Report of General John B. Hood, C. S. Army, Commanding Army of Tennessee, of Operations July 18-September 6.
May 1-September 8, 1864.--THE ATLANTA (GEORGIA) CAMPAIGN
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXVIII/3 [S# 74]
RICHMOND, VA., February 15, 1865.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Army of Tennessee while commanded by me, from July 18, 1864, to January 23, 1865:
The results of a campaign do not always show how the general in command has discharged his duty. The inquiry should be not what he has done, but what he should have accomplished with the means under his control. To appreciate the operations of the Army of Tennessee it is necessary to look at its history during the three months which preceded the day on which I was ordered to its command. To do this it is necessary either to state in this report all the facts which illustrate the entire operations of the Army of Tennessee in the recent campaign, or to write a supplemental or accompanying report. I deem the former more appropriate, and will, therefore, submit in a single paper all the information which seems to me should be communicated to the Government.
On the 6th of May, 1864, the army lay at and near Dalton awaiting the advance of the enemy. Never had so large a Confederate army assembled in the West. Seventy thousand effective men were in the easy direction of a single commander, whose good fortune it was to be able to give successful battle and redeem the losses of the past. Extraordinary efforts had been used to secure easy victory. The South had been denuded of troops to fill the strength of the Army of Tennessee. Mississippi and Alabama were without military support, and looked for protection in decisive battle in the mountains of Georgia. The vast forces of the enemy were accumulating in the East, and to retard their advance or confuse their plans, much was expected by a counter-movement by us in the West. The desires of the Government expressed to the Confederate commander in the West were to assume the offensive. Nearly all the men and resources of the West and South were placed at his disposal for the purpose. The men amounted to the number already stated, and the resources for their support were equal to the demand. The re-enforcements were within supporting distance. The troops felt strong in their increased numbers, saw the means and arrangements to move forward and recover (not abandon) our own territory, and believed that victory might be achieved. In such condition was that splendid army when the active campaign fairly opened. The enemy, but little superior in numbers, none in organization and discipline, inferior in spirit and confidence, commenced his advance, The Confederate forces whose faces and hopes were to the North, almost simultaneously commenced to retreat. They soon reached positions favorable for resistance. Great ranges of mountains running across the line of march and deep rivers are stands from which a well-directed army is not easily driven or turned. At each advance of the enemy the Confederate army, without serious resistance, fell back to the next range or river in the rear. This habit to retreat soon became a routine of the army, and was substituted for the hope and confidence with which the campaign opened. The enemy soon perceived this. With perfect security he divided his forces, using one column to menace in front and one to threaten in rear. The usual order to retreat, not strike in detail, was issued and obeyed. These retreats were always at night; the day was consumed in hard labor. Daily temporary works were thrown up, behind which it was never intended to fight. The men became travelers by night and laborers by day. They were ceasing to be soldiers by the disuse of military duty. Thus for seventy-four days and nights that noble army--if ordered to resist, no force that the enemy could assemble could dislodge from a battle-field--continued to abandon their country, to see their strength departing, and their flag waving only in retreat or in partial engagements. At the end of that time, after descending from the mountains when the last advantage of position was abandoned, and camping without fortifications on the open plains of Georgia, the army had lost 22,750 of its best soldiers. Nearly one-third was gone, no general battle fought, much of our State abandoned, two others uncovered, and the organization and efficiency of every command, by loss of officers, men, and tone, seriously diminished. These things were the inevitable result of the strategy adopted. It is impossible for a large army to retreat in the face of a pursuing enemy without such a fate. In a retreat the losses are constant and permanent. Stragglers are overtaken, the fatigued fall by the wayside, and are gathered by the advancing enemy. Every position by the rear guard, if taken, yields its wounded to the victors. The soldiers, always awaked from rest at night to continue the retreat, leave many of their comrades asleep in trenches. The losses of a single day are not large. Those of seventy-four days will embrace the strength of an army. If a battle be fought and the field held at the close, however great the slaughter, the loss will be less than to retreat in the face of an enemy. There will be no stragglers. Desertions are in retreat; rarely, if ever, on the field of battle. The wounded are gathered to the rear and soon recover, and in a few weeks the entire loss consists only of the killed and permanently disabled, which is not one-fifth of the apparent loss on the night of the battle. The enemy is checked, his plans deranged, territory saved, the campaign suspended or won. If a retreat still be necessary it can then be done with no enemy pressing and no loss following. The advancing party loses nothing but its killed and permanently disabled. Neither straggler nor deserter thins its ranks. It reaches the end of its march stronger for battle than when it started. The army commanded by General Sherman and that commanded by General Johnston, not greatly unequal at the commencement of the campaign, illustrate what I have written. General Sherman in his official report states that-his forces, when they entered Atlanta, were nearly the same in number as when they left Dalton. The Army of Tennessee lost 22,750 men, nearly one-third of its strength. I have nothing to say of the statement of losses made by General Johnston in his official report, except to state that by his own figures he understates his loss some thousands; that he excludes the idea of any prisoners, although his previous official returns show more than 7,000 under the head "absent without leave," and that the returns of the army while he was in command, corrected and increased by the records of the army, which has not been fully reported to the Government, and the return signed by me, but made up under him as soon as I assumed command, show the losses of the Army of Tennessee to be what I have stated, and a careful examination of the returns with the army will show the losses to be more than stated.
