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In Their Own Words

August 10, 1864

Sherman Asked for Reinforcements

As bad as the situation was for the Confederates defending Atlanta, Sherman had his own problems, as he indicated in a letter written this day to Gen. Grant:

“Your dispatch of the 9th [urging Sherman to use blacks for non-combat duties] is received. It is to replace our daily losses that I propose that all recruits made daily in the Western States instead of accumulating at depots, should at once come to Nashville and be sent here on the cars, which can bring 400 a day without interfering with freights… . My lines are now ten miles long, extending from the Augusta road on the left, round to East Point on the south. I cannot extend more without making my lines too weak. We are in close contact and skirmishing all the time. I have just got up four 4 1/2-inch rifled guns with ammunition, and propose to expend about 4,000 rifled shot in the heart of Atlanta… . Since July 28 General Hood has not attempted to meet us outside of his parapets. In order to possess and destroy effectually his communications I may have to leave a corps at the railroad bridge well intrenched [sic], and cut loose with the balance and make a desolating circle around Atlanta. I do not propose to assault the works, which are too strong, or to proceed by regular approaches. I have lost a good many regiments and will lost more by the expiration of service, and this is the only reason why I want re-enforcements. I have killed, crippled, and captured more of the enemy that we have lost by his acts.”

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (originally printed 1891, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Part 5, Vol. 38, p. 447.