The Fifty-First Illinois Infantry at Kennesaw Mountain: An Introductory Note

Charles Harker's Brigade of John Newton's Division participated in the doomed attack on Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864. Harker's Brigade consisted of the three Illinois infantry regiments—27th, 42nd, 51st—that had been brigaded together for most of the war, plus the Sixty-Fourth, Sixty-Fifth, and One Hundred Twenty-Fifth Ohio regiments, and the Third Kentucky Infantry. (The 22nd Illinois, except for re-enlisted veterans and recruits whose terms of service had not expired, was pulled out of line on June 10 and sent home to Illinois for muster-out.) Harker's Brigade attacked on a narrow front in a deep column. The brigade was to deploy along a broader front once near the Confederate line of works; the Fifty-First Illinois was to extend the front of the brigade to the right. On the brigade's right was a brigade of Davis' Division, on its left Wagner's Brigade also of Newton's Division.

The stupidity of this order is enough to paralyze me. Sherman, ever capable of flights of bad faith, claimed that he "had to" make the Kennesaw attack—though two years of Civil War battle strategy argued strongly against it and though Sherman's subordinates thought he was charging into a sure and bloody failure. Sherman's men, the rank and file, were far clearer of mind than Sherman—they were under no illusions as to the chances of success of an attack across unfortified spaces against heavily entrenched positions on the big and little Kennesaws. "The stupidity of this order is enough to paralyze me," wrote Captain James Burkhalter of the Eighty-Sixth Illinois in his diary on the morning of June 27, "I must here acknowledge myself as altogether too skeptical to have the least confidence in the success of the enterprise. I think it far better not to give the plan of operation to my men, lest I gag on my words and reveal that I have the horrors, which, in turn, would give them the horrors, too." The men had their own horrors. A soldier in the attack George Puntenney, Thirty-Seventh Indiana, wrote, "Every private in that army knew that the attack would prove a disastrous failure" (p. 103).

The brigades selected to make the attack fell into formation. "There was a moment of hideous silence among the men" (Burkhalter).

John McElroy wrote, in his history of the Atlanta campaign, "Nothing was accurately known of the enemy's works; their location was only surmised, and could not be clearly seen until the assaulting column was within a few rods of them" (National Tribune, April 15, 1909). John Shellenberger of the Sixty-Fourth Ohio, having been within those few rods, gave this retrospective of the terrain in front of Harker's Brigade:

The opposing lines were here [in front of Harker's Brigade] not to exceed 500 yards apart, and the intervening space was covered with a heavy growth of timber which afforded an effectual screen against the observation of the enemy, and there was not sufficient undergrowth to seriously impede our advance. The ground descended in front of our works with an easy declivity to a stream about mid-way between the lines, so small that it could be jumpede over Beyond the stream the ground rose at first with a gradual ascent, and then more abruptly. About 15 or 20 yeards beyond the crest of this abrupt ascent was the rebel line, the ground rising but very little across the intervening space. Our column would therefore not come under the effective fire of their line until its head would appear above the crest of this abrupt ascent, and so close to their works that they would have only time to fire a single volley before we would be upon them while in the act of reloading. There was no artillery in our front to mow down our men with double charges of canister, or was there any abatis or other obstruction to delay us while we might be picked off by their infantry. The chevaux-de-frise which covered this part of their line, when some of us went out under flag of truce to bury our dead the morning of the 29th, had been placed there after our assault was repulsed. There was no ditch on the outside of their works, all the dirt having been thrown from the ditch inside, the depth of which formed a good part of their works. On our side, therefore, their line was covered by a low embankment, over which we might have charged without any serious delay. (National Tribune, December 11, 1890. Shellenberger held the view that the cause of the failed charges lay primarily in the piecemeal fashion in which the successive lines were committed. Thus the Fifty-First was decimated before the supporting lines came up to help, and so with the next line...and the next.)

The Fifty-First Illinois and the Third Kentucky led the attacking column of Harker's Brigade.