This statement of the previous conduct of the campaign is necessary, so as to show what means I had to retrieve the disasters of the past, and if the results are not such as to bring joy to the country, it is not the first time that the most faithful efforts of duty were unable to repair the injury done by others. If, as is untruly charged, the Army of Tennessee ceased to exist under my command, it is also true that it received its mortal wound when it turned its back in retreat in the mountains of Georgia, and under different management it lingered much longer than it would have done with the same daily loss occurring when it was placed under my direction.
The army was turned over to me, by order of the President, at Atlanta, on the 18th of July, 1864. Its effective strength was: Infantry, 33,750; artillery, 3,500; cavalry, 10,000, with 1,500 Georgia militia, commanded by Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith, making a total effective of 48,750 men. The enemy was in bivouac south of the Chattahoochee River, between Atlanta and that river, and was advancing, the right near Pace's Ferry and the left near Roswell. On the evening of the 18th our cavalry was principally driven across Peach Tree Creek. I caused line of battle to be formed, the left resting near the Pace's Ferry road and the right covering Atlanta On the morning of the 19th the dispositions of the enemy were substantially as follows: The Army of the Cumberland, under Thomas, was in the act of crossing Peach Tree Creek. This creek, forming a considerable obstacle to the passage of an army, runs in a northwesterly direction, emptying into the Chattahoochee River near the railroad crossing. The Army of the Ohio, under Schofield, was also about to cross east of the Buck Head road. The Army of the Tennessee, under McPherson, was moving on the Georgia Railroad at Decatur. Feeling it impossible to hold Atlanta without giving battle, I determined to strike the enemy while attempting to cross this stream. My troops were disposed as follows: Stewart's corps on the left, Hardee's in the center, and Cheatham's on the right, intrenched. My object was to crush Thomas' army before he could fortify himself, and then turn upon Schofield and McPherson. To do this Cheatham was ordered to hold his left on the creek, in order to separate Thomas' army from the forces on his (Thomas') left. Thus I should be able to throw two corps (Stewart's and Hardee's) against Thomas. Specific orders were carefully given these generals in the presence of each other, as follows: The attack was to begin at 1 p.m., the movement to be by division in echelon from the right, at the distance of about 150 yards, the effort to be to drive the enemy back to the creek, and then toward the river into the narrow space formed by the river and creek, everything on our side of the creek to be taken at all hazards, and to follow up as our success might permit. Each of these generals was to hold a division in reserve. Owing to the demonstrations of the enemy on the right, it became necessary to extend Cheatham a division front to the right. To do this Hardee and Stewart were each ordered to extend a half division front to close the interval. Foreseeing that some confusion and delay might result, I was careful to call General Hardee's attention to the importance of having a staff officer on his left to see that the left did not take more than half a division front. This unfortunately was not attended to, and the line closed to the right, causing Stewart to move two or three times the proper distance. In consequence of this the attack was delayed until nearly 4 p.m. At this hour the attack began as ordered, Stewart's corps carrying the temporary works in his front. Hardee failed to push the attack, as ordered, and thus the enemy, remaining in possession of his works on Stewart's right, compelled Stewart by an enfilade fire to abandon the position he had carried. I have every reason to believe that our attack would have been successful had my order been executed. I am strengthened in this opinion by information since obtained through Brigadier-General Govan, some time a prisoner in the enemy's hands, touching the condition of the enemy at the time. The delay from 1 to 4 p.m. was unfortunate, but would not have proved irretrievable had the attack been vigorously made. Ascertaining that the attack had failed, I caused the troops to retire to their former positions.
