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has wisely and well chosen the various points, and has given us a map of the route from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and they call it “the campaign for Atlanta.” I am not going into details; the committee has selected persons to speak on every point of conAlict, but I will give a mere sketch and trust to them to fill up the picture.
Right here, in this very house, yonder in the room within the sound of my voice, began the campaign for Atlanta. General Grant sent to me when I was on the Mississippi to be at Nashville on a certain day, but we found ourselves so overwhelmed with details that we concluded to postpone any immediate conference, such as ought to precede all grand events, until we had leisure time on the way from Nashville to Cincinnati. In the cars we could speak but little for the rattle and jarring, but when we got to this hotel, the old Burnet House, we were at rest, and for hours we looked over these maps in yonder room, which seems to be the reading room now, in front of the office towards Third street. They seem to have remodeled this hotel; I am glad they have preserved its name, for the sake of its history, for it has a good deal of history, not only of the campaign for Atlanta, but history of Ohio and the great Northwest. I am glad that they have retained the name, although they have changed the form for the better.
In yonder room we two men, no better and no worse than our other fellow-citizens, went over the maps before us, and the long list of brigades, divisions and corps; their stations, points, and quantity of tools; quantity of this thing and that thing; scattered from Knoxville clear down to Natchez on the river, out of which we were to form an army to go to Atlanta, not for Atlanta, but because we judged that that was the route on which they were to retreat, and on which we made up our minds they should retreat. [Applause.)
General Grant, magnanimous as ever, concluded to go East; a stranger almost among strange troops, volunteers; a more daring thing was never done by man on earth. But he went there, and studied the little idiosyncrasies of the different armies there, and we finally settled down upon a plan. He was to go for Lee, and Sherman was to go for Joe. Johnston. That was his plan. [Applause.] No routes were prescribed. Out of brigades scattered from Nashville down to Natchez, I was to collect materials
for an arıny. I was determined to strip for the fight; no tents, as few wagons as possible, and the men carrying just what was necessary for their protection against the weather. No army ever went forth to battle stripped as we were, from Chattanooga to Atlanta.
In like manner, and co-incident therewith, General Grant being commander-in-chief, and with a supervision over the whole coun: try, made preparation; I had perfect control of all the little de. tails, and not little details either, and I hoped to make up my command to thirty thousand men; but, as you remember, our kind, good, paternal government had given a great many furloughs about that time; it was unwise, but I suppose it could not be helped. And McPherson had to begin his campaign with about seven thousand. Thomas, having a whole division in command, the great center, made up about fifty thousand men, and I, with the right wing, only estimated twenty-five thousand, and the left wing was General Schofield with the army of the Ohio, and I think he never could get up above sixteen or seventeen thousand
The whole made about a hundred thousand men, stripped for battle, leaving everything behind and determined to go to Atlanta, although the route was not determined.
The first intention was to send McPherson right from Old Gunter's landing, over the Raccoon ridge, over which I myself had driven twenty years before, and to strike for Rome, and then to get on Johnston's line of supplies, he being behind the Ridge, as you remember, at Dalton, strongly fortified. Thomas in the center was to go right at him, not for the purpose of breaking through the gorge, but to take advantage of every opportunity of meeting Joe. Johnston there unaware, and to hold him until we could get on his line of retreat, and Schofield to come down the valley. I say that line of campaign was magnificent and it was well executed.
Now there is where your toasts take up the Atlanta campaign and I will not anticipate the thoughts which may be in the mind of the officer who is to respond to “ Resaca,” nor of any of the points between there and Atlanta, but leave them free to draw their own conclusions, merely saying that that campaign was one of three, there being one in Virginia and one down at Mobile. We were successful, but we worked for it and I think we merited it.
At all events, it was the beginning of the end which General
Grant and I foresaw right here in the old Burnet House in the spring of 1864. I could go on and tell you a thousand incidents and I could give you a more comprehensive view of the whole campaign, but I will not do it to-night. This is neither the time nor the occasion, but I merely say a few words preliminary to the series which will follow.
The first to be called upon is a poem by Captain S. H. M. Byers, who was captured by the enemy in our attack at Mission Ridge before the beginning of our campaign, and who fell into our hands at Columbia long after the Atlanta campaign.
The first thing after the introduction, according to the programme which I hold in my hand, is Music” by the orchestra. That is to be omitted. Then the toast is “ The Tramp of Sherman's Army,” which will be responded to by Captain Byers.
First Toast.-" The Tramp of Sherman's Army."
And the fields fiercely fought for Atlanta,
Once more to my vision they rise; A hundred long days—each a battle
And nights full of dread and surprise; Each mountain and hill grows historic;
Each stream from some battle is red; Each field swift mown with War's sickle;
Each hillock's some grave of our dead.
I see the flag float o'er Atlanta,
The tattered old flag that we bore
And a score of red battles before.
A cheer and a sigh for our men
Who'll never see battle again.
Again the old bugle is sounding,
There's a tramping of thousands of men;
The forests re-echo again.
Of lame and of glory to be,
For Sherman will march to the sea.
And look, the great columns are moving,
To music of bugle and drum; Their blood-colored flags pointing southward,
Like tempests the blue columns come; While millions stand breathlessly waiting
The boom of a far signal gun,
How bravely Savannah was won.
Or stormed up the “Ridge on that day?
Or drove the fierce foemen to bay? Oh! where are the legions of Sherman?
God bless them wherever they be, Who fought with him all that war-summer,
Or marched with him down to the sea.
Where, where are the heroes who wakened
That morn by the swift Tennessee. When the bugles of Sherman said " Forward,"
Or sounded their loud reveille?
Where. where are the men of Resaca,
Of Dallas, Kenesaw, where?
And Freedom stands guarding them there.
Oh, patriots, oh, comrades, we know you;
Your hands are still touching our own;
No star from its glory has flown.
Are with us to-night, in this room;
McPherson, I see by his plume.
There's Sheridan, riding his charger,
And Thomas, so brave and serene,
His eye resting still on the scene.
Are wheeling from column to line;
And give him the new counter-sign.
Fill up again, comrades, your glasses,
Let's drink to these spirits, and be,
That stood by the blue Tennessee.
The songs and the memories bright,
All hail, and forever-Good Night.
General Sherman:- Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you will give me your attention, I will first request the speakers, if they have notes, to hand a copy of them to the Secretary of the Society, Colonel Dayton, before we break up. I will now announce the second regular toast, “ Resaca." This toast will be responded to by one who has been there; a fellow-citizen of yours of Cin. cinnati, well known everywhere and everywhere respected. General J. D. Cox.
Music—“Tenting on the Old Camp Ground," by Miss Ritchie and Lincoln Glee Club.
We stormed the hills of Resaca,