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row:” I said, “ Yes, sir," bade him good-night and went back to my command, determined never to go upon another such errand. As he explained it afterwards, he wanted it said that the little Army of the Tennessee had fought the great battle that day, need. ing no help, no aid, and that it could be said that all alone it had whipped the whole of Hood's army. Therefore he let us hold our position and our line, knowing that Hood would not dare attack us after the thrashing he had already received.
When we consider that in this, the greatest battle of the campaign, the little Army of the Tennessee met the entire rebel army, secretly thrust to its rear, on its flank and upon its advance center, with its idolized commander killed in the first shock of battle, and at nightfall found the enemy's dead and wounded on its front, showing that no disaster, no temporary rebuff could discourage this army. Every man at his post, every man doing a hero's duty, they proved that they might be wiped out but never made to
they were invincible! Comrades, regarding so great a battle, against such odds, with such loss, the question has often been asked me - and I know it has come to the mind of all of us — why it was that this battle was never put forth ahead of many others its inferior, but better known to the world and made of much greater comment.
The answer comes to all of us; it is as apparent to us to-day as it was that night. We had lost our best friend, that superb soldier, our commander, General McPherson. His death counted so much more to us than any victory, that we spoke of our battle, our great success, with our loss uppermost in our minds.
Music—“Star Spangled Banner," by Miss Alma Roth and Lincoln Glee Club.
**Atlanta is ours and fairly won."
Response by General O. O. HOWARD.
After the singing, “ Marching through Georgia," by the Lincoln Glee Club, General Sherman said: Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have come to the seventh and last toast. After which I see on my programme the expression, “ Volunteer Toasts.” If any member of the Society Jesires a toast of that nature, if he will write it on a little slip of paper with the name of the person to respond and send it to me, I will endeavor to comply with his request.
The last regular toast is " Jonesboro.” To this, General Howard will respond. [Applause. ]
Before General Howard responds to the toast, I want to comply with the request of a number of people, of these colored people, that ask me to say, “give three cheers for General Howard." Comrades, let us give three cheers for General Howard.
After the cheers were given, General Howard responded as follows:
We have been all this glorious evening dwelling upon the plans of our beloved leader, General Sherman. Without irreverence, I often liken the General's orders of a great Captain to the divine decrees, under which all orthodox children of promise find plenty of freedom of action.
Under a great captain's orders, there is abundant space for the talents of subordinate captains to exereise themselves freely and successfully. This principle gave Stanley and Williams and Cox work and praise at Resaca, Newton and Wood at Adairsville, Hooker at New Hope Church, McPherson at Dallas, Wood and R. W. Johnson at Pickett's Mill, Baird and Harker at Muddy Creek, Thomas and his Generals at Kenesaw and Smyrna Campground, Schofield and McPherson at the crossings of the Chattahoochee, Thomas, Hooker, Geary, Williams and Newton at Peach-tree creek, McPherson and his Generals Logan, Blair, Dodge, Woods, Leggett, Gresham and others at the battle of the 22nd of July, and the successors at Ezra Chapel. The part we bore in this prolonged conflict gives the participants a genuine satisfaction, and is an inheritance which is better than money that we shall transmit to our children. The part may, indeed, have been an humble one, a short story, yet somebody, some circle remembers it, and it will not escape a record. Yes, comrades, even the names marked “unknown," among whom is one who gave a life for mine, have a home-love somewhere in this world, or in that more real world which is beyond, where genuine merit cannot possibly miss its reward.
Well, now we arrive at the last scenes. Behold us in council outside of Atlanta. One of Sherman's councils of war, when his officers are told what he proposes to undertake next. Thomas, Howard. Schofield Logan and a few other corps commanders
were at that meeting General Sherman told us in substance: "Now I am ready to make a large swing and throw myself upon Hood's two feeding railroads. Howard, the night of the 25th of August, you will move out very quietly, take the outer curve, gain the first railroad, break it well, and then as quickly as possible march to Renfro's place and threaten Jonesboro."
“You, Thomas, will go slower; be on the first railroad about the same time as Howard, having here a shorter line.
“You, Schofield, must hang closer to Atlanta, turning as on a pivot. Thomas, your 20th Corps (Slocum now) can go back a little to the Chattahoochie, reverse Johnston's breastworks and stay there ready to plunge in when the favorable time shall come.”
How plain it all was, but it created great feeling then. I remember the gladness which swelled up in my bosom when I promised Sherman to execute our part, that of the Army of the Tennessee. You remember that dark night when thirty thousand men moved back without a sound, an enemy hurled only one missile - a shell — as if suspicious of the unwonted, extraordinary stillness. How the rails flew and were double twisted! How the ties burned at the first railroad! Then that slow subsequent march, Wheeler worrying Kilpatrick ahead of us with log and rail barricades. At last we got to Renfro place; piles of sand, wood enough, but no water no water for men and animals, and the Flint river six miles ahead!