The position and demonstration of McPherson's army on the right threatening my communications made it necessary to abandon Atlanta or check his movements. Unwilling to abandon, the following instructions were given on the morning of the 21st: The chief engineer was instructed to select a line of defense immediately about Atlanta, the works already constructed for the defense of the place being wholly useless from their position ; Stewart's and Cheatham's corps to take position and construct works to defend the city, the former on the left, the latter on the right. The artillery, under the command of Brigadier-General Shoup, was massed on the extreme right. Hardee was ordered to move With his corps during the night of the 21st south on the McDonough road, crossing Intrenchment Creek at Cobb's Mills, and to completely turn the left of McPherson's army. This he was to do, even should it be necessary to go to or beyond Decatur. Wheeler, with his cavalry, was ordered to move on Hardee's right, both to attack at daylight, or as soon thereafter as possible. As soon as Hardee succeeded in forcing back the enemy's left, Cheatham was to take up the movement from his right and continue to force the whole from right to left down Peach Tree Creek, Stewart in like manner to engage the enemy as soon as the movement became general. Hardee failed to entirely turn the enemy's left as directed, took position and attacked his flank. His troops fought with great spirit and determination, carrying several lines of intrenchments, Wheeler attacking on the right. Finding Hardee so hotly engaged, and fearing the enemy might concentrate upon him. I ordered Cheatham forward to create a diversion. Hardee held the ground he gained. Cheatham carried the enemy's intrenchments in his front, but had to abandon them in consequence of the enfilade fire brought to bear upon him. Cheatham captured 5 guns and 5 or 6; stand of colors, and Hardee 8 guns and 13 stand of colors. While the grand results desired were not accomplished, the movements of McPherson upon my communications were entirely defeated, and no further effort was made in that direction at any time. This engagement greatly inspired the troops and revived their confidence. Here, I regret to say, the brave and gallant Maj. Gen. W. H. T. Walker was killed. The enemy withdrew his left to the Georgia Railroad and strongly intrenched himself, and here properly began the siege of Atlanta. It became apparent almost immediately that he would attempt our left. He began to mass his forces in that quarter. On the 28th it became manifest that the enemy desired to place his left [right] on Utoy Creek. I desired to hold the Lick Skillet road and accordingly ordered Lieutenant-General Lee--who on the 25th [26th?] had relieved Major-General Cheatham from the command of the corps formerly commanded by myself--to move his forces so as to prevent the enemy from gaining that road. He was ordered to hold the enemy in check on a line nearly parallel with the Lick Skillet road, running through to, Ezra Church. General Lee, finding that the enemy had already gained that position, engaged him with the intention to recover that line. This brought on the engagement of the 28th. General Stewart was ordered to support General Lee. The engagement continued until dark, the road remaining in our possession.
On the 27th of July I received information that the enemy's cavalry was moving round our right with the design of interrupting our communication with Macon. The next day a large cavalry force also crossed the Chattahoochee River at Campbellton, moving round our left. Major-General Wheeler was ordered to move upon the force on the right, while Brigadier-General Jackson, with Harrison's and Ross' brigades, was sent to look after those moving on the left. I also dispatched Lewis' brigade of infantry down the Macon railroad to a point about where they would probably strike the road. The force on the left succeeded in reaching the road, tearing up an inconsiderable part of the track. It was the design of the enemy to unite his forces at the railroad, but in this he was defeated. The movement was undertaken by the enemy on a grand scale, having carefully picked his men and horses. A Federal force, under General Stoneman, moved farther south against Macon. He was defeated by our forces under Brigadier-General Iverson. General Wheeler, leaving General Kelly to hold the force on the right, moved against that already at the railroad. He succeeded in forcing them to give battle near Newnan on the 30th, and routed and captured or destroyed the whole force. Too much credit cannot be given General Wheeler for the energy and skill displayed. He captured 2 pieces of artillery, 950 prisoners, and many horses, equipments, &c. Brigadier-General Iverson captured 2 pieces of artillery and 500 prisoners. Believing the enemy's cavalry well broken, and feeling myself safe from any further serious operations of a like nature, I determined to dispatch a force of cavalry to the enemy's rear, with the hope of destroying his communications. I accordingly ordered Major-General Wheeler, with 4,500 cavalry, to effect this object. He succeeded in partially interrupting the enemy's communications by railroad. This still left sufficient cavalry to meet