Near Atlanta, Thursday, Aug. 25, 1864
Near Atlanta, Thursday, Aug. 25, 1864
MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN HOOD AND THE MAYOR OF ATLANTA.
A misunderstanding exists between Gen. HOOD and Mayor CALHOUN, caused by the investment of Atlanta by our troops. A few days after we crossed the Chattahoochee River, CALHOUN sent a letter to Gen. SHERMAN, asking him not to destroy the city. Gen. SHERMAN replied that if his troops were not fired upon, neither Atlanta nor its citizens should be molested. He also wrote the Mayor, that if the reverse should occur he could not state the consequences.
Of course, you are familiar with what has occurred, including the steady bombardment of the rebel stronghold by our army.
Already more than a hundred buildings have been wholly or partially destroyed, many soldiers and citizens killed, and large numbers injured. As the days roll by the shelling increases, and the destruction of life and property goes on.
SHERMAN kept his word, and the Mayor appealed to HOOD to stay the destruction of the city; that is, he invited him to withdraw his army and cease fighting over the shoulders of innocent and unprotected men and women. HOOD turned a deaf ear to such an "unmilitary proposal", and a correspondence, I have learned, is now going on between the two officials, in which a good deal of acerbity is displayed by both parties. The entire population of Atlanta, as well as the Governor of the State, and many others, take sides with the Mayor and his brother. JOHN A. CALHOUN, a wealthy and influential citizen of the city while, as might be expected, HOOD'S disinclination to leave elicits the approval of his army and the Richmond authorities, and, of course, by those citizens of the Southern Confederacy not interested financially within the range of Federal Cannon.
I met rather an excellent gentleman, named MAGEE, yesterday, who left Atlanta the day before. He says that there is a perfect range up Marietta and Peachtree streets for our guns, and that a large amount of property has been destroyed. He says that nearly all the people of Atlanta, who are without sufficient means to go at a distance, are encamped all along the line of the Augusta road, between Decatur and Stone Mountain. He adds, however, that there are still quite a number of men, women and children of all stations, within the limits of the city. These generally confine themselves to their cellars, or in more lately constructed subterranean dwellings.
I will ad that Mr. MAGEE says that the correspondence between HOOD and the Mayor is still being carried on, and that, considereing the language employed by CALHOUN, it will probably wind up by the latter being shut up by the military. There are three viciously rebel churches in Atlanta, all of which manage to get on an average a shell every twenty-four hours. A 32-pounder "rung the bell" from the First Methodist Church early Sunday morning, the 24th ult., the first day we shelled the city.
Notwithstanding what you may read in some of the papers in regard to HOOD'S communication being entirely cut off, I have only insisted in telling you the truth, in reporting to you occasionally that such is not, and has not been the case. Up to the last raid of KILPATRICK their trains arrived and departed daily upon the Macon road. McCOOK did remove a few rails from this road, but they were replaced almost as speedily as they were destroyed.
The West Point road, which leaves East Point, (six miles due south from Atlanta,) has been badly cut many times. McCOOK cut it in three places. ROUSSEAU destroyed several miles of it, and KILPATRICK has made two raids upon it in the last few days. This does no great harm, however, as it is merely a special line, just the same as our railroad between Chattanooga and Knoxville. WHEELER has cut this road badly in several places, but the garrison at Knoxville can be supplied by river as well as when there were three large corps there, and if "worst comes to worst", our foces at Knoxville can be abundantly supplied through Kentucky -- BURNSIDE and SCOFIELD both were, if you recollect, at one time.
We must not flatter ourselves that every time we dash upon a rebel railroad, even if miles of track are removed, that the rebel army has "gone up" -- no, indeed; they stand these things as well as we do; and, to tell the truth, they manage to repair all such damages as speedily, nearly, as we do ourselves.
But, to return to the subject proper, HOOD, up to the return of KILPATRICK from his last raid, has experienced no trouble in supplying his army with a sufficiency of food and powder. KILPATRICK, however, as I last informed you, did cut the road in three places, and in all removed some five miles of rails, and then made a narrow but brilliant escape from half a dozen large brigades of rebel cavalry, which had made his capture a sure thing.
In addition to this subject, I will state that a week or ten days ago the rebel papers reported that the bridges and culverts destroyed by GARRARD, on the Augusta road, were almost in readiness to permit trains to pass over them. By this time, no doubt, that road is in running order.