We know of two accounts of Kennesaw by men of the Fifty-First. They follow here:

Fifty-First Illinois Regiment: A Chapter in Its History—The Battle of Kenesaw Mountain—List of Casualties

[From a letter of regimental Chaplain Lewis Raymond to The Chicago Tribune: Letter dated June 29, 1864; Tribune dated July 15, 1864.]

On Monday morning, the 27th inst., we were ordered to march at sunrise. We moved at 6 o'clock, about a mile to the right, and after about an hour, were ordered to charge the rebel line and works in front. They moved in about a quarter past 9 a.m., and for a time the fiercest battle storm of the campaign raged. Our men soon gained the works: others were only a little distance from them, when the fire on the right gave way—part of Davis' division—and then the cross-fire, like Chickamauga, of grape cannister and musketry opened on them murderously. General Harker fell mortally wounded...The 42d, 22d and 27th [Illinois regiments brigaded with the 51st since April 1862],1 lost heavily, including Capt. Lytle [perhaps Robert P. Lytle, Company B, but he was neither killed nor mortally wounded]. Sergeant Michael Delaney, color bearer of the 27th, planted the colors on the rebel works. He was shot in the mouth, and twice besides, and then bayoneted in the chest, but was brought off and started on Tuesday for the rear, but I think he is dead before this time [Delaney died in early July]. The 27th lost all three of their colors, and Col. [William A. Schmitt] cried like a child about it. The 27th lost heavily but Schmitt and [Major Henry A.] Rust are all right. Major Rust is in command of all the pioneers in the brigade at present.

This is the first disaster to our division since the campaign opened, and our regiment is a heavy sufferer. I have not been able to get a full list yet, but will give what I have been able to get.2 I was under a perfect shower of bullets and feared my horse would be shot, so I had to move him in the midst of the whizzing bullets and escaped further up the ravine behind a rocky ledge, where the balls passed over our heads.

Of killed in the 51st I have:—Adj. [Henry] W. Hall. We obtained his body yesterday under flag of truce. He was pierced eleven times, and the rebel Colonel said he was the bravest man he ever saw, and promised to send his sword to Col. Bradley. —Lieut. [Archibald] McCormick, Co., Orderly [Sergeant] Charles Strickland, Co. G.; privates J[ohn T.] Wright, Adam Marsh, Daniel Flott, and [George] Connell, were all killed and buried where they fell.

The wounded are:—Captain [Theodore] F. Brown, Co. D, commanding, severe, left arm broken; Lieut. Thomas Cummings, Co D, severe, right arm; Sergeant Frederick Wagner, Co. K, left elbow; Sergeant [Josiah] W. Day, Co. H, head; [Charles] McHenry, Co H, thigh, slight; Orderly Sergeant Henry H. York, Co. A, right side; Privates: [Jehu] Black, Co. E, collar bone [later died of wounds]; George W. Rambo, Co. C, dangerous, bowels [later died of wounds]; Hiram Grayhart, Co. E, severe, back [died of wounds]; Benj. Golden, Co. H, severe, bowels and thigh; Hiram Schoonover, Co. F, severe, face, left arm, and right hand; Wm. Morton, Co. E, slight, left hand; Robert Morton, Co. E, left side; Otto Richter, Co. G, severe, since dead; Wm. Lyons, Co. D, severe, since dead; Wm. G. Smith, Co. C, slight, eye and shoulder; Henry Penny, Co. E, severe, right side; [William] McCrosky, Co. F, severe, since dead; James Irwin, Co. B, slight, finger;3 Elisha Bailey, Co. A, a mere boy, severe, neck; Joseph Gerard, Co. E, head; Geo. Swartz [Schwartz], Co. E, severe supposed to be mortal, head [mortal indeed—he died of wounds]; Jos. Kingen, Co. F, severe, thigh [died of wounds]; Geo. Brown, Co. F, severe, thigh; Geo. W. Hoel, Co. C, severe, body [died of wounds]; [Henry] A. Stonestreet, Co. E [captured, died in Confederate prison at Millen, GA].