I called Kilpatrick and explained the situation. "Have you an officer who can take a squadron of calvary and keep that bothersome rebel cavalry in motion?”
“Yes. Here is Captain Estes, of Maine; he can do it if any. body can."
“Well, let him try. I will follow close with the infantry."
Estee sprang upon the enemy's rear guard by a surprise, and, though fatigued, our men, horsemen and foot (ask Colonel Welles Jones), sped over those six miles with all the elan of a morning's march. At dusk we replaced the bridge-planks, stamped out the enkindled Names, and crossed over Logan's whole corps. There was a little fight? Yes, but it was a wooded, steep slope, with a ragged crest before us; and Hardee's confederates, whom Hood had hastened by the cars to meet us, were taken by surprise at our sudden appearance, and, in their haste, fired too high. An aide de-camp, Captain Stinson, by my side, had just returned to me
after having nursed a bad wound through the lungs to partial convalescence. As Logan's men deployed, hegan the ascent of the slope and were fired upon, I saw Stinson spring in the saddle. “What, wounded again, Harry?” “No, sır; the sudden fire startled me." All the bullets went over our heads at first, and soon our men had cleared the way to the crest, and worked, after a thirty miles' march, all the long night. Dodge's corps, then under Ransom, for our Dodge was wounded and disabled before this march, was placed on Logan's right and Blair was brought up to guard the flanks, and Kilpatrick sent to watch the right farther off along the valley of the Flint river. The next day, the 31st of August, Hardee, with half of Hood's army, more or less, attacked all along our front lines, but was so decidedly repulsed and beaten, that thereafter he concluded to wait and stand only on the defensive. Thomas was up the next day, and Sherman was near the field when the 14th Corps (Davis) began a gallant attack, and we supported his right. The 4th Corps was hurried to the scene with the hope of arresting Hardee and preventing his escape. Yet he got away to Lovejoy station, and Hood, with the remainder of his army, abandoned Atlanta, took a long circuit, and succeeded in bringing the two separated parts of his host together.
Slocum heard the sounds of explosions, and at once believed that Hood was departing, so at dawn of the 2d of September he boldly marched into that lately beleagured city, took possession, hoisted the old tlag, and sent the speediest courier to Sherman. Meanwhile Sherman, present with us, had had his surmises, All through an anxious night he watched and waited. He had heard the sounds which might have meant a battle, but the glad message came, brought by Major L. M. Hosea: “Our 20th Corps hold Atlanta.” Then it was that our Sherman, under the inspiration of a new joy, sent to Washington the pregnant dispatch which is my text to-night, “Atlanta is ours and fairly won.”
Imagine, if you can how these glad tidings affected our army there and in Virginia and how these tidings flashed from city to city throughout the land
Atlanta now a new mile-post gained on the road to the final consummation, it was a new lighthouse guiding to the ocean of universal freedom.
Yes, yes, we now stood upon the very top of the mountain from which we could look to the end of the dreadful war.
The cry, “ Atlanta is ours," made us see with brighter visions our sweet homes, and we looked with lively hopes for a speedy return.
And the home feeling in the North was not less enthusiastic. Copperheads and croakers had pale faces and white lips, but the cheeks of our wives, children and loved ones glowed afresh, and pens in slender hands were busy, for the mails were loaded as never before with
of praise and affection. And all the full force of the inspiring sentiment rings in the ears of the surviving veterans of to-day; so they say to our Governors, our guardians, Atlanta is ours; do not let it be again lost to us, lost to the country, lost to liberty. To burn there a pure, noble, one-armed comrade in effigy is not a good deed, not a good sign. It does not lessen the lawless offense that he is an official of the United States simply doing his duty. The lion of possession and power only sleepeth. It is as easy to protect a United States postmaster as it is a venerable United States judge. But I am sanguine and optimistic. As our leader suggested last night, there is too much honor among the true men of those who fought against us to allow prejudice, passion and murder to become the ruling motive and power. The Gray and the Blue are shaking hands at Chattanooga. Let them join forces, if need be, and see to it that every citizen is fully protected in the rights and privileges which a Nation has extended to him. United in honor as in law, we will indeed be a strong people, whom a just God will greatly bless.
General Sherman:-Now, ladies and gentlemen, give me your attention. We have now concluded the exercises for the evening. I have called for volunteer toasts, but none have been received; but the committee have requested me to call upon two gentlemen who are present, I believe, Major Paddock, of Omaha, formerly on the staff of General Steele, and General Belknap.,
Now. gentlemen, give your attention to Major Paddock, who is well known to the Army of the Tennessee, for he belonged to the Army of the Tennessee at one time, serving with us at Vicksburg, in Arkansas and other parts of the western country.
Major Paddock responded as follows:
This is the first intimation that I have had that I was expected to say anything, and I shall not attempt to add anything to the