to the 14th inst. They state that SHERMAN left Atlanta on the 12th, moving northward, though they doubtless mean by that eastward on a northerly line.

Report from Washington.

WASHINGTON, Thursday, Nov. 17.

No official intelligence has been received from Gen. SHERMAN for a week past.

Hood’s Movements, Strength and Position.

Special Dispatch to the Cincinnati Gazette.

NASHVILLE, Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The rebel army is still concentrated in the vicinity of Florence. One corps — S.D. LEE’s — is upon this side of the river: the remainder of the army remains comparatively quiet on the south side. The rebels have a good pontoon bridge from one shore to the other. The whole army is probably thirty thousand strong, embracing LEE’s corps, 7,000; CHEATHAM’s corps, 5,000; STEWART’s corps, 7,000; DICK TAYLOR’s corps, 6,000, and 5,000 cavalry. HOOD has also seventy pieces of artillery. Our cavalry — Gen. CROXTON’s especially — has skirmishing every day with the enemy’s cavalry, mostly in the neighborhood of Shoal Creek. The roads throughout that region of country are in a bad condition, on account of the recent rains, and wholly unsuited to military operations. This may for some time prevent anything very serious from taking place in this quarter. Besides, it is still a question as to whether the rebel demonstrations at Florence, like that at Johnsonville, is not a mere feint movement, and whether HOOD and BEAUREGARD do not design establishing themselves, if they can, at some point on the Mississippi river.

Sherman’s Movement.

The Indianapolis Journal, of Tuesday last, says:

“We had a conversation yesterday with a gentleman who had just arrived in this city direct from Atlanta, having left there on Friday, Nov. 6.

Every arrangement had been made for a gigantic movement in some direction. One corps had already moved out of the city, and others were to follow, but had not done so up to the hour of his departure, in consequence of the illness of Gen. SHERMAN.

SHERMAN expresses the utmost indifference as to HOOD’s movements, and says ‘THOMAS has sufficient troops to attend to him and prevent his returning South.’

The officers and men of SHERMAN’s army were never in better spirits or more confident of success. They regard this as the great movement of the war.

Most of our prisoners, heretofore confined at Anderson Ville, have been removed to Augusta, and as that place is directly in the line, SHERMAN will probably take it. They stand a good chance for a speedy release.

No private property in Atlanta had been burned or destroyed, nor was it expected that it would be.

From Atlanta to Augusta is 171 miles; from Augusta to Charleston 121 miles; to Savannah 130 miles. But, as our cotemporary remarks, ‘the country is not difficult; no mountain ranges lie in the way to make transportation laborious, such as ROSECRANS met in Tennessee in his campaign against Chattanooga; no passes or defiles present easily defensible positions to an opposing force; the whole region both to the south and east is rich in food, and has been untouched by the war.’”

The Chicago Journal says: “A furloughed officer of SHERMAN’s Staff states that he has been ordered, when his leave expires, to rejoin his command at Savannah. HOOD is said to be on the line of the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad. FORREST has not joined him, but is again moving toward Kentucky.,’

Posted in Sherman's March | Leave a comment