There are 43 killed, wounded and missing. There are eleven names I have not yet obtained. So you see we are but a poor guard left, and but few officers, and shall, no doubt, when the campaign is over, be consolidated into some other regiment. Capt. Brown, I judge, did well and is now immortalized with scars and will retire with considerable honor, so you will have to allow him to wear his wounds. He may lose his arm yet, but we hope not. There was more danger of Cummings' arm when they left than Brown's.

General Harker died at 2 or 3 p.m., was embalmed, coffined and sent on in charge of his aid Lieut. Lamb of the 42d Ill. to New Jersey. Col Bradley commands the brigade and has won more laurels in the last fight. [Lewis] Hanback is A. A. G. for him. Capt. [Albert] Tilton commands the regiment and there is no Captain now in the company but the renowned [Merritt B.] Atwater. I believe we have about ninety guns left of the 51st Ill. Vol. So you see we are nearly played out.

1The Twenty-Second Illinois did not "veteranize" as a regiment at the end of 1863/beginning of 1864. The three-year term of service of most of its members was therefore expiring in June 1864. The regiment was therefore pulled out of the brigade line on June 10, preparatory to returning to Illinois for muster-out. The men who had re-enlisted and the recruits who had not yet completed their terms of service formed a detachment that was assigned to the Forty-Second Illinois.
2The casualty list provided by Raymond is reliable as far as it goes. His list was not "full" as he said. We have not yet done research to complete it. Among other omissions, Raymond had not yet learned of the mortal wounds of William P. Sallee, who died at the Big Shanty field hospital on June 30. Matthew Canady (known in some military records as "Mather Canada") of Company C was also wounded by a gunshot wound which broke his left hand. Zachariah Deeds of Company A was wounded in the left shoulder; Thomas Imes, Company H, in the left thigh; Nelson Ketchum, Company C, in the right hand. There were more.
3For the many who are comparing this list to the The Tribune article, the article lists "James Sowin, Co. H, slight, finger," but there was no James Sowin in the regiment, however there was a James Irwin in Company B, who was wounded in the hand and is not in Raymond's list. This Irwin of Company B became that Sowin of Company H—a tribute to the endless capacity for transcription errors in the papers of the time.

At Kenesaw: The Desperate Rush of the 51st Ill. to Within a Few Feet of the Works

[By Captain Theodore Brown, Company D, in The National Tribune, September 9, 1909.]

Editor National Tribune:

In the first place, I want to thank you for the extreme pleasure that I have enjoyed in hearing read the history of the Atlanta campaign.1 Your description is so vivid and lifelike that to one who took part in that campaign it really seems that he is living it over again. I am sorry that I am afflicted with blindness, but I am sure that you will not allow so valuable a contribution to the history of the war to lie dormant in your pages, but give it to the world in book form.

If not too late, I would like you to publish my name with the Captains as the Captain of the 51st Ill. in the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864. On the night of June 26 I was on picket duty, and Gen. Harker, commanding our brigade, sent an Orderly ordering me to come with my regiment to his headquarters. It was the first time I had ever seen him, and I was a little surprised to have him tell me that he had watched me with great interest during this campaign, and he was much pleased with my soldierly bearing and the handling of my men. this, of course, was a pleasant thing for me to hear. He then intimated what we were to do the next day, and told me that, tho I was the youngest man commanding a regiment, he had selected me to the post of honor in leading the men into action. He then detailed the position in which he wanted the men formed, and told me I was to move so many yards directly east and then to move directly south. At that point I was to order: "Battalion, right wheel!"

