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SHERMAN'S MARCH FROM ATLANTA.
destruction crippled the Southern armies. From that time they fought like a man with one of his arms broken : they were as brave, as resolute as ever, but they were losing ground every day.
Meanwhile Admiral Farragut attacked Mobile (August 5, 1864), stationing himself in the rigging of his vessel, where he could see every move in the battle ; after a hard fight he forced his way with his fleet past the forts, and took possession of the harbor. It was the admiral's last and greatest battle. It completely closed the
in the morning of " "Cod
my headers as hope ti si
Farragut's Letter Home, written just before the Battle.
I am going into Mobile Bay in the morning if “ God is my leader,” as I hope he is,
D. G. FARRAGUT.
port of Mobile? against supplies sent to the Confederates from abroad. It was thus one more important step taken toward compelling the final surrender of the South.
352. Sherman's March from Atlanta to the Sea.- After the fall of Atlanta, Jefferson Davis ordered the Confederate army to abandon the State of Georgia, his intention being to strike General Thomas, who held Nashville. He hoped in this way to
1 All the ports of the South had long been blockaded by Union war-vessels, but in some cases “blockade-runners" succeeded in evading these vessels, and thus a certain amount of secret commerce was carried on.
compel Sherman to turn back to help Thomas. But Sherman believed that “the Rock of Chickamauga "I was quite able to take care of himself; he therefore resolved to push forward. About the middle of November, 1864, Sherman cut the telegraph and railroad lines which connected him with the North. Thus “ detached from all friends, dependent on its own resources and supplies,” his army set out on their great march to the sea, two hundred miles distant in a direct line. For four weeks Sherman and his men disappeared. The North knew nothing of his move
ments. But Grant had faith that his friend would not get hopelessly lost, and that sometime the country would hear from him.
Meanwhile Sherman was going forward with sixty thousand veterans, plenty of provisions, and practically no force to resist him. He cut a clean swath sixty miles wide ? from Atlanta to
1 See Paragraph 342.
- Soldiers' Song, Marching through Georgia.
THOMAS DESTROYS HOOD'S ARMY.
Savannah, destroying railroads and whatever else could be of use to the Confederates, and eating the plantations and towns on the way bare of everything, — hay, cows, pigs, chickens; whatever, in fact, horse or man could devour disappeared before the advancing army. It was a "military picnic," with several thousand negroes following in the wake of “Massa Sherman,” shouting and singing as they trudged along.
353. Thomas destroys Hood's Army. While Sherman was pressing forward, the Confederate General Hood - one of the best fighters in the South — moved from the vicinity of Atlanta into Tennessee to attack Thomas. A battle was fought at Franklin (November 30, 1864), without any very decisive results. Then Hood besieged Thomas in Nashville. Thomas was slow, but when he did strike, it was with sledge-hammer force. He attacked Hood (December 15-16, 1864), and cut his army all to pieces. The miserable remnant, ragged, barefooted, wet to the skin by incessant winter rains, shivering and starving, escaped, as best they could, leaving their sick and wounded to die along the roadside. This ended the war in Tennessee ; the Confederacy from eleven states had now practically shrunk to three, — Virginia, and North and South Carolina ; the rest were either inactive, as in the case of Florida and Texas, or they were under the control of the military power of the United States.
354. Sherman takes Savannah and moves Northward. In a little less than a month from the day when he left Atlanta, Sherman reached Savannah. He stormed and took Fort McAllister on the south of the city (December 13, 1864), and nine days later he sent the following message to the President,
“SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, Dec. 22, 1864. "To his Excellency, President Lincoln, Washington, D.C.:
“I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition; also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.
“W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.” 1
Sherman's men had long before come to the conclusion that the sea-coast was not their final destination, and would call out to the
General as he rode past, “Uncle Billy, I guess Grant is waiting for us at Richmond!” 2
They were right, and on the ist of February, 1865, Sherman set out with his army northward. It was a seven weeks' march through mud, rain, and swamps. He had to fight Johnston with a Confederate army of forty thousand men, near Goldsboro, North Carolina (March 19, 1865). Mean
while Charleston and Wilmington had been captured by Union forces: the Confederacy had lost its last seaports.
About a week later (March 27, 1865), General Sherman, leav
1 General Sherman sent this message by a vessel to Fortress Monroe, whence it was telegraphed to the President. It reached him on Christmas-eve.
2 See Sherman's “Memoirs," II. 179.