the necessities of the army. This is sufficiently shown by the fact that several determined cavalry movements were subsequently attempted and successfully met by our cavalry. From this time till the 26th of August there is nothing of any particular moment to mention. The enemy gradually extended his right, and I was compelled to follow his movement; our entire front was covered with a most excellent abatis and other obstructions. Too much credit cannot be given the troops generally for the industry and endurance they displayed under the constant fire of the enemy. On the 26th of August the enemy abandoned his works on the extreme right and took up a line, the left resting in front of our works on the Dalton railroad and extending to the railroad crossing the river. Again he withdrew, on the night of the 27th, across the Utoy Creek, throwing one corps across the river to hold the railroad crossing and the intermediate points. His left then rested on the Chattahoochee River, strongly fortified and extending across the West Point railroad. The corps defending the crossing of the Chattahoochee, his works on this side of the river, and the obstacle formed by the Utoy and Camp Creeks, rendered it impossible for me to attack him with any possibility of success between the river and railroad. On the 30th it became known that the enemy was moving on Jonesborough with two corps. I determined upon consulting with the corps commanders to move two corps to Jonesborough during the night, and to attack and drive the enemy at that place across Flint River. This I hoped would draw the attention of the enemy in that direction, and that he would abandon his works on the left, so that I could attack him in flank. I remained in person with Stewart's corps and the militia in Atlanta. Hardee's and Lee's corps moved accordingly, Hardee in command. It was impressed upon General Hardee that the fate of Atlanta depended upon his success. Six hours before I had any information of the result of his attack I ordered Lee to return in the direction of Atlanta, to be ready to commence the movement indicated in the event of success, and if unsuccessful to cover the evacuation of Atlanta, which would thus be compelled. As it turned out unsuccessful it allowed the enemy the opportunity either to strike us as we marched out of Atlanta or to concentrate on Hardee. Lee's corps constituted a guard against the former, and I did not fear the destruction of Hardee before Stewart and Lee could join him, as his position on a ridge between two rivers I thought strong in front, and want of time would prevent the enemy from attacking him in flank. The small loss in Hardee's corps, and the much greater loss of the enemy, show my views to have been correct. The attack at Jonesborough failed, though the number of men on our side considerably exceeded that of the enemy. The vigor of the attack may be in some sort imagined when only 1,400 were killed and wounded out of the two corps engaged. The failure necessitated the evacuation of Atlanta. Thirty-four thousand prisoners at Andersonville, Ga, in my rear, compelled me to place the army between them and the enemy, thus preventing me at that time from moving on his communications and destroying his depots of supplies at Marietta. A raid of cavalry could easily have released those prisoners, and the Federal commander was prepared to furnish them arms. Such a body of men, an army of itself, could have overrun and devastated the country from West Georgia to Savannah. The subsequent removal of the prisoners, at my request, enabled me to make the movement on the enemy's communications at a later period.
On the night of the 1st of September we withdrew from Atlanta. A train of ordnance stores and some railroad stock had to be destroyed in consequence of the gross neglect of the chief quartermaster to obey the specific instructions given him touching their removal. He had ample time and means, and nothing whatever ought to have been lost.
On the 1st of September Hardee's corps was attacked in position at Jonesborough. The result was the loss of 8 guns and some prisoners. Hardee then retired to Lovejoy's Station, where he was joined by Stewart's and Lee's corps. The militia, numbering about 3,000, under Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith, was ordered to Griffin. It is proper to remark here that this force rendered excellent and gallant service during the siege of Atlanta. The enemy followed and took position in our front.
On the 6th of September, however, he abandoned his works and returned to Atlanta. Here properly ended the operations about Atlanta. Of the forces turned over to me nearly two months before, and since that day daily engaged in battle and skirmishes with a greatly superior enemy, there were remaining effective, as shown by the return of the 20th of September: Infantry, 27,094; cavalry, 10,543; artillery, 2,766. There had been sent to Mobile one brigade of infantry, 800 strong, and to Macon three battalions of artillery, 800 strong. The militia had increased, as stated, but counting it at the same as originally turned over, we have, against the aggregate turned over, 48,750--present, 40,403; sent off, 3,100, making an aggregate of 43,503, thus giving a total loss of all arms of 5,247 men.
