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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

October 07, 1864

Richmond Newspaper Reprinted Various Reports from Georgia

The Richmond Times Dispatch reprinted several different reports on events in Georgia - including what had happened to some prisoners (including their encounters with black troops), news of General William J. Hardee, and Hood’s orders dealing with stragglers from his army.

Affairs in Georgia. The correspondent of the Columbia Carolinian writes from Griffin thus: ‘I have been enabled to learn a great deal of information from Sherman’s army around Atlanta, and the events that have occurred in the rear during the past two weeks. These men were captured in the unfortunate battle of Jonesboro’, were taken to Atlanta, and as soon as transportation could be procured, were transferred to the Chattanooga barracks. Remaining there eight or ten days, they were taken to Nashville, where they only remained a single night before being ordered back for exchange. At Dalton they saw the first regiment of negro soldiers belonging to the army of General Sherman. They were garrisoning a fort, and took special pains to crowd around the cars and tell our men “that they were the boys who whipped Wheeler” when he made his attack upon that place. ‘At Chattanooga are the whole, and a portion of a third brigade of these dusky warriors. They patrol the streets, garrison the many impregnable forts, and require all white men to exhibit passes at that place. In many instances, these negro soldiers exhibited their wonted respect for the Southrons, but, in other cases, they were especially impudent.–They are generally commanded by white officers. A fight is related as having occurred on the streets of Chattanooga between one of our lieutenants and a white colonel of one of the negro regiments. The lieutenant was walking along the pavement, and, upon meeting the colonel, especial pains were taken to insult our officer. Thereupon the lieutenant promptly knocked him down and gave him a sound thrashing. The Federal soldiers were more delighted than angry with him, for the colonel was very unpopular with them. From Nashville to Chattanooga, and to Atlanta, the railroads are in perfect running order, and no less than seventy-nine trains were counted along the whole distance. Strong stockades, and even, in many cases, casemated forts, were seen at all bridges of the greatest and smallest importance. The bridge of the Tennessee, at Bridgeport, is guarded by one important fort, several stockades and two gunboats. The gunboats are of no consequence - simply old steamboats, with guns about the forecastle. The roads are constantly patrolled and passed over three or four times a day by Federal soldiers. Immense piles of new cross-ties, railroad iron and bridge timbers were seen at intervals along the line. The country is simply subjugated - temporarily so, let us hope. But few citizens were seen, and they were not allowed to exchange a word with the prisoners.–They were quiet, cheerless, mournful. The property they once owned, the freedom they once enjoyed, the happiness once felt, were all gone, and the hated Northman lorded over them as they once would the African. Griffin is now an outpost. All trains from above have been withdrawn, the telegraph wire taken down and the country evacuated. We have nothing from, Hood’s army of a very authentic nature, except that it was on the march beyond the Chattahoochee when last seen. I feel no apprehension about its reaching Blue mountain in safety. It has been said that General Hardee, at his own request, has been relieved from duty with the Army of Tennessee and ordered to Charleston. The Macon Telegraph says it is understood that Sherman’s army is leaving Atlanta. General Gowan has been exchanged for twenty Yankee prisoners. A correspondent of the Atlanta Appeal writes thus from headquarters of the Army of Tennessee under date of September 26: ‘The operations of the truce, and the change of front: assumed by this army, have given affairs rather a peaceful complexion. It will be shaken off in a day or two, and you may look for stirring news. General Hood is in a position to take the aggressive if he sees fit to do it. He will be sustained by the army. ‘The march over here was made with out a murmur, “getting on the flank and rear” being in every soldier’s mouth.–The troops rested every hour and had roll call. In Lee’s corps, which made seventeen miles in a day, only twenty-five men were unaccounted for when the column came into camp. It will not be safe for Sherman to go into Georgia further with his army in its present position. He must whip this army before his campaign is closed. He may flank as much as he pleases; the terrible danger of having to go back is still before him. A correspondent of the Griffin Rebel states, that among the Federal officers convened at Rough and Ready during the late truce arrangements, there was not one who expressed a preference for McClellan or doubted the election of Mr. Lincoln. Upon the question of the Union they were, for the most part, singularly extreme in their views. They did not seem to realize that there had been a revolution, or could be anything else than a reconstruction. As for peace, it was not to be thought of, except with submission and re-union. We understand many citizens of Griffin are leaving that place, not deeming it safe from either a Yankee raid or occupation under the present disposition of the Confederate forces. A correspondent of the Columbus Times, writing from Lovejoy, says: ‘The Chattanooga Rebel, which was being published quite successfully at Griffin, has been obliged to pack up and enter a box-car once more. Governor Brown has succeeded in getting the State cotton away from Griffin. It amounted to about forty thousand bales when Atlanta was evacuated. The town is being depopulated rapidly, each train of cars bearing away hundreds. The hospitals have been moved to Albany, Georgia.

‘General Hood has issued the following order relative to stragglers: Headquarters army of Tennessee, in the field, September 13, 1864. I. The general commanding desires to call the attention of his corps and division commanders to the great importance of having their commands well in hand, and to prevent straggling while on the march. He was pained to see that in the last march from Atlanta to this point, two thirds of the straggling was caused, not from fatigue by marching, but by want of discipline by regimental and company commanders and the great desire of the men for leaving their commands and plundering the citizens of the country. Hereafter corps commanders will hold responsible the divisions; they their brigade commanders, and brigadiers their regimental and company officers, responsible for all straggling and other irregularities on the march.
II. Rolls will be called before commencing the march. Division commanders will halt their commands at the expiration of every hour, stack arms, and have their rolls called, resting ten minutes at each regular halt. Brigade commanders will have regimental and company commanders march in the rear of their respective commands, and will be responsible for all men of their commands who may straggle. The men of each brigade, who are unable to march in ranks with their commands, will be collected together and placed under the charge of a commissioned officer, who will be responsible for their conduct while on the march. When the march for the day is over, the name, company and regiment of all stragglers will be sent to corps headquarters. When, upon the march, it becomes necessary to pass a creek or other bad place, by which the column may become broken, it will be required that the brigade commander remain in person and see his command file pass him.
III. Whenever an officer is found negligent in performing his duty, or incapable to prevent straggling, his name will be sent forward to army headquarters, with the recommendation that he be dropped from the rolls of the army.

By command of General Hood Kinloch Falconer, Assistant Adjutant-General.