This movement made brought McCook's Brigade into immediate action and Wagner's Brigade also engaged, and I saw at once the danger I was in. I immediately ordered my men to double-quick down the hill. This brought us within 19 feet of the rebels' works. I tried to deploy my regiment and commence firing.2 I tried my best to do this, but found it an impossibility, and while so engaged I received a gunshot wound which effectually left me out of the action.3 I immediately called my Adjutant, Henry Hall of Boston, and gave him my orders. I then started to retire, and had gone about 10 feet from the firing line when I heard of my Adjutant's death.4 A few feet farther I met Gen. Harker on horseback. He stopped me and asked me how things were in front. I told him it was impossible to carry out his orders. I had tried my very best to do as he wanted me to. He then drew his sword and cried, "Who will follow me?" Seventeen men jumped up to follow him and in less time than it takes to tell it Harker was a corpse. Nearly every one who got up was shot down.5

I am writing a longer letter than I intended to, but I feel that my regiment is entitled to the honor, and history ought to record it.

Theodore F. Brown, Captain, 51st Ill.,
1801 Warren Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

1The weekly soldiers' paper, The National Tribune, starting in the January 21, 1909 issue, carried a serialized account of the Georgia campaign. Brown wrote in response to that. At the time Brown wrote this he was seventy-four years old and only four or five months away from death. In 1867, Brown was breveted brigadier general for gallant and meretorious service at Kennesaw.
2Like the men on his left and right, Brown's men were shot down as they deployed and moved toward the Confederate works..
3Brown's wound was serious and prevented his return to active service with the Fifty-First. He was eventually discharged for reasons of disability.
4After Brown was wounded, Adjutant Hall led the men on up the slope closer to the Confederate line. But, Hall was killed. When his body was recovered, the wounds were counted. Hall had been shot eleven times.
5Such was Brown's close-up view of the attempted second charge in which Harker was mortally wounded. Bradley, who took command of the brigade after Harker was wounded, reported that Harker "was shot in the endeavor to carry the men up to a second charge" (Official Records, p. 355, report of Luther P. Bradley).

Two Journal Entries from the Fifty-First Illinois. Allen Gray of the Fifty-First wrote, "June 27th 1864 Regt moved before daylight to the right taking the place of Genl Stanleys troops - formed in close column of company front 5 lines deep. We were ordered over the works, down the hill, over a ravine, up the incline & charged the rebel works only to be repulsed leaving our dead on the field... We went into the engagement with a total of 132 rank & file and lost 12 killed & 31 wounded. Adj Hall and Lt McCormick killed, Capt Brown & Lt Cummings badly wounded - Genl Harker comdg brigade was killed & Col Bradley assumed command. The affair was badly managed - no concert of action as we were obliged to fall back before the troops on our right commenced to charge. Our lines however were advanced to within 50 yards of the enemy." Otis Colburn of Company F wrote, "June 27th 1864 Moved early to the right and lay massed in brigade front - 51st in first line - till noon, then moved over our works, crossed a hollow and charged up a hill with bayonets fixed and arms at right shoulder shift to the enemy's works. We were compelled to retire but held their line of rifle pits - loss very heavy - Adjt Hall & Lt McCormick of Co E killed, 2 officers wounded, and 48 men killed and wounded out of 120 engaged. At night we moved back to the camp we left in the morning."

Shellenberger: The Fifty-First at the Confederate Works. "The 51st Ill., leading the assault, had planted its colors on the rebel breastworks, and had effected a lodgment there, but there were too few of them left to jump over and engage in a hand-to-hand contest with the enemy. They lay down on the outer slope waiting for their supports to come up, but these did not arrive in sufficient numbers in time to enable them to hold the position. The rebels vigorously assailed the men of the 51st. Some were shot, some where bayoneted and some were dragged over the works by the hair of the head and made prisoners. The remnant, finding their position was a hopeless one, fell back behind the cover of the rest of the hill, where they were eventually joined by the remainder of the brigade coming forward in the straggling manner already described." The Fifty-First fell back with their battle flags in hand. The Twenty-Seventh Illinois attacking the enemy works near the position of the Fifty-First were less fortunate with their flags but more fortunate in terms of casualties (losing three killed or mortally wounded and around forty wounded). The local newspaper back home in Mercer County carried a soldier's letter, "The 27th Illinois participated—lost their flag... The 27th has made her mark in this war, and it must have been a severe blow to lose the banner presented to them by Col. Buford [the 27th's first colonel], upon which was inscribed the bloody fields over which they had triumphantly borne it... The color bearer of the 27th planted it on the rebel works, but receiving two balls and a bayonet thrust through the body, was unable to bring off the flag" (Aledo Weekly Record, July 20, 1864).

