Soldier standing watch, Alabama Confederate Memorial,
The War of the Rebellion, more commonly known as The Official Record, is a compilation of the official records of the Union and available records from the Confederate armies published under the direction of the Secretary of War, The Honorary Elihu Root, Brig. Gen. Fred. C. Ainsworth, the Chief of the Record
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The entry regarding John B. Jordan, Captain of Company G, 36th Regiment of Alabama Voluneteers, is from the Official Record, Series I, Volume XXXVIII (38), Part V, (Correspondence), p. 494.
Captain Jordan says he came into our lines of his own accord yesterday evening. His regiment belongs to Holtzclaw's brigade, Clayton's division, of Lee's Corps, numbers about 250 men, and is the strongest regiment in the brigade. Says their division is about 2,500 strong, is in front of the Fourteenth Corps, the left resting on the Sandtown road and the right a little to the left, in front of General R. W. Johnson's headquarters.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 14, 1864.
Brigadier-Generals Stovall, Baker, Holtzclaw, and Gibson are the brigade commanders and are in position from right to left in the order named. Holtzclaw and Baker have Alabama troops; Gibson has Louisiana troops, and his is counted the best fighting brigade in the corps; Stovall has Georgia troops, and his men are very much demoralized, won't fight, and are constantly deserting. Clayton's division is on the left of the corps (Lee's). Hindman's division, now commanded by General Brown, of Tennessee, is in the center, and Stevenson's is on the right. Thinks their division, Clayton's, is fully as strong as either of the others.
All the regiments of their corps are very much extended, in many places the line being one rank and the men three feet apart. Gibson's brigade, the left flank of their division, is one rank, with no reserves, and covers at least half a mile. Has not been to the left of their army and an give no particulars about position of troops there, except that Hardee's corps (except Cheatham's division) is on the left of Lee's, and holds the left flank of the army; thinks the extreme left is near the river.
Stewart's corps is on Lee's right; says Stewart's divisions are much stronger than theirs; when he first came to them at Resaca some of his regiments numbered 1,500 men; thinks the right of Stewart's corps is about half a mile from the Augusta railroad. The militia are on Stewart's right, and are about 5,000 or 6,000 strong. Cheatham's division, of Hardee's corps, holds the right flank of the army and pickets the front of the militia; thinks Cheatham's division is about 3,000 strong.
Does not know of any reserves in rear of the line at any point, and is pretty confident that there are none. No re-enforements have been received except militia and men from convalescent camps and hospitals; says a large number of men have been added to the army from these sources; thinks the aggregate number since Hood has been in command, including cooks, teamsters, and other detailed men, will reach 15,000 men.
His own company [36th Alabama, Company G], Jordan's, numbered 14 men at Kenesaw, and yesterday mustered 34 guns; has received 19 men since the fight on the 22d.
All he an say about the cavalry is that it is on the flanks; says Wheeler's command numbers 25000 men; has not heard of any raid contemplated by him. The whole army is said to be 75,000 men.
With regard to its morale Captain Jordan says it is greatly demoralized, both officers and men feel that they are whipped. The officers will not acknowledge it, but the men feel that there is no longer any chance of success, and, although they will fight desperately if attacked in their works, they would refuse to make a general charge; says he is confident that if the men could be made to know how they would be treated after coming over the majority of Hood's soldiers would desert him, and that if the practice of the picket-lines agreeing to a truce for a few hours at a time was encouraged a great many men would desert them every day. Their men have great confidence in the honor of our soldiers, and a proposition to ease firing is at one accepted. It was during on of these armistices along the picket-lines that he, questioned our pickets as to the kind of treatment he would receive in case he deserted, and was told he would be sent North. Their men are taught to believe that the Government would force them into the army as soon as they came over; says he has been looking for an opportunity to desert during the whole campaign and improved the first opportunity after being assured that he would be sent North and allowed to stay there.
Since the 20th of July only about one-quarter rations have been issued. There are no supplies of any kind in Atlanta. They are shipped from below as they are needed by the troops, two or three days' supply being issued at a time. The ration consists of bacon and corn bread and occasionally beef; has often seen his men eat a day's supply at a meal and then not be satisfied. Officers draw rations with their men.
The supply of ammunition is very small; men are ordered not to fire when upon picket duty or when acting as sharpshooters unless sure of their mark, and whenever an assault is ordered or an attack expected an order is issued cautioning the men to be saving of tile cartridges. Our artillery is often not replied to because of the scarcity of ammunition. One-third of the men in the trenches are kept lip all night, and at 3 o' clock the whole force is ordered under arms until daylight.
Captain Jordan describe the breast-works as being very strong, and protected by abatis constructed with great are and extending along the whole line; thinks tile weakest part of the line is that portion held by the militia. The works there are the same, and were constructed by old troops, but the militia will not stand; does not know what damage was done to the railroad by Stoneman, but learned that all bridges south of Macon for a distance of thirty miles were burned, together with Some engines and cars at or near Griswold Station; states that one of his men who was sick au Montgomery came over the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, and that about three miles at each end of the break was repaired. Parties were employed repairing the road at each end of the break. Has not heard anything in regard to the Augusta railroad, whether it is being repaired or not. States that supplies are scattered from Atlanta to Macon, no great quantity at any one point.
Back to 36th Alabama, Company G Muster Roll[Endorsement.]
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 14,1864.
Respectfully submitted for the information of the general commanding.
ED. C. DENIG,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
The Official Record, Series I, Volume XXXVIII (38), Part V, (Correspondence), p. 962
HEADQUARTERS LEE'S CORPS,
Phillips' House, August 13,1864.
[Maj. Gen. H. D. CLAYTON:]
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to inform you that the truce still exists between your pickets and the enemy, and he desires that a reliable officer be placed in command of them who will see that they do their duty. It is also reported by a prisoner there is an understanding between Stovall's pickets and those of the enemy that when they do fire they are not to fire to take effect, but to shoot over each others' head's. He wishes this matter looked into, and if any man is found firing intentionally too high, he will be sent under guard to these headquarters.
He wishes all intercourse whatever stopped at once.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. RATCHFORD,
(back to Jordan's statement)
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