CAMPAIGN TO THE ALABAMA LINE--PREPARATIONS--PRESIDENT
DAVIS VISITS THE ARMY--HARDEE RELIEVED--ALLATOONA
TION TO ENTER TENNESSEE--GADSDEN--BEAUREGARD.
AFTER the fall of Atlanta, this most serious question presented itself for solution: in what manner, and accompanied with the least detriment, to effect the riddance of a victorious foe, who had gained possession of the mountains in our front, and planted his standard in the heart of the Confederacy. In order to compass this end, either the Federals should be forced back by manœuvres into the mountains, there defeated in battle, and finally driven northward; or an attempt be made to defeat them upon their march forward, after Sherman had been allowed full time to rest his troops, make preparations, and receive reinforcements, for, in the meantime, it would have been rashness and folly, in view of our inferior numbers, to have attacked the enemy whilst under the protection of the breastworks of Atlanta. This grave and momentous question presented the same difficulties which had risen before General Lee, when Grant crossed the Rappahannock, and the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, and, finally, the surrender at Appomattox followed. Our great chieftain well