Casualties in the Fifty-First Illinois. Neither Raymond nor Gray nor Colburn was able to give reliable casualty counts so shortly after the battle. The Illinois Adjutant General's compact regimental history was written at least a year later by an officer of the regiment, after all returns were assembled and men accounted for. The Adjustant General's history gave a figure of 58 killed and wounded. The regiment entered the battle with only about 140 men—like many regiments, the Fifty-First was worn to the bone, wiry and slight in numbers. The regiment suffered therefore a 40% casualty rate. Seventeen men were killed or mortally wounded: George Hoel, Joseph Kingen, George Schwartz, William McCroskey, William Lyons, Otto Richter, Hiram Grayhart, George Rambo, Jehu Black, George Connell, Adam Marsh, Daniel Flott, John Wright, Charles Strickland, Archibald McCormick, William P. Sallee, and Henry Hall. Truly Colburn wrote, "Loss very heavy." Of these, Joseph Kingen, Henry Hall, William McCroskey, William Lyons, John Wright, and William Sallee are known to have been reinterred to the Marietta National Cemetery. George Hoel, who survived his wounds for several weeks, is buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery—he had been moved back from the front lines to military hospital in Chattanooga. Some no doubt were lost in their Kennesaw mountainside graves—Daniel Flott, Charles Strickland, Adam Marsh, John Wright, George Connell—graves no longer marked when remains were reinterred to Marietta.

One of the first wounded in the Fifty-First was Hiram Schoonover. Even before the charge got well underway, Schoonover suffered wounds. A bullet went through his right hand, unhinging his thumb and index fingerl. Another shot passed through his left arm near the elbow, knicking but not breaking the bone. A third bullet tore into his face, "cutting through his right cheek disfiguring his face and drawing his mouth toward the right and drawing the muscles of his face out of shape. The amputation of his thumb was finished the next day at the division field hospital.

A Glimpse of Sherman. The Kennesaw attack was what the men thought it would be—a futile charge and a bloody repulse. In the aftermath of the debacle, Sherman floated a set of rationalizations to demonstrate that he had decided and ordered well and that the Kennesaw disaster was due to the failures of others. To Halleck on July 9 Sherman wrote (with fantastical logical absurdities),

Drop me a word now and then of advice and encouragement. I think I have done well to maintain such an army in such a country, fighting for sixty days, and yet my losses are made up by the natural increase. The assault I made was no mistake; I had to do it. The enemy and our own army and officers had settled down into the conviction that the assault of lines formed no part of my game, and the moment the enemy was found behind anything like a parapet, why everybody would deploy, throw up counter-works and take it easy, leaving it to the “old man” to turn the position. Had the assault been made with one- fourth more vigor, mathematically, I would have put the head of George Thomas’ whole army right through Johnston’s deployed lines on the best ground for go-ahead, while my entire forces were well in hand on roads converging to my then object, Marietta. Had Harker and McCook not been struck down so early the assault would have succeeded, and then the battle would have all been in our favor on account of our superiority of numbers, position, and initiative. Even as it was, Johnston has been much more cautious since, and gives ground more freely. His next fighting line, Smyrna Camp-Ground, he only held one day. (Official Records 38/5, p. 91)

Sherman wrote to his wife on July 9, "I see by the papers that too much stress was laid on the repulse of June 27. I was forced to make the effort, and it should have succeeded, but the officers & men have been so used to my avoiding excessive danger and forcing back the Enemy by strategy that they hate to assault " (Simpson and Berlin, Sherman's Civil War, p. 663). This barely rises to the level of complete nonsense, as if the single alternative to flanking maneuvers was a Kennesaw, not an attack but an attack into the teeth of an entrenched position, something that generals of both sides had gradually learned, over the mangled bodies of their men, did not well succeed. But, Sherman, as if the war's Fredericksburgs had never occurred, had now thrown several thousands of his men against the mountain—to thereby, Sherman said, teach Johnston and his own (Sherman's) men a lesson.

