The Front, Near Ackworth, Ga.
I will have time now that we have reached the main Army to correspond with you more regularly than before, and in the first place I must answer yours of the 20th May (I think) rec'd at Rome, the one in which you tell your interesting experience in Dreamland, which astonished me I assure you.
Well, in the first place, I do not know what to tell you, there are so many things to write about, and all I can do in this letter will be to deal in generalities and leave the details to be related vivavoce (I hope). We are both well, the Company is well, and the Army generally is in better health than it has ever been before. I wrote Father at Rome the evening we got in there, and we left the next morning for Kingston, where we camped that night, (the 6th). (When I say we, I mean the Corps.) Left Kingston yesterday morning and marched to where the R.R. crosses the Etowah, where the column stopped for the night, and this morning, resuming the road reached Sherman's HdQrs. at Ackworth about noon. The Corps is now in position in McPherson's front, on the left of the 16th A.C. Genl. Dodge, and a mile in advance of the little station of Ackworth.
So ends our weary march for the present, and we are all glad of it, I tell you. The enemy's works were in the immediate front till yesterday when Johnson fell back to the Chattahootchie river, 8 miles this side of Atlanta, where he has the strongest works he has ever defended. Our men feel confident that we will soon rout him out of there when the advance is made, which will be in a day or two.
We have plenty of men; Thomas, with the 4 Army Corps of the old Army of the Cumberland, Schofield, with the Army of the East Tennessee, Hooker and his 11th & 12th
Corps, and our own McPherson, commd'g the Army of the Tennessee, the 15th, 16th & 17th Corps, under Logan, Dodge and Blair. So that there must be about 100,000 men here at the very least, probably more, while the half of the Rebel force is conscripts, of whom it is said that Johnson has 30,000 drilling at Atlanta, and will go to pieces like a rope of sand so soon as we once whip them well.
Johnson has not risked a general engagement yet, for the reason that Sherman has invariably flanked him in every position he has yet taken, but he can not delay it long and keep his army together, for this falling back all the time will soon ruin any army, especially such a one as he commands. The way we now front our Left is nearer to Atlanta than is the enemy's Right, so that we can take that place at any time.
McPherson is on the Right of our Army, and I think Hooker has the Left. He had a severe fight a day or two ago of which you have of course read. Our fellows have whipped the Secesh in every engagement yet, and they have been numerous and the whole army feels the greatest confidence in Gen'l Sherman. I have just been talking with some of Birge's sharpshooters of the 16th Corps. whom we used to know at Corinth 2 years ago, and they say they never saw an army handled so well as is this one. Tell Sarah that Jed Weeks was with us today, looking well, and unhurt though the Regt lost about 200 men since leaving Dalton. Nothing more now, tough as a bear. T.D.C.
[Postscript on page one] Tell Father to let that land business be till we come up in the Fall. I wrote to Tom Simpson, a Lawyer in Winona and he writes that a soldier cannot locate land under the Homestead Law by proxy. I am in doubts about that. However, we have more important work on hand now and will see to that in September if we are spared and if we are not we will not need it. I have to get 100 dolls yet from St. Charles to which I am credited, and a [illegible word] bounty of 45 dolls from Winona.
[Postscript on page two] W. will write today.
[Postscript on page three] W. is a cannonier now, No. 6 on my Gun, has charge of the ammnit'n in action.
[Postscript on page four] The Capt. came back today from Minn. by R.R. through Chattanooga.