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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

October 26, 1864

Richmond Newspaper Printed Exaggerated Reports from Georgia

The Richmond Times Dispatch reprinted several other newspaper reports on the actions of the Confederate army in Georgia, and as it crossed into Alabama. Reports like these were not uncommon - exaggerating minor engagements into something seemingly vital. In reality the remnants of the Confederate army were doing little except skirmishing and trying to disrupt communication lines - which were quickly repaired.

Affairs in Georgia. The latest intelligence from General Hood, from Confederate sources, we find in a letter dated at Jacksonville, Alabama, the 17th, and published in the Montgomery Advertiser. It says: ‘General Hood invested Dalton on last Thursday, and at once sent in a flag of truce and demanded its surrender. Colonel Johnson, the Federal commander, came in person to see our general. “Will you,” said the colonel, “treat the garrison as prisoners of war if I surrender”? “No, sir.” “Will you parole it”? “No, sir; I will allow you five minutes to surrender, and if not complied with I will put the garrison to the sword.” The colonel observed that the terms were hard, but that he would surrender, which was at once done. The prisoners captured were as follows: eight hundred negroes in full Yankee uniform, two hundred and fifty white soldiers, one battery of six guns, (field artillery,) and eighty cavalry, together with several guns, (mounted in the forts,) a large quantity of stores, ammunition, saddles and blankets. ‘At Tilton we captured three hundred and fifty men without firing a gun. After Dalton was captured a portion of our army was sent to make a demonstration upon Resaca, which is strongly garrisoned, and the remainder sent towards Chattanooga, which is garrisoned by six thousand negroes and white men - chiefly negroes. I hardly think, however, that any attack will be made upon that place, as it can be easily turned by the army crossing the river - well, you will find out before a great while. Whilst all this was going on onthe railroad, two brigades of our cavalry were amusing the great and immortal hero and strategist, W. T. Sherman, with his whole army, at Rome. He drew up his army in front of that town in regular battle array, threw up entrenchments, put out flankers and skirmishers, made all other necessary arrangements for a general pitched battle, thinking that Hood was there with his whole strength of rebels. Our cavalry, however, gave him a fight, which lasted two days, and when whipped, they retired with colors flying. The Montgomery Mail has the following interesting summary: ‘Our news from the front is interesting. The speech of General Beauregard at Jacksonville, (reported by our special correspondent,) announces the capture of Dalton, Resaca and Ringgold - the three most important stations on the Georgia State road. [Jacksonville, the point from which we received our intelligence, is just beyond Blue mountain, and in direct rear of our army.] General Hood’s headquarters, we are informed, were, at last accounts, near Lee &Gordon’s mills, whilst Sherman was marching out for Chattanooga by way of Rossville. Thus affairs are shaping themselves for another battle upon the field of Chickamauga. ‘The capture of the towns indicated, we are assured, was attended with but slight loss. Sherman was, doubtless, rapidly retreating, and we had only to encounter his rear guard. Ringgold is twenty-two miles this side of Chattanooga, and nine from Lee & Gordon’s mills, and the same distance from Red Mouse ford, and other points made historic by the events of last year. Rossville is a little crossroad station in Lookout valley, five or six miles out of Chattanooga. Sherman has fortified all the passes upon Missionary ridge; but if we can defeat and drive him before us, we may enter Chattanooga by that broad gap which is made by the extreme left of Missionary ridge and the base of Lookout mountain, which cannot be securely fastened against the entry of an enemy. The Macon southern Confederacy has the following: We are relieved of the fears entertained a few weeks ago that the army would not follow General Hood with that confidence so essential to victory and success; but, in spite of the efforts that have been made to impress upon the army that he was a reckless rattlebrain, “without name or prestige of success,” his movements, which have been so brilliant and rapid for the past fortnight, have been executed by soldiers too intelligent not to see the genius of the man; and so complete has been the revolution of sentiment in the army, that his presence is greeted with a shout by the same men who were retreating with broken spirit when he took command of them.