And now, lest an opportunity should not be again presented, I trust I may be pardoned for noticing in self-defense one or two statements in General Johnston's report of the previous operations of this army, which has just been given to the public, in which the action of Lieutenant-General Polk and myself has been impugned. I thoroughly understand that it is not the part of an officer to state what may have occurred from time to time in council, but a charge publicly made ought certainly to be publicly met.
In General Johnston s report he says:
On the morning of the 19th (May), when half of the Federal army was near Kingston, the two corps at Cassville were ordered to advance against the troops that had followed them from Adairsville, Hood's leading on the right. When the corps had advanced some two miles one of his staff officers reported to Lieutenant-Gen-eral Hood that the enemy was approaching on the Canton road, in rear of the right of our original position. He drew back his troops and formed them across that road. When it was discovered that the officer was mistaken, the opportunity had passed, by the near approach of the Federal army. Expecting to be attacked I drew up my troops in what seemed to me an excellent position--a bold ridge immediately in rear of Cassville, with an open valley before it. The fire of the enemy's artillery commenced soon after the troops were formed, and continued until night. Soon after dark Lieutenant-Generals Polk and Hood together expressed to me decidedly the opinion formed upon the observation of the afternoon, that the Federal artillery would render their positions untenable the next day, and urged me to abandon the ground immediately and cross the Etowah. Lieutenant-General Hardee, whose position I thought weakest, was confident that he could hold it. The other two officers, however, were so earnest and so unwilling to depend upon the ability of their corps to defend the ground that I yielded, and the army crossed the Etowah on the 28th [20th]--a step which I have regretted ever since.
For myself and the good and great man, now deceased, with whom I am associated in this stricture, I offer a statement of the facts in reply: After the army had arrived at Cassville I proposed to General Johnston, in the presence of Generals Hardee and Polk, to move back upon the enemy and attack him at or near Adairsville, urging as a reason that our three corps could move back, each upon a separate road, while the enemy-had but one main road upon which he could approach that pike. No conclusion was obtained. While Generals Polk and Hardee and myself were riding from General Johnston's headquarters the matter was further discussed; General Polk enthusiastically advocated, and General Hardee also favoring, the proposition. It was then suggested that we should return and still further urge the matter on General Johnston. We, however, concluded to delay till the morning. The next morning while we were assembled at General Johnston's headquarters it was reported that the enemy was driving in the cavalry on the Adairsville road in front of Polk's position. Polk's corps was in line of battle, and my corps was in bivouac on his right. We all rode to the right of Polk's line, in front of my bivouac. Hardee soon left and went to his position, which was on the left, there being some report of the enemy in that direction. General Johnston said to me:
You can, if you desire, move your corps to the Canton road, and if Howard's corps is there you can attack it.
My troops were put in motion. At the head of the column I moved over to this road and found it in possession of our own dismounted cavalry and no enemy there. While in motion a body of the enemy, which I supposed to be cavalry, made its appearance on the Canton road, in rear of the right of my original position. Major-General Hindman was then in that direction with his division to ascertain what force it was keeping the other two divisions in the vicinity of the Canton road. It was not a mistake (as General Johnston states) that the force appeared, as is shown from the fact that Major-General Hindman had men wounded from the small-arms and artillery fired from this body. Maj. James Hamilton, of my staff, was sent to report to General Johnston the fact that the enemy had appeared on the Canton road. During Major Hamilton's absence Brigadier-General Mackall, chief of staff, rode up in great haste and said that General Johnston directed that I should not separate myself so far from General Polk. I called his attention to where General Polk's right was resting, and informed him that I could easily form upon it, and orders were given to that effect, throwing back my right to look after this body, which turned out to be the enemy's cavalry. Feeling that I had done all which General Johnston had given me liberty to do, I then rode to his headquarters, where General Johnston decided to take up his line on the ridge in rear of the one occupied by General Polk, a line which was enfiladed by heights, of which the enemy would at once possess himself, as was pointed out to General Johnston by Brigadier-General Shoup, commanding the artillery. In a very short time thereafter the enemy placed his artillery on these heights and began to enfilade General Polk's line. Observing the effect upon the troops of this fire, I was convinced that the position was unsuited for defense. Accordingly, General Polk and myself said to General Johnston that our positions would prove untenable for defense, but that we were in as good position to advance upon the enemy as could be desired. We told him that if he did not intend to take the offensive he had better change our position. He accordingly ordered the army across the Etowah.
