Monday, December 9, 2013

Major General William T. Sherman to Ellen Ewing Sherman, October 19, 1864

IN THE FIELD, SUMMERVILLE, Geo., October 19, 1864.

. . . Hood is afraid to fight me in open ground and therefore he tries to break up the railroad which supplies my Army. First Forrest got across the Tennessee, but never reached the Chattanooga Road. Next, Hood with three Corps, about 40,000 men, swung round by Dallas and broke the road at Big Shanty to Kenesaw. He stole a march on me of one day, and his men, disencumbered of baggage, move faster than we can. I have labored hard to cut down wagons, but spite of all I can do officers surround me. All the campaign I slept without a tent, and yet doctors and teamsters and clerks and staff officers on one pretext or another get tents and baggage, and now we can hardly move. I'll stop this or dispense with doctors, clerks and staff officers as ‘useless in war.’ Hood got up as far as the Tunnel before I could head him off, but at Resaca I broke through the Gap and he at once commenced to move south, and is now beyond my reach. He may now try to enter Tennessee by way of Decatur. I shall make proper dispositions and if seconded can keep him south, but I cannot get anybody to move as quickly as they should, save some of my old favorites. Corse saved Allatoona, by obeying promptly a message sent him by signals over the head of Hood's army. Mower is also coming to me and when I move south I shall have some smart columns. I am not going to stand on the defensive and you will soon hear of me on a bigger road than that to Meridian. Unless things take a turn not anticipated, you will have to get used to being without letters from me for some time, as it will be impossible to keep up mails much further. . . .

SOURCES: M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Editor, Home Letters of General Sherman, p. 312.  A full copy of this letter can be found in the William T Sherman Family papers (SHR), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556, Folder CSHR 2/18

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