It is certainly the case that the orders generals give involve risk and often eventuate in their men's being shot to pieces. But this Kennesaw is not a simple case of a general's necessity. This is rather a blunder of great magnitude that military history, military sense, and Sherman's subordinates advised against. The attack was a mistake. Sherman did not have to make it. Sherman was compelled only by Sherman. Wondrously Sherman blamed the failure of the Kennesaw attack on the men who made it, the men who died trying; he was able to calculate and fix blame on them for a three-fourths-hearted (mathematically) attempt. One can do the math, one supposes, and see that color bearer Delaney of the Twenty-Seventh should have pressed on, over the barricades, despite the holes made in him by bullets and bayonet; and, Adjutant Hall should have gone 1/4 beyond the last full measure exacted by eleven bullet wounds—and so also should have the others lying dead or dying with Hall of Boston near the Confederate works: Hoel, the cousins Flott and Rambo, Black, Grayhart, McCormick, Strickland, Marsh, Wright, Connell—others, others of other regiments. Sherman also contended, absurdly, that if Harker and McCook had not been shot so early on the attack would have succeeded. He whined to his wife—the papers were, he said, making too big a deal of Kennesaw.

Harker was shot down as he tried to pick up the pieces of his brigade's bleeding broken first charge. The thing had been shattered by the time Harker tried to save it. Shellenberger wrote, "[Harker's] horse was just turning his nose toward the breastworks when the gallant Harker reeled in his saddle, stricken with a mortal wound. A bullet from the breastworks broke his right arm and penetrated his breast, and he died that night."

The charge faltered because it was being shot to pieces faster than its legs could advance it. The men who Sherman accused of making a 75% effort had the same problem that Harker and McCook had in taking the Confederate works—they were dying or dead or they had holes shot in the flesh, sinews, and limbs on which they went. Albert Castel wrote, "[Confederate commander] Johnston's loss comes to about 700. Probably close to half of this total, however, derives from pickets overrun at the outset of the Union onslaught, as witness the fate of the 63rd Georgia, which suffered 123 casualties in this fashion. The main Confederate battle line, therefore, was able to shoot down approximately ten Yankees for every man it lost, a ratio rarely if ever equaled in any major engagement of the Civil War" (p. 320).

Thus we glimpse Sherman. There is nothing admirable here, nothing adept here, nothing strategically capable, nothing personally attractive, nothing noble, nothing honest and genuine; there is no flicker of moral courage. After a bonehead decision, while 2800 of his men lay dead and shot to pieces, Sherman cast aspersions on their sacrifice.

Neither Hirschson nor Marszalek—Sherman's recent biographers—give a full account of Sherman's bad faith, silliness, and self-absorption after the June 27 debacle. There is something enormous about Sherman's sending his men on a doomed and bloody fool's errand and then blaming them for its failure, but the biographers present only small disconnected pieces of that enormity. One reviewer wrote that Stanley Hirshson's The White Tecumseh is "psychologically penetrating." But in writing of Kennesaw Hirshson fails even to penetrate Sherman's rationalizations, which one would think a biographer with a psychological approach would have to do. Hirshson merely quotes Sherman's after-action report as if this were sufficient explanation of his subject's mind at Kennesaw—"An army to be efficient must not settle down to a single mode of offense, but must be prepared to execute any plan which promises success. I wanted, therefore, for the moral effect to make a successful assault against the enemy behind his breastworks" (p. 223). Otherwise, Hirshson does not examine his subject at this telling moment. He repeats Sherman in explanation of Sherman. It's not that every Sherman biographer must examine every incident, but it is a failure to seem to examine Sherman at Kennesaw and give a seeming explanation which explains nothing.

