November 14, 1864: Richmond Daily Dispatch misses the boat on Sherman

Savannah Campaign

From Sherman’s official report 92:8

The whole force was moved rapidly and grouped about Atlanta on the 14th of November. In the meantime Captain O. M. Poe had thoroughly destroyed Atlanta, save its mere dwelling-houses and churches, and the Right Wing, with General Kilpatrick’s cavalry, was put in motion in the direction of Jonesborough and McDonough, with orders to make a strong feint on Macon, to cross the Ocmulgee about Planters’ Mills, and rendezvous in the neighborhood of Gordon in seven days, exclusive of the day of march.

Sherman, having destroyed the railroad north from Atlanta to Chattanooga, proceeds southward, relying on the countryside for supplies. Meanwhile the Richmond Daily Dispatch explains how Sherman is doomed because Hood will cut his supply line to Chattanooga.

From General Hood’s army.
From our Southern accounts, the report is confirmed that Sherman has returned to Atlanta with four corps, having been unable to catch Hood. He has in Tennessee, however, a force of about 40,000 men, under Thomas. We may now expect an early advance by Sherman on Augusta or Macon, with a view of forcing Hood to return to Georgia.
Hood did not take Decatur, as has been so positively stated, but marched around it and crossed the Tennessee near Tuscumbia. His new base of operations is near Tullahoma. This is a little town on the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad, about seventy miles from Nashville and a little more than seventy from Chattanooga. Tullahoma is in the edge of Coffee county, and contiguous are the counties of Warren, Franklin, Lincoln, Bedford and Maury — a rich section, and filled with a brave people. If General Hood can hold the Nashville and Chattanooga road at this point a while, we do not see why he may not so utterly destroy Sherman’s communication as to make it necessary for him to wagon and foot it out via Sparta or East Tennessee.

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