It will thus be seen that I received no order to give battle, and I believe that had General Polk received such an order he would have mentioned it to me. Were General Polk now alive he would be astounded at the accusation made against him.
Again General Johnston says:
That the usual skirmishing was kept up on the 28th (May). Lieutenant-General. Hood was instructed to put his corps in position during the night to attack the enemy's left flank at dawn the next morning, the rest of the army to join in the attack successively from right to left. On the 29th (May) Lieutenant General Hood, finding the Federal left covered by a division which had intrenched itself in the night, thought it inexpedient to attack; so reported and asked for instructions. As the resulting delay made the attack inexpedient, even if it had not been so before, by preventing surprise upon which success in a great measure depended, he was recalled.
The enemy on the 28th had extended his left flank across Allatoona Creek and along the Acworth road. At my own suggestion General Johnston directed me to move my corps and strike the enemy's left. Upon arriving the next morning, and while moving to accomplish this, I found that the enemy had retired his flank a mile and strongly fortified it. The opportunity having thus passed by the act of the enemy and not by my delay, I reported the fact to General Johnston, deeming it best that the attack should not be made, and the instructions to me were countermanded.
My operations are now fully stated. It may not be improper to close with a general resume of the salient points presented. I was placed in command under the most trying circumstances which can surround an officer when assigned to a new and most important command. The army was enfeebled in number and in spirit by long retreat and by severe and apparently fruitless losses. The Army of Tennessee between the 13th and 20th of May, two months before, numbered 70,000 effective arms-bearing men, as the official reports show. It was at that time in most excellent condition and in full hope. It had dwindled day by day in partial engagements and skirmishes, without an action that could properly be called a battle, to 47,250, exclusive of 1,500 militia, which joined in the interim. What with this constant digging and retreating from Dalton to Atlanta, the spirit of the army was greatly impaired and hope had almost left it. With this army I immediately engaged the enemy, and the tone constantly improved and hope returned. I defended Atlanta, a place without natural advantages (or rather with all the advantages in favor of the enemy), for forty-three days. No point, of all passed over from Dalton down, was less susceptible of defense by nature. Every preparation was made for retreat. The army lay in bivouac a short distance from the town, without attempting to construct works of defense in front of the camps, ready to resume the line of march as soon as the enemy pressed forward. I venture the statement that there was neither soldier nor officer in that army who believed that in the open plain between Atlanta and the river a battle would be offered, which had so often been refused in strong positions on the mountains. My first care was to make an intrenched line, and the enemy, despairing of success in front, threw his army to the left and rear, a thing that he never could have done had it not been for the immense advantage the Chattahoochee River gave him. I arrived at Lovejoy's Station, having fought four battles, and the official reports of the army on the 20th of September show an effective total of 40,403 present, giving a total loss in all this time of 5,247 men.
I invite special attention to the report of Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith of the operations of the Georgia militia in the vicinity of Atlanta, the reports of Lieutenant-General Stewart and his subordinate of-ricers, herewith submitted. Maps of the campaign accompany this report.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD,
SMITHFIELD, April 1, 1865.
General S. Cooper:
I have read General Hood's report, and will prefer charges against him as soon as I can find leisure. Please inform him.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
SMITHFIELD, April 4, 1865.
Lieut. Gen. J. B. HOOD:
After reading your report as submitted, I informed General Cooper by telegraph that I should prefer charges against you as soon as I have leisure to do so, and desired him to give you the information.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
CHESTER, S.C., April 4, 1865.
General J. E JOHNSTON,
Smithfield, N. C. :
Your telegram of this date received informing me that you intended, so soon as you had leisure, to prefer charges against me. I am under orders for the Trans-Mississippi Department. I shall inquire of General Cooper whether I am to await my trial and not proceed as ordered. I will be ready to meet any charges you may prefer.
J. B. HOOD.
CHESTER, April 5, 1865.
General S. COOPER:
I have the honor to request that a court of inquiry be assembled, at the earliest practicable moment, to investigate and report upon the facts and statements contained in my official report of the operations of the Army of Tennessee.
J. B. HOOD,
DANVILLE, April 5, 1865.
Lieut. Gen. J. B. HOOD:
Proceed to Texas, as heretofore ordered.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
DANVILLE, April 7, 1865.
Lieut. Gen. J. B. HOOD:
A court of inquiry cannot be convened in your case at present. Must proceed to Texas, as heretofore ordered.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
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