SIEGE OF ATLANTA--DIFFICULTIES OF THE SITUATION--BATTLE
OF THE 20TH OF JULY.
NOTWITHSTANDING the manifold difficulties and trials which beset me at the period I was ordered to relieve General Johnston, and which, because of unbroken silence on my part, have been the occasion of much injustice manifested in my regard, I formed no intention, till the appearance of General Sherman's Memoirs, to enter fully into the details of the siege of Atlanta, the campaign to the Alabama line, and that which followed into Tennessee.
A feeling of reluctance to cause heart-burnings within the breast of any Confederate, who fulfilled his duty to the best of his ability, has, hitherto, deterred me from speaking forth the truth. Since, however, military movements with which my name is closely connected, have been freely and publicly discussed by different authors, whose representations have not always been accurate, I feel compelled to give an account of the operations of the Army of Tennessee, whilst under my direction.
As already mentioned, the order, assigning me to the command of that Army, was received about 11 p. m., on the 17th of July. My predecessor, unwilling to await even the dawn of