Marszalek mentions the "one-fourth more vigor"—not in the context of Sherman blaming his men nor with a view to examining it—but only to say that Sherman said so (p. 274). Sherman said so and, for the next twenty years, kept saying the Confederate line should have been broken (just as Sherman, to his grave, repeated the hackneyed claim that there was no surprise at Shiloh). For Marszalek the key biographical element was that Sherman did not become depressed as he was wont to do after a failure. He says that the military sin Sherman committed was "impatience". Thus, tacitly he would forgive Sherman of the military sin of bad judgement and terrible command decision and the personal sin of blaming his own men. Marszalek hazards an argument for a compassionate Sherman. Sherman, Marszalek wrote, "poured out his distress" in a June 30 letter to Annie Gilman Bowen: "My heart bleeds when I see the carnage of Battle, the desolation of homes, the bitter anguish of families". He claims to bleed for the desolated homes and anguished families of strangers, but his heart was hardened against the men who charged under his paralyzingly stupid order and were shot down without making him look good. And, given the fact that Sherman was about to rip hundreds of Roswell mill workers, women and children, out of their homes and relationships and communities and send them off to Indiana and Ohio to fend for themselves, his words about his heart bleeding for the desolation of homes and bitter anguish of families sound like nothing more than maudlin blather, the piffle of an insincere or self-deluded man. Marszalek does refer to the displacement of the women and children: "Later stories would develop around alleged brutalities to these women, but no convincing facts bear these tales out" (p. 276). The chief brutality was Sherman's in uprooting them and sending them away, but that was only the beginning of the sad and shameful story—hardly the Union at its finest. Deborah Petite bears the "tales" out; she traces the often bitter fates of the Roswell women and children in her "The Women Will Howl," The Union Army Capture of Roswell and New Manchester, Georgia, and the Forced Relocation of Mill Workers, thus disturbing Marszalek's no-convincing-facts conclusion.

Castel wrote in summary, "Sherman's rationalizations and accusations perhaps helped him soothe his conscience; they even have convinced a few historians. They all, however, dissolve in the acid of basic facts: eight Union brigades (counting Kimball's), totaling about 15,000 troops, advanced blindly across a third of a mile (more or less) of rugged bullet-and-shell-swept terrain against an exceedingly strong fortified line that was protected (except in one place) by nearly impenetrable barriers and held by an equal if not superior number of some of the South's toughest fighting men. No similar attack made under comparable conditions succeeded throughout the Civil War, and there is no reason to believe that this one, especially in view of the way it was conducted, could have, would have, or should have been the exception even if it had been delivered with 'one-fourth more vigor, mathematically' or if McCook and Harker had gone through it unscathed" (p. 321).

Newspaper findings, thanks to William Edward Henry.

Albert Castel, Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1992.

Stanley P. Hirshson, The White Tecumseh: A Biography of William T. Sherman, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

Lloyd Lewis, Sherman: Fighting Prophet, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993 (first published, 1932).

John E. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order, New York: Vintage Books, 1994 (first published, 1993).

Richard M. McMurry, Atlanta 1864: Last Chance for the Confederacy, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

Mary Deborah Petite, "The Women Will Howl," The Union Army Capture of Roswell and New Manchester, Georgia, and the Forced Relocation of Mill Workers, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2008.

George H. Puntenney, History of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment of Indiana Infantry Volunteers: Its Organization, Campaigns, and Battles, Sept. '61-Oct. '64, Rushville, Indiana: Jacksonian Book and Job Department, 1896.

William T. Sherman to Annie Gilman Bowen, Near Marietta, Georgia, June 30, 1864, Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, New Series Volume 7, October 1890 - October 1891, pp. 222-3.

Brooks D. Simpson and Jean V. Berlin, eds., Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865, Chapel Hills, University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Gray and Colburn, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Illinois.

Hiram Schoonover, Compiled Service Record, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917, Record Group 94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.